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Full text of "The natural history of the Bible ; or, A description of all the quadrupeds, birds, fishes, reptiles, and insects, trees, plants, flowers, gums, and precious stones, mentioned in the sacred scriptures: Collected from the best authorities, and alphabetically arranged"





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THE 

NATURAL HISTORY 



BIBLE. 



THE 



NATURAL HISTORY 



BIBLE; 

OR, 

A DESCRIPTION 

OF ALL THE 

QUADRUPEDS, BIRDS, FISHES, REPTILES, AND INSECTS, 

TREES, PLANTS, FLOWERS, GUMS, AND PRECIOUS STONES, 



MENTIONED IN 



COLLECTED FROM THE BUST AUTHORITIES, AND ALPHABETICALLY ARRANGED, 

BY THADDEUS MASON HARRIS, D.D. 

OF DORCHESTER, MASSACHUSETTS. 



He spake of Trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out 
of the wall. He spake also of Beasts, and of Fowls, and of Creeping Things, and of Fishes." 

1 KINGS, iv. 33. 



LONDON: 

PRINTED FOR THOMAS TEGG, 73, CHEAPSIDE. 
1824. 



CD. & C. aBtyiuingftam, College ^oust, 



Stack 

Anns* 

s 



PREFACE. 



THERE are few things more difficult to be determined 
with any degree of certainty and precision, than those 
which refer to the natural history of the world in the ear- 
lier ages ; for we have no ancient history of nature which 
describes animals, plants, &c. under their original names. 
This difficulty is always felt, and has always been re- 
gretted, in perusing the Sacred Scriptures ; for our igno- 
rance of the various beasts, birds, and plants which are 
expressly mentioned or incidentally referred to there, 
prevents us from discovering the propriety of many 
allusions to their nature and habits, and conceals from 
us the beauty of many similes which are founded on 
their characteristic qualities. The utility of a clear and 
correct explanation of these will be apparent from the 
following considerations : 

I. The distinction between clean and unclean ANIMALS 
forms an important part of the Mosaic ritual. Neither 
the indulgence of the former in the food of the Jews, nor 
the prohibition of the latter, was merely arbitrary, but 
founded, among other reasons, upon judicious rules of 
dietetic regimen, adapted primarily to the climate, or to 
the nature and qualities of the animals, as salutary or 
unwholesome, as proper or improper, to be eaten. To 
perceive the propriety of the regulations in this respect, 
it is highly necessary to determine what those animals 
were, and to point out those instincts, habits, and qua- 
lities on account of which they were either allowed or 
prohibited. 



11 PREFACE. 

The natural history of foreign countries was very little 
known at the time when our translation of the Bible was 
made. Hence we find in it the names of animals un- 
known in the east; as the WHALE and the BADGER, 
creatures with which the Jews must have been wholly 
unacquainted. And though in the book of Job there are 
very particular descriptions of the LEVIATHAN and BE- 
HEMOTH, our translators discover their ignorance of the 
creatures described, by retaining the Hebrew names ; 
whereas to the reem they assign the name of the UNICORN, 
which is known to be a fabulous animal. Indeed, they 
frankly acknowledge, in their preface, the obscurity ex- 
perienced by them in the Hebrew words which occur 
but once, and " in the names of certain birds, beasts, 
precious stones, &c. How considerably such diffi- 
culties have been diminished since their time, by a 
knowledge of the oriental dialects, and by the labours 
of such men as BOCHART and MICHAELIS, not to name 
many others, is well known to such as are conversant in 
these studies 1 . 

II. The language of the east was highly figurative. 
Apologues, fables, and parables were the common vehi- 
cles of moral truth. In every part of the sacred writings 
images are introduced from the works of nature, and me- 
taphors drawn from the manners and economy of ani- 
mals, the growth of trees, and the properties of plants ; 
and unless we know precisely the animal, tree, or plant 
referred to, we cannot discern the propriety of the allu- 
sion, nor be suitably impressed with the full force of the 
doctrine, precept, or narrative, which it was intended to 
illustrate. But these things, judiciously explained, serve 
to clear up many obscure passages, solve many difficul- 
ties, correct many wrong interpretations, and open new 
beauties in the sacred volume. To use the words of an 
author, whose opinion adds importance to my subject, 
"These illustrations 2 , though they do not immediately 
rectify the faith or refine the morals of the reader, yet 

1 NEWCOME'S Historical View of Translations of the Bible. 
1 Dr. SAMUEL JOHNSON, in his Life O/"THOMAS BROWNE. 



PREFACE. Ill 

are by no means to be considered as superfluous niceties 
or useless speculations ; for they often show some pro- 
priety of allusion utterly undiscoverable by readers not 
skilled in the natural history of the east ; and are often 
of more important use, as they remove some difficulty 
from narratives, or some obscurity from precepts." 

III. The incidental references which are made in the 
Bible to animals, vegetables, &c. confirm, also, the truth 
of the scripture history ; for they show that the writers 
were in the country, and conversant with the scenes 
which they describe, by indications of the climate, crea- 
tures, and productions peculiar to those places, and 
which could be familiar only to persons so situated. 

The want of that accurate information on many sub- 
jects, which can be obtained only on the spot and by 
personal inspection, is especially felt in our investigation 
of the natural history of the sacred scriptures. This is 
strongly expressed by the celebrated LINNAEUS in the 
account which he published of Dr. HASSELQUIST. His 
words are, " In one of my botanical lectures, in the year 
1747, 1 enumerated the countries of which we knew the 
natural history, and those of which we were ignorant. 
Amongst the latter was Palestine. With this we were 
less acquainted than with the remotest parts of India ; 
and though the natural history of this remarkable country 
was the most necessary for divines and writers on the 
scriptures, who have used their greatest endeavours to 
know the animals therein mentioned, yet they could not, 
with any degree of certainty, determine which they were, 
before some one had been there, and informed himself 
of the natural history of the place." HASSELQUIST, who 
attended this course of lectures, was very desirous of 
being the first who should supply this important deside- 
ratum, and was determined to accomplish it. Having 
qualified himself for the undertaking by the study of the 
Arabic and other eastern languages, in 1749 he was 
conveyed by the Levant Company to Smyrna, and for 
two years was engaged in making collections of plants, 
&c. in Egypt and the Holy Land. He died in the midst 
of these useful labours ; but his papers were published 

B2 



IV PREFACE. 

by LINNAEUS, in 1757 ; and contain many articles which 
throw much light upon the Natural History of the Bible. 

There was an English translation in 1766, which has 
now become scarce; '' a circumstance," says Dr. PUL- 
TEXV, in his view of the writings of LIXN^US, "suffi- 
ciently indicative of the intrinsic value of the work, 
which, for its originality, as well as accuracy and variety 
of information, must always rank high among books of 
travels." 

The learned J. D. MICIIAELIS, in an oration delivered 
at Gottingen in 1753, recommended " a mission of learned 
men into the east, that by travelling through Syria, Pa- 
lestine, and Egypt, and observing the animals, plants, &c. 
of those regions, and investigating their nature and qua- 
lities, they might ascertain those which are named in 
Holy Writ." Having projected the plan of such a mis- 
sion, which should embrace every thing connected with 
the history, geography, antiquities, natural productions, 
language, and manners of those countries that could serve 
to throw any light upon the sacred records, he proposed 
the subject to Count BERNSTORFF in the year 1756 ; who 
recommended it to his royal master FREDERICK the Fifth 
of Denmark. The king heartily seconded these views, 
engaged to defray the whole expense of the undertaking, 
and honoured its projector by committing to his charge 
the selection of the travellers, and the arrangement of the 
plan in all its details 3 . MICHAELIS drew up a set of 
questions upon interesting articles, about which inquiries 
were to be made, and which discover how much even the 
most learned man in Europe felt in doubt respecting 
these subjects in the Natural History of the Bible, and 
of how great importance he considered a satisfactory ex- 
planation of them. Unhappily M. FORSKAL, the learned 
naturalist on this expedition, died in Arabia, before he 
had composed any regular work in reply to the questions. 
NIEBUHR, his fellow traveller, however, published from his 
papers a scientific catalogue of articles, which is valuable 

3 Dr. SMITH'S Preface to his Translation of MICHAELIS on the 
Laws of Moses, p. 10. 



PREFACE. V 

for a few incidental remarks, and as giving the names 
by which animals and plants are now called in those 
regions. 

Dr. SHAW, whose travels I have often quoted, observes 
that " the names by which animals, c. are now called 
in the eastern countries will be of great assistance in 
determining sacred natural history ; for some of them, it 
may be presumed, continue to be the very same ; whilst 
many others may prove to be traditional, or derivatives 
from the original." 

In 1793 I published a small volume with a similar title 
to the one now printed. The approbation with which 
that work has been honoured in this country and in Eu- 
rope is highly flattering. I kept on my table an inter- 
leaved copy, and, in the course of my reading, transferred 
to it the additional information which I collected. De- 
sirous of pursuing the investigation still farther, I pro- 
cured, with considerable expense, many valuable books 
which I had not before the opportunity of consulting. 
In fine, I have reexamined every article with better 
knowledge and greater care; have transcribed and new 
modelled the whole, and made such amendments and 
additions throughout, as render this rather a new work 
than a new edition; and, to its completion and perfec- 
tion, the studies and acquisitions of more than twenty- 
five years have contributed 4 . 

The following were my rules of investigation. 

I. To examine all the passages of scripture where the 
name of the animal, plant, &c. which I was examining, 
occurs ; in order to ascertain its nature and qualities, by 
such a reference to particular places as they separately 
furnish, either by direct description or metaphorical allu- 
sion; and, by. comparing them together, endeavour to 
identify the subject. 

II. Look out the name in the Lexicons of CASTEL, 
BUXTORF, MENINSKI, PARKHURST, and others, with re- 

4 " Tot in ea sunt emendata, tot dispuncta, recocta, limata, im- 
rautata, tanta insuper accessio ubique facta est, ut pristine, quantum 
erat, lineamcnto plerumque disparente, exeat oinniuo nova." SEL- 
DEN, Prccf. in mare Clays. 



VI PREFACE. 

gard to the meaning they affix to it, or the root from 
which it is derived ; believing that the names of animals, 
plants, &c. were not arbitrary, but founded on some ap- 
parent and predominant quality or property, sufficient to 
give them a designation at first. 

III. Trace the word again, in every place where it 
occurs, through all the versions of the scriptures, to 
discover how it was understood and rendered by the 
most ancient interpreters. 

IV. Search for it in all the modern commentaries, 
critics, and new translations. 

V. Consult the authors who have written upon the 
subject of the Natural History of the Bible, for their 
opinions and explanations. 

VI. Avail myself of all the information contained in 
the ancient and modern writers of natural history, and 
the incidental mention of animals, plants, &c. in books 
of travels. 

This investigation, diligently pursued, often employed 
a whole day to ascertain only one article, the result of 
which is, perhaps, comprised in a single sentence. 

Of my authorities, and the use which I have made of 
them, it becomes me to speak with grateful acknowledg- 
ment. The first and principal of these is BOCHART, who, 
in his Hierozoicon, has, in the most learned researches, 
traced the names of the ANIMALS mentioned in scripture 
through the different languages and dialects of the east, 
and in most cases has been able by some evident simi- 
larity of sound, or some other striking circumstance, with 
sufficient clearness to identify each individual. He had 
the opportunity of consulting the natural history of DA- 
MiR 5 and other Arabian authors; and could bring from 
all the treasuries of ancient learning the authorities for 
his decisions : so that there has seldom been found rea- 
son to depart from his opinion ; a few instances only have 
occurred where it appeared to be outweighed by equally 

5 Historia Animalium, Arabica, ordine alphabetico disposita, ubi 
multa de eorum nominibus, natura, proprietatibns, qualitate, virtute, 
natal i loco et educatione, referuntur, &c. Anno Hegirac, 773, Script. 
A.D. 1371. 



PREFACE. Vll 

ingenious and learned, and more pertinent illustration 
and proof. 

The Physique Sacree of SCHEUCHZER, in eight vo- 
lumes folio, is a magnificent work, with which a noble 
friend in Paris supplied me. It has contributed greatly 
to enrich my articles. 

With regard to PLANTS, I have availed myself of the 
elaborate researches of HIJLLER in the Hierophyticon, and 
of CELSIUS in his Hierobotanicon ; carefully consulting, 
at the same time DIOSCOIUDES and the elder PLINY 
among the ancients, and ALPINUS, RAUWOLF, HASSEL- 
QUIST, SHAW, RUSSEL, FORSKAL, and others, among the 
moderns 6 . 

Mr. BRUCE, in his Travels to discover the Source of 
the Nile, collected specimens of natural history in Egypt, 
Arabia, Abyssinia, and Nubia. His celebrated work has 
been read with pleasure and advantage, and some ex- 
tracts have been made from it. In describing the plants, 
birds, and beasts which he saw in his travels, he informs 
us that he " made it a constant rule to give the preference 
to such of each kind as are mentioned in Scripture, and 
concerning which doubts have arisen. Many learned 
men (says he) have employed themselves with success 
upon these topics, yet much remains still to do; for it has 
generally happened that those perfectly acquainted with 
the language in which the Scriptures were written have 
never travelled, nor seen the animals of Judea, Palestine, 
or Arabia ; and again, such as have travelled in these 
countries and seen the animals in question, have been 
either not at all, or but superficially, acquainted with the 
original languages of Scripture. It has been my earnest 
desire to employ the advantage I possess in both these 
requisites to throw as much light as possible upon the 
doubts that have arisen. I hope I have done this freely, 

6 " The frequent recurrence of metaphorical expressions to natu- 
ral objects, and particularly to plants and to trees, is so characteristic 
of the Hebrew poetry that it might be almost called the botanical 
poetry. In the Sacred Scriptures there are upwards of two hundred 
and fifty botanical terms ; which none use so frequently as Uie 
poets." MICHAELIS Note upon LOWTH'S Lect. vi. 



Vlll PREPACK. 

fairly, and candidly. If I have at all succeeded, I have 
obtained my reward." 

The Icthyologi& Biblic<z of RUDBECK is a princi- 
pal authority for the FISHES mentioned in Scripture; 
SCIIEUCHZER for the SERPENTS and INSECTS ; and LEM- 
NIUS and BRAUNIUS for the MINERALS and PRECIOUS 
STONES. 

Of the continuator of CALMET, particularly the volume 
which bears the title of " SCRIPTURE ILLUSTRATED," 
considerable use has been made; but it will be found that 
in several places I have differed from that ingenious wri- 
ter, who indulges sometimes in great freedom of remark, 
and whose criticisms are very frequently merely conjec- 
tural. My extracts were made from this work before 
there was any expectation that it would be reprinted in 
this country, and therefore I quoted with greater freedom 
and copied with greater copiousness ; but, as it is now in 
circulation among us, I have cancelled some of my ori- 
ginal extracts, lest I should be thought to have made my 
own work too much a compilation from that. 

I have endeavoured to substantiate every article which 
I have introduced by proofs stated with all possible clear- 
ness, and illustrate it by criticisms and explanations ; yet 
I lay claim to no praise but that of having brought into a 
regular form such information as I could collect from the 
best and most unexceptionable sources 7 . In the most 
unrestrained terms I acknowledge that I have borrowed 
from all authors of established reputation, with freedom, 
such materials as I could find, after having deliberately 
considered and impartially collated their accounts ; that, 
in appropriating such information as was to be collected 
from those writers, I have not scrupled to use their own 
words where they wrote in English, and to translate 
where in any other language : yet, though I have not 
been particular in giving credit for every extract, or in 
always using inverted commas, I have aimed to point out 
carefully my authorities under every article. If an apo- 
logy be necessary, I plead that of LIPSIUS, ad cap. 1. /. 1 . 

7 " Est benigmim, et plenum ingenui pudoris, fateri per quos pro- 
fiteris." PUN. Nat. Hist, praef. 



PREFACE. IX 

monitor polit. " Lapides et ligna ab aliis accipio, sedificii 
tamen extructio et forma tota nostra est. Architectus ego 
sum, sed materiam varie undique conduxi. Nee arena- 
rum sane textus ideo melior, quia ex se fila gignunt, nee 
noster vilior, quia ex alieriis libamus ut apes." 

I have subjoined a list of the principal books which I 
have consulted, with a reference to the edition which I 
used ; and would still mention that in the notes will be 
found references to more than twice the number in the 
following catalogue. In short, I have spared neither la- 
bour nor expense in the collection of materials ; and have 
aimed to make my work a useful and valuable treasure of 
information, and worthy of the approbation of the public. 
As it was originally undertaken with a view to general 
information, and designed in particular for the instruction 
of the less informed and the young, all technical terms 
have, as much as possible, been avoided, and short and 
natural descriptions attempted. I have aimed to make 
even mere verbal criticism so plain and intelligible as to 
be within the comprehension of common readers ; and 
though I have been obliged to introduce those words from 
the original Hebrew on which my criticisms were found- 
ed, I have taken care to give the reading in European let- 
ters, and very seldom have introduced any thing from the 
Greek or Latin without a translation, or so blending it in 
the text as to render a literal version unnecessary ; and I 
have studied to make this least entertaining part of my 
work in some degree interesting even to those who have 
been little accustomed to such kind of disquisitions. To 
some of the general illustrations are added such historical 
facts, reflections, or reasonings as appeared calculated to 
render the subject more instructive and useful ; and I have 
occasionally enlivened the dulness of mere discussion by 
the introduction of poetical versions or quotations ; with 
the design of obtaining, as far as was in my power, the 
double object of writing a union of entertainment with 
utility. 

In the course of the work a new translation has been 
given of a great many separate passages, and some whole 
chapters of scripture, with remarks and illustrations cor- 
recting the errors which were the consequence of their 



X PREFACE. 

being misunderstood, and pointing out the precision and 
force, the emphasis and beauty which they derive from 
an accurate knowledge of the object in natural history 
to which they originally referred. 

After all, I am aware that some articles may be found 
defective, and leave the inquisitive reader uninformed or 
unconvinced. Such defect was unavoidable, when, after 
the utmost research, no satisfactory information could be 
procured. All that I can add is, that I have availed my- 
self of every advantage within my reach to render the 
whole as complete and satisfactory as possible, and now 
commit the work to the public, with a hope that it may 
be found a useful and prove an acceptable addition to 
those writings in which the Sacred Scriptures have been 
most successfully explained. 

DORCHESTER, November, 1820. 



* # * The alphabetic arrangement consists only of those 
names which are found in our translation of the Bible. 
Next is the Hebrew word ; and the passages referred to 
are those in which the Hebrew word is found in the ori- 
ginal. In several instances our translators have given 
the same English to different words in the original ; this 
I have noted, and made references to them at the end of 
the articles. 



CATALOGUE 



PRINCIPAL AUTHORITIES QUOTED IN THE FOLLOWING WORK. 



ALPINUS (Prosp.) De Plantis ^Egypti. 4to. 2 torn. Lug. 1735. 

ALTMAN(Geo.)DeGallicinioaPetro in^EdibusPontificis audito. 
[Extat in Bibliotheca Bremensis. Cl. v. Fascic. iii. p. 451.] 

ALTMAN (Geo.) Ad Locum Act. xiv. 14. de Lydiae Thyatyrensi 
Observations. [Bibl. Brem. Cl. v. Fasc. iv. p. 670.] 

BIEL (J. C.) De Purpura Lydiae. [Bib. Brem. Cl. iii. Fasc. iii. 
p. 409.] 

BIEL (J. C.) De Lignis ex Libano ad Salomonis Templurn aedifi- 
candurn. [Symbol. Hagance Liber. Cl. iv. par. 1.] 

BOCHART (Sara.) Hierozoicon ; sive deAnimalibus S. Scripturae. 
Recensuit suis Notis adjectis. C. F. C. ROSENMULLER. Lips. 
1793. 4to. 3 torn. 

BRAUNIUS (J.)Vestitus Sacerdotum Hebraeorum. 4to. Amst. 
1680. 

BRUCE (James) Select Specimens of Natural History, collected 
in Travels to discover the Source of the Nile, in Egypt, Arabia, 
Abyssinia, and Nubia. (This is numbered as the Sixth Volume of 
his Travels.) 8vo. Dublin, 1790. 

BRYANT (Jacob) Observations on the Plagues inflicted on the 
Egyptians; in which is shown the Peculiarity of those Judgments, 
and their Correspondence with the Rites and Idolatry of that People. 
8vo. London, 1794. 

CALMET (Aug.) Great Dictionary of the Bible, with Continuation, 
and " Scripture Illustrated by means of Natural Science, in Botany, 
N atural History, &c." by C. TAYLOR. 4to. 4 vols. London, 1797 
1803. 

CELSIUS (Ol.) Hierobotanicon ; sive de Plantis Sacrae Scripturae. 
8vo. 2 vols. Amst. 1748. 

COCQUIUS (Adr.) Phytologia Sacra; seu Historia ac Contem- 
platio sacra Plantarum, Arborum, et Herbarum, quarum sit Mentio 
in Sacra Scriptura. 4to. Ulissing. 16G4. 

DRUSIUS (J.) De Mandragora Tractatus. 4to. 



Xli CATALOGUE OF 

FORSKAL (Pet.) Flora TEgyptiaco Arabica. 4to. Hauniae, 1775. 

FORSKAL (Pet.) Descriptions Animalium,Avium,Amphibiorum, 
Piscium, Insectorum,Vermium, quae in Itinere Oriental! observavit. 
4to. Hauniae, 1775. 

FORSKAL (Pet.) Icones Rerum naturalium quas in Itinere Orien- 
tali depingi curavit. 4to. Hauniie, 1776. 

FORSTER (J. R.) Liber singularis de Bysso Antiquorum. 8vo. 
London, 1776. 

FRANZIUS (Wolfang.) Animalium Historia Sacra. 12mo. ed. 5. 
Amst. 1653. 

GEDDES (Alex.) Critical Remarks on the Hebrew Scriptures. 
4to. London, 1800. 

HARMER (Tho.) Outlines of a new Commentary on Solomon's 
Song. 8vo. London, 1768. 

HARMER (Tho.) Observations on Passages of Scripture, by refe- 
rence to Travels into the East, &c. 4 vols. 8vo. London, 1787. 

HASSELQUIST (Fred.) Travels into the Levant. 8vo. Lon. 1766. 

HILLER (Matt.) Hierophyticon ; sive, Commentarius in Loca S. 
Scripturae quae Plantarum faciunt mentionera. 4to. Traj. a d'Rhen. 
1725. 

HURDIS (James) Critical Dissertation upon the true Meaning of 
the Word D'i'jn, found in Genesis, i. 2L. 8vo. London, 1790. 

HURDIS (James) Select Critical Remarks upon the English Ver- 
sion of the first Ten Chapters of Genesis. 8vo. London, 1793. 

KIESLING (J. R.) De Xerophagia apud Judaeos, &c. Lips. 1746. 

LEMNIUS (Levin.) Herbarum atque Arborum quae in Bibliis pas- 
sim obvia sunt, et ex quibus Sacri Vates similitudines desumunt, ac 
Collationes Rebus accomodant, dilucida Explicatio. 8vo. Antvv. 
1566. 

LEMNIUS (Levin.) De Gemmis, &c. 12mo. Franeq. 1591. 

MAJUS (Henry) Historia Animalium in Sacro imprimis Codice 
memoratum. 8vo. Francof. 1686. 

MICHAELIS (J. D.) Recueil de Questions proposees & une 
Societe de Savants, qui par Order de sa Majeste Danoise font le 
Voyage de 1'Arabie. 4to. Amst. 1774. 

MICHAELIS (J. D.) Commentaries on the Laws of Moses ; trans- 
lated by Alexander Smith, D.D. 4. vols. 8vo. London, 1814. 

NEWTON (Tho.) Herbal for the Bible. 1587. 12mo. 

NIEBUHR (C.) Description de 1'Arabie. 4to. Amst. 1774. 

NIEBUHR (C.) Voyage en Arabie. 4to. 2 vols. Amst. 1786. 

NOVELLIUS (A.) Schediasma de Avibus sacris arbeh, chagab, 
solam, et chargol, Levit. xi. 21, 22. [Bib. Brem. Cl. iii. p. 36.] 

OUTRIEN (J. D') De Piscina Bethesda. [Bib. Brem. Cl. 1. 
Fasc. v. p. 597.] 



AUTHORITIES QUOTED. X1I1 

PAXTON (George) Illustrations of the Holy Scriptures, from the 
Geography and Natural History of the East, and from the Customs 
of ancient and modern Nations. 2 vols. 8vo. Edinburgh, 1819. 

PHILO (Judseus) Hepi %wwv rwv sis Qv<ria;. Inter Opera. 

RAUWOLF (L.) Flora Orientalis : edit. J. F. Gronovius. 8vo. Lug. 
Bat. 1755 

RUDBEC (Olaus) Icthyologiae Biblicae. Upsal, 1722. 2 v. 4to. 

RUSSEL (Alex.) Natural History of Aleppo and the Parts adja- 
cent. 2d edition enlarged. London, 1794. 2 vols. 4to. 

SCHEUCHZER (J. J.) Physique Sacree. Amst. 1732. 8 vols. 
folio. [With 750 Plates.] 

SCHUMACHER (J. H.) De Cultu Animalium inter Egyptios et 
Judaeos, Commentatio ex recondita Antiquitate illustrata. 4to. 
Bruns. 1773. 

SHAW (Tho.) Travels; or, Observations relating to several Parts 
of Barbary and the Levant. 2d edition, 4to. London, 1757. 

SHODER(F. J.) Hierozoici ex S. Bocharto, Itinerariis variis aliis- 
que doctissimorum Virorum Commeutariis ac Scriptiunculis accom- 
modata ad plurimorum Usus compositi. Tubingae, 1784. 12mo. 

STENGEL (J.) De Junipero Biblica. [Bib. Brem. Cl. vii. p. 856.] 

STRAND (B. J.) Flora Palestina. \In Amcenit.AcadLinntEi. vol.4.] 

TYCHSEN (O. G.) Physiologus Syrus; seu, Historia Animalium 
xxxii. in S. S. Memoratum, Syriace: e Codice BibliothecaeVaticanae 
nunc primum ed. 12tno. Rostock. 1795. 

URSINUS (J. H.) Arboretum Biblicum. Norib. 1663. 12mo. 

URSI NUS (J. H.) Continuatio Historic Plantarum Biblicae. No- 
rimb. 1665. 12mo. 

VALTERUS (J. E.) Aquilae Natura e Sacris Literis et ex Historia 
natural! et Monumentis Veterum illustratae. 4to. Lips. 1747. 

VANSITTART (Wm.) New Translation of the XLIX. Psalm; 
with Remarks critical and philological on Leviathan described in 
the XLI. Chapter of Job. 8vo. Oxford, 1810. 

VANSITTART (Wm.) Observations on select Places of the Old 
Testament, founded on a Perusal of Parson's Travels from Aleppo 
to Bagdad. 8vo. Oxford, 1812, 



QUOTATIONS FROM AUTHORS 

WHO HAVE EXPRESSED AN OPINION OF THE NECESSITY AND 
UTILITY OF A WORK OF THIS KIND. 



I. GLASSIUS. 

Philologia Sacra: edit. DATHII et BAUEKI. Lips. 1795. 

" HISTORIC Naturalis scientia interpres Veteris Testament! ca- 
rere non potest. Frequens enim mentio animalium ferorum et 
cicurum, arborum et plantarum, riecnon gemmarum injicitur. 
Moses inter animalia munda et immunda discrimen facit, aliis ut 
cibo uti permittit, ab aliorum esu abstinendum jubet. Prophetae 
saepenumero animalia commemorant, quae in solitudine degunt et 
rudera oppidorum dirutorum incolunt. In Jobi carmine multi 
lapides pretiosi nominantur, uti etiam in variis prophetarum 
oraculis; et nullus in universum liber est, in quo non herbae, 
plantae, frumenti species, ferae agrestes et animalia domestica, 
homini familiaria, aliaeque res ad Historiam Naturalem perti- 
nentes producantur. Sic in carmine Jobaeo equus bello aptus, 
asinus sylvestris, struthiocamelus, aquila, crocodilus, et hippopo- 
tamus uberius describuntur. 

Ad haec loca, in quibus illae res naturales commemorantur, 
recteexplicanda,multum usum Historiae Naturalis scientia prae- 
stat, sine qua multa in sacris monumentis non bene intelliguntur, 
idque eo magis, quia nomiuum, quibus animalia, plant, lapides 
significantur, explicatio maximam partem incerta et dubia est. 
Etenim dialecti cognatae multa animalium, herbarum, et gemma- 
rum nomina non habent, quae in lingua hebraica occurrunt. Ve- 
teres autem interpretes hac in re non esse lidos magistros et du- 
ces certos, quos absque periculi errore sequamur, inde elucet, 
quia ipsi inter se maxime dissentiunt, et alter hanc, alter illam 
vim nominibus ad Historiam Naturalem pertinentibus tribuit. 
Naturae peritus autem non tantum multa distinctius et clarius in- 
telliget, quag imperito obscura sunt, sed e criteriis passim de illis 
rebus proditis divinare facilius poterit, quaa bestiae, plantae, gem- 
mae innuantur. Bene AUGUSTINUS, lib. ii. de Doctrina Chris- 
tiana, c. xv. monet : " Rerum physicarum ignorantia facit ob- 
scuras figuratas locutiones, quum ignoramus vel animantium vel 
lapidum vel herbarum naturas, aliarumque rerum, quae plerum- 
que in Scripturis similitudinis alicujus gratia ponuntur." Tom. 
ii. p. 290. 

II. STENGEL. 

Obs. in Biblioth. Bremensis. Class, vii. Fascic. 5. p. 8.57- 

" Si qua? in Saciarum Literarum interpretatione difficilia oc- 
currunt vocabula, sunt sane ea quaa technica alias did, quibus 



QUOTATIONS FROM AUTHORS. XV 

plantae, quibus et arbores, et similia designari solent. Cum 
enim destituti saepius sumus si non omni, saltern uberiori su- 
pellectili, ex qua varias casque certas vocum Orientalium signi- 
ficationes eruere possumus, accidit ut ad conjecturas, probabili- 
tates, &c. vel ex substrata materia, vel etiam, quod ultimum, id- 
que dubium admodum remedium esse omnes Philologi fatentur, 
ex etymologia petitas confugiendum est." 

III. J. D. MlCHAELlS. 

Oralio de Defectibus Historic Naturalis ac Philologite, Itinere 
in Palestinam Arabiamque, suscepto sarciendis. 

" HERBARUM quidem et arborum ignotarum, quae in Sacro Co- 
dice commemorantur, nomina ab Arabum botanicis scriptoribus 
saepe servata esse, ex CELSII Hierobotanico intelligitur : eadem 
in vocabulariis GOLII aliorumque supersunt, licet plerumque ni- 
hil aliud addatur nisi herbae aut arboris nomen esse ; in Palaestina 
eadem Arabiaque vigent adhuc atque in quotidiano usu versantur. 
Poteruntne ha? suarum terrarum perpetuae indigenae diligentiam 
fugere botanici Arabice docti, cui in Palaestina Arabiave an- 
num aut biennium versari liceat ? His autem rite investigatis, ad 
quarum nomina interpretes non omnes adscribere solent, herbam 
esse, arborem esse, alii genus herbre arborisque addunt nostris ter- 
ris familiare,Palaestina3 ignotum,ipse persaepe CELSIUS opiniones 
aliorum subjungit, ex quibus, non sua culpa, earn optat, quae non 
vera est, sed quam falsam esse minus apparet. His, inquam, in 
Oriente inventis, atque imagine expresses, qure oculis lectorum 
subjici possit, quam lucebunt veneranda ilia non divinitate so- 
lum sed antiquitate biblia! Quorum non ultima laus est quod 
innumeras a rerum natura imagines petant, herbarumque et ar- 
borum, quarum in exiguo libello plusquam ducenta, atque ex 
his multa sa?pe redeuntia leguntur nomina frequentem faciant 
mentionem." 

" De animalibus, quae Oriens alit, id affirmabo unum, 

immortales BOCHARTO gratias deberi pro iis quae praestitit, eun- 
dem tamen multa aliis reliquisse, in non paucis animalium no- 
minibus etiam errasse, de quibusdam historias tradidisse ex aliis 
auctoribus excerptas, quarum fides laboratura sit, donee explo- 
rator in Arabiam missus diuque ibi versatus certiora referat, 
multorum animalium ignotorum, quae verbis ab ipso descripta 
sunt, desiderari imaginem, sine qua vix quidquam bibliorum 
lector intelligat." 

[In Comment. Soc. Reg. Getting, torn. in. ad an. 1753, p. 21. 

MICHAELIS. " Recueil de Questions, &c." praef. xv. 

" POUR bien entendre le Vieux Testament il est absolument 
necessaire d'approfondir 1'Histoire Naturelle, aussi bien que les 
moeurs des Orientaux. On y trouve a pen pres trois cens noms 



XVI QUOTATIONS FROM AUTHORS. 

de vegetaux : je ne sais combien de noms tires du regne ani- 
mal, et un grand nombre qui designent des pierres precieuses : 
il est rempli d'un bout a 1'autre de traits relatifs a la Geogra- 
phic et aux moeurs de 1'Orient. Les erreurs commises dans 
les anciennes versions orientales nous conduisent encore a. la 
recherche de plusieurs animaux et de plusieurs plantes, dont 
la Bible ne fait point mention. En un mot, tandis que Ton 
croit ne s'occuper que de ^intelligence du plus ancien des livres, 
on se trouve insensiblement engage a etudier la plus grande par- 
tie de 1'Histoire Naturelle, et la plupart des moeurs de 1'Orient, 
matieres a quoi Ton n'auroit pas songe, si 1'occasion n'en avoit 
ete fournie par ce monument si memorable de 1'antiquite orien- 
tale. Je ne sais, en effet, nommer aucun autre livre, aucun du 
moins dont le sujet soit moral, qui puisse rendre a cet egard les 
meines services aux sciences. M. le Docteur HEILMANN, dans 
un discours qui a ete imprime, a fait voir combien la Philosophic 
doit a I'Ecriture Sainte, et assurement 1'Histoire Naturelle n'a 
pas moins d'obligations a ce saint livre." 

IV. AURIVILIUS. 

Dissertationes ad Sacras Literas et Philologiam orientalem perti- 
nentes. Cum pracfatione. J. D. MICHAELIS. Getting. 1790. 

" LONGE fateamur plurima adhuc desiderari ad veram cogniti- 
onem Animalium qua3 in Biblicis memorata legimus scriptoribus. 
Neque parabuntur ilia, nisi ab his qui in Palaestina, Assyria, 
Arabia coram viderint, examinarint et descripserint animalia, 
quadrupedia, aves, pisces, amphibia, insecta, veraies, turn loca 
ubi commorantur, mores, oeconomiam, usum, nomina ab incolis 
unicuique imposita, quin et incolarum de illis ipsa figmenta at- 
que fabulas annotaverint. Quod circa valde laudabili et perin- 
signi concilio, nuperrime hoc actum, missis e Dania, Regia 
auctoritate et impensa, viris peritissimis." [p. 308. 

V. B. J. STRAND. 

Flora Palestina, in Anianit. Acad. LINNJEI. 

" QUICUNOUE enira in hoc studio laudabile qtiidquam praestabit, 
versatus sit, oportet, in recondita veteris asvi eruditione, perlec- 
tis probe auctoribus antiquis et classicis; ea teneat, imprimis, 
qua; THEOPHRASTUS, DIOSCORIDES, PLINIUS, ATHENJEUS, et 
reliqui, de veterum plantis, diaita, medicina, et moribus disse- 
ruere et cornmentati sunt. Calleat deinde linguas plerasque 
Orientales, Hebrasum, Chaldaicam, Arabicam, Syriacam, ca?te- 
rasque. Hauriat demum ex peregrinatorum diariis per Palajsti- 
nam et proximas regiones confectis, quae huic conducunt operi. 
Sedulo perlegat Arabum scripta, imprimis botanica. Ultimo 
non mediocriter sit versatus oportet in re herbaria, quandoqui- 
dem labor alias irritus saepissime evadat." 



THREE DISSERTATIONS. 



DISSERTATION I. 

SCRIPTURE ARRANGEMENT OF NATURAL HISTORY. 

IN the Mosaic account of the Creation, there is an orderly ar- 
rangement of the objects of Natural History, perfectly simple, 
yet sufficiently systematic ; rising from inert matter to vegetation, 
animal life, up to intellectual being. It is thus disposed in triads. 

1. EARTH. 2. AIR. 3. WATER. 

I. THE PRODUCTIONS OF THE EARTH, or vegetables, are ar- 
ranged in three classes. 

1. GRASS, Nun, DESHA, /Soravvj %ofrou; which clothes the 
surface of the ground with verdure. This includes the smaller 
herbs, which were generally thought by the ancients to be pro- 
duced spontaneously, without seed. " A natura tribus modis 
oriuntur; sponte sua, semine fortuito, et radice." 



" aliae, nullis hominum cogenlibus, ipsae 

Sponte sua veniunt, camposque et flumina late 

Curva tenent. 

Pars autem posito surgunt de semine." 

2. HERBAGE, nuw OSHEB, " herbs yielding seed." The 
larger plants, the seeds of which are conspicuous ; plants rising 
higher than the grass : including esculent vegetables ; all whose 
stalk is not ligneous, and probably of annual growth. 

3. TREES. YV OTJ. Large trees of every description and 
species, including shrubs. Perennials. " Fruit bearing, whose 
seed is in them," that is, in the fruit : whether the fruit, or nut, 
be proper for the use of man or animals, or not. And these 
" according to their kinds ;" so that every seed or nut should in- 
variably produce a tree resembling the parent stock. 

II. THE AQUATIC ANIMALS, that is to say, creatures originat- 
ing from the water, residing in it, or occasionally frequenting it, 
are also arranged in three classes. 



XVlll DISSERTATION I. 

1. ANIMALCULE, p^ SHERETZ. " The moving crea- 
ture that hath life." By these are meant all sorts of creatures 
which creep in the water, in opposition to such as creep on the 
earth, called ground reptiles, v. 25 \ It designates every ani- 
mal capable of motion, which either has no feet, or those so short 
that it rather creeps than walks. I find it difficult to give a 
generic name to this class; it may include all the "creeping 
things," in the sea, which are very numerous, such as worms, 
polypi, lobsters, crabs, shrimps, &c. 

2. AMPHIBIA and FISHES. Great whales (or rather 
crocodiles), and every living thing that moveth in the waters." 
The word CDJon TANINIM, in this place, cannot denote the 
whale kind only, following our translation, nor merely the cro- 
codile, as it is most generally supposed to mean ; but must be 
understood rather as a general than a particular term, compris- 
ing all the great aquatic animals : 



maris immensi proles, et genus omne natantum." 



3. BIRDS. Diy OUPH. " Flying creatures." The historian 
of the creation represents birds as having the same origin as 
fishes. Gen. i. 20. He says nothing of fowls on the sixth day, 
where he relates the production of terrestrial creatures, verses 
24, 25; in the recapitulation of the works of the fifth day, verse 
21, he says " GOD created fishes, which the waters brought forth 
abundantly after their kind, and all winged fowls, according to 
their species;" and he says that GOD blessed what he had cre- 
ated the fifth day, and said, " to the fishes, multiply, and fill the 
waters of the seas ; and to the fowl, multiply on the earth." 

IV. TERRESTRIAL ANIMALS, are also divided into three classes. 

1. CATTLE, nom BEHEMAH. Bdlua. By which all 
animals capable of being domesticated, of the larger kind, seem 
to be designated. 

2. WILD BEASTS, frn CHIAH. Fera. Beasts of prey ; 
such as roam in the forests ; carnivorous animals, such as live on 
flesh, in contradistinction to domestic animals, which are grami- 
nivorous, feed on grass and other vegetables. 

3. REPTILES. trwn REMES. Reptilia. All sorts of less 
animals which creep on the ground ; vermin ; all the different 
genera of worms, serpents, and such creatures as have no feet, 
or numerous small feet ; comprehending not only all the ser- 
pentine class, but all the smaller sort of animals that seem to 
creep rather than to walk. 

1 " Reptilia animantia." Vufg* " Reptilia dicuntur quaecunque pedibus 
carent, aut quap breves ad modum pedes habent, ita ut pedes illi non sunt apti 
ad gradiendum in terra. Sunt autem reptilia terrestria et aquatilia." Dr. GED- 
DES says, he translates the Hebrew word " reptiles," because he could not find 
a better term. 



DISSERTATION I. XIX 



V. INTELLECTUAL BEING. DIN ADAM. "Man." The head 
and lord of the creation. 

The classification of Moses, in Deut. iv. 16. is somewhat si- 
milar; only, being there engaged in prohibiting idolatry, he says 
nothing about plants and trees, which he was not much afraid 
would be worshiped, if other idolatry was unknown. It stands 
thus : 



I. MAN. 2. BEASTS. 3. BIRDS. 4. REPTILES. 
5. FISHES. 

This order is followed in Levit. xi. where, I. BEASTS are dis- 
tinguished into those with a solid hoof, and those with a cloven 
hoof or foot; ruminating animals, &c. II. BIRDS, into (1,) 
those of the land ; (2,) those of the air, or " flying fowl ;" and 
(3,) those of the water which are not web-footed : the birds of 
prey being classed into (1,) those that feed on living game of all 
kinds ; (2,) those that feed on dead prey ; and (3,) those that feed 
on fish. III. REPTILES; and IV. FISHES, such as have scales, 
and such as have not. 

The system of Solomon, 1 Kings, iv. 33, was of TREES down 
to the lesser vegetables ; BEASTS, BIRDS, REPTILES, and 
FISHES. 



