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Full text of "Bible manners and customs"

LIBMAr.Y 

Brigham Young University 



FROM- 



S" gg -Si U . „ N ^". "- 1^»8 



BIBLE MANNEES AND CUSTOMS 



^7 ' ■ 

iJj^IBLE MANNERS 

AND 

CUSTOMS 



REV. G. M. MACKIE, M.A 

For Twenty Years Missionary of the Church 
of Scotland at Beyrout 



THIRTY-ONE ILLUSTRATIONS 




New York Chicago Toronto 

Fleming H. Revell Company 

Publishers of Evangelical Literature 



AUTHORISED EDITION 



» • • • • *• • 



• ft •••*'* • 

*•• *w« «« • 



f t : »' • ; / * • * : 



HAROLD B. LEE LIBRARY 

BRIGHAM YOUMG UNIVERSITY 

PROVO, UTAH 



PREFACE 

A.N artist engaged on a classical picture and wishing to 
paint a (Jreuk lyre inquired of a young university friend 
as to the ordinary colour of that instrument. The student 
had seen illustrations of its form, could quote from the 
Latin poets about it, and tell the familiar story of Orpheus 
and his lyre, but he had never pictured to himself its 
actual coloured appearance. 

The endeavour to supply such Local colouring to tbe 
common objects and occupations referred to in the Bible 
will excuse the enumeration in the following pages of 
many details that in themselves miglit seem insignificant. 

It is hoped that the study of these manners and 
customs will convey an impression similar to that which 
is produced by residence in Palestine. With much that 
ex{)Iains and confirms Scripture, the chief teaching of the^ 
Holy Land is a demonstration of something absent. The 
body is not the spirit and the form is not the life. These 
earthly accompaniments of revelation confess, by their 
impotent survival to-day, that they originated nothing. 
But in a very special manner this land has heard the 
voice of the Lord, and its customs and institutions still 
preserve echoes of the tone and teaching of the Divine 
Word. 

Of the books that may be profitably consulted, the 
<itandard work of reference is Thomson's Land anrf ike 



rii BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

Book. Its arrangement, agreeably to its twofold title, 
is that of a pilgrimage under the charge of a well-informed 
guide rather than a classified treatment of the different 
subjects. More on the lines of the present text -book 
are Eastern Customs in Bible Lands by Canon Tristram, 
and Dr. Trumbull's Studies in Oriental Social Lift^ both 
published by Hodder and Stoughton. 

a. M. MACKIE 

Betrout, Syria, 

%Uh JvAU \%%% 



CONTENTS 



I. IVTHODl'CTION . ... * 

II. Climate, Seasons, Scenery, and Weather 
III. Shei'HEuds and Peasants . , t 
IV. Trades and Professions 

V. Domestic Life and Family Relationships 

VI SOCIAI^ POLITIOA?*. ANI? UeHOIOUS LiF?, 



1 

8 
27 
56 

128 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Femttval Pkockssion passing Gethsemane . . FrontAf^piece 

PAOE 

Jar for Olivbm 6 

Fording thb Jordan ,.,.#.. 19 

GouRim and Earthen Pitchehs 30 

Shrphrrd'h Rod and Staff ,,,,,. 31 

Oriental Plough ,39 

Thresh I NO- Floor 40 

Threshing and Winnowing Instruments ... 41 

WlNKPRKSw 45 

Vineyard Booth .».•*.., 48 

Chequer- Work ...,.•,. 60 

Broidered-Work 61 

Mason's Tools # • . 64 

Engraving in Wood and Metal . • . , , 67 

Bracblki and Nfx!KLace ..•••, 69 

A Tray of Brf^d 71 

Labourers Waiting at Daybreak .... 77 

Potter's Wheel 78 

Oriental Pottery . , , 79 

Shepherd's Tent • t # . t , . 89 



BIHLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 









/Aor 


Okifntal Housr 






91 


Laiticki) Window . 




• . * 


96 


HAND-MrLL .... 






98 


Orikntal Ewer and P.asin 






, 106 


Cloak and Embroidrrei) Shirt 






109 


Oriental Male Costumes 






111 


Shoes and Sandals , . , 






113 


Sacred Fringe . . . . 






114 


Female Costumes . , , , 


t 


116 


City Oatk .... 


> . • 


132 


A.MUIJST »-,,,.» 






Uf, 



BIBLE MANNEES AND CUSTOMS 



CHAPTER I 

INTllODUCTION 

He that is older than you by a day is wiser than you by a year. 

Respect for Age — Syrian ProverK 

1. The Subject. Bible Illustration by means of present- 
day Manners and Customs in Bible Lands — such is the 
subject of this text-book. 

In modern Palestine and Syria there are a great many 
things in the climate and landscape, in plant and animal 
life, in the habits and occupations of the people, in their 
modes of dress and forms of speech, that are exactly the 
same as those alluded to in the Bible. 

This wonderful continuance of unchanged custom, 
during so long a period, is chiefly due to the following 
causes : (1) the Oriental kinship of the present inhabitants 
with the ancient Israelites ; (2) the close resemblance 
between the Hebrew language and the Arabic which is 
now spoken ; (3) the suitableness of the customs to the 
climate and industries of the land ; (4) the reluctance to 
admit changes under what is called the patriarchal form 
of government, where the sheikhs or heads of chief 
families, from father to son, rule over their several 
dLsLi li u. 

1 



2 BIBLfc MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

So great is this rebemblance with regard to natural 
surroandings, dress, and occupations, with reference also 
to common opinion and sentiment about life, work, home, 
and religion, that if the same events were to hap[)en 
again in Palestine, and the truths of Scripture were now 
to be told for the first time, the description and statement 
of them would inevitably take the mould and form with 
which we are already familiar in the Bible, 

2. Its Importance. — There are three principal advan- 
tages connected with this study of Bible Manners and 
Customs. 

(I) It kelps us to understand better the life and character 
of the men and women of the Bible, — In the scientific study 
of plantij and animals it is a recognised principle that 
while ultimately ministering to our needs, they, in the first 
instance, exist for their own. Thus, the colour and scent 
of flowers, the honey of the bee, the iridescence on the 
bird's wing, the tusk of the elephant, the *' recognition 
marks " of the dove and deer, can only be accounted for 
on the principle that they are first of ail useful to those 
they belong to ; after that they are prized in the great 
human market, and serve us for food and clothing. 
Similarly, we should not grudge to those of whom we 
Ti^ad in the Bible the first right to their own lives. They 
have served as encouragements and warnings to other 
generations, but they bad actual personal lives that were 
lived in their own day, and were affected by the oppor- 
tunities and difficulties that belonged to it. We want to 
speak of them, not merely as book-names, but as living . 
people. They would not have lived for us if they had not 
first lived m their own generation, and for it. The more 
we know about their human life and its conditions, the 
belter we shall understand what the word of God did for 
them and through them. One of the advantages, there- 
fore, of thus study is to impart to our reading of the Bible 



INTRODUCTION 3 

-that wens© of reality which Shakespeare coveted when he 
said, appealing to the sympathy of his audience : — 

Thiuk when we talk of horses that you see them, 
Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth. 

(2) It explains and emphasises the Jiguratxve language 
of Scripture. — Thus when Christ said (John xv. f)) *' I am 
the vine, ye are the branches," and "Apart from me, ye 
can do nothing," He expressed in both cases the same fact 
of dependence ; but in the first instance a figure is used, 
that of the vine and its branches. Whoever would lift up 
this simile to see and show^ to others its rich clusters of 
spiritual truth, would do well to visit the vineyard and 
watch what the husbandman does in the time of ploughing, 
pruning, staking, picking, etc. In this way he would 
come nearest to the meaning that passed from the Speaker 
to the hearers when the words were first used. 

Such figurative language is much used and appreciated 
by Orientals. They can employ technical and abstract 
terms where exactness is required, but they turn to figure 
when they wish to arouse thought, create interest, and 
carry conviction. Thus when we say " Necessity has no 
law,'^ they say " Hunger is an infidel^'* that is, has no moral 
scruples. Instead of saying of any man that he has 
influence with his master, they say that kis hand is strong. 
The most persuasive form of argument in the East is to 
show that something in conduct or character corresponds 
with something in nature. Both in Hebrew and in Arabic 
a proverb means a resemblance^ and this fact of resemblance 
lies at the root of all Oriental wise sayings. The quotation 
of an appropriate proverb of this kind in a missionary 
address always wins for the preacher attention and confi- 
dence with regard to what he infers from it. It was this 
charm of resemblance, and the authority of proverbial 
form that Christ made use of, when He taught and 



4 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

influenced the people by His wonderful parables. He 
pointed to the objects in nature, the customs and occu- 
pations with which His hearers were familiar ; and those 
who had eyes and ears found with submission and delight 
that something within was like something else in the world 
without. Apart from the power of His own holiness and 
love, it was an intellectual act that produced an intellectual 
illuminating result. While their attention and sympathy 
were given to some tale of human life and labour there 
rose before them the vision of Salvation, Sainthood, and 
Service. Somehow, one was like the other. As the 
Bible abounds in such figurative language, it is important 
that in our reading of it we should know the objects, 
occasions, and customs from which it was originally drawn. 

This study of Bible Antiquities will constantly show a modern 
face. While we study the Oriental life in which the Lord Jesus 
found the resemblances He needed, we must seek to imitate Him 
by finding them in our own. Such illustrations will only flash 
upon a heart full of love to Him and surrendered to His service. 
Tlien things before unnoticed at our feet will rise up and walk in 
parable ; many of the common details of our own daily life will be 
touched with new spiritual light, and begin to speak with other 
tongues. 

(3) It explaint t^u relationship of Ike Divine and 
human elements in the Bible. — This is important on 
account of two mistakes. The fact that there is so much 
in the Bible that is Oriental has led some to declare that 
it is altogether and only human literature, and that its 
claim to be the word of God is like the clothing of the 
Gibeonites, professing to be far -travelled when it waa 
really manufactured close at hand. Others again have 
regarded the human factor in the Bible as the Israelites 
regarded the Canaanite in the Land of Promise, as an 
element to be shunned and eliminated. This has tended 
to make the Bible unreal and uninviting, and a mystery 
in ilie bands of a special cla.ss. The truth is rather thai 
the word of God has always been, as it was in the dayp 



mTRODUCTlON S 

of the wilderness -journey, a holy place and presence 
encircled by the comings and goings of men, and meant 
for them. There was indeed a centre that few could reach, 
but it was in the 7'abemacle of the Congregation, It is 
with the Bible as it was with the Living Word, and as the 
Christian is commanded to be — in the world, but not of it. 

As the fitly -spoken word of man must have suitable 
conditions of time, place, and circumstance, so it is with 
the word of God addressed to man. The apples of gold 
are placed in a dish of wrought silver. This also is of 
noble metal, and to make it, many threads are bent and 
blended together into a design, and the design is repeated 
to form a vessel of usefulness and beauty, but is inferior to 
the fruit of gold, and its purpose that of service. So the 
word of revelation shines in a setting of human disposi- 
tion, domestic incident, social customs, and amid special 
surroundings of climate, country, and race. 

We may take another illustration and go a step farther. 
The relationship of the Divine and human in the Bible is 
like what happens when olives are put in a new earthen- 
ware jar. Some of the oil and of the preserving salt 
penetrates the material of the vessel, and in turn a slight 
taste of the earth is noticed in the fruit. After a few 
seasons of continuous use the inner pores are filled with 
the oil of the olive, and the jar ceases to tell what it is 
made of. Thus the Holy Spirit was with Peter at Joppa 
(Acts X. 28), and with the Church at Antioch when it met 
to hear the first missionary report (Acts xiv. 27), but the 
joy over the discovery of God^s purpose to save thr 
Gentiles also was at first a shock to Jewish prejudice. 
The Bible shows how this taint of former associations was 
removed. 

When the human element is recognised within its own 
littiit^ it implies at the same time a clearer recognition of 
that »|'intu&l power working in and with the Bible, what- 



6 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

ever our names, definitions, and theories about it, wliicli 
has already behind it a great cloud of witnesses, and still 
sustains and sanctifies the children of God. In this 
endeavour to know more about the people of the Bible, 
to understand its spiritual language more clearly, and to 
learn how God's grace was entrusted to earthen vessels, 
and His power passed through human channels, it will be 




JAR FOK OLIVES. 

both interesting and helpful to study the climate and 
conditions, the surviving habits, familiar folk-lore, and 
popular proverbs of the people now living in the land. 

3. Arrangement. — In exploring this field of parable 
and Scripture illustration, the description will resemble 
the natural features of the country, which rises from 
boundary plains and valleys to central hills and mountains. 
That is to say, there will be something to learn from (1) 
the Scenery^ Climate^ and Seasons of Palestine ; then the 
humble walks of (2) Pastoral and Agricultural life will 



INTKODUCTIOM 7 

invite attention ; these in turn will bring under our notice 
(3) the various Trades and Professions ; we shall then pass 
to (4) the Home and Family relationships ; and, finally, 
from the foregoing, we shall have a general view of (5) 
the Social, Political, and Religious life of Palestine. 

4. There is one important requisite without which this 
excursion can neither be pleasant nor profitable. An 
interest in the holy life must go along with its illustration 
from the Holy Land. It is told of the great painter, 
Turner, that once, when visited by two friends who had 
come to see his pictures, he kept them in a closely-shuttered 
room for a short time before he told the servant to sho\v 
them upstairs to his studio. He then apologised for the 
apparent discourtesy, by telling theni that ihey had to get 
their eyes emptied of the common outside glare before 
they could see the colours of his pictures. Let us seek 
this preparation of the shaded room in prayer and 
meditation upon the iiie of holinesa 



CHAPTER n 

CLIMATE, SEASONS, SCENERY, AND WEATH KM 

Custom is the fifth element in the universe. — Syrian Prmi^rK 

Life in Palestine while it was largely aflfected by its 
industries and institutions, also stood closely related to 
natural conditions that were beyond the control of man, 
Buch as climate, seasons, and weather. The Arabs of 
to-day recognise this when they say that the Universe is 
composed of earth, air, fire, water, — and custom. As the 
Bible often refers to the climate and scenery of Palestine, 
an acquaintance with these gives interest and exactness to 
its meaning. 

1. Climate. — Palestine is a land of sunshine and out- 
door life. Although the familiar term "from Dan to 
Beersheba " indicates quite a small area, about the size of 
Wales, there is considerable variety of temperature, owing 
to difference of elevation; Mount Hermon, with streaks 
of snow in midsummer, being 9000 feet above the sea, 
and the Dead Sea 1292 feet below it. Yet, over all, it is 
characteristically a land of blue skies and sunny warmth. 
Snow does not fall on the plain along the coast, and there 
is uninterrupted sunshine from the beginning of May to 
the end of September. This made it possible for vast 
numbers to congregate at Jerusalem at the different Feasts, 
and for large multitudes to remain for several days with 
Jhrist in desert places. 



CLIMATK, SEASONS, SCENERY, AND WEATHER 9 

2. Seasons. — In the circle of the year, the successive 
moutha have much the same relationship to heat and cold 
as in Great Britain, except that in Palestine it is always 
considerably warmer. The four seasons are not so dis- 
tinctly marked as in more northern countries. The 
leading features of the year are those indicated in the 
prf)mise to Noah — " seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, 
summer and winter" (Gen, viii. 22). The rainless period 
makes a natural division of five and seven months, and 
the Arabs usually speak of the year as summer and 
winter. Spring is referred to by its special name as 
Growing-time, but autumn loses some of the meaning that 
it has at home, owing to the fact that, while grapes, 
olives, and other fruits mature then, the important grain 
harvest is earlier in May and June. This is the time of 
harvest referred to in Josh. iii. 15, 1 Sam. xii. 17. In 
the sfime way, alluding to the grain harvest, the prophet 
follows the natural course of events when he says, **The 
harvest is [)ast, the summer is ended " (Jer. viii. 20). 

3. Months. — A short account of the months will show 
what the year brings to young and old in Palestine. 

(1) January, — This is the month of severest cold, 
darkest days, and heaviest rain. Snow falls on Lebanon 
and highest ridges, and is preserved there until the warm 
weather of March and April melts it to supply the 
fountains for summer use. 

(2) February, — Showers and sunshine rapidly alternate. 
The Arabs call it ** the one-eyed " — a face dark on one side 
and bright on the other. They also say of it " P^ebruary 
has no rules," and "Though February storms and blusters, 
it has the smell of summer in it." Almond-trees blossom, 
late barley is sown. 

(3) March, — High winds, but more sunshine. The 
showers of March and April are " the latter rain " of 
c^.ripture, not usually affecting the deep roots of the fruit 



IC BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

tr«»^ bnt refreshing the standing crops of barley and 
whf^t before they whiten to the harvest. Sometimes, 
however, the heaviest rainfall of the year o<»curs at this 
time. Apricot-trees join the almond in white array, like 
the hawthorn hedges at home. 

(4) April, — This is the month of flowers, and the land 
looks more green and beautiful than at any other season 
of the year. Now and then hot, dry winds from the 
Syrian desert blow for three days at a time, melting the 
snow and hastening all forms of vegetation. Harvesting 
begins in the Jordan valley and in early parts of the 
sea-side plain. Fruit-trees generally — peach, pomegranate, 
olive, and such like — are in blossom and young foliage. 

(5) May, — The sun increases in strength ; rain ceasea 
for about five months. Flowers disappear and grass 
withers Harvesting in plains and low land. Spring 
fruits arw ready, such as green almonds, apricots, and 
early plums. Vines are in blossom. 

(6) June, — Harvesting is continued on higher ground. 
The land lies bare and parched for summer rest, except 
where there are fruit -trees, vines, and irrigated gardens 
for vegetables. 

(7) July. — The increasing summer heat is tempered by 
cool westerly breezes. During this and the following 
month the peasants are busy on the threshing-floors, 

(8) August, — The hottest month of the year, the 
average on the coast plain being 87' in the shade at mid- 
day, and considerably higher by the Sea of Galilee and in 
the lower Jordan valley. Grapes, figs, peaches, apples, 
and pears ripen. 

(9) September. — The ordinary summer heat is often 
intensified by siroccos or desert winds more prolonged 
than those of spring, with temperature ranging from 90* 
to a little over 100". Figs are dried for winter use, and 
grapes are made into raisins, syrup, and vine. Pome- 



CLIMATE, SEASONS, SCENERY, AND WEATHER 11 

granates, quinces, and bananas ripen. The first shower 
after the long drought of summer usually falls about the 
end of this month, followed by a fortnight of bright, hot 
weather. 

(10) October. — Conclusion of grape and fig harvest, 
olives are gathered, fatted sheep killed, and storage of 
supplies for winter use attended to. Sugar-cane and dates 
are ripening. Heavier showers fall — "the early rain" of 
Scripture. Ploughing commences, the hard, dry ground 
having now been softened by rain. 

(11) November. — Continuance of ploughing and wheat 
and barley sowing. 

(12) December, — Heavier rains and cooler weather, 
with snow on Lebanon towards the end of the month. 
Oranges, citrons, and lemons ripen. Vines are [)nined in 
this and following month. 

4. Day and Night. — In Palestine there is a difference 
of about four hours between the longest and shortest days 
of the year. Sunrise is a distinct moment, bringing a 
swift and unmistakable change over the landscape. The 
stars rapidly vanish, a flush of lilac s{)reads over the 
eastern sky, with long streaks of pink radiating from a 
yellow centre that every moment grows brighter and 
brighter. Then in a moment, with a suddenness that 
almost suggests some accompanying sound, the sun 
emerges from behind the hills, a glittering disc in a 
cloudless sky. Instantly " the shadows flee away." They 
hasten out of sight as if detected in evil-doing. You can 
see the swiftly-moving line of division between the light, 
with its sparkle and detail, and the shadow lying dull and 
indistinct. As the sun rises rapidly higher and sends 
shatts of light over the plains and down into the open 
valleys and mountain glens, you see clumps of pine, slopes 
of olive, and gray nestling villages suddenly springing into 
life as if startled out of sleep. The Bible allusions to the 



1% BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

approach of light and the dispersion of darkness, whethei 
natural or spiritual, all belong to the Oriental sunrise, and 
carry an emphasis that would scarcely suggest itself in 
northern lands, where the dawn, beautiful in its own 
way, advances imperceptibly towards a milder radiance, 
/it is this authority of the sunrise, the sudden call, and 
the sharp distinction between light and shade, that we 
find in Is. Ix. 1, 2, "Arise, shine, for thy light is come.* 
See also Ps. cxxxix. 12, Is. Iviii. 8, Matt. v. 14, Acta 
xxvi. 18, 2 Cor. iv. 4, vi. 14, Eph. v. 8. So the blessing 
of Moses (Num. vi. 24-27) takes its form from the sun- 
rise, and implies the same good to the soul that the sun 
brings to the world. To the Oriental mind sunlight means 
Light, Life, and Purity. Regarding purity, one of their 
proverbs says, "The eye of the sun needs no veil," 
meaning that it has no sin to hide — it is absolutely pure. 
These are also the leading thoughts in Ps. xix. 7, 8, where 
the law of the Lord is compared to sunlight. The same 
associations give the beautiful simile of the just ruler in 
2 Sam. xxiii. 4. 

From 12 to 3 p.m. Ls the time of greatest heat, 
Matt XX. 12. The fierce rays strike down from above, 
the glare flashes up from the stony ground, the air quivers, 
and the mountains have a flattened -down appearance 
under the heat-haze. Plants hang limp and drooping, birds 
cease to twitter in the branches, at times the cicalas or 
tree -crickets make the silence startling by a pause in 
their deafening zee-zee chirping, and the shepherd gathers 
his flock around him under the shelter of a walnut-tree 
by the brook, or under the shadow of a rock goes to 
sleep with his reed-flute in his hand. It is an hour that 
gives vividness and reality to many familiar phrases and 
allusions. To one resting in the cool shade from such 
oppression, there comes a new wealth of meaning into the 
words, " He restoreth my sou) " (Ps. xxiiL 3), " under tht 



CLIMATE, SEASONS. SCENERY. AND WEATHER U 

shadow of the Almighty" (Ps. xci. 1), "the sun shall not 
smite thee by day" (Ps. cxxi. 6), *' above the brightnevsa 
of the sun" (Acts xxvi. 13), "neither shall the sun light 
on them nor any heat ** (Rev. vii. 16). 

As the afternoon advances the air becomes cooler, and 
beautiful shades of colour take the place of dusty gray and 
common brown, especially where the light falls on the 
lofty Lebanon, the hills around Galilee, or the cliffs that 
rise up behind the Dead Sea. 

The sun sets as rapidly as ;t rose. As one watches 
the bright descent behind the Mediterranean, the familiar 
words come to mind, *' the sun knoweth his going down " 
(Ps. civ. 19). And everybody in the land knows it; not 
only the labourer in the open field, but also the workman 
down in the narrow street of the town. There is no need 
of city clock or factory bell to announce the hour. " Man 
goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the 
evening " (Ps. civ. 23). When the sun sets, all work 
ceases. 

The short time before and after sunset is the cool of 
the evening, when the dry wind from the land begins to 
blow, and quickly becomes cooler than the moist day- 
breeze from the sea. Isaac availed himself of it ; and at 
Bey rout, Damascus, Sidon, and Jerusalem it is still the 
time when the citizens go out to walk or ride for health 
and pleasure. 

" The beasts of the forest " (Ps. civ. 20) have now for 
the most part suffered the fate of the forest, but in the 
mountain villages, as the evening shadows move up tlu: 
glens, the jackals creep out and yelp to one another and 
provoke the challenge of the village dogs. 

Half an hour after sunset the stars begin to rush forth 
and sparkle in the cloudless sky. As we look up at them, 
with so much of the diameter of the earth between us and 
the light, the sky appeals darker and the stars larger, 



14 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

softer, aiici more lustrous than m northern landM. They 
seem to stand out and reach down, as if exj meeting to be 
noticed. When Jacob at Bethel lay down to rest, footsore 
and weary, under tlje open sky, it was not strange that the 
Divine word of jiroinise should gather sha{)e and meaning 
from the two things that the day had forced upon his 
attention — the infinite dust of the earth, and the infinite 
glory of the stars. Travellers in the desert usually prefer 
to journey by night for greater coolness and safety, and 
still, like the Magi, take their guidance from the stars. 

The moon, especially in autumn, shines with astonishing 
brightness, and the promise '* nor the moon by night " is 
full of meaning in a land where it is dangerous to sleep 
under its rays, and where the traveller sometimes opens 
his sunshade to ward off the bewildering dazzle. 

As Orientals reckon time by the lunar month, the day 
begins and ends with sunset. Thus among the Jews, 
Saturday night is our Friday evening, a reckoning that 
survives in the West in our Christmas Eve. The hour of 
the working -day is reckoned from sunrise ; thus, taking 
sunrise at six, noon is the sixth hour, and the eleventh 
hour is an hour before sunset. The time varies so little 
from day to day, and brings such a decisive change as to 
light and darkness, that appointments made with reference 
to sunrise and sunset have a precision that would be 
impossible in a land of clouds and prolonged twilight. 

5. Atmosphere. — As there are neither mists nor mines h 
Palestine the air is wonderfully clear. Travellers starting 
on a day's journey of twenty-five or thirty miles see theii 
point of destination lying distinctly in front of them., and 
at first wonder why they never seem to come any nearer 
to it. To one standing on Mount Ebal in Samaria, the 
southern heights around Jerusalem are visible, and north- 
wards there is a clear view of Uermon at the southern 
3nd of Lebanon rising up behind Dan and the sources of 



CLIMATE, SEASONS, SCENERY, AND WEATHER IB 

the Jordan. Again from Hermon one can see the plain 
between the Lebanon ranges narrowing towards the 
entrance to Hamath. From each of these mountain 
prospects there is a full view of the plateau east of the 
Jordan, and on the west, of the straight coast-line of the 
Mediterranean. Under this enamelling light remote 
objects show up clear in outline that in England would lie 
folded away in blue haze. Visitors to the country are apt 
to suppose that the land is smaller than it really is, being 
deceived by the clearness of the atmosphere. For the 
same reason the Lebanon range rising from 3000 to 10,000 
feet above the sea looks less sublime than the hills of 
Scotland, as its appearance, at least in summer, gets no 
help from moist air and dark clouds shrouding the 
summits. 

In the Bible all references to distance are in keeping 
with this extraordinary clearness of the air. 

Abraham saw Moriah "afar off" (Gen. xxii. 4) ; Moses 
had a complete view of the land he was not to enter 
(l)eut. xxxiv. 1, 2, 3). When John says of the new 
Jerusalem, " 1 saw no temple therein" (Kev. xxi. 22), the 
impression is that of one gazing upon the earthly Jerusalem 
where, under the beating sunshine and cloudless sky, every- 
thing stands out sparkling, particular, and unmistakable. 

Thus a,lso we have the distant recognition of Ahimaaz 
and Jehu. Again in the parables, the prodigal son is seen 
**afar off," and in the same way, beyond the great gulf, 
the rich man sees Abraham and Lazarus in his bosom. 
One of the forms of Chrises Temptation was a mountain- 
vision of the kingdoms of the world. In Palestine this 
distinctness of remote objects is too familiar to be noticed 
by the Oriental, and after a time even to the Western 
resident it becomes more real though not more beloved 
than the soft blue obscurities of the English horizon. The 
traosmLssion of sound in the clear elastic air of these laDdu 



16 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

is also remarkable. Visitors Dewly arrived in Palestine 
are a}>t to think that voices in the street are speaking in 
the house ; proclamations are made to a whole village from 
the roof of the sheikh's house ; in the city the voice of 
the muezzin in the mosque-tower calls the neighbourhood 
to prayer from sleep and work, and pefisante converse on 
op[)osite sides of a wide valley. 

The Bible also speaks of such public announcement 
from the house-top (Luke xii. 3). Again, when Moses and 
Joshua were coming down from the Mount, the shout of 
battle was distinguished from the sound that floated up 
to them — the rhythmic beating of the idolatrous dance 
(Ex. YYYJi. 17, 18). Similarly Saul recognises the voice 
of David on the distant height (1 Sam. xxvi. 13, 17), 
of. Judges ix, 7. Other instances might be mentioned, 
Buch as the reading of the law at Ebal and Gerizim (Josh, 
viii. 33), the open-air utterances of Solomon (2 Chron. vi.) 
and Ezra (Neh. viii.), and generally the preaching of the 
Lord Jesus to large multitudes. 

6. Landscape. — When Palestine is seen for the first 
time, the eye is charmed with the bright distinctness of 
everything and with the beautiful blue of sea and sky. 
Then comes a feeling of disappointment as favourite features 
of beautiful scenery in other lands are looked for in vain- 
There are no farm-houses dotting the landscape ; no fidds 
of grass, no horses or cattle grazing at liberty ; no forests 
are visible ; the lakes lie low in the Jordan valley ; the 
rivers are small, and the brooks are dry in summer. 
Where are the cedars, vines, fig-trees, and the beauty of 
the olive 1 Is this the Promised Land I Was this the 
inheritance of the chosen people t 

Notwithstanding the deterioration that the land has 
undergone since the time of the kingdom of Israel and the 
lioman Empire, it is still beautiful when the eye has learnt 
whtt,t to look for. The chief glory of Palestine i» in it^ 



CLIMATE, SEASONS, SCENERY, AND WEATHER 17 

colour, the beautiful tints of morning and evening, and the 
purity of its atmosphere. There is much to enjoy and 
admire in the restful outline of the great Lebanon range, 
the sublimity of the mountain gorges, the weird desolation 
of the wilderness, the great olive forest of Beyrout, the 
green loveliness of Damascus and Nablous (Shechem), the 
palm-adorned plains of Acre and Jaffa, and the gorgeous 
8unaet*» on the Lake of Galilee and the Dead Sea. 

Have you ever wondered why the Bible seldom 
describes scenery after the manner of modern travellers 1 
Why is there not more notice of the effect of landscape- 
beauty on the mind, and of companionship with what 
we call the moods of nature? Nature is rather a servant 
who has to wait and bring what is wanted, than a teacher 
to whom the pupils come for inspiration and beautiful 
ideals. The inquiry is instructive when we remember 
that the Bible abounds in instances of accurate indication 
of artistic effect when the occasion requires it. Thus in 
Ps. bcrx. the resemblance between Israel and a ruined 
vineyard is wrought out with much detail. An artist 
reads with rapture the description of the downfall of Tyre 
(Ezek. xxvii.), and calls it pre-Raphaelite, bold in particu- 
lars of reality. Again, in the Song of Songs iv. 1, dark, 
glossy hair is very effectively likened to the intense luminous 
black of a flock of goats on the hillside, and in ver. 3, the 
comparison of an olive brow to the smooth rind of a pome- 
granate, with its pale skin-like gloss and green shading 
for the temples, is a simile that would satisfy the fastidious 
eye of a Herkomer or Tennyson. But one feels that a 
different range of feeling is reached when the Christian 
poet says : — 

And beauty born of murmuring sound 

Shall pass into her face.^ 

In one case nature remains outside, passive and appealing 

1 Words worth *■ ** Teaching of Nature- 

'4 



18 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMiJ 

to thti senses ; in the other she ha;^ paased within, b 
active, and moulds the disposition. 

in explanation of this three reasons may be given : — 
(1) Tke special purpose of ike Bible. — The Bible is the 
Word of God, its message is from Him, about Him, and 
ultimately, even in our salvation, for Him. Its first 
place is not for nature, but for the God of nature and of 
the soul. When reference is made to the sublime and 
beautiful in the external world, it is to proclaim that the 
Lord rejoices in His works and rules over all. This 
supreme connection is never lost although nature is some- 
times rei)resented as a personality and rejoicing in herself. 
(I*s. xxix.,lxv.,cxiv.) Thus in Ps. civ. the survey of wonder- 
ful adaptation becomes a hymn of praise to the wisdom and 
power of the Creator. *' O Lord, how manifold are Thy 
works !" Compare Job xxviii., Ps. cxlvii., cxlviii., Is. Ix., 
Hab. iii. Much in the same way, when an Oriental \a 
shown anything beautiful or wonderful in nature he almost 
invariably exclaims, " IVaise to the Creator I " Such 
absorbing pre-occupation with God's glory and the moral 
life explains how in the Psalms, Prophecies, Gos[)el8, and 
Epistles the objects and effects of natural scenery are only 
referred to when serving the purposes of illustration. It 
is owing to this important connection with solemn and 
sacred subjects, that natural objects in Palestine, the 
humble implements of its trades, and the various parts and 
furnishings of its houses, have a sanctity and symbolism 
unmet with elsewhere. It is almost with a feeling of pro- 
fanation that the Western resident watches the people of 
Palestine in their ordinary work doing things that to us, 
but not usually to them, wear a high meaning of [^arable, 
and handling with simple anconcern things that to ms 
have become exponents of the Gospel and preachers of 
immortality. 

Thus the Lebanon peasant stands on the threshing-flooi 



4^-^^ Y (F^vnJl 



CLIMATK, SEASON'S, SCENERY, AND WEATHER 18 

with liis fan or wooden pitchfork in his hand, and separates 
the wheat from the chaff. Peasants come to the Jordan 
ford and wade waist-deep across the stream, and one stands 
mid- way in the current and looks back to see how the others 
are faring, without any thought of Bunyan's vision and the 
hopes of the dying Christian. Similarly the fisherman 
mends his net by the Sea of Galilee without thinking that he 




fe?!.^.k%l:JMMj 






■■-/^^ 



FOLDING THE JORDAN. 



kas a soul to be caught, and the farmer sets up pillars of 
rough stone in his vineyard and splashes them with a wash 
of lime to gleam in the night and frighten away the jackals, 
without thinking that there are far more important grapes to 
be protected. And so, busy and expanding Jerusalem of 
to-day, with its sects and impostures, has a wall far wider 
than the explorer sinks his shaft to discover ; its name 
Zion now belongs to many nations, and the city of God 
to the whole world. 

(2) The Oriental mind and landscape, — The enjoyment 
cf landscape beauty for its own sake is a modern product 
of Western life, and the ordinary Oriental has no eye for 
It His mind is practical rather tha.D aesthetic or scientific. 