DISSERTATION II. 

ADAM NAMING THE ANIMALS. 

IN the 19th and 20th verses of the second chapter of Genesis, it 
is recorded, that " out of the ground, the Lord GOD formed 
every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought 
them unto Adam, to see what he would call them ; and what- 
soever Adam called every living creature, that was the name 
thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl 
of the air, and to every beast of the field." 

Our common translation here seems to intimate, that the ani- 
mals were now first made; that the birds as well as beasts were 
formed out of the ground ; that they were all brought before 
Adam on the day in which he was created, to be named ; and 
that he actually gave names to every living creature; while the 
18th verse suggests that the reason of this presentation of the 
animals, was that he might select a partner ; and the 20th verse 
that he did not find one meet for him. 

Now, from the previous history, we learn that the animals 
had been created before ; the BEASTS from the earth, and the 
FOWLS from the water : and may hence infer that the design of 

c2 



XX DISSERTATION II. 

the historian was merely now to state, that GOD having created 
the living creatures, Adam gave names to such as were brought 
before him ; and that he perceived that the creatures were paired, 
whereas he had no mate. 

Understanding the passage literally, however, some commen- 
tators have insisted that all the animals came to present them- 
selves before Adam, both in acknowledgment of his supremacy, 
and to receive from him a name ; and that this was all done at 
one time, or in the course of a natural day. But it is not neces- 
sary to multiply miracles; nor to suppose as PEYRERUS cavils 
[Systemat. theol. praadamit. hypoth. P. i. 1. iii. c. 2. p. 154], 
that the elephants were to come from the remote parts of India 
and Africa, the bears from the polar regions, the sloth from 
South America, together with the various animals, the several 
kinds of birds, and the innumerable species of reptiles and in- 
sects, to say nothing of the tenants of the waters, to receive 
names from Adam which could be of no use to them, and very 
little to him, who might never see one of a thousand of them 
again, or, if he did, be able to recollect the name which he had 
given. It is enough to suppose, that the animals inhabiting the 
district in which he dwelt, received from him names ; and not 
that the numerous tribes of living creatures were paraded before 
him, and that he made a nomenclature of the appellation he saw 
fit to give to each. Far less is it necessary to suppose that all 
the beasts and birds appeared before Adam at once, or even on 
one and the same day. Though the transaction is related in a 
few words, we ought not therefore to conclude that it took up 
only the space of a few hours. If we attend to the circum- 
stances, we should rather infer that this was a work of consider- 
able time. Indeed, the words of the historian do not require us 
to believe that Adam now gave names to all the living creatures, 
but are rather a remark, that the names which they had were 
given by him ; not all at once, in the space of one day, for that 
would have been too much for him, but that he named them, 
some at one time, and some at another in the course of his life, 
as they came within the sphere of his observation, or incidents 
happened to give occasion for his so doing. 

There are not wanting instances in scripture, where as general 
expressions as this of " every living creature," admit of great 
limitation 2 . So Ezek. xxxi. 6. " All the fowls of heaven made 
their nests in its boughs, and under its branches did all the beasts 
of the field bring forth their young, and under its shadow, dwelt 
all great nations." Thus when it is said, that Noah took all the 
animals into the ark, it is to be understood that he took pairs or 
more, as directed, of those which had become domesticated, or 
particularly belonged to the region in which he dwelt ; and the 

2 Mark, i. 45; Luke, ii. 1 ; v. 37. 



DISSERTATION II. XXI 

destruction of all the other animals must mean of that country or 
places adjacent; for I adopt the hypothesis that the flood was 
as extensive only as human population 3 . Nor is the expression 
in Gen. vi. 47, " all flesh under heaven," contrary to this inter- 
pretation. Comp. Deut. ii. 25. 

The difficulty on this subject will be greatly relieved by an 
attention to the original of the passage. Our English version 
says, " the Lord GOD brought them unto Adam, to see what he 
would call them :" but the word " them" has no authority from 
the Hebrew text; the pronoun is in the singular number, not 
plural ; and the next sentence expresses this more fully, the 
words being, not as rendered in our version, " whatsoever Adam 
called every living creature," [there is no word in the text for 
" every,"] but, zchatsoever Adam called the living creature, that 
was the name of IT. 

" In this way," as Dr. SHUCKFORD suggests [Account of the 
Creation, &c. p. 38], " GOD was pleased to instruct and exer- 
cise Adam in the use of speech, to show him how he might use 
sounds of his own to be the names of things ; calling him to give 
a name to one creature, and then another ; and hereby putting 
him upon seeing how words might be made for this purpose. 
Adam understood the instruction, and practised according to it:" 
and accordingly, in the progress of his life, as the creatures 
came under his observation, he used this ability, and gave names 
to them all. 

After he had been called to this trial and exercise of his voice, 
we find him able to give name to the woman, and likewise to all 
other things as his occasions required. 

Moreover, the giving names seems to imply examination, or 
at least time and opportunity to mark their respective characters, 
so as to give them distinctive appellations. Thus the original 
Hebrew names of many of the beasts and birds of that region 
are apparently formed by onomatopaia, or in imitation of their 
natural cries or notes : so the general names given to the tamer 
animals, sheep and kine, was nOilS BEME, in which sound the 
lowing of the one, and the bleating of the other, seem to be 
imitated ; so the name of the common ass TT)y ORUD, and of the 
wild ass fOD PRA, resembles their braying. The name of the 
raven, IT)}? OREB, was doubtless taken from its hoarse croaking; 
of the sparrow, liDi: TSIPPOR, from its chirping ; of the partridge, 
iOp OUERA, from the note she uses in calling her young; and the 
murmur of the turtle-dove, is exactly expressed by its Hebrew 
name, lin TUR, and evidently gave rise to it. Many other in- 
stances of the kind might be produced ; but these are sufficient 
to show, at least the great probability, that some of the first 

3 Those who feel any hesitation in admitting this, may have their objections 
removed by consulting STILLINGFLEET'S Origines Sacree, book iii. ch. iv. vol. ii. 
and SULLIVAN'S View of Nature, vol. ii. p. 258. 



XXU DISSERTATION II. 

names given to the several tribes of animals were derived from 
their respective notes. . 

Other names appear to be derived from the characteristic qua- 
lities of the creatures ; as, for instance the camel might be called 
taj GAMEL, from its revengeful temper, and the sheep, bm RA- 
CHEL, from its meekness; the ram, "?'K AJIL, because agile and 
active, and the goat, yy\y SAIR, from its being hairy. 

The ingenious editor of CALMET, criticising upon the name 
of the stork, says, " T take this opportunity of remarking, that 
the external actions of any creature are most likely to give it an 
appellation, before its disposition ; and that, did we know inti- 
mately the actions, appearances, and manners of creatures, we 
should, no doubt, find in their names, when primitive and ori- 
ginal, very descriptive and apt epithets." 



DISSERTATION III. 

ON THE MOSAICAL DISTINCTION OF ANIMALS INTO CLEAN 
AND UNCLEAN. 

IN the eleventh chapter of the book of Leviticus, is a catalogue 
of beasts, Jishes, birds, &c. which GOD had either permitted the 
Israelites to eat, or which were prohibited. 

The marks of discrimination are the following: (1.) Of QUA- 
DRUPEDS. " The animals prohibited as unclean, were the SOLI- 
PEDES, or those with one hoof, as the horse, and the ass : the 
animals allowed to be eaten, as clean, were the FISSIPEDES, or 
those of hoofs divided into two parts, or cloven, as oxen, deer, 
sheep, and goats. But then this distinction must be entire, not 
partial ; effective, not merely apparent : and beside its external 
construction, its internal, its anatomical construction must also 
be correctly correspondent to this formation. Moreover, animals 
whose feet are divided into more than two parts are unclean ; so 
that the number of their toes, as three, four, or five, is an entire 
rejection of them, whatever other quality they may possess. 

" Such appears to be the principle of the llevitical distinction 
of animals, clean and unclean, so far as relates to their feet; 
their RUMINATION is a distinct character; but a character abso- 
lutely unavailing, without the more obvious and evident marks 
derivable from the construction of their members. 

" We may consider the animals mentioned in this chapter as 
instances of a rule designed for general application, which ex- 
cludes, (1.) all whose feet are not by one cleft thoroughly divided 
into two parts, as the camel. (2.) All whose feet, though tho- 
roughly divided by one cleft into tzco parts, externally, yet inter- 
nally by the construction of their bones differ from the character 



DISSERTATION III. XX111 

of the permitted kinds, as the szcine. Though the outward ap- 
pearance of the hog's feet be like that of a cloven footed animal, 
yet, internally, they have the same number of bones and joints 
as animals which have fingers and toes ; so that the arrangement 
of its feet bones is into first and second and third phalanges, or 
knuckles, no less than those of the human hand. Beside, there- 
fore, the absence of rumination in the hog kind, its feet are not 
accordant with those of such beasts as are clean, according to 
the Levitical regulations. (3.) All whose feet are thoroughly 
divided by two clefts into three toes, as the sap/tan. (4.) All 
whose feet are thoroughly divided by three clefts into four toes, as 
the hare; and therefore, a fortiori, if there be any animals whose 
feet are divided intone toes, they are so much farther removed 
from the character requisite to permission. 

" It is proper to recollect that the quality of rumination is one 
character necessary to lawfulness, yet the saphan, though it ru- 
minates, is proscribed; and the hare, though in some of its varie- 
ties it may ruminate, yet is the whole species declared unclean 
by reason of the construction of the feet. This, then, seems to 
be the legislative naturalist's most obvious distinction ; a distinc- 
tion which the eye of the unlearned can appropriate at sight, and 
therefore it is adapted to public information." 

The preceding remarks are taken from the author of " Scrip- 
ture Illustrated;" and MICHAELIS in his Commentary on the Lazes 
of Moses, article cciv. observes, " that in so early an age of the 
world we should find a systematic division of quadrupeds so ex- 
cellent as never yet, after all the improvements in Natural His- 
tory, to have become obsolete, but, on the contrary, to be still 
considered as useful by the greatest masters of the science, can- 
not but be looked upon as truly wonderful." 

II. Of FISHES. Those that were permitted for food, and 
declared clean, were " such as had fins and scales." 

" Fins are analogous to the feet of land animals: as, therefore, 
the sacred legislator had given directions for separating quadru- 
peds according to their hoofs and claws, so he directs lhatjiskes, 
which had no clear and distinct members adapted to locomotion, 
should be unclean; but those which had fins should be clean, 
provided they had also scales : for, as we observed before, that 
two requisites, a cloven hoof and a power of rumination were 
necessary to render a quadruped lawful, so two characters are 
necessary to answer the same purpose in fishes." 

III. Of BTRDS. " There are no particular characters given 
for distinguishing these by classes, as clean or unclean ; but a list 
of exceptions is rendered, and these are forbidden without enu- 
merating those which are allowed. It will be found, however, 
on consideration, that those which live on grain are not pro- 
hibited; and, as these are the domesticated kinds, we might al- 
most express it in other words that birds of prey, generally, 



XXIV DISSERTATION III. 

are rejected, that is, those with crooked beaks and strong talons; 
whether they prey on lesser fowls, on animals, or on fish : while 
those which eat vegetables are admitted as lawful. So that the 
same principle is maintained, to a certain degree, among birds 
as among beasts." 

IV. All creatures that creep, going upon all four, and what- 
soever goeth upon the belly, or whatsoever hath more feet than 
four among creeping things, are declared to be an abomination. 
With regard, however, to those winged insects, which, besides 
four walking legs, have also two longer, springing legs (pedes 
saltatorii), an exception is made, and, under the denomination 
of locusts, they are declared to be clean. 

I proceed now to assign some of the reasons for this distinc- 
tion ; but would first premise, that from Genesis, vii. 2, it seems 
to have been recognised before the giving of the law from Sinai : 
on which, however, SPENCER, de Legibus Hebraorum, 1. i. c. v. 
remarks, that Moses, writing to the Israelites who already knew 
the law, makes mention of clean and unclean animals (in the 
same manner as he does of the Sabbath in the history of the 
creation), by way of anticipation. The passage, therefore, may 
merely intimate that of the more useful animals Noah took a 
greater number, and of those that were less so only pairs. 

CUN^US, de Republica Hebr&orum, c. xxiv.l. ii. declares that 
though no doubt the laws for the distinction of animals, in the 
llth chapter of Leviticus, were enacted with wise counsel, yet 
the special reason of the lawgiver cannot be known. Others, 
however, have undertaken to assign various reasons for it; and 
these, as adduced by SPENCER, LOWMAN, MICHAELIS, and se- 
veral learned writers, I propose to collect and state, intermixing 
such remarks and illustrations as have been suggested to me in 
the course of that laborious investigation which I have given to 
this subject. 

The Scripture, which is our safest guide in inquiries of this 
nature, informs us that the design was both moral and political, 
being intended to preserve the Jews a distinct people from the 
nations of idolatry. This is declared Levit. xx. 24, 25, and 26. 
" I am the Lord your GOD, who have separated you from other 
people ; ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts 
and unclean : and ye shall not make yourselves abominable by 
beast or by fowl, or by any living thing that creepeth on the 
ground, which 1 have separated from you as unclean : and ye 
shall be holy unto me, for I the Lord am holy, and have severed 
you from other people, that ye should be mine." As if Jehovah 
had said, " I have selected you from and exalted you far above 
the ignorant and idolatrous world. Let it be your care to con- 
duct yourselves worthy of this distinction. Let the quality of 
your food, as \vell as the rites of your worship, display your pe- 
culiar and holy character. Let even your manner of eating be 



DISSERTATION III. XXV 

so appropriate, so pure, so nicely adjusted by my law, as to con- 
vince yourselves, and all the world, that you are indeed sepa- 
rated from idolaters, and devoted to me alone 4 ." Agreeably with 
this, Moses tells them, Deut. xxiv. 2, 3. 31. " The Lord hath 
chosen you to be a peculiar people unto himself. Ye shall not 
eat any abominable thing. Ye shall not eat any thing that dieth 
of itself; ye shall give it to the stranger, or sell it to an alien ; 
for ye are a holy people." That is, since God has invested you 
with singular honour and favour, you ought to reverence your- 
selves ; you ought to disdain the vile food of Heathen idolaters ; 
such food you may lawfully give or sell to foreigners; but a due 
self-respect forbids you to eat it." 

I. The immediate and primary intention of the law was, as 
1 apprehend, to break the Israelites from the ill habits they had 
been accustomed to or indulged in Egypt, and to keep them for 
ever distinct from that corrupt people, both in principles and 
practices 5 ; and, by parity of reason, from all other idolatrous 
nations. No more simple nor effectual method could be devised 
for preventing or ensnaring intercourse, or dangerous assimila- 
tion, than by a law regulating their food ; for nothing separates 
one people from another more than that one should eat what the 
other considers as unlawful, or rejects as improper. Those who 
cannot eat and drink together are never likely to become inti- 
mate. We see an instance of this in the case of the Egyptians, 
who, from time immemorial had been accustomed to consider 
certain animals as improper for food, and therefore to avoid all 
intercourse with those who ate or even touched what they deemed 
defiling. [See Gen. xliii. 32.] Hence they and the Hebrews 
could not eat together ; and of course could not associate or live 
together. Accordingly, they assigned that people, when they 
had come down to dwell in their country, a separate district for 
their residence : for some of the animals which the Hebrews 
ate were, among them not indeed unclean, but sacred, being so 
expressly consecrated to a deity that they durst not slaughter 
them 6 . The Hebrews, by killing and eating these animals, must 

4 Dr. Tappan's Lectures, p. 260. 

5 This was the opinion of Minutius Faslix, which his commentator Aurelius 
has supported by many testimonies of the ancients; see also Basil, Orat. vi. p. 
34; Origen. 1. iii. iv. contra. Cels. p. 225, ed. Spencer and Theodoret, Quest, in 
Levit. 

6 So the poet Anaximandrides, in Athenaeo Ditnosoph, 1. vii. p. 299, thus 
ridicules the Egyptians: 

O-jx av evvaifj.ni c-VfJ.fMty_ciy vfj.iv cyui' 
O-jS' 01 TOOVTOI yao ofjuvvo-' B^' 01 vofxot 
Hfxwv, a.-n' oXXjXu;> Si .^<7iv TroX-j' &C. 

Ego esse vester non queam commilito, 
Quando nee leges nee mores consentiunt, 
Sed multis inter se intervallis dissident. 
Bovem tu adoras, ego quern sacrifico Diis: ' 



XXVI DISSERTATION III. 

appear not only odious but sacrilegious, transgressing the rules 
of good behaviour and offending the gods. Other animals, as 
several of the birds of prey, were also held sacred by the Egyp- 
tians, or were venerated in the rites of augury 7 . The Hebrews, 
being instructed to consider these as unclean, would be prevented 
from the indulgence of the like superstition. Hence Origen, 
contra Celsum, 1. iv. justly admired the Jewish ritual, and ob- 
serves, that those animals which are prohibited by Moses were 
such as were reputed sacred by the Egyptians, and used in divi- 
nation by other nations. T# vo/x/w|0iev0 TT# Aiywtlioii;, KO.I TOI? 
XOIKOH; TUV Kvfyianuv (j.avlMCi. And Montfaucon, in his Hexapl. 
Orig. has published a fragment of Eusebius Emisenus, from a 
manuscript Catena in the library of the king of France, which 
may be thus translated : " GOD wills that they should eat some 
kinds of flesh, and that they should abstain from others, not that 
any of them in themselves were common or unclean, but this he 
did on two accounts; the one was that he would have those 
animals to be eaten which were worshiped in Egypt, because 
eating them would render their pretensions most contemptible. 
And, pursuant to the same opinion, he forbids the eating of those 
kinds which the Egyptians used to eat very greedily and luxuri- 
ously, as the swine, &c. The other reason was, that their pro- 
perties and natures seemed to lay a prejudice in the way of some 
of these, and to render them, as it were, a sort of profanation. 
Some were monstrously big, others very ugly, others fed upon 
dead bodies, and to others human nature had an inbred antipa- 
thy; so that, in the main, what the law forbid was nature's aver- 
sion before." Thus were the Jews taught to distinguish them- 
selves from that people, not only in their religious worship, not 
being allowed " to sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians," 

Anguillam numen esse reris optimum, 
Quae mihi putatur esse optimum obsonium. 
iS'on vesceris suilla : mihi uulla caro est 
Quae sapiat melius. 

So Juvenal, Sat. xv. says of the Egyptians: 

" Lanatis animalibus abstinet omnis 

Mensa: nefas illic foetum jugulare capellae." 

Damas, Opera ad calcem, declares, " Egyptii coluerunt cattum, et canem, ei 
lupum, et simiam, et draconem. Alii cepas, et allia et spinas." The ox was 
sacred to Apis, the dog to Anubis, &c. 

7 The hawk was dedicated to Osiris, the eagle to the god Ammon of Thebais, 
the raven to Orus. The custom of consecrating all the birds of prey to the 
gods came originally from the Egyptians. According to jElian, 1. xii. they 
were distributed in the following manner; " Accipitres distributi sunt, autem et 
consecrati variis diis. Perdicarius et oxypteros Apollinis ministri sunt, tit ferunt 
ossifraga et harpe sacrae stint Minervae. Plumbario Murcurium delectari aiunt. 
Junoni dedicatur tanysipteros; Diana? buteo; Matri deum mermnus; alii deni- 
qae aliis diis." 



DISSERTATION III. XXV11 

Exod. viii. 26, but to deviate from them in the most common 
actions in life. By having a diet peculiar to themselves, by eat- 
ing in one instance that to which the others attributed a certain 
sanctity, as the ox, the sheep, and the goat, and by holding in de- 
testation, those creatures which the others venerated as sacred, 
as the hawk, &c. they would be precluded from all intimacy or 
agreement; and of course from becoming corrupted by their 
idolatries or addicted to their superstitions 8 . 

Not only were the Egyptians, but other heathen nations, and 
particularly the Canaanites, grossly corrupt in their manners, 
morals, and worship : and this restriction with respect to diet 
was alike calculated to prevent intimacies with them ; so that 
in no instance should " their table become a snare, or their en- 
tertainments a trap." Psal. Ixix. 22. 

" This statute, above all others, established not only a politi- 
cal and sacred, but a physical separation of the Jews from all 
other people. It made it next to impossible for the one to mix 
with the other either in meals, in marriage, or in any familiar 
connexion. Their opposite customs in the article of diet not 
only precluded a friendly and comfortable intimacy, but gener- 
ated mutual contempt and abhorrence. The Jews religiously 
abhorred the society, manners, and institutions of the Gentiles, 
because they viewed their own abstinence from forbidden meats 
as a token of peculiar sanctity, and of course regarded other 
nations, who wanted this sanctity, as vile and detestable. They 
considered themselves as secluded by God himself from the pro- 
fane world by a peculiar worship, government, law, dress, mode 
of living, and country 9 . Though this separation from other 
people, on which the law respecting food was founded, created 
in the Jews a criminal pride and hatred of the Gentiles; yet it 
forcibly operated as a preservative from heathen idolatry, by pre- 
cluding all familiarity with idolatrous nations 10 ." 

So bigoted were the Jews in the observance of this law, that 
by no reproaches, no threats, no sufferings, nay hardly by a new 
command from God himself, could they be brought to lay it aside. 
See 1 Maccab. i. 63; Ezek. iv. 14; Acts x. 14. 

Though some thousand years have passed since this discrimi- 

8 Chaeremon, in Porphyry de Abstinentia, 1. iv. c. 7. tells us that the Egyp- 
tian priests would not eat any sort of fish which their country afforded, nor any 
animals that had solid hoofs, or divided paws, or horns. 

9 " Aristeas (Hist. Septnag. bibl. Gr. Pair. torn. 2. p. 870.) cuidam objicienti, 

vofxi^Eiv cojf rcoXXo;; -ztfisayiav fiw, fyc. Multis visum esse, multa in lege teme.re 
comprehensa, ut ilia qua de cibo et potu, et animalibus illis qiKe habentur impura, 
tradita sunt; sic apud auctorem ilium respoudetur, cernis quid possint et efficiant 
conversatio et consuetitdo, quod homines ex conversations improborum depraventur 
et fiant miseri per totam vitam. Hoc diligenter conlemplatus, utpote sapiens legis- 
lator noster, ne per impietatis ullius communicationem inficeremur, neve conversa- 
tion improborum depravaremur, circumsepsit nos legali sanctitate et puritate, dbi, 
potus, tactus, anditus et visus." 

10 Tappan's Lectures, p. 263. 



XXV111 DISSERTATION III. 

nating ritual was given to the Jews, and though they have been 
scattered abroad among every nation upon earth ; though their 
government and temple have been entirely destroyed, yet this 
prohibition of particular foods has been regarded, and has served, 
with other reasons, to keep them distinct and separate from every 
other people. 

We find Peter, after the vision recorded in the 10th chapter of 
the Acts, when he had entered the house of Cornelius, observed 
to the people who were present, " Ye know that it is not lawful 
for a man that is a Jew to keep company with, or come unto one 
of another nation ; but God hath shewed me that I should call 
no man unclean." " Here," says Mr. JONES, in his Zoologia 
Ethica, " we have an apostolical comment upon the sense of the 
vision. God had shewed him that henceforward he should call 
no living creatures unclean which were in any sense proper for 
food ; and by these brutes of all kinds he understands men of all 
nations. And, without question, he applied the vision to what 
the wisdom of God intended to express by it. The case was this : 
St. Peter, as a Jew, was bound to abstain from all those animals, 
the eating of which was prohibited by the law of Moses: but 
God showed him that he should no longer account these animals 
unclean. And what does he understand by it ? That he should 
no longer account the heathen so. ' God hath shewed me that 
I should call no man common or unclean ;' or, to speak in other 
words borrowed from the apostle, ' God hath shewed me that a 
Jew is now at liberty to keep company with or come unto one of 
another nation;' which, so long as the Mosaic distinction betwixt 
clean and unclean beasts was in force, it was not lawful for him 
to do." 

II. Another reason for the distinction was, that, as the Jews 
were a people peculiarly devoted to God, they should be reminded 
of that relation by a particularity of diet, which should serce. 
emblematically as a sign of their obligation to study MORAL PU- 
RITY. This is expressly given as the reason, Levit. xi. 43, 44, 
and 45 (referring to the forbidden animals), " Ye shall not make 
yourselves unclean with them that you may be defiled thereby ; 
for I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt 
to be your God, YE SHALL THEREFORE BE HOLY, FOR I AM 
HOLY." The meaning of which is, " I Jehovah who am distin- 
guished from all other gods, am your peculiar sovereign, and 
have selected and separated you from all other people; there- 
fore, you must be holy; and, as indicative of this, you are distin- 
guished from all other people by sacred manners and institutions, 
and especially by a distinction in the articles of your food, that 
you may know yourselves to be set apart from all other nations 
of the world, and in your very diet evidence to them the purity 
which you should in every thing cherish and preserve.' As thus 
Jehovah meant to impress on his people a constant sense of his 



DISSERTATION III. XXIX 

own infinite purity, as the Holy One of Israel, so he meant to 
habituate them to regard and honour him as such by the conspi- 
cuous purity both of their manners and worship. Not one of 
the Pagan gods so much as pretended to purity of character, or 
claimed to be worshiped under the title of the Holy One. Far 
from this, even the worship of these gods was frequently per- 
formed by impure rites, and the use of vile and filthy animals 11 , 
by which the worshippers proclaimed the foul character of their 
deities. On the contrary, the pure ceremonies of the Hebrews 
constantly reminded them of the immaculate purity of Jehovah, 
and this nice distinction of meats was fitted to teach them the ru- 
diments of moral purity or true holiness; Isai. Ixv. 3, 4; Ixvi. 17. 

As several of the remarks adapted to this head were antici- 
pated in the preceding, I go on to state other reasons for the 
distinction between animals as clean and unclean in the Levitical 
institute. ^ 

III. It has been suggested that the quality of the food itself 
is an important consideration, and that to the eating of certain 
animals may be ascribed a specific influence on the moral tem- 
perament. I introduce this topic rather because it is insisted 
upon so much among the ancient Jewish interpreters, than be- 
cause I consider it of any real force or importance. It savours 
strongly of the allegorical style of reasoning and interpretation 
in which the Rabbins delighted. There are several mischnical 
tracts devote'd to this explication. One of them says, " As the 
body is the seat of the soul, God would have it a fit instrument 
for its companion, and therefore removes from his people all 
those obstructions which may hinder the soul in its operations; 
for which reason all such meats are forbidden as breed ill blood ; 
among which if there may be some whose hurtfulness is neither 
manifest to us nor to physicians, wonder not at it, for the faithful 
physician who forbids them is wiser than any of us 12 ." 

The moral or tropological reasons, alleged by Aristasus, in 
Eusebius Praep. Evang. 1. viii. c. 9, are in substance (for the 
whole passage is long, though curious), that the Jews should, 
by these inhibitions and limitations, be secure and fenced from 
whatever contagion or immorality might otherwise invade them 
and spread among them from any heathen or idolatrous quarter ; 
and also to teach them morality even in their food ; for the birds 
and beasts allowed were of the tame and gentler kinds, and not 
of fierce and voracious natures, to teach them the great truths of 
justice, moderation, and kindness. 

11 This is the prevailing reason assigned by the fathers of the Christian church : 
See Theodoret, quaest. xi. in Levit. Cyrill. Alexandr. 1. ix. contra Julian, p. 302. 
Origen, Hotnil. vii. in Levit. Clem. Alex. Strom. 1. v. Opera, torn. ii. p. 677. 
Novatian, de Cibis Jud. c. iii. Euseb. Euiisen. in Hexapl. Montf. p. 120. 

12 Levi Barcelona, Precept. Ixxix. 



XXX DISSERTATION III. 

The learned Wagenseil, also, in his Annotations on that title 
in the Mischna called ''Sola," fol. 1171, discusses the moral 
reasons of these precepts. 

In a volume by the Rev. William Jones, entitled " Zoologia 
Ethica," this particular construction is largely insisted upon. 

The learned Ainsworth, in his Commentary, has extended these 
reasons to the borders of mysticism. His remarks are: "The 
parting of the hoof signified the right discerning of the word and 
will of GOD, the difference between the law and the gospel, and 
the walking in obedience to the word of GOD with a right foot. 
The chewing of the cud signified the meditating in the law of 
GOD night and day," &c. 

IV. Another reason for the distinction here made was, with- 
out doubt, dietetical, and to make a distinction between wholesome 
and unwholesome food. Those animals are denominated clean 
which afford a copious and wholesome gutriment, and those un- 
clean whose flesh is unwholesome, and yields a gross nutriment, 
often the occasion of scrofulous and scorbutic disorders. Mai- 
monides, More Nevochim, p. iii. c. 48, discourses at large upon 
this subject; Wagenseil, Conf. Carm. R. Lipmanni, p. 556, 
defends it; and Michaelis, in his Commentary on the Laws of 
Moses, article cciii. assigns it as the principal reason. 

The special propriety of it may be found also in the situation 
of those regions in which the Jews resided, in which the flesh of 
some animals was more unwholesome than it would be in a more 
northern climate. Their sultry climate made it necessary to be 
considerate in the use of food, as they were exposed to inflam- 
matory and putrid disorders. So that the wisdom of the inter- 
diction of those kinds of flesh which tend soon to corruption is 
very evident. Bhod, in particular, is not only difficult of diges- 
tion in the stomach, but easily putrifies ; and so the flesh of 
strangled animals, or of wild animals heated by the chase, and 
full of blood, soon becomes corrupt. The free use of very fat 
meat is always prejudicial to health ; and is the cause of bilious 
and putrid disorders. The flesh of the swine, in particular, which 
is generally supposed to breed the leprosy, as an aliment must 
have been highly improper for a people so subject to leprosies 
as the Jews appear to have been 13 . 



13 Mr. Beloe, in his note upon Herodotus, " Euterpe," Ixxii. has the following 
remark: " Antiphanes in Athenaeus, addressing himself to the Egyptians, says, 
' You adore the ox; I sacrifice to the gods. You reverence the eel as a very 
powerful deity; we consider it as the daintiest of food.' Antiphanes and the 
Greek writers, who amused themselves with ridiculing the religious ceremonies 
of Egypt, were doubtless ignorant of the motive which caused this particular fish 
to be proscribed. The flesh of the eel, and some other fish, thickened the blood, 
and by checking the perspiration, excited all those maladies connected with the 
leprosy. The Priests forbade the people to eat it, and, to render their prohibi- 
tion more effectual, they pretended to regard these fish as sacreil." 



DISSERTATION III. XXXI 

Of those animals \vhose flesh the Israelites were prohibited 
from eating, most sought their food in filthy places, lived on prey, 
or fed on carrion; so that their juices were in a state strongly 
tending to putrescence ; of course, their flesh was very unfit for 
the purposes of nutrition. 

Agreeably to this opinion, Dr. James, the learned author of 
the Medicinal Dictionary, under the article " Alcali," after hav- 
ing made some critical remarks on the nature of alcalescent 
aliments, and their effects on the human body, and commented 
on the various animals clean and unclean,, enumerated in the 
Levitical institute, draws the following conclusion : " From what 
has been said in relation to the alcalescence of animal aliment, 
one reason at least will appear, why it pleased the Supreme 
Being to forbid the Jews, a people that inhabited a very warm 
climate, the use of many sorts of animals as food, and why they 
were enjoined to take away a great deal of blood from those 
which they were allowed to eat." 

On the whole, as Mr. Lowman justly observes, " the food 
allowed to the chosen nation was of the milder sort, of the most 
common and domestic animals ; creatures of the cleanest feed- 
ing, which afforded the most palatable and nourishing meat, and 
which by a proper care might be had in the greatest plenty and 
perfection. If the Jews, as a select and holy people, ought to 
have any distinction of foods, surely none could have been de- 
vised more proper than this. Was not this far better than to 
license and encourage the promiscuous hunting of wild beasts 
and birds of prey, less fit for food, more difficult to be procured, 
and hardly consistent with a domestic, agricultural, and pastoral 
life ? Did not the restrictions in question, tend to promote that 
health and ease, that useful cultivation of the soil, that diligence, 
mildness, and simplicity, that consequent happiness and pros- 
perity, which were among the chief blessings of the promised 
land." 

The following passage, translated from Tertullian, adv. Marc. 
1. ii. c. 18, in Jine, may be a tit conclusion of this dissertation: 
" If the law takes away the use of some sorts of meat, and 
pronounces creatures unclean, that were formerly held quite 
otherwise, let us consider that the design was to inure them to 
temperance, and look upon it as a restraint laid upon gluttons, 
who hankered after the cucumbers and melons of Egypt, whilst 
they were eating the food of angels. Let us consider it too, as a 
remedy at the same time against excess and impurity, the usual 
attendants on gluttony. It was partly, likewise, to extinguish 
the love of money, by taking away the pretence of its being 
necessary for providing of sustenance. It was, finally, to enable 
men to fast with less inconvenience upon religious occasions, by 
using them to a moderate and plain diet." 



XXXll DISSERTATION III. 

The following catalogue of the BIRDS forbidden, written " in 
English metre," is extracted from the Bibliotheca Biblica, V. iii. 
p. 142, ed. 4to. 1725, \\here it is printed in the old black letter. 

" Of feathred Foules that fanne the bucksom aire, 
Not all alike weare made for foode to Men, 

For, these thou shalt not eat doth GOD declare, 
Twice tenne their nombre, and their flesh unclene: 
Fyrst the great Eagle, byrde of feigned Jove u , 
Which Thebanes worshippe 15 and diviners love. 

" Next Ossifrage and Ospray (both one kinde 16 ), 
Of luxurie and rapine, emblems mete, 

That haunte the shores, the choicest preye to finde, 
And brast the bones, and scoope the marrowe swete : 
The Vulture, void of delicace and feare, 
Who spareth not the pale dede man to teare : 

" The tall-built Sieann, faire type of pride confest ; 
The Pelicane, whose sons are nurst with bloode, 

Forbidd to man ! she stabbeth deep her breast, 
Self-murtheresse through fondnesse to hir broode, 
They too that range the thirstie wilds emong, 
The Ostryches, unthoughtful of thir yonge 17 . 

" The Raven ominous (as Gentiles holde), 
What time she croaketh hoarsely a la morte ; 

The Hawke, aerial hunter, swifte and bolde, 
In feates of mischief trayned for disporte; 
The vocale Cuckotee, of the faulcon race, 
Obscene intruder in her neighbor's place : 

" The Owle demure, who loveth not the lighte 
(111 semblance she of wisdome to the Greeke), 

The smallest fouls dradd foe, the coward Kile, 
And the stille Herne, arresting fishes meeke; 
The glutton Cormorante, of sullen moode, 
Regardyng no distinction in his foode. 

" The Storke, which dwelleth on the fir-tree topp 16 , 
And trusteth that no power shall hir dismaye, 

As Kinges, on their high stations place thir hope, 
Nor wist that there be higher farr than theye 19 ; 
/ The gay Gier-Eagle, bean ti full to viewe, 
Bearyng within a savage herte untrewe: 

" The Ibis whome in Egypte Israel found, 
Fell byrd ! that living serpents can digest ; 

The crested Lapwynge, wailing shrill arounde, 
Solicitous, with no contentment blest; 

Last the foul Batt, of byrd and beast first bredde, 
Flitting with littel leathren sailes dispredde." 

14 Vid. Natal. Com. de Mythol. 1. ii. cap. de Jove. 

ls Diodor. Sicul. lib. i. I6 Gesner, de avib. " Job, xxix. 16. 

18 Psalm civ. 17. 19 Eccles. v. 8. 20 Jrist. de animal, 1. iv. c. 13. 



THE 

NATURAL HISTORY OF THE BIBLE. 



ADAMANT. -IOZ>SCHMIR. AAAMAS, Eccius. xvi. IG. 

A stone of impenetrable liardness. Sometimes this name is 
given to the DIAMOND; and so it is rendered Jeremiah, xvii. 1. 
But the Hebrew word rather means a very hard kind of stone, 
probably the SMTRIS, which was also used for cutting, engraving, 
and polishing other hard stones and crystals i . The word occurs 
also in Ezek. iii. 9, and Zech. vii. 12. In the former place the 
Deity says to the prophet, " I have made thy forehead as an 
adamant, firmer than a rock; that is, endued thee with un- 
daunted courage. In the latter place, the hearts of wicked men 
are declared to be as adamant ; neither broken by the threaten- 
ings and judgments of GOD, nor penetrated by his promises, 
invitations, and mercies. See DIAMOND. 

ADDER. A venomous serpent, more usually called the 
Viper. 

In our translation of the Bible we find the word adder five 
times ; but without sufficient authority from the original 2 . 

pS'DUJ SHEPHIPHON, Genesis, xlix. 17, is probably the CERAS- 
TES 3 ; a serpent of the viper kind, of a light brown colour, which 
lurks in the sand and the tracks of wheels in the road, and un- 
expectedly bites not only the unwary traveller, but the legs of 
horses and other beasts 4 . By comparing the Danites to this 

1 On " the art of polishing and engraving on precious stones," the most curi- 
ous and ingenious of all antiquity, see a learned chapter in Goguet, Origin of 
Laws, Arts, and Sciences, vol. ii. p. 3. edit. Edinb. 

2 Gen. xlix. 17. Psal. Iviii. 4, xci. 13. cxl. 3. Prov. xxiii. 32. 

3 So say St. Jerom and Bochart ; and it is so rendered in the Vulgate. There 
is a serpent, whose name in Arabic is sipphon, which is probably the same that 
is spoken of above. See Michaelis, Recueil de Quest. Ixii. 



aw. 

/S*6u)rj, xai tyiva-n ao-xAt; auto; 

Moyjo; tTiiT ( itiTai. NICANDER, Theriac, v. 262. 

Lean, dun of hue, the snake in sands is laid, 
Or haunts within the trench that wheels have made; 
Against thee straight on onward spires he glides, 
And bites the horse's leg, or cattle's sides. 

See also jElian, 1. xvi. c. 28. Diod. 1. iii. c. 28. Bocharf, Hierosoicon 
1. iii. c. xii. p. 205. vol. 3. edit. Rosenmuller. 



2 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

artful reptile, the patriarch intimated that by stratagem more 
than by open bravery, they should avenge themselves of their 
enemies and extend their conquests. 

\r& PETHEN, in Psalm Iviii. 4. xci. 13, signifies an ASP. We 
may perhaps trace to this the PYTHON of the Greeks and its 
derivatives. See ASP. 

21tt?Dy ACHSUB, found only in Psalm cxl. 3, is derived from a 
verb which signifies to bend back on itself. The Chaldee Para- 
phrasts render it U7ODJ; ACCHABIS, which we translate elsew : here, 
spider; they may therefore have understood it to be the tarantula. 
It is rendered asp by the Septuagint and Vulgate, and is so taken 
Rom. iii. 13. The name is from the Arabic acfiasa. But there 
are several serpents which coil themselves previously to darting 
on their enemy : if this be a character of the asp, it is not pecu- 
liar to that reptile. It may be the snake mentioned by FORSKAL, 
called by the Arabians hannasch asuad. 

ySK TZEPHA, or oyStf TZIPHONI, Prov. xxiii. 32. Isai. xi. 8. xiv. 
29. lix. 5. and Jerem. viii. 17. is that deadly serpent called the 
basilisk, said to kill with its very breath. See COCATRICE. 

In Psal. Iviii. 5. reference is made to the effect of musical 
sounds over serpents. That they might be rendered tame and 
harmless by certain charms, or soft and sweet sounds, and trained 
to delight in music, was an opinion which prevailed very early 
and universally. 

Many ancient authors mention this effect 5 ; Virgil speaks of 
it particularly, Mn. vii. v. 750. 

" Quin et Marrubia venit de gente sacerdos, 
Fronde super galeam et felici comptus oliva, 
Archippi regis missu fortissimus Umbro; 
Vipereo generi, et graviter spirantibus hydris 
Spargere qui somnos cantuque manuque solebat, 
Mulcebatque iras, et morsus arte levabat." 

" Umbro, the brave Marrubian priest was there, 
Sent by the Marsian monarch to the war. 
The smiling olive with her verdant boughs 
Shades his bright helmet and adorns his brows ; 
His charms in peace the furious serpent keep, 
And lull the envenom'd viper's race to sleep ; 
His healing hand allay'd the raging pain, 
And at his touch the poisons fled again." PITT. 

Mr. Boyle, in his essay on the great effects of languid motion 6 , 
quotes the following passage from Sir H. Blunt's voyage into 
the Levant 7 . 

" Many rarities of living creatures I saw in Grand Cairo ; but 
the most ingenious was a nest of serpents of two feet long, black 
and ugly, kept by a Frenchman, who, when he came to handle 

5 Apol. Rhod. Argonaut. 1. iv. c. 177. and others quoted at large by Bochart, 
Hieroz. 1. iii. c. 6. vol. 3. p. 182. 

6 P. 71. edit. 1685. P. 81. edit. 5. 



OF THE BIBLE. 3 

them, would not endure him, but ran and hid in their hole. Then 
he would take his cittern and play upon it. They, hearing his 
music, came all crawling to his feet, and began to climb up him, 
till he gave over playing, then away they ran." 

Shaw, Bruce, and indeed all travellers who have been in the 
Levant, speak of the charming of serpents as a thing not only 
possible, but frequently seen 8 . 

The deaf adder, or asp, may either be a serpent of a species 
naturally deaf, for such kinds are mentioned by Avicenna, as 
quoted by Bochart ; or one deaf by accident ; or on account of 
its appearing to be so. In either case, in the language of poetry, 
it may be said to stop its ear, from its being proof against all the 
efforts of the charmer. 

" Ad quorum cantus mites jacuere cerastae." 

In the same manner a person of no humanity, in comparison 
is said to stop his ears at the cry of the poor, Prov. xxi. 13, and 
from the hearing of blood, Isai. xxxiii. 15. The Psalmist, there- 
fore, who was speaking of the malice and slandering lips of the 
wicked, compares their promptitude to do mischief, to the sub- 
tle venom of serpents. And he carries the allusion farther by 
intimating that they were not only as hurtful and pernicious, but 
that they stopped their ears likewise against the most persuasive 
entreaties, as the asp made itself deaf to the voice of enchanters, 
charming never so wisely. 

The comparison betwixt a malevolent tongue and the bite of 
a serpent is illustrated from other texts of scripture. Thus, Ec- 
cles. x. 11. Surely the serpent wilt bite notwithstanding enchant- 
ment ; and the babbler is no better, that is, is equally perverse. 
So Jerem. viii. 17. / will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, 
which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you. On this 
place Dr. Blaney remarks ; " That some persons possessed the 
faculty of rendering serpents harmless, is a fact too well attested 
by historians and travellers to admit of contradiction. But by 
what means this effect was produced is not quite so clear. The 
scripture word Mirh seems to be used in conformity to the vulgar 
opinion, ascribing to it the power of certain cabalistical words 
and incantations muttered through the teeth. This, indeed, we 
have reason to believe, was in general no other than a deception 
of the common people, by those who were in possession of phy- 
sical discoveries, in order to procure more veneration and re- 
spect. But M'hatever were the methods commonly practised, 
the enemies of the Jews are here compared to such serpents as 
were not to be mollified nor disarmed by any of those means ; 
" they shall bite you, saith JEHOVAH." 

The passage which led to this digression, Psal. Iviii. o, 6, re- 

8 See many curious authorities in Parkhurst, Heb. lex. under trn 1 ?. 

D2 



4 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

quires a farther illustration; and it is furnished by the author of 
" Scripture Illustrated." " After mentioning the obstinacy of 
his enemies, which David compares to the untamed malignant 
spirit of a serpent, our translators make him add, break out their 
teeth, O God, in their mouth; break out the teeth of the young 
lions. This, indeed, is the most certain and effectual mode of 
depriving serpents of their power to hurt ; for through the fangs 
they convey the deadly poison into the wound they make. But 
it is a very violent transition from the reptile tribe, the serpent, to 
young lions. And why young lions ? The passage requires 
strong lions to equal, much more to augment, the ideas already 
attached to the poisonous bite of serpents. To which we ought 
to add, that immediately afterwards the writer returns to the reptile 
tribe, the slug, or snail (rendered, by error, waters). With what 
propriety then does the lion, the young lion, come in between 
them? Would it not be better to render instead of DH33 CA- 
PHARIM, DHDND CI-APHARIM, from aphar, dust; and to con- 
sider the word as denoting serpents which dwell in dust, or 
spotted over as with dust, speckled serpents. 

In our version of the Bible, the lion is again found in the com- 
pany of serpents, and even like them to be trodden upon. Psal. 
xci. 13. It should be remarked that the most ancient inter- 
preters suppose a snake of some kind to be meant ; and Bochart 
thinks it to be the black serpent or hoemorhous. The word 
rendered t/oung lion may be the cenchris, which Nicander, The- 
riac, v. 463, calls teov cuohog, a spotted lion. Spotted, because 
he is covered with specks ; a lion, because like that animal, he 
raises his tail when about to fight ; and because, like the lion, he 
bites and fills himself with blood." 

AGATE. "DM SCHEBO. Exod. xxviii. 19. xxxix. 12. In 
the Septuagint A^TVJ;, and Vulgate Achates. 

A precious stone, semi-pellucid. Its variegations are some- 
times most beautifully disposed; representing plants, trees, 
rivers, clouds, &c. 

Its Hebrew name is perhaps derived from the country whence 
the Jews imported it ; for the merchants of Sheba brought to 
the market of Tyre all kinds of precious stones and gold. Ezek. 
xxvii. 22. 

The translators of the Bible have in Isa. liv. 12. and Ezek. 
xxvii. 16, given the same word to quite a different stone. The 
original is 13^, which, as in the former place it is proposed for 
windows, I am inclined to render talc ; though Bp. Lowth and 
Mr. Dodson make it the ruby 9 . 

9 Veram nominis significationem ipse adhuc ignorans, non earn docturus lee- 
tores commentor, sed hoc unum docturus nihil nos scire." Michaelis Supl. Lex. 
Heb. 

" Chodchod quid signified usque in praescntiam invenire non potui." Jerom. 

in Lzek. 



OF THE BIBLE. 5 

The agate was the second stone in the third row of the pectoral 
of the High Priest. Exod. xxviii. 19, and xxxix. 12. 

ALABASTE R. AAa07ey. Perhaps the name is from the 
species of whitish stone, called in Arabic, BATSRATON, and adding 
the article AL; AL-BATSRATON : a species of onyx 10 . 

The Septuagint once use cthagacTqoi;, 2 Kings xxi. 13. for the 
Hebrew nn 1 ?^, a dish or platter; and the word occurs in the 
Greek of Matth. xxvi. 7. Mark xiv. 3. and Luke vii. 37. 

The name of a genus of fossils nearly allied to marble. It is a 
bright elegant stone, sometimes of a snowy whiteness. It may 
be cut freely, and is capable of a fine polish. Being of a soft na- 
ture, it is wrought into any form or figure with ease. Vases or 
cruises were anciently made of it, wherein to preserve odoriferous 
liquors and ointments. Pliny and others represent it as pecu- 
liarly proper for this purpose 11 . And the druggists in Egypt 
have, at this day, vessels made of it, in which they keep their me- 
dicines and perfumes. Herodotus 12 , among the presents sent by 
Cambyses to the king of Ethiopia, mentions Mupou AhaGa<rr$o"j : 
Theocritus, Suf/w e ^w^ui tyvtrsi #A6#<rT#, gilded alabasters 
of Syrian ointment; and Cicero, alabaster plenus unguenti. 
Whence we learn that the term was used for the vase itself. 

In Matth. xxvi. 6, 7, we read that Jesus being at table in 
Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, Mary, the sister of 
Lazarus and of Martha, came thither and poured an alabaster 
box of ointment on his head. As to the expression, breaking 
the box, it merely implies, that the seal upon the vase which 
closed it, and kept the perfume from evaporating, had never 
been removed, but that it was orvthis occasion broken, that is, 
first opened 13 . 

Dr. Adam Clarke assigns the following reasons for this con- 
struction, (1.) That it is not likely that a box (vase, or bottle), 
exceedingly precious in itself, should be broken to get out its 
contents. (2.) That the broken pieces would be very inconve- 
nient if not injurious to the head of our Lord, and to the hands of 
the woman. (3.) That it would not be easy effectually to sepa- 
rate the oil from the broken pieces. And, (4.) That it was a cus- 
tom in the eastern countries to seal the bottles with wax that held 

10 Corap. Plin. Nat. Hist. 1. xxxvi. c. 7. " Onychem etiainnmn in Arabian 
inontibu-. nee usquam alicubi, nasci putavere nostri veteres:" etlib. xxxvi c. 8. 
" Hunc aliqui lapidem akibastriten vocant, quein cavant ad vasa unguentaria, 
quoniam optime servare incorrupta dicitur." Between the Nile and the Red Sea, 
in Egyptian Arabia, was a city hence called Alabastra. Plin. lib. v. c. 9. 

11 v^ iinguentarium, quod ex alabastrite lapide ad unguenta a corruptione 
conservanda excavare solebant." Plin. N. H. lib. xiii. c. 2. Atlien. 1. vi. 19. 
xv. 13. Plutarch in Alexandr. p. 676. Theocritus, Idyl. xv. v. 114. 

12 Lib. iii. c. 20. 

13 Harmcr's Obs. v. 4. p. 472. So we have a familiar phrase, which may per- 
haps apply: when we say, for instance, " break a guinea," we mean spend u 
part of it. 



6 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

the perfumes 14 . So that to come at their contents no more was 
necessary than to break the seal, which this woman appears to 
have done ; and when the seal was thus broken, she had no more 
to do than to pour out the liquid ointment, which she could not 
have done had she broken the bottle. 

ALGUM. CD^N or DO AN, ALGTJMMIM, 1 Kings x. 11, 12. 

This is the name of a kind of wood, or tree, large quantities of 
which were brought by the fleet of Solomon from Ophir, of 
which he made pillars for the house of the Lord, and for his 
own palace, also musical instruments. See ALMUG. 

ALMOND-TREE. nHuz. Arabic,/aMZ. Translated hazel, 
Gen. xxx. 37 15 , Tpttf SHAKAD, rendered almond, Gen. xliii. 11, 
Exod. xxv. 33, 34, xxxvii. 19, 20, Numb. xvii. 8, Eccles. xii. 5, 
and Jer. i. 11. The first name may be that of the tree; the 
other, that of the fruit, or nut. 

A tree resembling the peach tree in its leaves and blossoms, 
but the fruit is longer and more compressed, the outer green coat 
is thinner and drier when ripe, and the shell of the stone is not so 
rugged. This stone, or nut, contains a kernel, which is the only 
esculent part. The whole arrives at maturity in September, when 
the outer tough cover splits open and discharges the nut. 

From the circumstance of its blossoming the earliest of any of 
the trees, beginning as soon as the rigour of winter is past, and 
before it is in leaf, it has its Hebrew name shakad, which comes 
from a verb signifying to make haste, to be in a hurry, or to 
aicake early. Thus in Jerem. i. 11, where the Prophet is 
shown the rod of an almond tree 16 , GOD means to indicate to 
him by it, that as this tree makes haste to bud, as though it took 
the first opportunity, so he would hasten his judgment upon the 
people. There is here, says Dr. BLANEY, at once an allusion to 
the property of the almond tree, and in the original a paranomasia, 
which makes it more striking there than it can be in a translation. 

In like manner, when SOLOMON, speaking of an old man, Eccles. 
xii. 5, says the almond tree shall flourish, he intends to express 
by it the quickness by which oH age advances and surprises us ; 
while the snow white blossoms upon the bare boughs of the tree 
aptly illustrate the hoary head and defenceless state of age 17 . 

AARON'S rod which budded, and by this means secured to him 
the priesthood, was a branch of this tree. Numb. xvii. 8. 

Mr. PARKHURST suggests that probably the chiefs of the tribes 

14 The bottles which contain the Attyr of roses, which come from the East, 
are sealed in this manner. See a number of proofs relative to this point in Har- 
mer's Obs. V. iv. p. 469. 

Ia R. Saadia, in Ab. Ezrae, Comment, in Genes. " Luz. est amygdalus, quia 
ita earn appellant Arabes; nam hae duae linguae et Syriacae cjusdem sunt fa- 
miliae." See also Ben Melech in Miclal Jophi Gen. 43. Hiller, Hierophyt. 
p. I. p. 215. Celsius, Hierobot. p. ii. pag. 253. Cocquius, 227. 

16 In the Vulgate, " virgatn vigilantem," a waking rod. 

17 Mr. Harmer has, however, given this a different turn. Obs. v. 4. p. 49. 






OF THE BIBLE. 7 

bore each an almond rod, or wand, as emblematical of their vi- 
gilance 

ALMUG-TREE. xhi* ALMUG, and plural noobN ALMU- 
GIM, and C3qubM ALGUMMIM. 

A certain kind of wood mentioned 1 Kings, x. 11, 2 Chron. ii. 
8, and ix. 10, 11. Jerom and the Vulgate render it ligna thyina, 
and the Septuagint i/A# TzetexyTct, wrought wood. Several cri- 
tics understand it to mean gummy wood; but a wood abound- 
ing in resin must be very unfit for the uses to which this is said 
to be applied. Celsius queries if it be not the sandal 19 ; but 
Michaelis thinks the particular species of wood to be wholly 
unknown to us 20 . 

Josephus, however, describes it particularly. " The ships 
from Ophir, says he, brought precious stones and pine trees 
which Solomon made use of for supporting the temple and his 
palace, as also for making musical instruments, the harps and 
psalteries of the Levites 21 . The wood which was brought him 
at this time was larger and finer than any that had ever been 
brought before ; but let none imagine that these pine trees were 
like those which are now so named, and which take their denomi- 
nation from the merchants who so call them, that they may pro- 
cure them to be admired by those that purchase them 22 ; for those 
we speak of were to the sight like the wood of the fig tree, but 
were whiter and more shining. Now we have said thus much, 
that nobody may be ignorant of the difference between these sorts 
of wood, nor unacquainted with the nature of the genuine pine 
tree, and the uses which the king made of it." 

Dr. Shaw supposes that the Almug-tree was the Cypress ; and 
he observes that the wood of this tree is still used in Italy and 
other places for violins, harpsichords, and other stringed instru- 
ments 23 . 

ALOE, -fty OLAR. Syriac. 

A plant with broad leaves, nearly two inches thick, prickly and 
chamfered. It grows about two feet high. A very bitter gum 
is extracted from it, used for medicinal purposes, and anciently 
for embalming dead bodies 24 . Nicodemus is said, John xix. 39, 
to have brought one hundred pounds weight of myrrh and aloes 
to embalm the body of Jesus. The quantity has been exclaimed 
against by certain Jews, as being enough for fifty bodies. But 
instead of MUTOV it might originally have been written deuarov, ten 
pounds weight. However, at the funeral of Herod there were 
Jive hundred fw/xTO<pop8?, spice bearers 25 ; and at that of R. Ga- 
maliel, eighty pounds of opobalsamum were used 26 . 

18 Hiller, Hierophyt. c. xiii. <j 7. 19 Celsius, Hierobot. v. 1. p. 171. 

20 Quest, xci. 2l Antiq. lib. viii. c. 7. 

23 He must intend the Indian pine, which is somewhat like the fir tree. 

23 Trav. p. 422. 

11 See the authorities quoted in Greenhill's Art of Embalming. 

2S Josephus, Antiq. 1. xvii. c. 10. * Talmud, Messachoth Senaach, 8. 



8 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

The wood which God showed Moses, that with it he might 
sweeten the waters of Marah, is called ahah, Exod. xv. 25. 
The word has some relation to aloe ; and some interpreters are 
of opinion that Moses used a bitter sort of wood, that so the 
power of God might be the more remarkable. 

Mr. Bruce mentions a town, or large village, by the name of 
Elvah" 1 . It is thickly planted with trees; is the Oasis parxa of 
the ancients; and the last inhabited place to the west that is under 
the jurisdiction of Egypt. He also observes that the Arabs call 
a shrub or tree, not unlike our hawthorn, either in wood or flower, 
by the name of Elvah. " It was this, say they, with which 
Moses sweetened the waters of Marah; and with this, too, did 
Kalib Ibn el Walid sweeten those of Elvah, once bitter, and give 
the place the name of this circumstance." 

It may be that God directed Moses to the very wood proper 
for the purpose. But then it must be owned that the water of 
these parts continues bad to this day, and is so greatly in want of 
something to improve it, that had such a discovery been commu- 
nicated by Moses it would hardly have oeen lost; for the in- 
stance referred to of Waalid seems either never to have been 
repeated, or to have proved ineffectual in other cases. M. 
Niebuhr, when in these parts, inquired after wood capable of 
this effect, but could gain no information of any such. 

It will not, however, from hence follow that Moses really used 
a bitter wood ; but, as Providence usually works by the proper 
and tit means to accomplish its ends, it seems likely that the 
wood he made use of was, in some degree at least, corrective 
of that quality which abounded in the water, and so render it 
potable. This seems to have been the opinion of the author of 
Ecclesiasticus, ch. xxxviii. 5. 

That other water, also, requires some correction, and that such 
a correction is applied to it, appears from the custom in Egypt in 
respect to that of the Nile, which, though somewhat muddy, is 
rendered pure and salutary by being put into jars, the inside of 
\vhich is rubbed with a paste made of bitter almonds 28 . This 
custom might have been familiar to Moses, as it is of great an- 
tiquity. 

The first discoverers of the Floridas are said to have corrected 
the stagnant and fetid water they found there, by infusing in it 
branches of sassafras ; and it is understood that the first induce- 
ment of the Chinese to the general use of tea, was to correct the 
water of their ponds and rivers. 

I. The LIGN-ALOE, or AGALLOCHUM, Numb. xxiv. 6. 
Psal. xlv. 9. and Cantic. iv. 14. n^nN AHALOTH, masculine Sltt 
AHEL, whose plural is O'ViTN AHALIM, is a small tree, about eight 
or ten feet high. Michaelis inquires if it be not possible that 
there is a transposition of the letters and word, so as to render it 
87 Trav. v. 2. p. 470. 2S Nielnihr's Trav. V. 1. p. 71. 



OF THE BIBLE. 9 

correspondent to the Greek aAovj ; and if it is not even probable 
that the Jews might have been led to make this alteration in re- 
ference to their respect to Elohim, the name of the deity, to 
which it bore too near a resemblance. This, however, is only 
conjectural criticism. 

In Rumphius, Herbarium Amboinensis, torn. ii. p. 29 40, . 
may be found a particular description of the tree, and Tab. x. an 
engraving. 

At the top of the Aloe-tree is a large bunch of leaves, which 
are thick and indented, broad at the bottom, but growing nar- 
rower toward the point, and about four feet in length. Its blos- 
soms are red, intermixed with yellow ; and double, like a pink. 
From the blossom comes the .fruit, or pod, which is oblong and 
triangular, with three apartments filled with seed. 

That the flower of this plant yielded a fragrance is assured to 
us in the following extract from Swinburne's Travels, letter xii. 
" This morning, like many of the foregoing ones, was delicious. 
The sun rose gloriously out of the sea, and all the air around was 
perfumed with the effluvia of the ALOE, as its rays sucked up 
the dew from the leaves." 

This extremely bitter plant contains under the bark three sorts 
of wood. The first is black, solid, and weighty ; the second is 
of a tawny colour, of a light spongy texture, very porous, and 
filled with a resin extremely fragrant and agreeable; the third 
kind of wood, which is the heart, has a strong aromatic odour, 
and is esteemed in the east more precious than gold itself. It is 
used for perfuming habits and apartments, and is administered 
as a cordial in fainting and epileptic fits 29 . These pieces, called 
calunbac, are carefully preserved in pewter boxes, to prevent 
their drying. When they are used they are ground upon a marble 
with such liquids as are best suited to the purpose for which they 
are intended. This wood, mentioned Cantic. iv. 14. in conjunc- 
tion with several other odoriferous plants there referred to, was 
in high esteem among the Hebrews for its exquisite exhalations. 

" The scented aloe, and each shrub that showers 
Gum from its veins, and odours from its flowers." 

Thus the son of Sirach, Ecclus. xxiv. 15. I gave a sweet smell 
like the cinnamon and asphaltus. I yielded apteasant odour like 
the best myrrh; like galbanum and onyx, and fragrant storax, 
and like the fume of frankincense, in the tabernacle. 
, It may not be amiss to observe that the Persian translator 
renders ahalim, sandal-rcood ; and the same was the opinion of 
a certain Jew in Arabia who was consulted by Niebuhr. See 
LIGN-ALOE. 

AMBER. teutfT CHASMAL. Ezek. i. 4, 27, and viii. 2. 

59 Lady M. W. Montague's Letters, v. 2. p. 91. Arabian Nights' Entertain- 
ments, v. 5. No. 171. Hassclquist, p. 249. .Raynal's Indies, v. 2. p. 279. 



10 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

The amber is a hard inflammable bitumen. When rubbed it is 
highly endowed with that remarkable property called electricity ; 
a word which the moderns have formed from the Greek name 
f Aexrpov. But the ancients had also a mixed metal of fine cop- 
per and silver, resembling the amber in colour, and so called by 
the same name. 

St. Jerom, Theodoret, St. Gregory, and Origen think that, in 
the above cited passages from Ezekiel, a precious and highly 
polished metal is meant. Bochart and Le Clerc consider it the 
same as the electrum. It is evident that our translators could 
not suppose it to mean the natural amber, for that, being a bitu- 
minous substance, becomes dim as soon as it feels the tire, and 
soon dissolves and consumes ; nor could they intend crystal, as 
some have supposed, because it bore the same name among the 
ancients 30 ; for that substance would not long stand the fire, and 
while it did would soon lose its transparency, and instead of glowing 
would become opaque. The metal so celebrated for its beautiful 
lustre is most probably intended. As Ezekiel prophesied among 
the Chaldeans, after the captivity of king Jehoiachim, so here, 
as iu other instances, he seems to have used a Chaldee word ; 
and, considered as such, "oun may be derived from WTH (copper) 
dropping the initial J, and Chald. V^D (gold as it comes from the 
mine); and so denote either a metal mixed of copper and gold, 
as the ccs pyropum mentioned in the ancient Greek and Roman 
writers, and thus called from its fiery colour; and the noted 
as corinthum; or else it may signify %a:AKo? %%V(70iSy?, which 
Aristotle describes as very brilliant, and of which it is probable 
the cups of Darius mentioned by him were made, and the two 
vessels of fine brass, precious as gold, of which we read Ezra, 
viii. 27 31 . See BRASS. 

AMETHYST. nriw AHALMAH. Exod. xxviii. 19, and 
xxix. 12. and once in the N. T. Rev. xxi. 20. A/u,0uoT0f. 

A transparent gem of a colour which seems composed of a 
strong blue and deep red; and, according as either prevails, af- 
fording different tinges of purple, sometimes approaching to 
violet, and sometimes even fading to a rose colour 32 . 

The stone called amethyst by the ancients was evidently the 
same with that now generally known by this name ; which is far 
from being the case with regard to some other gems. The 
oriental is the hardest, scarcest, and most valuable. 

It was the ninth stone in the pectoral of the high-priest 33 , and 
is mentioned as the twelfth in the foundations of New Jeru- 
salem. 

30 HJviparij ]X*XTfO? affirm. DION. PfiRIEG. V. 317. 

31 See some learned illustrations of this subject in Bochart, Hieroz. v. 3. 
p. 781. and Scheuchzer, Phys. Sacr. v. 7. p. 343. 

32 Salmasius, in Exercit. Plinianse, p. 583. 

33 Hillier, Tr. de xii. jfemrais in Pectorali Pontif. Hebr. p. 59. Braunins de 
Vestitu Sacerd. Hebr. ii. c. 16. p. 709. 



OF THE BIBLE. 11 

ANISE. An annual umbelliferous plant, the seeds of which 
have an aromatic smell, a pleasant warm taste, and a carminative 
quality. But by Avytoov, Matthew, xxiii. 23. the DILL is meant. 
Our translators seem to have been first misled by a resemblance 
of the sound. No other versions have fallen into the mistake. 
The Greek of anise is csv/o-ov; but of dilt, avyGov. 

ANT. n^Q3 NEMALA. In the Turkish and Arabic, neml. 
Occ. Prov. vi. 6. xxx. 25. 

A little insect, famous from all antiquity for its social habits, 
its economy, unwearied industry, and prudent foresight. It has 
offered a pattern of commendable frugality to the profuse, and 
of unceasing diligence to the slothful. 

Solomon calls the ants " exceeding wise, for though a race 
not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." He 
therefore sends the sluggard to these little creatures, to learn 
wisdom, foresight, care, and diligence. 

" Go to the Ant; learn of its ways, be wise: 
It early heaps its stores, lest want surprise. 
Skill'd in the various year, the prescient sage 
Beholds the summer chill'd in winter's rage. 
Survey its arts; in each partition'd cell 
Economy and plenty deign to dwell 34 ." 

The Septuagint and Arabic versions add a direction to learn 
of the labours of the Bee the lessons, the effects, the rewards, and 
the sweets of industry. This is not in the Hebrew text ; but, 
perhaps, being written in the margin of some copy of the Sep- 
tuagint as a parallel instance, was, by some unskilful copier, put 
into the text of the Greek version, whence the Arabic has taken 
it. This must have been very early, for Clemens of Alexandria 
makes mention of it 33 . 

That the Ant hoarded up grains of corn against winter for its 
sustenance, was very generally believed by the ancients 36 , though 
modern naturalists seem to question the fact 37 . Thus Horace 
says, 

" Sicut 

Parvula (natn exemplo est) magni Formica laboris 

Ore trahit quodcunque potest, atque addit acervo 

Quern struit, haud ignara ac non incauta futuri ; 

QUEB simul inversum contristat aquarius annum, 

Non usquam prorepit, et illis utitur ante 

Quassitis sapiens." SAT. 1. 1. i. v. 33. 

" For thus the little Ant (to human lore 
No mean example) forms her frugal store, 
Gather'd, with mighty toil on every side, 
Nor ignorant, nor careless to provide 

34 Devens' Paraphrase. 3S Slromat. 1. i. p. 286. 

36 Plin. 1. x. c. 72, and 1. xi. c. 30. jEIian, 1. ii. c. 25. 1. vi. c. 43. Ovid, 
Metam. 1. viii. v. 624. Virgil. Georg. i. v. 184. jEn. iv. v. 402. 

37 Boerner, Sammlungen cms der Nalurgeschichle, p. 1. p, 181. 



12 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

For future want : yet, when the stars appear 
That darkly sadden the declining year, 
No more she comes abroad, but wisely lives 
On the fair stores industrious summer gives." 

The most learned Bochart, in his Plierozoicon 38 , has displayed 
his vast reading on this subject, and has cited passages^from 
Pliny, Lucian, ./Elian, Zoroaster, Origen, Bazil, and Epiphanius, 
the Jewish Rabbins and Arabian naturalists, all concurring in 
opinion that ants cut oft the heads of grain, to prevent their ger- 
minating: and it is observable that the Hebrew name of the 
insect is derived from the verb ^Q3 NAMAL, which signifies to 
cut off, and is used for cutting oft ears of corn, Job, xxiv. C4. 
To the authorities above quoted we may add the following tes- 
timony from a letter on this curious subject published by the 
French Academy, and afterwards inserted by Mr. Addison in 
the Guardian, No. 156, as a narrative, says he, of undoubted 
credit and authority. " The corn which is laid up by ants would 
shoot under ground, if these insects- did not take care to prevent 
it. They, therefore, bite oft all the germs before they lay it up; 
and therefore the corn that has lain in their cells will produce 
nothing. Any one may make the experiment, and even see that 
there is no germ in their corn." 

Without insisting, however, upon this disputed point, I would 
remark that if we consider the two texts in the book of Proverbs, 
there is not the least intimation in them of their laying up corn 
in store against winter. In chapter vi. 8. it is said, She provideth 
her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 
For, though the former verb pn HE KIN signifies to prepare, or 
dispose in ordei-j and the latter "ON AGAR, to collect, or gather 
together; and in the only two places where I find it occur besides, 
is used for gathering in summer, as Prov. x. 5. and for gathering 
in the vintage, Deut. xxviii. 3Q. yet the expression in the text 
necessarily means no more than that they collect their food in its 
proper season. Nor is there any thing else declared, chap. xxx. 
v. 25. So that all which may be fairly concluded from Scrip- 
ture is, that they carry food for themselves into their repositories, 
to serve them as long as it will keep good, or they shall need it. 
That they do this against winter can only be determined by ex- 
amining into the fact. This has been done with very great dili- 
gence, and it appears that they eat not at all in the winter, and 
have no stores laid in of any sort of food. The opinion, there- 
fore, of their laying in magazines against winter seems to have 
been grafted on these scriptures, rather than found in them ; and 
this from a conclusion naturally enough made, from observing 
their wonderful labour and industry in gathering their food in the 
summer, supposing that this must be to provide against winter. 
After all, great part of their labour, which may have been be- 

38 Tom. iii. p. 478. 



OF THE BIBLE. 13 

stowed in other services, might easily be mistaken, by less accu- 
rate observers, for carrying food. It may be thought sufficient 
for the purpose if it were in Solomon's time but a popular notion. 
The Scriptures are not to be considered as unerring guides in 
NATURAL, although they are in MORAL and DIVINE matters 59 . 

The following remarks are from " the Introduction to Ento- 
mology," by Kirby and Spence, vol. ii. p. 46. 

" Till the manners of exotic ants are more accurately explored, 
it would, however, be rash to affirm that no ants have magazines 
of provisions; for, although, during the cold of our winters in this 
country, they remain in a state of torpidity, and have no need of 
food, yet in warmer regions, during the rainy seasons, when they 
are probably confined to their nests, a store of provisions may be 
necessary for them. Even in northern climates, against wet sea- 
sons, they may provide in this way for their sustenance and that 
of the young brood, which, as Mr. Smeatham observes,- are very 
voracious, and cannot bear to be long deprived of their food; else 
why do ants carry worms, living insects, and many other such 
things into their nests ? Solomon's lesson to the sluggard has 
been generally adduced as a strong confirmation of the ancient 
opinion: it can, however, only relate to the species of a warm 
climate, the habits of which are probably different from those of 
a cold one ; so that his words, as commonly interpreted, may be 
perfectly correct and consistent with nature, and yet be not at 
all applicable to the species that are indigenous to Europe. But 
I think, if Solomon's words are properly considered, it will be 
found that this interpretation has been fathered upon them, rather 
than fairly deduced from them. He does not affirm that the ant, 
which he proposes to his sluggard as an example, laid up in her 
magazine stores of grain ; but that, with considerable prudence 
and foresight, she makes use of the proper seasons to collect a 
supply of provision sufficient for her purposes. There is not a 
word in them implying that she stores up grain or other pro- 
vision. She prepares her bread, and gathers her food, namely, 
such food as is suited to her in summer and harvest that is, 
when it is most plentiful ; and thus shows her wisdom and pru- 
dence by using the advantages offered to her. The words, thus 
interpreted, which they may be without any violence, will apply 
to the species among us as well as to those that are not indi- 
genous." 

As this insect is such a favourite both with naturalists and 
moralists, I refer to the following authors for much curious and 
instructive information respecting its habits and economy. Ad- 
dison's Guardian, Nos. 156, 157- Smeatham's Account of the 
Termites of Africa, inserted in the Philosophical Transactions, 
v. Ixxi. p. 139. Delany's Sermon on Prov. vi. 6, 7, 8. Sten- 
nett on the Social Duties, p. S.56. Toogood on the Seasons, 
p. 19. and Scheuchzer, v. vii. p. 105. 

39 Durell on Psal. cxxi. and Prov. vi. 6. 



14 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

APE. Dip KOPH. Persic keibi and kubbi; Greek xv<$o? and 
?, and Roman cephns. Occ. 1 Kings x. 22. 2 Chron. ix. 21. 

This animal seems to be the same with the ceph of the Ethio- 
pians, of which Pliny speaks, 1. viii. c. 1Q. At the games given 
by Pompey the Great (says he), where shown cephs brought from 
Ethiopia, which had their fore feet like a human hand, their hind 
legs and feet also resembled those of a man. " lidem ex Ethi- 
opia quos vocant cephos, quorum pedes posteriores pedibus hu- 
manis et cruribus, priores manibus fuere similes." Solinus, 
speaking of Ethiopia, says that Caesar the Dictator, at the games 
of the circus, had shown the monsters of that country, cephs, 
whose hands and feet resembled those of mankind. " lisdem 
ferme temporibus (quibus circenses exhibuit Cassar Dictator) 
illinc exhibita monstra sunt. Cephos appellant, quorum poste- 
riores pedes crure et vestigio humanos artus mentiuntur priores 
hominum manus referunt." The same oriental name appears in 
the monkeys called KH1TIEN, in the Mosaic pavement found at 
Praeneste, and inscribed near the figure there delineated 40 . 

The scripture says that the fleet of Solomon brought apes, or 
rather monkeys, &c. from Ophir. The learned are not agreed 
respecting the situation of that country ; but Major Wilford 
says that the ancient name of the river Landi sindh in India was 
Cophes 41 . May it not have been so called from the D'Dp co- 
PHIM inhabiting its banks ? 

We now distinguish this tribe of creatures into(l.) Monkeys, 
those with long tails; (2.) Apes, those with short tails; (3.) 
Baboons, those without tails. 

Lichtenstein attributes the Dip of the Hebrews to the class of 
monkeys called Diana in the system of Linna?us 42 . 

In Deut. xxxii. 17. Moses reproaches the Israelites with sacri- 
ficing to devils, to gods whom they knew not, gods newly come 
up, whom their fathers feared not. The Hebrew word onU7 
SADIM, in this place, has some resemblance to the Arabic saadan, 
the name of the Baboon 43 . 

The ancient Egyptians are said to have worshiped Apes. 
They are still adored in many places in India. Mafleus describes 
a magnificent temple of the Ape, with a portico for receiving vic- 
tims sacrificed to it, supported by seven hundred columns 44 . 

" With glittering gold and sparkling gems they shine, 
But Apes and Monkeys are the gods within 45 ." 

40 A drawing of this most curious relique of antiquity may be seen in Shaw's 
Travels, p. 423, with a learned explanation; and a history of it is given in 
Montfaucon's Antiq. vol. xiv. fol. 

41 Asiatic Researches, v. vi. p. 455. 

42 Lichtenstein. De Simiarum quotquot veteribus innotuerunt, formis earum- 
que noininibus. Hamb. 1791. p. 78. 

43 The Arabic version of Deut. xxxii. 17. has SHAATAN, or SHATAN, from the 
root SHATANA, obstinate, refractory. "Whence our appellative SATAN. 

44 Hist. Ind. lib. 1. 4S Granville. 



OF THE BIBLE. 15 

APPLE-TREE. rnDn TAPHUAH. 

Occ. Prov. xxv. 11. Cantic. ii. 3. 5. vii. 8. viii. 5. Joel, i. 12. 

M. Maillet, Let. ix. p. 15. every where expresses a strong 
prejudice in favour of Egypt ; its air, its water, and all its pro- 
ductions are incomparable. He acknowledges, however, that its 
apples and pears are very bad, and that in respect to these fruits, 
Egypt is as little favoured as almost any place in the world ; that 
some, and those very indifferent that are carried thither from 
Rhodes and Damascus, are sold very dear. As the best apples 
of Egypt, though ordinary, are brought thither by sea from 
Rhodes, and by land from Damascus, we may believe that Judea, 
an intermediate country between Egypt and Damascus, has none 
that are of any value. This is abundantly confirmed by D'Ar- 
vieux, who observed that the fruits that are most commonly eaten 
by the Arabs of Mount Carmel were tigs, grapes, dates, apples, 
and pears, which they have from Damascus; apricots, both 
fresh and dried, melons, pasteques, or water-melons, which they 
make use of in summer instead of water to quench their thirst 46 . 
The Arabs then, of Judea, can find no apples there worth eat- 
ing, but have them brought from Damascus, as the people of 
Egypt have 47 . 

Can it be imagined, then, that the apple trees of which the 
prophet Joel speaks, ch. i. 12. and which he mentions among 
the things that gave joy to the inhabitants of Judea, were those 
that we call by that name ? Our translators must surely have 
been mistaken here, since the apples which the inhabitants of 
Judea eat at this day are of foreign growth, and at the same time 
but very indifferent. 

Bp. Patrick, in his commentary on the Canticles, chap. vii. 
v. 8. supposes that the word D'niDn TAPPUCIIIM, translated ap- 
ples, is to be understood of the fruit to which we give that name, 
and also of oranges, citrons, peaches, and all fruits that breathe 
a fragrant odour; but the justness of this may be questioned. 
The Roman authors, it is true, call pomegranates, quinces, cit- 
rons, peaches, apricots, all by the common name of apples, only 
adding an epithet to distinguish them from the species of fruit 
which we call by that name, and from one another ; but it does 
not appear that the Hebrew writers do so too. The pomegran- 
ate certainly has its appropriate name ; and the book of Canti- 
cles seems to mean a particular species of trees by this term, 
since it prefers them to all the trees of the wood. This author 
then does not seem to be in the right when he gives such a 
vague sense to the word. 

What sort of tree and fruit then are we to understand by the 
word, since probably one particular species is designed by it, and 

46 Voyage dans la Palestine, p. 201. 

47 Dr. Russell mentions " two or three sorts of apples, but all very bad." Nat. 
Hist, of Aleppo, p. 21. 



16 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

it cannot be supposed to be the proper apple-tree ? There are 
five places, besides this in Joel, in which the word occurs, and 
from them we learn that it was thought the noblest of the trees 
of the wood, and that its fruit was very sweet or pleasant, Cantic. 
ii. 3 ; of the colour of gold, Prov. xxv. 1 1 ; extremely fragrant, 
Cantic. vii. 8 : and proper for those to smell that were ready to 
faint, Cantic. ii. 5. The fifth passage, Cantic. viii. 5. contains 
nothing particular; but the description which the other four 
give answers to the Citron-tree and its fruit. 

It may be thought possible, that the orange and the lemon tree, 
which now grow in Judea in considerable numbers 48 , as well as 
the citron, equally answer to the description. But it is to be 
remembered that it is very much doubted by eminent naturalists, 
Ray in particular 49 , whether they were known to the ancients ; 
whereas it is admitted they were acquainted with the citron. The 
story that Josephus tells us 50 of the pelting of king Alexander 
Janna?us by the Jews with their citrons at one of their feasts, 
plainly proves that they were acquainted with that fruit some 
generations before the birth of our Lord, and it is supposed to 
have been of much longer standing in that country 51 . We may 
be sure that the taphuah was very early known in the Holy Land, 
as it is mentioned in the book of Joshua as having given name 
to a city of Manasseh and one of Judah 52 . Several interpreters 
and critics render Tin YV HS Levit. xxiii. 40, branches (or fruit) 
of the beautiful tree ; and understand it of the citron 53 ; and it 
is known that the Jews still make use of the fruit of this tree at 
their yearly feast of tabernacles. 

Citron-trees are very noble, being large, their leaves beautiful, 
ever continuing on the tree, of an exquisite smell, and affording 
a most delightful shade. It might well, therefore, be said, " As 
the citron-tree is among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved 
among the sons." 

This is a delicate compliment, comparing the fine appearance 
of the Prince, amid his escort, to the superior beauty with which 

48 Thevenot observed the gardens at Naplouse to be full of orange as well as 
citron trees; Part i. p. 215; and Eginont and Heyman saw lemon trees at Hat- 
tin and Saphet in Galilee, vol. ii. p. 40 4S. See also Pococke's Travels, vol. 
ii. p. GT ; Rauwolf, p. 2. c. 22. p. 427. 

49 Dr. Shaw appears to be of the same opinion. 
80 Antiq. Jud. 1. xiii. c. 13. sec. 5. 

51 Dr. Russell says that citrons are brought from Jerusalem to Aleppo for the 
Jews on their great feasts. [M. S. note quoted by Dr. Adam Clarke.] 

52 Josh. xv. 34. and 53. and xvii. 12. See also Eusebius in Beth-tapuah. 

53 Onkelos, Syr. Saadias, Dathe, Michaelis, and Parkhurst. The Israelites, 
says Dr. Geddes, might take the fruit, or shoots, here mentioned, from any 
goodly or luxuriant tree ; though he is inclined to think that nD peri, here means 
ant fruit, properly so called, but young growing shoots or boughs, as in our pub- 
lic version; although Delgado finds fault with it on that account, and although 
the bulk of commentators are on his side. Houbigant, however, has surculos, 
and Juniui lennetes. 



OF THE BIBLE. 17 

the citron-tree appears among the ordinary trees of the forest; 
and the compliment is heightened by an allusion to the refresh- 
ing shade and the exhilarating /rattf. 

Shade, according to Mr. Wood 54 , is an essential article of 
oriental luxury, the greatest people enjoying, and the meanest 
coveting its refreshment. Any shade must, in so hot a country, 
afford a great delight ; but the shade of the citron-tree must have 
yielded double pleasure on account of its ample foliage and fra- 
grant smell. Egmont and Heyman were served with coffee in 
a garden at Mount Sinai, under the shade of some fine orange 
trees 55 . The mention of the fruit, in connection with reclining 
under a shade, may refer to the eastern custom of shaking down 
the fruit on the heads of those who sat under the tree. So Dr. 
Pococke tells us that when he was at Sidon he was entertained in 
a garden under the shade of some apricot trees, and the fruit of 
them was shaken down upon him for his repast 56 . So that the 
Spouse may be supposed to remark : " Pleasant is every tree 
in this hot country, but especially so are those that are remark- 
ably shady; among which none have pleased me so well as the 
citron-tree, whose umbrage and fragrance have been extremely 
reviving, and whose fruit is so delicious ; and such as the citron- 
tree is to me among ignoble trees, my beloved is among the com- 
mon crowd." 

The exhilarating effects of the fruit are mentioned verse 5. 
" Comfort me with citrons." Egmont and Heyman tell us of 
an Arabian w ho was in a great measure brought to himself when 
overcome with wine by the help of citrons and coffee 57 . How 
far this may be capable of illustrating the ancient practice of 
relieving those who were fainting by the use of citrons, I leave, 
says Mr. Harmer, to medical gentlemen to determine. Abu'l 
Fadli says, " Odor ejus exhilarat animum, restituit vires, et spi- 
ritum restaurat ;" and Rabbi Solomon, " Est arbor omnium 
amabilissima, fructum ferens gustu et odore optimum." 

As the fragrance of the fruit is admirable, the breath of the 
spouse might, with great propriety, be compared to citrons ; 
whereas, the pertinency of the comparison is lost when under- 
stood of apples. 

" More sweet the fragrance which thy breath exhales 
Than citron groves refresh'd by morning gales 58 ." 

Mr. Harmer, from whom the principal part of this article is 
taken, observes that the Chaldee paraphrast on Cantic. ii. 3. un- 
derstood the word in the same way 59 . 