LEON Y. POND 

490 North First East 

PROVO, UTAH 



BO BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

He accepts devoutly the signs and results of adaptatiot. 
in the natural world, but he does not trouble about the 
process. He is indifferent to botany, geology, and 
archaeology, and generally regards the study of secondary 
causes and the explanation of nature as an impertinence. 
He is interested in plants for food and medicine, in the 
forest for fuel, in the hills for health and defence, in ancient 
ruins for hidden treasure, and in the stars for direction 
and destiny. Thus Lot was an Oriental artist when he 
looked upon the plain of Sodom and saw that it was well 
watered (Gen. xiii. 10) ; similarly Achsah in her petition 
for the water-springs of her inheritance (Josh. xv. 19); 
ctiso Isaac when the woodland smell of Esau's raiment 
reminded him of " a field which the Lord hath blessed " 
(Gen. xxvii. 27). Doubtless the ordinary Israelite of 
ancient times, like the modern Syrian, generally regarded 
the world around him from the point of view of industrial 
thrift ; it was a world that he had been appointed to till 
and subdue, and into which labour, as curse or counter- 
active, had entered because of sin. The modern Syrian 
simply sees in nature what the heroes of Homer and Virgil 
usually looked for, namely, fertility and refreshment, 
the beauty of the abundant crop, and the pleasure of the 
shading tree and cool fountain. In all likelihood the 
Israelite of ancient times was the same, with a strong 
sense of attachment, however, to familiar and favoured 
localities, as we see in the just pride with which all 
Israelites regarded Jerusalem, in Naaman's chivalrous 
protest on behalf of the rivers of Damascus, and in the 
Samaritan woman's championship of Jacob's welL 

(3) Idolatry and landscape. — A third reason that 
affected the outlook upon nature was the surrounding 
heathen worship of the powers of nature. This polluted 
the beAutiful in creation, just as gambling threatens now 
to take possession of some of our best in-door games and 



OLIMATE, SKASONS, SCENERY, AM) WEATHER 21 

Dutdoor recreations. The "high places" of Baal and 
Asht(')retli had their green trees, cool air, sparkling 
fountains, and pleasant prospects. In such scenes, away 
from the common routine, where the sun's heat could not 
oppress, and the fountain bursting from the cavern spread 
life and beauty wherever it went, it seemed not only an 
impulse from within but a call from above to cast aside 
care, and give the heart up to merriment and revelry. 
The Israelite had his ancestral seat under the vine- 
trellis and sweet-scented fig-tree, and his legitimate re- 
joicings at the Feasts of Pentecost and Tabernacles, but 
the heart had always a secret and dangerous set towards 
the festivities of nature- worship. The keeping of the Law, 
which was their political protection, and the safeguard of 
the weak against the strong, left a loveless, unfilled place 
in the common hearts of men. While securing morality, 
It did not create the joyful, purified heart. Constraint 
was not comfort, and the law was not life ; and it needed 
the express prohibitions in the second commandment, and 
the constant warnings of the prophets, to make Palestine 
the Holy Land, that is, with all its scenery, industries, 
and institutions devoted to the Lord and to Him only 
Hence there might have been a note of defiance mingling 
with the adoration when the Psalmist said, ** The heavens 
declare the glory of God^* (Ps. xix. 1) — not the grandeur 
of Baal or the fancies of the heathen soothsayer. Such 
contamination would tend to alienate the earnest Israelite, 
and make him suspicious and silent towards the beautiful 
in nature. This antagonism between holiness and happi 
ness was removed when Christ said, " I came that they 
may have life, and may have it abundantly" (John x. 10), 
rebuking at once the narrowness of the letter and the 
heathen debasement of the physical world. Since theo 
the book of tht- Law has been to us a larger volume than 
It wa8 U^ the ancient Israelite : and nature, delivered from 



22 BIBLE MANNEIiS AND CUSTOMS 

the bondage of idolatry, has given us many beautifuJ 
thoughts about the mind of God. At the present day in 
Syria and Palestine, the Christian monasteries occupy 
many of the sites of the idolatrous high places, and in 
cloisters built of the great stones and pillars of the Baal- 
temples perpetuate the error of the Pharisee — that religion 
means separation from the world. 

The time when Palestine looks greenest and most 
beautiful is the beginning of April (Song of Solomon ii. 
11-13). There is, then, a great simultaneous outburst of 
flowers — daisies, poppies, and red anemones appearing in 
astonishing abundance. This sudden and short-lived 
greenness of the landscape, along with the multitude of 
bright flowers, is much more impressive in Palestine than 
in a country where one walks on turf and sees green tields 
during the greater part of the year. In the month of 
Ivlay it rapidly disappears as the crops ripen and are 
gathered in, and the plants wither for want of rain. This 
fact of climate enters into the frequent allusion to the 
brevity of life in connection with grass and flowers, and it 
gives a special emphasis to the appeal, ** If God so clothe 
the grass of the field *' (Matt. vi. 30). The modern Arabs 
notice the same features of brevity, profusion, and beauty, 
saying in their familiar proverbs, *' The sons of flesh are 
like grass," *'The troubles of life are more than the grasses 
of the field," and " Children are the flowers of the world.*' 

7. Weather Changes. — The state of the weather is 
seldom a topic of conversation among Orientals. The 
Syrian peasant, when asked as to whether the day is 
likely to keep fair, usually says, "As the Lord wills," or, 
with a haphazard look around him, replies, "At present 
there is no rain.'* He has not given a thought to the 
subject, and has no opinion to olier. Among themselves 
such matters are not referred to in saluting a fellow- 
traveller on the road. There are several reasons for this 



CLIMATE, SEASONS, SCENERY, AND WEATHER 23 

reticence: (1) A certain kind of weather is so uniformly 
characteristic of the different months and periods of the 
year that the habit of observation is not called for. 
When there is rain the Oriental says, " This is its time ; " 
when the heat is overpowering he wipes his brow and 
says, " It is the custom ; what can we do 1 " Hence the 
wonderfulness of the shower in wheat harvest in the 
beginning of June, when the rain had ceased, not to return 
for several months (1 Sam. xii. 17). (2) The introduction 
of something springing fresh from the actual circumstances 
of the moment is out of harmony with the dignified but 
cut-and-dry formalities of Oriental salutation. The 
weather belongs to nobody, and a reference to it does not 
lead up to any assurance of good-will, or offer of service, 
or expectation of benefit. (3) A suspicion of indolence 
and impiety is apt to attach itself to the critical observa- 
tion of the signs of the sky. The thought of Eccles. xi. 4 
is repeated by the Arabic proverb : " The lazy man 
becomes an astrologer." A missionary hurrying home in a 
heavy shower saw from under his umbrella a Moslem friend 
plodding along unprotected in the wet, and said to him, 
" This is a dreadful day of rain I " With a solemn upward 
look the old man replied, ** Do you think He does not 
understand His work!" The wretchedness of the situation 
could not be disputed, but the thought was that of the 
patriarch, "Shall we receive good at the hand of God, 
and shall we not receive evilt" (Job ii. 10). 

While the weather does not furnish a topic of con- 
versation in the East, its leading signs are understood and 
acted upon. In a limited territory like Palestine, bordered 
by the sea, the desert, and the mountain range, everything 
with regard to heat and cold, dryness and moisture, depends 
upon the direction of the wind. 

The west wind is the most pleasant and refreshing. 
It brings clouds and showers Irom the Meditermnear 



»4 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

(1 Kings xviii. 44 ; Luke xii. 54). At the eud of summei 
there is often a repetition of what happened when Elijah 
prayed and Gehazi watched on Mount Carmel. A small 
gray cloud rises over the clear sea-line in the south-west, 
and the sky becomes rapidly darkened by heavy masses 
of cloud driven by a strong wind, soon accompanied by 
thunder and lightning. When this wind begins to blow 
at this particular time, and the thistledown to fly over the 
bare fields, the peasants know what to expect, and hurry 
to the vineyards and housetops to gather in the drying 
raisins and figs before the rain falls in torrents. 

The north wind is remarkable for its power of arresting 
rain and dispersing clouds. The translation of the 
Authorised Version in Pro v. xxv. 23 has thus the support 
of the climate. In the Hebrew the word translated 
" back - biting " means concealment, as the word for 
" north " means originally the hidden quarter. The sense 
probably is that as the north wind dispels rain, so a tongue 
of self-restraint does an angry countenance. This would 
be true to life and the climate, and in harmony with the 
context. The north wind deposits its moisture on the 
Taurus and Lebanon mountains, but brings with it the 
impurities it has contracted in its passage over towns and 
malarial districts. It is a cool current of air when it 
enters Syria, intermittent and gusty in its action. It is 
local in its area, being chiefly confined to the sea-side 
plain and nearer slopes ; inland it either dies away in 
scorching heat or passes into a strong east wind. It is 
probably owing to these impurities and the unusual com- 
bination of cold wind and blazing sunshine that it 
generally causes headache and neuralgia, and sometimes 
blights delicate vegetation like a sea-fog. It is called by 
the Arabs the poison-wind (from samm^ poison ; hence 
simoom). Travellers, muleteers, and farmers always rely 
li|K>ii fail weather while it lasts. 



CLIMATE, SEASONS, SCENERY, AND WEATHKB 2t 

The east wind is the usual breeze by night, and as auch 
i& cool and dry ; hut when it i>revail8 also during the day, oi 
for several days at a time, it becomes exceedingly hot and 
oppressive, especially when the direction is south-east. It 
then carries fine sand-dust, giving the sky the appearance 
of burnished metal, the sky of brass in Deut. xxviii. 23, 
and sometimes covering it with dull gray clouds (Is. xxv. 
5, Jude ver. 12). The heat increases with the elevation, 
as in the gallery of a crowded theatre or church, — a 
temperature of 85* in the shade at the sea-side rising to 
97" on the Lebanon. On account of its extreme dryrniaa 
and its being almost as hot during the night as in the 
day-time, it is very trying to both animal and vegetable 
life. The thin ears of corn in Pharaoh's dream appeared 
blasted by it (Gen. xli. 6). The word sirocco (s^sh) 
preserves the Arabic origin from shirks east, as also 
appears in the word Saracens — the people of the East. 
Fortunately this wind seldom lasts long, and its brief 
visits are usually welcomed in spring, as it causes a rapid 
advance of vegetation while the ground is still moist, and 
also in autumn when growth has ceased, and hot weather 
is needed to dry the fruits for winter preservation before 
the long summer comes to an end with " the early rain." 

The south wind indicates heat (Luke xiL 55), dry if 
south-east, and soft and relaxing if south west. It ia 
more uniform in its action, and less characterised by 
sudden onslaught and hurricane blasts than the north- 
west and east winds. The west wind is especially dreaded 
on the Sea of Galilee, often descending suddenly and with 
the power of a gale, and preventing boats from getting 
back to the western shore of the lake. 

The ordinary action of the wind is to blow from the 
west in the forenoon, northerly in the afternoon, eaat in the 
night, working round by south and returning to the west 
in the morning, after the sun has been shining for severaJ 



96 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

hours upon the land. This uniformity of the wind was 
one of the laboured vanities (Eccles. i. 6) of the jaded 
spirit seeking independent pleasure in creation instead of 
in the service of God (Eccles. xii. 13). The red sunset 
(Matt. xvi. 2) indicates the presence of east wind, and is 
a sign that a season of warm weather niay be expected. 

The rainfall for the year is about thirty-five inches. 
The showers are usually much heavier than those in 
northern countries. In spring and autumn waterspouts 
are frequently seen over the sea, and sometimes burst on 
the land, causing much damage to property. As the rain- 
gauge sometimes records four or five inches to the hour, 
one can understand what must be the nature of the " over- 
flowing shower" (Ezek. xiii. 11) which causes the walls of 
gardens to bulge and fall (Ps. Ixii. 3), sweeps away stables, 
affects the foundations of dwelling-houses (Luke vi. 48, 49), 
and, by the sudden swelling of streams, endangers the 
lives of men and cattle (Ps. xviii. 16, xc. 5; Is. xxviii. 2, 
lix. 19). But usually the rain is a shower of blessing and 
in season (2 Sam. xxiii. 4 ; Ps. Ixxii. 6 ; Ezek. xxxiv. 36). 
In the rainless summer the evaporation blown in from 
the sea during the day settles during the still, cool night 
in refreshing dew upon the vineyards, fig-trees, olive-trees, 
and all vegetation, and makes the morning cloud, which 
lies like a white veil in the valleys for an hour or two 
after sunrise. 

In this land of sunshine so great is the appreciation 
of moisture in all its forms, that the tenet of ancient 
philosophy, preserved in the Koran, is still sometimes 
seen in ornamental relief over city fountains : " From 
tvater We have made all things live* 

Such are some of the natural conditions by which lif« 
in Palestine is atfected. 



Oa AFTER m 

errKPHERDs aud peasantb 

The hope of the field is not tho heap of the threshing-floor. 

Syrian Proveri 

L Pastoral Life 

1. Shepherds and Farmers, their Mutual Relations. — 
The charge of flocks and the tillage of the soil have alwayn 
been the two chief employments in Palestine. They were 
supplementiiry to each other, one providing clothing, the 
other food. The Bible makes them equally primitive (Gen. 
iv. 2). The home life was affected by them ; they created 
the trades, and shaped the civilisation of the villages and 
towns. In the Bible the duties and dangers of the 
shepherd, and the methods and implements of the farmer, 
are constantly referred to when natural objects are used 
to explain and emphasise spiritual truths. 

But while the two flourished side by side, of equal 
antiquity, and mutually helpful, they were rival com- 
petitors for the soil, and wherever an exclusively pastoral 
cla.ss came in contact with an exclusively agricultural class 
the relationship became one of distrust and defiance. 
This was chiefly owing to the nature of the land itself 
and the position of the Israelites in it. 

There were plains and valleys for corn, but they lay open 
on all sides to the sbeep and goats. With the exception 



•ia KIHLK MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

of vineyards and vegetable gardens, the fields were never 
[>rotected by wallw and fences. Each man's [)roperty had 
its boundary stones or natural lan(i niarka. There was 
no rotation of crops ; bay was unknown, and there were 
no fields of meadow-grass. There were hills and wilder- 
nesses suitable for pasture, but to whom did they belong 1 
If strp^ngers wished to occupy them, who could hinder 
them *? The shepherd's chief thought was to feed his sheep, 
and he naturally wanted as much of the land as he could 
gel for that purpose. He did not remain in one place, 
but moved with the season of the year, taking nis flock to 
the higher hills in the hot summer, and in winter going 
southwards and descending to the warmer plains. Jacob 
put three days' journey between his own and Laban's 
flocks, and Jacob's sons setting out from Hebron went as 
far north as Shechem and Dothan. 

The different villages had common access lo the un- 
cultivated lands around them, and as their Hucks were in 
the charge of their owners, or nt keepers appointed by 
them, any trespass upon the local corn-fields iw any act 
of oppression, could be punished by village law. But the 
rase was different when a large pastoral encaisipment like 
that of Abraham with over three hundred men «^!jproached 
the borders of agriculture. Such she[)herd bands came in 
force, and a>!< they passed along did not scrapie to send 
their flocks anic^ig the standing corn, or to rehv and carry 
off the ripe harvest of the farmer. The^*^ were the 
Children of the East, now called the Bedawai. who are 
always referred to in the Bible a.s a menace to social rights 
and civilised life. Where there was no central govern 
ment ruling over all each clajis attended to its own 
interests, and might was right. H was the penalty that 
Israel paid for failing to possess tne whole land of promise, 
that it had on its eavstern boraer the lawless pastoral 
tribes who, whenever the km^^aom was broiigtit low bj 



-T^.A^^J?<^ 



8HKPHERD8 AND PEA8AM^8 7» 

internal strife or war with its neighbours, were always 
ready to {JOur in and recover lost ground. 

Such was the class difference and rivalry of interest in 
the soil that separated agriculture and the she}>herd life. 
Owing to the danger from this cause, the citizenship of 
the village formed not so much a municipality for the 
management of internal a Hairs as a sort of militia for 
resisting outside opprev^sion. 

The sheikh of the wandering tribe was met by the 
sheikh of the village, and in this way the village was able 
to receive strangers either as guests to be welcomed with 
honour, or as enemies to be driven utT. 

To this day when one inquires as to the population 
of a certain village, the answer is given in military terms 
that it has so many guns. Its fighting power is its 
population. On the pastoral side it has been the same 
ever since Israel marched out of Egypt. 

Thus shepherds from a distance, like the patriarchs 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with their retinue of servants 
and large flocks, had to make a covenant with the local 
authorities. Abraham strengthened his position by alliance 
with Aner, Eschol, and Mamre. Lot seems to have identi- 
fied himself with Sodom and its peasant proprietors, 
leaving his tent, and dwelling in a house within the city 
gate, 

2. The Shepherd's Outfit. — In the Bible the allusions 
to shepherd life and the figurative terms borrowed from 
it refer chiefly to its peaceful aspects. Its enemies were 
wild animals and robbers. The chief occasion of strife 
among the slje[>herds, as among the farmers, was connected 
with the water-supply, the right of access to wells, 
springs, and brooks (Gen. xiii. 7, xxix. 8; Kx. ii. 17). 
The care of the flocks and the work of the field flourished 
side by side. The shepherd belonged to the village, and 
\*aA maintained in his right to feed his sheep and goat? 



30 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

among the rocks and trees of neighbouring liills, and in 
the corn-fields lying bare after the harvest in May. 

The personal appearance of the Eastern shepherd has 
changed as little as his sheep and his simple duties 
towards them. 

(1) Cloak. — He still wraps himself in his large cloak 
of sheep-skin, or thick material woven of wool, goat-hair, 
or camel-hair. This protects him from cold and rain by 
day, and is his blanket at night. The inner pouch in the 
breast is large enough to hold a new-born lamb or kid 




GOURDS AND EARTHEN PITCHERS, 



when it has to be helped over rough places, or on account 
of sickness or injury has to be taken to a place of shelter, 
or nursed by the family at home (Is. xl. 11). 

(2) Scrip. — In the summer he may remain in the 
mountains a month at a time, his only communication 
with the village being when a fresh supply of bread is 
brought to him. This he puts into a bag which hangs 
at his side, the shepherd's scrip (1 Sam. xvii. 40), used 
also by muleteers and others on a journey. It is a bag 
made of the dressed skin of a kid, and into it he puts his 
stock of bread, olives, cheese, raisins, and dried figs. 



SHEPHERDS AND PEASANTS 31 

(3) Gourd, — As a drinking-yessel for holding either 
water or milk he carries a light unbreakable pitcher made 
of a gourd. Its shape seems to be the original of the 
vases in glass and earthenware. 

(4) Rod. — Hanging by his side, or sheathed in a long 
narrow pouch attached to his cloak, is his oak club. It is 
carefully chosen, a straight young tree being often torn 
up for this purpose, and the bulb at the beginning of the 
root being trimmed to make the head of the club. The 
handle is dressed to the required thickness, with a hole at 
the end by which it is tied to the belt, or hangs from the 




SHEPHERD S ROD AND STAFF. 

wrist like a riding whip. Into the head he drives nails 
with large heads like those of a horse-shoe. It is the 
" rod " of Ps. xxiii. 4. It appears in Assyrian sculpture, 
as the emblem of power in the hand of the king, and was 
the original of the sceptre, mace, and baton. 

(5) Staff, — The " staff,'' mentioned along with the rod 
in Ps. xxiii., is made of the same wood, but is about 6 
feet long, quite plain, rarely with a fork or crook at one end. 
It is a help in clambering over rocks, in striking off leavesc 
and small branches, in chastising loitering sheep and 
fighting goats, and on it the shepherd leans as he stands 
watching his flock. The ordinary walking staff of Orientals 
is rather longer than that used in the West, is held 



12 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

by the thin end a few inches from the top, and serves the 
double purpose of rod and staff, a weapon of defence and 
a support when standing or walking. Such was the stafl 
in the hand of the prophet as he journeyed from place to 
place (2 Kings iv. 29) — a peaceful help on the toilsome 
and dusty road. The two uses, for leaning upon and for 
striking, are contrasted in Ex. xxi. 19, 20. Both are 
included in the metaphors suggested by it. Pharaoh is com 
pared to an untrustworthy staff of bruised reed (Is. xxxvi. 
6) ; and bread is a staff (Ps. cv. 16) "which strengtheneth 
man's he^rt " (Ps. civ.' 15). 

(6) Slinrf. — The shepherd's sling, with which David 
was familiar, and in the use of which the men of Benjamin 
were so skilful (Judg. ix. 16), was made of goat -hair. 
The pad for the stone was of a rounded, diamond shape, 
with a small slit in the middle, so that when a stone was 
pressed into it, it closed around like a bag. It received 
its name in Hebrew, as in Arabic, from the slightly con- 
cave form in which it was woven. It was " the hollow of 
a sling" (1 Sam. xxv. 29, R.V.) In the two strings 
strands of white and black hair were artistically interwoven, 
one of them at least having an opening at the end for the 
fingers. Besides being used against robbers and wild 
animals, it did the work of the Western sheep-dog, for 
with it the shej)herd could drop a stone near a sheej) 
lagging behind, and startle it into a sense of loneliness 
and danger. At the present day, when a quarrel arises 
between the youth of neighbouring villages, a sortie of 
lads is sometimes made from each, and sling-practice is 
indulged in, usually at long range. 

The leading idea of the Oriental sling, in a figurative 
sense, is distance, rather than accuracy of direction. An 
Arabic proverb describes the habitual tale bearer as one 
who puts a secret in a sling. He tries how far he can 
throw it. This is the thought of Prov. xxvi. 8, and th£ 



HHEPHERDS AND PEASANTS 89 

cranslation given in the Authorised Version, and in the 
margin of the Revised, seems to be the correct one. The 
more firmly the stone is packed into the sling, the better 
it is discharged from it, and so it happens when honour is 
thrust upon a fool, that is a man who has no idea oi 
religious duty and moral consequences. 

The use of the sling was exactly the opposite of that of 
the scrip — the one throwing out, the other keeping what 
was put into it. This is probably the meaning of Abi- 
gail's words to David, when she contrasted ** the bundle 
of life" and its contents with the sling and its stones 
(1 Sam. XXV. 29). The man standing in front of her most 
likely had both his sling and provision -pouch on his 
person, and while the souls of his enemies would be like 
stones in the sling, things to be thrown away, his soul 
would be guarded and kept by the Great Shepherd like 
the necessaries in the scrip of life. The meaning in one 
case is so precise and picturesque that an allusion equally 
exact and obvious is required for the other. 

3. Management of the Flock. — (1) The shepkercPi 
presence. — By day and by night the shepherd is always 
with his sheep. As already explained, this was necessary 
on account of the exposed nature of the land, and the 
presence of danger from wild animals and robbers. 
One of the most familiar and beautiful sights of the X 
East is that of the shepherd leading his sheep to the 
pasture. He often has a dog or two with him, 
especially in the lonely and remote parts of the mountain 
pasture. But these are large, fierce animals, that can 
offer battle to the wolf, and by night give warning of the 
approach of thieves. He depends upon the sheep to 
follow, and they in turn expect him never to leave them. 
They run after him if he appears to be escaping from 
them, and are terrified when he is out of sight, or ariy 
Htranfirer appears instead of him. He c&lla to titeui from 



84 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

time to time to let them know that he is at hand. The 
sheep listen and continue grazing, but if any one else tries 
to produce the same peculiar cries and guttural sounds, 
they look around with a startled air and begin to scatter. 

(2) The shepherdCi protection, — As he is always with 
them, he is constantly providing for them. He is not 
only ready to protect them, but conducts them to the most 
suitable ground by the best way ; gives them music on his 
reed flute, to which the younger ones sometimes respond 
by capering around him ; strips leaves from the branches • 
leads them at noon to the shelter of a cliff, or to the shade 
of a walnut or willow tree beside the well or brook ; and 
in every possible way lives among them and for them. 
At sunset he conducts them back to the fold, where, during 
the night, they may lie down in safety, and mix with 
several other flocks. 

The sheepfold is often a large cave, or an ei?r^losure in 
a sheltered hollow made by a rough stone wail, which has, 
along the top, a formidable fringe of thorns like furze and 
blackthorn, kept in position by stones laid upon it. At 
the mouth of the cave, or at the side of the wall near 
the entrance, the shepherds have a covered place made of 
branches, a tabernacle such as Peter wished to make on the 
Mount of Transfiguration, and here, as on the night of the 
Nativity at Bethlehem, they keep watch over their flocks 
by night. The sheep require this constant and complete 
protection, as they have no thought of defending them- 
selves. While goats, on the appearance of a wolf, will 
run together and form a solid mass, with horns to the 
front, the sheep are immediately scattered and fall an easy 
prey (John x. 12). 

One of the most interesting sights of shepherd life is 
to watch a flock fording a stream. The shepherd leads as 
usual, and the sheep follow in a string at his heels, but in 
the middle of the stream they begin to lose their footing 



SHEPHERDS AND PEASANTS M 

and drift with the current The shepherd hurries forward, 
grasping first one and then another, pushing as many as 
he can reach in front of him and hauling others up against 
the pressure of the water. As soon as he reaches the 
opposite side he hastens along the bank and draws out 
those that have been swept down, and have reached the 
other side faint with the struggle. The sheep fare best 
that keep nearest the shepherd. Such a deliverance seems 
to be referred to in Ps. xviiL 16, "He took me, He drew 
me out of many waters." 

(3) The shejoherd's knowledge, — As he is always with 
them, and so deeply interested in them, the shepherd 
comes to know his sheep very intimately. Many of them 
have pet names suggested either by the appearance or 
character of the particular sheep, or by some incident con- 
nected with it. At sunset the sheep are counted, usually 
two by two ; but as a rule when they are brought together, 
the absence of any one is immediately /eZi. It is not only 
that one sheep is amissing, but the appearance of the 
whole flock seems to want something. This knowledge 
is so intimate and instinctively reliable that the formality 
of counting is often dispensed with. One day a missionary, 
meeting a shepherd on one of the wildest parts of the 
Lebanon, asked him various questions about his sheep, 
and among others if he counted them every night. On 
answering that he did not, he was asked how he knew if 
they were all there or not His reply was, "blaster, if 
you were to put a cloth over my eyes, and bring me any 
sheep and only let me put my hands on its face, I could 
tell in a moment if it was mine or not." Such is the 
fulness of meaning in the words of the Good Shepherd, *' 1 
know mine own, and mine own know Ale" (John x. 14). 

There is, however, the hireling shepherd, and he is as 
notorious for unfaithfulness as the true shepherd is for 
fidelity to his charge. His witne^-v^ like that of a pigeoia 



86 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

breeder (on account of using decoys) is not accepted in an 
Oriental law-court. He is in a position of duty, without 
any sense of duty, and no one to watch how he does it. 
Prowess can get no praise, and desertion can be screened 
by lies. He receives very little pay, and he has frequent 
opportunities of selling kids and sheep to passing travellers, 
or of sending them to the market by the hand of relatives. 
And at the end of the season he accounts for them aa 
stolen by Bedawin, devoured by wolves, or fallen from 
precipices. 

The shepherd's season of rejoicing is at the time of 
sheep-shearing in May and June. The flocks have been 
increased by the season's lambs ; milk, butter, and cheese 
are abundant ; pasture is still plentiful for those who 
know where to seek it, and the warm summer weather 
makes out-door life delightful by day and night. It is 
the time of invitations and feasting both among the 
Bedawin and the shepherds of the villages. It was 
most probably at such a time that Job's sons met for 
festivity. The same celebration is referred to in Gen. 
xxxi. 19, xxxviii. 13, and 1 Sam. xxv. 2. 

As might be expected from a calling so important and 
familiar to the Israelites, many comparisons and lessons 
are drawn from the pastoral life. The constant presence 
of the shepherd among his sheep and his protection oi 
them were arresting features that were easily transferred 
to higher relationships. Ps. xxiii. remains the simplest 
and profoundest expression of trust in God. The de- 
pendence of the sheep upon the shepherd is not a figure 
for the beginning of the spiritual life merely — to be left 
behind when we know as we have been known ; the 
redeemed and glorified are still being led to the living 
fountains of waters (Rev. vii. 17). 

The bond was such that under this form rebelliou* 
Israel could plead, "Why doth thine anger smoke against the 



SHEPHERDS AND PEASANTS 57 

Kheep of thy pasture?" (Ps. Ixxiv. 1 ). Everything in the way 
of devoted love, intimate knowledge, and protective power 
was summed up in the title, " Jesus that great Shepherd 
of the sheep " (Heb. xiii. 20). The parables of Luke 
XV. 3-7 and John x. 1-18 are in the same line. Compare 
also Ps. Ixxix. 13, xcv. 7 ; Ezek. xxxiv. 8. When Peter 
was made glad and strong by forgiveness and restoration, 
the renewed trust of Christ's service was given to him 
in a form rich with chivalrous associations, ** Feed my 
sheep" (John xxi. 16). 

The utter hel{)lessness of sheep without a shepherd is 
very frequently alluded to in the Bible, and the figure is 
applied in all its fulness to moral and religious matters, 
such as the manifold facilities for concealment, loitering 
and error in the wilderness of life, the losses and sorrows 
that occur when the will is without definite leading and 
submission, and the evils that attend both false alarms and 
real dangers (Num. xxvii, 17 ; 1 Sam. xxv. 2 ; 1 Kings xxii. 
17; Ps. cxix. 176; Is. liii. 6 ; Jer. I. 4,17; Ezek. xxxiv. 6, 12). 

Finally, there was the dumb submission of the sheep, 
when being shorn or about to be killed, that was made 
the emblem of silent resignation and hopeless doom. 
Israel could often plead the resemblance of its condition 
to such sealed fate and calm despair ; and the figure 
enters into the great prophecy of Is. liiL He who sent 
out His disciples to be " as sheep in the midst of wolves " 
(Matt. X 16) was to be first **a Lamb slain" (Rev. 
V. 12). 

IL Agricultural Life 

When it ia mentioned that French railway trucks are 
now supplanting the camels in bringing in wheat from the 
rich plain south of Damascus, that an American engineer is 
sinking Artesian wells at Sidon for irrigating the land, and 
that eve»'y summer English steamers lie off Gaza loading 



3« BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

barley for Scotland, the suspicion naturally arisea that 
the farmer of Palestine has left the shepherd behind, and 
that his life is no longer a reminder of patriarchal methoiU. 
But the land is still a land of corn and wine and oil ; anci 
the sowing and reaping, the treading of grapes in the wine 
press, the beating of the olive-tree for its berries, — these 
and many other details of peasant life are the same to-day 
as when Ruth gleaned and Eiisha followed the plough. 

1. Grain. — The chief grain-fields are the Syrian plain 
between Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon, the Hauran east 
of Galilee, the plains of Esdraelon and Sharon, and the 
plateau around Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Hebron. The 
appearance of the level land without walls, fences, oi 
hedges is that of a great green sea. On the sloping 
ground, as on the sides of all the watercourse valleys, 
called w^dies, the land is laid oil' in stair-like ridges, each 
leading into the one above or below it so that all can 
be ploughed continuously. These terraces serve a double 
purpose ; the ground is cleared of rock and large stones 
in building the low walls, and by the succession of levels 
the soil is kept in its place and not swept down to the 
foot of the valley by the winter rains. All over the land 
there are terraces fallen down, and overgrown, and hardly 
to be recognised, indicating at once the resemblance and 
the diflference between the ancient and modern civilisa- 
tions. The cereals sown are chiefly wheat, plain and 
bearded, barley, and spelt or vetch, translated rye in Ex. 
ix. 32 ; Is. xxviii, 25 ; and in Ezek. iv. 9, fitches. Oats 
are unknown. Besides the above are millet, beans, and 
lentils (Ezek. iv. 9), also pulse (Dan. L 12), under which 
is included everything of the nature of pease or beand, 
in fact all seed-food apart hop^ wheat and barley. 

(1) Sowing, — The time for sowing grain is when the soil 
has been softened for the plough by the first rains in 
the beginning of October. Millet, however, is sown id 



SHEPHERDS AND PEASANTS 39 

summer upon irrigated land. When winter comes on 
cold and wet, before the barley is put into the ground, it 
is sown in the beginning of February. When the soil is 
very rough it is customary to plough twice, but ordinarily 
the seed is sown and then ploughed in. The farmer 
walks in front scattering the seed, and one of the family 
or a servant follows immediately with the plough. In 
the parable the seed that fell on the footpath could be 




ORIENTAL PLOUGH. 

picked up by the birds as it was not covered like the rest 
(Matt. xiii. 4). 

The lev«lling-up of the greund in terraces often causes 
broad slabs of rock to be thinly covered over with soil. 
Thorns abound everywhere, growing with great rapidity 
and strength. They are either collected and burnt on the 
field, or used as fuel, or ground on the threshing-floor as 
fodder for the cattle (Matt. xiii. 5-7). 

Barley is ripe in April and IMay, wheat in May and 
June, there being much variety as to time, owing to 
difference in elevation from the Jordan valley to the fields 
around the cedars over 6000 feet above the sea. The 
latter rains in March refresh the standing crops, delaying 



40 



BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 



the time of harvest, but filling out the grain before it 
finally ripens. A field of wheat or barley has the pale 
white appearance of oats at home. The rain has ceased 
for three months and the stalks and ears become perfectly 
dry. 

(2) Harvest. — The stalks are either cut with the sickle 
or torn up by the roots, and the sheaves are carried to the 
threshing-fioors on the backs of men, donkeys, horses, and 




THRESHING-FLOOR. 



camels, carts not being used for this purpose as they once 
were (Am. ii. 13). The chief perils to the crop apart 
from the nature of the soil and the hands of robbers, are 
from mildew or sweating in soft misty weather, or blasting 
by the dry heat of the east wind (Deut. xxviii. 22 ; 
2 Chron. vi. 28 ; Am. iv. 9), and occasionally from locusts. 

Though the crops in Syria do not present such an 
appearance of solid mass as in Egypt, the soil is in many 
places exceedingly fertile, and the return corresponds with 
the standards cited in the parable (^Ia.tt. xiii. 8). 

(3) Threshing, — The threshing-floor is a circular piece of 



SHEPHERDS AND PEASANTS 41 

level ground about 20 to 30 feet in diameter, in an open, 
breezy locality near the village. The ground is carefully 
levelled and cleaned, and has around it a roughly-placed 
row of large stones to keep the straw from being scattered 
about. Sheaves are unbound and sprinkled over it, till 
the straw lies about a foot deep. The simplest mode of 
threshing is to drive cattle and donkeys over the dry straw, 
but the contrivance of the threshing-board is generally 




THRESHING AND WINNOWING INSTRUMENTS. 

resorted to. This consists of thick planks nailed together, 
making an oblong of 5 by 4 feet, having lumps of rough 
basaltic rock let into the under-surface of the boards. Less 
frequently it is a wooden frame furnished with small 
wheels below it. A pair of oxen are yoked to it, and a 
man stands upon it, goad in hand, and drives the oxen 
round from morning till evening. These are the oxen 
that must not be muzzled, but are allowed to pick up 
straws as often as they wish to do so (Deut. xxv. 4 ; 
1 Cor. ix. 9 ; 1 Tim. v. IS). When sufficiently threshed th« 



42 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

broken straws, grain, and chaff are piled up in the centre 
of the threshing-floor, more sheaves are sprinkled over the 
surface, and the threshing is resumed till the work is 
done, or there is no room for more in the centre of the 
ring. 

(i)._Winnowing, — This is done by the shovel and the fan 
(Is. XXX. 24). The fan is a simple wooden pitchfork. By 
it the compound of straw, chaff, and grain is tossed in the 
air. The chaff flies away over the hillside (Ps. i. 4), and 
where it accumulates at the great public threshing-floors it 
is burnt up. The straw is deposited a few yards off, while 
the grain falls at the feet of the winnower. In this pile 
there is still a good deal of husk and straw, and it is at 
this concluding stage of the winnowing that the shovel is 
brought into use. This work at the threshing-floors is 
carried on all day, and from harvest time till the ripened 
grapes claim attention in the month of August ; and in the 
great grain-growing districts it is continued till the close of 
September. The owners sleep by the threshing-floors or 
appoint watchmen. When the grain is piled into a cone 
it is sealed by having a large wooden seal pressed upon it 
here and there all around. The attempt to abstract any- 
thing would instantly obscure the marks of the seal The 
sealing is either in the interests of the working-partners or 
owners, or that the gross yield may remain intact until the 
Government official takes his tithe. It is sealed unto the 
appointed day of weighing and measuring. The use of 
the seal is often referred to in connection with documents 
and treasures, as well as with the threshing-floors, and 
suggests profound spiritual meanings (Dan. xii. 8 ; Rom. 
XV. 28 ; Eph. LIS, iv. 30). Among the peasantry of the 
present day any recommendation of a winnowing-machine 
is met by the remonstrance that their fathers did it in this 
way, and at the winnowing season there is nothing else to 
do. The further and final cleansing that the grain under- 



^ SHEf^HERDS AND PEASANTS ih 

go«s by means of the sieve we shall speak of. in connection 
with food and domestic life. 

2, The Vineyard. — The vine has always had an im- 
portant place among the industries of Palestine. It-s 
culture is one of the leading characteristics of the land 
(Deut. viii. 8; Ps. Ixxx. ; Is. v. ; Ezek. xvii.) 