54 Account of the Ruins of Balbec, p. 5. 

K See Pococke's Obs. in Harmer's Outlines of a Commentary on Solomon's 
Song, p. 248. 

56 Travels, vol. ii. p. 85. " Vol. ii. p. 36. 

69 Mrs. Francis's translation. 59 Obs vol. ii. p. 159. 4(h edit. 

E 



18 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

I will only farther add, that, to the manner of serving up these 
citrons in his court, Solomon seems to refer, when he says, " a 
word fitly spoken is like golden citrons in silver baskets ;" 
whether, as Maimonides supposes, in baskets wrought with open 
work, or in salvers curiously chased, it nothing concerns us to 
determine ; the meaning is, that an excellent saying, suitably ex- 
pressed, is as the most acceptable gift in the fairest conveyance. 
So the Rabbins say that the tribute of the first ripe fruits was 
carried to the temple in silver baskets. 

Celsius, however, has displayed much learning to prove that 
the niDD should be understood of the Mala Cydonia, or Quinces : 
but this fruit, though beautiful and very fragrant, is not pleasant 
to the palate : while the author of " Scripture Illustrated," from 
the testimony of M. Forskal, who says that the apple-tree is called 
tuffah, seems inclined to retain the common version. 

ASH-TREE, ptt OREN ; Arab, ardn; Lat. onnis. 

This word occurs Isaiah, xliv. 14. The Septuagint and Vul- 
gate render it the pine; but Celsius gives from Abu'l Fadli a 
description of the aran, which agrees very well with what we call 
" the prickly ash." 

ASP. jnD PETEX. The bteten of M. Forskal 60 . 

Occ. Deut. xxsii. 33. Job, xx. 14. 16. Psal. Iviii. 4. xci. 13. 
Isai. xi. 8. 

A very venomous serpent, whose poison is so subtle as to kill 
within a few hours with a universal gangrene. 

This may well refer to the b&ten of the Arabians, which M. 
Forskal describes as spotted with black and white, about one 
foot in length, and nearly half an inch in thickness ; oviparous ; 
its bite is instant death. It is the aspic of the ancients, and is so 
called now by the literati of Cyprus, though the common people 
call it kufi (jf8@jj) deaf 61 . 

I take the opportunity here of introducing a criticism of Mr. 
Merrick upon Psal. cxi. 13. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and 
the adder; the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample 
under feet. " Bochart observes that the most ancient interpre- 
ters, the Septuagint, the Vulgate, St. Jerom, Apollinaris, the 
Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, render the Hebrew word, 
which our translators have rendered ' lion,' the asp ; and this 
learned critic himself thinks it probable that the Psalmist 
throughout this verse speaks of serpents only. He also observes 
that Nicander has mentioned a sort of serpent by the name of 
Afwv CUO\OG, the spotted lion ; and that the word translated ' young 
lion' is, in other places of scripture, rendered by the Septuagint 

eo Totus maculatus albo nigroque. Longitudo pednlis; crassities fere bipol- 
licaris. Ovipara. Morsus in iiibtnnti necat, corpore vulnerato intumescente." 

Rosenmuller says, " Ego certius puto colubrum beeten Forskalii pro Hasbreo- 
rum ]ns haberc." 

61 Comp. Psal. Iviii. 4, with Job, xx. 14. where deafness is ascribed to thepeten. 



OF THE BIBLE. 19 

a dragon. (See Job, iv. 10, and xxxviii. 3Q-) He likewise takes 
notice of the word X#/xa/A<;v, or ground lion, given to an animal 
well known. The late learned Dr. Shaw, in a printed specimen 
of a natural history of animals which he once showed me, conjec- 
tured that the chameleon was so called from its leaping upon its 
prey like a lion : and it is not impossible that the name of lion 
might, for the like reason, be given to the serpent mentioned by 
Nicander; as also to the lion-lizard, which is, if I mistake not, 
mentioned by Mr. Catesby in his natural history of South Caro- 
lina. Bochart himself, in the former part of his learned work, 
informs us that the chameleon is called also by more than one of 
the Arabian poets, bakira, the liojiess ; and that an animal, like 
the chameleon, is called in their language leo-iphrin, from the, 
place where it is bred 62 ." 

Were this supposition, that the Psalmist here mentions ser- 
pents only, well established, the translation of the whole verse 
might stand thus : 

Behold the Asp, whose boiling veins 
Had half the poison of the plains 
Imbib'd, before thee vanquish'd lie, 
And close in death his languid eye : 
Go, fearless on the dragon tread, 
And press the wrath-swoln adder's head. 

To give the highest probability to the accuracy of this transla- 
tion, it need only to be remembered that, " ambulabis super leo- 
nem," seems quite improper, as men do not in walking tread upon 
lions as they do upon serpents. See ADDER. 

With the PETHEN we may compare i\\e python of the Greeks, 
which was, according to fable, a huge serpent that had an oracle 
at Mount Parnassus, famous for predicting future events. Apollo 
is said to have slain this serpent, and hence he was called " Py- 
thius 63 ." Those possessed with a spirit of divination were also 
styled IIi;0wv, Pythones^. The word occurs Acts, xvi. 16, as 
the characteristic of a young woman who had a pythonic spirit ; 
and it is well known that the serpent was particularly respected 
by the heathen in their enchantments and divinations. See 
SERPENT. 

ASS. TOICHAMOR. Arabic, chamara, and hamar; Ethiopic, 
JEhmire; and Turkish, hymar. 

There are three words referred by translators to .the Ass. 
1. ^llOn CHAMOR, which is the usual appellation, and denotes the 
ordinary kind ; such as is employed in labour, carriage, and do- 
mestic services. (2.) ttiD PARA, rendered onager, or wild ass. 

61 " Leo-Tphrin (says an Arabic Lexicographer) est animal ut chamseleon, 
quod equitem invadet, et caiuiu sua percutit. 

63 Gale, Court of the Gentiles, vol. 1. book 2, c. 4, says that Apollo is so named 
from ATTOAXEIV, to destroy. Hence APOLLYON, the destroyer. Com. Rev. ix. 11. 

64 Plutarch de Defect. Orac. as cited by Welstein, lorn. ii. p. 414. 

E 2 



20 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

(3.) pDN ATON, rendered she-ass. To these we must add 
OREDIA, rendered wild-asses, Dan. v. 21, and D'TJ? OIRIM, 
young-asses, Tsai. xxx. 6, 24. 

I. The Ass is an animal somewhat resembling the horse in 
form ; different however in having long ears, a short mane, and 
long hairs covering only the end of the tail. His body is covered 
with short and coarse hair, generally of a pale dun colour, with a 
.streak of black running down the back, and across the shoulders. 
The prevailing colour of the animal in the East is reddish ; and 
the Arabic word chamara signifies to be red. 

In his natural state he is fleet, fierce, formidable, and intracta- 
ble ; but when domesticated, the most gentle of all animals, and 
assumes a patience and submission even more humble than his 
situation. He is very temperate in eating, and contents himself 
with the most ordinary vegetable food; but as to drink is extreme- 
ly delicate, for he will slake his thirst at none but the clearest 
fountains and brooks. 

L.e Clerc observes that the Israelites not being allowed to 
keep horses, the ass was not only made a beast of burden, but 
used on journeys, and that even the most honourable of the na- 
tion were wont to be mounted on asses, which in the Eastern 
countries were much bigger and more beautiful than they are 
with us. Jair of Gilead had thirty sons who rode on as many 
asses, and commanded in thirty cities. Jud. x. 4. Abdon's sons 
and grandsons rode also upon asses. Jud. xii. 4. And Christ 
makes his solemn entry into Jerusalem riding upon an ass. 
Matth. xxi. 4. Joh. xii. 14. This was an accomplishment of a 
prophecy of Zechariah, ix. <). (Comp. Isai. Ixii. 11.) It is called, 
indeed, his triumphant entry, but, as horses are used in war, he 
may be supposed by this action to have shown the humble and 
peaceable nature of his kingdom 65 . 

To draw with an ox and ass together was prohibited in the 
Mosaic law. Deut. xxii. 10. This law is thought to have res- 
pect to some idolatrous custom of the Gentiles, who were taught 
to believe that their fields would be more fruitful if thus plough- 
ed; for it is not likely that men would have yoked together two 
creatures so different in their tempers and motions, had they not 
been led to it by some superstition. It is more probable, how- 
ever, that there was a physical reason for this. Two beasts of 
a different species cannot associate comfortably together; and 
on this account never pull pleasantly either in the cart or plough; 
and every farmer knows it is of considerable consequence to the 
comfort of the cattle to put those together that have an affection 
for each other. This may be frequently remarked in certain 
cattle, which on this account are termed true yoke-fellows. Le 
Clerc considers this law as merely symbolical, importing that 

45 See an eloquent Sermon by Bp. Home, on Zech. ix. 9. in (he first volume 
of his Sermons, p. 133. 



OF THE BIBLE. 21 

they must not form improper alliances in civil and religious life ; 
and he thinks his opinion confirmed by these words of St. Paul, 
2Cor.vi. 14. "13e ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers;" which 
are simply to be understood as prohibiting all intercourse between 
Christians and idolaters in social, matrimonial, and religious life. 
To teach the Jews the propriety of this, a variety of precepts re- 
lative to improper and heterogeneous mixtures were interspersed 
through their law ; so that in civil and domestic life they might 
have them ever before their eyes. 

The ass was declared an unclean creature by the law, and no 
one was permitted to taste the flesh of it. This leads me to in- 
troduce the explanation of the passage 2 Kings, vi. 15, from 
" Scripture illustrated, in addition to Calmet ;" where it is said 
that " there was a great famine in Samaria, until an ass's head 
was sold for eighty pieces of silver." It is true there is no per- 
plexity in this as read in our version. But it must be remem- 
bered that no kind of extremity could compel the Jews to eat 
any part of this animal for food. We read, 1 Sam. xvi. 20. that 
Jesse sent to Saul " an ass of bread," for in that place the words 
laden with are an addition of our translators : and the meaning 
must be, not an animal, but a vessel containing bread, a stated 
measure, or a pile. The Septuagint render yopio^ aqruv, a chomer 
of bread. So we find in the Greek poet Sosibius, " he ate three 
times, in the space of a single day, three great asses of bread," 
UQTUV T^eiq ov8; which Casaubon (in Lection.Theoc.) understands 
of the lading of three asses; whereas it means the contents of 
three vases of the kind called an ass 66 . We may also hint a 
doubt whether Abigail, 1 Sam. xxv. 18. really loaded asses with 
her presents to David ; for the original literally is " she took two 
hundred of bread, &c. and placed them on THE asses; which 
seems to refer to something distinct from asses, animals ; for then 
it would be as it is iu our version, "she placed them on asses." 
There is also a passage, Exod. viii. 14, where our translators 
themselves have rendered heaps, what in the original is asses' 
asses, " they gathered the frogs together asses' asses;" and so 
Samson says of his defeated enemies, a heap, heaps ; ass, asses. 
Now, if we take our English word pile, to signify this quantity 
(not meaning to attempt to determine accurately, even if it were 
possible), it will lead us to the idea that Jesse sent to Saul a pile 
of bread ; that a person ate three piles of bread in a day ; that 
Abigail placed her bread, corn, raisins, &c. in piles; that the 
Egyptians gathered the stinking frogs in piles; that Samson's 
enemies lay in piles. Let this vindicate those Jews who trans- 
late, not " the head of an ass," chamor, but " head of a mea- 
sure," chomer ; for the letters are precisely the same in the ori- 
ginal. Observe that the word rash, translated " head," signifies 
the total, the whole, as Psal. cxxxix. 17. Cl How precious also 
66 See Fragment, in addition to Caltnet, No. ccxxx. 



22 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

are thy thoughts unto me, O God ; how great is the head of 
them !" Exod. xxx. 12. " When thou takest the head" that is 
the sum total, the enumeration of Israel. Numb. i. 2. " Take 
the head/' sum total, " of Israel." See also chap. iv. 2, 22, 
xxvi. 2. xxxi. 26. 

These ideas combined will render the passage to this effect:, 
" the famine was so severe that the whole of a pile, i.e. of bread, 
or a complete pile of bread, sold for eighty pieces of silver." 
How excessive was this price, when one glutton as we have seen 
could eat three asses, piles, of bread in a day 67 ! 

The Jews were accused by the Pagans of worshiping the head 
of an ass. Appion, the grammarian, seems to be the author of 
tiiis slander te . He affirmed that the Jews kept the head of an 
ass in the sanctuary ; that it was discovered there when Antio- 
chus Epiphanes took the temple and entered into the most holy 
place. He added that one Zabidus, having secretly got into the 
temple, carried off the ass's head, and conveyed it to Dora. 
Suidas (in Damocrito, et in Juda), says that Damocritus, or De- 
mocritus the historian averred that the Jews adored the head of 
an ass, made of gold, &c. Plutarch 6 ^ and Tacitus 70 were im- 
posed on by this calumny. They believed that the Hebrews 
adored an ass, out of gratitude for the discovery of a fountain by 
one of these creatures in the wilderness, at a time when the army 
of this nation was parched with thirst and extremely fatigued. 
Learned men, who have endeavoured to search into the origin of 
this slander, are divided in their opinions. The reason which 
Plutarch and Tacitus give for it has nothing in the history of the 
Jews on which to ground it. Tanaquil Faber has attempted to 
prove that this accusation proceeded from the temple in Egypt 
called Onion ; as if this name came from onos, an ass ; which 
is, indeed, very credible. The report of the Jews worshiping 
an ass might originate in Egypt. We know that the Alexan- 
drians hated the Jews, and were much addicted to raillery and 
defamation. But it was extremely easy for them to have known 
that the temple Onion, at Helipolis, was named from Onias, the 
High Priest of the Jews, who built it in the reign of Ptolemy 
Philometer and Cleopatra 71 . Others have asserted that the mis- 
take of the heathen proceeded from an ambiguous mode of read- 

CT For the satisfaction of those who prefer the rendering of our common ver- 
sion, I would note that, Plutarch informs us that when the army of Artaxerxes, 
with which he had invaded the Cadusii, was in extreme want of provisions ov 
xfpXii fj.o\is Sfa^/Auv iJ-nxovra wvov tiian "as ass's head could hardly be bought 
for sixty drachms ;" [Plut. Artax. torn. 1. p. 1023. ed. Xylandr.] Whereas Lucian, 
reckons the usual price of an ass itself to be no more than twenty-five or thirty 
drachm?. 

68 Vide apud Josephus, lib. ii. contra. Appion. 

89 Plut. Symposia, lib. iv. cap. 5. 7 Tacit. Hist. lib. 5. 

71 A. M. 3854. ante A. D. 150. vide Josephns, Anliq. lib. xiii. c. 6. and lib. 
xiv. c. 14. De Bello. lib. i. c. 6. and lib. vii. c. 37. 



OF THE BIBLE. 23 

ing; as if the Greeks, meaning to say that the Hebrews adored 
heaven, ouranon, might in abbreviation write ounon ; from whence 
the enemies of the Jews concluded that they worshiped onos, 
an ass. Or perhaps, reading in Latin authors that they wor- 
shiped heaven, cesium, 

" Nil praeter nubes et cceli numen adorant," 

instead of coelum, they read cillum, an ass, and so reported that 
the Jews adored this animal. Something of this we perceive in 
Petronius ; " Judeus olicet, et porcinum numen adoret, et cilli 
summas advocet auriculas." Where the common reading is cceli, 
but corrected cilli) x/AAo?, whence ovo?, an ass. Bochart 72 , is of 
opinion that the error arose from an expression in Scripture, 
" the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it ;" in the Hebrew, Pi- 
Jehovah, or Pi-Jeo. Now, in the Egyptian language, pieo sig- 
nifies an ass ; the Alexandrian Egyptians hearing the Jews often 
pronounce this word pieo, believed that they appealed to their 
god, and thence inferred that they adored an ass. These expli- 
cations are ingenious, but not solid. It is doubtful whether any 
one can assign the true reason for the calumny ; which might 
have arisen from a joke, or an accident. M. Le Moine seems 
to have succeeded best, who says that in all probability the 
golden urn containing the manna which was preserved in the 
sanctuary, was taken for the head of an ass ; and that the omer 
of manna might have been confounded with the Hebrew hamor, 
which signifies an ass. 

II. The icild ass, called PARA, is probably the onager of the 
ancients. It is taller, and a much more dignified animal than 
the common or domestic ass ; its legs are more elegantly shaped; 
and it bears its head higher. It is peculiarly distinguished by a 
dusky woolly mane, long erect ears, and a forehead highly arched. 
The colour of the hair, in general, is of a silvery white. The 
upper part of the face, the sides of the neck, and the upper part 
of the thighs, are flaxen coloured. The fore part of the body is 
divided from the flank by a white line, extending round the rump 
to the tail. The legs and the belly are white. A stripe of 
waved, coffee-coloured, bushy hair, runs along the top of the 
back, from the mane to the tail. Another stripe, of the same 
colour, crosses the former at the shoulders. Two beautiful white 
lines, one on each side, bound the dorsal band and the mane. In 
winter the hair of this animal is soft, silky, and waving; it bears 
in this state a considerable resemblance to the hair of the camel. 
In summer, the hair is very smooth anil silky ; and certain shaded 
rays pointing downwards, mark the sides of the neck. We find 
Deborah, Judges, v. 10, addressing those " who rode on white 
asses, those who sit in judgment ;" men of dignity. The word 

72 Bochart, Hieroz. lib. iv c. 18. 



24 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

here rendered white occurs also Ezek. xxvii. 18, and only there, 
where it is spoken of wool 73 . 

These animals associate in herds, under a leader, and are very 
shy. They inhabit the mountainous regions and desert parts of 
Tartary and Persia, 8tc. Anciently they were likewise found in 
Lycaonia, Phrygia, Mesopotamia, and Arabia Deserta 74 . 

They are remarkably wild ; and Job, xxxix. 58, describes 
the liberty they enjoy ; the place of their retreat, their manners, 
and wild, impetuous, and untamable spirit. 

" Who from the forest Ass his collar broke, 

And manumised his shoulders from the yoke? 

Wild tenant of the waste, I sent him there 

Among the shrubs to breathe in freedom's air. 

Swift as an arrow in his speed he flies; 

Sees from afar the smoky city rise ; 

Scorns the throng'd street, where slavery drags her load, 

The loud voiced driver, and his urging goad : 

Where'er the mountain waves its lofty wood, 

A boundless range, he seeks his verdant food 75 ." 

Xenophon, in his Anabasis, describing the desert of Arabia, 
says, " There, in a plain level as the sea, and devoid of trees, but 
every where fragrant with aromatic shrubs and reeds, he observed 
the wild asses which the horsemen were accustomed to chase, 
flying with unequal speed, so that the animals would often stop 
their course, and when the horsemen approached, disappear ; and 
they could not be taken, unless the horsemen, placing themselves 
in different parts, wearied them by relays in successive pursuits." 

" Vain man would be wise, though he be born a wild ass's 
colt." Job, xi. 12. *OD ~)'i? OIR PARA, " ass-colt," not "ass's 
colt;" > being in apposition with K"iD, and not in government 7(i . 
The whole is a proverbial expression, denoting extreme per- 
versity and ferocity, and repeatedly alluded to in the Old Tes- 

73 This corrects an error in Harmer, v. ii. p. 63. 

74 Plin. Nat. Hist. 1. viii. c. 69. 7S Scott's version. 

76 It should be observed that the word in the original translated " though he 
be born," should be rendered become, or turned into; and implies assuming or 
taking a new character. [See the use of the word in Prov. xvii. 17, and Bp. 
Patrick's note in his Paraphrase.] It is an Arabian phraseology. " Let the wild 
ass colt become a man." That is, as they explain it, Let a man who is intract- 
able, become gentle, humane, and docile. [See Schulten's Comment, in loc. 
Scott, and Good.] The verse should be read 

That the proud may be made wise, 

And the colt of the wild ass become a man. 
There is a similar expression in Horace, [Art. Poet. v. 469]. 

Nee si retractus erit, jam 

Fiet homo. 

JVor if you bring him off his folly, mil he thereupon become a man; that is, act 
a rational part for the future. 

In a book now before me, by Dr. Edwards, " On the Uncertainty, Deficiency, 
and Corruptions of Human Knowledge," Lond. 1714, at the 79th page this verse 
is thus printed ; " Vain man would fain be wise, when he is born of a wild asses' 
colt." Here is probably a typographical error; but it created a smile lhat 
spoiled all the authority of the verse as a quotation to prove the hereditary 
depravity of mankind. 



OF THE BIBLE. t>5 

lament. Thus Gen. xvi. 12, it is prophesied of Ishmael that he 
should be DIN JOD PARA ADAM, a wild-ass man ; rough, untaught, 
and libertine as a wild ass. So Hosea, xiii. 15. " He (Epbraim) 
hath run wild (literally assrfied himself) amidst the braying mon- 
sters." So again Hosea, viii. 9, the very same character is given 
of Ephraim, who is called " a solitary wild ass by himself," or 
perhaps a solitary wild ass of the desert; for the original will bear 
to be so rendered. This proverbial expression has descended 
among the Arabians to the present day, who still employ, as 
Schultens has remarked, the expressions, " the ass of the desert," 
or " the wild ass," to describe an obstinate, indocile, and con- 
tumacious person. In Job, xxiv. 5. robbers and plunderers are 
distinguished by the odious term of D'N*lD PERAIM, wild asses. 
The passage refers, evidently, says Mr. Good, " not to the proud 
and haughty tyrants themselves, but to the oppressed and needy 
wretches, the Bedoweens and other plundering tribes, whom 
their extortion and violence had driven from society, and com- 
pelled in a body to seek for subsistence by public robbery and 
pillage. In this sense the description is admirably forcible and 
characteristic." So the son of Sirach says, Ecclus. xiii. 19- " As 
the wild ass [ovayeq] is the lion's prey in the wilderness ; so the 
rich eat up the poor." 

The wild ass is said not to bray over grass, Job, vi. 5 ; and we 
may connect with this, by way of contrast, the description of a 
drought by the prophet Jeremiah, xiv. 6. " The hind dropped 
her calf in the forest field, and forsook it because there was no 
grass; and the wild asses stood on the rising grounds, blowing 
out their breath like TANINIM, while their eyes failed because 
there was no vegetable of any kind." 

That this PARA is a creature roaming at large in the forests 
appears from the passage already cited from Job, xxix. 5. We 
have the word in a feminine form iT)D PAREH, Jerem. ii. 24 77 . 
" A female wild ass used to the wilderness in her desire snuffeth 
up the wind of her occasion. Who can turn her away ? All who 
seek her, shall they not be tired ? When her heat is over they may 
find her 78 ." This was, perhaps, designed to insinuate to GOD'S 
people, by way of reproach, that they were less governable than 
even the brute beast, which, after having followed the bent of 
appetite for a little time, would cool again and return quietly to 
her owners ; but the idolatrous fit seemed never to abate, nor to 
suffer the people to return to their duty. 

77 Thirty of Dr. KENNICOTT'S Codices read NH3. 

78 I am inclined to think, says M r. DIMOCK, that, in the latter part of this verse, 
nunna is put for nunra, " they shall find her in the wood;" for, though the new 
moon, as LMD. DE DIEU observes, might he applicable to the idolatry of the 
Jews, yet it does not seem to have any reference to the vcild ass here spoken of, 
but the wood may carry an allusion both to the ass which frequents it, and to the 
idolatrous worship of the Israelites in the groves mentioned ch. xvii. 2, and 
elsewhere. 



26 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

The prophet Isaiah, xxxii. 14, describes great desolation by 
saying that " the wild asses shall rejoice where a city stood." 

III. There is another kind of ass, called in Scripture fiMN ATON, 
ATONOTH. Abraham had ATONOTH ; Gen. xii. 16. Balaam 
rode on an ATON; Num. xxii. 23; and we learn from GMELIN 
that the breed from the onager is very fit for performing a long 
journey, like that of Balaam; that this kind of ass is endowed 
with vigorous faculties, so as to discern obstacles readily ; is also 
obstinate to excess when beaten behind, when put out of his 
way, or when attempted to be controlled against his will ; and that 
at the sight of danger it emits a kind of cry. It is also familiar, 
and attached to its master 79 . These particulars agree correctly 
with certain incidents in the history of the ass of Balaam 80 . 

We find from 1 Chron. xxvii. 30, that David had an officer ex- 
pressly appointed to superintend his ATONOTH ; not his ordinary 
asses, but those of a nobler race : which implies at least equal 
dignity in this officer to his colleagues mentioned with him. 

This notion of the ATON gives also a spirit to the history of 
Saul, who, when his father's ATONOTH were lost, was at no little 
pains to seek them ; moreover, as besides being valuable, they 
were uncommon, he might the more readily hear of them if they 
had been noticed or taken up by any one : and this leads to 
the true interpretation of the servant's proposed application to 
Samuel, verse 6, as though he said, " In his office of magistracy 
this honourable man may have heard of these strayed rarities, 
and secured them by some one ; peradventure he can direct us/' 
This keeps clear both of expected fortune-telling, and of the 
exercise of prophetic prediction in Samuel on this occasion, which 
1 apprehend is desirable ; and it implies the competence, if not 
the wealth, of Saul's family. 

We have now to remark the allusion of the dying Jacob to his 
son Judah, Gen. xlix. 11. " Binding his foal (cire/i) to the vine, 
and the colt of his aton to his vine of Sorek." This idea of a 
valuable kind of ass, and of Judah's possessing young of the same 
breed, implies a dignity, a fertility, and an increase of both, which 
does not appear in the usual phraseology of the passage 81 . 

Thus we find that these atonoth are mentioned in Scripture, 

79 GMELIN, Journal de Physique, V. 21, suppl. 1782. 

80 For an elucidation of the whole of this remarkable story, the reader is refer- 
red toa tract by ABRAHAM OAKES. Lond. 1751. 8vo. to BOCHART, Hierot. V. 1. 
lib. 2. ch. 14. p. 160. and to JoR-rm's Dissertations. 

61 " Our translation loses the grace of this passage by rendering " foal " and 
" colt," which are the same in import: whereas the first word properly signifies a 
lively young ass, the second a strong she ass of the spirited race of the Atonoth.'' 
Scrip. Illustr. p. 33. 

u In those eastern countries the vines have large stems. Chardin saw some in 
Persia which he could hardly grasp. After the vintage is over, the cattle feed 
on the leaves and tendrils. This and the following verse give us a most graphic 
picture of the fertility of that tract which fell to the tribe of Judah, abounding 
in vineyards and fine pasturage. Gcddes. Cr. Item. 



OF THE BIBLE. 27 

only in the possession of judges, patriarchs, and other great men; 
insomuch that where these are there is dignity, either expressed 
or implied. They were, also, a present for a prince ; for Jacob 
presented Esau with twenty, Gen xxxii. 15. What then shall 
we say of the wealth of Job, who possessed a thousand ! 

IV. We proceed to notice another word which is rendered 
" wild-ass" by our translators, Job, xxxix. 5. ORUD ; which 
seems to be the same that in the Chaldee of Daniel, v. 21, is called 
oredia. Mr. Parkhurst supposes that this word denotes the. 
brayer, and that PARA and ORUD are only two names for the 
same animal. But these names may perhaps refer to different 
races though of the same species ; so that a description of the 
properties of one may apply to both, though not without some 
variation. 

Who sent out the pARA/ree? 
Or who hath loosed the bands of the ORUD ? 
Whose dwelling I have made the icilderness, 
And the barren land (salt deserts) his resort ; 
The range of open mountains are his pasture, 
And he searcheth after every green thing. 

Gmelin observes that the onager is very fond of salt. Whether 
these were salt marshes, or salt deserts, is of very little conse- 
quence. The circumstance greatly adds to the expression and 
correctness of the Hebrew naturalist. 

In Daniel we read that Nebuchadnezzar dwelt with the OREDIA. 
We need not suppose that he was banished to the deserts, but 
was at most kept safely in an enclosure of his own park, where 
curious animals were kept for state and pleasure. If this be 
correct, then the ORUD was somewhat, at least, of a rarity at 
Babylon ; and it might be of a kind different from the PARA, as 
it is denoted by another name. May it not be the Oicquetei of 
Professor Pallas, the wild mule of Mongalia, which surpasses 
the onager in size, beauty, and perhaps in swiftness ? He advises 
to cross this breed with that of the onager, as a means of per- 
fecting the species of the ass. Consequently it is allied to this 
species, and may be alluded to in the passage of Job where it is 
associated with the para, unless some other exotic breed of ass 
was better known to Job, or in the countries connected with 
Babylon. It is the hemi-onos, or half-ass, of Aristotle, found in 
his days in Syria; and he celebrates it for its swiftness, and 
fecundity (a breeding mule being thought a prodigy). Pliny, 
from the report of Theophrastus, speaks of this species being 
found in Cappadocia. Its general description is that of a mule. 
Its colour is light yellowish gray, growing paler towards the 
sides. It lives in small herds; each male having four, five, or 
more females. It is proverbial for swiftness, '[his reference is 
strengthened by the opinion of Mr. Good, who says that this 
animal inhabits Arabia, China, Siberia, and Tartary, in grassy, 
saline plains, or salt wastes; is timid, swift, untamable; its 
hearing and smell are acute; neighing more sonorous than that 



28 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

of the horse; in size and habits resembling a mule; but, though 
called the wild mule, is not a hybrid production. The ears and 
tail resemble those of the zebra; the hoofs and body those of the 
ass; the limbs those of the horse. I have no doubt that this is 
the animal which the Arabs of the present day call Jumar. It 
is described by Pennant under the name given it by the Monga- 
lians, which is dschikketai. The Chinese call it yo-to-tse. From 
the Mongalian, Dr. Shaw has called it Jikta. Mr. Elphinstone, 
in describing the desert of Canound, says, " The goorkhur, or 
wild ass, so well depicted in the book of Job, is found here. 
This animal is sometimes found alone, but oftener in herds. It 
resembles a mule rather than an ass, but is of the colour of the 
latter. It is remarkable for its shyness, and still more for its 
speed; at a kind of shuffling trot, peculiar to itself, it will leave 
the fleetest horses behind 82 ." 

Thus have we proposed those authorities which induce us to 
adopt a distinction of breeds, or races, if not of kinds, in the 
species of the ass; and the reader will agree with us in main- 
taining such a distinction is countenanced by Scripture, and by 
natural history also. 

As to the OIRIM, rendered young asses, Isa'i. xxxvi. 24, we 
need not suppose that they were a distinct breed or species ; but 
merely the ass in its state of maturity, strength, and vigour; as 
they are spoken of as carrying loads, tilling the ground, and 
assisting in other works of husbandry. In Isai. xxxvi. 6, it is 
spelt OURIM ; but in verse 24, we read OIRIM, labouring the 
earth in conjunction with oxen. 

In Proverbs, xxvi. 3, we read of u a whip for the horse, and a 
bridle for the ass." According to our notions, we should rather 
say, a bridle for the horse and a whip for the ass: but it should 
be considered that the Eastern asses, particularly those of the 
Arabian breed, are much more beautiful, and better goers than 
ours, and so, no doubt, they were anciently in Palestine ; and, 
being active and well broken, would need only a bridle to guide 
them; whereas their horses being scarce, and often caught wild, 
and badly broken, would be much less manageable, and fre- 
quently require the correction of the whip 83 . That the ass, 
however, was driven by a rod, is apparent from this passage, 
Ecclus. xxxiii. 24. " Fodder, a wand, and burdens are for the 
ass; and bread, correction, and work for a servant 84 ." 

63 Account of the kingdom of Cabul, &c. Lond. 1816. 

83 For an account of the exploit of Samson with " the jaw-bone of an ass,' 
Jud. xv. 15, the curious are referred to Bochart, Hieroz. V. 1. ch. ii. c. 15. 
p. 171. Eichorn, Einleit in das A. T. p. 2. ^ 460. p. 488. Justi, nber Simsons 
slarke, im Repertorio fur bibl. und. murg. litteratur, p. vii. Herder, geist der 
Hebraeischtn Poesit, p. ii. p. 250. Diedrichs, sur gcsdiichte Simsons. Goetting. 
1778. Hezel, Schrijf'tforscher, p. 1. p. 663, and (he learned Jacob Bryant, Obs. 
on Passages of Scripture. 

S| This article is taken principally from " Scripture Illustrated," in addition 
to Calmer. 



OF THE BIBLE. 29 

BADGER. itfnn TACHASH. 

This word in a plural form occurs Exod. xxv. 5; xxvi. 14; 
xxxv. 7,29; xxxvi. 19; xxxix. 34; Numb. iv. 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 
14, 25; and Ezek. xvi. 10; and is joined with my OROTH, 
skins used for the covering of the tabernacle in the wilderness. 
In Exod. xxv. 5, and xxvi. 14, it is rendered by the Chaldee word 
W3DD with the Chaldee prefix T; and in the Latin version it is 
" taxonum," of badgers; in every other place where it occurs in 
the Pentateuch (except Numb. iv. 10) the Chaldee word is 
without the prefix, and the Latin rendering is " hyacinthina?." 
In Numb. iv. 10, the T is prefixed, yet the Latin version is the 
same as in the other places where it is not prefixed. Our ver- 
sion follows the Targum, and in every place renders D'UJITn my 
OROTH TACHASIM by " Badger's skins." 

" Few terms," says Dr. A. Clarke, "have afforded greater 
perplexity to critics and commentators than this. Bochart has 
exhausted the subject, and seems to have proved that no kind of 
animal is here intended, but a colour. None of the versions 
acknowledge an animal of any kind, except the Chaldee, which 
supposes the badger is intended ; and from it we have borrowed 
our translation of the word. The Septuagint and Vulgate have 
shins dyed of a violet colour; the Syriac, azure; the Arabic, 
black ; the Coptic, violet ; the Persic, ram's skins. The colour 
contended for by Bochart is the hysginus, which is a very deep 
blue ; so Pliny, " coccoque tinctum Tyrio tingere, ut fieret 
hysginum 85 ;" they dip crimson in purple, to make the colour 
culled hysginus. 

Dr. Geddes, however, observes that he should hardly think 
that the writer, if he had meant to express only a variety of colour 
in the ram's skins, would have repeated miy after DVTTNQ. It 
is more natural, he acids, to look for another species of animal 
in the word tt?nn ; but what animal, it is not so easy to deter- 
mine. The Persic translator took it to be the buck-goat, nrDN; 
and the Gr. of Venice a panther de^ara KctqSciteat;. 

The Jewish interpreters are agreed as to its being some animal. 
Jarchi says it was a beast of many colours, which no more exists. 
Kimchi holds the same opinion. Aben Ezra thinks it some 
animal of the bovine kind, of whose skins shoes are made; 
alluding to Ezek. xvi. 10 86 . Most modern interpreters have 
taken it to be the badger, and among these our English trans- 
lators; but, in the first place, the badger is not an inhabitant of 
Arabia; and there is nothing in its skin peculiarly proper either 
for covering a tabernacle or making shoes. 

Hasaeus, Michaelis, and others have laboured to prove that it 
is the mermaid, or homo marimis ; the trichekus of Linnaeus; but 
the skin of this fish is not at all proper for shoes, or the covering 

85 Nat. Hist. lib. ix. c. 65. eel. Bipont. 

16 See Bjnseus, De Calccis Hebraeorum. Dort. 1682. 



30 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

of a tent, on account of its hardness and unpliability. I cannot, 
therefore, but adopt with Faber, Dathe, and Rosenmuller, the 
opinion of Ran, that it is the seal, or sea-calf; " xitulus marinus;" 
the skin of which is both strong and pliable, and was accounted 
by the ancients as a most proper outer covering for tents 87 , and 
was also made into shoes, as Rau has clearly shown 88 . 

Niebuhr says, " A merchant of Abushahr called dahash that 
fish which the captains in English vessels call porpoise, and the 
Germans, sea-hog. In my voyage from Maskat to Abushabr 
I saw a prodigious quantity together near Ras Mussendom, who 
were all going the same way, and seemed to swim with great 
vehemence 89 ." See RAM'S SKINS. 

BALM, nx TZERI. 

Occ. Gen. xxxvii. 25; xliii. 11 ; Jer. viii. 22; xlvi. 11; li. 8 ; 
and Ezek. xxvii. 17. 

Balm, or balsam, is used with us as a common name for many 
of those oily resinous substances, which flow spontaneously or by 
incision, from certain trees or plants, and are of considerable use 
in medicine and surgery. It serves therefore very properly to 
express the Hebrew word ->, which the LXX have rendered 
fVjTrt/v^ and the ancients have interpreted resin indiscriminately. 
But Kimchi, and some of the moderns, have understood by *) 
that particular species heretofore properly called " balsamum" or 
" opobalsamum," and now distinguished by the name of " bal- 
samum judaicum," or balm of Gilead; being that which is so 
much celebrated by Pliny, Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, Tacitus, 
Justin, and others, for its costliness, its medicinal virtues, and for 
being the product of Judea only, and of a particular spot there ; 
and which Josephus 90 attributes to the neighbourhood of Jericho, 
but says, that the tree was, according to tradition, originally 
brought by the queen of Sheba to king Solomon out of Arabia 
Felix, the country that now principally supplies the demand for 
that valuable drug. On the other hand, Bochart strongly con- 
tends, that the >-) mentioned Jerem. viii. 22, could not possibly 
mean that balsam, as Gilead was very far from the spot which 
produced it, and none of the trees grew on that side of the 
Jordan; and besides it is spoken of as brought from Gilead, 
Gen. xxxvii. 25, long before the balsam tree had been planted 
in any part of Judea. He therefore considers it as no other 
than the resin drawn from the Terebinthus, or turpentine-tree, 
which abounds sufficiently in those parts. And this, for all that 
appears, says Bp. Blaney, may have been the case ; the resin or 
balm of the Terebinthus being well known to have healing 
virtues, which is at least sufficient to answer the prophet's ques- 

87 Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. ii. c. 55. 

88 Rau, Comment, de iis quae ex Arabia in Usum Tabernaculi fucrunt petita. c. ii. 

89 Niebuhr. Trav. p. 157. Fr. ed. 

90 Antiq. 1. iv. c. 6. lib. viii. c. 6. De Bell. Jud. 1. 1. c. 6. ed. Hudson. 



OF THE BIBLE. 31 

tion on this occasion ; which was metaphorically to ask, if there 
were no salutary means within reach, or none that knew how to 
apply them, for the relief of his country from those miseries 
with which it was afflicted. 

BALSAM-TREE. pu;V3D BAALSHEMEN ; in Arabic abu- 
schdm, that is " father of scent," sweet scented. 

According to Mr. Bruce, from whom I shall principally ex- 
tract this article, the balessan, balsam, or balm, is an evergreen 
shrub, or tree, which grows to about fourteen feet high, spon- 
taneously, and without culture in its native country, Azab, and 
all along the coast to Babelmandel. The trunk is about eight 
or ten inches in diameter ; the wood light and open, gummy, and 
outwardly of a reddish colour, incapable of receiving a polish, 
and covered with a smooth bark, like that of a young cherry- 
tree. It flattens at top, like trees that are exposed to snow blasts 
or sea air, which gives it a stunted appearance. It is remarkable 
for a penury of leaves. The flowers are like those of the acacia, 
small and white, only that three hang upon three filaments, or 
stalks, where the acacia has but one. Two of these flowers fall 
off, and leave a single fruit; the branches that bear these are the 
shoots of the present year; they are of a reddish colour, and 
tougher than the old wood. After the blossoms follow yellow, 
fine scented seed, enclosed in a reddish black pulpy nut, very 
sweet, and containing a yellowish liquor like honey. They are 
bitter, and a little tart upon the tongue ; of the same shape and 
bigness with the fruit of the turpentine-tree, thick in the middle 
and pointed at the ends. 

There were three kinds of balsam extracted from this tree. 
The first was called opobatsamum, and was most highly esteemed. 
It was that which flowed spontaneously, or by means of incision, 
from the trunk or branches of the tree in summer time. The 
second was carpobalsamum, made by expressing the fruit when 
in maturity. The third, and least esteemed of all, was hylobalsa- 
mnm, made by a decoction of the buds and small young twigs. 

The great value set upon this drug in the East is traced to the 
earliestages. The Ishmaelites, or Arabian carriers and merchants, 
trafficking with the Arabian commodities into Egypt, brought with 
them ( "jy as a part of their cargo. Gen. xxxvii. 25 ; xliii. 11. 

Strabo alone, of all the ancients, has given us the true account 
of the place of its origin. " In that most happy land of the 
Sabaeans," says he, " grow the frankincense, myrrh, and cinna- 
mon; and in the coast that is about Saba, the balsam also." 
Among the myrrh trees behind Azab, all along the coast is its 
native country. We need not doubt that it was transplanted 
early into Arabia, that is, into the south part of Arabia Felix 
immediately fronting Azab, where it is indigenous. The high 
country of Arabia was too cold to receive it; being all moun- 
tainous : water freezes there. 






32 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

The first plantation that succeeded seems to have been at 
Petra, the ancient metropolis of Arabia, now called Beder, or 
Beder Huncin. 

Josephus, in the history of the antiquities of his country, says 
that a tree of this balsam was brought to Jerusalem by the queen 
of Saba, and given among other presents to Solomon, who, as 
we know from Scripture, was very studious of all sorts of plants, 
and skilful in the description and distinction of them. And here, 
indeed, it seems to have been cultivated and to have thriven; so 
that the place of its origin, through length of time, combined with 
other reasons, came to be forgotten. 

Notwithstanding the positive authority of Josephus, and the 
great probability that attends it, we cannot put it in competition 
with what we have been told in Scripture, as we have just now 
seen, that the place where it grew, and was sold to merchants, 
was Gilead in Judea, more than 1730 years before Christ, or 
1000 before the queen of Saba; so that in reading the verse, 
nothing can be plainer than that it had been transplanted into 
Judea, flourished, and had become an article of commerce in 
Gilead, long before the period he mentions 91 . " A company of 
Ishmaelites came from Gilead with their camels, bearing spicery, 
and balm, and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt." Gen. 
xxxvii. 25. Now the spicery, or pepper, was certainly pur- 
chased by the Ishmaelites at the mouth of the Red Sea, where 
was the market for Indian goods ; and at the same place they 
must have bought the myrrh, for that neither grew nor grows 
anywhere else than in Saba or Azabo, east of Cape Gardefan, 
where were the ports for India, and whence it was dispersed 
over all the world. 

Theophrastus, Dioscoiides, Pliny, Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, 
Tacitus, Justin, Solinus, and Serapion, speaking of its costliness 
and medicinal virtues, all say that this balsam came from Judea. 
The words of Pliny are, " But to all other odours whatever, the 
balsam is preferred, produced in no other part but the land of 
Judea, and even there in two gardens only; both of them be- 
longing to the king, one no more than twenty acres, the other 
still smaller 9 2 ." 

At this time, continues Mr. Bruce, I suppose it got its name 
of balsarnum Judaicum, or balm of Gilead; and thence became 
an article of merchandise and fiscal revenue, which probably 
occasioned the discouragement of bringing any more from Arabia, 
whence it was very probably prohibited as contraband. We 

91 In reply to the above observation* of Mr. Bruce, we must recollect, that 
Bochart endeavours to prove that in Gen. -xxxvii. 25. and xliii. 11. the word 
tzeri signifies only rosin, or turpentine; and maintains that the balm was un- 
known in Judea before the time of Solomon. Hieroz. 1. iv. c. 11. See also the 
Samaritan version, .Minister, Pagninus, Abias Moiitanus, Malvenda, Junins, 
Ursinus, and Ainsworth. 

"* Plin. Nat. Hist. I. xxii. c. 25. 



OF THE BIBLE. 33 

shall suppose that thirty acres planted with this tree would have 
produced more than all the trees of Arabia do at this day. Nor 
does the plantation of Beder Huncin amount to much more than 
that quantity, for we are still to observe, that even when it had 
been, as it were, naturalized in Judea, and acquired a name in 
the country, still it bore evident marks of its being a stranger 
there; and its being confined to two royal gardens alone, shows 
it was maintained there by force and culture, and was by no 
means a native of the country : and this is confirmed by Strabo, 
who speaks of it as being in the king's palace and garden at 
Jericho. This place, being one of the warmest in Judea, indi- 
cates their apprehensions about it 93 ." 

The observation of Justin is, that " the wealth of the Jewish 
nation increased by revenues from balsam, which is produced only 
in their country, for that there is a valley which is enclosed with 
continued mountains, as by a wall, and in a manner resembling a 
camp; that the space consists of two hundred acres, and is called 
Jericho, wherein there is a wood remarkable for its fruitfulness 
and pleasant appearance, being distinguished for its palm-trees 
and balsams." He describes the balsam-tree as having a form 
similar to the fir-tree, excepting that it is not so lofty ; and that 
in a certain time of the year it exudes the balsam; and he 
observes that the place is not more remarkable for its warmth 
than for its exuberance, since as the sun is more ardent here 
than in other parts of the country, there is a kind of natural and 
perpetual glow in the sultry air. 

It is still cultivated in the plain of Jericho ; and the process of 
obtaining the balsam is described by Mariti, Vol. ii. p. 27, &c. 
He was there in 1766. The culture seems then to have been 
south of the town, towards the Dead Sea. Volney was at 
Jericho in 1784, and denies the tree to be growing at the town. 
This statement may reconcile the two authors. 

BARLEY, myu; SHOREH; Arabic, SCHCEIR. 

Occ. Exod. ix. 31 ; Levit. xxvii. 16; et al.freq. 

A well known kind of grain. It derives its Hebrew name 
from the long hairy beard which grows upon the ear 9 *. 

Pliny, on the testimony of Menander, says that barley was the 
most ancient aliment of mankind 95 . 

In Palestine the barley was sown about October, and reaped 
in the end of March, just after the Passover. In Egypt the 
badey harvest was later; for when the hail fell there, Exod. ix. 
31, a few days before the Passover, the flax and barley were 
bruised and destroyed ; for the flax was at its full growth, and 
the barley began to form its green ears ; but the wheat, and more 

93 Bruce's Trav. vol. v. p. 1924, ed. 8vo. 

94 So its Latin name hordeum, is from horreo, to stand on end, as the hair. 
See Martini Lexicon Etymolop. 

93 Homer, II. V. v. 19. and VI. v. 500. 

F 



34 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

backward grain, were not damaged, because they were only in 
the blade, and the hail bruised the young shoots which produce 
the ears. 

The Rabbins sometimes called barley the food of beasts, 
because in reality they fed their cattle with it. 1 Kings, iv. 28; 
and from Homer 96 and other ancient authors we learn, that 
barley was given to horses. The Hebrews, however, frequently 
used barley bread, as we find by several passages of Scripture : 
for example, David's friends brought to him in his flight, wheat, 
barley, Hour, &c. 2 Sam. xvii. 28. Solomon sent wheat, 
barley, oil, and wine to the labourers king Hiram had furnished 
him. 2 Chron. ii. 15. Elijah had a present made him of 
twenty barley loaves, and corn in the husk. 2 Kings iv. 22. 
And, by miraculously increasing the five barley loaves, Christ 
fed a multitude of about five thousand. John, vi. 8 10. 

The jealousy offering, in the Levitical institution, was to be 
barley meal. Numb. v. 15. The common mincha, or offering, 
was of fine wheat flour, Levit. ii, 1 ; but this was of barley, a 
meaner grain, probably to denote the vile condition of the person 
in whose behalf it was offered. For which reason also, there 
was no oil or frankincense permitted to be offered with it. 

Sometimes barley is put for a low contemptible reward or 
price. So the false prophets are charged with seducing the 
people for handfuls of barley, and morsels of bread. Ezek. xiii. 
19. Hosea bought his emblematic bride, for fifteen pieces of 
silver and a homer and a half of barley. Hosea, iii. 2. 

The author of " Scripture Illustrated" thus explains Isaiah, 
xxviii. 25, " the principal wheat," literally miu; SHUREH (per- 
haps for iTW SHIREH) and mijfltf SHOREH." This latter, shoreh, 
is no doubt the schair of the Arabs, barley : and what forbids 
that the first SHUREH, or SHIREH, should be the shaer, durra, or 
one of the kinds of millet, which we know was a principal, if not 
the very principal kind of food among the Orientals ? The " ap- 
pointed barley," Dr. Stock renders pD3 myi&, " picked barley ;" 
and Bp. Lowth more paraphrastically, " barley that hath its 
appointed limit," referring probably to the boundary between 
that and the other grain. But I would suggest that the word pDJ 
NISMAN, rendered " appointed," may be an error in transcription 
for pDD SESAMON, the sesamum so well known in the East 97 . 
Of this plant there were three species the Orientate, the 
Judicum, and the Trifelictum. The Orientale is an annual 
herbaceous plant. Its flowers are of a dirty white, and not 

96 For other particulars, see Celsius, V. 2. p. 239. Hasselquist, p. 129. 

97 The word ]OD3 differs but one letter only from ftsDD, and that by the mere 
omission of a stroke to complete its form. If we suppose the letter s (D) to have 
been omitted here, then we make the N (3) into v (1), " and sesamem;" otherwise 
we may read, according to the Egyptian name, " and semsemun" (inono), sup- 
posing the first syllable omitted. 



OF THE BIBLE. 35 

unlike to the fox-glove. It is cultivated in the Levant as a 
pulse, and indeed in all the eastern countries. It is the seed 
which is eaten. They are first parched over the fire, and then 
stewed with other ingredients in water. In the Talmud, and 
various Rabbinical tracts, the gith, cummin, and sesamum are 
mentioned in connection 98 . 
BAT. th^y OTHELAPH. 

Occ. Levit. xi. 19; Deut. xiv. 18; and Isai. ii. 20; Baruch, 
vi. 22. 

Referring the reader to the volume of " Scripture Illustrated," 
for a curious description of the bat, accompanied by a plate ; I 
shall only remark that the Jewish legislator, having enumerated 
the animals legally unclean, as well beasts as birds, closes his 
catalogue with a creature, whose equivocal properties seem to 
exclude it from both those classes : it is too much a bird, to be 
properly a mouse, and too much a mouse, to be properly a bird. 
The Bat is, therefore, extremely well described in Deut. xiv. 18, 
19, as the passage should be read " Moreover the othelaph, 
and every creeping thing thatflieth, is unclean to you : they shall 
not be eaten." This character, which fixes to the bat the name 
used in both places, is omitted in Leviticus ; nevertheless it is 
very descriptive, and places this creature at the head of a class 
of which he is a clear and well known instance. 

The distinguished properties of the bat are thus represented 
by Scaliger : " Mira? sane conformations est animal ; bipes, 
quadrupes, ambulans non pedibus, volans non pennis; videns 
sine luce, in luce caecus; extra lucem luce utitur, in luce luce 
caret; avis cum dentibus, sine rostro, cum mammis, cum lacte, 
pullos etiam inter volandum gerens." 

It has feet or claws growing out of its pinions, and contradicts 
the general order of nature by creeping with the instruments of 
its flight. 

The Hebrew name of the bat is from by darkness, and DV to 
fly, as if it described " the flier in darkness." So the Greeks 
called the creature wxTsqig, from vv%, night; and the Latins 
vespertilio from vesper, evening. According to Ovid 99 , 



-" Lucemque perosi, 



Nocte volant, seroque trahant a vespere nomen." 

It is prophesied, Isai. ii. 20, " In that day shall they cast 
away their idols to the moles and to the bats;" that is, they shall 
carry them into the dark caverns, old ruins, or desolate places to 
which they shall fly for refuge, and so shall give them up, and 
relinquish them to the filthy animals that frequent such places, 
and have taken possession of them as their proper habitation. 

98 Tr. Okets, c. iii. 3. Edajoth. c. v. 3. Tibbul. Jam. c. 1. $ 5. and 
Buxtorf. Lex. Talmud, p. 2101. 

99 Metaui. lib. iv. v. 415. 

F2 



36 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

Bellonius, Greaves, P. Lucas, and many other travellers, speak 
of bats of an enormous size as inhabiting the great pyramid ; and 
it is well known that their usual places of resort are caves and 
deserted buildings. 

In Baruch, vi. 22, is a description of the idols, calculated to 
disgust the Jews in their captive state in Babylon, with the wor- 
ship paid to such senseless statues. " Their faces are blacked 
through the smoke that comes out of the temple. Upon their 
bodies and heads sit bats, swallows, and birds, and the cats also. 
By this ye may know they are no gods; therefore, fear them not." 
BAY-TREE. rn?N ^SRACH. 

It is mentioned only in Psal. xxxvii. 35, 36. " I have seen 
the ungodly in great power, and flourishing like a green bay-tree. 
Yet he passed away, and lo ! he was not. Yea, I sought him, 
but he could not be found." 

A ben Ezra, Jarchi, Kimchi, Jerom, and some others say that 
the original may mean only " a native tree," a tree growing in 
its native soil, not having suffered by transplantation. Such a 
tree spreads itself luxuriantly. The Septuagint and Vulgate 
render it " cedars;" but the High Dutch of Luther's Bible, the 
old Saxon, the French, the Spanish, the Italian of Diodati, and 
the version of Ainsworth, make it the laurel; and Sir Thomas 
Browne says, " as the sense of the text is sufficiently answered 
by this, we are unwilling to exclude that noble plant from the 
honour of having its name in Scripture. The word flourishing 
is also more applicable to the laurel, which in its prosperity 
abounds with pleasant flowers." But Isidore de Barreira 1 , 
while he expresses a wonder that no mention is made of the 
laurel in the Scripture, adds, " Non debuisse crelestem scrip- 
turam contaminari mentione illius arboris quam in tanto pretio 
haberent Gentiles, ad fabulas et fictiones poeticas adhiberent, 
Apollini Delphici cum maxima superstitione sacram facerent, in 
earn fingerent Daphnem conversam, eaque se et falsa numina 
coronarent." In reply to this Celsius very candidly remarks 
that, " The abuse of a thing is no discredit to its proper use ; 
and if this mode of reasoning were just, there would be no 
mention in the Bible of trees, plants, or herbs, which were 
applied by the Gentiles to idolatrous purposes, or were honoured 
by them for superstitious reasons." 

A similar metaphor to that of the Psalmist, is used by Shak- 
speare in describing the uncertainty of human happiness, and the 
end of human ambition. 



" Such is the state of man ! 

To-day he puts forth tender leaves of hope; 

To-morrow blossoms, 

And bears his blushing honours thick upon him; 



1 De Significationibus Plantarum, Florum, et Fructuum, quae in Scripluris 
memorantur, p. 274. 



OF THE BIBLE. 37 

The third day comes a frost, a killing frost, 
And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely 
His greatness is a ripening, nips his root, 
And then he falls, never to hope again." 

BDELLIUM. rfrn BEDOLAH. Occ. Gen. ii. 12; and 
Numb. xi. 7. 

Interpreters seem at a loss to know what to do with this word, 
and have rendered it variously. Many suppose it a mineral pro- 
duction. The Septuagint translates in the first place uvtyaxct a 
carbuncle, and in the second xfUcrraAAov a crystal. The Rab- 
bins are followed by Reland in calling it a crystal; but some 
instead of bedolah read berolah", changing the 1 into 1, which 
are not always easily distinguished, and are often mistaken by 
transcribers ; and so render it the beryl, which, say they, is the 
prime kind of crystal. The very learned Bochart 3 considers it 
as the pearl; and to his elaborate disquisition 1 refer the curious 
reader who delights in accumulated erudition and ingenious con- 
jecture. Of the same opinion is Dr. Geddes, who produces a 
passage from Benjamin of Tudela, who says that " in the month 
of March the drops of rain-water which fall on the surface of 
the sea are swallowed by the mothers of pearl, and carried to the 
bottom of the sea; where being fished for and opened in Sep- 
tember, they are found to contain pearls." " It is remarkable, 
says Dr. GEDDES, that the author uses both the Hebrew name 
bedolah, and the Arabic lulu, one at the beginning of his narra- 
tion, the other at the end of it." But it may be objected, that 
this story of the formation of pearls is false, and therefore no 
authority. Besides, the Hebrew has another name for pearls, 
CM'JD PENINIM. The BEDOLAH, in Genesis, is undoubtedly 
some precious stone ; and its colour, mentioned in Numbers, 
where the manna is spoken of, is explained by a reference to 
Exod. xvi. 14 and 31, where it is likened to hoar-frost, which 
being like little fragments of ice, may confirm the opinion that 
it is the beryl, perhaps that pellucid kind called by Dr. Hill the 
" ellipomacrostyla," or beryl crystal. 

As there is a gum brought from Arabia and the East Indies, 
bdellium, some critics have supposed this to be the bedolah of 
the Scripture ; but this opinion, however ingeniously supported, 
cannot be correct 4 . 

BEAN. 'TIS PHUL. Arabic, PHOULON S . Occ. 2 Sam. xvii. 
28 ; and Ezek. iv. 9- 

A common legume. Those most usually cultivated in Syria 
are the white horse-bean, " faba rotunda oblonga," and the kid- 

3 Onkelos and the Targums. 3 Hieroz. part ii. lib. v. c. 5. 

* Cocquius, Phytol. Sacr. p. 87. Celsius. Hierobot. p. 1. p. 324, and Killer, 
Hierophyt, 1. Ixv. p. 127. 

s From the Hebrew phul is derived pulse, the common name for leguminous 
plants. 



38 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

ney-bean, " phaseolus minimus, fructu viridi ovato," called by 
the natives masch 6 . 

Browne, Travels in Africa, Egypt, and Syria, p. 510, describes 
a kind of leguinen, called Ful, bean. 

The prophet Ezekiel was directed to take " wheat, and bar- 
ley, and beans, and lentiles, and panic, and spelt, and put them 
into a vessel and make food." With this may be compared the 
remark of Pliny 7 , " Inter legumina maximus honos fabae; quip- 
pe ex qua tentatus etiam sit panis. Frumento etiam miscetur 
apud plerasque nationes." 

The Arabic Ban, the name of the coffee-berry, corresponds 
with our bean, and is probably its etymon. 

BEAR. 2TT DOB. Arabic, dub ; Persic, deeb ; and .ZEthio- 
pic, dob s . 

Occ. 1 Sam. xvii. 34, 36, 37; 2 Sam. xvii. 8; 2 Kings, ii. 24; 
Prov. xvii. 12; xxviii. 15; Isai. xi. 7; lix. 11 ; Lament, iii. 10; 
Hosea, xiii. 8; and Amos, v. 19 9 . 

A fierce beast of prey, with a long head, small eyes, and short 
ears, rounded at the top. Its limbs are strong, thick, and clumsy. 
Its feet are large, and its tail very short. The colour of the ani- 
mal is black or brown. The body is covered with long shaggy 
hair. 

" Various conjectures have been formed," says Jackson in his 
History of Morocco, p. 34, " whether this animal is a native of 
Africa. From the concurrent testimony of the inhabitants, I am 
of opinion that it does not exist in West Barbary ; it may how- 
ever have been seen (as I have heard it has) in the upper regions 
of Atlas, which are covered with snow during the whole year. 
The name given by the Arabs to this animal is Dubb." 

The Hebrew name of this animal is taken from his growling ; 
so Varro deduces his Latin name " ursus" by an onomatopaeia 
from the noise which he makes. " Ursi Lucania origo, vel, unde 
illi nostri ab ipsius voce 10 ." 

David had to defend his flock against bears as well as lions. 
1 Sam. xvii. 34. And Dr. Shaw gives us to understand that 
these rugged animals are not peculiar to the bleak regions of the 
north, being found in Barbary ; and Thevenot informs us that 
they inhabit the wilderness adjoining the Holy Land, and that 
he saw one near the northern extremities of the Red Sea. 

The ferocity of the bear, especially when hungry or robbed of 
its whelps, has been mentioned by many authors. Jerom, on 
Hosea xiii. 8, observes, " Aiunt, qui de bestiarum scripsere natu- 
ris, inter omnes feras nihil esse ursa saevius, cum perdideret catu- 

6 Russell's Nat. History of Aleppo, p. 16. 7 Nat. Hist. lib. xviii. c. 12. 

8 Paraph. jEthiop. in Cantic. iv. 16. 

9 The bear, APKTOS, is mentioned Wisdom xi. 17; and Ecclus. xlvii. 3. 

10 See also Bochart, Hieroz. vol. ii. lib. iii. c. 9. p. 129. Eichorn, Algem. 
Bibliotb. T. vi. fasc. ii. p. 206. 



OF THE BIBLE. 39 

los, vel iudiguerit cibo." The Scripture alludes in three places to 
this furious disposition. The first is, 2 Sam. xvii. 8, " They be 
mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds as a bear robbed 
of her whelps in the field:" The second, Prov. xvii. 12, " Let a 
bear robbed of her whelps meet a man rather than a fool in his 
folly:" and the third, Hosea, xiii. 8. " 1 will meet them as a bear 
that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their 
heart." 

BEASTS. When this word is used in opposition to man (as 
Psal. xxxvi. 5), any brute creature is signified ; when to creep- 
ing things (as Levit. xi. 2. 7. xxix. 30), four-footed animals, from 
the size of the hare and upwards, are intended; and when to 
wild creatures (as Gen. i. 25), cattle, or tame animals, are spo- 
ken of. 

In Isaiah, xiii. 21, several wild animals are mentioned as dwell- 
ing among the ruins of Babylon. " Wild beasts of the desert," 
CD"y TZIIM, those of the dry wilderness, as the root of the word 
implies, " shall dwell there. Their houses shall be full of dole- 
ful creatures," QTIN* ACHIM, marsh animals. " Owls shall dwell 
there," ostriches, " and satyrs," Q*vyttJ SHOARIM, shaggy ones, 
" shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands," Q"N 
AIIM, oases of the desert, " shall cry in their desolate houses, and 
dragons," OW TANIM, crocodiles, or amphibious animals, " shall 
be in their desolate places 11 ." 

Babylon being seated on a river, land animals might have ac- 
cess to it ; yet marsh or water animals were not excluded, be- 
cause they might come either from the sea, or they might be such 
as love fresh water lakes for their residence. Had Babylon been 
on the sea, as Tyre, or in a sandy desert, as Palmyra, or on a rocky 
mountain, as Jerusalem, the mixture or consociation of animals 
so contrary in their habits, would have been altogether unnatural ; 
but, adverting to the situation of the place, we discover the cor- 
rectness of the sacred writer. 

" For there the wild beast of the desert 'bides, 

O'er her rent glories wailing monsters roam, 
The daughter of the ostrich there resides, 

And satyrs riot in a lawless home. 
Wolves all about the formidable space 

Roam, and along the vaulted ruins cry; 
Hearing from far the din of that dread place, 

The traveller starts and deems his danger nigh. 
Where stretch'd the delicate in bowers of bliss, 

Lull'd by the warblings of the viol's strain, 
Up walks once gayly trim dire dragons hiss, 

Rolling the length of their terrific train 12 ." 

BEE. iTTCTT DEBURAH. 

Occ. Deut. i. 44 ; Jud. xiv. 8 ; Psal. cviii. 12 ; Isai. vii. 18. 

11 In Aurivilius, " Dissertationes ad sacras litteras et philol. orient, pertinen- 
tes," p. 298, is a Dissertation on the Names of Animals, mentioned in Isai. xiii. 21. 

12 Butt's translation. 



40 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

A well known small industrious insect ; whose form, propaga- 
tion, economy, and singular instinct and ingenuity, have attracted 
the attention of the most inquisitive and laborious inquirers into 
nature. To the toil and industry of this admirable insect, we are 
indebted for one of the most delicious substances with which the 
palate can be regaled. From the nectareous juices of flowers it 
collects its roscid honey. Were it not for " nature's confec- 
tioner," the busy bee, these sweets would all be lost in the de- 
sert air, or decline with the fading blossom. 

Bees were very numerous in the East. Serid or Seriad, means 
" the land of the hive;" and Canaan was celebrated as "a land 
flowing with milk and honey." 

The wild bees formed their comb in the crevices of the rocks, 
and in the hollows of decayed trees. 

I have already mentioned that the Septuagint, after describing 
the prudence and foresight of the ant, Prov. vi. 8, directs the 
sluggard also to inspect the labours of the bees; to observe with 
what wonderful art they construct their cells, how their work is 
regulated, and how diligent and profitable their toil. This pas- 
sage is quoted by Clemens Alexandrinus, Stromata, lib. 1 ; Ori- 
gen, in Numb, homilia, 27, and in Isai. horn. 2; Basil, in hexa- 
meron, homil. 8 ; Ambrose, lib. v. c. 21 ; Jerom, in Ezek. c. iii. ; 
Theodoret, de Providentia, Orat. 5 ; Antiochus, abbas sabba, 
homil. 36; and Joh. Damascenus, lib. ii. paral. c. 89: and 
though Jerom observes that this is not in the Hebrew text ; 
neither is it in the Chaldee nor Syriac version ; yet we may sup- 
pose that the Greek interpreters translated it from some copy 
then in use. 

Bochart 13 quotes several authors, who celebrate conjointly the 
labours and the skill of the ant and the bee; as ^Slian, Plutarch, 
Phocilides, Cicero, and others. One or two instances must suf- 
fice here. 

" Sola hyemi metuens, latebroso pumice condit 

Triticeos populata hominum formica labores. 

Idem amor atque apibus eadem experientia parcis." 

Pontanus, lib. i. de stcllis. 
" Formica et apis utraque deponunt in annum. 
Hanc sedulitas, hanc studiuin facit virilem. 
Huic alveus, illi satis est cavum pusillum." 

Scaliger, in Carra. " Avara Milit." 
" Formica et apis nos operariae docebuiit 
Pro parte laborare, dein frui labore." 

Ib. in titulo, " Labor pater fruitionis." 

The passage in Isai. vii. 8. which mentions the hissing for the 
bee, is supposed to involve an allusion to the practice of calling 
out the bees from their hives, by a hissing or whistling sound, to 
their labour in the fields, and summoning them again to return 
when the heavens begin to lour, or the shadows of evening to 
13 Hieroz. part ii. 1. iv. c. 11. p. 366. 



OF THE BIBLE. 41 

fall. In this manner Jehovah threatens to rouse the enemies of 
Judah, and lead them to the prey. However widely scattered, 
or far remote from the scene of action, they should hear his 
voice, and with as much promptitude as the bee that has been 
taught to recognise the signal of its owner and obey his call, 
they should assemble their forces ; and, although weak and insig- 
nificant as a swarm of bees, in the estimation of a proud and in- 
fatuated people, they should come, with irresistible might, and 
take possession of the rich and beautiful region which had been 
abandoned by its terrified inhabitants. 

The bee is represented by the ancients as a vexatious and even 
a formidable enemy ; and the experience of every person who 
turns his attention to the temper and habits of this insect attests 
the truth of their assertion. The allusion, therefore, of Moses 
to their fierce hostility, Deut. i. 44, is both just and beautiful. 
" The Amorites, which dwelt in that mountain came out against 
you, and chased you as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir even 
unto Hormah." The Amorites, it appears, were the most bitter 
adversaries to Israel of all the nations of Canaan. Like bees that 
are easily irritated, that attack with great fury and increasing 
numbers the person that dares to molest their hive, and perse- 
cute him in his flight to a considerable distance, the incensed 
Amorites had collected their hostile bands, and chased the Israel- 
ites from their territory. The Psalmist also complains that his 
enemies compassed him about like bees ; fiercely attacking him 
on every side. 

The author of the book of Ecclesiasticus, xi. 3, says, " the bee 
is little among such as fly, but her fruit is the chief of sweet 
things." See HONEY. 

BEETLE, bnn CHARGOL. 

The word occurs only Levit. xi. 2. A species of locust is 
thought to be there spoken of. The word yet remains in the 
Arabic, and is derived from an original, alluding to the vast num- 
ber of their swarms. Golius explains it of the locust without 
wings. There is a story of this locust, that it fights against ser- 
pents; and such is the import of its name in Greek, c4>/o/xa%vj 14 . 
This arose, perhaps, from finding the insect preying upon the pu- 
trid bodies of dead snakes. Some have supposed it the Grytlus 
verrucivorus of Linnaaus. 

The Egyptians paid a superstitious worship to the beetle. Elat- 
ta Egyptiaca, Lin. Mr. Molyneaux, in the " Philosophical 

14 So rendered in the Septuagint. See an account of this insect in Aristot. 
Hist. Anim. lib. ix. c. 6. " Notandum est opio/t*xw ' n Le S e P on ' pro'Hebraeo 
*53in chargol, aut argol; nam ex usu veterum potest utroque modo scribi sic no- 
men puto veteres scripsisse, adspiratione dempta. Atque inde natain esse fabu- 
lam de argolis ophiomachis, quos pro locustis serpentes fuisse nugantur, et ideo 
dictos argolas, quod ex Argo Pelasgico in jEgyptum ab Alexandra translati sint, 
ut Aspides interficerent. Ita refert Suidas, Af7<>X nSo; optay, u; myxi Mxiy 



ay/i(Tiy rui <7iriS>y. Bochart, llieroz. v. 3. p. 



42 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

Transactions," No. 234 15 , says, " It is more than probable that 
this destructive beetle we are speaking of was that very kind of 
Scarabaeus, which the idolatrous Egyptians of old had in such 
high veneration, as to pay divine worship unto it, and so fre- 
quently engrave its image upon their obelisks, &c. as we see at 
this day 16 . For nothing can be supposed more natural than to 
imagine a nation, addicted to polytheism as the Egyptians were, 
in a country frequently suffering great mischief and scarcity from 
swarms of devouring insects, should, from a strange sense and 
fear of evil to come (the common principle of superstition and 
idolatry), give sacred worship to the visible authors of these 
their sufferings, in hopes to render them more propitious for the 
future. Thus it is allowed on all hands, that the same people 
adored as gods, the ravenous crocodiles of the Nile ; and thus 
the Romans, though more polite and civilized in their idolatry, 
" febrem ad minus nocendum verebantur, eamque variis templis 
extractis colebant." Valer. Maxim. 1. ii. c. 5. See under the 
articles FLY and LOCUST. 

BEEVES, "pi BEKAK. The Arabic generical name is Al 
bukre. 

The generical name for clean animals, such as had hoofs com- 
pletely divided into two parts only,, Collectively, herds. 

The following arrangement of this class of clean animals may 
gratify the curious. 

Ox, or beeve, Di'jN ALLUPH. The chief of all cattle, and 
indeed of all clean beasts. Psal. viii. 1? ; cxliv. 14; Jerem. 
xi. 19 17 . 

BULL, -|flZ7 SHUR; Chaldee, taur ; Arabic, al-taur ; Latin, 
taurus. 

YOUNG BULL, ^D PAR. Job, xxi. 10 ; 1 Sam. vi. 7, 10 ; Psal. 
Ixix. 32. 

HEIFER, ma PARAH. 

CALF, bjy OGEL; Arabic, adjel. 

ZEBU, l.vn THAU ; the little Barbary cow ; Arabic, beker el 
wash. But Shaw and Michaelis suppose this word, which 
occurs only in Deut. xiv. 5, and Isai. li. 20, to be the Buf- 
falo. See BULL. 

BEHEMOTH, nioro. 

" This term (says Mr. Good 18 ) has greatly tried the ingenuity 

15 Lowtborp's Abridgtn. v. ii. p. 779. 

16 Scarabees are even now seen sculptured on stones in the royal sepulchres 
of Biban el Moluk : those monuments are considered as more ancient than the 
pyramids. 

17 Bochart supposes the word alluph, Jer. xi. 19, to be an adjective, and 
renders the former part of the sentence thus, " I was brought as a tame sheep 
to the slaughter;" probably with an idea that it might be a parallel proverbial 
speech with Isai. liii. 7. But we may well admit the common translation, the 
disjunctive particle being understood, as it is in Ps. Ixix. 21, and Isa. xxxviii. 14. 

18 Book of Job literally translated, with Dissertations, Notes, &c. by John 
Mason Good, F. R. S. Lond. 1712. page 478. Notes. 



OF THE BIBLE. 43 

of the critics. By some, among whom are Bythner and Reiske, 
it is regarded in Job, xl. 16, as a plural noun for beasts in general: 
the peculiar name of the animal immediately described not being 
mentioned, as unnecessary, on account of the description itself so 
easily applied at the time. And in this sense it is translated in 
various passages in the Psalms. Thus 1.10, in which it is usu- 
ally rendered cattle, as the plural of fiora it means unquestion- 
ably a beast or brute, in the general signification of these words : 
' For every beast of the field is mine, and the cattle (.behemoth) 
upon a thousand hills.' So again Isai. Ixxiii. 22. ' So foolish 
was I, and ignorant, I was as a beast (behemoth) before thee.' 
It is also used in the same sense in ch. xxxv. 11. of the present 
poem ; ' who teacheth us more than the beasts (behemoth) of 
the earth.' The greater number of critics, however, have un- 
derstood the word behemoth in the singular number, as the pecu- 
liar name of the quadruped here described, of whatever kind or 
nature it may be ; although they have materially differed upon 
this last point, some regarding it as the hippopotamus, or river 
horse, and others as the elephant. Among the chief supporters 
of the former opinion, are Bochart, Scheuchzer, Shaw, Calmet, 
and Dr. Stock ; among the principal advocates for the latter 
interpretation are Schultens and Scott 19 ." 

In the first edition of this work I took some pains to prove 
that the elephant was intended ; but a more critical examination 
of the subject has changed my opinion. 

" The author of the book of Job has delineated highly finished 
poetical pictures of two remarkable animals, BEHEMOTH and 
LEVIATHAN. These he reserves to close his description of ani- 
mated nature, and with these he terminates the climax of that 
discourse which he puts into the mouth of the Almighty. He 
even interrupts that discourse, and separates as it were by that 
interruption these surprising creatures from those which he had 
described before ; and he descants on them in a manner which 
demonstrates the poetic animation with which he wrote. The 
two creatures evidently appear to be meant as companions; to 
be reserved as fellows and associates. We are then to inquire 
what animals were likely to be thus associated in early ages, and 

19 To the above authorities in favour of the Elephant may be added, Franzius, 
Bruce, Guzzetius, in Comment, ling hebr. Pfeiffer, in dubiis vexatis, p. 519. 
J. D. Michaelis in Motis Jobi, et Suppl. Lex. Hel>. par. 1. page 146. Huffna- 
gel, in not. Jobi. Schoder in Specim. i. Hieroz. p. 1. Those who assert it to be 
the Hippopotamus are Ludolph, Hist. jEthiop. 1. 1. c. xi. H. S. Reimarus, 
Herder de genio Poes. Hebr. p. 1. p. 130. The learning of Bochart seems inex- 
haustible on this subject. 

Mr. Good, however, says, "It is most probable that the Behemoth (unques- 
tionably a pachydermatous quadruped, or one belonging to the order of this 
name, to which both the elephant and hippopotamus appertain in the Cuverian 
system), is at present a genus altogether extinct, like the mastodonton or mam- 
moth, and at least two other enormous genera, all belonging to the same class 
and order." 



44 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

in countries bordering on Egypt, where the scene of this poem 
is placed. 

" I believe that it is generally admitted that the leviathan is the 
crocodile; his fellow, then, could not be the elephant, which was 
not known in Egypt; was not, at least, peculiar to that country, 
though inhabiting the interior of Africa. 

" If we had any Egyptian poems, or even writings come down 
to us, we might possess a chance of meeting in them something 
to guide our inquiries ; but of these we are totally deprived. 
We however may esteem ourselves fortunate, that by means of 
Egyptian representations we can determine this question, and 
identify the animal. 

" In the great work published under the authority of the king of 
Naples, containing prints from antiquities found in Herculaneum, 
are some pictures of Egyptian landscapes, in which are figures of 
the crocodile lying among the reeds, and of the Hippopotamus 
browsing on the aquatic plants of an island 20 ." And in that famous 
piece of antiquity, commonly called the " Prasnestine pavement," 
the crocodile and river-horse are associated 21 ; as they are also on 
the base of the famous statue of the Nile. 

The hippopotamus is nearly as large as the rhinoceros. The 
male has been found seventeen feet in length, fifteen in circum- 
ference, and seven in height. The head is enormously large, and 
the jaws extend upwards two feet, and are armed with four cut- 
ting teeth, each of which is twelve inches in length. The body is 
of a lightish colour, thinly covered with hair. The legs are three 
feet long. Though amphibious, the hoofs, which are quadrifid, 
are unconnected with membranes. The hide is so thick and 
tough as to resist the edge of a sword or sabre. 

Although an inhabitant of the waters, the hippopotamus is 
well known to breathe air like land animals. On land indeed he 

20 Scripture Illustr. in addition to Calmet, No. Ixv. 

21 This most curious and valuable piece of antiquity was found in the ruins of 
the Temple of Fortune at Palestine, the ancient Praeneste, about twenty-one 
miles from Rome. It is formed of small stones of different colours, disposed 
with such art and neatness as to make it comparable to some of the finest paint- 
ings. It represents Egypt and a part of Ethiopia; though not laid down in a 
geographical manner, nor according to the rules of perspective. It exhibits 
tracts of land, mountains, valleys, branches of the Nile, lakes, quadrupeds, and 
fish of various kinds, and a great many birds. Several of the beasts have names 
[written near them in Greek letters] not found in historians; though it is pro- 
bable that some of these are corrupted through the ignorance of copyists. It 
represents the huntsmen and fisheriflen, galleys, boats, men, and women, in diffe- 
rent dresses, great and small buildings of different kinds, obelisks, arbours, trees, 
and plants, with a great variety of the most curious particulars, relative to the 
times in which it was formed ; and presents us with a greater number of objects, 
relative to the civil and natural history of Egypt and Ethiopia than are any 
where else to be met with. 

A history of this most instructive piece of antiquity is to be found in Mont- 
faucon's Antiquities, vol. xiv. in Dr. Shaw's Travels, p. 423427. edit. 2. 4to. 
with an elaborate explication, and a large plate; and in Harmer's Observations, 
vol. 4. Dr. Adam Clarke's edition, p. 6390. 



OF THE BIBLE. 45 

finds the chief part of his food. It has been pretended that he 
devours vast quantities of fish ; but it appears with the fullest 
evidence both from the relations of many travellers, and from the 
structure of the stomach, in specimens that have been dissected, 
that he is nourished solely, or almost solely, on vegetable food 22 ; 
though occasionally on aquatic plants, yet he very often leaves 
the waters, and commits wide devastations through all the culti- 
vated fields adjacent to the river. 

Unless when accidentally provoked, or wounded, he is never 
offensive ; but when he is assaulted or hurt, his fury against the 
assailants is terrible. He will attack a boat, break it in pieces 
with his teeth ; or, where the river is not too deep, he will raise it 
on his back and overset it. If when on shore, he is irritated, he 
will immediately betake himself to the water, and there, in his 
native element, manifests all his strength and resolution. 

I shall now offer a corrected version of the description given by 
Job of the behemoth, and add a few criticisms and comments. 

Behold now BEHEMOTH whom I made with thee 13 ; 
Hefeedeth on grass like the ox. 

This answers entirely to the hippopotamus, who, as I before 
observed, feeds upon grass* 4 ; whereas, the proper food of the 
elephant is the young branches of trees. 

Behold now his strength is in 7iis loins, 
His vigour in the muscles of his belly. 
He plieth his tail, which is like a cedar; 
The sinews of his thighs are braced together. 
His ribs are like unto pipes of copper ; 
His backbone * like a bar of iron 26 . 

These verses convey a sublime idea of his bulk, vigour, and 
strength ; and no creature is known to have firmer or stronger 
limbs than the river horse. Bochart justly argues that behemoth 
cannot be the elephant, because the strength of the elephant 
consists not in his belly ; for though his hide on the back is very 
hard, yet on his belly it is soft. On the other hand the descrip- 
tion agrees well with the river-horse, the skin of whose belly is 
not only naturally as thick as on other parts of the body, but is 
in a degree hardened, or made callous, by its being dragged over 
the rough stones at the bottom of the river. The skin, indeed, 

M See Job. Gottlieb Schneider, Historia Hippopotami VeterumCritica; addita 
Artedi Synonomiae Piscium, p. 247. Hasselquist, p. 281. Lobo, Sparrraan, and 
others. 

23 " With thee" toy ; that is, near thee, or, in thine own country. 

24 P. Gillius, in the account which he gives of a hippopotamus, which he saw, 
says " Eodem anhelandi sonitu respirabat, quo bos solet. Edebat faenum, et 
camera quae boves et equi edere solent." Cap. viii. p. 25. 

K vma. LXX. n Sc f*x is auT *> /"'*' back-bone. 

26 Th word for bar is ban metal, which is pure Arabic. A bar of iron is 
- called by the Arabians, matalo al-ohadid : " cum fcrrum contunditur ut longum 
fiat." Giggeus, as quoted by Chappellow,iw loc. 



46 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

is so remarkably firm and thick as to be almost impenetrable, and 
to resist the force of spears and darts. This gave occasion to 
that hyperbole which Ptolemy mentions, lib. vii. c. 2. " The 
Indian robbers have a skin like that of river-horses ; such as even 
arrows cannot penetrate." 

The expression also " he moveth his tail like a cedar," fur- 
nishes a strong presumption that the Hippopotamus is intended 
in the text, and not the elephant, whose tail, like that of the hog, 
is small, weak, and inconsiderable. It is, according to Buffon, 
but two feet and a half or three feet long, and pretty slender; 
but the tail of the hippopotamus, he observes, resembles that of 
the tortoise, only that it is incomparably thicker. The tail of 
the hippopotamus, Scheuchzer observes, although short, is thick, 
and may be compared with the cedar for its tapering, conical 
shape, its smoothness, thickness, and strength. But although it 
is thick, short, and very firm, yet he moves and twists it at plea- 
sure ; which, in the sacred text, is considered as a proof of his 
prodigious strength. 

He is chief of the works of God. 

He that made him hath fastened on his weapon 71 . 

The fixed insertion of the tusk is remarkable in this animal ; 
and it is very properly introduced into a description of his parts, 
that his Maker has furnished him with a weapon so eminently 
offensive. 

The rising lands supply him with food ; 

All the beasts of the field there are- made a mock of. 

It is to be observed, that in the celebrated Praenestine Mosaic, 
these river-horses appear on the hillocks, that are seen here and 
there rising above the water, among the vegetables growing upon 
them. May we not believe that these are the hills " the moun- 
tains" as in our translation, which bring him forth food? It is 
certain that the altar of God, which was only ten cubits high and 
fourteen square, is in Ezek. xliii. 15, called "?tt "in HAR EL, " the 
mountain of God." The eminences then which appear, as the 
inundation of the Nile subsides, may undoubtedly be called moun- 
tains in the poetical language of the book of Job. Nor is it any 
wonder that these animals are pictured in the pavement on these 
eminences, since the Turkey wheat is what they are fond of, and 
that vegetable grows on them. So Hasselquist tells us, that he 
saw, on the 17th of September, "the places not yet overflown, 

27 The word TH is of Phoenician origin, and signifies a tusk; whence the 
Greek afvrn, which the poets attribute to the Hippopotamus. Thus Nicander, in 
his Theriacon, v. 556. 