(1) LfOcality. — Vineyanis are found all over the country, 
but the position most suitable is the hillside, or the 
gently -sloping ground at the foot of a hill. The vine 
likes open, loose soil into which it can sink its deep roots 
and reach the moisture that drips down over the surface 
of the mountain rock. Above ground it must have plenty 
of air and sunshine, and by night the dew rests upon its 
leaves refreshingly, but its source of nourishment and 
strength is in the deep crevices of the rock beyond the 
reach of the sun's heat. 

(2) Preparation. — The vineyard requires a great deal 
of preparatory work. A wall has to be built round it 
The irregular rocky ground has to be laid off in terraces, 
one below the other on the slope, varying in width from 
1 to 4 or 5 yards ; large rocks have to be broken up 
and built with other stones into these successive rough 
walls, varying in height from 2 to 6 feet. Then, much 
more thoroughly than is thought of for the grain fields, 
the ground must be cleared of thorns and thistles. In 
the case of a large vineyard a winepress has then to be 
dn<*, and a room made for the watchman. The ground 
has to be well gone over with the hoe, and repairs on 
the terraces have to be attended to. On accr)unt of the 
constant attention required by the vineyards we read that 
at the time of the captivity of Judah, some of the poorest 
of the land were left to sow the fields and to keep the 
vineyards in order (2 Kings xxv. 12). 

The neglected vineyard is described as covered with 
thorui* and strong hardy weeds, and ajs having the wall 



44 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

broken down by the rain torrent (Prov. xxiv. 30, 31). It 
is the sura total of such labours that is spread to view 
when the question is asked, " What could have been done 
more to my vineyard that I have not done in it 1 " 
(Is. V. 4.) 
^ (3) Growth of the vine. — This is very rapid and 
luxuriant. The slips are set in the ground about 12 
feet or more apart to give space for the running branches. 
The young vine is cut back and not allowed to bear fruit 
till after the third year. In April and May the vine 
blossom is out and gives forth a sweet, delicate perfume 
(Song of Sol. ii. 13). The branches covered with large 
richly-green leaves rapidly cover the ground ; the tendrils 
droop over the terrace-walls, run over rocky boulders, or, 
taking possession of an oak-tree, brighten its quiet foliage 
with their sparkle and transparency, and wave from iti 
topmost branches in a perfect riot of life and endless 
energy. It must be a very rich, happy, and triumphant 
life that is described by the figure, "I am the vine, ye are 
the branches " (John xv. 5). 

(4) Fruit. — There may be many kinds of grapes, even 
in one vineyard, both of the purple and the green sorts. 
Some villages are celebrated for this variety, one having 
as many as twelve or twenty different kinds in its vine- 
yards ; others are famous for the perfection to which 
they have brought one particular kind. There are many 
forms and varieties of flavour. Names are suggested by 
something in the size or colouring of the grape or the 
general appearance of the cluster. Thus we have on 
Lebanon, Brides fingers (of long tapering form, very 
smooth and translucent), Maiden's cheeks (with a blush of 
colour on each side), Mule's head (a large clumsy-looking 
purple grape), and Hen-and- Chickens (a cluster having 
large green grapes surrounded by many small seedless oneo- 
about the size of currants \ 



SHEPHERDS AND PEASANTS 



45 



(5) Uses of the grape. — (a) Fresh ripe grapes, eaten 
with bread, form a chief article of food during September 
and October, (b) Ptaisins. These are dried in a prepared 
levelled corner of the vineyard. During the process of 
drying under the sun, they are frequently turned over and 
sprinkled with olive oil to keep the skin moist. They are 
preserved in bunches or scattered over the ground. They 
form an important item of the winter s stores among the 




WINEPRESS. 



peasantry, and they seem to have been highly valued in 
Bible times as a convenient and refreshing article of food 
(1 Sam. XXV. 18, xxx. 12; 2 Sam. xvi. 1 ; 1 Chron. xii. 
40). (c) Wine and syrup. These were made at the wine- 
press, when the grapes w^ere fully ripe and the vintage 
season began to near its end in the beginning of October. 
The winepress consists of tw^o troughs cut in the solid 
rock, with a partition about 3 inches thick left between 
them. One is higher than the other, and this upper one 
is a large flat square, about a foot or a foot and a half deep. 



i6 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

HeFe the grapes are thrown in and trodden by the feat of 
men, women, and children — usually of the same family, or 
relatives having a joint interest in the vineyard. As they 
tread they keep time with hand-clapping and snatches o1 
song (Is. xvi. 10 ; Jer. xlviii. 33). Such social gladness 
contrasts with the case of solitude and sorrow referred to 
in Is. Ixiii. 3. After being thus pressed by the feet, the 
grape skins are collected into a heap, a large flat stone 
is laid upon them, and they are subjected to pressure 
from a large weighted beam. The juice flows into the 
lower trough through the opening in the partition. It is 
smaller but deeper ; if the upper be 6 feet long by 5 
feet broad, the lower one will be about 4 feet long by 2 
feet broad, but about 3 feet deep. If the position of the 
rock allows it, a hole near the bottom lets off the juice 
into vessels for collecting it. Some of it is allowed to 
become sour for use as vinegar. The juice of the dark 
grape is generally made into claret of a somewhat sour, 
astringent taste, and that of the white or green grape is 
boiled a little and made into sweet wine. Some of it is 
distilled and made into a spirit, which the modern Jews 
call by a Hebrew name, burning wine. 

The people of the land know nothing of unfermented 
wine. There is no custom of drinking newly-strained 
grape-juice such as might be suggested by the dream of 
Pharaoh's butler. The meaning evidently is that, dream- 
like, the wine-making process was in the vision as rapid 
as the ripening of the grapes. Intemperance is too far- 
reaching and deep-seated an evil to be settled by the 
etymology of a word or the customs of one people or 
country. Orientals are not inclined to intemperance. 
The warm climate very quickly makes it a cause of dis- 
comfort and disease, and under the influence of wine the 
excitablt^ Orientals are easily tempted into quarrelling 
and crime. It is regarded as a shameful vice, is oi nir« 



SHEPHERDS AXD PEASANTS 47 

occurrence, and when it does occur is kept out of sight 
(1 Thess. V. 7). Wine is entirely forbidden to the 
Moslems on account of the moral evil so often connected 
with it. In the recitation of poetry and the stories of 
the heroes of Islam the bringing in of wine is constantly 
referred to, but it is regarded merely as a stage expression 
that has nothing to do with real life. The Arabs in their 
proverbs speak of it as expelling reason and putting in 
its place remorse. When used by Orientals it is in the 
winter season and at meals, but while its strengthening 
value at certain times is recognised, the habit of wine- 
drinking is generally associated with excessive festivity 
and abuse. 

In the Jewish Prayer-book one of the thanksgivings is 
for the creation of the vine, and on the return from the 
synagogue, to which in the morning they go fasting, a 
glass of wine is drunk with this blessing pronounced over 
it. This custom was perhaps alluded to by Peter on the 
day of Pentecost as showing the impossibility of intoxication 
at 9 A.M. — an hour when Jews had but newly returned 
from morning prayer. 

Syrup is made by boiling the juice of the grape until 
it reaches the consistency of honey. It is intensely sweet, 
and, having much the same colour and consistency, it is 
in Hebrew called by the same name as honey. 

(6) Dangers to the vineyard, — The chief enemies are 
the locust ; the east wind withering the grapes with dry 
heat, and the south-west wind bringing up soft mist and 
moist warmth from the sea; the wild animals, such as 
jackals, foxes, and bears ; and the attempts of robbers and 
petty thefts of passing travellers. Agamst men and animals 
the watchman is appointed over a vineyard or group of 
vineyards. He is there day and night to frighten away 
aninials and challenge and report upon intruders. He 
roama about at night, and in the daytime he h-M in a 



48 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

conspicuous spot a booth (Is. i. 8, E,.V.) made of four 
stout poles fixed into the ground, with a boarding lashed 
across half-way up, and all covered with oak leaves." 
Here the w^atchman sits and watches by day. ^' When the 
season is over and the vineyard bare, the booth gets stripped 
and bent by the wind and rain, and is a picture of neglect 
and desolation. 




VINEYARD BOOTH. 

Such was the daughter of Zion in the time of Isaiah 
(Is. i. 8). Sometimes a permanent stone-built room takes 
the place of the booth. It serves both as a watch-tower 
and a place of shelter, in which the wine can be boiled 
and syrup made if the weather should prove cold and 
rainy at the time. Such was the tower of the parable 
(Matt. xxL 33). 

Fruning has to be done in December or January, not 
Avhen the vine is in blossom and foliage, as it bleeds so 
profusely. 

Vineyards are either tended by their owners, or are 



SHEPHKRD8 AND PEASANTS «• 

It^t out to husbandmen who receive tor their labour lirM \i 
the produce. 

The promise of fruitful seasons (Lev. xxvi. 5) made 
the time of corn-threshing in July and August run into 
the grape harvest of September and October, and this 
again trenched upon the time of ploughing and sowing in 
November. 

3. The Olive- Tree. — The olive-tree is a very character- 
istic feature of Oriental landscape. It is of a dusty 
silvery gray, and contrasts with the bright i)ure green 
of the mulberry, apricot, orange, and other trees. It 
presents many changes of colour as it is seen with the 
light upon or againsi it, in the in<>rning, at mid-day, or at 
evening. A grove of olive-trees resembles a clump ot 
willows or silver birches in foliage, though inferior in the 
grace of form and movement of the branches. The dark 
stems shine through the branches, and tLe light red soil 
which it likes best gives the warmth of tone which the 
tree itself lacks. Such is the beauty of the olive, it 
bears fruit after seven years, and is at full fruit-bearing 
strength in its fourteenth year. It is fruitful in alternate 
years, and one tree will yield from a dozen to twenty 
gallons of oil. 

The berries are gathered in October, about the time 
of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. As the trees have 
seldom any enclosing wall around them, or those in one 
enclosure may have different owners, the sheikh appoints 
a day for the gathering, so that each may attend to his 
own. 

The tree is about twenty feet high and is easily climbed, 
and the branches are beaten from the ground by a long 
stripped palm branch (Is. xvii. 6, xxiv. 13). Whatever 
remains after the appointed day may be gleaned by any 
one (Deut. xxiv. 20; Is. xvii. 6). 

Old trees have suckers rising from the stem, close to 



60 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

the ground, six or seven, or a dozen or more of them 
rising in a circle around the gnarled and often rent bole. 
These are the " olive-branches " springing up to take the 
place of the parent tree (Ps. cxxviii. 3). 

A graft is inserted into the stem of a wild olive, which 
for the purpose is cut down near to the ground, and all 
below is reckoned as root and feeder. Hence the grafting 
of the heathen Gentile upon the stock of the Bible- 
taught Israelite was contrary to nature or custom (Rom. 
xi. 24). Even the planted slip of a fruitful olive is 
improved by being cut down and grafted. It is remark- 
able for the multitude of blossoms that it casts off (Job 
XV. 33). Olives form the principal accompaniment and 
relish of the bread of the labouring man. Bread and 
olives in Syria correspond to the porridge and milk of 
Scotland. Hiram's w^orkmen were supplied with them 
(2 Chron. ii. 10). Olive oil is extensively used in soap- 
making and cooking. The wood was used in Solomon's 
temple (1 Kings vi. 31), and is still in Jerusalem put to 
ornamental uses. 

4. Fig -Trees. — These take rank after the vines and 
olive-trees in number and fruit-bearing value, although 
at the present day the most important after wheat and 
barley is the mulberry-tree, as its leaves are the food of 
the silkworm. 

(1) Appearance. — The olive, fig, and pomegranate 
trees, and also the larger walnut and locust-bean trees, 
while differing in the colour of their foliage, are all wide- 
spreading, well -filled trees, and at a distance resemble 
large apple and pear trees, the pomegranate being usually 
rather smaller and more like an eider-tree in form and 
size. When stripped of its leaves the fig-tree looks like 
a mere tangle of ropes, but by this multitude of small 
branches a great many points are presented to the sun- 
light, and in summer these are all studded with figs 6U[id 



SHEPHERDS AND PEASANTS 51 

icreened over with large leaves. The tree affords a 
pleasant shelter beside the house, and in this connection 
is mentioned in the Bible along with the trained vine 
(1 Kings iv. 25 ; Mic. iv. 4 ; John i. 48). 

(2) Fruit, — There may be said to be three fig seasons, 
(a) Early figs. These are few in number, and it is not 
every tree that has them. They are ripe a month before 
the regular crop. They are not really better than the 
ordinary summer figs, being indeed rather inferior in 
flavour though large and juicy, but they are esteemed a 
delicacy because they are the first of the season and 
limited in quantity. They are often sent by the owner 
of the tree as a present to his friends. This appreciation 
and the fact that they fall off easily, are noticed in the 
Bible, and are made to point to moral resemblances 
(Hos. ix. 10; Jer. xxiv. 2; Nah. iii. 12). (6) Ordinary 
summer figs. These are extensively used for food in August 
and September, and whjn dried on the flat house-tops 
are stored for winter use (1 Sam. xxv. 18, xxx. 12). 
(c) Winter figs. These mature slowly, and remain along 
with the deep -green leaves on the tree until late in 
autumn, or even to the end of the year. They are large 
and fleshy, but inferior in flavour to those of the summer 
season. The quantity of them is comparatively small, 
though much larger, of course, than that of the early figs. 

While good figs are very good, bad figs can be very 
bad. They may become dry and shrivelled, gluey and 
insipid, or infected by small worms (Jer. xxiv. 8). 

(3) I'he Jig-tree as a sign of the season, — The fig-tree 
comes into foliage later than the almond, apricot, and 
peach trees, and when its tender leaves are unsheathed, 
and expand and deepen in colour, it is a sign that summer 
days are at hand (Matt. xxiv. 32 ; Mark xiii. 28). At the 
time of opening buds and blossoms the fig-tree sends out 
a peculiar odour, like sweetly-perfumed incense. li i% 



62 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

this fragrance, like that of the sweet spices uned \n cm- 
balraing, that seems to be indicated among the signs of 
approaching summer in Song of Solomon ii. 13. Inhere 
the literal meaning of the word translated "putteth forth," 
and " ripeueth," R.V., is that of perfuming and giving 
scent. 

(4) The fig-tree that unthered (Matt. xxi. 19; Mark xi 
13). — We have all at times felt secret drawings of sympathy 
towards this tree as we have also at times towards Esau, 
Saul, Joab, and a few others. Now, in order to under- 
stand the case of the fig-tree, the first thing to attend to 
is the fig-tree's law of growth and fruit-bearing. What is 
it 1 It is that leaves and fruit appear together and din- 
a[)pear together. As soon as ilje leaves begin to bud the 
figs begin to form. 

At the end of summer some of the figs may survive the 
leaves around them at the tips of the branches, but the 
presence of leaves is uniformly a guarantee of fruit. It is 
instructive to compare this tree and its fate with the other 
fig tree mentioned in the parable (Luke xiii 6-9). It also 
was unfruitful, and had been so for three years, but it v\>us 
a case of simple failure under ordinary vircumstances, at 
the ordinary season. it is made to teach a difl*erent 
lesson — a lesson of forbearance and encounitring tru;^t. 

But with regard to the tree on the Mount of Olives, 
we are told that it was not yet the time of figs (Mark xi. 
13). This fact, which seems at first to excuse the tree, 
was what really led to its condemnation. If it was not 
the time of figs, it was not the time of foliage. The tree 
was in advance of its companions as to leaves, and by its 
own law of life, that is, the custom of having foliage and 
figs at the same time, such leadership in outward show 
should have been accompanied by a similar forwardness 
m fruit-bearing. But ** lie found nothing thereon, but 
leave:* oidy." It was a veijetablf* Sanhedrim It seemed 



SHEPHERDS AND PEASANTS M 

to be possessed by the spirit that created the long robe 
and large phylactery-box. Sins against God were bad 
enough, but Pharisaism claimed to be for God. Pharisee 
and fig-tree were alike as to profession without practice. 
It was the only thing that called forth the stern indigna- 
tion of Christ. 

" Scribes, Pharisees " — and this unnatural fig-tree — 
" hypocrites ! " 

Our Lord said, ** I am the Truth" (John xiv. 6), and 
to love Him is to become like Him. Among the things 
that we are exhorted to think upon, the fir.st place is 
given to "Whatsoever things are true" (Phil. iv. ^). 

5. Gardens. — The usual Oriental garden is a walled 
enclosure for fruit-trees as the vineyard is for vines. There 
is no thought of flow^ers, bordered walks, or green turf. 
The ground is made level, or arranged in a series of levels 
by low terrace walls, it is thou laid out in narrow, shallow 
drills and irrigated. As each furrow gets its sufficiency 
of water it is closed at the end by the hoe and naked 
foot. This may be the reference to watering by the foot 
in Deut. xi. 10 ; or the contrast between Palestine and 
Egypt there indicated may point to some kind of tread- 
mill wheel for lifting water from the river or canal that 
it might be distributed over the land. Near towns, and 
where the water-supply is abundant, there are gardens for 
vegetables which are cultivated in great abundance and 
variety. 

The usual garden trees are olive, fig, orange, lemon, 
citron, pomegranate, palm, almond, apricot, peach, banana, 
and occasionally apple and pear trees. Olive and fi^ 
trees are planted sufficiently apart to allow of wheat or 
barley being sown between them. Olive-trees are thus 
seen in the garden at the foot of " the green hill," where 
a rock-cut tomb is situated that is thought by many to 
have been the tomb of Christ (John xix. 41). 



64 BIBLE MAN NEKS AND CUSTOMS 

The almond-tree bursts into blossom in the short, dark, 
cold days of January and amid the blustering winds at the 
beginning of February. As its flowers are out before the 
leaves appear, its snowy array seems to empLa:iise the 
leafless desolation of the world around it (Eccl. xii. 5). 

The apple of Scripture is sometimes thought to be rather 
the citron or quince ; the term may be a somewhat general 
one, but the translation given in the Bible has in its 
favour the fact that the same word in Arabic means an 
apple. The palm-tree towers aloft among the foliage of 
the sea- side plain, and rises picturesquely among the 
villages in the lower valleys. In Arabic poetry and 
compliment it is the standard simile with regard to 
stateliness and elegance (Pa. xciL 2 ; Song of Sol. vii. 7 ; 
Jer. X. 5). 

The walnut and locust -bean trees are often found 
outside of garden enclosures, either belonging to the owner 
of the ground or the common property of the village. 
Locust-beans are ground like olives and the boiled syrup 
is mixed with figs for winter use. The walnut or nut- 
tree is found in many localities, but prefers a mountain- 
valley with its roots beside the brook or spring (Ph. i. 3). 
It affords a dense and delightful shade, the leaver being 
refreshingly aromatic (Song of Sol. vi. 11). 

Sycamore-trees are often met with singly by the road 
side, of gigantic size, and with wide-spreading arms. 

Their figs are insipid in taste, about the size of a goose- 
berry, and growing thick upon small leafless twigs spring- 
ing out from the trunk and principal branches. They are 
eaten only by the poorest of the people (Amos vii. 14). 

6. Gleaning. — The ancient rules about gleaning are 

not now observed so carefully as they used to be. On 

>the small farms the harvest field is gleaned very 

thoroughly by the owners, but a small corner is sometimes 

left unreaped out of reli^ouM rtcniple Recently a Scotch 



SHEPHERDS AND PEASANTS &5 

engineer took an American reaping-machine to the great 
wheat plain between the Lebanon ranges, to exhibit its 
powers to the assembled sheikhs and landowners. He 
astonished and delighted them, but was mobbed by the 
poor labourers and gleaning women, who saw that such 
clean quick work left nothing for them. 

In a grove of olive- tree-s belonging to several owners, 
and where no walls ever separate one person's property 
from that of another, gleaning is allowed after the day 
or days publicly announced for the beating of the trees 
(Deut xxiv. 20) and the gathering of the fruit. A 
similar permission generally holds good among the vines 
and fig-trees after the Feast of the Cross, which occurs 
towards the end of September. 

From the above it will be seen that with regard to 
p<&storal and agricultural life in Bible times the people 
now living in Syria and Palestine need no commentary on 
Buch matters. Their traditional customs and surrounding 
conditions not only explain and confirm such references, 
but help to make the spiritual teaching in connectior 
irith them more mtere^trng and impreikiive. 



CHAPTER IV 



TRADES AND PROFESSIuU^O 



The hand of Honour U a balance. 

All roads lead to the Hour mill. — Syrian Prox^erb$^ 

One of the happiest sights in family life is to watch th« 
bright, instantaneous way in which a child awakes out of 
sleep, rejoicing that the darkness is past and a new day 
has come. City life in the East shows this feature of 
childhood. The stars of the dawn melt away rapidly in 
the increasing light, and as soon as the sun arises the 
day's work begins. The first to be astir are the bakers, 
firing the cakes that are sold in the streets, with hot milk, 
to the early labourers. Those who have charge of horses, 
mules, donkeys, and camels stretch themselves and rise, 
ready-dressed, to prepare the food for which their animals 
have been waiting patiently. Day - labourers, with or 
without tools, begin to assemble in the accustomed place, 
salute each other, and stand waiting to be engaged. 
Workers from the suburbs of the town pour in on foot 
and on donkey-back. The sound of the anvil is heard, 
the clinking of the coppersmith at his work, the whirr of 
the wheel in the open yard where string is twisted, then 
the loud fumbling in the lock as the door of the Arab 
shop is opened, and so the new, noisy, bright, busy day 
begins. As soon as the sun sets the work ceases, the 
fthop> are closed, the 8tre*»t-M ^^O'w ^rnpty. and the towp 



TRADED AND PROFESSIONS 57 

•ettlep dovrn to the rest and silenre of another mght 
(IV civ. 23). 

The Bedavvi shepherd la lost in wonder when he enters 
the town and sees life under conditions so different from 
hiH own. His own wants are so few and simple, and the 
necessaries of food, clothing, and tools are mostly supplied 
by liis own hands and the labours of his family. But in 
the town each craft has its own street or market-place ; 
the coppersmiths and silversmiths, the sellers of grain, 
wood, vegetables, mutton, and cloth, makers of shoes and 
mattresses, are all grouped together, each industry in its 
own place. It is the distribution of energy and develop- 
ment of special skill that must alw^ays come with expanded 
life. 

The trades of the'-East are remarkable for the skill 
shown in the use of simple tools, the excellent work })ro- 
duced by rude appliances. The history of Oriental handi- 
crafts is one of expert masters rather than of improved 
methods. This delicacy of touch, facility in designing, 
and good eye for pro])ortion and effect, are largely due to 
the ancient trade -guilds, in which the same work was 
usually engaged in by father and son from generation to 
generation. With regard to any improvement in the 
processes of the work, a trade secret was also a family 
secret, and was closely guarded The private profit which 
thus secured efBciency had its element of danger to the 
public, as we see to-day in the lost arts of the ancient 
lacquer-work and the tempering of bronze. 

Recent contact with European machinery and manu- 
facture has added a few new occupations, and to some 
extent modified the old. In Syria and Pale.^tine as else- 
where art exists not for art merely, but for the profit that 
can be made out of it. This is the moral responsibility 
of inventions. Orientals are now as fond of our flashy 
anci lading aniline dyt-s af> we are of their rich and 



M BIBLE MANNERS AND CUST0M8 

permanent tones in cloth and carpets. The one great 
trade that is now awanting is that of the image-maker. 
Perhaps the last trace of it is seen in the silver lamps and 
vessels that are made as votive offerings for the churches 
and saint-shrines, and the six-foot candles of the altar that 
supplement the Syrian sunshine. 

Let us now turn our attention to some of these trades 
and industries, and as we do so we shall be surprised to 
find in how many places the Bible will be opened, and 
how interesting and helpful these allusions wiU be 
to us. 

1. Weaving, Dyeing, and Embroidery. — (1) Weaving 
is still found in its simplest form among those who were 
the first to begin it, namely, the wandering shepherds or 
Bedawtn. Jll^ Beda wi woman ^stuffs a bunch of goat-hair 
under he[L^a a3i>_and_drawing ojit_A..Mft-jQf^iL-ties-it to a 
stone. She spjns it round and_gradualjy ^dds more hair. 
She thus gets a roughly uflifarm^^hreadrthe twisted strand 
that is woven into hair-cloth for the nose-bags of donkeys, 
horses, and camels, sacks for holding grain and flour ; and 
the lengths that are over-edged and joined together to 
make the black "houses of hair" — the Bedawi tents. 
This is the sackcloth of the Bible, which was worn as a 
mark of penitence or grief, and was the standard simile for 
anything intensely black. Somewhat softer and more 
flexible is the cloth of camel-hair ; the softest and most 
valuable being that of sheep's wool. As sheep and goats 
are black or white, and camels buff-coloured or dark brown, 
decoration is introduced in the form of broad alternate 
stripes of light and dark colour. Through all Oriental 
weaving we find these two features, the suspended stone- 
weight and the love of striped ornamentation. Among 
the pastoral tribes the weaving of tent-cloth, the outer 
large cloak, and a few similar things, is still the work of 
the women. Among the village peasantry also a woman 



PKADES AND PROFESSIONS M 

is often seen twisting thread of cotton or wool as she 
walks along, but the supply of cloth is now chiefly from the 
looms of such towns as Aleppo, Beyrout, and Damascus, 
or imported from Europe. In the Oriental hand-loom, 
the foundation threads of the warp are fixed to a beam 
near the roof of the room, and slope downwards and 
forwards in close parallel lines to a horizontal revolving 
beam at the feet of the weaver. These give the length 
and breadth of the cloth, and the woof threads of cotton, 
linen, silk, or wool are one by one passed through them 
from side to side, each line being pressed into position by 
a wooden bar brought down upon the web. The weaver 
sits at his work. 

^|(S) Dyeing, — Many of the Oriental dyes are extremely 
rich and permanent. The brilliant c rimson^ their favourite 
colour, is oajUfid in Arabic as in Hebrew fr om the inse ct 
t hat m akes the nut in a k:ind.„Q f oak -tree. Ipdigo^i^ 
p repared from the rind of_the,4)omegranate. The shell- 
fish, from which the precious Phoenician " purple " was 
made that Lydia sold (Acts xvL 14), is still met with on 
the beach at Acre. 

Bright crimson and soft, faded-looking blue, " dragon's- 
blood " (Turkey) red, canary yellow, and indigo, with here 
and there a softening of the sacred Moslem green, the 
whole broken up and relieved with white — such, ever 
moving and yet remaining always the same, is the motley 
effect of an Oriental crowd. 

Orientals are very sensitive to light and dark, warm 
and cold values in colour, but do not feel quite as we do 
about the relationship of primary and secondary colours 
of the same strength. Scarlet and purple, blue and green 
are constantly placed side by side (Ex. xxvi, 1 ). If a 
Moslem woman, dressed for the festival, were to appear 
among the ladies of an English or American drawing- 
room, they w'>uld regard her as decidedly spectacular. 



60 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

while she would wonder what evil some of them had done 
or suffered that they should dress so soberly. In her own 
land her dress is a response to the bright sunshine which 
hirmonises everything. Even the zebra in its own haunts 
is made invisible by its stripes. Along with such bright 
and often glaring colours, Oriental fabrics have many 




CHEQUER-WORK. 

subtle shades of gray and olive, delicate flushes of lilac 
and opal, and salmon -pink like the heart of almond- 
blossom. 

(3) Emhroidery^ hroidered work. — This is the orna- 
mentation of any kind of cloth, cotton, linen, silk, or wool 



TRADES AND PROFESSIONS 



61 



hy different colours and designs. There are two principal 
kinds. 

(A) Monochrome design, or the effect of a pattern 
without any additional colour. Here also there are two 
varieties. (a) On the cloth, — This is a very intricate and 
tedious kind of needlework, seldom attempted except for 




BROIBBRED-WORK. 

the robe or dress -coat of Oriental male costume. The 
robe of dressing-gown shape, made of smooth bright linen 
or coloured silk, is cut out and laid upon its lining of 
white cotton. Then threads of cotton-twist, like merchant's 
cord, are laid between and sewn in according to pattern in 
zig-zags, squares, curves, etc. The sewing running close 
along each side of the string gives a raised effect like fine 



8S BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

quilting in the yoke of a lady's dress, or as is seen on a 
larger scale in our manufactured white bed-covers of the 
honeycomb pattern, except that the Oriental cloth is 
exactly the same on both sides. Such work upon linen or 
silk under bright sunlight is very rich and lustrous ; when 
upon cloth of gold (Ps. xlv. 13) the effect would be exceed- 
ingly resplendent. (b) In the cloth, — Here the same 
style of pattern in lines, squares, circles, zig-zag, and 
key-pattern is obtained in the process of weaving without 
any raising of the surface. It is woven in Damascus in 
a great variety of beautiful designs, and is the familiar 
damask of home manufacture. Something of this kind 
(a) or (b) must have been the material and style of the 
high priest's coat (Ex. xxviiL 39). It is ''chequer work" 

(B) Design in dif event colours — (a) With raised 
surface, — This was a superadded pattern in gold thread 
and different colours. The appearance is that of emboss- 
ing in metal, as when an Oriental bridal dress of rich, 
heavy silk is ornamented with large gold lilies in massive 
relief. (6) In the cloth. — The coloured design is in this 
case introduced during the weaving, the prevailing form 
of decoration, as in the tabernacle curtains, being that of 
stripes. 

These Eastern fabrics are usually the same on both 
sides. They are called in the Bible " broidered-work 
of divers colours" when the chief impression is that of 
rich and varied colouring. It is the work of the 
variegator (Ex. xxvi. 36; Ezek. xvi. 10). The further 
descriptive term " cunning-work " is added when a chief 
feature of the elaboration consists in the beauty and 
intricacy of the design, the interweaving of geometrical 
figures, effects of chain armour and tartan crossings, and 
drawings of human, animal, or floral design in the 
pattern. It is the work of the designer (Ex. xxvi. 1^ 
xxviiL 6, XXX vi. 8). 



TRADES AND PROFESSIONS U 

2. Masonry. — Many of the most wonderful antiquities v 
of the East, like its most characteristic present-day features, 
are due to the work of the mason. His implements and 
methods are further interesting to the student of Scripture 
because of its frequent reference to them by way of 
illustration and teaching. 

The farmers everywhere are skilful in the building of 
the low terrace walls of undressed stone for their corn- 
fields and vineyards, but when a building has to be con- 
structed of stone and lime the experience of the master 
mason is usually resorted to. Certain villages are famous 
for their masons, who travel all over the land fulfilling 
their engagements. 

(1) The foundation. — Great attention has to be paid to 
this on account of the shrinkage and expansion of the 
ground by summer drought and winter rain. The 
necessity of getting down to the rock often involves a 
great deal of labour and expense, and is the most frequent 
cause of the disappointment referred to in Luke xiv. 9. 
Deep broad trenches are cut and filled with thick walls of 
stone and lime. These are carried up to the surface of 
the ground and allowed for a time to dry and settle. All 
this work is of course afterwards invisible ; hence the 
implied discourtesy of building upon another man^s 
foundation (Rom. xv. 20; 1 Cor. iii. 10). 

(2) The comer-stone. — When the first tier of oblong 
stones is laid upon the foundation prepared for it, a broad 
square one is chosen for each corner so as to make a surd 
foundation where the two walls meet (Is. xxviii. 1 6 ; Ps 
cxviiL 22 ; Matt. xxi. 42). A similar square block, but 
thinner, is often placed at each corner of the top row of 
stones on which the roof beams are to be laid. Its un- 
inviting shape would naturally cause this stone to be passed 
by when the masons were trimming the ordinary oblong 
phones, until a special need revealed its special fitness 



64 



BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 



for clasping the two walls. When laying the foundation 
of an important building for a government ofRce or 
public institution, the Moslems are accustomed to kill 
one or more sheep as a feast to the poor. It is the 
dedication ceremony. 

(3) The measuring reed. — At the laying of the founda- 
tion row, and from time to time during the construction of 
the walls, the master mason uses a long straight cane, about 
20 feet in length, for measuring the spaces of the walls 



^,'fh 



MASON S TOOLS. 



and between the windows and doors (Ezek. xl. 3 ; Rev. 
xxi. 16). A somewhat shorter reed or cane is used very 
simply, but with wonderful correctness, in the building of 
the arches that are so numerous in Oriental architecture. 

(4) The plumb-line. — This is a small inverted cone of 
lead attached by a cord to a cylindrical piece of wood of the 
same diameter, so that when the wood is laid to the stone 
newly set in the roAV the lead suspended below should 
barely touch the wall. It is in constant use for preserv- 



TRADES AND PROFESSIONS 65 

ing the perpendicular. To stand this test is the secret of 
permanence. Whatever is "off the straigiit " must fall to 
the ground however many .sheep may have bten sacrificed 
at its dedication (Is. xxviii. 17; Jer. xxii. 13). In its 
moral application this teaching of iiprif^htness applies 
very specially to "God's building" (1 Cor. iii. 9), the 
building founded upon holy faith (Jude 20), and the 
erection of the "spiritual house" (1 Peter ii. 5). 

(5) The levelling -line. — This is used along with the 
plumb-line. When a fresh course is to be laid on, two 
stones of the same height are placed at each end of the 
wall, or about 20 feet apart, and each is tested for the 
perpendicular by the plumb-line. Then a length of cord 
is unwound from its pin and passed several times round 
one of the stones, and stretched from its outside top (x>rnei 
to the same point of the other stone where it is also made 
fast. About the middle point of this string the plumb- 
line is applied again, and then the whole course is laid on, 
thus securing both perpendicular and horizontal accuracy. 
This levelling-line seems to be referred to in 2 Kings xii. 
13, where it is prophesied that the line that had been passed 
over Samaria and the house of Ahab would be stretched 
over Jerusalem, that is, it would be made level with the 
ground. 

These details of the measured foundation, and the use 
of the line, and the festivities of the dedication, are alluded 
to in Job xxxviii. 4-7. 

(6) 7^00/5 of the mason. — These are seen in the accom- 
panying illustration, and are variously adapted to splitting, 
chipping, and facing the stones. The hammer with the 
toothed edge is especially interesting, from the fact that 
the gigantic stones of Baalbek show a graining that must 
have been produced by a similar instrument. 

The small basket for carrying off earth is also of 
interest, inasmuch as it is found with its hoisting rope* 

s 



M BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

preserved underground through the centuries, And lying 
whore it had been laid down by the toilers of ancient 
Egypt 

3. Carpentry, — Oriental custom does not make such an 
extensive demand upon the carpenter as it does upon the 
mason. His chief work is in making roofs, doors, window- 
shutters, lattice-squares, and divan frames for the houses. 
Along the coast there is a small industry in boat building. 

Chairs and tables are referred to in the Bible, and 
their construction is described on the Egyptian monuments, 
but it is likely that the ordinary peasants, in ancient times 
as at present, sat and ate on the floor or the divan. In 
carrying loads the pack-saddle takes the place of the 
waggon, and gardens are marked off by boundary-stones, 
walls, and hedges of wild cactus or reed, so that here also 
the work of the carpenter is not required. The scarcity 
of timber in certain localities, such as Jerusalem, causes 
many houses to be covered with a vault or dome of stone 
instead of a wooden roof. 

The ancient Egyptian monuments show the adze, saw, 
square, awl, and glue-pot, as the chief necessaries of the 
ancient carpenter, and with these and a few additional 
implements, his modern successor in the East does his 
simple work. His most ornamental work is m the 
panelling of the roof, the making of lattice for the 
windows, and the arabesque decoration or doors. The 
adze is his favourite implement. In ripping a board with 
the saw, he sits on the board and saws away from himself. 

An avaricious man is compared by the Arabs to the 
long double-handed saw for cutting logs into boards, 
because it ** eats " both in going up and coming down. 

4. Metal -work.^ — All the records of the East 
abundantly support the Bible in indicating that from 
the earliest times there has been a knowledge of plain 
and ornamental work in the varioiu* metalii c/>nnftrt<vi 



TRADES AND PROFESSION-S if 

with mechanical art. The ornamental work is called 
engraving, and corresponds in wood, stone, metal, and 
leweis to the effect of embroidery in cloth (Ex. xxviii. 11 - 




ENGRAVING IN WOOD AND METAL. 



1 Sam. xiii. 19 ; 2 Sam. v. 11). It exists at the present 
day in all the forms referred to in the Bible, in the etched 
line of the graving tool (Ex. xxxii. 4), in punched-out 
design, embossing, perforation, the combined effect of 



68 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

removal and insertion in inlaying and mosaic work, and 
the complete removal of the carved object, as in the ancient 
image (Ex. xxxii. 4, xxxix. 14 ; 1 Kings vi. 18; Ezek. 
viii. 10; Acts xvii. 29). 

The East has always been famous for colossal masonry, 
but recent exploration in Egypt has revealed that there 
was equal skill in the most intricate work of the goldsmith 
and jeweller. The inventiveness in design, delicacy of 
handling, and mastery over hard surfaces, are unsurpassed 
by anything in the art of the present day. Their successors 
in the East of the present day retain much of the delicate 
touch of the cunning workers of ancient times, but their 
taste for design is usually satisfied with the repetition of 
the traditional patterns. The metal-worker of to-day uses 
the same tools in the same way and for the same objects 
that his forefathers used them. The graving tool, tongs, 
hammer, anvil, and bellows are found in all, only differing 
in size and strength as they are applied to iron and copper 
or gold and silver. 

The primitive anvil (Is. xli. 7) is a simple cube in- 
serted in a block of oak-log, and the bellows (Is. liv. 16; 
Jer. vi. 29) is made of the skin of a goat or cow with the 
hair left on. 

(1) Iron. — The smith of the present day makes many 
things in iron that were formerly made of copper or bronze. 
The farmer and mason are his chief customers. He is 
usually engaged in making ploughs, hoes, pick - axes, 
sickles, horse-shoes, nails, window-bars, and masons' tools. 
When the Philistines oppressed Israel, iron was made an 
object of special prohibition (1 Sam. xiii. 19), much in the 
same way as the Bible has been during the conflict for 
religious liberty. 

(2) Copper. — Ordinary copper is chiefly used for cooking 
utensils, and for the large vessels of the wine-press, olive- 
press, and also for the j>reparation8 of the dyer. They are 



TRADES AND PROFESSIONS 



69 



hammeredl into siiape out of flat circular plates of the 
metal. To prevent copper-poisoning these pots are heated 
over the smithes charcoal fire, and receive a lining of tin, 
which melts on the hot metal, and is spread by a cloth and 
sal ammoniac. Tin in the European form does not belong 
to the East ; it is only used for coating copper vessels, and 
in alloy with copper to make brass, which is called by the 




BRACELET AND NECKLACE. 



Arabs yellow copper. This is used for more ornamental 
articles such as trays, ewers, lamps, and vases. 

(3) Gold and silver. — Silver is of course much more 
extensively used than gold. It is largely obtained from 
the head-dress coins and old ornaments of the Bedawin 
and peasant women. Refining is done by means of alkalis, 
and dross and alloy are removed as described in Is. i. 25 ; 
Jer. vi. 29 ; Zech. xiii. 9 ; Mai. iii. 3. 

The commonest forms of ornament are the following : 
(a) Ear-rings (Gen. xxxv. 4; Ex. xxxii. 2' Ezek. xvi. 12). 



70 BIBLK EANNfc:RS AND CUS'iX)M8 

These are m the form of bails, long pendants, crertcenta, 
and dist^a. The large crescents have a loop that passes 
over the ear, where it is generally tied to a lock of hair. 
(6) Necklaces (Is. iii. 19). These "chains^ axe composed 
of balls, squares, or hollow cylinders of filigree, or are 
made of massive twist or intricately woven chain-work. 
The chain on the neck was often a symbol of office 
(Gen. xli. 42). Neck-bands with crescents attached are 
still worn on camels (Judges viii. 26). (c) Finger-riny^ 
(1 Kings xxi. 8). These are often referred to in the 
Bible. They are not only for ornament with inserted 
jewels, but also used as signets. These seal-rings are often 
worn suspended by a cord round the neck, (d) Bracelets 
(Gen. xxiv. 22; Is. iii. 19). These have the same varieties 
of pattern as the necklaces, thin bangles of gold, silver, 
brass, and coloured glass being very common, (e) Armlets 
(2 Sam. i. 10). These are of solid twist, or flat bands, 
with engraved pattern, and sometimes jewelled, clasping 
the arm by the elasticity of the metal, and leaving an 
opening of half an inch or more. They are chiefly worn 
by tho Bedawin, as they still wear the primitive sleeves 
with long points, which are tied behind the neck when the 
arm is bared for active exercise. Any ornament upon the 
arm is thus displayed. (/) Anklets (Is. iii. 18) are open 
rings of plain twist, or with bells and discs attached, now 
chiefly worn by Bedawin women, {g) Nose-rings (Is. iii. 21; 
Ezek. xxiii. 25) are confined to the same class, being thin 
plain rings attached to the centre or wing of the nose. 
In the Bible the context does not always determine whether 
the ring mentioned was for the ear or nose, and in such 
cases the R.V. gives simply " ring." It seems to have 
been the most primitive of all, and may have first passed 
into ornamental use as a symbol of religious dedication 
and a token of guardianship. (A) Amulets (Is. iii. 20, R.V.) 
To the Oriental mind all the above-mentioned ornaments 



TRADES AND PROFESSIONS 



71 



have more or less an amulet value, protecting especially 
against the evil eye. Some are made solely for this 
purpose in the shape of silver discs and caskets, but as 
they are also made of other things they will be referred to 
in connection with the religious life, (i) The work of the 
goldsmith and silversmith is also required for such church 
furniture as candlesticks, lamps, censers, and the vessels 
of Holy Communion. 




A TRAY OF BREAD. 



5. Bakers. — Among the peasantry and Bedawin, the 
baking of bread is one of the chief household duties, but 
in the towns and principal villages the larger oven of the 
regular baker is required. The superiority of this bread 
is implied in the Arabic proverb, which teaches that the 
best is the cheapest in the end — " Send your bread to the 
oven of the baker though he should eat the half of it." 

The modern Oriental baker does not as a rule prepare 
the dough, but confines himself to the firing of what is 
sent to him for that purpose. One of the common sights 



72 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

in an Oriental town is that of the baker's boy carrying 
on his head a tray of new bread for one house, and on his 
side a similar tray for another house. The batch is 
prepared in the house and sent to the baker in the form 
of round balls of dough, which he kneads into flat cakes 
for the oven. Jewish women have a custom of taking out 
a small handful of the dough and rubbing it with earth, 
or wrapping it in a rag and then laying it beside the 
dough on the tray so that the baker may throw it into 
the fire at the side of the oven. It is evidently a relic of 
sacrificial custom (Lev. vi. 5), and meant to be a token of 
gratitude to God, but popular superstition gives it another 
name which in Arabic means " Satan's portion." It is to 
keep off the evil eye. 

The oven. — The Oriental oven is a long, low, stone- 
built vault, like half a railway -engine's boiler, with a 
stone pavement down the middle, and a long narrow 
strip at each side for the firewood. In the evening the 
ashes are raked out and the children of the poor often 
bring a piece of tin, or broken water -jar, on which to 
carry home some of the glowing embers for the cooking of 
the evening meal (Is. xxx. 14). In the night the brush- 
wood and logs are laid in position for the baking of the 
next morning, the door of the oven being closely shut to 
keep in the heat and prevent the rapid consumption of 
the fuel The reference to this in Hosea viL 4, 6 rather 
implies that the bakers attended to the preparation of the 
dough as well as the baking of the loaves. Ancient 
Jerusalem had its Baker's Street (Jer. xxxvii. 21). 
Besides the ordinary bread, many kinds of cakes, sweet- 
meats, and seasoned dishes are baked in these public ovens, 
especially during the days before and after religious fasts. 

6. Apothecaries. — This word is translated " per- 
fumers " in the Revised Version. The original wor4 
includes both meanings, referring to the m«'diHna] value 



TRADES AND PROFESSIONS U 

of certain herbs and the essential oils obtained from their 
flowers and seeds, as well as to their application to 
(.♦osmetics and the flavouring of food. All large Oriental 
towns such aa Alexandria and Beyrout have their Per- 
fumer's Street. Their stock includes anything fragrant 
in the form of loose powder, compressed cake, or essences 
in spirit, oil, or fat, as well as seeds, leaves, and barL 

Such perfumes are mentioned in connection with the 
holy oil and incense of the tabernacle (Ex. xxx. 6, 35), 
the rich ritual of Baal-worship (Is. Ivii. 9), and the em- 
balming of the dead and the rites of burial (Gen. L 2 ; 
2 Ch. xvi. 14 ; Luke xxiii. 56). The smell of incense is 
perceived on entering an Oriental church, and the smok- 
ing censer always accoiii{)anies the funeral procession. 
Orientals are very fond of scents and flavours, some of 
those they like best, however, being considered heavy 
and opi)ressive by Europeans. When the orange- trees, 
violets, and roses are in blossom, the women make scented 
waters which they keep in large, closely-sealed bottles for 
use in summer as cooling syrup-drinks. These are pre- 
sented to guests in tumblers on brass and silver trays. 
The king's female " confectionaries " (1 Sam. viii. 13) 
would be occupied with the preparation and mixing of 
such flavouring essences. One of the picturesque figures 
in the streets of an Oriental town in summer, is that of 
the man who walks up and down with his large leather 
or glass bottle, selling iced water flavoured with violet 
essence, rose-water, liquorice, or mastic. He calls out to 
the idle and the active, among the merchants sitting at 
their shop doors and the carpenters and blacksmiths busy 
dt their trades, temptingly clapping his brass saucers and 
cups, and crying " Ho, thou thirsty one I For nothing, 
for nothing ! " The refreshing efiect of a cool tumblerful 
for a farthing makes it seem as if his advertisement waa 
inmost true. It is always suggestive of Is. Iv. I. 



74 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

The enjoyment of perfume is referred to in Prov. xxvit 
9 ; Song of Sol. i. 3. It is especially connected with 
festivities and crowded gatherings. In the Jewish 
synagogue, on a warm summer morning, the servant of 
the congregation sprinkles a little rose-water among the 
worshippers. 

The passage of a carriage occupied by musk-scented 
Oriental ladies makes a distinct lingering train in the air, 
like the Gulf Stream in the ocean. Thus Solomon's palan- 
quin with its dust-blown escort filled the air of the wilder- 
ness with its rich fragrance (Song of Sol. iii. 6). Certain 
scents were and still are very costly. Such in its con- 
centrated and purest form is otto of roses, the name being 
a corruption of the Arabic 'afar— essence, perfume. These 
perfumes were kept in beautiful vases of translucent 
alabaster, and the term was applied to any precious vases 
of similar form although made of metal and other materials. 
When it is said that the vase was broken (Mark xiv. 3), 
the reference is to the breaking open of the seal at the top 
of it. Such scent vases are found in the ancient tombs 
with something of the scent still clinging to them. The 
knowledge of the healing virtues of certain herbs was the 
great contribution of Jewish and Saracen doctors to 
European medicine. 

It is when we understand the higher value set upon 
these perfumes and essences by Orientals that we realise 
how much is meant by the words of the Preacher, "A 
good name is better than precious ointment " (Eccl. 
vii. 1). 

7. Fishermen. — The Bible speaks of the fish of the 
Nile (Is. xix. 8), and of the sea (Neh. xiii. 16 ; Hos. iv. 3; 
Zeph. i. 3), but the most frequent allusions to the art of 
fishing are in connection with the Sea of Galilee. These 
of course are fresh -water fish. The Lake contains vast 
quantities of them, and the danger of the breaking net 



TRADES AND PRQl^iilSSIONS 71 

and sinking boet Lb still at times encountered (Luke v. 6). 
There are three principal ways of fishing. 

(1) The casting-net. — When using this, the fisherman 
8tand8 on the bank or wades breast-deep into the water, and 
skilfully throws the net which he had arranged on his 
arm into the water in front of him. It falls in the shape 
of a ring, and as the lead weights around the fringe drag 
it down, the net takes the shape of a dome or cone in 
sinking, and finally falls upon the fishes it encloses. The 
fisherman then dives down and draws the leads securely 
together, and carries net and fish to the bank. Favourite 
spots are the warm springs above Magdala, where the fish 
congregate in vast swarms, and the fisherman frequently 
flings in some bait to bring them to one spot, and near 
enough to the shore for his purpose. 

(2) The drag net is of the same open form as is used 
in herring and salmon fishing, with floats along the top 
and leads along the bottom of the net. It is worked from 
boats by forming a loop, and thus enclosing the fish. 

(3) Hooks. — Fishing by the hook or angle is referred 
to in Is. xix. 8; Am. iv. 2; Hab. i. 15; Matt. xvii. 27. 
On calm summer nights on the Mediterranean coast fish 
are speared (Job xli. 7) by a trident, being attracted to 
the surface by a moving torch held over the stern of the 
boat. 

The application of the fisher's art to the service of the 
Gospel (Matt iv. 19) inculcates patience, self-effacement, 
and the use of appliances in perfect order. 

8. Fowlers and Hunters.— The chase has always been 
a favourite pastime wherever a high value has been set on 
skill, courage, and endurance. 

The sculptures of Assyria and the paintings of Egypt 
portray hunting scenes in which large game is attacked 
with spears, panthers, and dogs, and smaller game on land 
and water is caught with snares. The sarcophagi recently 



76 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

discover^H at Sidon contain beautiful panels in marble r© 
presenting hunting scenes. Hunting is frequently referred 
to in the Psalms and Prophets, and three principal methods 
are mentioned. These are (1) shooting vrith tfie bow and 
arrows (Ex. xxvii. 3), now superseded by the fowling- 
piece ; (2) snaring by the spring net (Am. iiL 5) and cage 
'' (Jer. V. 27), especially for birds, such as quail, partridge, 
and duck ; (3) pits covered with a net and brush-wood 
for deer, foxes, wolves, bears, etc. (Ps. xxxv. 7 ; Is. xxiv. 
Id, xlii. 22). 

Sparrows, linnets, and other small birds are caught by 
bird-lime set on trees beside a decoy cage. Some are 
kept as song-birds, but most of them are hung like trout 
on twigs, a dozen or so in each bunch, and sold for food 
as cheaply as when Christ taught from their lives the 
lesson of our heavenly Father's care (Matt. x. 29). 

The partridge is not only ever watchful and ready to 
take flight, but when suddenly come u[>on it has wonderful 
confidence in the protective value of its spots. A brood 
or covey of them will lie motionless, almost at the hunter's 
feet, without being discovered. David was acquainted 
with these ways and resources of the bird when he 
compared the trouble Saul was giving himself to the 
hunting of the partridge (1 Sam. xxvL 20). 

Serpent charmers are seen from time to time, who 
entice the snakes from their hiding-places, and make a 
livelihood by exhibiting them twisting harmlessly around 
their persons. Usually after a time the man with the 
snake-bag is missed from his usual rounds, and on inquiry 
one is told that he died of snake-bita The Bible refers 
to the serpent that refuses to be charmed, and makes it an 
emblem of the deadened conscience (Ps. IviiL 3, 4, 5) and 
of implacable hatred (Jer. viii. 17). 

The moral suggestiveness of the fowler's art turns od 
the power that evil acquires when concealed behind %ja 



TRADES AND PROFESSIONS 



Tk 



apparent good, the revelry of recovered freedom, the 
unexpectedness of calamity, and the vengeance of the 
moral law when a man lays a snare for himself (Ps. 
cxxiv. 7 ; Eccl. ix. 12 ; Judges viii. 27 ; Pr. xxvi. 27). 

9. Day-labourers. — Every Oriental town has a well- 
known place where men congregate at dawn and wait to 
be engaged in manual labour for the day. Such labour 




LABOURERS WAITING AT DAYBREAK. 



mcludes gardening, ditching, repairing walls, white- 
washing, and porterage. 

The labourer stands either without any tools, or with 
the trowel, spade, hoe, or rope that he is accustomed to 
use. The common time of engagement is shortly after 
sunrise ; the unengaged hang about for a few hours and 
then generally go elsewhere in search of small jobs. Such 
day-labourers are usually too lazy, irregular, or inefficient 
to follow a regular trade. They expect to have an over- 



78 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

seer over them to keep them from loitering, and when 
the time of payment comes, some incident in the day's 
proceedings is frequently discovered on which to found a 
claim for more than the sum agreed upon. The altercation 
of Matt. XX. 12, from a variety of causes, is often repeated. 
These day-labourers live from hand to mouth, and each 
day's hire is needed at sunset to purchase the family 
supper, which is always the chief meal of the day (Deut. 
xxiv. 14, 15V 




POTTER S WHEEL. 

10. Pottery,-— (1) Its usefulness. In the East the 
expensiveness of copper vessels, the unsuitableness of 
leather bottles for many of the requirements of town and 
village life, and the fragility of earthenware, create a large 
and constant demand for the potter. Earthenware jars 
are also preferred for holding drinking-water, as the 
evaporation from the porous substance helps to keep the 
water cool. In the warm East it is a point of courtesy to 
give " a cup of cold water " (Matt. x. 42i 



TRADES AND PROFESSIONS 



79 



(2) The wheel — The clay is trodden by the feet until 
it is reduced to a suitable and uniform consistency. A 
quantity of it is then lifted and laid on the table beside 
the potter. He keeps beside him a dish of water into 
which at any moment he can dip his fingers. The 
instrument consists of an upright, revolving wooden rod 
to which two horizontal wooden discs are firmly attached, 




Ctl^S$.,r:^t:.' J Z^iirfTplf^ ^^ 



ORIENTAL POTTERY. 



SO that whatever turns one turns the other also. Henoe 
the prophet speaks of the wheels of a certain potter (Jer, 
xviii. 3). The lower and larger one is driven by a spurn of 
the heel, the upper by a push of the hand. The potter 
has a considerable variety to choose amongst, even in the 
shapes and sizes of the common water pitchers, apart from 
such articles as cooking-pots and jars for olives, cooking- 
butter, grape-syrup, etc. When during the process of 
moulding the lump seems to be insufficient or too much 



80 BIBLE MANNKKS AND CUSTOMS 

for one form, he can convert it into a somewhat different 
form. To break off or add a fresh lump of clay would 
involve a fresh commencement The potter can do what 
he likes with the clay, but not with himself ; he must 
make the best possible use of each lump. His liberty is 
directed by wisdom. The form, ornamentation, and to a 
large extent the colour of the pottery, as drab, red, or 
black, are determined at the moist stage. The baking 
makes these unchangeable. 

(3) The baking. — After being lifted from the wheel the 
vessel is set on a shelf along with rows of others, where 
they are all ex})Osed to the wind from every direction, but 
sheltered from the sun until they are considerably dried 
and hardened. They are then arranged in the brick-kiln, 
a shallow well of brickwork or stone about four feet deep 
and eight or ten feet in diameter, with a small oven of 
brick at the base. The i)ottery is piled up over thi.« 
until the wall rises like a cone to the height of some twelve 
feet. It is thickly covered with brushwood to keep in the 
heat and prevent sudden chilling from outside. The fire 
is kept burning below until the pottery is suflicienti}^ 
hardened. A few of the jars come out bent at the neck, 
with a dint in the middle, or a general lean to one side, 
arid the ground around a potter's kiln is always thickly 
strew^n with the broken pieces of the vessels that, in spite 
of his skill and care, have proved unable to stand the test 
of fire. The expression " make strong the brick-kiln " 
(Nah. iii. 14), refers to the reconstruction of the circular 
wall and the dome when the kiln is to be filled with 
bricks to be fired. 

Besides the uses referred to, clay was the writing- 
material of Assyria and Babylon. Job refers to the 
impression produced upon it by the seal or mould, and 
compares the clay tablet under its relief - design to 
embroidered cloth (Job xxxviii. 14). 



TRADES AND PROFESSIONS 81 

Clay bricks dried in the sun or by fire were extensively 
used for underground stone houses, cisterns, fortresses, 
and dwelling-houses. The successive demolitions of 
Lachish (Tel-el-Hesy), recently explored by the Palestine 
Exploration Fund, lie like the layers of a Scotch pebble. 
At the present day in Syria, wherever building-stone is 
scarce, houses are built of sun-dried brick except on the 
side or gables facing the western rainy quarter. Hence 
the reference to the thief as digging through the walls of 
houses (Job xxiv. 16). 

(4) The iScripture ilitustratioTis drawn from jx)ttery 
emphasise three important resemblances between it and 
the spiritual life. (a) The subjection of the clay to tht 
potter {i^. xxix. 16, xlv. 19, Ixiv. 8; Jer. xviii. 4-11; Rom. ix. 
21). This teaches the possibilities of faith and the 
iniquity of rebellion against the will of God. An Arabic 
proverb says, ** The potter can put the ear where he likes." 
(6) Its cheapness and insignificance. — Hand pitchers cost 
one halfpenny, and large ones for carrying water from 
the fountain about twopence. Such is the humiliation 
of Zion described in Lam. iv. 2. Fervent words from a 
wicked heart are compared to silver dross over an earthen 
vessel (Prov. xxvi. 23). The earthen vessel can hold what 
is valuable without having any value of its own. Such is 
the condition of Christian grace and the Christian service 
(2 Cor. iv. 7). (c) Fragility, — It is very easily broken 
and cannot be mended. Sometimes a small hole in a jar 
can be stopped up with mud, rag, or dough, but usually 
the knock or fall that breaks one part breaks it altogether 
and instantaneously (Ps. ii. 9, xxxi. 12; Is. xxx. 14; Jer. 
xix. 11 ; Rev. ii. 27). This frailty is alluded to in a 
familiar Arabic proverb which teaches patience amid 
provocations : ** if there were no breakages, there would 
be no potteries." David speaks of his strength as '* dried 
up like a potsherd " (Ps. xxii. 15). These fragments Lie 



/ 



82 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

about everywhere, exposed to all kinds of weather, and 
are practically indestructible. Archaeologists tell us that 
they often render very important service. The sorrows 
of God's people have been as helpful as their songs. 

11. Hewers of wood and Drawers of water (Deut. 
xxix. 11 ; Joshua ix. 21). — These are still among the 
humblest occupations in the land. Timber is scarce all 
over western Palestine, especially in Judaea. Charcoal 
burners go up to the mountains where oak and pine trees 
may still be met with, but the hewer of wood is generally 
content to glean among trees and tree-roots left in less 
remote localities. It is one of the common sights in 
Jerusalem to see the small load of twigs and roots, chiefly 
of old olive-trees, being brought in for sale on a man's 
back or that of his donkey. It involves so much toil and 
time, and is so poorly paid, that only the poorest and 
those unskilled in labour attempt to gain a living in this 
way. Similarly the drawer of water, who brings water 
from the fountain and carries it to the houses, often has a 
long way to go, auv a long time to wait before his turn 
comes round to fill his jars or skins. It is generally a 
feeble old man who now does it, and the water is carried 
on the back of a donkey too old and infirm to keep pace 
with the other baggage - animals. Jeremiah mentions 
among the sorrows of Israel in its days of humiliation, 
that the young men were made to do donkey's and mule's 
work in turning mill- wheels, and the children were set to 
carry wood, and often stumbled under loads that were too 
heavy for them (Lam. v. 13). 

1 2. Tax - gatherers. — The publicans of the Roman 
Empire are represented by a numerous and flourishing 
class in the modern East. The farming out of import and 
export duties, excise on tobacco, salt, etc., and of the 
Gk>vernment tithe on produce, is universally practised. A 
oommercial company guarantees to the Government a fixed 



TUAD£S AND PROFESSIONS 9M 

sona for a certain tax or monopoly, and then directly or 
by further sub -letting proceeds to fix such a scaJe of 
charges as will ensure a profit by the transaction. It 
leads to much oj)pression and injustice, and fosters a 
feeling of hostility towards anything connected with 
the Government. Through long continuance it has ceased 
to be regarded as a social wrong. The public conscience 
accepts it as a necessity ; and in a Turkish custom - 
house men may be met with of the type of Zacchaius, 
with honest instincts and even spiritual desires (Luke xix. 
23). 

13. Money - changers. — The work of the money- 
changers is twofold, namely, to change money from 
one kind of currency to another, and to give change in 
the same currency. He charges about twopence for 
changing a pound, and the change received has always to 
be carefully scrutinised, both as to quantity and quality. 
At times they systematically keep a small, useful coin out 
of circulation, until its scarcity increases its value by a 
farthing or more, and then let it return to the shops. 
These small profits to them are a great inconvenience to 
the public. 

The money-changer sits all day at the street corner 
with his little box in front of him, occasionally clinking 
his coins to advertise his presence. The variety of coinage 
in Syria and Palestine is exceedingly perplexing to those 
recently arrived in the country. In a church collection 
there may be found, besides ordinary Turkish coins, francs 
and half-francs of Austria, France, and Italy, with copper 
and silver coins from England and India. 

In ancient Jerusalem the presence of worshippers from 
the different lands of their commercial residence and 
political dispersion must have brought many different 
coins into circulation (Acts iL 9, 10, 11). In the time 
of Christ, a custom begun for the convenience of strangen* 



84 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

and the general public had become a mercenary scdDdal 
in the temple, and the money-changers were expelled 
with the others who had converted the house of prayer 
into a noisy Oriental bazaar (Matt. xxi. 12). 

14. Bankers. — Small sums of money are frequently 
lent and borrowed among Orientals on the strength of 
friendship and kinship. Very often they remain unpaid, 
and this light treatment of a promise within a privileged 
circle of relationship is easily extended to ordinary busincsa 
engagements. When money is advanced, or goods are 
forwarded to a merchant on the guarantee of a mutual 
friend, if some plausible excuse can be found for non-fulfil- 
ment of contract, the mere breaking of one's word is n^X 
regarded as disgraceful The unforeseen obstacle is in- 
terpreted as something sent from above, and to be 
accepted with pious submission 1 The party imposed 
upon has no tribunal of business honour or public opinion 
to appeal to by which the defaulter might be put to shame 
and inconvenience, and prosecution would likely lead to a 
competition in legal bribery. The loser feels that his 
business capacity has been discredited by the transaction, 
and expatiates to sympathetic friends on the cleverness with 
which he has been duped (Luke xvi. 8). Notwithstanding 
such drawbacks, which are due to general want of veracity 
and of moral tone, rather than to a purpose of deliberate 
villainy, the practice of lending out money at interest La 
widespread and popular. Servant -girls loan out their 
earnings in petty usury. Syrian cabmen were among the 
sufferers by the recent depreciation of South African mine- 
shares. Many of the wealthy Syrian Christians made 
their money by mortgaging the lands of the Egyptian 
peasantry under the regime of the old Khedives, and 
bitterly lament the interference caused by the British 
occupation of that country. Among the Moslems the 
taking of interest is prohibited by the Koran as unbrotherly 



TRADES AND PROFESSIONS 86 

and inhuman, but ways of evasion are easily found. The 
common charge is about one per cent per month, but this 
is often exceeded. The Jewish money-lender who wins 
an ugly notoriety in Christian lands of the West is only 
walking in the steps of OrientaJ tradition. When an 
Oriental Christian shows signs of independent thought 
and a spirit of religious inquiry, it is a common device 
of the monks to find some way of lending him money, 
after the manner of a friendly Shy lock, and when he is 
unable to repay it, to screw him into dutiful submission to 
the Church. For the past two hundred years Armenians 
have been the leading money-changers, bankers, and tax 
gatherers of the East, and the hatred thus accumulated by 
a few was one of the chief incentives to the persecution 
that recently destroyed so many of their innocent and 
helpless countrymen. Usury and deceit are among the 
chief causes that make Oriental Christianity weak and 
contemptible in the presence of Islam. 

Such are some of the colours that have to be put on 
the palette when the i-ich man of Scripture sit* for his 
portrait. 

15. Merchants. — The Bible references to merchandise 
are chiefly to the trading caravans of the overland route 
passing east and west, north and south, through the 
Promised Land. Their halting-stations at such places as 
Palmyra and Jerash are marked by broken pillars, amphi- 
theatres, and general desolation, for their merchandise is 
now with the trade-carrying nation that rules the sea. 
They are now poorly represented by the travelling pedlar 
with the box or bundle of wares on his back : their profits 
and practices are found in the bazaar-shops of the Oriental 
towns and villages. 

(1) Shops. — A collection of small shops in a square or 
in rows of streets is called the Bazaar. The goods of the 
travelling merchant used to be stored in a khan, or large 



S6 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

building, composed of a number of rtoms built round an 
oj>en square, and in charge of a keeper Here the com- 
modities were exposed for sale during the day and guarded 
during the night. The open city square or row of shops 
under the protection of city police is an expansion of this. 
The shop is a small room without windows, whoso whole 
front opens on the street. There the shopkeeper sits, and 
passers-by see all that is exposed for sale. 

(2) Weights. — When the goods are sold by the [>iece 
or by length a standard measure properly marked is used, 
but when by weight the customer is very much at the 
mercy of the merchant The weights are very often mere 
lunq)s of black stone, broken chain-links, or irregular small 
blocks of iron. Probably the merchant in ancient times 
had the same facilities for cheating (Prov xi. I, xvi. 11^ 
XX. 10). 

(3) The price, — This in common Oriental usage is 
determined partly by the value of the article and partly 
by the appearance of the customer. A few shops invite 
Europeans by a placard of ** fixed price," but on nearer 
approach this usually fades into an a.*<piration. A fair 
price is described as one that is *' good for the wolf and 
good for the sheep." 

Several other trades, handicraft*, and manufactures 
remain to be referred to briefly, or noticed afterwards in 
other connections : Soap, in which mineral or vegetable 
alkali and olive oil are used in the composition, is made in 
several i)laces, that of Tripoli and ffaifa being especially 
esteemed. T/te tanning of hides for leather bottles, harness, 
and shoes, and for export in the raw condition, is an 
industry at most large towns, and extensively at Jaffa 
(Joppa) and Hebron, at which latter place glass vessels and 
ornaments are also manufactured. The butcher among the 
Jews is a kind of ecclesiastic, who exercises official censor 
»hip at the slaughter-house, eitract« th«i prohibited sinew 



THAD»C8 AND PROFESSIONS 87 

(Gten. xxiiL 32), and kills fowb* id the proper way with 
the proper knife, especially the saonticial white fowls for 
the Day of Atonement. Some of these customs seem to 
us rather odd and antiquated, but they served a sanitary 
purpose in the past, and it is still especially safe to 
purchase meat in the shop of an Oriental Jewish butcher. 
Millars will be spoken of m connection with the domestic 
hand-mill, the door-keeper with the house, the jorerunner 
with travel, the ietUr-wrxter and teacher with education 
and law ana mcdv:%%€ alon|{ with property and religion. 



CHAPTER f 

HOMESTIO LITE AXD FAMILY RELATIONSHIP* 

The owner of a house knows what is in it. 

The garment of peace never fades. 

Birth is the messenger of death. — Syrian Proverbs, 

Having seen the shepherd with his sheep, the farmer in 
kis fields, and the tradesmen at their different labours, we 
shall now notice the family life for the sake of which those 
occupations exist. 

We shall first inspect the house and its arrangements, 
the prei)aration of food and the table customs, the di tie rent 
articles and styles of dress, and so pass to the chief 
relationships and incidents of family life. We shall then 
be prepared in a concluding chapter to observe how the 
conditions and customs we have been studying are repeated 
and expanded in public afiairs, giving its peculiar character 
to the social, political, and religious life of the East. 

1. The House. — As in other lands, the house is a 
place of privacy and protection against cold, but in the 
East it is very specially a place of shelter from the heat. 
There are traces here and there of the caves in which pre- 
historic man dwelt, and shepherds take their sheep to 
similar caves ; they were the retreats of fugitives in times 
of oppression in Israel, and at the present day the deserted 
8tr>ne dens of Bashan and the rock-cut cells of Christian 
in<»r»k** show this primitive cave- type of an hitectura 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIFS 89 

(1) The tent. — This is the simplest form of dwelling in 
general use, and is characteristic of the Bedawin class or 
wandering shepherds. It is a low covering of black goat's 
hair, with its open front kept up by two poles. This 
opening may be regarded as the original of all doors, and 
reached its largest and most beautiful form in the gates of 
the cities, and of the temple at Jerusalem. The tent is 
held in position by ropes of the same material titd 




SHEPHERD S TENT. 

to rough oak pegs driven into the ground by a mallet 
(Judges iv. 21, V. 26). A curtain hangs down in the 
middle, separating the women's apartment from the public 
room. While thus screened from view the women can 
easily hear w^hat is being said in the public room or at the 
door of the tent (Gen. xviiL 10), and can look out through 
the cane-lattice. 

The tent remained in use after Lsrael had largely 
settled down to agriculture . If was the emblem of a simple, 
unfettered life, and when any national measure was to be 
rejected, the cry was raised, " To your tents, O Israel " 



W BIBLK MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

(2 Sara. XX. 1 ; 1 Kings xii 16). The dignity of ancestral 
associations gave the tent a place above the stone-built 
house in the language of poetry and prophecy (Ps. Ixxxiv. 
I-IO ; Song of Songs i. 5 ; Jer. iv. 20). At the present day 
those who are brought up in the tent are very reluctant to 
leave it. It is socially a degradation in their eyes, and 
personally a sacrifice of preference. A few years ago the 
young wife of a Redawi sheikh in Damascus died of 
longing for the life she had left behind her. Her husband 
had been previously married to an English lady of aristo- 
cratic family, who used to live part of the year with him 
in the desert, and the rest of the year he lived with hex 
in Damascus, where she had adorned the house with 
many articles of taste and beauty, and laid out the garden 
with a choice variety of plants and flowering shrubs. 
When she died the sheikh married a young princess of his 
own people and took her to his city house. In a very 
short time she began to lose health and spirits, and though 
her husband bought for her beautiful dresses and jewellery, 
and Oriental ladies visited her and invited her to their 
houses, she drooped and died. Her heart was with the 
gatherings around the well, the camels and kids about the 
tent, and all the simple free life of the wilderness. 

In Jer. xxxv. 2-7 the obedience of the Rechabites to 
a family vow is contrasted with the unfaithfulness of 
Israel in departing from the commandments of God. 

(2) Houses of the village and torvn. — The ordinary 
house of the peasant often consists of one room. The 
Arabic word for a house also means a room, and doubtless 
it was so among the ancient Hebrews. In the middle of 
the room a wooden or stone pillar supports the large cross 
beam of the flat roof, and on this pillar there is usually a 
small shelf for the oil lamp, which thus gives light to all 
in the room or house (Matt. v. 15). 

If the house is to contain two rooms they are not built 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS 91 

side by side, but with the breadth of a room left between 
them. Between the ends a wall is built connecting the 
two rooms, and the house has thus its open court. 