H i***u, TO Nt.xo vwi Z,ati* cu&xXO<wxy 



Upon which the Scholiast observes, 'Afir-n St cru/Aami IA.II ^i^avny, yw St 
oSovritt or t oXB? ras ara'/va.s Tgaytt. 

See also Nonnus, in b. xxvi. of his Ajovwaxwv to the same effect. 



OF THE BIBLE. 47 

or where it has already begun to decrease, clothed with a charm- 
ing verdure, a great part sown with Turkey wheat, and some 
parts, though but few, with lucern." p. 84. And on the other 
hand, he tells us in another place, that " the river-horse does 
much damage to the Egyptians in those places which he fre- 
quents, destroying, in a short space of time, an entire field of corn 
or clover, not leaving the least verdure as he passes, being vora- 
cious, and requiring much to fill his great belly." This agrees 
with Maillet's account, who tells us, " it is incredible how per- 
nicious he is to the productions of the earth, desolating the fields, 
and eating in all places through which he passes, the ears of 
corn, especially the Turkey wheat 28 . 

Hasselquist, in the first of the two last citations, goes on to 
inform us, that " innumerable birds were to be seen on the places 
not under water : I thought this the more remarkable as an incre- 
dible number covered the fields." We see birds, accordingly, 
upon some of the hillocks in the Prsenestine pavement, and 
beasts in great variety upon others. This answers to that other 
clause, " where all the beasts of the field are disregarded," or 
made no account of. This may either imply that other animals 
do not meet with annoyance from him, or that he disregards or 
defies them 29 . 

All the wild beasts of the countries where the elephant resides 
are not mountaineers ; and if they were, it would be difficult to 
assign a reason, why that circumstance should be mentioned in a 
description of the terribleness of the elephant ; but all the qua- 
drupeds of Egypt are obliged to retire to these eminences when 
the Nile overflows, and the coming of the hippopotamus among 
them, and destroying all the verdure of the places of their retire- 
ment, augments our ideas of the terribleness of this creature. 

He shelterelh himself under the shady trees 30 , 

In the coverts of the reeds and in ooze; 

The branches tremble as they cover him, 

The willows of the slream while they hang ever him. 

These verses describe the places in which the Behemoth seeks 
shelter and repose ; and the vegetables here mentioned are such 
as grow upon the banks of the Nile. 

That the elephant is not described here, Bochart argues, be- 
cause he very rarely lies down, but even sleeps standing. But 
concerning the hippopotamus, the passage which he quotes from 
Marcellinus, is, as he writes, " locus Jobi loco geminus ;" who, 
speaking of the hippopotamus, says, " Inter arundines celsas et 

28 Let. ix. p. 31. 

09 See this ingeniously illustrated in Fragments, published as an Appendix to 
Calmet, No. Ixv. from which extracts have been freely taken in the above 
explanations. 

30 " Shady trees," D'bxv, the Lotus-trees, according to Schultens, from the 
Arabic. 



48 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

squalentes nimia densitate hasc bellua cubilibus positis," &c. 
Therefore we are to consider, as he observes, whether those 
words iu Psalm Ixviii. 30, do not belong to him ; '* Rebuke the 
company of the spearmen." But the literal construction as in 
the margin of our Bibles, is, rebuke the beast of the reeds. The 
people of Egypt, he thinks, being figuratively represented by the 
river-horse; because, immediately, mention is made of bulls and 
calves, which the Egyptians worshiped. Indeed, Bochart un- 
derstands Vrtt NAHAL, " the stream," to mean the Nile. So in 
Numb, xxxiv. 5. for the Hebrew word bru nahal, Jonathan and 
the Jerusalem Talmud read 01*70 NILUS. The word is used for 
that river also, Josh. xv. 4, 47; 1 Kings, viii. 60 ; 2 Kings, xxiv. 7. 
2 Chron. vii. 8; Isai. xxvii. 12. 

Mr. Good observes, that " the description is peculiarly bold 
and beautiful, and may challenge the whole scope of Grecian 
and Roman literature for a parallel. Dr. Stock, who is the only 
translator that has fairly rendered the Hebrew ibb^ as a verb, 
" they quake," (the rest understanding it as a substantive, which 
requires the aid of a supplied preposition to make sense of it), 
has given a tame and inadequate version of the text, by explaining 
" they quake" they play to and fro. The real intention is clear. 
The shadowy trees themselves are alarmed at his fearful and enor- 
mous form, and tremble while they afford him a shelter." 

Behold the eddy may press, he icill not hurry himself. 
He is secure, though the river rise against his mouth 31 . 

No sudden rising of the river gives him any alarm. He is not 
borne away with the violence or rapidity of the stream; but 
enjoys himself the same as if the river ran with its usual flow. 
This is peculiarly applicable to the hippopotamus, but not to 
the elephant ; for though the latter may ford a river, yet he will 
not stem one that is deep and violent. 

Though any one attempt to take him in a net M , 
Through the meshes he trill pierce with his snout. 

This must refer to the method of taking fish with a net ; and 
is additional reason for applying the description to an aquatic 
animal. 

To relieve the reader a little, I insert the following poetic 
version by Mr. Scott. 

31 " I render," says Dr. Durrell, HT a river, considering it as an appellative, 
rather than as a proper name. It is derived from IT to descend, the common 
property of all rivers. By the word thus interpreted, the Nile may be meant, 
which is more likely than Jordan, because the Hippopotamus is a stranger to 
this latter river, as was probably Job himself." 

33 Dr.Dnrrell says, " I give this sense to Try frdm the Arabic, which signifies 
laqueolus in extremitate nerui, which its correlate in the next hemistitch points 
out." And he quotes a passage from Achilles Tatius, to prove, that this animal 
is not to be taken in snares. 



OF THE BIIJLE. -49 

" Behold my BEHEMOTH his bulk upirar, 

Made by thy Maker, grazing like a steer. 

What strength is seated in each brawny loin ! 

What muscles brace his amplitude of groin ! 

Huge like a cedar, see his fail arise; 

Large nerves their meshes weave about his thighs; 

His ribs are channels of unyielding brass, 

His chine a bar of iron's harden'd mass. 

My sovereign work ! and, other beasts to awe, 

I with a tusky falchion arm'd his jaw. 

In peaceful majesty of might he goes, 

And on the verdant isles his forage mows; 

Where beasts of every savage name resort, 

And in wild gambols round his greatness sport. 

In rnoory creeks beside the reedy pools 

Deep plunged in ooze his glowing flanks he cools, 

Or near the banks enjoys a deeper shade 

Where lotes and willows tremble o'er his head. 

No swelling river can his heart dismay, 

He stalks secure along the watery way ; 

Or should it heap its swiftly eddying waves 

Against his mouth, the foaming flood he braves. 

Go now, thy courage on this creature try, 

Dare the bold duel, meet his open eye ; 

In vain ! nor can thy strongest net confine 

A strength which yields to no device of thine." 

BERYL. Wttnn TARSHTSH. BHPTAAOS. Apocal. xxi. 20. 

A pellucid gem of a sea or bluish green colour. From this it 
seems to have derived its Hebrew name ; as the word is applied 
to the sea in Psal. xlviii. 7, and Isai. ii. 16. 

Bochart, in bringing his proofs that Tartesus in Spain was 
the ancient Tarshish, intimates, that this precious stone might 
hence have had its name ; and quotes as authority the following 
passage from Pliny. " Bocchus auctor est et in Hispaniarepertas 
(chrysolythos), quo in loco chrystallum dicit,ad libramentum aquaa 
ptiteis effossis inde erutam." 

It was the tenth stone on the pectoral. Exod. xxviii. 10. In 
the Septuagint, and by Josephus, Epiphanius and Jerom, it was 
rendered chrysolite; but Dr. Geddes says that, with Abarbanel, 
he believes the beryl to be intended. 

BIRDS. 113 TSIPPOR. A common name for all birds ; but 
sometimes used for the sparrow in particular. Occurs often. 

Siy OITH. The/yer. Translated "fowl" Gen. i. 21, and 
elsewhere frequently. 

ID'V AIT ; a bird of prey ; hence the Greek AETOE, the eagle. 
In Gen. xv. 11 ; Job, xxviii. 7; and Isai. xviii. 6, translated 
"fowls; in Jerem. xii. 9, " bird;" and in Isai. xlvi. 11, and 
Ezek. xxxix. 4, " ravenous birds." 

DHS'D BARBARIM, occurs only 1 Kings, iv. 23, and rendered 
" fowls," is supposed to be those which had been fatted to the 
greatest delicacy. 

A general name fdr winged animals of the feathered kind. 
They are distinguished, by the Jewish legislator, into clean and 
unclean, that is, such as might be eaten and such as might not. 

G 

- 



50 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

Of this, something will be noted under their proper articles. It 
may in brief be observed here, that such as fed upon grain and 
seeds were allowed for food, and such as devoured flesh and 
carrion were prohibited. 

Birds were offered for sacrifice on many occasions. Levit. i. 
14, 15, 16, and v. 7, 8. 

Moses, to inspire the Israelites with sentiments of tenderness 
towards the brute creation, orders, if they find a bird's nest, not 
to take the dam with the young, but to suffer the old one to fly 
away, and to take the young only. Deut. xxii. 6. This is one of 
those merciful constitutions in the law of Moses, which respect 
the animal creation, and tended to humanize the heart of that 
people, to excite in them a sense of the Divine Providence 
extending itself to all creatures, and to teach them to exercise 
their dominion over them with gentleness. The law seems also 
to regard posterity ; for letting the dam go free, the breed may 
be continued; whereas if it should wholly fail, would it not in 
the end be ill with them, and by thus cutting off the means of 
their continual support, must not their days be shortened on the 
land ? Besides, the young never knew the sweets of liberty; the 
dam did : they might be taken and used for any lawful purpose; 
but the dam must not be brought into a state of captivity. They 
who can act otherwise must be either very inconsiderate or 
devoid of feeling; and such persons can never be the objects of 
God's peculiar care and attention, and therefore need not expect 
that it shall be well with them, or that they shall prolong their 
days upon the earth. Every thing contrary to the spirit of mercy 
and kindness the ever blessed God lias in utter abhorrence. And 
we should remember a fact ; that he who can exercise cruelty 
towards a sparrow or a wren, will, when circumstances are 
favourable, be cruel to his fellow creatures 33 . 

The poet Phocylides has a maxim, in his admonitory poem 
very similar to that in the sacred texts. 

MriSt rts ogytQas xaJurif /* VOHTOCS jXso-Sw, 

MriTEfa ' sjesTf oXnrn; tv' tyfjrx sraXix rm Se VIOTTHJ. V. 80. 

Nor from a nest take all the birds awav 

The mother spare, she'll breed a future day. 

It appears that the ancients hunted birds. Baruch, iii. 17, 
speaking of the kings of Babylon, says, " They had their pastime 
with the fowls of the air;" and Daniel, iii. 38, tells Nebuchadnezzar 
that God had made the fowls of the air subject to him." 

BITTER-HERBS, onno MURURIM. Exod. xii. 8, and 
Numb. ix. 11. 

The Jews were commanded to eat their passover with a salad 
of bitter herbs; but whether one particular plant was intended, 
or any kind of bitter herbs, has been made a question. 

By the Septuagint it is rendered em -xMqiSuv : by Jerom, " cum 
33 Dr. Adam Clarke's note in loc. 



OF THE BIBLE. 51 

lactucis agrestibus ;" and by the Gr. Venet. VKI TCM%IGIV. Dr. 
Geddes remarks, that " it is highly probable, that the succory or 
wild-lettuce is meant: the Jews of Alexandria, who translated 
the Pentateuch, could not be ignorant what herbs were eaten 
with the paschal lamb in their days. Jerorn understood it in the 
same manner : and Pseudo-Jonathan expressly mentions hore- 
hound and lettuces." 

Eubulus, an Athenian comic poet, in his Amalthea, mentions 
Hercules as refusing to eat the 7nx/Jf, in these words : 



Boxou r'f/AaoTOX xpgrcww tX-nXuQa. 

The Mischna in Pesachim, cap. 2, reckons five species of these 
bitter herbs. (1.) CHAZAKETH, taken for lettuce. (2.) ULSIN, 
supposed to be endive or succory. (3.) TAMCA, probably tansay 34 . 
(4.) CHARUBBINIM, which Bochart thought might be the nettle, 
but Scheuchzer shows to be the camomile. (5.) MEROR, the 
sow-thistle, or dent-de-lion, or wild lettuce. 

Mr. Forskal says, " the Jews in Sana, and in Egypt, eat the 
lettuce with the paschal lamb ;" he also remarks that moru is 
centaury, of which the young sterns are eaten in February and 
March. 

BITTERN. TiDp KEPHUD. Occurs Isai. xiv. 23, xxxiv. 1 1 ; 
and Zeph. ii. 14. 

Interpreters have rendered this word variously ; an owl, an 
osprey, a tortoise, a porcupine, and even an otter. " How 
unhappy," says Mr. Harmer, " that a word which occurs but 
three times in the Hebrew Bible should be translated by three 
different words, and that one of them should be otters 35 !" 

Isaiah, prophesying the destruction of Babylon, says that " the 
Lord will make it a possession for the bittern and pools of water " 
and Zephaniah, ii. 14, prophesying against Nineveh, says that 
lt the cormorant and bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; 
their voice shall sing in the windows 36 " Dr. Shaw, Bp. Lowth, 
Mr. Dodson, and Bp. Stock, following Bochart, I think impro- 
perly render it the porcupine. I see no propriety in ranking 
that animal with the cormorant, the raven, and the owl ; but the 
bittern, which is a retired bird, is more likely to be found in their 
company in the same wilds and fens. Besides the porcupine is 
not an aquatic animal : and pools of water are pointed out as the 
retreat of those here mentioned ; neither has it any note, yet of 
these creatures it is said, their voices shall sing in the windows ; 
least of all could we think of either that or the other making a 
lodging on the chapiters of the columns. 

It is remarkable that the Arabic version reads, "Al-houbara." 

34 Manner Obs. v. 3. p. 100. 

35 Scheucbzer says," the BEAVER is what best agrees with the word." 

x Vide J. E. Faber, Dissertatio de Animalibus quorum mentio fit Zeph. ii. U. 



52 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

According to Dr. Shaw, the Houbara is " of the bigness of a 
capon, but of a longer habit of body. It feeds on little shrubs 
and insects, like the Graab el Sahara, frequenting iu like manner 
the confines of the desert." Golius interprets it the bustard ; 
and Dr. Russel says, that the Arabic name of the bustard is 
" houbry." 

BLACK. There are three words in the Hebrew. (1.) TUTU.* 
SHAKOR, which is applied to the blackness of a quenched coal, 
Job, xxx. 30, Lament, v. 10 ; to the darkness which precedes the 
dawning of the day, Job, iii. 9> and many other places ; and to 
the colour of the raven, Cantic. v. 1 1. (2.) U7N AISH, is the 
blackness of the pupil of the eye, Deut. xxii. 10, Psal. vii. 2,9, 
and 20. xx. (3.) Yip KODEE, the darkness of the sky, Mic. iii. 
6 ; and emblematic of mourning, Job, xxx. 28, and frequently 
elsewhere. 

BLUE. The Hebrew word rfon THECHELETH, Exod. xxv. 
4, and thirty times more in this single book has been variously 
understood by interpreters. Josephus, Antiq. 1. iii. c. 8, 1. 
Philo, in V4t. Mos. 1. iii. p. 148. Origen, Greg. Nysen, 
Ambrose, Jerom, and most of the ancient versions, render it 
hyadntkwe; but Bochart asserts it to be cerulean, azure, or 
sky colour 37 . 

My learned friend, the Hon. James Winthrop, suggests that 
the colour extracted from the indigo may be intended. That 
plant probably derived its origin, as it doubtless does its name, 
from India, where its beautiful dyes have long given value to 
the fine linens and cottons of that ancient empire. Niebuhr 
mentions two places in Arabia in which indigo is now cultivated 
and prepared 38 . Whether it grew there in remote ages may 
not be easily determined. 

The splendour and magnificence of dress seem to have con- 
sisted among the ancients, very much in the richness of colours ; 
the art of dyeing which to perfection was esteemed a matter of 
great skill. The excellence of the Tyrian purple is celebrated 
by both sacred and profane authors ; and the blue, which, from 
many passages of Scripture, we find to have been in great request, 
was imported from remote countries, as an article of expensive 
and elegant luxury. See Ezek. xxvii. 7, 24; Jer. x. 4. 

Buxtorf, in his Hebrew Lexicon, applies the word translated 
vermilion in Jer. ii. 14, and Ezek. xxiii. 14, to the dye prepared 
from indigo. 

Harenburg, in Musaeum Brem. vol. ii. p. 297, observes that 
the thecheleth of the Jews is by the Talmudists rendered fribn 
CHALASDON, which he thinks to be the Greek yAarov, the Latin 
glastum, and the German zcoad. 

37 Hieroz. part ii. lib. v. c. 19. Conf. Braunius de Vest, sacerd. Hebr. ii. 14. 
p. 553. Abarbinel," est sericum infectum colore qni mari similis est.'' 

38 Page 133, and 197. 



OF THE BIBLE. 53 

BOAR, Tin HAZIR. 

Occ. Levit. xi. 9 ; Deut.xiv. 8; Psal. ixxx. 13; Prov. xi. 22; 
Isai. Ixv. 4, Ixvi. 3, 17. 

The wild boar is considered as the parent stock of our do- 
mestic hog. He is much smaller, but at the same time stronger 
and more undaunted. In his own defence, he will turn on men 
or dogs; and scarcely shuns any denizen of the forests, in the 
haunts where he ranges. His colour is always an iron gray, 
inclining to black. His snout is longer than that of the common 
breed, and his ears are comparatively short. His tusks are very 
formidable, and all his habits are fierce and savage. 

It should seem, from the accounts of ancient authors, that the 
ravages of the wild boar were considered as more formidable 
than those of other savage animals 39 . The conquest of the 
Erymanthian boar was one of the fated labours of Hercules ; 
and the story of the Calydonian boar is one of the most beauti- 
ful in Ovid. 

The destructive ravages of these animals are mentioned in 
Psal. Ixxx. 14. 

Dr. Pocock observed very large herds of wild boars on the 
side of Jordan, where it flows out of the sea of Tiberias; and 
several of them on the other side lying among the reeds by the 
sea. The wild boars of other countries delight in the like moist 
retreats. These shady marshes then, it should seem, are called 
in the scripture, " woods," for it calls these animals " the wild 
boars of the woods 40 ." See HOG. 

BOX-TREE. TRiNtn TEASHUR. 

Occ. Isai. xli. 9; lx. 13; and Ezek. xxvii. 6. BUXUS, 2 Es- 
dras, xiv. 24 ; where the word appears to be used for tablets. 

Though most of the ancient, and several of the modern trans- 
lators render this the " Buxus," or box-tree; from its being 
mentioned along with trees of the forest, some more stately tree 
must be intended. The Hebrew name implies flourishing or 
perpetual viridity : and in the Rabbinical book Jelammedenu, 
we read, " Quare vocatur Theaschur? Quia est felicissima inter 
omnes species cedrorum." 

The passage Ezek. xxvii. 6, is of very difficult construction. 
The learned Mr. Dimock published a discourse upon it, in 1783, 
which I have not been able to procure. In our version it is, 
" the company of the Ashurites have made thy benches of ivory, 
brought out of the isles of Chittim." The original a*"lUJN J"O, 
rendered "company of the Ashurites," Michaelis, Spice/. Geogr. 
p. iii. proposes, by a change of points, to read " filise lucorum," 
supposing it to refer to the elephant, the inhabitant of the zcoods. 
Other learned men have said " ivory the daughter of steps;" 
" ivory well trodden ;" " ivory set in box ;" &c. And Bishop 



39 Herodot. Hist. " Clio," xxxvi. 

40 See also Ocdinann, Verraischte Sammlungen, fascic, i. c. 4. p. 41. 



t 



54 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

Newcome renders it, " thy benches have they made of ivory, 
inlaid in box, from the isles of Chittim." The ancients some- 
times made ornamental marquetry, or veneered work of box and 
ivory inlaid. 



-" Quale per artem 



Inclusum Buxo, aut Oricia Terebintho 

Lucet Ebur." VIRGIL, JEo. x. V. 135. 

But this would hardly be used on benches in a ship. The 
word pi; SHEN, " ivory," is wanting in one manuscript; and the 
bishop thinks it wrongly inserted in the text; the transcriber 
having been led to the mistake by the similar ending of the pre- 
ceding word. 

The author of " Fragments as an Appendix to Calmet," No. 
ccxvii. proposes this reading : " thy shrine they made of ivory ; 
for the Deity, the daughter of Assyria, brought from the isles of 
Chittim 41 ." He supposes the Assyrian nymph, or Venus of ex- 
cellent Greek sculpture, to have been placed at the extremity of 
the poop of the vessel, as the tutelar deity. The LXX seem to 
authorize this construction ; ret i^a. <rov ewoiyffctv f e Af 0#VTOf . 

BRAMBLE. TEN ATAD. 

A prickly shrub. The raspberry bush, Judges, ix. 14, 15, and 
Psal. Iviii. 9- In the latter place it is translated " thorn." 
Hiller supposes atad to be the cynobastus, or sweet-brier 42 . The 
author of " Scripture Illustrated" says that the bramble seems to 
be well chosen as a representative of the original ; which should 
be a plant bearing fruit of some kind, being associated (Jud. ix. 
14), though by opposition, with the vine. But Dioscorides, as 
cited by Bochart 43 , remarks that the Africans or Carthaginians 
called the rhamnus, a large species of thorn, AraJ/x/, which is 
the plural of atad. 

The apologue, or fable of Jotham has always been admired 
for its spirit and application. It has also been considered as 
the oldest fable extant. 

For the meaning of the word translated brambles in Isai. xxxiv. 
13, see THORN.. 

BRASS. rMro NEHEST. 

The word is derived, according to Dr. Taylor, from the verb 
WB NEHES, which signifies, " to observe with attention, to scru- 
tinize, to look out for omens," &c. at the same time he acknow- 
ledges, that " its connexion with the root is uncertain." Park- 
hurst supposes the metal to be thns denominated " from its 
colour resembling that of serpents." But if we may venture to 
conjecture, one single letter wrongly turned, and write it 



41 The Syriac version reads Chetthoje, which has some resemblance to Cataya ; 
by which we are directed towards India. Some of the Arabs translate the word 
the, isles of India : but the Chaldee has it, the province of Jfulia, meaning the 
region of elephants, and probably intending Pul in Egypt. 

42 Hierophyt. c. Ixi. p. 477. Vol. i. 752. 



OF THE BIBLE. 55 

NETEST, we may derive it from the verb U>n:> NETES, which 
signifies, " to dig up ;" the very meaning of fossil, which comes 
from the Latin wordfodio, " to dig." So the Hebrew must 
either mean minerals in general, or at least a native and not a 
factitious mineral. 

The word brass occurs very often in our translation of the 
Bible; but that is a mixed metal, for the making of which we are 
indebted to the German metallurgists of the thirteenth century. 
That the ancients knew not the art of making it is almost certain. 
None of their writings even hint at the process. 

There can be no doubt that copper is the original metal in- 
tended. This is spoken of as known prior to the flood ; and to 
have been discovered, or at least wrought, as was also iron, in 
the seventh generation from Adam, by Tubalcain ; whence the 
name Vulcan 44 . The knowledge of these two metals must have 
been carried over the world afterwards, with the spreading colo- 
nies of the Noachidae. An acquaintance with the one and the 
other was absolutely necessary to the existence of the colonists ; 
the clearing away of the woods about their settlements, and the 
erection of houses for their habitation. Agreeably to this, the 
ancient histories of the Greeks and Romans speak of Cadmus 
as the inventor of the mineral which by the former is called 
xaAxoj, and by the latter <ES ; and from him had the denomination 
cadmea. According to others, Cadmus discovered a mine, of which 
he taught the use. The person here spoken of was undoubtedly 
the same with Ham, or Cam, the son of Noah, who probably 
learned the art of assaying metals from the family of Tubalcain, 
and communicated that knowledge to the people of the colony 
which he settled 45 . 

All the Greek writers, even to Hesiod, speak of xoAxo?, by 
which I am convinced a simple, and not a compound metal is 
intended : whence came the Latin word calx, the heel, and calco, 
to tread upon ; as much as to say, something under feet, beneath 
the surface of the earth. The Romans gave, as I observed before, 
the name ess to the same substance, and we have translated it 
" brass 46 ," though it is as likely to have been copper. Indeed 
Castel says, it was the same with what was afterwards called cu- 
prum* 1 ' . Pliny is the first who uses the term cupreus ; and since 



44 See this formation of the name in Bryant's Mythology, and heuce, by a 
transposition of the vowels, the name of the fdol mentioned, Amos, v. 26. ]va bya 

BAL-CHIUN. 

45 From the mixture of copper and cadmean earth, fa kind of lapis calami- 
naris] was made the aurichalcum. " Cadmia terra, quae in ses conjicitiir ut fiat 
aurichalciun." FESTUS. 

46 Lexic. Med. 

47 Cuprum. Nondtim prolatus auctor antiquior Spartiano Caracalla. Gesner, 
Thesaur. Ling. Lat. 



56 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

his time, cuprum, which is a corruption of as cyprinum, has gone 
into general use. See COPPER. 

BRIER. 

This word occurs several times in our translation of the Bible, 
but with various authorities from the original. 

(1.) D'3p"On HABARKAMM. Jud. viii. 7, 16, is a particular 
kind of thorn. See THORN. 

(2.) pin CHEDEK, Prov. xv. If), and Micah, vii. 4. It seems 
hardly possible to determine what kind of plant this is. Some 
kind of tangling prickly shrub is undoubtedly meant. In the 
former passage, there is a beautiful exposition, which is lost in 
our rendering. " The narrow way of the slothful, is like a per- 
plexed path among briers ; whereas the broad road, (elsewhere 
rendered ' causeway'), of the righteous is a high bank ;" that is, 
free from obstructions, direct, conspicuous, and open. The 
common course of life of these two characters answers to this 
comparison. Their manner of going about business, or of 
transacting it, answers to this. An idle man always takes the 
most intricate, the most oblique, and eventually the most thorny 
measures to accomplish his purpose; the honest and diligent 
man prefers the most open and direct; So in Micah, the unjust 
judge, taking bribes, is a brier, holding every thing that comes 
within his reach, hooking all that he can catch. 

" Sauciat atque rap it spinus paliurus acutis; 
Hoc etiam Judex semper avarus agit." 

(3.) D'mD SEREBIM. Ezek. ii. 6. This word is translated by 
the LXX KcqoiGT$(TOV(riv stung by the oestrus, or gadrly ; and they 
use the like word in Hosea, iv. (j, where, what in our version is 
" a backsliding heifer," they render a heifer stung by the astrus. 
These coincident renderings make me believe, that both places 
may be understood of some venomous insect. The word T)D 
SARAR may lead us to sarran, by which the Arabs thus describe 
" a great bluish rlv, having greenish eyes, its tail armed with a 
piercer, by which it pesters almost all horned cattle, settling on 
their heads, &c. Often it creeps up the noses of asses. It is a 
species of gadrly, but carrying its sting in its tail 48 ." 

(4.) J^D SILLON, Ezek. xxviii. 24, andD'T^D SILLUNIM, Ezek. 
ii. 6, must be classed among thorns. The second word Parkhurst 
supposes to be a kind of thorn, overspreading a large surface of 
ground, as the dew-brier. It is used in connexion with yip KUTJ, 
which in Gen. iii. 18, is rendered "thorns." The author of 
" Scripture Illustrated" queries, however, whether, as it is asso- 
ciated with " scorpions" in Ezek. ii. 6, both this word and 
SEREBIM, may not mean some species of venomous insects. 

(5.) 1D*)D SIRPAD, mentioned only in Isai. Iv. 13, probably 

48 Meninski, Lexic. 2643. 



OF THE UlliLE. 57 

means a prickly plant; but what particular kind it is impossible 
to determine 49 . 

(6.) TQU7 SAMIR. This word is used only by the prophet 
Isaiah, and in the following places ; chap. v. 6 ; vii. 23, 24, 25 ; 
ix. 17 ; x. 17; xxvii. 4; and xxsii. 13. It is probably a brier of a 
low kind ; such as overruns uncultivated lands 50 . See BRAMBLE, 
NETTLE, THISTLE, THORN. 

BRIMSTONE. rnw GOPHRITH. 

Occ. Gen. xix. 24; Deut. xxix. 23; Job, xviii. 15; Psal. xi. 
6 ; Isai. xxx. 33 ; xxxiv. 9 ; and Ezek. xxxviii. 22. 

It is rendered deiov by the Septuagint, as it is also called in 
Luke, xvii. 29- 

In Job, xviii. 15, Bildad, describing the calamities which over- 
take the wicked person, says " brimstone shall be scattered upon 
his habitation." This has been supposed to be a satirical allusion 
to that part of Job's substance which was consumed by fire from 
heaven : but it possibly may be only a general expression, to de- 
signate any great destructiou : as that in Psal. xi. 6. " Upon 
the wicked, he shall rain fire and brimstone." Moses, among 
other calamities which he sets forth in case of the people's dis- 
obedience, threatens them with the fall of brimstone, salt, and 
burning like the overthrow of Sodom, &c. Deut. xxix. 23. 
The prophet Isaiah, xxxiv. 9, writes that the anger of the Lord 
shall be shown by the streams of his vengeance being turned into 
pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone. Allow that these 
expressions may have a more immediate regard to some former 
remarkable punishments, as that place in Deuteronomy mani- 
festly does ; yet no doubt but that they may be used in a figu- 
rative, general sense, to intimate the divine displeasure on any 
extraordinary occasion. It is very reasonable to think that most, 
if not all proverbial sayings and sententious maxims take their 
beginning from certain real facts 51 . 

BULL. The male of the beeve kind; and it is to be recol- 
lected that the Hebrews never castrated animals. 

There are several words translated " bull" in Scripture, of 
which the following is a list, with the meaning of each. 

TiU? SHOR. A bove, or cow, of any age. 

IttTl TIIEO. The wild bull, oryx or buffalo. Occurs only 
Deut. xiv. 5 ; and in Isai. li. 20, N1D thoa with the inter- 
change of the two last letters. 

49 Specimen nemo detexif, nee detegere potuit, cum a inultis soculis in ob- 
livionem venerit. Celsius, llierob. V. 2. p. 218. " Plane ablego lectores ad 
Celsium, qui fassus est, nihil se scire, varias sententias referens : bene agent lec- 
tores, si nihil se illo plus certi habcrc sentient, donee aliquid novae lucis adfulgeat." 
" Nullum similem nomen habent reliqune linguae orientales, ergo fas est sapienti, 
Colsio qunque, fas sit et mihi, aliquid ignorare. Ignorantiae professio via ad 
inveniendum verum, si quis in Oriente quaesierit." Michaelis, Sup. Lex, Hcb. 

50 The Arabic version of Isai. vii. 23, 24, ia bur, " terrain incultam." Hence 
our word bur. 

51 Chappellow, in loc. 



58 THE NATURAL HISTORY 



ABBIRE. A word implying strength, translated " bulls," 
Psal. xxii. 12, 1. 13, Ixviii. 30; Isai. xxxiv. 7 ; and Jerem. 
xlvi. 15 52 . 

*1p3 BEKAR. Herds, horned cattle of full age. 

ID PAR. A full grown bull, or cow, fit for propagating. 

bty OGEL. A full grown, plump young bull ; and in the fern. 
a heifer. 

lin TOR. Chaldee taur, and Latin taunts. The ox accus- 
tomed to the yoke. Occurs only in Ezra, vi. Q, 17, vii. 17 ; 
and Dan. iv. 25, 32, 33, xxii. 29, 30. 

This animal was reputed by the Hebrews to be clean, and 
was generally made use of by them for sacrifices. The Egyp- 
tians had a particular veneration for it, and paid divine honours 
to it; and the Jews imitated them in the worship of the golden 
calves, or bulls, in the wilderness, and in the kingdom of Israel. 
See CALF. 

The following remarks of Dr. Adam Clarke on Exod. xxii. 1, 
may serve to illustrate this article. " If a man shall steal an ox 
or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for 
an ox, and four sheep for a sheep." He observes that " iu our 
translation of this verse, by rendering different words by the same 
term in English, we have greatly obscured the sense. I shall 
produce the verse, with the original words which I think impro- 
perly translated, because one English term is used for two Hebrew 
words, which, in this place, certainly do not mean the same thing. 
If a man shall steal an ox [TiU> SHOR] or a sheep [nu; SEH] and 
kill it, or sell it; he shall restore Ji-ve oxen, [1:0 BAKAR] for an 
ox, [|Wtf SHOR] and four sheep, [|i xsoN]/br a sheep [rw SEH.] 
I think it must appear evident that the sacred writer did not 
intend that these words should be understood as above. A 
SHOR certainly is different from a BAKAR, and a SEH from a 
TSON. Where the difference in every case lies wherever these 
words occur, it is difficult to say. The SHOR and the BAKAR 
are doubtless creatures of the beeve kind, and are used in different 
parts of the sacred writings, to signify the bull, the ox, the heifer, 
the steer, and the calf. The SEH and the TSON are used to 
signify the ram, the wether, the ewe, the lamb, the he goat, the 
she goat, and the kid; and the latter word TSON seems frequently 
to signify the flock composed of either of these lesser cattle, or 
both sorts conjoined. 

"As SHOR is used Job, xxi. 10, for a bull, probably it may mean 
so here. If a man steal a bull, he shall give Jive oxen for 
him, which we may presume was no more than his real value ; 
as very few bulls could be kept in a country destitute of horses, 

52 In Jer. xlvi. 15, forty-eight of Dr. Kennicot's codices read "JT3N thy strong, 
or mighty one, in the singular. The Septuagint explain the word by o Awu o 
ftoaxps o txXtxror an, Apis, t/iy chosen calf; as if that idol were particularly in- 
tended. 



OF THE BIBLE. 59 

where oxen were so necessary to till the ground. For though 
some have imagined that there were no castrated cattle among 
the Jews, yet this cannot be admitted on the above reason; for as 
they had no horses, and bulls would have been unmanageable 
and dangerous, they must have had oxen for the purposes of 
agriculture. TSON is used for ajlock either of sheep or goats ; 
and SEH for an individual of either species. For every SEII, 
four, taken indifferently from the TSON or flock, must be given : 
that is, a sheep stolen might be recompensed with four out of 
the flock, whether of sheep or goats. So that a goat might be 
compensated with four sheep ; or a sheep with four goats." 

The WILD BULL is found in the Syrian and Arabian deserts 53 . 
It is frequently mentioned by the Arabian poets, who are copi- 
ous in their descriptions of hunting it, and borrow many images 
from its beauty 51 , strength, swiftness, and the loftiness of its 
horns. They represent it as fierce and untamable ; as being 
white on the back, and having large shining eyes 55 . 

Some authors have supposed the buffalo, well known in India, 
Abyssinia, and Egypt, to be intended. This animal is as big or 
bigger than a common ox. Is sullen, spiteful, malevolent, fierce, 
and untamable. Others 56 , again, have thought it the oryx of 
the Greeks, or the Egyptian antelope, described by Dr. Shaw, 
under the name of Bekker el mash SJ . 

BULL-RUSH. Nnj GOMA. 

Occ. Exod. ii. 3 ; Job, viii. 1 1 ; and Isai. xviii. 2, xxxv. 7. 

A plant growing on the banks of the Nile, and in marshy 
grounds. The stalk rises to the height of six or seven cubits, 
besides two under water. This stalk is triangular, and termi- 
nates in a crown of small filaments resembling hair, which the 
ancients used to compare to a thyrsus. This reed, the Cyperus 
papyrus of Linnaeus, commonly called " the Egyptian reed," 
was of the greatest use to the inhabitants of the country where 
it grew; the pith contained in the stock served them for food, 
and the woody part to build vessels with, which vessels are to 
be seen on the engraven stones and other monuments of Egyp- 
tian antiquity. For this purpose they made it up, like rushes, 
into bundles, and by tying these bundles together, gave their 
vessels the necessary shape and solidity. " The vessels of bull- 
rushes 58 ," or papyrus, that are mentioned in sacred and profane 
history, says Dr. Shaw (Trav. p. 437), were no other than large 
fabrics of the same kind with that of Moses, Exod. ii. 3 ; which, 
from the late introduction of plank and stronger materials, are 
now laid aside. Thus Pliny, N. H. 1. vi. c. 16, takes notice of 

53 The Urns of Pliny and the ancients. 

54 The beauty of Joseph is compared to that of a bullock. Deut. xxxiii. 17. 

55 Scott on Job, xxxix. 9. K Bochart, Shaw, Lowth, &c. 

57 It is also an inhabitant of Syria, Arabia, and Persia. It is the antclupc 
oryx of LiiuitEus. M Isai. xviii. 2. 



(30 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

the "naves papyraceas armamentaque Nili," ships made of pa- 
pyrus and the equipments of the Nile; and 1. xiii. c. 11, he ob- 
serves, " ex ipsa quidem papyro navigia texunt," of the papyrus 
itself they construct sailing vessels, Herodotus and Diodorus 
have recorded the same fact; and among the poets, Lucan, 1. 
iv. v. 136, " Conseritur bibula Memphitis cymba papyro," the 
Memphian or Egyptian boat is made of the thirsty papyrus ; 
where the epithet " bibula" drinking, soaking, thirsty, is parti- 
cularly remarkable, as corresponding with great exactness to the 
nature of the plant, and to its Hebrew name, which signifies to 
soak or drink up. 

These vegetables require much water for their growth ; when, 
therefore, the river on whose banks they grew, was reduced, they 
perished sooner than other plants. This explains Job, viii. 11, 
where the circumstance is referred to as an image of transient 
prosperity 59 . See PAPER-REED. 

BUSH. rD SINAH. 

This word occurs in Exod. iii. 2, 4; and Deut. xxxiii. 16, as 
the name of the bush in which GOD appeared to Moses. If it be 
the %tvog mentioned by Dioscorides, it is the white-thorn. Cel- 
sius calls it the rubusfructicosus. The number of these bushes 
in this region seems to have given the name to the mountain 
Sinai. 

The word D'Vrna NEHELELIM, found only in Isai. vii. 19, and 
there rendered "bushes," means fruitful pastures. 

CALAMUS. rupKANEH. 

Occ. Exod. xxx, 23; Cantic. iv. 14; Isai. xliii. 24; Jerem. 
vi. 20; and Ezek. xxvii. 19- 

An aromatic reed, growing in moist places in Egypt, in Judea 
near lake Genezareth, and in several parts of Syria 60 . It grows 
to about two feet in height; bearing from the root a knotted 
stalk, quite round, containing in its cavity a soft white pith. The 
whole is of an agreeable aromatic smell; and the plant is said 
to scent the air with a fragrance even while growing 61 . When 
cut down, dried, and powdered, it makes an ingredient in the 
richest perfumes. It was used for this purpose by the Jews. 
See CANE. 

CALF, hyy OGEL. Arab. ADJEL. 

The young of the ox kind. There is frequent mention in 
Scripture of calves, because they were made use of commonly in 
sacrifices. The " fatted calf," mentioned in several places, as 
in Sam. xxviii. 24, and Luke xv. 23, was stall fed, with special 
reference to a particular festival or extraordinary sacrifice. The 

59 For a description of the plant, see Alpinu?, de Plantis jEgypti, and Bruce's 
Travels, vol. 6. 

60 Ben Melech, in his note upon Exodus xxx. 23, thus describes it, " Kaueh 
Bosem; aroma simile arundini, quod vulgo capellam vocamus, ita dicitur." 

81 Celsius, Hierobot. vol. ii. p. 327. Hiller, Hierophjt. 



OF THE BIBLE. 61 

" calves of the lips/' mentioned by Hosea, xiv. 2, signify the 
sacrifices of praise which the captives of Babylon addressed to 
GOD, being no longer in a condition to offer sacrifices in his 
temple. The Septuagint render it the " fruit of the lips;" and 
their reading is followed by the Syriac, and by the apostle to the 
Hebrews, ch. xiii. 15. 

Jeremiah mentions a remarkable ceremony, ch. xxxiv. 18, 19, 
which I here refer to for the sake of explaining and of giving an 
amended version of the passage. Jehovah says, " I will give 
the men that have transgressed my covenant, who have not ful- 
filled the terms of the covenant which they made in the presence 
of the calf, which they cut in twain, and passed between the parts 
thereof; the princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, and 
the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land that 
passed between the parts of the calf, I will even give them into 
the hands of their enemies," &c. In order to ratify the cove- 
nant, they killed a calf, or young bullock, which they cut in two, 
and placing the two parts at some distance from each other, they 
passed between them ; intending to signify by this rite that they 
consented to be served in like manner in case they violated their 
part of the covenant. Something of 'the like sort was in practice 
among the Greeks and Romans, as may be seen in Homer's Iliad, 
lib. iii. v. 98, and Livy's Roman history, 1. i. c. 24. and 1. xxi. 
c. 45. Hence there will appear a peculiar force in the expres- 
sion of entering into the covenant in presence of the calf, because 
the sight of that object served to remind them of the penalties 
they subjected themselves to on violating their engagement 62 . 
We find GOD conforming himself to this usage when he made a 
covenant with Abraham, Gen. xv. 9, 10, 17, 18. 