If the house is to have three rooms, a room takes the 
place of the wall at the end of the court. If more than 
three rooms are needed, additions are made to those at the 
side, thus increasing the length of the court. For a large 
family of the wealthy class, where the grand-parents have 




ORIENTAL HOUSE. 



several married sons staying with them, there may be 
several courts leading into one another with rooms around 
each, set apart for the several households. The rooms do 
not usually communicate with each other, but have their 
doors opening into the court. As a protection against 
sun and rain a roofed colonnade often runs round the 
area, or a verandah projects from the wall. In a small 
house of one or two rooms an awning of leaves and brush- 
wood or of old boarding casts its shade over the door, or 
partly covers the court to protect the entrance to the 



92 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

room at the end of it. This must have been the part of 
the roof removed when the sick of the palsy was lowered 
and laid at the feet of Christ (Mark ii. 4). 

(3) The roof. — This is composed of one or more large 
logs laid across, with small pieces resting upon them. 
The whole is covered with a layer of broom, heath, and 
reeds, and upon this earth is spread to a thickness of several 
inches. When this has been trodden, rolled, and pressed 
down, the surface of the flat roof is finally made water- 
proof with a coating of lime or cement, with openings in 
the low parapet wall by whic^h the rain may flow off. 

(4) This battlement-wall (Deut. xxii. 8) is not so care- 
fully attended to as it used to be, and the want of this 
precaution is a frequent cause of accident. Corner pieces 
are built about six feet high, and clothes-lines are stretched 
between them. In Moslem houses the spaces between these 
corner pillars are often filled in with boards or perforated 
brick-work, so that the roof may be resorted to by the 
family without their being seen by their neighbours. 

It is regarded as unneighbourly for men to walk about 
on the roof, as they might look down into the open courts 
of other houses. Among the peasantry one of the chief 
uses of the roof is for the drying of grain, summer fruits, 
and fuel for winter use (Josh. ii. 6). 

Village proclamations are made from the roof, and at 
marriages it is often a place of assemblage, where the 
guests sing songs and keep up a rhythmic stamping and 
clapping of hands (Judges xvi. 27). 

(5) The upper room (2 Kings ii. 1, xxiii. 12 ; Mark 
xiv. 15; Acts i. 13, ix. 37, xx. 8). — This is a familiar 
feature of Oriental houses. It is an adaptation to the 
climate. In summer, booths or arbours of leaves and 
branches are put up as sleeping-places for greater coolnesa 
at night. The upper room is the same in a permanent 
form Where several rooms were thus built on the roof 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS »3 

it became what the Bible calls the summer hottse as con- 
trasted with the winter house downstairs (Judges iii. 20; 
Jer. xxxvi. 22 ; Amos iii. 15). A similar change is effected 
in large houses by occupying the eastern side in winter 
and the western in summer. The roof is reached by a 
rough wooden ladder, or flight of stone steps, passing up 
the outside wall of the house, or along one of the walls of 
the court. The upper room, as a place of quiet retreat 
and refreshing coolness, is usually better built and furnished 
than the ordinary rooms, and a guest spending the night, 
as distinguished from a mere visitor, is accommodated there. 
The room on the wall built for the man of God (2 Kings 
iv. 10) was meant to be a place of retirement in keeping 
with his sacred oflfice and habits of prayer. 

(6) 7^he giiest-room, — Orientals do not usually set apart 
a room for a guest, as this would be considered discourtesy 
almost amounting to dismissal. Orientals dislike being 
left alone, and at night prefer to have a small light in the 
room. As they sleep with their clothes on there is not 
the same need for privacy, and if the bed for a guest be 
spread in the upper room, some of the sons of the family 
usually have theirs spread beside his for the sake of 
companionship. An Oriental feels himself deserted when 
made at home in a European family, and conversely, a 
European finds himself oppressed by the constant presence 
and attentions of his Oriental host. 

The ordinary guest-room for the reception of casual 
visitors in small houses is the room at the end of the 
court It is usually more open than the other family 
rooms of the house. It corresponds to the raised divan 
at the end of the one-roomed house as the place of honour 
to which guests are conducted. In larger houses a 
specially large and well-furnished room is assigned for this 
purpose conveniently near the door, so that visitors may 
not be kept waiting, and that the family may be disturbed 



d4 BIbLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

a« little as possible. As refreshment is usually offered to 
guests, the guest-room is also the hanquetiny-kaU, 

(7) The floor. — Wooden floors are rarely seen. In 
villages the usual floor is of mud pressed down by wooden 
stamps, and rubbed smooth by a large flat pebble ; a more 
cleanly and durable form is that of cement composed of 
lime and small pebbles stamped down in the same way ; th^ 
best floor is of square slabs of limestone. In good town 
houses the public rooms are paved with wliite marble 
relieved by bands of black slate, or designs in marble 
of difl'erent colours. Large open courts are often paved 
in this way, with an ornamental marble fountain in the 
centre, and spaces are left in the i^avement for orange, 
lemon, and other fragrant evergreen trees and shrubs. 

(8) Furnishing and omaiaent. — The walU are usually 
of plaster coated with a wash of lime, but in the houses 
of the rich, especially in Damascus, the walls of the more 
public rooms are adorned with beautiful mosaic of woo<l, 
marble, mother-of-pearl, crystal, and ivory. The decoration 
is usually in the form of intricate geometrical dcsigUvS, but 
flowers and animals are occasionally introduced. Swords, 
daggers, and guns often adorn the walls. There is no 
attempt at wall-paper, or desire for the small busy patterns 
stamped upon them. The warm climate, with its relaxing 
influence, creates a demand for the restful ness of blank 
spaces. In the richly adorned reception-rooms there it* 
little to suggest the harmonious surroundings of a cul- 
tivated mind. The impression is not of something needed 
and naturally enjoyed by the owner in his beautiful 
home, but of something that a rich man wants to announce 
to his visitors. Beautiful carpets of wool, camel-hair, and 
silk lie on the marble floor ; a divan runs round three 
sides of the room, the cushions having coverings of cotton, 
wool, silk, and gold thread from the native looms. These, 
with a larn:e mirror at one end of the room, a glass 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS 96 

candelabrum suspended from the roof, and a marble 
fountain sometimes placed below it, with a few small 
inlaid tables here and there, are the usual ornaments of 
the Eastern drawing-room. 

(9) Doors. — The door is a place of peculiar sanctity 
and importance. The difference between the outside and 
inside is that of two different worlds. In large houses 
the door-keeper sits at the entrance to answer incjuiries 
and conduct visitors within, and at night he sleeps in a 
small room within the entrance at the side of the door, 
keeping guard over the premises. He corresponds to the 
watchman of the city-gate and the vineyards. He la 
charged with the protection of the family without being 
included in its membership, and after conducting guests 
to the door retires to his post of duty. This menial and 
external position of the door-keeper is alluded to in Ps. 
Ixxxiv. 10. 

In smaller houses that have no door-keeper, a servant 
or member of the family looks over the balcony, or calls 
out "Who?" If the visitor be one of the family, he 
answers "Open!" If he be a well-known friend he 
exclaims "I I " The recognised tone of the voice is 
sufficient (Acts xiL 13). 

(10) \ViTulow$. — Window-panes of glass are a recent 
introduction. The usual Oriental window has wooden bars 
for protection against intrusion and theft, while a frame 
of lattice screens the lower half of the window, so that 
those within may look out without being seen. At night 
windows are closed with wooden shutters, chiefly for 
privacy and safety, and partly to ward off the light and 
heat of the sun in the early morning. Hence the allusion 
to the opening of the windows in Mai. iii. 10. In upper 
rooms the bars are not needed, as they are above the 
reach of passers-by ; hence the possibility of such incidents 
as those alluded to in Josh. IL 15 ; 1 Sam. xix. 12 ; Acts 



96 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

XX. 9. In the houses of the city windows do not usually 
look out upon the street, but in the upper stories balconies 
often project over the street, with windows commanding 
a view, and receiving a current of air from either side. 
In these the lattice -work is frequently of a highly 
ornamental character. Pitchers of water for drinking are 
placed beside such windows to be kept cool by the draught 




LATTICED WINDOW, 

of air. From this circumstance such ornamental lattice- 
work is called mashrahlyeh^, from the Arabic mashrah^ a 
place for drinking. It is sometimes seen in English 
drawing-rooms as an artistic screen, without any connec- 
tion with its original use. 

The mother of Sisera is described as looking anxiously 
from such a window waiting for the son who never 
returned (Judges v. 28). 

Over city gates, and the entrance to fortresses, a small 
window is placed in the wall or the watch-turret from 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS 97 

«ehich any one approaching could be seen without danger 
to the observer. 

(11) Sleeping arrangements. — Orientals assemble rather- 
than retire to rest. Thus the father in the parable (Luke 
XL 7) pleads that his children are with him, sleeping on 
their mattresses on the floor around him. When the time 
for sleep arrives the bedding materials are taken out of 
the wardrobe, box, or recess in the wall where they have 
been lying rolled up during the day. Each mattress is 
stutfed with cotton or wool, and has belonging to it a 
thick quilt covered with coloured caliQ|H|r silk, and 
sewn in longitudinal or diagonal stripes^H^uring sleep 
an Oriental covers the head as well as the rest of the body 
with the quilt. It belongs to the sanctities of Oriental 
life not to disturb sleep or interrupt a meal. It is with 
the greatest difficulty that a Syrian servant can be got to 
awake his master at an early hour. When a Moslem has 
to arouse a fellow-believer from sleep he does so by calling 
to him, " God is one ! " The statement of this supreme 
truth is always in season to the believer, and only an 
infidel could object to its utterance ! 

2. Food. 1. Bread. — The chief article of food is 
bread, and the chief work of the house among the 
peasantry and working classes of the towns is its prepara- 
tion. 

(i.) Cleaning. — When brought from the thresh ing-fiooi 
the wheat is carefully and skilfully sifted (Is. xxx. 28; 
Amos ix. 9 ; Luke xxii. 31), in order to remove small 
stones and particles of clay, and especially to shake out 
the small poisonous seeds, translated cockle, darnel, and 
tares, which abound in thorny, neglected fields (Matt. xiii. 
7). The prayer for Peter was that his faith might not be 
tossed aside among the refuse. 

The wheat is then washed to purify it from any dust 
clinging to it, and is dried on sheets spread upon the 

7 



98 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

house-top. It is then stored for family use in the house 
in large churn-like barrels made of wicker-work and clay, 
with an opening near the foot by which the quantity 
required at a time may be taken out. Larger quantities, 
to be kept for flour or next season's sowing, are stored in 
underground cisterns or dry wells with narrow openings, 
which are carefully covered over so that only the owners 
may know where the cistern is. 

(ii.) Grinding, — When wheat or barley is ground for 




HAND-MILL. 



the market it is sent to the mill, which in some places 
works all the year round, but usually only in winter, when 
there is a sufficient supply of water to turn the wheel. 

The hand-mill consists of two circular stones about a foot 
and a half in diameter, the lower often wdth a slightly 
convex surface, and the upper hollowed out to fit it. The 
lower is made of limestone or basalt, and being thicker is 
the heavier of the two ; the upper is made of porous lava- 
stone, so that the surface may not become polished by the 
friction. On one side, near the circumference, it has a 
wooden peg which the two women hold each with a hand 
upon it as they sit on opposite sides and grind the wheat. 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS 99 

A pivot nsetj fruin the centre of the lower atone, and is 
inserted in an opening in the centre of the upper one, thus 
kee|)iiig it in its place. The turning of the hand-mill is 
referred to in Ex. xi. 5; Judges xvi. 21 ; Lam. v. 13; Matt, 
xxiv, 41. It was forbidden to keep it as a pledge 
(Deut. xxiv. 6), and to do so is still considered disgraceful. 
The hardness of the lower stone is alluded to in Job 
xIl 24. The removal of the millstone is one of the 
forfeitures of captive Israel (Jer. xxv. 10) ; the cessation 
of the cheerful sound is one of the vanished pleasures in 
EccL xiL 3, 4. 

Oriental bread resembles our morning rolls, oat-cakes, 
and pancakes. It is not made in large loaves to be cut 
with a knife, but is torn or broken by the hand (Matt, 
xxvi. 26; 1 Cor. xi 24). 

(iii.) Baking in the family is chiefly done in three ways. 

(a) Cakes of dough are laid on hot ashes or heated 
stones (Gen. xviii. 16; Ex. xiL 39; 1 Kings xvii. 12, 
xix. 6 ; John xxi. 9). This is the most primitive way, and 
comes nearest to the singed or parched corn in the 
ear, eaten at harvest time before the grain is hard (Josh. 
V. 11; Ruth iL 14>. Wheat, after being steeped in water, 
is sometimes put in cauldrons over a fire until it is 
thoroughly dried. It is then loosely ground like very 
coarse oatmeal, or what is called cracked-wheat. A kind 
of porridge is made of it, and it is often cooked along with 
lentils. As it is mentioned along with lentils in 2 Sam. 
xvii. 28, it was probably one of the parched preparations in 
Barzillai's gifts to David. When finely ground it is the 
familiar home grocery called semolina, which is also used 
in mo8t Oriental cakes and sweetmeats. 

(b) A simple oven is made by putting fuel, generally 
grass, thorns, and small twigs, into a large earthenware 
jar, and when the jar is -sufficiently .qeated thin cakes are 
laid on the outside of iti> ^ Mope fraq^aently a hole is made 



100 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

in the ground and plastered round, and into it the same 
kind of fuel is put, along with a few large pebbles to 
retain the heat. When the smoke and flame have left a 
glow of hot embers, large thin cakes are slapped upon the 
sides, and are fired in a minute or two. 

(c) A convex griddle, such as is used for oat-cakes, is 
put over an open-air fire between two stones, and thin 
cakes are baked on it 

(iv.) Cakes. — Various kinds of bread and cakes are 
made by these simple contrivances, and in the baker's oven 
already described. Many of them resemble those of the 
Egyj>tian monuments, and are suggested by some of the 
descriptive terms in the Bible. There are crisp fjtwork 
discs covered with sesame seed, paste- buns filled with 
pounded nuts and folded in triangular shape ; threads of 
vermicelli are twisted together to the thickness of a rope, 
steeped in a sauce of honey and nuts, and arranged in 
a fiat coil to make a large cake on a flat tray ; thin wafers 
are coated with grape-syrup and powdered with pungent 
or fragrant seeds and leaf dust ; common loaves before 
being sent to the oven sometimes have the surface rubbed 
with oil and covered with aromatic seeds, and cakes are 
occasionally soaked or fried in boiling oil. Thin cakes of 
unleavened bread, often prepared with whimsical pre- 
cautions against any contact with leaven, are eaten by 
the Jews during passover-week (Ex. xvL 31 ; Lev. vi. 21, 
vii. 12; 1 Chron. xxiii. 29). 

2. Water, — This is next in importance to bread. 
Orientals drink a great deal of water both at meals and at 
other times. When sitting at food the small hand-pitcher 
is constantly passed round. They are able to drink from 
the mouth or small spout of the jar without touching it 
with their lips. It belongs to the etiquette of Oriental 
water-drinking to be ^3ar>eful, .in this matter, of the feelings 
of others. A Persian ^M,©slem regards a pitcher touched by 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS 101 

the lips of a Christian as defiled, and instantly throws 
it to the ground. Orientals distinguish between different 
kinds of water to an extent unknown in the West. In a 
town with several i)ublic fountains, they can tell very 
decisively from which the water in the pitcher has been 
taken. The water-carrier does not attempt to impose upon 
those whom he serves. l>eggars at the door often ask for 
water. The demand of the Israelites for water would be 
a specially imperative one. The pitcher is set within 
reach at the bedside at night, and Saul's cruse would be 
missed in the morning as much as his spear (1 Sam. 
xxvi. 11). When David longed for the water of the well 
of Bethlehem (2 Sam. xxiii. 15), it was not only because 
of its association with happy untroubled days, but because 
he had a distinct remembrance of its j)eculiar taste. Thus 
an Arabic proverb sums up the comforts of the prosperous 
and contented man by saying, " His bread is baked, and 
his jar is full." 

Israel's double condemnation is stated in terms of the 
vital need and refreshing effect of water (Jer. ii. 13, 18). 
See also Numb, xxiii. 5 ; 1 Kings xiii. 8, xvii. 10, xix. 6 ; 
Prov. XXV. 25 ; Is. xxx. 16 ; i\m. viii. 1 1 ; Matt. v. 6, x. 42. 
// 3. Meaty Jish, nii/k, and frutts, — One of the commonest 
family dishes is made of cut pieces of meat stewed with 
vegetables,ysuch as beans, tomatoes, vegetable marrow, 
and many others. It is put into a dish, and each one 
helps himself by making a spoon or small scoop out of a 
piece of bread freshly torn from the thin loaf at his side 
liy practice this is done with much cleanliness and expert- 
ness. When one prepares such a mouthful and hands it 
to another at table, it is an assurance of friendly regard 
(John xiii. 26). A lamb or kid is sometimes stewed in 
milk. The dish is called by the Arabs mother' a milk^ and 
when it is eaten some apologetic allusion is irenerally made 
to the ancient rule ajjjainst it (Ex. xxiii. 19). At an 



102 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

Oriental feast a lamb or kid ia frequently roasted entire, 
with the head and legs drawn together and the inside 
stuffed with rice and seasoning, the whole being served on 
a large tray. The meat is so thoroughly cooked that it 
separates easily from the bone, and is lifted off by the 
fingers in such portions as each one wants to eat. As 
with the sop, so with this dish, the sheikh or head of the 
house occasionally lifts off a choice morsel and presents it 
to one of his guests as a token of affectionate interest and 
regard. 

The Hebrew word for food is Urtf^ sometliing snatched 
or plucked, and evidently originating in this custom of 
eating with the fingers. 
^ The national dish of Syria ia a compound of minced 
meat and roughly-ground wheat, pounded together in a 
mortar along with suitable seasoning, until all is reduced 
to a uniform consistency. It is then spread about an inch 
thick in a shallow pan, marked off by a knife into 
diamond-shaped sections, covered with the native cooking 
butter, and sent to the oven to be baked. Something of 
this kind seems to be referred to in Prov. xxviL 22, uheii 
it is said that a man of coarse, defiant seltishnt-ss will not 
lose his individuality even after he has been wrought upnn 
in this way by trial and adversity. 

Another of the most savoury dishes of the East is that 
which had such fatal influence upon Esau (Gen. xxv. 34). 
Lentils are soaked and boiled in as much water as they 
will absorb. Small parings of onion are fried in oil till 
they are slightly singed, and added. Cracked - wheat or 
rice is often cooked along with the lentils. When it i^ 
being cooked the smell is very demonstrative, and it^ 
appetising relish always makes a very strong appeal to the 
hungry. 

Orientals are not accustomed to make soups ; when 
fue&t L» boiled the water is reduced to a strong sauce 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS 103 

to be eaten with the meat. Such were the seething 
and boiling referred to in Scripture. 

Fowls are served roasted and stewed. An Arabic 
proverb follows the thought of Prov. xv. 17 in saying, 
" Better to have bread and an onion with peace than 
stuffed fowl with strife." 

In the East the pig is heard rather than seen. The 
name is constantly on the lips as a term of contempt 
and abuse, but the flesh is only eaten occasionally by 
Christians. Unless its food be specially attended to, 
the scavenger habits of the animal, and the careless ways 
of the people with regard to refuse, make pig's -flt\sh an 
article of food to be prohibited and avoided in this warm 
country. Even in connection with the flesh of the wild 
boar fatal outbreaks of trichinosis or pig-worm soaie- 
times occur. 

Native Christians occasionally eat the raw flesh of 
feheep and goats. On the other band, from a scrupulous 
desire to remove all the blood, the Jews rub salt into meat 
before it is cooked. 

Fish is abundant in the Mediterranean and the Sea of 
Galilee, but the Government tax on its sale is prohibitive, 
and the permissive use of it on Friday among the Oriental 
Christians causes it to be regarded as inferior and sugges- 
tive of penanca 

/Milk, besides being used in its fresh state, is generally 
made into a curd -and -whey form either by rennet or 
by a similar fermentation that gives it a taste of cool 
sourness. Most likely it was in this last form that Jae) 
gave refreshment to Sisera (Judges iv. 19, v. 25). 

Cream is rocked in skins until butter is formed, and 
this on being boiled is made into cooking-butter, which is 
stored in jars and used for cooking purposes throughout 
the year, it is mentioned in books of Arabic travel as 
saman or samaui, and in India is called ghea CheeAe 



104 BIBLE MANNER8 AND CUSTOMS 

in its different stages of preparation is ccmtstantly uned. 
( 1 Sam. xvii. 18). 

Saludts and relishes are made of cress, lettuce, endiv«^ 
mallows, mint, cucumber, and many other things. \\'ge- 
tables of all kinds are largely used, and Orientals have 
much skill and economical resource in j>reparing sour, 
\ pungent, and aromatic sauces. At the Ta^ssuver feast the 
Jews have a sauce that resembles thin lime or liquid chalk 
in appearance. They dip their bitter leaves of wild endive 
or dandelion into it as a memorial of the PIgyptian bondage. 
Fresh fruits are eaten in their season, grapes and 
oranges lasting longest ; eaten with bread they make thf 
meal of a labouring man. Figs, raisins, walnuts, almonds, 
and pistachio nuts, are the commonest dried fruits (CJen 
xliiL 11 ; 1 Sam. xxv. 18). 
A Locubts are mentioned as the food of John the Baptist . 

they are used as a poor kind of food by the Aral)s of the 
southern desert, the hind legs of the locust being plucked 
off and pickled. 

•/' 4./jrhe chief meal-tiytte is a little after sunset.^ Rest of 
mind and body are regarded by Orientals as necessary to 
the enjoyment of food, and the condition of being refreshed 
and strengthened by it. This means that the duties of 
the day must be over. Farmers work in fields at some 
distance from the village, and tradesmen live on the out- 
skirts of the city, and these cannot well come home to a 
meal at mid -day. Also as the warmth of the climate 
seldom allows of meat being kept for any time in the 
house, each day brings its own marketing, so that for men 
and women the evening meal is the time of family reunion 
and refreshment, "ft^ushions are taken from the divan and 
placed around the^iray that rests on a small low table. 
Bread is eaten with everything, at all stages of the meal. 
Each guest or member of the family has a few thin loaves 
laid beside him, three being a common number. \ 

\ 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS 105 

For the reason mentioned, all the cooked food is usually 
eaten at the evening dinner. A proverb says, " The evening 
guest gets no sui)j)er." He may claim shelter and rest 
at all times, but coming unannounced after supper-time 
he has no claim on the law of hospitality for food. 
Hut Oriental courtesy always considers it better to 
disturb a neighbour than to disappoint a stranger (Luke 
xi. 5). 

When at a large feast all cannot be accommodated at one 
time, they seat themselves round the table in relays, each 
party rising when finished with a salaam of thanks to the 
host and making room for another. 

At family meals the women of the household are the 
usual attendants ; among the wealthier classes servants 
wait upon the family and its guests. Ordinary domestic 
servants are chiefly found among Europeans or those 
Orientals who have adopted their ways. 

Originally such service in the higher families of the 
land was rendered by poor relatives, who received in 
return occasional gratuities, or by slaves obtained in 
w^ar or purchased in the market. The taint of su- h old 
associations is seen in the reluctance of [)arents to let 
their daughters enter service, and in the frequent non- 
payment of the servant's wages. When a company of 
Orientals are to enter a room one by one, or take their 
seats on a divan or at table, considerable attention has 
to be given to the competing claims of seniority, family 
dignity, and official position. Some little time is usually 
spent in protests of self -abasement, each esteeming the 
other better than himself. Among the Jews a man 
instructed in the law, although poor in worldly goods, is 
considered superior to a rich man who has little religious 
position. It is the reverence of heart towards (Jod's 
service which the Pharisees accepted and abused when 
they claimed for themselves the place of honour at social 



106 



BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 



and religious assemblies. An Arabic proverb expresses 
the thought of Luke xiv. 10, by saying, "Never sit in 
the place of the man who can say to you, *Kise.' '^ As an 
act of respect the master of the house sometimes attends 
personally on his guest. 

After the meal the hands are washed in the usual 




ORIENTAL EWER AND BASIN. 




Oriental way, by having water poured over them by one 
holding a brass ewer. Servants render this office to guests 
and, at ordinary times, the members of the family do 
it for each other. The custom is alluded to in 1 Kings 
iii. IL^'-- 

. Dress.-^riental dress differs from ours with regard 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS 107 

to material, shape, and colour. The commonest material 
is cottorij^either white or dyed indigo-blue ; silk, however,<^ 
being largely used' for the outer cloak of women, and wool 
for that of men. Orientals prefer a long continuous robe 
covering the body to a costume made up of several smaller 
articles. Men and women also wear brighter colours than 
we are accustomed at the present day to see at home. 
The warmth of the climate is the chief explanation of this 
preference for light, unconfined, and brightly - coloured 
costume. 

The love of ornament also plays an important [)art in 
Oriental dress. ' The long flowing robes give a heightened 
aj>pearance to the stature, and the different articles, 
especially the various styles of the outer cloak, indicate 
distinctions of social rank. 

These are forfeited when the European form of dress 
is adopted, but, on the other hand, a connection with 
higher culture and civilisation is thus implied. It is 
considered that, owdng to the recent introduction of 
European customs and manufactures, a greater change has 
come over the dress of the people of Syria during the 
present generation than during the previous thousand 
years. The transition stage is sometimes trying to both 
Eastern and Western good taste. A lady has her dress 
ma«le in the latest European style, but the colour chosen 
is of Oriental brightness ; in the same way a man wearing 
a European overcoat thinks it more decorative to throw it 
loosely over the shoulders like an Oriental cloak, leaving 
the empty sleeves dangling at each side. 

The original articles of Oriental dress are the under- 
shirt and the outer cloak. These two garments are still 
the ordinary outfit of the Redawin.^' Modifications of 
these and additions to them were due to the more civilised 
life of the villages and towns and to contact with other 
nations, A short description of these as at present worn 



108 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

in Syria will help ns to understand the literal and 
figurative references to clothing in the Bible. 

(1) The shirty sheets linen garment (Judges xiv. 12; 
Prov. XXX. 24 (R.V.); Is. iii. 23; Mark xiv. 51).— The 
people of Palestine, and still more their neighbours in 
the warmer climate of Egypt, sometimes cover the body 
quite effectively and picturesquely by means of a large 
cotton sheet or woollen blanket. It is wound round the 
figure with an end thrown loosely over the shoulder. It 
is very characteristic of Oriental preference in matters of 
dress : they dislike knots, pins, and brooches, in fact, 
anything by which their clothing would be firmly and 
finally fixed. In a warm climate anything close-fitting 
and immovable causes perspiration and discomfort. 
The under-shirt is commonly made in a very simple 
manner. A long width of cotton is folded into two equal 
parts ; the sides are sewn up, with the exception of two 
holes at the top corner for the arms ; an opening for the 
head and neck completes the dress. sWhen sleeves are 
worn they reach nearly to the wrist, with long points 
hanging down a little lower than the knee. These 
apparent impediments are really conveniences, because 
when men are engaged in fighting or active employ- 
ment, and when the women are busy milking, sweeping. 
or grinding, the sleeves are drawn up and kept up by 
having the long points tied behind the neck. This 
became emblematic of activity, as when the prophet says, 
"The Lord hath made bare His holy arm (Is. Iii. 10). 

Sometimes the neck-opening and the lower parts of the 
front are ornamented with coloured needlework of black, 
yellow, green, and red silk, as this part is visible when 
the only garment over it is the large shepherd cloak. 
When another garment is worn between these two the 
under-shirt is of plain cotton. It is usually fastened with 
a belt when only the cloak is worn over it. When men 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS 109 

are engaged in summer in such work as sawing timber, 
fishing, or treading clay for the potter, the under dress is 
merely a cloth fastened round the waist and reaching to 
the knees. In any case, whether the under garment be 
large or small, a man wearing this only is said to be 
naked or undressed (John xxi. 7). 

(2) Cloalc. — This is the outside garment proper, and is 
not usually bound with a girdle. It is the outer coat of 




CLOAK AND EMBROIDERED SHIRT. 



the Eastern traveller and shepherd. The broad black and 
white stripes are constantly seen in pictures of Oriental 
life. From its size, usefulness, and value it came to 
represent clothing in general. ; It is made by taking two 
lengths of cloth, usually thick woollen stuff, each about 
seven feet long and two or two and a half feet wide. 
These are sewn together, and about a foot and a half is 
folded back at each end, making the piece about four feet 



110 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

ftquare. The doubled part is then over-edged ainng the 
top, and an o[)ening is made at each comer for the hand 
to pas8 through. The cloak is sometimes made out of one 
broad width, with no seam running across the back. Such, 
most likely, was the garment without seam (John xix. 23). 

When made as a light cloak for protection against dust 
and heat, it is called a burnous ; as worn by important 
sheikhs, of black wool with needlework in colours on the 
front and back, it is called a ma^hUick ; in its commonest 
form it is made of wool, goat-hair, or camel-hair, and 
woven in broad alternate bands of black and white. This 
is the abaa of the shepherd and peasjant, the cloak worn by 
night and day, and not to be kept as a pledge (Ex. xxii. 
26). The peasants also have a somewhat smaller and 
more convenient form of cloak woven in stripes of winte 
and red, and made of wool or cotton of the thickness of 
sail-cloth. This is fitted with short sleeves, and is often 
fastened with a girdle during active farm -work. The 
cloak is referred to in Gen. xxv. 25 ; Josh. vii. 21 ; 2 Kings 
ii. 14 ; Matt. iii. 4, v. 40 

(3) Coat. — This is worn over the shirt, resembling it in 
length, but with the front cut oi)en. Though still light, 
it is of better material than the garment under it. The 
overlapping fronts are clasped by the girdle, and form a 
recess or pouch in which articles are carried with safety. 
It resembles a clergyman's cassock or tightly-drawn dress- 
ing-gown, and is the most frequently seen dress in the 
Oriental street. A man wearing this is clothed, but not 
in the fullest sense dressed. It is all that is needed for 
the house, the shop, and for working people moving about 
in the town. The coat and cloak are contrasted in Matt. 
V. 40 ; Luke vi. 29. 

In Oriental dress this long tunic-coat is very commonly 
divided at the girdle into two parts, the upper being a 
short jacket or vest of richer and heavier material, often 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS 111 

highly ornamented after the manner of the priestly ephod, 
and the lower part is changed into skirt-trousers. For 
this a very wide sack is made with an 0})ening at each 
corner through which the feet are jmssed, and it is 
gathered at the waist by a cord passing through the hcin 
along the top. It is referred to in Ex. xxviii. 42, and 
Daniel iii. 21, hosen E.V. 




ORIENTAL MALE COSTUMES. 



(4) Rohe, — In addition to the coat w^orn over the under 
dress there is another worn over the coat, like it in shape, 
except that it is ampler and worn loose without a belt or 
sash. It is, however, superior to the ordinary gown-coab 
in material, being generally of woollen cloth, and often 
lined with fur. It may be classed as a cloak, for in towns, 
among those who wear it, it is as much a public garment 
and completion of the costume as the large square cloak is 
in the country and villages. It is the professional dress of 
Government officials and religious dignitaries among the 
Moslems, and is worn by priests of the Oriental Church, 



112 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

In Egypt it is generally a large black gown, not open 
down the front, in shape like a surplice, and thus re- 
sembling the original under-dress of shepherd life. With 
its opening for the head and neck protected by a cord, its 
long folds and dignified appearance, it is suggestive of the 
robe of the ephod w^orn by the high priest (Ex. xxviii. 
31, 32). Joseph's **coat'' (Gen. xxxvii. 3) may have been 
the shepherd's under-dress adorned with embroidery, or it 
may have been a robe to be worn over the gown, instead 
of the ordinary broad cloak of the shepherds. For Bible 
references see 1 Sam. ii. 19, xv. 27, xviii. 4, xxiv. 4 , 
Is. iii. 22; Zee. iii. 4; Luke xx. 46; Rev. vii. 13. Its 
Arabic name means "a suit of exchange,'* and it is 
always suggestive of public life, official dignity, and 
special occasions. 

(5) Girdle (1 Sam. xviii. 4; Ex. xxviii. 4; Is. iii. 24). — 
The girdle is worn as a plain leather belt by Bedawin and 
the religious orders, and by the people of the villages and 
towns in the form of a woven band like a saddle-girth, or 
a large beautiful sash of striped silk. Money, bread, and 
various small articles may be carried in the folds of the sash : 
in the belt it is customary to have the material doubled 
for a foot and a half from the buckle, thus forming a deep 
and safe pocket. It is the girdle-pocket of Matt. x. 9. 
The chief uses of the waist-band or girdle are to clasp the 
gown and make a breast-pocket, to hold the drawn-up part 
of the skirt in front, behind, or at the sides, when the 
loins are girt for exercise; to make the purse just now 
alluded to, and to hold the ink-horn of the writer. 

(6) Head-dress, — This is translated bonnet, R.V. head- 
tires in Ex. xxviii. 40, xxxix 28 ; turban, Dan. iii. 21, R.V. 
marg. The sash and head-dress are the most ornamental 
articles of Eastern dress. The latter is chiefly used as a 
protection against the sun and a finish to the costume, 
** for glory and beauty " (Ex. xxviii. 40 ; Is. Ixi. 10). 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS 113 

To make it, a square yard of coloured cotton or silk 
with tassels is folded diagonally and arranged over the 
head and shoulders. It is held in position by several thick 
coils of soft woollen twist, or a smaller ornamental cord. 
The cloth thus worn on the head by Bedawin and travellers 
generally is the napkin or handkerchief of Luke xix. 20 3 
John xi. 44, xx. 7 ; Acts xix. 1 2. In villages this cloth is 
folded in a long strip, and wound round a small cotton or 
woollen cap to form a turban. Orientals do not remove 




SHOES AND SANDALS. 



^ 



the turban when entering a room ; when for any purpose 
it is taken off it is laid down carefully and in as high a 
place as possible, as if in some way it represented their 
allegiance to their sovereign. The turban is carved in 
marble at the top of Moslem tombstones. 

(7) Sandals, shoes. — These are associated with degrada- 
tion (Ps. cviii. 9 ; Joshua v. 15 ; Luke ix. 5 ; John i. 27). 
In walking, Syrians from time to time pause to shake out 
the dust from their shoes, either by removing the shoe 
altogether, and slapping it on a stone or on the wall, or by 
letting it hang from the toe of the naked foot while the 
dust is shaken out. Th-^- original form consisted of a sole ^^ 



114 



BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 



with straps, by which it was tied to the foot, but a partial 
leather upper must soon have been found more convenient. 
The sandal is now seldom worn except by monks. Shep- 
herds wear rough simple shoes, with leather gaiters 
covering the calf of the leg, on account of the rocks and 
thorns among which they climb. Shoes are seen in the 
Kgyi^tian and Persian monuments. 




SACRED FRINGE. 



fK very common kind of shoe is made of a jiiece of 
wood with a strap of leather over the insteg^ Those for 
brides are especially high and ornamental. 

(8) Border^ fringe, slcirt. — Fringes made of the loose 
threads of the web are often seen at the end of Oriental 
cloth. It is the same with carpets, the threads being, 
gathered and knotted into tassels. The most interesting 
survival is seen in the Jewish prayer-cloth, a covering Oj: 



tX)M£ST10 LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS 116 

white cotton or wool with black stripes for throwing over 
the head and figure during prayer, and called a tallith* 
It has small fringes along the sides, and a larger one at 
each corner inserted in a little square of coloured silk, and 
so arranged that its knots and threads, along with the 
numerical value of the Hebrew word for tassels, amount 
to 613, the number of commandments according to 
Rabbinical explanations. This tassel is put to the 
lips at certain times during the synagogue service to 
express obedience to the entire law (Mark vii. 6). 

(9) FemaXe drtsi, — The under-dress and gown-coat of 
women resembled those of men, and their upper robe 
corres[)onded to the suits of apparel or festival robes of 
men. These are referred to in 2 Sam. xiii. 18 ; Is. iii. 22, 
23 ; Song of Sol. v. 3. There is still this resemblance in 
costume, the women^s garments being, however, generally 
longer in proportion to the figure. 

The turbans are made of deep bands of folded cloth, 
sometimes of ornamental silk, but usually of white cotton 
(Is. iii. 23). Until recently the head veil of the women 
of Mount Lebanon was droo}»ed from a silver horn or 
upright funnel that was fixed securely on the head, 
and worn night and day. It was about a foot in height. 
The most characteristic features of female attire are the ^ 
different veils. The women of the Moslem religion are 
very particular as to the screening of the face from view. 
Druze women expose one eye unveiled, and Christian and 
Jewish women merely veil the head and shoulders, but 
leave the face uncovered. The face veil is made of 
flowered gauze muslin (Is. iii. 19); there is also a larger 
and more ornamental lace veil for the head and shoulders. 
The cauh of Is. iii. 18 may refer to this latter class of veil. 
It ifi worn by women when making visits, and on their 
arrival it is the first duty of their entertainer to come 
forward and remove these veils as quickly a.«» nhe can. 



116 



milLV. MANXERS AND CUSTOMS 



The same in its stronger original form is the head-dress 
of Bedawin women. It is a shawl of stout, tough muslin 
wrapped round the head and neck and greater part of the 
figure (Is. iii. 22 ; Euth iii. 15). The largest of all is the 
sheet- veil, called in Arabic izar, enveloping the whole 
body. The simplest form is a white sheet, but they are 
often made of rich, beautiful silk stuffs of native work- 




FEMALE COSTUMES. 



manship. A large square is folded in the middle and tied 
round the waist with a cord. The lower half thus forms 
a skirt, the upper being lifted over the shoulders and head 
to form a mantle-veil. Such are the wimples or shawls of 
Is. ill. 23. It is worn by Moslem w^omen, and sometimes 
by others, when walking from place to place in the town. 
(10) Eye-jKiint, consisting of a paste of brown antimony 
powder, is in common use. Applied to the eyes of children 
it is supposed to strengthen and protect them. When 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS 117 

used by women it is for the purpose of giving an enlarged 
appearance and increased brilliancy to the eyes by means 
of the gleaming black stain. It is kept in small orna- 
mented vases having a rod atUuhed to the stopper by 
which the paint is applied to the eye-lashes. One of 
Job's daughters was called Keren happdch, horn of eye- 
paint (Job xlii. 14). The practice is alluded to in 
2 Kings ix. 30 ; Jer. iv. 30 ; Rev. iii. 18. 

4. The Family. — In every land the home is the 
nursery of all that is best and most beautiful in human 
life. In Syria and Palestine there is no drink curse to 
deaden and destroy natural feelings, and the parental 
devotion of the poorest is as happy and self-denying as 
that of the rich and refined. Nothing bewilders and 
shocks the Oriental mind more than the paragraphs of 
police news sometimes copied from English into Arabic 
newspapers about the desertion and ill-treatment of children 
by their parents. Occasionally an infant is laid by nighi 
at the door of a convent or boarding-school, but almost 
universally a child born into the poorest homes is welcomed 
as a gift from God. Matters socially connected with the 
family, su(;h as neighbourhood, hospitality, and inheritance, 
will be touched upon in the next chapter: we shall 
here confine ourselves to the three chief events of family 
life, namely, Birth, Marriage, and Death. 

(I) Birth. — The leading and distinguishing feature of 
Oriental family life is its preference of sons to daughters. 
This of course is a result of social life rather than of domestic 
affection. The want of public law and justice makes the 
family a guild or union of common interests, not merely 
for the cultivation of truth, obedience, and loving self- 
sacrifice, but for marriage alliances, mercantile enterjjrises, 
and social advancement generally. When a son marries, 
he usually brings his young wife into the home of hi? 
parents, to be for a time at lea*<t under his mother'^ 



r.M BIBLE MANNERS AND CUyiOMS 

mst ruction. A daughter goes forth to be the purchased 
or bargained |)()ssession of another family, and gradually 
becomes identified with its interests. Her origin ia not 
forgotten, however, and she is protected by her family 
influence. Often a wife who would be dismissed because 
of some petty provocation, is treated with respect and 
forbearance because any affront put upon her would 
alienate all her relative&. The union of all within the 
house under its recognised head against all that exists 
outside, IS one of the leading ideas of Oriental life. An 
often quoted proverb says, " Better a thousand enemies 
outside the house than one inside." When an Oriental 
suspects that he is being over-reached, he can politely 
decline the proposal that seems injurious to his interests 
by saying, "Good- morning, neighbour, you are in your 
court and I am in mine." In Arabic the word family 
means "those who are cared for." Another proverb 
says, "In social matters act as kinsmen, in business 
matters be strangers." The moment the Oriental passes 
beyond his own door and the circle of his iminediate 
neighbours, he encounters officials who have paid for their 
a{>]>ointment, in whose election he has no vote, and over 
wiiose conduct he has no control. The home is not a 
training-place for noble service in the State, but a bulwark 
against its tyranny. Any family may grow into a clan 
the head of which may have sufficient means and influence 
to obtain a Government appointment, and then he can help 
and favour those who recognise his leadersliip. On account 
of this struggle for wealth and worldly promotion, and the 
importance of having an heir to succeed to it and use it, the 
birth of a male child brings joy to a family, and that of 
.SJi infant daughter sorrow and disappointment (Jer. xx. 
15 ; John xvi. 21). When a child is born, two or three 
local musicians are usually waiting outside to know if the 
nftw arrival be a boy or girl If the former, the> 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS 119 

immediately beat the drum, and play upon whatever 
instruments they have, accompanying the din with im 
provised rhymes complimentary to the dignity of the 
family, and prophetic of the career lying before the son 
and heir. But the moment they learn from the silence 
and sad looks of the visitors that a daughter has be;^n 
thrust upon the family, the drum is shouldered, and the 
musicians walk away. Music at such a ti?ne wouhl l»e an 
unpaid atfront The grandmother sonietime.s reliLses to 
visit a daughter who has thus brought (ii.s«rr<lit on the 
family. When natural affection and financial interest pull 
in opposite directions, victory too often goes to the latter. 
But God's ink does not lose colour although it is applied 
to such poor paper, and in spite of this disappointment at 
the beginning, the little daughter's claims to fandly love 
are soon more fully recognised. 

This idea of the Oriental family as a business syndicate, 
quite as much as a sanctuary of affection, is expressed in 
the Koran, where it says, " Wealth and sons are the 
ornaments of life." Thus also in Psalm cxxvii. the family 
circle is compared ko a quiver, and the sons are the 
arrows ready for service. Their father can command 
attention in the council of the eiders at the city gata 

The new-born infant has its arms laid by its side and 
l6 wrapped in swaddling clothes. Among some of the 
peasantry the custom siill prevails of rubbing the child's 
body with a powder of salt (Ezek. xvi. 4), but washing 
with water is usually avoided until after forty days. The 
little figure wrapped tightly in folds of cotton, and with 
its black eyes intensified by the eye-paint on the lashes, 
looks more like a mummy than a happy human child, and 
it is sometimes difficult to find the words of praise that 
the mother is expecting to hear. 
s.'-'^^^yTEQ namea of Oriental children, after the familiar BibJe 
CQfltoni, usually express the parents' gratitude to God, ot 






120 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

something connected with the personal appearance of the 
child or the circumstances under which it was born. Very 
frequently the name is given in remembrance of some 
relative. These names are thus personal registers of the 
happiness and hopes of their parents. Those of Jacob's 
family will be recalled as instances of this custom, and 
such names as Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, Ichabod, Samuel. 
It is not usual to call a son after his own father. The 
father's name is added as a kind of surname, as David, 
son-of-Jesse, Simon, son-of-Jonah. A name given after a 
.§ member of the family in a former generation is a memorial 

^ ^ of one who though still living is absent, and so might be 

^ "^ forgotten. This seems to be the meaning of the question, 

«L "Why are they then baptized for the dead?" (1 Cor. 

XV. 29). To be named after some honoured relative 
implies a promise and hope that one child will inherit the 
character of the departed. According to this meaning, 
many of the ecclesiastical teachings connected with the 
rite in Christian baptism would float away with the othtir 
bubbles, and little would remain but the simple supreme 
purpose to live the very life of Christ. 

A certain class of names is expressive of family 
anxiety and sorrow. Such are Dibb (bear), Nimr 
(leopard), and Saba (lion), given when one child after 
another has died in infancy, and it is hoped that the 
name of a common wild animal may take off the evil 
eye, and put a stop to such misfortune. This may have 
been the trouble when Caleb (dog) was born. Students 
of Oriental folk-lore find deeper meaning in such customs, 
but at the present day it is simply a form of humiliation 
to deliver a family from its dark fate, and in a dim 
superstitious way recognises the fact that a new life - 
reauires a new spirit. 

iThe names of female children are usually taken from 
beautiful objects in nature./ or pleasant graces of character \7 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS 12l 

Thus Astronomy gives Shems (sun), Kaukab and Nejmeh 
(star), Kumr (moon). Favourite flower-names are Zambak 
(lily), Yasmin (jessamine), and Wurdeh (rose). Jewellery 
is of course very popular : the school register is always 
richly ornamented with such names as Lulu (pearl), 
Almaz (diamond), Zumurrud (emerald). Many again 
are suggestive of the pleasant appearance or kindly dis- 
positions of their owners. Such are Selma (peace), y^ 
Simha (joy), Farideh (special), Latifeh (gracious), y^ 
Sultaneh (princess), Jamileh (pleasant). 

Bible examples are Jemima (dove), Tabitha or Dorcas 
(gazelle), Rhoda (rose), Rachel (lamb), Saloi;>e (peace), 
Deborah (bee), Esther (star). y' 

A quaintly sad name is Kafah (enotigh), an implied 
remonstrance, meaning that after the birth of several 
daughters the parents would have reverently })referred to • 
have had at least one son. 

In the East there is very little of the child-life with 
which we are familiar in our Western homes. Great 
allowance is made for the impulsive ways of children, 
but parents never attempt to draw them into companion- 
ship, and there is no literature for young people. Thus 
in the Arabian Nights the interval between birth and 
marriage is usually a blank. Dolls are greatly enjoyed by 
the little girls, but Moslems, Jews, and Druzes find a taint 
of idolatry in them. Boys play with marbles, tops, and 
balls, and both boys and girls imitate in their games the 
things that occupy the serious attention of their elders. 
Thus juvenile bands form into a marriage procession with 
sword-play, music, and shouting. They dramatise funerals 
and make lamentation in the same way. Bedawin robbers 
attacking travellers and law courts are also popular. The 
selling of Joseph, the sorrows of Job, and the raising of 
Lazarus are described in poetry, which is learnt by many, 
and passes down unchanged from generation to generation 



12S 



BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 



like our nursery rhymes. The account of Job's misfortunes, 
for example, tells how his wife cut her hair and her 
husband's to sell it for food, and such graphic touches 
come to be regarded as part of the original story. It is 
easy to conceive how a scribe copying one of the books of 
Scripture might introduce an explanatory comment from 
such floating traditions. The references to the book of 
Jashar are perhaps instances of this (Josh. x. 1 3 ; 2 Sam. L 
18). The children in Christ's time evidently played at 
marriage and funeral processions as they do at the pres# it 
time. The lack of response to His appeal and the impossi- 
bility of His complying with Jewish expectations could be 
compared to children playing in the open market-place, 
until, wearied with their sport or distracted by other 
things, they paid no attention either to the marriage music 
or funeral wail (^latt. xi. 17). Among the little girls of 
the East the chief entertainment is to piay at bride. One 
of their number is selected and dressed up with contribu- 
tions from the others, and sits with downcast eyes and 
folded hands to be admired by her young companions. 

2. The chief event in Oriental family life is Marridge, 
This is usually planned by parents in the infancy of their 
children. The formal betrothal may take place some 
years before the marriage. The bridegroom-elect sends a 
present to the girl, the dowry is settled, and if sometime 
afterwards the engagement be broken off, the young woman, 
if a Jewess, cannot be married to any one else without 
receiving first a paper of divorce from the rabbi. 

The marriage is a great occasion of festivity, some- 
times prolonged over several days. / To be omitted in 
the invitations is a grave offence. A proverb says : " He 
who does not invite me to his marriage will not have me 
at his funeral." 
/ The wedding customs of to-day strongly resemble thoss 
mentioned in Scripture, but do not exactly repeat thenT? 



DOMESTIC LIKE AM) KAMILN K KLA 1 K »\SH 1 PS r2» 

The Jews mtroduc** Euroj)ean eJerntiits, the Christiau> 
have new traditions belonging to the Christian Clmrch, 
aLd the Moslems who usually [>reserve most of the ancient 
practices are here affected by the severe sechision of women. 
; At a Jewish wedding tlie most interesting feature is 
the canopy under which the bridegroom and bride sit or 
stand during the ceremony It is erected in the court or 
large room of the house where the j^uests are assembled, 
and is made of palm- branches and emhn»i«lered cloth. It 
is suggestive of the dome sometimes heen above pul|)it8, 
and givea to the wedding the appearance of a coronation. 
In Is. IxL 10 the bridegroom is de^cril^ed, K.V. marg., as 
decked like a priest, and he stiD wears at such a time the 
prayer-cloak of public worship called the tailith. The 
Jew s say "the bridegroom is a ki^^ g." The husband is 
priest and king in his own household. Amid all the 
countries in which the Jews are scattered, and the 
different languages that they learn to speak, the canopy 
is called by its Hebrew name, the Flu[>[>ah. The sight of 
the robed bridegroom issuing from the canopy (tabernacle) 
and receiving with smiles the congratulations of his friends 
suggei^ted the simile of the sunrise in I's. xix. 6. At a 
Jewish marriage one item of sad significance is never 
omitted. The glass that holds the wine of marriage 
consecration is dropped on the floor and broken to pieces 
This is explained as a memorial of the destroyed temple, 
and teaches the Jew that in the moment of his own 
supreme happiness he must not forget the deep sorrows 
of his nation. The thougiit recalls Ps, cxxxvii. 6. 

In the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt. xxv. 1-13), 
the reader of Scripture naturally wishes to know where 
the maidens were when they siunil>ered and slept, and 
where and why the bridegroom tarried. 

The following description will throw 8onie light on 
^.hose difficulties :— Oriental marriages usually take place 



124 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

in the evening. Amonir .lews and Christians the ceremony 
is usually performed m the house of the bride's [)arents, 
though among the Christians frequently in the church ; 
among the Moslems always in the house of the bride- 
groom. The whole attention is turned to the public 
arrival of the bridegroom to receive the bride pre])ared for., 
him and waiting in the house among her female attendants. 

If we make allowance for some changes in detail 
caused by their rules as to the seclusion of women, the 
Moslem customs are those which help us most in trying 
to understand how marriages took place in Bible times. 
during the day the bride is conducted to the house of 
herfutureTiusband, and she is there assisted by her 
attendants in putting on the marriage robes and jewellery. 
During the evening, the women who have been invited 
congregate in the room where the bride sits in silence, 
and spend the time commenting onTier appearance, com- 
plimenting the relatives, discussing various family matters, 
and partaking of sweetmeats and ^milar refreshments. 

As the hours drag on their topics of conversation 
become exhausted, and some of them grow tired and fall 
asleep. There is nothing more to be done, and ever^-thing 
is in readiness for the reception of the bridegroom, when 
the cr y is heard outside announcing his approach. 

The bridegroom meanwhile is absent spending the day 
at the house of one of his relatives. There, soon after 
sunset, that is between seven and eight o'clock, his male 
friends begin to assemble. Their work for the day is 
over ; they have taken a hasty supper, and dressed them- 
selves, and have come to spend the evening with the 
bridegroom and then escort him home. The time is 
occupied with light refreshments, general conversation 
and the recitation of poetry in praise of the two families 
chiefly concerned and of the bridegroom in particular. 
4fter all have been courteously welcomed and their coi> 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RKLATIONSniPS 126 

gratulations received, the bridegroom, about eleven o'clock, 
intimates his wish to set out. Flaming torches are then 
held aloft by special bearers, lit candles are handed at the 
door to each visitor as he goes out, and the procession 
sweeps slowly along towards the house where the bride 
and her female attendants are waiting. A great crowd 
has meanwhile assembled on the balconies, garden-walls, 
and flat roofs of the houses on each side of the road. It 
is always an impressive spectacle to watch the passage of 
such a brilliant retinue under the starry stillness of an 
Oriental night. The illumination of the torches and 
candles not only makes the procession itself a long winding 
array of moving lights, but throws into sharp relief the 
white dresses and thronging faces of the spectators seen 
against the sombre walls and dark sky. The bridegroom 
is the centre of interest,' Voices are heard whispering, 
" There he is ! there he is I " From time to time women 
raise their voices in the peculiar shrill, wavering shriek by 
which joy is expressed at marriages and other times of 
family and public rejoicing. The sound is heard at a 
great distance, and is repeated by other voices in advance 
of the procession, and thus intimation is given of the 
approach half an hour or more before the marriage escort 
arrives. It was during this interval that the foolish 
virgins hurried out in quest of oil for their lamps. Along 
the route the throng becomes more dense, and begins to 
move with the retinue bearing the lights. As the house 
is approached the excitement increases, the bridegroom's 
pace is quickened, and the alarm is raised in louder tones 
and more repeatedly, " lie is coming, he is comimj ! " 

Before he arrives, the maidens in waiting come foith 
with lamps and candles a short distance to light up the 
entra[ioe, and do honour to the bridegroom and the group 
of relatives and intimate friends around him. These pass 
into the final rejoicing and the marriage supper ; the others 



lae AIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

wno have discharged their duty in acconij anying him to 
the door, immediately disperse, and the door is shut^/'' 

Such is the simple incident in the earthly hoifie that 
has found such wonderful correspondences in the heavenly 
life. The bridal procession has been taken into the house 
of Parable, and there robed with beautiful vesture of 
spiritual truth. If we are careful to interpret the latter 
by the former, we shall learn: (1) from the bride's 
adorning what varied and skilful attendance the Church, 
the Bride of Christ, needs, in order to wear properly 
the Bridegroom's gifts ; (2) from the bright, forward- 
moving procession, that every servant of Christ should be a 
light-bearer and never stand still ; and (3) from the turning 
of all eyes uf)on the bridegroom, how great is the tres})ass 
when any Church official or creed-banner displaces or obscures 
the great central personality, the Lord Jesus Christ 
y 3. /^wner^/s.— £VVhen a de&th occurs in an Oriental 
home, a wail is immediately raised that announces the 
sad event to those living in the neighbourhood. /Jt is 
customary and expected at such times of sorrow that the 
relatives should tear their hair and clothes, beat the 
breast, weep and cry aloud until sheer physical exhaustion 
brings on a necessary reaction of dulness and depressionj 
Orientals are unsurpassed in the quiet, unmurmuring 
acceptance of the will of God ; but, in giving social proof 
and manifestation of their felt loss, the expression of 
grief becomes the chief burden of grief. The wail at the 
moment of death, and the lamentation around the corpse 
during the short interval before interment, are referred to 
in Gen. xii. 30 ; Mark v. 38 ; John xi. 31 ; and Acts ix. 39. 
The tears of Christ at the grave of Lazarus have been 
a comfort in many a darkened home, allowing the heart 
to feel and tell its bitterness, even while faith in God 
remains sure and strong. Some of the common language 
of Oriental lamentation is preserved in Jer. xxiL Id 



DOMESTIC LIFE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS 127 

Weeping relatives lean over the cold form of him who was 
BO recently interested in the smallest affairs of the family 
and the chief object of its ministry, and with words of 
loving endearment they plead for a response from the lips 
that never move and the face that makes no sign. Other 
names, the names of those in the family who have died 
lately, are mentioned and make the tears gush forth 
afresh. The women who attend professionally to assist 
at such lamentation are skilful in interweaving family 
references and in improvising poetry in praise of the 
departed. When a new band of mourners arrives from a 
neighbouring village, they lift up their arms and exclaim, 
" Hope is cut off I " (Job viii. 13; Is. Ivii. 10; Ezek. xxxvii. 
11). 2Wh®ii a young person dies unmarried, the funeral 
lamentation is made more pathetic by first going through 
some of the forms of a wedding ceremony.^ ;That which is 
is thus contrasted with what might have been. Thus 
Jephthah*s daughter bewailed her virginity in the presence 
of the fate that awaited her (Judges xi. 37). 

In the warm climate of the East the interval between 
death and interment has to be very brief, the funeral 
generally taking [)lace the same day, or on the day 
following. / The formulated frenzy that to some extent 
displaces true grief in the house of mourning often turns 
into pious selfishness on the way to the grave. Among 
modern Orientals, accompanying a funeral procession is 
called attending the merits an act that will secure a reward 
from God. 

Thus when the letter of useful form is killed by slavish 
obedience, religious hypocrisy, 'ts next of kin, comes as 
the avenger of blood and takes away the last remnants of 
natuj^al feeling. 

{^Among the Jews a cemetery is solemnly called the 
House of Eternity (EccL xiL 5), and sometimes the House 
©f the Living. / 



CHAPTER Yi 

SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS LIFS 

EK^ape from self is bettor than escape from a lion. 

There are two that are never satisfied — the seeker of knowledge 

and the seeker of wealth. 
The best wealth is that which is pleasing to God. 

Syrian Proverhn^ 

TriE present chapter brings us to a point of view that 
commands a very extensive and variegated prospect. 
It is the illustration of Scripture from the social life, 
public government, and literary, scientific, and religious 
institutions of the East. 

1. Oriental Villages. — (1) Their origin. — The land- 
scape of the East shows no farm-houses scattered here and 
there over the plains and valleys. Those who cultivate the 
soil in any district build their houses beside each other in a 
village. As already mentioned, one of the chief reasons 
for this was the unsettled state of the country. The 
produce and various possessions of the farmers, and their 
own lives also, had to be protected against the shepherd 
tribes. Further, the leading sheikhs of the diflferent clans 
were constantly at war with each other, and the peasantry 
who tilled the property of their local prince had to make 
common cause with him. His enemies were their enemies. 
How thorough this submission must have been may be 
inferred from the recent remark of ^.n old sheikh, whu 



SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS LIFE 129 

maintained that government on the present national 
plan was not so good as that of the old system of ruling 
families. When asked what he meant by good govern- 
ment, he pointed to a large gray rock and said : " When I 
said to one of my people, *That stone is red,' he used to 
answer *It is red'; if I said 'No, it is green/ he would 
answer *It is green/ That is good government, but it ia 
lost now." 

These local feuds meant a constant exposure to attack, 
and the village became offensively and defensively the home 
of the clan, as the house was of the family, 

A third reason pointing in the same direction was the 
necessity of water. This was required not only for the 
inhabitants and their animals, but also for vegetable 
gardens. In this way the village often got its name from 
the fountain (*am) or well (beer) beside which it was built, 
coupled with the cliff, tree, meadow, castle, or some such 
natural feature in the vicinity. Bible examples of thih 
were Abel-ma-ira, Beersheba, Endor. 

(2) Appearance, — The small villages of the ])easantry 
in the wheat plains are mere mud-brick hovels, allotted by 
the proprietor to those who till the surrounding fields. 
Those on the hill-sides are built of limestone ; their 
inhabitants have more independence and greater variety 
of occupation, and the whole appearance of such villages 
is very much better. The houses with their flat roofs 
look like so many large boxes that have rolled down from 
above and been suddenly arrested in their descent. They 
are often so near each other that the door of one leads 
out to the flat roof of the house below it. The white 
walls gleam out of the surrounding mulberry foliage, the 
monotony being usually broken by the larger dimensions 
and better architecture of the sheikh's house, and some- 
times the houses cluster round the prominent nucleus of 
the village church, leaving a few to straggle up the slope 

9 



V60 BIBLE MANNERS AM) CUSTOMS 

towards the ridgo where the old shrine-tomb under its 
oak-tree gives a picturesque outline to the background. 

(3) Village life. — The farmers go out to their work in 
the fields, which are often at a considerable distance, and 
usually they do not return till sunset. This is the going 
forth referred to in the Bible in connection with the labours 
of the field (Ps. civ. 23, cxxvi. 6 ; Luke xiv. 19, xv. 25). It 
is village life that is aL«o referred to in Isaiah i. 3, where 
it is said, " The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his 
master's crib." At sunset, the village cattle and donkeys 
chat have been out all day in the neighbouring common and 
Dare fields are brought by the herdsman to the entrance of 
the village. There they all leave him, and find their way 
tlir(m<j;h the village lanes each to its own place of rest for 
the night. Some of the trades that receive their fullest 
development m the towns have their beginning among 
the peasantry of the village. The village oven is heated 
on alternate days ; one of the inhabitants does simple 
carpenter wofk j another shoes the horses, mules, and 
donkeys, ai»d is resorted to when branding is considered 
necessary ; once, or oftener, according to the size of the 
villagw, the butcher has mutton or kid's- fiesh for sale, 
ind the muleteer transports merchandise between the 
village and the neighbouring towns. Lite is very simple, 
kindly, and laborious ; there is intimate knowledge of each 
other's affairs, and ready sympathy in all times of family 
rejoicing and sorrow. The arrival of any stranger is im 
mediately known through the village, and any of its resident.^ 
returning from a journey is courteously waited upon and 
welcomed (Ruth t 19). The women have much to speak 
about at the fountain as they wait their turn to fill the 
jar, and the elders meet in the evening to discuss village 
matters and rereive and give the latest news. Feuds 
abound between the rival sects, the older and the more 
recent residents, and tiie tamilies that compete for the 



ftOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS UFE 18) 

place of chief influence and honour. All, however, unite 
in resenting any affront put upon the village by those 
who do not belong to it 

The annual capitation tajc, or «uin paid by each adult 
to the Government, is reckoned and paid in the village in 
which he is born. His relatives are there, and any 
ancestral land he may have inherited. If he goes else- 
where he must first appoint those who shall be responsible 
for the payment. Though his employment may make him 
live in another village, and his children and grandchildren 
may have been born and brought up away from the 
original home, their tax also must be paid there. Thus 
Joseph returned to Bethlehem because he was of the 
lineage of David (Luke iL 4). 

2. The City. — The growth of the town or city is chiefly 
due to the neighbourhood of large wheat^growing plains, 
or of extensive vineyards, or to its appointment as a seat 
of government, or the opportunity of maritime commerce. 
In ancient times the halting- places on the great caravan- 
routes became towns of wealth and luxury. 

(1) The wail, — The great high wall enclosing all the 
houses continued and emphasised the chief purpose of the 
house and the village, namely, protection. The distant 
glimmer of the white turreted wall rising out of the bare 
desert or green surrounding foliage was a vision of 
comfort and encouragement to the weary traveller. Once 
within these walls there would be rest and release from 
danger, the society of those he loved, and the supply of 
every want. These features of the ancient city appear in 
the description of the New Jerusalem (Rev. xxi.), and give 
their beautiful symbolism to the mediaeval hymns and 
meditations about "the city of God." 

I'nder the mor^ settled conditions of the present day 
in Syria and Palestine the city walls are being rapidly 
obscnrwd by the houses of the open suburbs. 



132 



BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 



As the ancient masons had no explosives for blasting 
purposes, the stones were laboriously cut out of the solid 
rock. As it was less trouble to cut one thick one than 
two thinner ones, some of these stones are of gigantic 
size. Those of the wall of Jerusalem are very large, and 




in their variety of Jewish, Roman, Crusading, and Saracen 
styles of v/orkmanship they are emblematic of the dilferent 
nations that have received the Gospel. 

(2) The gate, — The city gate is often referred to in 
Scripture. It is large and massive, made of oak with a 
facing of studded iron or bronze. A foot or two above 
the ground there is inserted in the middle of the great 
door a smaller one about 2|- x 2 feet in size, by which the 



SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND RKLIOIOUS LIFE 188 

porter at his discretion may admit one who arrives after 
sunset. The city gate was a precaution against the 
approach of an unseen enemy attacking the city under 
cover of the night. Hence the Heavenly city, where 
there is no darkness and nothing hostile can ever enter, 
has its gates always open in token of friendly welcome 
(Rev. xxi. 25). 

(3) The streets. — The Oriental street is a mere lane 
for foot passengers and baggage animals. No names are 
needed for the chief streets, as each is set apart for a 
particular trade or the sale of special commodities. You 
have only to enter it to know when you are in Vegetable 
Street, Perfumers' Street, Silversmiths* Street, eta The 
narrowness of the streets shelters the tradesmen and 
passers-by from the heat of the sun. Here and there a 
high roof is thrown over the street, deepening the shade 
and protecting against rain. These intervals of subdued 
light make the dazzle all the greater when a widening or 
turn of the street allows the sunlight to pour down upon 
the variegated costumes and bright wares of an Oriental 
town. A walk through the bazaars of Damascus with its 
silk stuffs, cloth of gold, ornaments of brass, and ancient 
perfumes of incense and various gums, makes it easy to 
follow and realise the prophet's description of ancient 
Tyre (Ezek. xxvii.) 

Ah one leaves the bazaars or rows of shops, and walks 
through the quiet part of the town occupied by dwelling- 
houses, one is impressed by the suspicious, prohibitive 
appearance of the houses. No windows look out upon the 
streets near the ground, and those of the upper rooms are 
closely latticed. No one is seen, and no sound is heard, 
unless occasionally the shrill, peevish voices of women 
engaged in some domestic quarrel Beautiful houses, with 
large marble courts adorned with fountains and evergreen 
trees, and havini^; reception-rooms enriched with carpets and 



IS4 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

ornamental carvings, are entered by a narrow laiVA and a 
mere stable door. It is more easily defended in any time 
of sudden attack, and its humble appearance averts the 
punishment of pride and the curse of the evil eye. The 
street is for the passer-by, and the house is a sacred and 
guarded enclosure. Everything within it speaks of 
welcome, and everything without of exclusion. In cities 
where there are Jews, Christians, and Moslems, these 
occupy separate quarters, forming a city within the city, 
with the religious name for a bond of union. 
f\ ' No description of an Oriental city would be complete 

without some reference to the dogs that lie about in the 
streets. They are of wolf-like apjiearance, black or tawny- 
yellow in colour, lazy and unclean, and tolerated because 
they devour the kitchen refuse that is thrown into the 
street, and act as sanitary police without payment. The 
town is carefully divided by them into districts, each of 
which is occupied by the dogs belonging to it, and beyond 
which they must never pass. When one of their number 
goes beyond his proper boundary, the dog who first sees 
him gives a yelp of alarm ; this is caught up and passed 
on by those who hear it, and in a minute or two the whole 
pack is seen tearing along like a fire-brigade towards the 
[)oint where the first bark was heard. If the intruder has 
not already made his escape, he is rolled over, worried, 
and pursued a good way into his own district. 

Lying in the road, a menace and impediment to ordinary 
traffic, most numerous where men most congregate, and yet 
seeking no real companionship with them, happiest when 
twenty of them can get together and jump upon one poor 
offender, and disturbing the public peace with their code 
of honour about dust-heaps and old refuse — such are the 
similarities that unite Oriental dogy and Pharisees (Phil 
ii. 2). 

3. Neighbourhood. — As Oriental houses are always 



SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS LIFE IftI 

either in villages or towns, the fact of neighbourhood ii 
of great social importance. All the Bible references to 
friends, neighbours, and sojourners apply to these relation- 
ships at the present day. 

The Oriental is never alone, and the most numerous 
and familiar class of proverbs is that which deals with the 
necessity of neighbourhood, and all the advantages and 
disadvantages connected with it. 

Its influence for good or evil is described in the 
maxims : " If you live forty days with people, you will 
then either leave them or become like them " ; " We are 
your neighbours, and have learnt from you." To one 
about to build or rent a house, or go on a journey, the 
advice is given : " Consider the neighbour before the 
house, and the companion before the road." 

Identification of interest is taught in the words : " If 
it is well with your neighbour, it is well with you ;" "He 
who cropped your neighbour will crop you ; " and " A loaf 
more or less, but never let your neighbour want." 

The patience due to this relationship is stated in the 
proverb : " Your neighbour is your neighbour though he 
should act otherwise." The thought of Prov. xxv. 17 is 
repeated in figurative form : " If your friend be honey do 
not eat him." Prov. xxvii. 10 is constantly quoted. 

The neighbours are present on all occasions of family 
sorrow and joy (Luke xv. 6, 9). Such intimate knowledge 
of each other is implied in the words, " I have called you 
friends" (John xv. 15). The commandment against 
bearing false witness is framed for the special protection 
of the neighbour, as, in his constant contact with those 
around him, he may at times give oflfence and so provoke 
reprisals. The st/^ength of the Oriental law of neigh- 
bourhood is seen in the various abuses it endures. Its 
kindly provisions originated under circumstances of sociai 
equality, mutual helpfulness, and common danger, but the 



136 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

law of neighbourly duty as an obligation of honour is 
often appealed to by those who have no opportunity or 
thought of doing anything in return. Thus the merchant 
is expected to sell cheaper and the doctor to lower his 
fees to those in the neighbourhood, though they may have 
no acquaintance with them, and even the European 
manager of a Waterworks Company will be urged to 
reduce the rate for those who live near his dwelling-housa 
Oriental neighbourhood enlarges the family, but contracts 
the world. It is a trade union on family lines. Any one 
outside of the circle is a foreigner, alien, enemy, heathen 
(2 Kings V. 20). Christ recognised the law of neighbour- 
hood in commanding that the preaching of the Gospel 
should begin at Jerusalem, the place where the Apostles 
were, but its terminus was the ends of the earth. The 
parable of the Good Samaritan taught the true meaning 
and fulfilment of neighbourhood. In the Sermon on the 
Mount it was pointed out that a religion of mere social 
selfishness and mutual catering was impossible for those 
who would be children of the Highest (Matt. v. 43-48). 

4. Hospitality, — The East is celebrated for its laws 
of hospitality. Among the Bedawin and those living in 
remote villages these laws retain their primitive meaning 
and veneration, and in the towns the parade of compliment 
with which a caller or guest is received is still suggestive 
of the original custom. Taken in connection with the laws 
of neighbourhood and the generally avaricious tone of 
Oriental life, the importance assigned to hospitality is not 
only beautiful but mysterious. The attentions shown to 
invited guests (Luke xiv. 12) present no difficulty, as they 
belong rather to the courtesies of neighbourhood ; also 
the motive of the feast of Ahasuerus is always more or 
less in evidence (Est. i. 4). 

The peculiar feature of Oriental hospitality is that it 
commands the most devoted service to be rendered to thos^ 



SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS LIFE \91 

who are passing strangers, and have none of the claims 
that belong to kinship and acquaintance. Towards an 
explanation of the mystery two facts deserve to be 
mentioned. 

(1) There is the greatness of the favour.— It is an appeal 
to what is noblest and best in the human heart. The 
stranger who comes to the door has reached his limit. 
He can go no farther (Rev. iii. 20). He is at the mercy 
of those within, either to receive him or rob him. The 
moment he enters by permission he becomes virtually the 
master of the house. He is told that the house is his. 
The owner waits upon him, all the supplies of the house 
are for his necessities, all its strength is for his defence. 
The guest's act of trust is responded to by a chivalrous 
readiness on the part of the host to lay down his life for 
the stranger. 

In addition to the fact of safety, there is the great 
comfort of rest after labour, food and drink after exhaustion, 
and society after solitude. A proverb says, " He who sows 
kindness reaps gratitude," and the many worries and un- 
expected dilemmas incident to Oriental travel make the 
moment of release from them one of heart-felt thankfulness. 