The " golden calf" was an idol set up and worshiped bv the 
Israelites at the foot of Mount Sinai in their passage through 
the wilderness to the land of Canaan 65 . Our version of the bible 
makes Aaron fashion this calf with a graving tool after he had 
cast it in a mould; and the Geneva translation, still worse, makes 
him engrave it first, and cast it afterwards. The word D*iro 
cheret) occurs but four times in the bible. In Isai. viii. 1, its 
signification is in some measure fixed by the context ; yet not so 
precisely as to exclude all doubt. In the Septuagint, it is ren- 
dered yqatytit ; by Jerom, stylo, and by our English translators, 

62 Bp. BJaney, new transl. of Jeremiah, p. 383, notes, edit: 8vo. I would 
add, that the punishment of violation, the being cut asunder, is referred to 2 Sam. 
xii. 31 ; 1 Chron. xx. 3; Dan. ii. 5, iii. 29; Story of Susanna, v. 55. 59; Matth. 
xxiv. 51 ; and Luke, xii. 46. See farther particulars in the note on Gen. xv. 10, 
in Dr. A. Clarke's Commentary. 

63 The people said, " make usgWs," Elohim yet but one thing is made: and 
Aaron calls his calf, in the plural, " gods;" " these are thy gods," " they who 
brought thee out of Egypt," &c. To this agree the words of St. Stephen, Acts, vii. 
40, 41, " saying to Aaron, make us gods to go before us and he made a ce//'." 
Si) that the plural form of Elohhn does not imply plurality of persons. 



62 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

pen 6 *. But Dr. Geddes supposes that it does not denote the 
instrument, but the form or character of the writing. In Isai. iii. 
22, it is rendered " crisping pins ;" by Purver, " pockets," and 
by Lowth and Dodson, " little purses." In 2 Kings, v. 23, the 
same word is in our common version rendered " bags," and by 
the Arabic and Greek, " baskets." From these places, there- 
fore, we may infer, that it was not a style, but some vessel of 
capacity fit for the reception of something else. If we apply this 
to the passage in Exod. xxxii. 4, it will appear that the word 
must mean either the vessel in which the gold was melted, or 
the mould in which it was fashioned. Dr. Geddes learnedly 
supports the latter sense. 

The method used by Moses for reducing the gold of which the 
calf was made to powder, has been variously explained. The 
learned M. Goguet gives this solution 65 . " The Scripture says, 
Moses took the calf, burnt it, reduced it to powder, and after- 
wards mixed the powder with water, which he made the Israel- 
ites drink. Those who work in metals are not ignorant that, in 
general, this operation is very difficult. Moses probably had 
learned this secret in Egypt. The Scripture remarks expressly, 
that he had been brought up in all the wisdom of the Egyptians^; 
that is to say, that Moses had been instructed in all the sciences 
which these people cultivated. I think then, that at that time, 
the Egyptians knew the art of performing this operation in gold; 
an operation, of which, however, it is necessary to show the 
process. 

" The commentators are much troubled to explain the manner 
in which Moses burnt and reduced to powder the golden calf; 
the most of them have only given vain conjectures, and such as 
are absolutely void of all probability. An able chymist has re- 
moved all the difficulties that can be formed about this opera- 
tion 67 . The means which he thinks Moses used are very simple. 
Instead of tartar, which we use for such a process, the legislator 
of the Hebrews used natron, which is very common in the East, 
and particularly near the Nile. What the Scripture adds, that 
Moses made the Israelites drink this powder, proves that he 
knew very well the whole force of its operation. He would 
aggravate the punishment of their disobedience. One could not 
invent a way that would render them more sensible of it. Gold, 
made potable by the process which I have mentioned, is of a 
detestable taste." \ 

But whether this chymical process was known to Moses is at 
least very doubtful. Onkelos and Bochart conjecture that the 

64 Very improperly for pens were not then used in writing; nor are they 
used at this day in those countries. Reeds supply their place. And in the days 
of Isaiah, the implement for writing was a stylus, or pin. 

65 Origin of Laws, Arts, &c. vol. 2. p. 154. a Acts, vii 22. 
47 Stahll. Vitul. aureus, in Opusc. Chym. phys. raed. p. 585. 






OF THE BIBLE. 63 

mass of gold was reduced to powder by a rasp or file ; but Dr. 
Adam Clarke furnishes the following explanation, which seems 
more practicable and more probable. " In Deut. ix. 21, this mat- 
ter is fully explained. / took, says Moses, your sin, the calf which 
i/e had made, and burnt it withjire; that is, melted it down pro- 
bably into ingots, or gross plates; and stamped it, that is, beat 
it into thin laminae, something like our gold leaf; and ground it 
-eery small, even until it was as small as dust, which might be 
very easily done by the action of the hands when beat into thin 
plates or leaves, as the original word nDtt ecoth, and p"7 dak, im- 
ply. And I cast the dust thereof into the brook, and being thus 
lighter than the water, it would readily float, so that they could 
easily see, in this reduced and useless state, the idol to which 
they had lately offered divine honours, and from which they were 
vainly expecting protection and defence. No mode of argu- 
mentation could have served so forcibly to demonstrate the folly 
of their conduct as this method pursued by Moses." 

The Hebrews, without doubt, upon this occasion, intended to 
imitate the worship of the god Apis 68 , which they had seen in 
Egypt. In after times, Jeroboam having been acknowledged 
king by the ten tribes of Israel, and intending to separate them 
for ever from the house of David, thought fit to provide new 
gods for them, whom they might worship in their o\vn country, 
without being obliged to go to the temple of Jerusalem, there 
to pay their adoration. 1 Kings, xii. 27 30. Monceau, in his 
" Aaron purgatus," thought that these golden calves were imi- 
tations of the cherubim, and that they occasioned rather a schis- 
matic than an idolatrous worship : and it is confessed, that all 
Israel did not renounce the worship of Jehovah by adopting 
that of the golden calves, and by ceasing to go up to Jerusalem. 
Jehovah did not altogether abandon Israel ; but sent them pro- 
phets, and preserved a great number of faithful worshippers, 
who either went privately to the temple at Jerusalem, as Tobit 
tells us he did, ch. i. 5 ; or worshiped GOD in their own houses. 
Nevertheless, the design of Jeroboam was to corrupt the peo- 
ple ; and he is frequently reproached with having made Israel to 
sin ; and when, at any time, the Scripture would describe a bad 
prince, it is by saying that he imitated Jeroboam, who introduced 
this idolatrous worship. 

" It is well known," says Bp. Newcome 69 , "that animals of 
this species were worshiped in Egypt; the Apis at Memphis, 
and the Mnevis at Heliopolis. As they were employed in tilling 
the ground, they may have been used as symbols of one who had 
anciently introduced or improved the art of agriculture. Males 
of this kind were dedicated to Osiris, and females to Isis. The 

68 An Egyptian deity worshiped in the form of a bull. See Philo, de Vita 
Mosis, p. 667, and Selden de Diis Syris. Synt. 1, c. 4. 
89 Note on Hosea, viii. 6. 



t>4 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

Israelites may Lave originally borrowed this superstition from 
the Egyptians, and may have afterwards revived it ; imputing the 
great fertility of Egypt to the deity thus represented." 

The glory of Israel was their GOD, their law, and their ark; 
but the adorers of the golden calves considered those idols as 
their glory. Hosea says, x. 5, " the priests thereof rejoiced on 
it for the glory thereof." And he exclaims to them in raillery, 
xiii. 2, " Ye who worship calves, come, sacrifice men!" Can 
there be any greater madness ? Ye adore calves, and sacrifice 
men to Moloch ! The Septuagint, however, gives this passage 
another meaning. " They say, we want calves, sacrifice men." 
We have no more calves to sacrifice, let us bring men for that 
purpose. But the Hebrew may be interpreted, " let them who 
would sacrifice, come and kiss the calves." 

Hosea foretold the destruction of these idols, viii. 5, 6. " Thy 
calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against 
them. The calf of Samaria shall become as contemptible as spi- 
der's webs." The Assyrians, having taken Samaria, carried off 
the golden calves with their worshippers. The Hebrew word, 
translated " spider's webs," is difficult. The Septuagint trans- 
lates it " is deceitful," or " mistaken ;" Symmachus, " is incon- 
stant," or " gone astray;" the Rabbins, "is as it were dust," 
saw-dust; the generality of interpreters, " is broken to pieces." 
Jerom was informed by his Hebrew master, that it signified spi- 
ders' webs, which float in the air and are soon dispersed. 

CAMEL, to:i GAMAL. In Chaldee it is called gamala; in 
ancient Arabic, gimel ,' and in modern diammel ; in Greek 
na{j,yXog. With very little variation, the name of this animal is 
retained in modern languages. 

An animal very common in Arabia, Judea, and the neighbour- 
ing countries. It is often mentioned in Scripture, and reckoned 
among the most valuable property. 1 Chron. v. 21 ; Job, i. 3, Sic. 

This animal is distinguished from the dromedary by having 
two protuberances or bunches of thick matted hair on its back. 
Its height is six feet six inches. Its head is small ; ears short ; 
neck long, slender, and bending. Its hoofs are in part, but not 
thoroughly divided. The bottom of the foot is tough and pliant. 
The tail is long, and terminates in a tuft of considerable length. 
On the legs this animal has six callosities ; four on the fore legs, 
and two on the hinder ; besides another on the lower part of the 
breast. These are the parts on which it rests. Its hair is fine, 
soft and of considerable length ; of a dusky reddish colour. Be- 
sides the same internal structure as other ruminating animals, the 
camel is furnished with an additional bag, which serves as a re- 
servoir to contain a quantity of water till it becomes necessary 
to quench his thirst and macerate his food : at which time, by a 
simple contraction of certain muscles, he makes a part of this 
water ascend into his stomach, or even as high as the gullet. 



OF THE BIBLE. 65 

This singular construction enables him to travel several days in 
the sandy deserts without drinking ; and to take at once a prodi- 
gious quantity of water, which is held in reservation. Though of 
a heavy and apparently unwieldy form, this animal moves with 
considerable speed. With a bale of goods on his back he will 
travel at the rate of thirty miles a day. 

The camel ruminates, but whether it fully parts the hoof is a 
question so undecided, says Michaelis, Laws of Moses, article 
204, that we do not, even in the " Memoirs of the Academy at 
Paris," find a satisfactory answer to it on all points. The foot 
of the camel is actually divided into two toes, and the division 
below is complete, so that the animal might be accounted clean ; 
but then it does not extend the whole length of the foot, but 
only to the fore part ; for behind it is not parted, and we find, 
besides, under it and connected with it, a ball on which the ca- 
mel goes. Now, in this dubious state of circumstances, Moses 
authoritatively declares, Levit. xi. 4, that the camel has not the 
hoof fully divided. It would appear as if he had meant that 
this animal, heretofore accounted clean by the Ishmaelites, Mi- 
dianites, and all the rest of Abraham's Arabian descendants, 
should not be eaten by the Israelites ; probably with a view to 
keep them, by this means, the more separate from these nations, 
with whom their connexion and their coincidence in manners 
was otherwise so close ; and, perhaps too, to prevent them from 
conceiving any desire to continue in Arabia, or to devote them- 
selves again to their favourite occupation of wandering herds- 
men ; for in Arabia, a people will always be in an uncomforta- 
ble situation if they dare not eat the flesh and drink the milk of 
the camel. To this opinion of Michaelis, an objection is made 
by Rosenrnuller in his note upon Bochart, Jlieroz. v. 1. p. 12; 
and he is rather inclined to think that the prohibition was predi- 
cated upon the unwholesomeness of the flesh itself, and the general 
opinion as stated by Pocock, in Not. ad Specim. Hist. Arab. 
Ex. Abulpharagio, p. 87, that eating the flesh of the camel 
generated ill humours in the mind as well as the body 70 . Though 
this might not in fact be the effect, yet, if it was a prevailing 
opinion in the time of Moses, it was sufficient to justify the 
interdiction. 

It being so evident that the camel was declared unclean in the 
Levitical law, it is something strange that Heliogabalus should 
order the flesh of camels and ostriches to be served up at his ta- 
ble, saying, " praeceptum Judaeis ut ederent," there was a pre- 
cept of the. Jews, that they might be eaten (as Lampridius, cap. 
28, reports his words). Salmasius, however, saith that a manu- 
script in the Palatine library, reads " struthiocamelos exhibuit in 
caenis," he had the camel-bird [ostriches] served up at supper. 

70 " Qui carnibus camelorum vesci solent, odii tenaces sunt. Unde insitum Ara- 
bibus, deserti cultoribus, hoc vitium, ideo quod camelorum carnibus vescantur." 

H 



66 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

" No creature," says Volney, " seems so peculiarly fitted to 
the climate in which he exists as the camel. Designing this 
animal to dwell in a country where he can find little nourish- 
ment, nature has been sparing of her materials in the whole of 
his formation. She has not bestowed upon him the fleshiness 
of the ox, horse, or elephant; but limiting herself to what is 
strictly necessary, has given him a long head, without ears, at 
the end of a long neck without flesh ; has taken from his legs 
and thighs every muscle not immediately requisite for motion ; 
and, in short, bestowed upon his withered body only the vessels 
and tendons necessary to connect its frame together. She has 
furnished him with a strong jaw, that he may grind the hardest 
aliments ; but, lest he should consume too much, has straitened 
his stomach, and obliged him to chew the cud ; has lined his 
foot with a lump of flesh, which sliding in the mud, and being 
no way adapted to climbing, fits him only for a dry, level, and 
sandy soil, like that of Arabia. So great, in short, is the im- 
portance of the camel to the desert, that, were it deprived of that 
useful animal, it must infallibly lose every inhabitant." 

The Arabians, of course, hold the camel in the highest estima- 
tion ; and Bochart has preserved an ancient Arabic eulogy upon 
this animal, which is a great curiosity 71 . See DROMEDARY. 

Camels were in ancient times very numerous in Judea, and 
over all the East. The patriarch J ob had at first three thousand, 
and after the days of his adversity had passed away, six thousand 
camels. The Midianites and Amalekites had camels without 
number, as the sand upon the sea shore. Judg. vii. 12. So 
great was the importance attached to the propagation and ma- 
nagement of camels, that a particular officer was appointed, in 
the reign of David, to superintend their keepers. Nor is it 
without design that the sacred writer mentions the descent of 
the person appointed; he was an Ishmaelite, and therefore 
supposed to be thoroughly skilled in the treatment of that 
useful quadruped. 

The chief use of the camel has always been as a beast of 
burden, and for performing journeys across the deserts. They 
have sometimes been used in war, to carry the baggage of an 
oriental army, and mingle in the tumult of the battle. Many of 
the Amalekite warriors, who burnt Ziklag in the time of David, 
were mounted on camels ; for the sacred historian remarks, that 
of the whole army not a man escaped the furious onset of that 
heroic and exasperated leader, " save four hundred young men, 
which rode upon camels, and fled." 1 Sam. xxx. 17. 

A passage of Scripture has been the occasion of much criti- 
cism, in which our Lord says, " It is easier for a camel to go 
through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into 
the kingdom of heaven." Matth. xix. 24. Some assert that 
71 Hieroz. V. ]. p. 13, edit. Uoser.imiller. 



OF THE BIBLE. 67 

near Jerusalem was a low gate called " the needle's eye," through 
which a camel could not pass unless his load were taken off. 
Others conjecture that as the ancient and /x are much alike in 
manuscripts, x,ouAof here, and in Aristophanes, vesp. schol. 1030, 
should be read x#/Aof, a cable. But it is to be recollected, that 
the ancient manuscripts were in capital letters; and there are 
no ancient MSS. to support the reading. But in the Jewish 
Talmud there is a similar proverb about an elephant. " Rabbi 
Shesheth answered Rabbi Amram, who had advanced an ab- 
surdity, perhaps thou art one of the Pambidithians, who can make 
an elephant pass through the eye of a needle ," that is, says the 
Aruch, "who speak things impossible." There is also an ex- 
pression similar to this in the Koran ; " the impious, who in his 
arrogancy shall accuse our doctrine of falsity, shall find'the gates 
of heaven shut; nor shall he enter there, till a camel shall pass 
through the eye of a needle. It is thus that we shall recompense 
the wicked." Surat. vii. v. 37. Indeed, Grotius, Lightfoot, 
Wetstein, and Michaelis join in opinion, that the comparison is 
so much in the figurative style of the oriental nations and of the 
Rabbins, that the text is sufficiently authentic. 

In Matthew, xxiii. 24, is another proverbial expression. " Ye 
strain at a gnat and swallow a camel." Dr. Adam Clarke has 
proved that here is an error of the press in printing the English 
translation, in which at has been substituted for out, which first 
occurred in the edition of 161 1, and has been regularly continued 
since. It may be remarked, too, that the Greek word 5/uA/ovT?, 
here translated " strain," does not denote, as many have under- 
stood it, to make an effort to swallow, but to Jitter, or percolate; 
and alludes to a custom which the Jews had of filtering their 
wine, for fear of swallowing any insect forbidden by the law as 
unclean. Maimonides, in his treatise of forbidden meats, c. 1, 
art. 20, affords a remarkable illustration of our Saviour's pro- 
verbial expression. " He who strains wine, or vinegar, or strong 
drink, (says he), and eats the gnats, orjlies, or worms, which he 
has strained ojf, is whipped." That the Jews used to strain 
their wine, appears also from the LXX version of Amos, vi. 6, 
where we read of &uA/<rf/,v)VOV oivov, strained, or filtered wine. 
This expression is applied to those who are superstitiously 
anxious in avoiding small faults, yet did not scruple to commit 
the greatest sins; and it plainly refers to the Jewish law, in which 
both gnats and camels were considered as unclean. See GNAT. 

On the subject of cloth made from camel's hair, I extract the 
following remarks from " Fragments Supplementary to Calmet's 
Dictionary, Na. cccxx." 

"John the Baptist, we are told, was habited in a raiment of 
camels' hair ; and Chardin assures us, that the modern dervises 
wear such garments ; as they do also great leathern girdles 72 . 
72 Harmer, Obs. V. 2. p. 487. 

H 2 



68 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

Camels' hair is also made into those most beautiful stuffs, called 
sh(tiC/s; but certainly the coarser manufacture of this material 
was adopted by John, and we may receive a good idea of its 
texture, from what Braithwaite says of the Arabian tents 73 ; ' they 
are made of camels' hair, somewhat like our coarse hair cloths 
to lay over goods.' By this coarse vesture the Baptist was not 
merely distinguished, but contrasted with those in royal palaces, 
who wore sojt raiment, such as shawls, or other superfine manu- 
factures, whether of the same material or not. 

" We may, I think, conclude that Elijah the Tishbite wore a 
dress of the same stuff, and of the like coarseness. 2 Kings, i. 8. 
f A man dressed in hair (hair-cloth, no doubt), and girt with a 
girdle of leather.' Our translation reads ' a hairy man;' which 
might, by an unwary reader, be referred to his person, as in the 
case of Esau ; but it should undoubtedly be referred to his dress. 
Observe, too, that in Zechariah, xiii. 4, a rough garment, that 
is of a hairy manufacture, is noticed as a characteristic of a 
prophet. 

" This may lead us to inquire, what might be the nature of 
the sackcloth so often mentioned in Scripture; and I the rather 
attempt this, because Mr. Harmer tells us that ' it was a coarse 
kind of woollen cloth, such as they made sacks of, and neither 
haircloth, nor made of hemp ; nor was there that humiliation in 
wearing it, which we suppose 74 .' This is incorrect, because the 
Scripture expressly mentions, Rev. vi. 12, ' the sun became 
black as sackcloth of hair;' and Isai. I. 8, ' I clothe the heavens 
with blackness, I make sackcloth their covering.' Sackcloth 
then was made of hair, and it was black. The prophets wore 
it at particular times 75 , and agreeably to that custom, the two 
witnesses, Rev. xi. 3, are represented as clothed in sackcloth ; 
implying the revival and resumption of the ancient prophetical 
habiliment. It was used in these cases to express mourning. It 
appears, also, to have been employed to enwrap the dead, when 
about to be buried; so that its being worn by survivors was> 
kind of assimilation to the departed ; and its being worn by peni- 
tents was an implied confession that their guilt exposed them to 
death. This may be gathered from an expression of Chardin, 
who says, ' Kel Anayet, the Shah's buffoon, made a shop in the 
seraglio, which he filled with pieces of that kind of stuff of which 
winding sheets for the dead are made :' and again ' the sufferers 
die by hundreds, wrapping-cloth is doubled in price.' However, 
in later ages, some nations might bury in linen, yet others still 
retained the use of sackcloth for that purpose." 

CAMPHIRE. "jsacopiiER. Turc. /w/wr [Meninski, Lexic. 
3849-] Gr. xuxfOf. Lat. Cyprus. 

Occ. Cantic. i. 14, iv. 13. 

n Journey to Morocco, p. 138. 7< Hanrer's Ohs. V. t. p. 430. 

75 Isai. xx. 3; Joe), i. 13. 



OF THE BIBLE. 69 

Sir T. Browne supposes that the plant mentioned in the Can- 
ticles, rendered MUTJO? in the Septuagint, and Cyprus in the Vul- 
Ete, to be that described by Dioscorides and Pliny, growing in 
gypt, and near to Ascalon, producing an odorate bush of 
flowers, and yielding the celebrated oleum cyprinum" 16 . 

M. Mariti says, " that the shrub known in the Hebrew lan- 
guage by the name of copker, is common in the island of Cyprus, 
and thence had its Latin name 77 ;" and also remarks that " the 
botrus cypri has been supposed to be a kind of rare and exqui- 
site grapes, transplanted from Cyprus to Engaddi ; but the botrus 
is known to the natives of Cyprus as an odoriferous shrub, called 
henna, or alkanna 78 ." 

This shrub had at first been considered as a species of privet, 
to which it has, indeed, many relations ; but difference in the 
parts of fructification have determined botanists to make a 
distinct genus of it, to which Linnaeus has given the name of 
lawsonia, and to that we are describing lawsonia inermis. Its 
Arabic name is henne, and with the article, al-henna. In 
Turkey it is called karma and al-kanna. 

This is one of the plants which is most grateful to the eye and 
the smell. The gently deep colour of its bark ; the light green 
of its foliage ; the softened mixture of white and yellow with 
which the flowers, collected into long clusters like the lilac, are 
coloured ; the red tint of the ramifications which support them, 
form a combination of the most agreeable effect. These flowers 
whose shades are so delicate, diffuse around the sweetest odours, 
and embalm the gardens and apartments which they embellish. 
The women take pleasure in decking themselves with these charm- 
ing clusters of fragrance, adorn their chambers with them, carry 
them to the bath, hold them in their hand, in a word adorn their 
bosom with them. With the powder of the dried leaves, they 
give an orange tincture to their nails, to the inside of their hands, 
and to the soles of their feet. The expression jTO'lDtf Dtf nnUJj; 
rendered " pare her nails," Deut. xxi. 12, may perhaps rather 
mean, " adorn her nails ;" and imply the antiquity of this practice. 
This is a universal custom in Egypt, and not to conform to it 
would be considered indecent. It seems to have been practised 
by the ancient Egyptians, for the nails of the mummies are most 
commonly of a reddish hue 79 . 



76 " Cyprus est arbuscula in Syria, frcquentissima, coma odoratissima, ex qua 
fit unguentum Cyprinum." Plin. N. H. lib. xii. 24. 

77 Travels, Vol. ii. p. 34. 

78 Ib. Vol. i. p. 333. R. Ben Mclck, in his note on Canlic. expressly says, 
u Botrus copher id ipsum cst quod Arffbes vocant Al-hinna" See also 1'rosp. 
Alpinus de Plantis JEgypti, c. 13, and Abu'l Fadli as quoted by Celsius, 
Hierobot. Vol. 1. p. 223. 

79 See a Memoir on Embalmment, by M. Caylus, in the Memoirs of the Acad. 
of Iiiscr. and Belles Lettres, torn, xxiii. p. 133. 



70 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

Prosper Alpinus, speaking of the several qualities of this 
plant, observes, that clusters of its flowers are seen hanging to 
the ceilings of houses in Cairo, &c. to render the air more mo- 
derate and pure 80 . 

Mr. Harmer has given a particular account of this plant in his 
very valuable " Outlines of a Commentary on Solomon's Song," 
extracted from Rauwolf. The plant is also described by Has- 
selquist, Shaw, and Russell; who all attribute to it the same 
qualities. But the most exact account is to be found in Son- 
nini's Travels, accompanied with a beautiful drawing 81 . 

CANE, rap KANEH. 

A reed common in Arabia and Syria. The word is also used to 
signify calamus aromaticus, sometimes alone, as Cantic. iv. 14; 
Isai. xliii. 24; Ezek. xxvii. 19; and sometimes with the addition 
of DU71, Exod. xxx. 23, and SIlDn, Jerem. vi. 20. 

The calamus aromaticus is a plant of India and Arabia. 
While growing, it scents the air with a fragrant smell, and when 
cut down, dried, and powdered, makes an ingredient in the richest 
perfumes 82 . 

This plant was probably among the number of those, which 
the queen of Sheba presented to Solomon ; and what seems to 
confirm the opinion is, that it is still very much esteemed by the 
Arabs on account of its fragrance. 

This is the sweet cane of Jeremiah. " To what purpose 
cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the rich aromatic 
reed from a far country?" It is spoken of, Isai. xliii. 24, as being 
costly, and applied to sacred uses. Theophrastus, Hist. Plant. 
1. ix. c. 7, and Pliny, after him, Nat. Hist. 1. xii. 48, say that 
this reed, and that of the very best sort too, grew in Syria, near 
Mount Libanus. But had this been the case, it can hardly be 
supposed, says Dr. Blaney, that the Jews would have taken the 
trouble of fetching it from " a far country." It is most probable 
that this reed, as well as the frankincense, came to them from 
Saba where it grew, as we are informed by Strabo, 1. xvi. p. 778, 
and by Diodorus Siculus, 1. iii. p. 125, ed. Rhodom. Pliny 
also in the place above cited, speaks of it as a native of Arabia; 
and Dionysius, in his Periegesis, v. 935, enumerates it among 
the fragrant productions of that country. Saba, we know, was 
situated towards the southern extremity of the Peninsula of 
Arabia; so that it was indeed, with respect to Judea, " a far 
country," as it is also said to be, Joel, iii. 8. And our Saviour, 
speaking of its queen, whom he calls " the queen of the South," 
says that she came " from the extreme parts of the earth." 
Matth. xii. 42. In the book of Exodus, also, it is said to come 
from " a far country." 

80 Nat. Hist. /Egypt, torn. ii. p. 193. 8I Vol. i. p. 164. 

82 Dioscorides, lib. ^. c. 17. Plin. N. H. lib. xii. c. 22. Celsius, Hierobot. 
V. 2. p. 313. Hiller, Hieroplij t. ii. 36. 



OF THE BIBLE. 71 

Some have supposed the sugar cane intended, Isai. xliii. 24, 
and Jerem. vi. 20 83 . 

The sugar cane is a native of the East, and has been cultivated 
there time immemorial. It was frrst valued for its agreeable 
juice; afterwards boiled into a syrup; and, in process of time, 
an inebriating spirit was prepared by fermentation. This is con- 
firmed by the etymology; for the Arabic word "DD is evidently 
derived from the Hebrew "DU;, which signifies an intoxicating 
liquor. " When the Indians began to make the cane juice into 
sugar," says Mr. Grainger, " I cannot discover. Probably it 
soon found its way into Europe, in that form, first by the Red 
Sea, and afterwards through Persia, by the Black Sea, and 
Caspian. But the plant itself was not known to Europe till 
the Arabians introduced it into the southern parts of Spain, 
Sicily, and those provinces of France, which border on the 
Pyrenean mountains. From the Mediterranean the Spaniards 
and Portuguese transported it to the Azores, the Madeira, the 
Canary, and the Cape de Verd islands, soon after they had dis- 
covered it in the fifteenth century ; and in most of these, par- 
ticularly Madeira, it throve exceedingly; and, 1506, Ferdinand 
the Catholic ordered the cane to be carried from the Canaries 
to St. Domingo, and cultivated there 84 ." See CALAMUS, REED. 

CANKER-WORM, pfr IALEK. 

Occ. Psal. cv. 34, and Jerem. li. 27, where it is rendered 
" caterpillar." Joel, i. 4, ii. 25, and Nahum. iii. 15, " canker- 
worm." 

According to the opinion of Adam Genselius 85 , ialek is an 
insect which principally ravages the vineyards, called by the 
Greeks, mg, ivi?. Pliny calls it convolvulus, volvox 86 ; Colu- 
mella calls it volucra 87 ; and Plautus, involvulus* 38 ; because it 
deposits its eggs in the leaves, and occasions them to roll them- 
selves up. It is known wherever the vine is cultivated. 

As it is frequently mentioned with the locust, it is thought by 
some to be a species of that insect. It certainly cannot be the 
canker-worm, as our version renders it; for in Nahum, it is 
expressly said to have wings and fly, to camp in the hedges by 
day, and commit its depredations in the night. But it may be, 
as the Septuagint renders it in five passages out of eight where it 
occurs, the bruchus, or hedge-chafer 89 . Nevertheless, the pas- 
sage, Jerem. li. 27, where the ialek is described as " rough," that 

81 See " The History of Sugar in the'early and middle Ages," by Dr. Falconer, 
in V. 4. of the Transactions of the Manchester Society. Robertson's India, and 
Franklin's Hist, of Egypt, V. 1, p. 174. 

84 Grainger's Sugar Cane, a poem, p. 2, note. 

85 Ephemerid. Germ. Cent. vii. 86 N. H. lib. xviii. c. 8. 
87 De Re rustica. 8S Ci&tel. act iv. seen. 2. 
89 Scarabaeus sacer. Linnsei. 



72 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

is with hair standing an end on it, leads us very naturally to the 
rendering of our translators in that place, " the rough caterpillar," 
which like other caterpillars, at a proper time, casts its exterior 
covering and flies away in a winged state 90 . 

The several changes of insects are not always well understood 
even by tolerable observers ; but supposing that their different 
states have different names, in reference to different insects, or 
to insects which differ in their periods of appearance (us some 
are several weeks, others a long time in their grub state), it is 
no wonder that we find it difficult to ascertain what is meant 
by the appellation in Hebrew, though we may perceive the gene- 
ral application or import of the terms employed by the sacred 
writers. 

Scheuchzer observes that we should not, perhaps, be far from 
the truth, if with the ancient interpreters, we understood this 
ialek, after all, as a kind of locust ; as some species of them 
have hair principally on the head, and some which have prickly 
points standing out 91 . Perhaps there is an allusion to such a 
kind, in Revelation, ix. 8, where we read of locusts " having 
hair like the hair of a woman." The Arabs call this kind orphan, 



alphantapho. See LOCUST. 
CARBUNCLE. 



np"O BAKEKETH. 

Occ. Exod. xxviii. 17, xxxix. 10, and Ezek. xxviii. 13; and 
AN0PAE, Ecclus. xxxii. 5, and Tobit, xiii. 17. 

A very elegant and rare gem, known to the ancients by the 
name anthrax, or coal, because, when held up before the sun, 
it appears like a piece of bright burning charcoal; its name 
carbunculus, has the same meaning. 

It was the third stone in the first row of the pectoral ; and is 
mentioned among the glorious stones of which the New Jeru- 
salem is figuratively said to be built. Bp. Lowth observes, that 
the precious stones mentioned Isai. liv. 11, 12, and Rev. xxi. 18. 
seem to be general images to express beauty, magnificence, 
purity, strength, and solidity, agreeably to the ideas of the Eastern 
nations; and to have never been intended to be strictly scrutinized, 
and minutely and particularly explained, as if they had some 
precise moral or spiritual meaning. Tobit, in his prophecy of 
the final restoration of Israel, ch. xii. 16, 17, describes the New 
Jerusalem in the same oriental manner. 

90 Jerome (in Amos, iv.) says, " Non evolat eruca, t locusta, etc. Sed per- 
inanet perituris frugibus, et tardo lapsu, pigrisquc morsibus consumit universa. 

" Non solum teneras audent erodere frondes 

Implicitus conchas Umax, HIRSUTAQUE CAMPE." COLDMELLA in Horto. 

Campe, id est eruca, quomodo interpretatnr ipse in prosa " De cuhu horti," 
circa finem libri duodecitni. "Qua? a uobis appellantur Eruca: Graece auleui 
xaf4.ireti nominantur." 

4)1 Claudian mentions, a kind of caterpillar, which he ?ayt, " horret apex 
capita." 



OF THE BIBLE. 73 

The Septuagiiit, Josephus, and theVulgate, render -JM NOPHEC, 
the anthrax, or carbuncle; and they are followed by Dr. Geddes. 
In our translation, it is called " emerald." See EMERALD. 

CASSIA, mp KIDDAH. 

Occ. Exod. xxx. 24 ; Psal. xlv. 8 ; and Ezek. xvii. 1Q. 

The aromatic bark of an oriental tree of the same name. It 
is not much unlike cinnamon. Theophrastus 92 , Herodotus 93 , 
and Pliny 94 , mention it along with myrrh, frankincense, and 
cinnamon, and say that they all come from Arabia. They de- 
scribe it as used to perfume ointments. Scacchus thinks that 
by KIDDAH we are to understand that fragrant composition 
extracted from a plant which the ancients called costus, the best 
of which was brought out of Arabia, and was of a white colour, 
as he proves from Avicenna, Dioscorides, and Pliny ; and it 
appears from Propertius 95 , that it was used on the altars together 
with frankincense. 

The proportion of the ingredients for the holy anointing oil, 
Exod. xxx. 23, 24, 25, deserve our notice. Observe the word 
shekel is not expressed in the orignal ; so that some have sup- 
posed the gerah was the weight intended ; but the shekel seems 
to be supplied by verse 24, " according to the shekel of the 
sanctuary." These words, however, probably only denote a 
correct, or standard weight. 

The difficulty is, that so great a quantity of drugs put into so 
small a quantity of oil, would render the liquor much too thick, 
and merely a paste. To obviate this some have supposed that 
they were previously steeped, and their oil drawn out from them, 
which extract was mixed with the pure oil of olive. Others 
think that recourse was had to pressure, to force out an oil 
strongly impregnated; others that the mass was distilled; and 
some, that the value only of the ingredients was intended. But 
all agree that sixty-two pounds of aromatics, to twelve pounds 
of oil, is not according to modern art, and seems contradictory 
to the exercise of art in any state of practice. The adoption of 
gerahs, instead of shekels, would give a proportion of thirty-five 
and a half ounces of drugs, to one hundred and twenty-three 
ounces of oil, or three and a half to one. In common, one ounce 
of drugs to eight of oil is esteemed a fair proportion. Dr. Geddes 
says, " I have rather chosen to say proportional parts, as in 
medical recipes. If all the parts here mentioned had weighed a 
shekel, a hin of oil would not have been sufficient to give them 
the necessary liquidity; unless, with Michaelis, we reduce the 
shekel of Moses, to one fourth or fifth part of latter shekels." 

In Psal. xlv. 9, the word fiiyp KETSIOTH, is translated cassia. 
This may mean an extract, or essential oil, from the same fragrant 
bark. 

M DC Plant, lib. Ix. c. 4, 5. M Lib. Hi. c. 107. 9 < N. H. lib. xii. c. 19. 
95 * Cos (urn molie dak-, t-t blaiidi uiihi tbuiii odoies." L. iv. elog. 5. 



74 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

CATERPILLAR. VDPFCHASIL. Arab, uskul. 

The word occurs Deut. xxviii. 38 ; Psal. Ixviii. 46; Isai. xxxiii. 
4; 1 Kings, viii. 37; 2 Chron. vi. 28; Joel, i. 4, ii. 25. 

In the four last cited texts, it is distinguished from the locust, 
properly so called; and in Joel, i. 4, is mentioned as " eating 
up" what the other species had left, and therefore may be called 
the consumer, by way of eminence. But the ancient interpreters 
are far from being agreed what particular species it signifies. 
The Septuagint in Chronicles, and Aquila in Psalms, render it 
Bps%os; so the Vulgate in Chronicles, and Isaiah, and Jerom in 
Psalms, bruchus, the chafer, which is a great devourer of leaves. 
From the Syriac version, however, Michaelis is disposed to 
understand it, the " taupe grillon," mole cricket, which in its 
grub state, is very destructive to corn, and other vegetables, by 
feeding on their roots. See LOCUST. 

CEDAR. HN ERKZ. Arab, ers, and eraza. 

Occurs frequently: and KEAPOE, Ecclus. xxiv. 13; and 2 
Maccab. ix. 4. 

The cedar is a large and noble evergreen tree. Its lofty 
height, and its far extended branches, afford a spacious shelter 
and shade 96 . Ezek. xxxi. 5, 6, 8. The wood is very valuable ; 
is of a reddish colour, of an aromatic smell, and reputed incor- 
ruptible, whicli is owing to its bitter taste, which the worms 
cannot endure, and its resin, which preserves it from the injuries 
of the weather 97 . The ark of the covenant, and much of the 
temple of Solomon, and that of Diana, at Ephesus, were built 
of cedar. 

The tree is much celebrated in Scripture. It is called " the 
glory of Lebanon." Isai. Ix. 13. On that mountain it must in 
former times have flourished in great abundance. There are 
some now growing there which are prodigiously large. But 
travellers who have visited the place within these two or three 
centuries, and who describe the trees of vast size, inform us that 
their number is diminished greatly ; so that, as Isaiah, x. 19, says, 
" a child may number them 98 ." Mauudrel measured" one of the 

96 Celsius Hierobot. V. i. p. 74. Cotovicus, Itiner. p. 380. Rauwolf, part 2. 
c. 12, p. 108. AXTIUS de Arbor, conif. p. 8. 

" Saltum inumbrans 

Medio stat ingens arbor, atque umbra grayis 
Silvas minores urget, et rnagno ambitu, 
Difiusa ramis, una defendit nemus." SENECA. 

OT Some cedar wood was found fresh in the temple of Utica, in Barbary, above 
two thousand years old. 



98 Peter Bellon in 1550 counted 28 

Chr. Fishtner 1556 ' 25 

Rauwolf. 15T4 26 

J. Jacobi 1579 20 

R. Radzivil 1583 24 

J. Villamont 1590 24 

Ch. Harant 1598 24 

W. Litgow 1609 24 

Eugen. Roger 1632 22 



Bonllaye le Gouz in 1650 counted 22 

Thevenot 1657 .. 22 

DelaRoque 1688 .. 2Q., 

Manndrel . . . - 1699 .. 16 

R. Pocock 1739 ., 15. 

Schulz 1755 .. 20 

Volney 1784, only 4 or 5 

from report. 
Billardiere 1789 .. 7 



OF THE BIBLE. 75 

largest size, and found it to be twelve yards and six inches in 
girt, and yet sound ; and thirty-seven yards in the spread of its 
boughs. Gabriel Sionita, a very learned Syrian Maronite", 
who assisted in editing the Paris Polyglott; a man worthy of 
all credit, thus describes the cedars of Mount Lebanon, which 
he had examined on the spot. " The cedar grows on the most 
elevated part of the mountain, is taller than the pine, and so 
thick that five men together could scarcely fathom one. It 
shoots out its branches at ten or twelve feet from the ground ; 
they are large and distant from each other, and are perpetually 
green. The wood is of a brown colour, very solid and incor- 
ruptible, if preserved from wet. The tree bears a small cone 
like that of the pine." 

The following is the account given of these cedars by the 
Abbe Binos, who visited them in the year 1778. u Here I first 
discovered the celebrated cedars, which grow in an oval plain 
about an Italian mile in circumference. The largest stand at a 
considerable distance from each other, as if afraid their branches 
might be entangled. These trees raise their proud summits to 
the height of sixty, eighty, and a hundred feet. Three or four, 
when young, grow up sometimes together, and form at length, 
by uniting their sap, a tree of monstrous thickness. The trunk 
then assumes, generally, a square form. The thickness which I 
saw might be about thirty feet round ; and this size was occa- 
sioned by several having been united when young. Six others, 
which are entirely insulated, and free from shoots, were much 
taller, and seem to have been indebted for their height to the 
undivided effects of their sap." These cedars, formerly so nume- 
rous as to constitute a forest, are now almost entirely destroyed. 
M. Billardiere, who travelled thither in 1789, says that only seven 
of those of superior size and antiquity remain. The largest are 
eighty or ninety feet in height, and the trunks from eight to nine 
feet in diameter. These are preserved with religious strictness. 
The Maronites celebrate an annual festival under them, which 
is called " the feast of cedars ;" and the patriarch of the order 
threatens with ecclesiastical censure, all who presume to hurt or 
diminish the venerable remnants of ages long gone by. 

The learned Celsius has attempted to prove that wrp, BEROSII, 
and rVTO BEROTH, translated "fir-trees" in 'our English version, 
are the names by which the cedar of Libanus is expressed in 
Scripture ; and that DN* EKEZ, translated " cedar," means the 
pine 1 . But the Septuagint, the Vulgate, and the generality of 

99 " Maronitea are certain Eastern Christians who inhabit near Mount Libanus, 
hi Syria. The name is derived from a town in the country called Maronia, 
or from St. Maron, who built a monastery there in the fifth century. Hannah 
Adams, View of Religions, 2d edit. 

1 He has devoted thirty-six pages to the investigation of this subject of the 
Cedar, and twenty-nine to that of tiic 1'inu. 