(2) The sanctity of the guests. — These customs were 
established long before travel was undertaken in the 
interests of commerce or exploration, and some very strong 
reason was needed to make a man face the dangers and 
hardships of a journey. The arrival of a stranger was a 
rare occurrence, and the law of hospitality forbade anj 
inquiry as to where he had come from or where he was. 
going, until th« expiry of at least three days showed that 
his case was not one of urgency or personal danger. It 
would be j^nerally supposed that the reason of his journey 
was either iiight from an enemy, some grave family 
necessity, or the performance of a religious vow. With 
regard to the first of the three causes, the bitterness of the 



188 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

blood-feuds made every entertainer feel that he might 
be the next to need shelter. The arrival of the stranger 
showed that whatever his trouble might be, God had so 
far favoured him, and a grave danger was thus incurred 
Y by any one who treated him with unkindness. Hence a 
mysterious sacredness became connected with a guest, and 
with the duty of protecting him and ministering to his 
wants. There was a deeper necessity than that of hunger 
and thirst ; " / was a stranger and ye took me in " (Matt. 
XXV. 35). The Koran echoes the exhortation of Heb. 
xiii. 2 by the negative statement, **The house that receives 
no guests never receives angels." 

The act by which the claim of hospitality is established 
is the partaking of the family bread, salt or water, or even 
the laying hold upon the tent pole. If a fugitive approaches 
a shepherd in the wilderness he will be invited to partake 
of the bread and cheese which the latter has in his scrip, 
and the moment he has done so the shepherd must protect 
him against any pursuers who may arrive to kill him. The 
appointment of the Cities of Refuge in the land of Israel 
will occur to the mind in this connection as an endeavour 
to mitigate the ferocities of the blood-feuds by national 
legislation. 

A case occurred some years ago near Tripoli in Syria, 
which shows what a strong sense of duty and honour is 
pledged for the protection of a guest. A man had com- 
mitted manslaughter, and in his flight from the avengers 
of blood came to the mountain hut of a shepherd. The 
shepherd was absent with his flock, and the fugitive begged 
and received protection in the name of God from his wife 
and young son. Half an hour afterwards the house was 
surrounded by horsemen. Their law of courtesy made it 
impossible for them to enter the only room of the house, 
which was sacred as being the women's apartment, and 
they demanded that the criminal should be brought forth. 



SOCIAL, POLITICAU AND RKLHMOIS LIFE 18« 

The poor woman came to the door holding by the hand 
her son, twelve years of age, and said, " 1 cannot surrender 
my guest, but take my only son and kill him instead." 
Her resolute chivalry so impressed them that after a short 
pause they told her that for her sake the fugitive was 
pardoned and free. Then they rode away. 

This devotion has no thought of the sanctity of life for 
its own sake, or the claims of humanity as such. The 
guest-law is entirely a creation of place and circumstance. 
When a traveller is met by Bedawin in the desert, their 
ordinary salutation is " Strip ! ** If resistance is offered 
they think very lightly of the crime of murder. The 
authority of the guest-law within its own area shows to what 
a deep state of misery the Israelites and their friends 
must have been reduced when Jael killed her guest, and 
such profanation of the law of hospitality was publicly 
commended. 

In the East work of any kind is generally regarded as 
degrading, but there are three recognised exceptions, 
namely, a man's service to his guest, to his household, and 
to his horse. 

5. Property. — (1) Possession, — Land in the East is 
held in three ways. 

(a) The arable ground around a village, like the pasture 
land, is held in common by its inhabitants, and allotted in 
proportion to the number of oxen belonging to a villager 
for the purpose of ploughing. The first disciples at 
Jerusalem applied this already familiar principle to their 
personal wealth (Acts ii. 44, 45). 

(6) Under more settled government the above arrange- 
ment presented difficulties in the collection of taxes and 
the punishment of those who failed to pay them. Thus 
land came into the possession of personal owners, or was 
bought in the name of a commercial company. 

(c) Large portions of the country belong to the Govern- 



140 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

ment, as crown lands. These are rented to the highest 
bidder, who re-lets them to peasant cultivators at such a 
price as will secure him a i)rofit by the transaction. 

(2) Cultivation. — The peasants who till the land 
belonging to a large proprietor have houses built for them, 
and as they generally remain in charge even when the 
land changes owners they thus become in a manner serfs 
upon it. 

In grain-land, if the owner supplies seed and oxen for 
ploughing, and pays the government -tithe, the peasants 
labourer in charge gets one-fourth of the produce ; if the 
owner only pays the tax the peasant has two-thirds, or 
one-half if the land be very remunerative in proportion to 
the labour expended u])on it. 

For vineyards and the cultivation of fruit-trees generally, 
the peasant receives for his labour one-third of the produce, 
but after some years, during which the property has been 
improved by cultivation and additional vines and trees, he 
is entitled to one-half, and can claim to be regarded as co- 
proprietor (Matt. xxi. 33-41). 

(3) Sale. — When property, either in the form of house 
and garden or cultivated land, is to be sold, the particulars 
are mentioned with elaborate detail, and the deed of sale 
is attested in the local court and recorded in its books. 
These formalities, however, often afford very insecure pro- 
tection to the purchaser. After the money has been paid 
other part-owners present their claims and prohibit the new 
owner from taking possession. 

When land is sold, the first right of purchase belongs 
to a partner, and after him to a neighbour, especially if 
the same water irrigates both lands. 

When it is desired to defeat his claim, and also to 
obviate the danger of future claimants appearing to 
dispute the ownership, a peculiar device is resorted to. 

The land is divided into two sections, A and R 



SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS LIFE Ul 

Thus a piece of ground, 400 yards square, is tx) be sold 
for £300. Section A is about one-sixth of the whole — 
a mere strip adjoining that of the objectionable neighbour, 
and its price is fixed at .£200 : the remaining five-sixths 
of the ground are priced at £100. The two sections are 
bought on these terms by the new purchaser, and he and 
the seller repair together to the court to have it made 
legal. Here the neighbour may enter his protest and 
obtain the strip A nearest his own, but he must pay £200 
for it. He has no claim on B, because the new owner has 
now a neighbour's claim on it, from having paid the price 
of A. If the original neighbour should purchase the strip 
A for £200, he could only sell it to him who purchased 
the B section because the latter has now the pre-emption 
right of a neighbour! 

Much of the artificiality that pervades the Jewish 
observance of the law is doubtless due to the Talmudic 
incorporation of strictly religious duties with petty legal 
details about property. They are thus reduced to the 
same moral level, and the business instinct that seeks its 
own advantage, and purchases in the cheapest market, is 
put on the alert to find out the minimum of service that 
will secure a name for piety and a place in the heaven I j 
inheritance. The purchase of property among modern 
Orientals often resembles Abraham's transaction with the 
sons of Heth (Gen. xxiii.) It is usually a matter 
abounding in indirect preliminaries, solemn conference, 
ostentatious politeness, shameless lying, and hard haggle. 

(4) Inheritance. — In modern Oriental law property is 
divided equally among the sons, each daughter receiving 
half the share of a son. 

6. Law and Government. — The administration of law^ 
reveals the best and worst of Oriental life. The basing of 
statutes on moral and religious principles was originally 
intended to teach forbearance and charity by bringing 



142 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

litigants before the Unseen Judge of all. It had mnch in 
its favour as long as those principles were honestly 
interpreted and reverently obeyed, but when they ceased 
to be regarded, and public opinion was intimidated and 
debased, the judge could do very much as he pleased. It 
became of the first importance to secure the personal 
favour of the judge. The unjust judge of the parable 
(Luke xviii. 1-7), who had no fear of God, would find it very 
easy to disregard men. An Arabic proverb says, " When 
the judge's mule dies, everybody goes to the funeral ; 
when the judge himself dies, nobody goes." 

Bribery and perjury are the two sides of the cloven 
hoof in both ancient and modern courts of law in the East. 

Thus Samuel, in reviewing his administration, emphasised 
the fact that he had never taken bribes, and the corruption 
of the judges in the kingdom of Israel is stigmatised by the 
prophets as one of the chief causes of the nation's rejection 
and ruin. 

Modern Orientals are extremely subtle and insidious in 
their manner of making presents. The fact that " a man's 
gift maketh room for him" (Prov. xviii. 16) is constantly 
acted upon. In private life, the sending of a gift is usually a 
prelude to a request for some favour or exercise of influence. 
In Oriental courtesy the rejection of a gift is a serious 
affront, and its acceptance implies a debt of honour call- 
ing for some suitable return. Sometimes the authorities 
plainly indicate that money is required, but usually the 
initiative comes from the people. Upright pashas and 
judges for a time purge the administration of these abuses, 
but when they are removed the contending parties who 
seek the favour of their successors soon restore the old 
corruptions. Religious influence, instead of helping the 
cause of mercy and justice, runs in the line of ecclesiastical 
parties and institutions, and these always do battle for 
their own ends. At every point the religious sanction 



SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS LIFE 148 

makes a family covenant, and the family bond in Oriental 
use and wont protects its membership without regard to 
the rights of common citizenship or the supreme claims of 
truth. 

Perjury is very common. In the New Testament one 
is shocked to read how the Pharisees, the leaders of religion, 
got witnesses to swear to what they either knew nothing 
about or knew to be untrue. Such witnesses are only 
too easily obtained for any emergency in the East, and 
w this respect the witness of priests and monks is 
proverbially untrustworthy. 

Prisons, — The Oriental prisons of the present day 
riyidly recall the allusions to those of ancient times. 

There is the common prison for debt, arrears of taxes, 
and ordinary offences. Besides this there is the inner or 
underground prison for criminals, called the prison of 
blood. There Paul and Silas were ke})t (Acts xvi. 24), 
and though cut off from companionship with others, their 
voices were heard as "they sang praises unto God.** 

The difficulty of getting out of prison (Matt. v. 26) is 
exemplified not only in the posti)onement of the day of 
trial, but after the terra of imprisonment has expired, in 
meeting the various claims of the jailors, such as a fee 
exacted for the handcuffs or chain utilised by the prisoner. 
Most of these abuses resemble those in the English prisons 
at the beginriing of the eighteenth century. 

Owing to this hard treatment and the frequent mis- 
carriage of justice, and also the kindly uncritical sym- 
pathies of Orientals generally, imprisonment is regarded 
as a misfortune rather than a disgrace. Friends go about 
to collect money for the relief or release of those im- 
prisoned. The Saviour did not mean that humanity should 
cease from hoping, serving, and rescuing at the prison 
gates (Matt xxv. 36). 

7. Rich and Poor.-~(l) Poverty. — Beggars are very 



144 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

numerous in the Flast. The usual types are given in 
Luke xiv. 13, "the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the 
blind." Besides these there are those who are simply 
indolent. An Arabic proverb says, " Begging is an easy 
trade, only the standing at the door is tiresome." 

Among those who suflfer from bodily infirmity, loss of 
limb by machinery is seldom met with, but disease in 
skin, blood, and bone is frequent and often assumes loath- 
some forms, the chief instance being that of leprosy. 

The commonest and most pathetic form of infirmity 
that has nothing repulsive about it is blindness. Some of 
these blind beggars, either led by children or guiding 
themselves by their long sticks, move about from door to 
door, but usually they are found at regular places in the 
town. The blind and lame are conducted or carried to the 
doors of churches at the time of service, especially on fast 
days, and line the steps at marriage and funeral ceremoniss. 
They also congregate in front of chief houses on any 
occasion of family rejoicing or sorrow. 

Sometimes blindness, deformity, and disease meet in 
one poor shrivelled frame ; and year after year the beggar 
is borne daily to his place at a public corner in the town, 
or at the end of a bridge on its outskirts, and sitting on 
the ground under the rain or burning sun, with the dust 
fiying over him in clouds from carriages and baggage 
animals, he recites the promises of God to those who care 
for the poor. Thus it was with Lazarus at the rich man's 
gate (Luke xvi. 20), Bartimaeus by the road - side at 
Jericho (Mark x. 46), and the cripple at the Temple gate 
(Acts iii. 2). 

(2) Mode of appeal. — This is sometimes a simple state- 
ment of poverty, " 1 am poor," *' I want a loaf of bread," 
"Give me the price of a loaf" (half-penn^). 

The plea is occasionally enforced by the exj)ressive 
gesture of bringing the forefinger across the teeth ancf 



SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS LIFE U6 

holding it up as a proof that there is absolutely no trace of 
food there. It is " cleanness of teeth " (Am. iv. 6). 

Usually, however, the appeal is to religious feeling or 
duty. 

As the beggar stands at the door, he calls out, " I 
am your guest ! I am God's guest ! God will direct 
you ! God will recompense you ! God will preserve 
your children ! God will prolong your days ! " If 
this fails, he tries the effect of rebuke : " Is there 
nothing here for God ? " " You are all servants ! " When 
there is nothing for him, he is told, " God will give you I 
The Lord will relieve you ! " (James ii. 16). 

The beggars are thus the great street- preachers of the 
East. The thought of 1 Sam. ii. 7 pervades the whole 
relationship of poverty and wealth. God has a purpose 
in giving wealth and permitting poverty (Prov. xiv. 31). 

Beggars apportion the shops among them, and at the 
close of the week go their rounds to get their allowance. 
The rich and poor are thus brought into personal touch 
with each other, but Oriental benevolence has no thought 
of attacking the cause of poverty (Deut. xv. 11). The 
absence of alcohol prevents the Oriental beggar from 
having the degraded appearance of the Western tramp, 
and the cause of poverty, apart from cases of pure 
indolence, is usually found in sickness, or the loss of the 
breadwinner in the family or his indefinite imprisonment. 
A proverb says, ** Never teach an orphan how to weep." 

A great deca of Oriental almsgiving arises from the 
love of praise, or a superstitious hope that coppers given 
away may atone for pounds obtained by cheating. Alms- 
giving has a high place among the religious virtues of the 
East (Deut. xv. 10; Prov. xxviiL 27). In the Jewish 
synagogue there is often a box for receiving anonymous 
contributions with an inscription in Hebrew, ** A yxfi m 
secret" (Prov. xxi. 14). 

10 



146 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

Sometimes a mother belongiug to one of the richet 
Oriental families puts on beggar's clothes and goes out 
barefoot to beg for the poor, in the hope that her alms- 
giving and self-abasement may avail with God to spare the 
life of her beloved child lying dangerously ill. 

(3) Riches. — This subject has already been referred to 
in connection with the Trades. In the East the desire of 
gain is regarded as an instinct that imperatively seeks its 
own ends like hunger and thirst, and is common to 
humanity. A proverb says, "It is better to hear * take ' 
a thousand times than once the word *give.'" The words 
of Christ, " It is better to give than to receive," were in 
such defiant contrast to common Oriental sentiment that 
they were remembered though unrecorded by the Evangelist 
(Acts XX. 35). The East has neither the eminent saints 
nor the great criminals of the West, but a dull air of 
avariciousness pervades every relationship. Marriage is a 
money-bargain ; murder has its equivalent price, piety is 
prudential, to go to a funeral is to attend the merits and 
almsgiving is a current account vdth God. 

8. Travel and Transport. — ( 1 ) Oriental idea of travel: 
— Among Orientals travel means discomfort, danger, and 
expense. It is avoided as much as possible. Their 
proverbs say, " All strangers are relatives to each other," 
"If three go on a journey, one must be elected chief," 
" A man in a strange place is blind though he has eye- 
sight," "There are three states of wretchedness — sickness, 
fasting, and travel." The following is the Oriental recipe 
or statute for one setting out upon a journey : " Pay all 
debts, provide for dependants, give parting gifts, return 
all articles under trust, take money and good temper for 
the journey ; then bid farewell to all, and be merciful to 
the animal you ride upon." In the East the road is 
usually a mere bridle path, rough and stony. When it 
passes along the side of their fields, the farmers empty the 



SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS LIFE 147 

stones upon it, as it belongs to nobody ; in the wildernesa 
it often forks off unexpectedly or disappears altogether. 
In the long blank distances between the villages and 
towns there is little chance of getting direction or help in 
any difficulty. Something goes wrong with the harness, 
a saddle-bag drops off noiselessly, the wrong path is taken, 
or the distance is miscalculated and the night has to be 
passed under the stars and without the needed water. 
Orientals care little for beauty of scenery. The wild 
gorges and precipices belong to jackals and bats, and the 
traveller cannot turn the trees into charcoal or carry the 
sheaves to his own threshing-floor. Travel for the enjoy- 
ment of the exercise and the pleasure of seeing new scenes 
is a mystery to most of them. 

The Bedawin and peasants are often puzzled and 
moved to laughter and pity when they see the companies 
of English and American travellers who annually visit the 
ancient sites of interest in the Holy Land. Until they 
come to understand the reason, their own surmise is that 
they are searching for treasure in the ruins by means of 
magic books, or visiting the shrines in order to atone for 
their sins. 

(2) Mode of travel. — Travelling is usually done by 
riding, the animals being horses, mules, donkeys, and in 
the sandy desert camels. Summer is especially the time 
for travel, as the rains are over, and the rivers can be 
easily forded or crossed dry-shod. Bridges are not 
mentioned in the Bible, The transport of goods and 
merchandise is almost all done by baggage animals. 
When muleteers are engaged to bring a certain number of 
animals on an appointed day, it i^ customary to demand 
a guarantee in money which is forfeited if they fail, and 
returned if the contract be faithfully carried out. In Jer 
XXX. 21, there is the beautiful figure of a heart given as a 
pledge of good faith. In the great waterless deserti^ 



148 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

encountered in the journey to Palmyra, Baghdad, or Sinai, 
caniel8 are used, and the travelling is chiefly done by night 
to e>*(ape the heat, and to escape the notice of the Bedaw m 
triV)es, whose neighbourhood is generally indicated by 
lights or sounds of some sort. Under such circumstances 
the guide takes his direction from the stars. In ancient 
times the Bedawtn tribes were the great escorts of the 
overland caravans. During the time when they trans- 
ported the treasures of the East to the Roman market 
of the West, they became very rich and influential, and 
founded under Zenobia the wonderful kingdom of F^almyra 
or Tadnior. The nation that does the trade of the world 
by sea has now entered into their labours, and the Union 
Jack in the Suez Canal takes the place of the camel's bell 
in the star-led caravan. 

(3) Road-inakmg. — In difi'erent parts of the country 
small pieces of the ancient Roman [)aved roads are still 
seen as the memorial of work well done, but the ordi- 
nary roads of to-day are soon made almost impassable 
by the rush of the winter rains. When a distinguished 
visitor arrives in the country, or the governor sets out on 
a tour of inspection through his district, the roads are all 
put into temporary repair by removing bouJders and 
filling up clefts and hollows, so that the passage over them 
may be easy, quick, and safe.* 

(4) The /(/rer-nnner. — In the narrow streets of the 
town thronged with men and baggage animals, high 
officials have a servant in uniform walking in front of 
them. He calls out to the people to move aside, touches 

* During the present summer several hundred men are engaged, by 
order from Constantinople, on the roads leading from the coast to 
Jerusalem and to the Sea of Galilee, preparing for the expected visit 
of the Emperor of Germany in autumn. When the occasion is over 
the roads return to their usual Oriental conditiou Rnch preparations 
ure alluded to In Isaiah xL 3 fk 



SOCIAL, POLITICALi AND REUGIOUS UFK lU 

with his rod the inattentive, stirs up the dogs lying in the 
path, and so clears the way ^or his master. In Syria they 
are represented by the cavasses or guards of the consuls 
and the out-riders of the Pasha. In Egypt two of them 
race in front of the carriage of the Khedive, and those of 
some of the principal native families have also one or two 
runners. 

When the cry is heard all move aside instinctively, and 
in an instant there is the swift flutter of his white robes, 
the sparkle of a bright sash, a swing or two of the black 
tassel of the turban, then comes the carriage, and the 
cry of the forerunner is already sounding faint in the 
distance. 

Being athletic young men specially selected and trained 
by constant exercise, they keep well in front of the 
carriage and its trotting horses, running along with the 
easy unspent lurch of a deer-hound. 

Such was the cry raised in front of Joseph, the new 
vizier, long ago (Gen. x!i. 43) ; thus Elijah raced in front 
i)f Ahab's chariot to Jezreel (1 Kings xviii. 46); and the 
office of the forerunner is especially associated with the 
name and work of John the Ba[)tist (John i. 23). 

(5) Salutations. — The formalities of Oriental salutation 
are chiefly derived from the dangers of travel It is the 
hail of approaching parties to know whether they are 
friends or foes (Josh. v. 13). From the following epitome 
it will be seen how important was the command to the 
Gospel heralds to salute no man by the way. Many other 
matters of compliment and courteous solicitude are intro- 
duced, and the same inquiries as to health, etc., are repeated 
over and over again. As each must consider his own 
matters of no consequence compared with those of his 
friend, at the end of the salutation very little information 
is really obtained about either. 

A. and B. are represented as meeting on the road. 



160 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

A. Blessed is he that cometh. 

B. And you twice blessed. 

A, How is your health 1 

B, Well, by your favour 

A, By the favour of Gcxi, 

B, God is merciful 

A. How is your work 1 

B, Praise be to God 

A. How is your father! 

B. He sends you his salutation 

A, I have been longing to «ee him 

B. And he still more. 

A, Can I do anything for yon 1 

B. The Lord prolong your day^ 

A. That is a fine horse you hava 

B. He would like to carry you. 

An When do you return, meaning no harm I 

B. As the Lord wills. 

A. The Lord be with yoo. 

B, May you have peace. 

The consideration of the labours, anxieties, and dangers 
incident to Oriental travel made the Israelites look back 
on the journey through the wilderness as a memorial and 
triumph of God's providence. It put the Queen of Sheba 
among those who have borne privation in the pursuit of 
knowledge (Matt. xii. 42). It gave depth and endearment 
of meaning to the " place of habitation " and the ** city to 
dwell in." Oriental travel also helps us to understand, in 
its spiritual applications, what help is offered when oui 
Lord calls Himself " the way," and what hope is liekl out 
with regard to welcome, rest, and blessedness, when life's 
pilgrimage leads at last to the City with open gates. 

9. Medicine and Sickness. — The East has two names 
for its healers of disease, "the wise man " and "the holy 



SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS LIFE 151 

man." In modern language this ex])resse8 the modern 
truth that medicine requires intelligence in the physician 
and the restfulness of trust on the part of the patient. 

(1) Tlie unse man, — Orientals have a great number of 
herbal remedies, but in their traditions the chief place is 
given to branding the flesh. They have not much faith 
in any one doctor, and call in one after another, and 
frequently summon consultations of doctors. It is a 
matter of fanuiy pride to have a large consultation, a 
gathering of eight or nine being quite common for a rich 
and important man. The experience of the woman 
mentioned in Mark v. 26 suggests that a similar custom 
prevailed in ancient times. The variety of treatment 
which the sufferer thus draws upon himself creates a 
wisdom that is su[)posed to be above that of the doctor, 
and gives rise to their proverbial saying, "Consult the 
patient, not the physician." The commonest ailments, 
apart from the etfects of over-eating common to East and 
West, are ophthalmia, skin disease, consumption, and 
fevers of the malarial and typhoidal types. The term 
applied to the sickness of Peter's mother-in-law (Luke iv. 
38), "a strong fever," now describes a sharp attack of 
ague or malaria. It is not, of course, of an infectious 
character. Job seems to have sutfered from the same 
trouble (Job xxx. 17-18), judging from the symptoms of 
aching bones and fever sweat 

(2) The holy man. — The religious or superstitious view 
of healing regards health as the natural condition, and 
disease the departure to be accounted for. God is on the 
side of life and has power over permitted sickness, but 
commits this power only to those who commit them- 
selves to Him. This is the point at which in Oriental 
custom truth departs and imposture enters. The reputa- 
tion for sainthood is obtained by fasting, pilgrimage 
magic books, and attention to the forms of religion. Is 



152 B-:bls manners and customs 

riding througli the land one sometimes sees far up on a 
lonely but conspicuous cliff a rude contrivance of poles 
and leaves, and learns on inquiry that a man is spending 
his days ajid nights there, living upon the bread and 
water brought to him, giving his whole time to prayer, 




AMULET. 

and so accumulating the merit and holiness that in course 
of time will bring to him inquirers with suitable presents. 
The Christian saints, Moslem dervishes, and Jewish 
chachams, who heal by religious power, appeal to the 
superstitious veneration of the people, and, with all 
their absurd and often disgusting orders, they show a 
shrewd knowledge of how the troubled heart can be 
comforted, and the will may receive a new determination 
to live and not die. Their help is chiefly appealed to in 



SOCIAL, I>OLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS LIFE 168 

cases that have the appearance of Satanic possession, such 
as insanity, epilepsy, and estranged affection. 

The first preaching of the Gbspel in Samaria, Cyprus, 
Philippi, Ephesus, and other places, encountered opposition 
from such holy men and their vested interests. The 
ceremony of exorcism is still practised, chiefly among the 
uneducated Moslems, and the process and result are 
described by them with much confidence and in full 
detail. The good-humoured smile of the European doctor 
is its worst enemy. Associated with this form of treat- 
ment is the popular and almost universal device of wearing 
amulets of some sort to guard against the evil eye and 
Satanic influences. 

Among the Jews the chief protective symbol is the 
phylactery, a small black box about a cubic inch in size, 
containing Ex. xiii. 5-9; Deut. vi. 4-9, xi. 13-21. At 
prayer on week-days one is fastened on the brow and 
another on the left arm by the leather straps attached to 
them. The Pharisees made these boxes large and the 
straps broad, Matt, xxiii. 5. 

In the case of Asa (2 Chr. xvi. 12), who consulted the 
physicians instead of entreating the Lord for recovery, we 
should not understand that a contrast is implied between 
faith - healing and physical remedies. Those Oriental 
physicians would also appeal to supernatural influences ; 
but, like the rabbis of the present day, it would be to 
angels or demons whose names are too mighty and sacred 
to be pronounced, such as Senoi, Sansenoi, and Samnan- 
galeph. To accept the great science of medicine as a gift 
from God is at once the largest exercise of religious feeling 
and of reason. 

Orientals show the value they attach to faith by the 
often quoted proverb, " Have faith, though it be only in 
a stone, and you will recover." 

The tendency to superstition is seen in another maxim 



164 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUST0M8 

which resembles one of the so-called Sayings of ChriM 
recently discovered in Egypt, namely, **Tlie church that 
is close at hand can work no cures."* 

The deep-laid conviction that while the use of means 
is a human duty, the healing is a work of Divine power, 
survives the ancient impostures that have been heaped 
upon it, and at the present day gives special appropriate- 
ness and influence to the medical missionary in all Oriental 
lands. 
"7 10- Education. — Oriental education is especially in the 
interests of religious knowledge and morality. The school 
is an appendage to the church, mosque, or synagogue. 
Its importance is indicated by the proverb : " The teach- 
ing of children is like engraving in stone, the teaching of 
adults like waves on the sea." Children are sent to school 
almost in infancy, and remain till the twelfth or thirteenth 
year. The Oriental theory of instruction includes the 
influences of both education and heredity. " You can 
only take out of a pot what you put into it," and, " If the 
father be onion and the mother garlic, how can there be 
any sweet perfume ? " 

The teaching is chiefly done by making the children 
recite sentences and passages after the teacher. His 
ambition is that the clamour of the voices chanting in 
concert may be well heard by those who pass by in the 
street. It proves to the parents that work is being done, 
and brings other children to his school. The school 
among the Jews is called "the house of the book" — that 
is the Bible, especially the Pentateuch. In the reading of 
the Bible and the Jewish Prayer-hook a knowledge of 
manuscript Hebrew writing is also taught, having different 
characters for the Askenazim or European Jews and the 
Sepharidim or Oriental Jews. This Hebrew script is used 

* ** Jesus saith, * A prophet is not acceptable In hin own country 
ueitber doth a physician work cures upon them that know hinu"* 



SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS LIFE IM 

in letter- writing and book-keeping whatever may be the 
language that is used — English, Arabic, Russian, German, 
or Sanscrit. 

Next in importance to the rules of religion is the teach 
ing of languages as a means of social contact and com- 
mercial success. Education as a mental discipline is not 
understood. 

Popular literature is represented by the crowds sitting 
in the caf6 in the evenings and listening to the story- 
teller reciting tales of demon influence, war exploits, and 
discovered treasure, such as abound in the Ai'abian NiykU. 
A favourite study among the more thoughtful is found in 
proverbial literature. The Book of Proverbs is prized by 
Jews, Christians, and Moslems alike. 

The Arabs have a vast stock of proverbial sayings 
gleaned from the whole field of nature and experience. 
Great and guiding thoughts of the wise are expressed in 
forms of much force and beauty, though the emphasis 
often goes far beyond the requirements of plain fact. This 
exaggeration is an onslaught on the door of Truth in order 
to awaken the porter Judgment who lies asleep within. 
The rhymed poetical form in which most of the Proverbs 
are cast makes them easily remembered and keeps them in 
constant use. Many of them show great acuteness in the 
detection of a resembling point between things that differ 
in kind. The beautiful and persuasive parables of Christ 
appealed to this enjoyment and appreciation of similitudes 
among Orientals. 

11. Religion. — Religion is the great fact of Oriental life. 

" Of Him, and through Him, and to Hiui are all things" 
(Rom. xi. 36), such is the acclamation of everything that 
lives or has a name to live in the East. 

Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have many deep^ 
distinctions, but they are all one with regard to the exist- ' 
ence and power of God. In the East, to be without 



166 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

religion is not an iniellectual view but a moral void. 
Scepticism is still regarded as the self-defence of a 
disobedient heart (Ps. xiv. 1). To deny and to prove the 
existence of God are considered almost equally frivolous. 

So strong and universal is this conviction with regard 
to the glory of God's name, that if the Missionary Gospel 
could only find an entrance into the mind and heart, and 
cause love to be added to faith, the East might again send 
fortli a wave of religious influence that would carry 
biosoing to the world. 

Oriental religion has a heart of profound reverence, 
but it is almost paralysed by superstition, fatalism, and 
formality. 

A- Suprrstition. — In the multiplying of mediators 
between God and man, Oriental Christianity has fallen 
into an error from which Judaism and Islam are com- 
paratively free. Faith in amulets is, however, common to 
all, and the power of the evil eye and the discovery of 
secret things by means of witchcraft are widespread 
superstitions. The revealer of secrets by necromancy or 
communication with the dead is called in Arabic a seer. 
This name and practice go back to the days of Samuel. In 
1 Sam. IX. 7 an embarrassment arises about consulting 
the man of God without having a present to give him. 
The word translated "present" means in Hebrew and 
Arabic a direction fee, and the creation of this technical 
term implies that such aj)[)eals to the seer were popular 
and had a recognised commercial value. Another similarity 
that shows the continuity of these dark traditions is that 
the Hebrew name for a wizard, ^^ one who knows," is in the 
living Arabic of to-day *^ one who tells.** Again, when 
the lUble speaks of a man or woman with a familiar 
sptritj the term means one who vuikes use of a bottle. 
This is explained by the modern practice m the East. U 
a sum of money disappears in a house, the witch who if 



SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND KKLIOIOUS LIFE 157 

summoned to reveal where it is hidden and by whom it 
has been stolen always brings an empty bottle with her. 
By this medium she professes to appeal to the dead 
relatives of the party who has lost the money, and the 
audible answers are declared to proceed from the bottle. 

B. Fatalism. — The doctrine of fate is constantly 
resorted to, not only in submitting to the inevitable, 
but in excusing carelessness and indolence. Personal 
disposition cannot, and public custom must not be 
changed. The Jew fulfils all righteousness in following 
Jewish traditions, and so with the Christian and Moslem. 
All admit that the supreme end of religion is to glorify 
God, but the way to that end is rutted and blocked by 
the transport waggons of ceremonial and legal ordinance, 
Israel has the certainty of the commandments, and to this 
Islam adds the duty of submission, but only the Gospel of 
the grace of God can change the outward law into inward 
preference, and self-surrender into perfect freedom. It is 
the hope and prayer of the Christian Church, which sends 
its missionaries to labour in Syria and Palestine, that the 
Holy Spirit may speedily bless the means used towards the 
accomplishment of this great result. God has not cast off 
His ancient people, it is not His will that Ishmael should 
perish, nor is it in vain that the Christian name has been 
preserved through centuries of trial and oppression. 
There is blessing in store for the land in which "the 
Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." 

Even now the religious thought of the East teaches a 
lesson that is often greatly needed in more enlightened 
lands. Those who have handed down so much of the 
outward form from ancient times have also preserved this 
inward truth, that the mission of religion is not so much to 
satisfy the highest claims of the intellect as to supply the 
deepest needs of the heart. In the West, God does a 
certain thing because He is good ; in the East, the same 



168 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUST0M8 

thing is good because He has done it. Ood is greatei 
than East and West, but these have much to learn from 
each other. The East shrinks from prescribing what Ood 
must do. There may be fatalism in definitions as well an 
in destiny. It is hard to enclose the purpose of eternity 
in the formula of a day. The religion that has for its 
first truth and its terminus ^^ihe name of Je8n»^" will 
constantly find its system of theology thrown out of 
perspective by the changing face and new proportions of 
an ever-expanding Ideal. 

C. Formality. — While this abounds in the Oriental 
Church as well as in the Synagogue, its illustration in the 
latter presents details of greater interest on account of the 
connection with Bible history, and because it shows what 
things are preferred to the still rejected Oospel of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

The life of a Jew is religious from the cradle to the 
grave. In the room occupied by the mother and her new- 
born infant the rabbi puts a paper containing Ps. cxxi. in 
Hebrew, with an intercession for the favour of Adam and 
Eve and the good angels, and an anathema against the 
j)Ower or approach of Leilith, the demon of the night. 

After completing his thirteenth year a Jewish boy is 
taken by his father to the synagogue, and there made **a 
son of the Commandment." The father thanks Ood for 
release from moral responsibility over the boy's actions, as 
he has now received the spirit of discernment between 
good and evil (comp. Phil. i. 9, 10). When the Jew rises 
in the morning he puts on under his vest the small 
tallith or prayer-cloth with its sacred fringes, and goe^ 
through the prescribed morning devotions in the house or 
synagogue. 

There are set and separate graces in Hebrew to be said 
in connection with bread, meat, wine, and fruit. Those for 
scents are specialised as adapted to bark, blossoms, leaven 



SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND KKLIGIOUS LIFE 169 

ar fragrant powder. There are similar phrases for the sight 
of anything beautiful or wonderful in nature, for hearing 
ft word of wisdom, or meeting a man eminent in piety. 
These are all learnt by heart in childhood, in a language 
that is not used for common conversation and daily life. 

In the house, on the right-hand door-post of each 
inhabited room, there is the mezdza^ a small box containing 
the commandment in Deut. vi. 4-9. The custom may at 
one time have had a beautiful significance as a reminder 
of the unseen Guest in the house Whose presence should 
control and hallow all that is said and done in it, but it is 
now merely an amulet or charm protecting the sleepers 
against the entrance of any demons of the night. Outside 
of the house there are the synagogue prayers for morning, 
afternoon, and evening, with special additions for the 
weekly Sabbath and the religious Festivals. The service 
of God is always presented as a law that has to be 
carried out both in its evident meanings and in the far- 
fetched and often facetious inferences drawn from them. 
Rabbinical teaching resembles a statute on copyright or 
the game-laws. Thus, with regard to the sin of seething 
a kid in its mother's milk (Ex. xxiii. 29) : (1) The dish is 
utterly prohibited ; (2) to guard against the accidental 
mingling of the two things, the same vessel must not be 
used for milk and meat ; (3) an interval must be allowed 
between the eating of meat and milk ; (4) if the former 
be eaten first, the interval must be longer, as it takes 
longer to digest ; (5) curded milk must be classified as 
meat because it contains rennet. To trace such filigree 
inferences from a hypothetical case is, rabbinically, to 
deepen the spiritual life. It is profoundly natural that 
after such rules are all carried out a loving heart should 
3ay, "What lack I yet?" (Matt. xix. 20). 

Aj^art from the regulations about s])ecial matters and 
the weekly Sabbath, the religious life of the Jews is 



/^ 



100 BIBLE Manners and customs 

controlled by the round of the sacred Festivals, and can 
be best illustrated by a brief description of them and the 
manner of their observance. At every turn we shall have 
to notice how "the letter killeth," but as we do so, let us 
remember that the same loveless formality which has 
brought this blight on the natural branches may do as 
much or more to the engrafted. 

There are eight principal Festivals, of which five have 
their origin in the Pentateuch.^ 

(1) Passover, Ex. xii. 1-28, from the 15th to the end of 
the 21st of lunar April (Abib or Nisan). — This is a time of 
great preparation and rejoicing in the Jewish families. It 
is the beginning cf the religious year. When the sun sets 
on the 14th day and the stars begin to appear, everything 
is in readiness for the celebration. The great house-cleaning 
is over, the niembers of the family are dressed in new 
clothes, and through the fastened doors and windows in 
the Jewish quarter of the town one hears on every side the 
high nasal swing of many voices reading Hebrew in con- 
cert. The Samaritans alone keep up the custom of roasting 
lambs according to the original directions, but all have 
the bitter herbs, chiefly dandelion leaves, and the mortar- 
like sauce with which they are eaten in remembrance of 
the bondage in Egypt. During the reading the head of 
the family explains the circumstances commemorated, and 
asks each of the young sons present where he is going, 
and receives the answer, *^ I am going from the land of 
Egypt to the land of Jerusalem." This form is used 

^ It will be remembered that the Jews observe the lunar year, 
which being shorter than the solar, causes the dates to move forward 
until they are checked and brought back to solar time by the insertion 
of an extra twelfth month, Adar ; that the lunar month does not 
ilways begin on the same day as that of the solar year, and usually 
Includea days from two different months according to the Western 
reckoning, and that the Jewish day always begins with the sunaet of 
the previous evening (Gen. L 6). 



SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS LIKE 161 

because the names Mizraim and YerushalMm (Egypt and 
Jerusalem) form a rhyme. Four cups of wine are 
appointed to be drunk during the celebration. For 
obvious reasons of comfort and decorum the wine is 
diluted with water. It must be of the best quality 
obtainable, and free from Gentile contamination. The 
poor may use raisin-water. 

During the time of preparation great care is taken to rid 
the house of leaven and leavened bread, and every utensil 
used for making, holding, or carrying it. When the house 
has been thoroughly searched and cleansed by the women, 
the master makes his official and solemn search. As he 
does so in the name of God, a piece of bread is laid in a 
conspicuous place, as, if he found nothing, it would be like 
taking God's name in vain ! Sometimes a man is engaged 
to make a nominal purchase of everything fermented in 
the house or that might become so, such as vinegar, wine, 
syrup, and preserved fruits. He asks to have them left 
there till he calls for them. He calls after the seven days 
of the Passover feast are over and gives them back for the 
same sum. During the interval the articles in question 
did not belong, rabbinically, to the family ! In making the 
unleavened bread, the modern Pharisee has a piece of 
muslin put over the mouth of the jar in which the water 
is brought from the fountain in case a crumb of common 
bread might accidentally float into the vessel. Nothing is 
ever said in the spirit of 1 Cor. v. 8. 

(2) Pentecost. — This occurs fifty days after the begin- 
ning of Passover, on the 7th lunar day of June (Sivati). 
It is also called the Feast of Harvest (Ex. xxiii. IG), and 
the Feast of Weeks (Deut. xvi. 6). In the synagogue the 
appointment of the seventy elders is commenorated (Ex. 
xxiv. 1 ; Num. xi. 16). 

(3) Tke ninth of Augmt (Ab). — This is kept in rt.mcm- 
brance as the dark day on which the €r8t ckid d^^x/aiii 

n 



162 BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

Temples were destroyed and Jerusalem was ploughed over 
The synagogue furniture is overthrown and littered about, 
the worshippers fast, and have their clothes soiled and 
disordered, the Book of Lamentations is read, and prayer 
is offered for the coming of the promised Deliverer. 

(4) The Feast of TrumpeU (Lev. xxiii. 24 ; Num. xxix.) 
— This, the 1st of October (Ethanim or Tisri) is the be- 
ginning of the secular year. It acquires religious import- 
ance as the first of the ten days of repentance before the 
Day of Atonement. Tradition teaches that on this New 
Year's day the names of those Israelites who are to die 
during the current year are written down in the Book of 
Death, and the names of those who are to survive it in 
the Book of Life. 

The opportunity afforded by the ten days is that of 
having the name possibly transferred from one book to 
the other by means of increased attention to prayer, 
penance, and the rules and claims of the synagogue. 
This superstition is superior to that of the Roman Catholic 
Confessional and Mass, inasmuch as the decision rests with 
God and not with the priest, but it serves the same pur- 
pose of moral intimidation and mercenary pressure, and 
represents blessing as laboriously wrung from God. 

(5) Day of Atonement (Lev. xvi. 3-10; Num. xxix. 7-11^. 
— This day, 10th October, is one of special solemnity. Jews 
who absent themselves from the synagogue during the rest 
of the year are present and take part in the all-day service 
White cocks and hens are killed as symbolical of forgive 
ness and purity. White clothes are worn for the same 
reason, and the whole day is spent in reciting prayers of 
humiliation and penitence. The vehement gestures and 
voices choked with sobs make the stranger feel that he is 
looking upon the anguish of some great bereavement, it 
is like a soul trying to recover a lost instinct or re-enter 
some previous state of existence. It is the annual pageant 



SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS LIFE 168 

of penitence, but it is powerless to change the heart 
(Heb. X. 3, 4). 

(6) The Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. xxiii. 34 ; Num. 
xxix. 12 ; Deut. xvi. 30). — This begins after sunset on the 
1 4th of October. It was the harvest home or thanksgiving 
day for the ingathering of the fruits of the summer, 
especially raisins, figs, and olives. During the eight days 
of this feast the Jews erect tabernacles or arbours of 
branches and calico awnings on the balconies and flat roofs 
of their houses and take their meals there. 

(7) The Feast of Lights, 25th December (Chisleu), John 
X. 22, commemorates the restoration of the Temple service 
after the sacred place had been desecrated in the time of 
the Maccabees by Antiochus Epiphanes, B.C. 168-165. 

(8) The Feast of Purirn (Est. ix. 19) is held on the 14th 
of March (Adar). The roll of the Book of Esther is read 
through in the synagogue, the name of Mordecai being 
hailed w^ith blessings and that of Haman with impreca- 
tions. It is the Gunpowder-plot Day of Jewish history 
with Haman as conspirator. His elfigy is made and pelted 
by the children, and the rich send gifts of food to the 
poor so that all Israel may rejoice. It is customary to 
say of a well-furnished table or a hearty meal that it 
is a feast of Purim. 

The synagogue service and festivals are chiefly valued 
by the Jews as a means, the only one left to them, of 
declaring and preserving their distinction as a race. They 
become the substitute rather than the support of true 
religious feeling, as every commemoration of the past find? 
its contradiction in the facts of present-day circumstance. 
Thus Passover recalls the fact of the national name and 
place to those who have neither. The agricultural feasts 
of Pentecost and Tabernacles are celebrated by those who 
shrink from manual labour. The Jew is proverbially the 
emigrant and wanderer of the eartk, but he daily recitea 




164 BIBLE MANNEIiS AND CUSTOMS 

in his Prayer-book, " Lord, I thank Thee that Thou hast 
not made me a foreigner." 

It is a strange anomaly that the national bond of union 
should be found in those very formalities that emphasise 
the fact of the people's severance from their original con- 
ditions. There is much in these particulars that should 
appeal pathetically to the sympathy of the Christian who 
knows that what is needed is God's gift of pardon and 
righteousness and the constraining love of Christ. 

Perhaps the crowning instance of such contradiction 
between the past and the present is seen at the close of the 
synagogue service, when the priest's face is veiled with the 
tallith as he pronounces the benediction of Moses (Num. 
vi. 24-26). This precaution is observed lest the utterance 
of the words of Moses by one occupying his place should 
bring up the glory that shone upon the face of the great 
lawgiver, and so strike the people dead. 

This tyranny of empty form and the limiting to one 
nation of what God has thrown open to the whole world 
give to the Christian Church its missionary duty towards 
Israel. It is the message of the younger brother who 
onoe wasted his substance to the elder who is now in 
danger of being impoverished by his. This exclusive 
claim to God's favour was and remains tlie line of cleavage 
between the synagogue and the church. It is zeal, but 
not according to knowledge ; for the truth which the Jews 
reject is that God's glory is exhibited in the saving of all 
nations (Acts ii. 21-39, iii. 25, vi. 14, x. 28-43, xiii. 47, 
xiv. 27, xvii. 27, xxii. 21, 22 ; 1 Tim. ii. 7). 

Palestine is a land of sacred memories. Some of them 
still retain the tones of the living voice, while others 
are bleached and faded inscriptions recording on the 
tombstone what was done when the breath of life was 
warm. 

The great truth of personal religion which the East during 



SOCIAL POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS LIFE 166 

the centuries has taught by «yiuboi and sacriiice, and often 
debased by formality and superstition, is that God entrusts 
His power to those who entrust themselves to Him. The 
story of its institutions and their exi)ansi()n from primitive 
times is an unfolding of the great social law that the 
individual exists for the family, the family for the nation, 
the nation for the world, and the world for God. 

With regard to the Bible itself this study of Manners 
and Customs has set before us a great array of surviving 
thoughts, habits, and institutions that explain and confirm 
the allusions to similar details in the P.ible. It has shown 
us how fully and familiarly the message of revelation was 
adapted to human circumstances. 

The impression thus left upon the mind is that the Bible 
is a book that is meant to be studied, and to be taken on 
its merits as a record of the past, and above all that it 
18 to be loved and reverenced as the voice of Him who 
through it speaks for ever, and to all nationis. 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS 



Agriculture, 37-55 
A.lniond-tree, 9, 54 
Almsgiving, 145 
A^miilets, 70, 153, 156, 159 
A^nklets, 70 
Anvil, 68 
Apothecaries, 78 
Apples, 5, 54 
A 88, 130 

Atmosphere. 14, 16 
Atonement, Fea^t of, 162 
Autumn, 9 
Avarice, 146 

Bakers, 71, 72 
Bankers, 84 
Banqueting-hall, 94 
Basket, 65 
Battlement, 92 
Bazaar, 84, 85 
lie<iaw1n, 28, 139, 148 
Beggars, 144, 145 
- Betrothal, 122 
Bible an.l Nature, 18-20 

twofold element in, 4 d 
Birth, 117-119 
Bitter herbs, 104. 160 
Blindness, 144 
Bonnet, 112 
Booth, 48 
Border, 114 
Bread, 71, 72, 97-100 
Bribery, 142 
Bridal procession, 125 
Bride, adorning of, 124 
Bridegroom, 123 
Bridges, 147 



Broidered work, 62 
Bundle of life, 33 
Butcher, 86 
Butter, 103 



Cakes, 72, 100 
Canopy, 123 
Caravan, 148 
Carpentry, 66 
Casting-net, 76 
Caul, 115 
Cemetery, 127 ♦ 
Cheese, 103 
Chequer-work, 60, 61 
Children, amusements of, 121 
122 

names of, 119, 120 

of the East, 28 
Cities of refuge, 1 38 
City, growth of, 131 

occupations of, 56 

streets of, 57 
Cleanness of teeth, 146 
Climate, 8 
Cloak, 30, 109, 110 
Coat, 110 

Joseph's, 112 
Colour in dress, 59 
Commandment, son of, 158 
Confectionaries, 73 
Copper, 68 
Corner-stone, 63, 64 
Court, 91 
Cunning-work, 62 
Customs, importance of, 2, 8 

permanence of, 1 



168 



BIBLE MANNEKS AND CUSTOMS 



Day and night, 11, 12 

labourer, 77 

of Atonement, 87 
Deceit, 85 
Dedication, 64, 65 
Divorce, 122 
Dogs, shepherds', 38 

in the street, 134 
Door, 95 

keeper, 95 
Drag-net, 76 
Drawer of water, 82 
Dre8«, 107-117 

Ear-rings, 69 

Eating, manner of, 101, 106 

Education, 154, 155 

Embroidery, 62 

Engraving, 67 

Ephod, 111 

Esther, Feast of, 168 

Evil-eye, 71, 72 

Exorcism, 153 

Eye-paint, 116, 117 

Familiar spirit, 166 

Family, 117, 118 

Fan, 41 

.'^atalism, 157 

FfcstiTals, 159-168 

Feuds, 130 

Fever, 151 

Figs, 50, 51 

FH^-tree, the fruitless, 52, 63 

Figurative language, 3, 4, 18, 19 

Fish, 103 

Fishing, 74, 71 

Floor, 94 

Flowers, 22 

Food, 97 

Forerunner, 148, 149 

Formality, 158 

Foundation, 63 

Fountain, 130 

Fowl 103 

Fringe, 114 

Fruits, 104 

Funerals, 126, 127 

Fomiture, 94 



Games, 121 
Gardens, 63 
Gate of city, 182 
Gitts, 142, 145 
Girdle, 112 
Gleaning, 64, 56 
Gourd, 31 
Graces, 158 
Gralting, 50 
Grains, kinda of, SQ 
Grapes, 44 
Grinding.. 98 
Guest-room, 93 
Guest, sanctity o^ 187 

Handkerchief, 113 
Hands, washing of^ 106 
Harvest, 39 
Head-dress, 112 
Hebrew, 154 
Hewer of wood, 82 
High-places, 21 
Hook, 76 
Hosen, 111 
Hospitality, 136-139 
House, 88-97, 138 
Hunting, 76 

Idolatry, 20-22 
Inheritance, 14] 
Ink-horn, 112 
Interest, 84,86 
Iron, 68 
Irrigation, 68 

Jewellery, 70 

Judaism and Christianity, 161 

Khan, 86 

Labourers, day, 77 

in vineyard, 48, 49 
Lamp, 90 
Land, cultivation of, 140 

possession of, 139 
Landscape, 16, 17 
I-a^tict^ Q6, 89, 96 
Law, 14i 
Leaven, if I 
Lentils, lOX 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS 



160 



lights, PeaAt of, 168 

Line, leyelling, 65 
Linen garment, 108 
Locust-bean, 54 
Locusts, 47, 104 
Lnnar yeiur, 160 

Marriage, 122-126 
Masonry, 63 
Meal-times, 104 
Meat, cooking of, 101-108 
Medical missionary, 154 
Medicine, 150-154 
Merchants, 85 
Metal-work, 66-71 
Meziiza, 159 
MUk, 108 
Mill-stone, 98 
Money-changer, 88 
Money-lender, 86 
Months, 9-11 
Moonlight, 14 
Morsel, 102 
Mortar, 102 
Mourning, 126, 127 

Naked, 109 

Napkin, 113 

Necklace, 70 

Necromancy, 166 

Neighbours, 135, 136 

Ninth of August, Feast of, 161 

Oil, jar for, 5. 6 

Ointment, 74 

Olive branches, 49, 60 

grafting, 50 
Olives, gathering of, 49 
Ornaments, 69, 71 
Oven, 72, 99, 100, 130 
Ox, 41, 130 

Palestine, 8, 164 

Palm-tree, 54 

Parables and Proverbs, 8, 4, 165 

Parched corn, 99 

Partridge, 76 

Passover, 160, 161 

Pasture, 28 

Patriarchal government, 1, 129 



Pentecost, Feast of, 161 

Perfumers, 73, 74 
Perjury, 143 
Pharisees, 134 
Phylacteries, 153 
Physicians, 151-168 
Pig, 103 

Pledge, 110, 147 
Plough, 39 
Plumb-line, 64, 65 
Pocket, 112 
Pottery, 78-82 
Poverty, 143 
Presents, 142 
Price, 86 
Prisons, 143 
Property, 139-141 
Purim, Feast of, 168 

Rabbin ism, 169, 161 
Rain, 26 

early, 9 

latter, 11 
Raisins, 45 
Rank, 105 
Reaping, 40 
Reed, measuring, 64 
Religion, 155164 - 
Repentance, ten days of. \€1 
Riches, 146 
Rings, 70 
Roads, 146-148 
Robe, 111, 112 
Rod, 31 
Roof, 92 
Room, 90-92 

-^••SSckcloth, 58 

Sale of land, 140, 141 
Salt, 103, 119 
Salutations, l4i\ 150 
Samaritans, 160 
Sandals, 113, 114 
Satanic possession, 153 
Scepticism, 155 
Schools, 154 
Scrip, 30 
Seals, 42, 70 
Seasons, 9 
Seething, 103, 159 



i70 



BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 



Serpents, 76 
Servauts, 105 
Sheep, care of, 33-37 
/^ fold, 34, 88 

shearing, 36 
Sheet, shirt, 108 
Shepherd-tribes, 27, 28, 128 

hireling, 35, 36 
Shops, 85 
Sickness, 150-164 
Sifting, 97 

Sights and sounds, 1 6, 1 6 
Sirocco, 10 
Skirt, 114 
Sleep, 97 
Sling, 32 
Sowing, 38, 39 
Sparrow, 76 
Spring, 9 
Staff, 31 
Streets, 138 
Summer, 9 

house, 93 
Sunrise and sunset, 11-14 
Superstition, 152, 153 
Swaddling-clothes, 119 
Sycamore, 54 

Synagogue, 154, 158, 159, 163 
Syrup, 47 

Tabernacle, 123 
Tabernacles, Feast of, 163 
Tallith, 158, 164 
Taxes, 131 
Tax-gatherer, 82 
Temperature, 13 
Tent, 89, 90 



Terraces, 38, 39, 68 
Threshing-floor, 41 
Tin, 69 
Tools, 65, 66 
Tradesmen, 57 
Travel, 146 150 
Treading of gi apes, 4.'5 
Trumpets, Feast of, 163 

Unleavened bread, 100, 16) 
Ui)per room, 92 
Usury, 85 

Veil, 115 

Villages, 28, 29, 128-130 
Vineyard, 43-47 
Visitor, 95 

Wailing, 126 -<r\ 
Wall of city, 131.^ 
Washing of hands, 106 
Watchman, 47 
Watch-tower, 97 
Water, 100, 101, 12tf 
Weather, 22, 23 
Weaving, 58-62 
Wedding, 123-126 
Weights, 86 
Wheel of ])0tter, 7© 
Window, 95. 96 
Winds, 23-26 
Wine, 46, 47, 161 
Winepress, 45, 46 
Winnowinoj, 12 
Winter-house, 9S 
Witchcraft, 16^ ^ 
Work, Idd 



INDEX OF TEXTS 





FaOE 


QeneiriR. 




L5 . 


ir>o 


Iv. 2 


27 


viii. 22 . 


9 


xii. 30 


126 


xiii. 7 


29 


xiii. 10 . 


20 


xviii. 10 . 


89 


xviii. IB , 


P9 


i\n. 4 


15 


zxiii. 


141 


xxiv. 22 . 


70 


XXV. 25 . 


110 


XXV. 34 , 


. 102 


XX vii. 27 . 


20 


xxix. 8 . 


29 


xxxi. 19 . 


36 


xxxii. 32 , 


87 


XXXV. 4 


69 


Kxxvii. 8 . 


112 


xxxviii. 13 


36 


XX ^jx. 28. 


112 { 


xli. 6 


25 ! 


xli. 12 . 


• 70 1 


xliii. 11 . 


104 


Exo<iu8, 

14 17 


*>o 



ix. 32 
xi. 5 
xii. 1-28 
xii 39 
xiii. 5-9 
XV. 24 
ivi c 



88 
99 
160 
99 
153 
101 
161 





TaOE 




FAO* 


xvi. 31 


. 100 


xi. 16 


. 161 


xvii. 3 


. 101 


xxiii. 5 


. U)l 


xxi. 19, 20 


32 


xxvii. 17 . 


, 37 


xxii. 4 


. 67 


xxix. 1 11 


. 162 


xxii. 26 . 


. no 


xxix. 12 . 


. 163 


xxiii. 16 . 


. 161 






x.xiii. 19 . 
xxiii. 25 . 


. 101 
. 70 


Deuteronomy. 


xxiv. 1 


. 161 


vi. 4-9 . 


15;^ 159 


xxvi. 1 


59, 62 


viii. 8 


. 43 


xxvi. 36 


. 62 


xi. 10 


. 53 


xxvii. 3 . 


. 76 


xi. 13-21 . 


. 153 


xxviii. 6 


. 62 


XV. 10, 11 


, 145 


xxviii 11 . 


. 67 


xvi, 30 


. 163 


xxviii. 4, 31. 32, 


^0 112 


xxii. 8 


. 92 


xxviii. 89 . 


62 


xxiv. 6 


. 99 


XXX. 5, 35 


. 73 


xxiv. 14, 15 


. 78 


xxxii. 2 . 


. 69 


xxiv. 20 . 


49, 55 


xxxii. 4 . 


, 68 


XXV. 4 


. 41 


xxxii. 17. 18 


. 16 


xxviii. 22. 


, 40 


x xxiii. 2\> . 


. 159 


xxviii. 23 . 


. 25 


xxxvi. 8 . 


62 


xxix. 11 . 


. 82 


xxxu. M. 


6« 


xxxiv. 1-3 


. 16 


Lfeviticu* 




Joshui 


9L. 


vi. 5 
vi. 21 
vii. 12 
xvi. 3-10 . 


. 72 
. 100 
. 100 

. 162 


ii. 6 . 

ii. 15 
iii. 15 
V. 13 


, 92 

. 95 
9 

. 149 


xxiii. 24 . 
xxiii. 84 . 


. 162 
. lr;3 


V. 15 

vii. 21 


. 113 
. 110 


xxvi. 5 


49 


viii. 33 


. 16 


Numbers 




ix. 21 
X. 18 


. 82 
. 122 



vi 24-26 



12. 164 XV. Ifi 



20 



172 



BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 





TAOK 




PAGE 




PAiM 


Judges. 


xvi. 1 


45 


Job. 




iii. 20 . .93 


xvii. 28 , 


99 


11 10 


» 28 


iv. 19 


. 103 


XX. 1 


89 


viiL 18 . 


, 127 


iv. 21 


, 89 


xxiii. 4 


26 


XV. 33 . 


. 60 


V. 25 


103 


xxiii. 15 , 


101 


xxiv. 16 . 


. 81 


V. 2«^> 


89 






xxviiL 


. 18 


V. 28 


96 


1 Kings. 




XXX. 17, 18 


151 


viii. 26 . 


70 


iii. 11 


106 


xxviii. 4-7 


, 65 


viii. 27 . 


77 


iv. 25 


51 


XX viii. 14. 


80 


ix. 7 


16 


vi. 18 


68 


xii. 7 


. 76 


li. 37 


127 


vi. 31 


50 


xU. 24 . 


. 99 


xiv. 12 . 


108 


xii. 16 


90 


xliL 14 . 


117 


xvi. 21 . 


99 


xiii. 8 


101 






xvi. 27 


92 


xvii. 10 . 


101 


Ps&lnui, 




XX. 16 


32 


xvii. 12 , 


99 


18. 


64 




xviii. 44 , 


24 


I. 4 . 


42 


Ruth. 


xix. 6 . 99 


101 


ii. 9 . 


81 


I. 19 . . 130 


xxi. 8 


70 


xiv. 1 


156 


ii. 14 . . 99 


xxii. 17 . 


87 


xviii. i6 . 


26,35 


iii. 15 . . 116 






xix. 1 


21 


iv. 17 . . 119 


2 Kings. 




xix. 6 


123 




il. 1 . 


92 


xix. 7, 8 . 


12 


1 Samuel. 


ii. 14 


110 


xxii. 16 . 


81 


li 7 . . . 145 


iv. 10 


93 


xxiii. . 


36 


U. 19 . . 112 


iv. 29 


32 


xxiii. 8 . 


12 


viii. 13 . .73 


V. 20 


136 


xxiii, 4 


81 


ix. 7 . . 156 


ix. 80 


117 


xxix. , 


18 


xii. 17 . .9, 2.3 


xxi. 13 . 


65 


XXXI. 12 , 


► 81 


xiii. 9 « . 68 


xxiii. 12 . 


92 


XXXV. 7 . , 


. 76 


xiii. 19 . .67 


XXV. 12 . 


43 


xiv. 13 . 


62 


XV. 27 . . 112 






Iviii. 3-5 . 


> 76 


xvii. 18 . . 104 


1 Chronicles. 




Ixii. 3 


, 26 


xvii. 40 , ,30 


xii. 40 . 


45 


Ixv. 


18 


xviii. 4 . .112 


xxiii. 29 . 


100 


Ixxii. 6 • 


, 26 


xix. 12 . . 95 






Ixxiv. 1 , 


. 87 


XXIV. 4 . . 112 


2 Chronicles. 




Ixxix. 13 . 


87 


XXV. 2 . 36, 37 


li. 10 


50 


Ixxx. 


17.43 


XXV. 18 45, 51, 10 1 


vi. . 


16 


Ixxxiv. MO 


90 


XXV. 29 . 32, :V.>> 


vi. 28 


40 


Ixxxiv. 10 


95 


xxvi. 13-17 . It) 


xvi. 12 . 


153 


xc. 5 , , 


26 


xxvi. 20 , ,76 


xvi. 14 . 


73 


xci. 1 . 


13 


xxvi. 21 . .101 






xcii. 2 


54 


XXX. 12 . 45, 51 


Nehemiah. 




xcv. 7 t 


37 




viii. . 


16 


civ. . 


18 


2 Samuel. 


xiiL 16 . 


74 


civ. 15, 16 


82 


t 10 . . 70 






civ. 19, 20 


13 


1. 18 . . 122 


E^sther. 




civ. 23 . 5 


7,130 


V. 11 . . 67 


i. 4 . 


136 


cviil 9 • 


113 


xiii. IS , 


116 


ix. 19 , 


163 


cziv. • 


17, la 



INDEX OF TEXTS 



178 



ezvilL 22 
cxii. 176 
cxxL 
cxxi. 6 
cxxiv. 7 
cxxvL 6 
cxxvii. 
cxxviii. 8 
cxxxvii. 6 
cxxxix. 12 
cxlvil. 
cxlviii. 



Proverbs, 
xi 1 
xiv. 81 
XY. 17 

xvi. 11 
xviiL 16 
XX. 10 
xxl. 14 
xxiv. 30-81 
XXV. 17 
XXV. 23 
XXV. 25 
xxvi. 8 
xxvi. 23 
xxvi. 27 
xxvii. 9 
xxvii. 10 
xxvii. 22 
xxviii. 27 
XXX. 10 
XXX. 24 (R V.) 



i. 6 . 
vii 1 
ix. 12 
xi. 4 
xii. 3, i 
xii. 5 
xa 13 



ffAom 
63 

37 

158 

13 

77 

130 

119 

50 

123 

12 

18 

18 



86 
145 
103 

86 

142 

86 

145 

44 

135 

24 

101 

32 

81 

77 

74 

135 

102 

145 

86 

108 



Ecclesiastes. 



26 
74 
77 
23 
99 
54, 127 
. 26 



11. 13 

iil 6 
iv. 1 
V. 3. 

vi. 11 
vii. 7 



Isaiah. 



Song of Solomon. 
L 8 . . .74 
L 6 . . .90 
tt. IMd . . 22 



i. 3 . 
i. 8 (R. V, 
i. 25 
iil. 10 
iii. 18-20 
iii. 22-24 

V, 

V. 4. 

xvi. 10 
xvii. 6 
xix. 8 
XX. 2 
xxiv. 13 
xxiv. 18 
XXV. 5 
xxviii. 2 
xxviii. 16 
xxviii. 17 
xxviii. 25 
xxix. 16 
XXX. 14 
XXX. 16 
XXX. 24 
XXX. '28 
xxxvi. 6 
xi. 3-5 
xl. 11 
xii. 7 
xlii. 22 
xlv. 19 
liii. 6 
liv. 16 
Iv. 1. 
Ivii. 9 
Ivii. 10 
Iviii. 8 
lix. 19 
Ix. 

Ix. 1. 2 
Ixi. 10 



PAOE 

44,52 
74 
17 
115 
54 
54 



1 



130 

48 

69 

108 

0, 115 
108, 112, 

5, 116 
43 
44 
46 
49 

74,75 
109 
49 
76 
25 
26 
63 
65 
38 
81 

72,81 
101 
42 
97 
32 
148 
30 
68 
76 
81 
37 



73 
7:s 
127 
12 
26 
18 
12 
U2, 123 





FAOI 


Ixiii, 8 . 


. 46 


Ixiv. 8 . 


. 81 


Jeremiah 




i. 4, 17 . 


. 37 


ii. 13, 18 . 


. 101 


iv. 20 


. yo 


iv. 30 


. 117 


v. 27 


76 


vi. 29 


QS, 69 


viii. 17 . 


76 


viii. 20 


9 


X. 5 . 


54 


xviii. 3 


79 


xviii. 4-11 


81 


xix. 11 . 


81 


XX. 15 . 


118 


xxii. 13 . 


65 


xxii. 18 . 


126 


xxiv. 2, 8. 


51 


XXV. 10 . 


99 


XXX. 21 . 


147 


xxxvi. 22 . 


93 


xxxvii. 21. 


72 


xxxvii. 27. 


90 


xlviii. 33 . 


46 



Lamentations, 
iv. 2. . . 81 
V. 13 . 82, 99 



Ezekiel. 
iv. 9. 

viii. 10 . 
xiii. 11 
xvi. 4 
xvi. 10 . 
xvi. 12 . 
xvii. . 
xxvii. 

xxxiv. 6, 8, 12 
xxxiv. 36 . 
xxxvii 
xxxvii. 11 
xl. 3 



Daniel. 



L 12 



38 

6S 

26 

119 

82 

69 

43 

17 

87 

26 

133 

127 

64 



8€ 



174 



BIBLK MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 





PAUB , 




PAOB , 




»AOB 


uL 21 111. 112, V. 43 48 


156! 


XlT 9 


63 


lii. 8 


42 


vi 30 


22 i 


xiv 10 


106 






X. 9. 


112i 


xiv 12 


136 


flosea. 




X. 16 


87 


xiv 18 . 


144 


iv. 3 


74 X. 42 7« 


i. 101 


Xiv. 19 , 


130 


vil. 4-6 . 


72 


xi. 17 


122 


XV. 3 7 


37 


ix. 10 


61 


xii 42 


150 1 


XV. 6, 9 . 


185 






xiii. 4-7 . 89, < 


10, 97 ' 


XV. 25 


130 


Amos. 




XVI. 2 


26 xvi. 8 


84 


ii. 13 


40 


xvii. 27 . 


75 


xvi. 20 . 


144 


iii. 5 


76 


xix. 20 . 


159 


xviii. 1-7 . 


142 


iii. 15 


93 


XX. 12 . 


12,78 


xix. 20 . 


113 


iv. 2 


75 


xxi. 12 . 


84 


xix. 23 . 


83 


iv. 6 


145 


xxi. 19 . 


52 


XX. 46 . 


112 


iv. 9 


40 


XXL 33 . 


48 


xxii. 31 . 


97 


vii. 11 


54 


xxi. 33-41 


140 


xxiii. 56 . 


78 


viii. 11 . 


101 


xxi. 42 . 


63 






ix. 9 


97 


xxiii. 5 


153 


JohxL 








xxiv. 32 . 


51 


i. 27 


113 


Micah. 




xxiv. 41 , 


99 , i. 48 


51 


W. 4 


61 


XXV. 1-13 . 


123 


X. 1-18 . 


37 






XXV. 35 . 


138 


^; 10 


21 


Nahum. 




XXV. 36 . 


143 


X. 12 


3^ 


iU. 12 


. 51 


xxvi. 26 . 


99 


X. 14 


35 


iii. 14 


. 80 






XI. 31 


126 






Mark. 




xi. 44 


113 


Hahakkulj 




it 4 . 


92 


xiii. 26 . 


101 


i. 16 


. 75 


V. 26 


. 151 


xiv. 6 


53 


lii . 


. 18 


V. 38 


. 126 


XV. 5 


8,44 






vii. 6 


, 115 


xv. 16 • 


, 135 


Zephanial 


\. 


X. 46 


. 144 


xvi. 21 . 


. 118 


i. 3 . 


. 74 


xi. 13 


. 52 


XIX. 23 . 


110 






xiii. 28 . 


. 51 


xix. 41 . 


. 53 


Zechariah 




xiv. 3 


74 


XX, 7 


. 113 


iii. 4 


. 112 


xiv. 51 . fi 


2, 108 


xxi. 16 . 


87 


xiii. 9 


, 69 


Luke. 




Acts. 




Malachi. 




ii. 4 . 


. 131 


i. 13 


. 92 


iii. 3. 


. 69 


iv. 38 


. 151 


ii. 9-11 . 


. 83 






v. 6 . 


. 75 


ii. 21-39 . 


. 164 


Matthew 




vi. 29 


. 110 


ii. 44-46 . 


. 139 


iii. 4 


. 110 


vi. 48, 49 . 


. 26 


iii. 2 


. 144 


iv. 19 


. 75 


ix. 5 


. 113 


iii. 25 


. 164 


V. 6 . 


. 101 


xi. 5 


. 105 


vi. 14 


. 164 


y. 14 


. 12 


xi. 7 


. 97 


ix. 37 


. 92 


V. 15 


. 90 


xii. 3 


• 16 


ix. 39 


. 126 


V. 26 


. 143 


xii. 54 ♦ 


• 24 


X. 28 


5, 164 


V. 29 


. 76 


xii. 55 


. 25 


xii. 18 , 


95 


V. 40 


, 110 


xiii,«,9 , 


, 52 


1 xiiL 47 . 


. 164 



INDEX OF TEXTS 



m 





FAOB 


PAOB 






PAOE 


^. 27 


6, 164 


xi. 24 . .99 


xiil. 2 


. 138 


rvi. 14 . 


. 59 


XV. 29 . .120 


xiii. 20 . 


. 87 


xvi. 24 . 


. 143 








xvii. 27 . 


164 


2 Corinth iaiKs. 


James. 




xvii. 29 . 


» 68 


iv. 4 . . 12 


ii. 16 


145 


xix. 12 . 


, 113 


iv. 7 . . 81 






XX. 9 


96 


vi. 14 . .12 


1 Peter. 




XX. 35 
xxii. 21, 22 


146 
164 


EphfsianH. 


il 5. 


66 


xxvi. 13 . 


13 


i. 13 . 42 


Jude. 




ixvi 18 . 


12 


iv. 30 . .42 


12 


26 






V. 8 . . .12 


20 


65 


Romans. 




PhilippianR. 


Revelation 




Ix. 21 


81 


i. 9, 10 . . I.'i8 


a oj 


81 
117 


xl. 24 
xi 36 


50 
155 


IL2. , .134 
iv. 8 . . 53 


U. Z7 
iii. 18 




XT. 20 


63 




iii. 20 




137 


XV. 28 


42 


1 Thessalonians. 


V. 12 




37 






V. 7 . .47 


vii. 13 




112 


1 Oorinthiai 


i§. 


1 Timothy. 


vii. 16 

vii. 17 




13 

36 


Ui. 9 


65 


V. :i8 41 


xxi. . 




131 


ilL 10 


63 




xxi. 16 




64 


?. 8 


161 


Hebrews. 


xxi. 22 




16 


lft.9 • , 


41 


X. 3, 4 . . 162 


xxi 26 , 




lU 



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