76 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

modern interpreters, support the common version. Mr. Trew, 
in his " Historia Cedrorum Libani," asserts that the EREZ is the 
cedrns Libani conifera. Professor Hunt adopts and defends 
this interpretation 2 . And Mr. Merrick has ably advocated this 
opinion in a very learned and ingenious Dissertation on Psal. 
xxix. 5, annexed to his Commentary on the Psalms. With the 
concluding paragraph of which I shall finish this article. " I 
shall only add one argument more in favour of our interpretation, 
which M. Michaelis mentions as offered by Mr. Trew 3 , and 
which he confesses himself not able to answer. It is taken from 
the following passage in Ezek. xxxi. 5, 6, 8, where the erez of 
Lebanon, or a person compared with it, is thus described. 
' Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, 
and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long. 
Under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth 
their young,' &c. M. Michaelis observes, that this description 
perfectly agrees with the cedar; whereas the pine does not so 
overshadow the place where it grows, as to support the image 
which the words of the prophet present 4 ." Compare the articles 
FIR and PINE. 

CHALCEDONY. XAAKHAQN, Rev. xxi. 19- 

A precious stone. Arethas, who has written an account of 
Bithynia, says that it was so called from Chalcedon, a city of 
that country, opposite to Byzantium ; and it was in colour like a 
carbuncle. 

Some have supposed this also to be the stone called ~|DJ 
nophec, translated "emerald," Exod. xxviii. 18. 

CHAMELEON, rown THINSEMETH. Levit. xi. 30. 

A little animal of the lizard kind. It has four feet ; and a long 
flat tail, whereby it can hang to the branches of trees. Its head 
is, without any neck, joined to the body, as in fishes. In the head 
it has two apertures which serve for nostrils. It has no ears; nor 
does it either make or receive any sound. Its eyes are versatile 
this or that way, without moving the head : and ordinarily it turns 
one of them, quite the contrary way to the other. 

It is a common tradition that the chameleon lives on air 5 . 

2 In a letter to M. Merrick, inserted at the end of his annotations on the 
Psalms, p. 285. See also-Hiller, Hierophyt. p. 1. p. 337, and Michaelis Recucil 
de Questions, xc. Niebuhr, Description de 1'Arabie. p. 131. 

3 C. J. Trew, Historia Cedrorum Libani. 2 torn. 4to. Norimb. 175T et 1767. 

4 Mr. Harmer, on Cantic. v. 15, observes, that " the country people near the 
mountain, call the cedar, errs, which is very nearly the original name." And 
Michaelis, in his Suppl. Lex. Hebr. v. 1. p. 127, has this remark, " Buschingius 
in Literis die 8 Junii 1776, ad me datis,jam invent, inquit, itineralorem, qui tes- 
tatur, cedros ab incolis Libani ABS did, quo novo teste confirmaniur a Trevio ex 
Schultzii ore relata." 

* Thus Ovid, Metam. lib. xv. fab. iv. v. 411. 

" Id quoque venlis animal outritur et aura." 
The creature nourished by the wind and air 



OF THE BIBLE. 77 

Observation and experiment have shown the contrary. Insects 
are its usual food ; yet it lives a considerable time without any 
visible repast. " I kept one," says Hasselquist, " for twenty-four 
days, without affording it an opportunity for taking any food ; yet 
it was nimble and lively during the whole time, climbing up and 
clown in its cage, fond of being near the light, and constantly 
rolling its eyes. I could, however, at last plainly perceive that 
it waxed lean, and suffered from hunger." 

This animal is famous among ancient and modern writers for 
the faculty it is supposed to have of changing its colour, and 
assuming that of the objects near it. 

The word THINSEMETH, in our translation rendered " mole," 
Bochart proves to be the real chameleon. The word, according 
to the signification of the root ntttt NESHEM, to breathe, applies 
peculiarly to the vulgar opinion of the chameleon; and here, says 
Dr. Geddes, etymology is particularly favourable to the appro- 
priation of the word 6 . 

A bird of the same name is mentioned in verse 18, which 
Bochart supposes to be the night-owl, by our translation, " the 
Swan." See MOLE and SWAN. 

II. The Hebrew word HD COACH, Levit. xi. 30, which the 
Greek versions, St. Jerom, and the English interpreters render 
" chameleon," is by Bochart thought to be a queen lizard, called 
by the Arabs alwarlo, or corruptly from them warral and guaral; 
which is, lively and bold. Its Hebrew name signifies strength. 
This is denoted also by the Arabic word ; and the verb pro in 
Arabic, signifies to overcome in tear. It is said that this lizard 
fights against serpents, and sometimes even kills them ; whence 
the Greeks have given it the name cCp/ov/xo?; and the Arabs 
have many proverbs taken from this disposition 7 . According to 
Leo Africanus, lib. ix. it is about thirty inches in length, being 
of a bright reddish, with dark spots 8 . 

CHAMOIS. -O ZAMOR. Arab, zamara. From a root 
signifying to crop branches; to browse. 

Occurs Deut. xiv. 5, only. 

A particular species of the goat kind, remarkably shy and 
sprightly. Bochart supposes this to be the animal called in Latin 
rupicapra, or goat of the ledges. The Septuagint, St. Jerom, 
and Dr. Geddes render it the " Cameleopard ;" but that animal 
is a native of the torrid zone, of Nubia, and Abyssinia ; is rarely 
seen even in Egypt, and, if at all known in Palestine, could 
never have been there an article for food, and therefore we can- 
not suppose likely to be enumerated among the animals for the 

6 Hence Pliny says, this is the only animal which neither eats nor drinks, but 
stands with his mouth always open, and the air serves him for aliment. Nat. 
Hist. lib. viii. c. 33. 

' Bochart, v. ii. p. 487. edit. Rosemmuller. * - 

8 Shan's Travels, p. ITS, and 482. 4to. edit. 



78 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

shambles. Objections equally strong lie against the rupicapra, 
or chamois; for the Alps, the Pyrenees, the mountains of Greece, 
and the islands of the Archipelago, are " almost the only places 
where it is to be found 9 ." They are not to be met with in 
Palestine, or in the neighbouring countries. We must, therefore, 
be content with saying that the zamor is an animal of the goat 
kind, so called from its browsing on the shoots of trees and 
bushes 10 . Dr. Shaw supposes it to be the Jeraffa; this, how- 
ever, being a native of the torrid zone, and Southern Africa, is 
equally unlikely, from its attachment to hot countries, to be 
abundant in Judea, and used as an article of food. Whatever 
animal was intended by the zamor, it must have been common 
in Syria, as we can by no means suppose the sacred legislator 
would prohibit from being used as food a creature hardly seen 
from century to century, and of which the nature and history 
were at best but dubious, and barely to be ascertained, even by 
naturalists ; which was the case with the cameleopardus, whose 
very existence was admitted with hesitation a hundred years ago, 
though its figure appears on certain ancient medals, and on the 
Prenestine pavement. 

Upon this article, Dr. Adam Clarke has the following remarks, 
" I must once more be permitted to say, that to ascertain the 
natural history of the Bjble is a hopeless case. Of a few of 
its animals and vegetables, we are comparatively certain ; but of 
the great majority, we know almost nothing. Guessing and 
conjecture are endless, and they have on these subjects been 
already sufficiently employed. What learning, deep, solid, ex- 
tensive learning and judgment could do, has already been done 
by the incomparable Bochart in his Hierozoicon. The learned 
reader may consult this work, and while he gains much general 
information, will have to regret, that he can apply so little of it 
to the main and grand question." 

CHESTNUT-TREE, pcny ORMUN. 

This tree, which is mentioned only in Gen. xxx. 3? ; and Ezek. 
xxxi. 8, is by the Septuagint and Jerom rendered "plane-tree;" 
and Drusius, Hiller, and most of the modern interpreters render 
it the same. The name is derived from a root which signifies 
nakedness; and it is often observed of the plane-tree that the 
bark peels off from the trunk, leaving it naked, which peculiarity 
may have been the occasion of its Hebrew name. 

The son of Sirach says, Ecclus. xxiv. 14. "I grew up as a 
plane-tree by the water." 

CHRYSOLITE. XPTSOAI0OS. Rev. xxi. 20. 

A precious stone of a golden colour n . Schroder says it is 

9 Buffon, Hist. Nat. torn. x. p. 318. 

10 Michaelis, Recueil de Quest, cxlviii. and Suppl. ad Lexic. Hebr. 627. 

11 ^Ethiopia mittit et chrysolithos aureo colore translucentes." Plin. N. H. 
lib. \x\vii. c. 9. 



OF THE BIBLE. 79 

the gem now called the " Indian topaz," which is of a yellowish 
green colour, and is very beautiful. 

In the Alexandrine version, it is used for UJ'UTin TARSHISH, 
Exod. xxviii. 20, and xxxix. 1 1 ; and also the fragment of 
Aquila in Ezek. x. 9. See BERYL. 

CHRYSOPRASUS. XPTSOnPASOE. Rev. xxi. 20. 

A precious stone, which Pliny classes among the beryls; the 
best of which, he says, are of a sea-green colour ; after these he 
mentions the chrysoberyh, which are a little paler, inclining to 
golden colour ; and next, a sort still paler, anil by some rec- 
koned a distinct species, and called chrysoprasus 12 . 

CINNAMON. jiQJp KINNEMON. Gr. xivctfjwijuv 13 . 

An agreeable aromatic ; the inward bark of the canella, a small 
tree of the height of the willow. It is mentioned Exod. xxx. 23, 
among the materials in the composition of the holy anointing 
oil; and in Prov. vii. 17; Cautic. iv. 14; Ecclus. xxiv. 15; and 
Rev. xviii. 13, among the richest perfumes. 

This spice is now brought from the East Indies ; but as there 
was no traffic with India in the days of Moses, it was then 
brought, probably from Arabia, or some neighbouring country. 
We learn however, from Pliny, that a species of it grew in 
Syria^. 

CLAY, "Ol CHOMER, is often mentioned in Scripture, nor is 
it necessary to explain the various references to what is so well 
known. It may be remarked, however, that clay was used for 
sealing doors. Norden and Pocock observe, that the inspectors 
of the granaries in Egypt, after closing the door, put their seal 
upon a handful of clay, with which they cover the lock. This 
may help to explain Job, xxxviii. 14, in which the earth is re- 
presented as assuming form and imagery from the brightness of 
the rising sun, as rude clay receives a figure from the impression 
of a seal or signet. 

COCK. AAEKTQP. 

A well known domestic fowl. Some derive the name from 
a, negative, and AtT?ov, a bed, because crowing cocks rouse 
men from their beds; but Mr. Parkhurst asks, "may not this 
name be as properly deduced from the Hebrew TIM roSl, the 
coming of the light, of which this * bird of dawning' (as Shak- 
speare calls him) gives such remarkable notice, and for doing 
which he was, among the heathen, sacred to the sun, who in 
Homer is himself called 



12 Nat. Hist. lib. xxxvii. c. 5 and 8. 

13 Herodotus observes that the Greeks learned the name from the Phoenicians. 
Lib. iii. c . 3. 

14 " In Syria gigni cinnamum quod caryopon appellant, multum a surculo veri 
cinnamomi differens." N. H. lib. xii. c. 38. Salmasius has shown, from the 
authority of MSS. that camocon, or comacon. is here to be read for caryopon. In 
Solinum, p. 922. 



P- 
13 Iliad vi. 1. 513, and six. 1. 398. 



80 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

In Matthew, xxvi. 34, our Lord is represented as saying, that 
" before the cock crew" Peter should deny him thrice; so Luke, 
xxii. 34, and John, xiii. 39. But according to Mark, xiv. 30, he 
says, " before the cock crow twice thou shall deny me thrice" 
These texts may be very satisfactorily reconciled, by observing, 
that ancient authors, both Greek and Latin, mention two cock- 
crowings, the one of which was soon after midnight, the other 
about three o'clock in the morning ; and this latter being most 
noticed by men as the signal of their approaching labours, was 
called by way of eminence, " the cock-crowing ;" and to this 
alone, Matthew, giving the general sense of our Saviour's warn- 
ing to Peter, refers ; but Mark, more accurately recording his 
very words, mentions the two cock-crowings l6 . 

A writer in the Theological Repository, vol. vi. p. 105, re- 
marks, that the Rabbies tell us that " cocks were not permitted 
to be kept in Jerusalem on account of the holiness of the place; 1 ' 
and that for this reason some modern Jews cavil against this 
declaration of the Evangelists. To obviate these objections he 
states that Jerusalem being a military station of the Romans, the 
custom of that nation concerning the placing and relieving of the 
guard was practised there. " The night was divided into four 
watches, of three hours each, that is, from six in the evening to 
nine, from nine to twelve, from twelve to three, and from three to 
six. They are thus set down in Mark, xiii. 35, " Watch there- 
fore, for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at 
even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morn- 
ing." 

" These watches, or guards, were declared by the sound of a 
trumpet ; and whenever one guard relieved another, it was al- 
ways done by this usual military signal. The whole four watches 
were closed by the blowing of a shrill horn. Drakenborch 
says, the last trumpet, which blew at three in the morning, was 
sounded three times to imitate the crowing of a cock; but from 

16 See Wetstein on Mark, xiv. 30. Scheuchzcr, Phys. Sacr. on Mark, xiii. 35, 
and Whitby's note on Matth. xxvi. 34. 

The Jewish Doctors distinguish the cock crowing into the first, second, and 
third times. Lightfoot on Joh. xiii. 38. The heathen nations in general observed 
and spoke of only two. Of these, the latter, which was about the fourth watch 
[quarto vigilia, Plin. N. H. lib. v. c. 22] or the breaking in of the day, was the 
most distinguished, and was usually called aXixrofopiy;a,as in Mark, xiii. 35; and 
gallidnium, as in Aulus Gellius, Macrobius, Saturnalia, I. 1. c. 3. Apuleius; 
Censorinus, c. 19. et de die natali, c. xxiv. Julius Pollux. 1. 1. c. 7. <j 8. Thus, 
" quarta vigilia," in Solinus, speaking of the sun seen rising from Mount Cassius, 
is " secundis galliciuiis," in Amm. Marcellinus, lib. xii. Thus TO Sfurtfov aXtxTf van 
fp9i77iTo, Aristoph. and " ad cantum galli sccundi." Juv. Sat. ix. v. 106. As 
the cock crew the second time after St. Jeter's third denial, Mark, xiv. 70, it is 
to this second and more distinguished time that the other Evangelists also refer, 
or rather to the second of the three times mentioned by the Jewish doctors. 

" In remembrance of the crowing of the cock, which brought Peter to a sense 
of the great evil he was guilty oftt) denying his master, the practice, it is said, 
bt-gan of placing weather-cocks upon towers and steeples." 

[Macknight, Harm. ed. 4to. p. 581, note. 



OF THE BIBLE. 81 

the words of Ausonius, it might be the shrill horn, which blew 
three times in imitation of a cock. And certainly this would ren- 
der the imitation more striking. Among the innumerable proofs 
that it would be possible to bring of these things, take the few 
in the note 17 . 

" Thus it appears that the guard or watches were relieved by 
the sound of the trumpet. The two last watches were both of 
them called ' cock Growings,' because cocks usually crowed in 
that space of time. But as the trumpet sounded these watches, 
its sound was often called the crowing of the first cock, and 
the crowing of the second cock ; and more especially the last 
sounding, because it blew three times, as Ausonius says, in imi- 
tation of the shrill note of a cock." 

Hence this writer concludes, that our Lord did not refer to the 
crowing of a cock, but to " the sounding of the fourth watch 18 ." 

Upon this article, my learned friend James Winthrop, Esq. 
has furnished the following remarks. " Notwithstanding the 
declaration of the Rabbies, and the figurative construction of the 
modern critic, it appears to me, that the story of Christ's predic- 
tion is to be understood literally. The cock is not among the 
birds prohibited in the law of Moses. If there was any restraint 
in the use or domestication of the animal, it must have been an 
arbitrary practice of the Jews, but could not have been binding 
on foreigners, of .whom many resided at Jerusalem as officers or 
traders. Strangers would not be willing to forego an innocent 
kind of food in compliance with a conquered people ; and the 
trafficking spirit of the Jews would induce them to supply aliens, 
if it did not expressly contradict the letter of their law. This 
is sufficient to account for fowl of this kind being there, even 
admitting a customary restraint. But the whole imitation of a 
prohibition seems like a fiction, contrived with a view to invali- 
date the account of witnesses who were present, and who write 
without any apparent reserve. The prediction is not limited to 
any particular individual of this class of domestic fowls, but that 
before any of them shall crow. This appears the fair construc- 
tion ; and is not intended as a miracle at all, but as an instance 
of the prophetic spirit which knew things apparently contingent ; 
and is a proof of extraordinary knowledge, as miracles are of un- 
common power." 

The celebrated Reland, in his oration " de Galli cantu Hiero- 
solymis audita," admits that it was not allowed to breed cocks 
in the city, but that the Jews were not prohibited from buying 

17 Silias Ital. 1. 7. p. 151. edit. Drakenborch, and the learned note of the editor 
upon the place. Vegetius, de Castrorm Ordinatione, 1. iii. c. 8. Censorious de 
Die natali. c. ix. Moschus, Idyl. n. Ausoniusi and (ira?v. Antiq. v. iv. p. 1184. 
Juvenal, sat. ix. v. 100, and A ris,tophanes,a| quoted by Whitby.on Mark, xiv. 68. 

18 This explanation was first proposed wy J. J. Altmann, in the Bibl. Brem. 
cl. v. fasc. iii. and very largelv and learnedly refuted in the Museum Brem. vol. 
i. p. 37 , by Job. Diotsma. 

* 



82 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

them to eat, and that therefore the cock mentioned in the gospel 
might be in the house of a Jew who designed to kill it for his 
own table ; or may have been kept in the precincts of Pilate, or 
of a Roman officer or soldier 19 . 

COCKATRICE, \ysit TJEPHUON, or vysit TSIPIIONI. 

Occ. Prov. xxiii. 32; Is. xi. 8, xiv. 29, lix. 5; and Jer. viii. 17. 

A venomous serpent. The original Hebrew word has been 
variously rendered, the aspic, the regulus, the hydra, the hemor- 
hoos, the viper, and the cerastes. 

In Isai. xi. 8, this serpent is evidently intended for a propor- 
tionate advance in malignity beyond the pelen which precedes it; 
and in xiv. 29, it must mean a worse kind of serpent than the 
nahash. In ch. lix. 5, it is referred to as oviparous. In Jer. 
viiL 17. Dr. Blaney, after Aquila, retains the rendering of ba- 
silisk. Bochart, who thinks it to be the regulus, or basilisk, 
says that it may be so denominated by an onomatopaeia from its 
hissing; and accordingly it is hence called in Latin "sibilus," 
the hisser. So the Arabic saphaa signifies " flatu adurere." The 
Chaldee paraphrast, the Syriac, and the Arabic render it the 
hurman y or horman; which Rabbi Selomo on Gen. xlix. 17, de- 
clares to be the TZIPHONI of the Hebrews. " Hurman vocatur 
species, cujus morsus est insanabilis. Is est Hebraeis TZIPHONI, 
et Chaldaice dicitur hurman, quia omnia facit D*in vastationem ; 
id est, quia omnia vastat, et ad internecionem destruit 20 ." 

From uniting all its characteristics, I am inclined to suppose 
it to be the raja sephen of Forskall. 

COCKLE. rowo BASEH. 

This word occurs only in Job, xxxi. 40. By the Chaldee it 
is rendered noxious herbs ; by Symmachus, arete <T$O? V(TCI, plants 
of imperfect fruit ; by the Septuagint, /Jarof, the blackberrybush ; 
by Castalio, " ebulus," dwarf elder ; by Celsius, " aconite ;" 
and by Bp. Stock and Mr. Good, " the night-shade." 

M. Michaeiis in his Suppl. ad Lex. Heb. maintains after 
Celsius, that both this word and D'tt/JQ, Isai. v. 2. 4, denote the 

19 In Lightfoot's Horae Hebraicae, in MaUh.xxv.34, is the following remark : 
u Mireris gallum gallinaceum inveniri Hierosolymis, cum canone prohibitum sit 
gallos illic alere. Bava Kama, cap. 7. NOD alunt gallos Hierosolymis propter 
sacra, nee sacerdotes eos alunt per totam terrain Israeliticam. Quonam modo 
et pretextu cum canone sit dispensatum non disputamus; aderunt certe galli 
gallinacei Hierosolymis aeque ac alibi." 

See also Meuschen Nov. Test, ex Talmude illustratum, p. 119. 

The objections of Reland with Schultze's answers, and an account of the con- 
tradictions between Josephus and the Talmud, may be seen in the following 
work " Relandi de spoliis templi Hierosolymitani in arcu Titiano Romae con- 
spicuis liber singularis. Prolusionem de variis Judaeorum erroribus in descrip- 
tione hujus templi praemisit notasque adjecit E. A. Schultze, S. T. D. in Acad. 
Viadrina. Traj. ad Rhen. 1775, 8vo. 

The learned reader is also referred to the elaborate chapter of Bochart, " De 
galli cantic," &c. Hieroz. V. 2. p. 688. Wolfius, Cur. philol. ad Matth. xxvi. 
34, torn. 1. p. 378, and to Paxton, Illustrations of Scripture, vol. ii. p. 101. 
Edinb. 1819. 

20 From the Hebrew Din, to butcher, to cut in pieces, to inflict wounds, may 
be derived the English word harm. 



OF THE BIBLE. 83 

aconite, a poisonous plant, growing spontaneously and luxuri- 
antly on sunny hills, such as are used for vineyards. He says that 
this interpretation is certain, because, as Celsius has observed, 
W3, in Arabic denotes the aconite, and he intimates that it best 
suits Job, xxxi. 40, where it is mentioned as growing instead of 
barley. 

The word appears to import a weed not only noxious, but of 
a fetid smell 21 . 

CONY. JEM SHAPHAN. 

Occ. Levit. xi. 5 ; Deut. xiv. 7 ; Psal. civ. 8 ; and Prov. xxx. 
26, only. 

Bochart 22 , and others 23 , have supposed the shaphan of the 
Scriptures to be the " Jerboa ;" but Mr. Bruce proves that the 
" Ashkoko" is intended. This curious animal is found in Ethio- 
pia, and in great numbers on Mount Lebanon, &c. "It does 
not burrow and make holes as the rat and rabbit, nature having 
interdicted it this practice by furnishing it with feet which are 
round, and of a soft, pulpy, tender substance ; the fleshy part of 
the toes project beyond the nails, which are rather broad than 
sharp, much similar to a man's nails ill grown, and these appear 
rather given for defence of the soft toes than for any active use 
in digging, to which they are by no means adapted. 

" The total length of the animal as it sits is seventeen inches 
and a quarter. It has no tail ; and gives, at first sight, the idea 
of a rat rather than any other creature. The colour is gray, 
mixed with reddish brown, and the belly white. All over the 
body are scattered hairs, strong and polished, like mustachoes ; 
these are, for the most part, two inches and a quarter in length 2 *. 
The ears are round, not pointed. The upper jaw is longer than 
the other. It lives upon grain, fruit, and roots ; and certainly 
chews the cud." 

Instead of holes, these animals seem to delight in less close 
or more airy places, in the mouths of caves, or clefts in the rock. 
They are gregarious, and frequently several dozens of them sit 

11 The verb two HAS, itself, in its primary signification, bears the same mean- 
ing, namely, to stink. Hence the plant may mean what has base qualities. 

Maimonides in praef. ad Seder Saraim. " Quare creata sunt venena letalia 
(veluti herba Bish, et herba hashishalol dam), quibus perditio bominibus, non 
utilitas inferior?" 

Bellonius has the following remark upon this herb, lib. ii. c. 3. " Le consul 
de Florentins nous fait gouster d'une racine, que les Arabes nomment bish, la 
quelle causa si grande chaleuren la bouche, qui nous dura deux jours, qu'il nous 
sembloit y avoir du feu. Elle est bien petite comme un petit naveau. Les 
autres 1'ont nominee Napellus, qni est commune aux drogueurs Turcs." 

23 Hieroz. vol. ii. p. 409429. edit. Rosenmuller. 

83 Schultesn, ad Prov. xxx. 26. Oedmann in Miscel. Sacr. part iv. c. 5, p. 
41, ed Upsal, 1789. Tychsen, Phjsiol. Syrus, p. 25. 

24 Mr. Bruce observes, " In Ainhara this animal is called Ashkoko, which I 
apprehend is derived from the singularity of these long herinaceous hairs, which, 
like small thorns, grow about his back, and which in Amhara are called ashok." 
" Ainharicum enim Aschok significat spinam." Vide Ludolfi, Lex. Amhar. p. 58. 

I 2 



84 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

upon the great stones at the mouths of caves, and warm them- 
selves in the sun, or come out and enjoy the freshness of the 
summer evening. They do not stand upright upon their feet, 
but seem to steal along as in fear, their belly being nearly close 
to the ground ; advancing a few steps at a time, and then paus- 
ing. They have something very mild, feeble-like, and timid in 
their deportment; are gentle and easily tamed, though when 
roughly handly at the first, they bite very severely. 

Many are the reasons to believe this to be the animal called 
SAPHAN in Hebrew, and erroneously by our translators, " the 
coney," or rabbit. We know that the last mentioned animal is 
peculiar to Spain, and therefore could not be supposed to be 
either in Judea or Arabia. They are gregarious indeed, and so 
far resemble each other, as also in size ; but seek not the same 
place of retreat, for the rabbit burrows most generally in the 
sand. Nor is there any thing in the character of rabbits that 
denotes excellent wisdom, or that they supply the want of 
strength by any remarkable sagacity. The SAPHAN then is not 
the rabbit; which last, unless it was brought him by his ships 
from Europe, Solomon never saw. 

Let us now apply the characters of the ashkoko to the SAPHAN. 
" He is above all other animals so much attached to the rocks, 
that I never once (says Mr. Bruce) saw him on the ground, or 
from among large stones in the mouth of caves, where is his con- 
stant residence. He lives in families or flocks. He is in Judea, 
Palestine, and Arabia, and consequently must have been familiar 
to Solomon. David describes him very pertinently, and joins 
him to other animals perfectly known ; ' the hills are a refuge 
for the wild goats, and the rocks for the saphan.' And Solomon 
says, that ' they are exceeding wise,' that they are ' but a feeble 
folk, yet make their houses in the rocks.' Now this, I think, 
very obviously fixes the ashkoko to be the saphan, for his weak- 
ness seems to allude to his feet, and how inadequate these are 
to dig holes in the rock, where yet, however, he lodges. From 
their tenderness these are very liable to be excoriated or hurt : 
notwithstanding which they build houses in the rocks, more inac- 
cessible than those of the rabbit, and in which they abide in 
greater safety, not by exertion of strength, for they have it not, 
but are truly, as Solomon says, a feeble folk, but by their own 
sagacity and judgment, and are therefore justly described as wise. 
Lastly, what leaves the thing without doubt is, that some of the 
Arabs, particularly Damir, say that the saphan has no tail, that it 
is less than a cat, that it lives in houses or nests, which he builds 
of straw, in contradistinction to the rabbit and the rat, and those 
animals that burrow in the ground." 

Such is the account and such the opinion of Mr. Bruce, and 
it must be acknowledged that many of his coincidences are strik- 
ing, and lead to the adoption of his opinion. 



OF THE BIBLE. 85 

The author of " Scripture Illustrated," quotes Mr. Pennant 25 , 
tr as counsel on the other side;" but his judgment cannot avail, 
for he misquotes Dr. Shaw, who is his chief authority, and 
confounds the Jerboa with the animal which, after Dr. Shaw, 
he calls " Daman Israel" 6 ." 

Dr. Shaw remarks, " the daman Israel is an animal of mount 
Libanus, though common in other places of this country. It is 
a harmless creature, of the same size and quality with the rabbit, 
and with the like incurvating posture and disposition of the fore 
teeth ; but it is of a browner colour, with smaller eyes, and a 
head more pointed. The fore feet likewise are short, and the 
hinder are near as long in proportion as those of the Jerboa. 
Though this animal is known to burrow sometimes in the ground; 
yet, as its usual residence and refuge is in the holes and clefts 
of the rocks, we have so far a more presumptive proof that this 
creature may be the saphan of the Scriptures than the Jerboa. 
I could not learn why it was called daman Israel, i. e. Israel's 
lamb, as those words are interpreted 27 ." 

The author of " Scripture Illustrated" displays his usual inge- 
nuity in attempting to explain the word daman, not aware that 
it should have been written ganam. So Mr. Bruce says, " in 
Arabia and Syria the ashkoko is called Gannim Israel, or Israel's 
sheep, for what reason I know not, unless it is chiefly from its 
frequenting the rocks of Horeb and Sinai, where the children of 
Israel made their forty years peregrination. Perhaps this name 
obtains only among the Arabians 28 ." 

I add that Jerom, in his epistle to Sunia and Fretela, cited by 
Bochart, says that " the CD'JDtt? are a kind of animal not larger 
than a hedgehog, resembling a mouse and a bear," (the latter I 
suppose in the clumsiness of its feet) " whence in Palestine it is 
called ct^LTO[LVQ, the bear mouse ;" and there is great abundance 
of this genus in those countries, and they are wont to dwell in 
the caverns of the rocks and caves of the earth." This descrip- 
tion well agrees with Mr. Bruce's account of the Ashkoko ; and, 
as this animal bears a very considerable resemblance to the rabbit, 
with which Spain anciently abounded, it is not improbable that 
the Phoenicians might, from jDU;, call that country IT3DU? Spanih, 
whence are derived its Greek, Latin, and more modern names; 
and accordingly on the reverse of a medal of the emperor Adrian, 

25 Hist. Quadrup. p. 427. 4fo. 

26 " Sub nomine agni Israelis hoc animal descripsit Shaw, ubi tamen false 
scriptum Daman Israel pro Ganam Israel; qui error in plures alios libros irrep- 
sit." Rdtenmuller, not. in Bocha'rt, Hieroz. v. 2. p. 414. 

27 " Animal qtioddam humile, cunicwlo non dissimile, quod agnum filiornin 
Israel nuncupant." Pros. Alpinus, Nat. Hist. JEgypt. part 1. c. xx. p. 80. et 
1. iv. c. 9. 

28 Travels, p. 348. c<!. 4 to. 



80 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

Spain is represented as a woman sitting on the ground, with a 
rabbit squatting on her robe 29 . 

COPPER, rwn NEHESH. 

Copper is one of the six primitive metals ; and is the most 
ductile and malleable after gold and silver. Of this metal and 
lapis calminaris is made brass. 

Anciently copper was employed for all the purposes for which 
we now use iron 30 . Arms, and tools for husbandry, and the 
mechanic arts, were all of this metal for many ages. Job 
speaks of bows of copper, ch. xx. 24; and when the Philistines 
had Samson in their power, they bound him with fetters of 
copper. To be sure our translators say " brass," but under that 
article I have pointed out their mistake. 

In Ezra, viii. 27, are mentioned " two vessels of copper, pre- 
cious as gold." The Septuagint renders it trxeuv* %#Axs sihfiovTQs, 
the Vulgate and Castalio, following the Arabic, " vasa asris ful- 
gentis;" and the Syriac, vases of Corinthian brass. It is more 
probable, however, that this brass was not from Corinth, but 
from Persia or India, which Aristotle describes in these terms. 
" It is said that there is in India a brass so shining, so pure, so 
free from tarnish, that its colour differs nothing from that of gold. 
It is even said that among the vessels of Darius there were some 
respecting which the sense of smelling might determine whether 
they were gold or brass 31 ." Bochart is of opinion that this is 
the chasmal of Ezek. i. 27 ; the %#AxoA//3#vov of Rev. i. 15, and 
the electrwn of the ancients. 

It is difficult to determine what is meant by 2ffifO. Dr. Hud- 
son, in his note upon Josephus, supposes it to be the aurichal- 
cum. Mr. Harmer quotes from the manuscript notes of Sir 
John Chardin a reference to a mixt metal in the East, and 
highly esteemed there ; and suggests that this composition might 
have been as old as the time of Ezra, and be brought from those 
more remote countries into Persia, where these two basins were 
given to be conveyed to Jerusalem. " I have heard (says he) 
some Dutch gentlemen speak of a metal in the island of Sumatra, 
and among the Macassars, much more esteemed than gold, which 
royal personages alone might wear. It is a mixture, if I remem- 
ber right, of gold and steel." He afterwards added this note, 
(for Mr. Harmer observes that the colour of the ink differs), 
" Calmbac is this metal, composed of gold and copper. It in 
colour nearly resembles the pale carnation rose, has a fine grain, 

29 See an engraving of the medal in Scheuchzer, Phys. Sacr. tab. ccxxxv. and 
in Addison, on medals, dial. ii. series 3. fig. 6. 

30 Hesiod. Theog. v. 722, 726, 733. Opera, v. 150. Lucret. 1. v. v. 1286. 
Varro apud Aug. de Civ. Dei, 1. 7. c. 24. Schol. Apollon. ad lib. 1, v. 430. 
Isiodor. orig. 1. viii. c. 11. p. 71. et. 1. xvi. c. 19, 20. 1. xvii. c. 2. 

31 De rnirabil. 



OF THE BIBLE. 87 

and admits a beautiful polish. I have seen something of it, and 
gold is not of so lively and brilliant a colour." 

From the Greek word ofajgotows, which means mountain cop- 
per, I should suppose a natural mineral intended by what the 
.Latins called (< orichalcum" and " aurichalcum ;" and that it is 



the same with %#AHoAi#vo?, ore of mount Lebanon 32 , 

It is, however, generally thought to be a compound substance, 
and those who speak of it as such, distinguish it into three kinds : 
in the first, gold was the prevailing metal, in the second, silver ; 
in the third, gold, silver, and copper were equally blended. 
This composition was very famous ; extolled for its beauty, its 
solidity, its rarity ; it was even preferred to gold itself. It was 
capable of receiving an exquisite polish ; and might be the metal 
used for the mirrors mentioned, Exod. xxxviii. 8 ; Job, xxxvii. 
1 8 ; and Isai. ii. 3. In these qualities platina, which is a native 
mineral, much resembles it. The Syriac version of the Bible 
pretends that the vessels which Hiram gave Solomon for the 
temple were made of this composition. Esdras is mentioned by 
Josephus as delivering up to the priests, among other treasures, 
vessels of brass that were more valuable than gold 33 . Upon which 
Dr. Hudson takes notice that this kind of brass or copper, or 
rather mixture of gold and copper, was called aurichalcum ; and 
was of old esteemed the most precious of metals." 

Corinthian brass seems to be of a similar metalic substance. 
This is said to have been made of the united gold, silver, and 
copper statues, vessels, &c. which were melted together when 
Corinth was burnt by the Romans 34 . This mixture was for 
ages held in the highest estimation. Its rarity seems to have been 
the principal cause of its exorbitant value. It became, hence, a 
proverb, that those who would appear more perfect than others 
in the arts, had smelt the purity of Corinthian brass. This 
makes the subject of a lively epigram of Martial. 

" Consuluit nares an olernnt aera Corinthum, 
Culpavit statuas, et Polyclete tuas." 

Ezekiel, ch. xxvii. 13, speaks of the merchants of Javan, Jubal, 
and Meshech, as bringing vessels of nehesh (copper) to the mar- 

32 Bochart, I am aware, gives a different explanation of the word. " XaXxo- 
A0yo; est aes in igne candens, quia ~pfj libben Hebraeis est aliquid in igne cande- 
facere. Misna ubi de operibus quae die Sabbathi prohibita sunt, TNa f3D ]!'% 
gladium in igne candefacit, Unde jab libbon metallorum in igne candefactio. 
Firmatur haec conjectura ex iis quze sequuntur in sacro textu, xati 01 *o$is avra 
o/j.omi j<xXxoAj@aiyw, xa/*ir ericn>v/to<; pedes ejus similes erant clialcolibano, 
ut in fornace ardeutes." Hieroz. vol. iii. p. 894. And J. C. Schwarz finds a 
like derivation in the Greek, " x^>>*'<*yov ex nomine /ctXxa et Xi(3aw, quod est 
Asi3, fundo stillo" Monum. Ingeniorum, torn. iv. p. 283. I have myself fol- 
lowed the definition of Suidas, and the authorities quoted in Bochart, v. 3. p. 895. 
ed. Rosenmuller. 

33 Antiq. lib. xi. c. 5. sect. 2. and 1 Esdras, ii. 13. 

34 At the end of the 2d volume of Heron's Elegant Extracts from Natural 
History is a very particular account of the Orichalcum. 



88 THE NATURAL HI&TORY 

kets of Tyre. According to Bochart and Michaelis these were 
people situated towards mount Caucasus, where copper mines 
are worked at this day 35 . 

The rust of copper is a solution or corrosion of the metal by 
some kind of salt ; and it is remarkable that whereas other metals 
have their peculiar dissolvents, copper is dissolved by all. Even 
the salts floating in the common air are sufficient powerfully to 
corrode it. This remark is made in order to explain Ezek. xxiv. 
6, 11, 12, where the word riN^n rendered " scum'' must mean 
rust, which not being removable by any other means, was to be 
burnt off by the fire, and so was a dreadful emblem of Jerusa- 
lem's punishment. 

CORAL. HOT) RAMUTH 36 . 

Occurs Job, xxviii. 18, and Ezek. xxvii. 16, only. 

A hard, cretaceous, marine production, resembling in figure 
the stem of a plant, divided into branches. It is of different 
colours, black, white, and red. The latter is the sort emphati- 
cally called coral, as being the most valuable, and usually made 
into ornaments. This, though no gem, is ranked by the author 
of the book of Job, xxxviii. 18, with the onyx and sapphire. 
Mr. Good observes, " It is by no means certain what the words 
here rendered ' corals and pearls,' and those immediately after- 
wards rendered ' rubies and topaz,' really signified. Reiske 
has given up the inquiry as either hopeless or useless; and 
Schultens has generally introduced the Hebrew words them- 
selves, and left the reader of the translation to determine as he 
may. Our common version is, in the main, concurrent with 
most of the oriental renderings, and I see no reason to deviate 
from it." 

Pliny informs us, lib. xxxii. c. 2, that the coral was highly 
esteemed anciently. " The Indians value coral as highly as we 
value pearls. Their priests and predictors attribute to it evea 
something sacred, and affirm that it has the virtue of protecting 
from dangers those who carry it ; so that two things contribute 
to render it valuable, superstition and beauty." Experience 
confirms this relation of Pliny, for often in that country a collar 
of coral sells for a price equal to one of pearls. 

CORIANDER, TI GAD. 

Occ. Exod. xvi. 31, and Numb. xi. 7. 

35 " Cupri fodinas in hunc usque diem Caucasus habet, in quo et Kubcscha, 
vicus elegantia vasorum acneorum nobilitatus. Arzeri praeterea, quae est urbs 
Armeniae montanae, adeoque in viciuia Moschicorum montiilm sita, plurima vasa 
aenea fieri, cuprique fodinas tridui abesse, auctor est Buschingius." Mich. 
Spicel. Geogr. 50. 

36 This word is formed from a verb whose primary and usual signification is 
to ft//, or raise up, and in Isai. ii. 13, and x. 33, to have lofty branches. Oral 
lifts itself to some height above the water, and therefore might very properly be 
called " the branching stone." From mom may, perhaps, be derived the Latin 
word ramus, a branch. 



OP THE BIBLE. ii9 

A strongly aromatic plant. It bears a small round seed of a 
very agreeable smell and taste. 

Celsius 'quotes an author who has explained the names of 
plants mentioned in Dioscorides, as remarking AiyvnTio io%iov, 
Afyoi yo/5, ' coriander is called ochion by the Egyptians, and 
goid by the Africans 37 .' 

The manna might be compared to the coriander seed in 
respect to its form, or shape, as it was to bdellium in its colour. 
See MANNA. 

CORMORANT. i<?u> SALACH. 

Occ. Levit. xi. 17, and Deut. xiv. 17. 

A large sea bird. It is about three feet four inches in length, 
and four feet two inches in breadth from the tips of the extended 
wings. The bill is about five inches long, and of a dusky colour ; 
the base of the lower mandible is covered with a naked yellowish 
skin, which extends under the throat and forms a kind of pouch. 
It has a most voracious appetite, and lives chiefly upon fish, 
which it devours with unceasing gluttony. It darts down very 
rapidly upon its prey; and the Hebrew, and the Greek name 
/.dTctqcMTvis, are expressive of its impetuosity 38 . Dr. Geddes 
renders it " the sea gull," and observes, " That this is a plunging 
bird I have little doubt. Some modern critics think it is the 
* Pelicanus Bassanus' of Linnasus. The Chaldee and Syriac 
version, jish-catcher, favours this rendering, nor less, the Greek 
cataracteSy which, according to Aristotle, draws for its food 
lishes from the bottom of the sea." 

At any rate, this is meant of a water bird ; and therefore de- 
monstrates the impropriety of the preceding and following bird 
being rendered " owl." 

The word Dttp KAATH, which in our version of Isai. xxxiv. 1 1 
is rendered " cormorant," is the pelican. See PELICAN. 

CORN. The generic name in Scripture for grain of all 
kinds ; as wheat, rye, barley, &c. 

In Levit. xxiii. 14, VETO1 bp, commonly rendered as if they 
were two different things, as in our public version, " nor parched 
corn, nor green ears," Dr. Geddes, from a comparison with ch. 
ii. 14, is convinced are to be considered as meaning only one, 
namely, full ears of corn roasted, or parched. So the Septuagint 
understood them. 

Parched ears of corn still constitute a part, and not a dis- 
agreeable one, of the food of the Arabs now resident in the 
Holy Land. 

CRANE. In Isai. xxxviii. 14, and Jerem. viii. 7, two birds 
are mentioned, the U?'U> sis, and the "fljj; OGUR. The first in our 
version is translated " crane," and the second " swallow;" but 

37 rfierobot. V. 2. p. 81. Dioscorid. p. 364. Conf. Kircher, prodrom. et 
Lexic. copt. suppl. y. 603. 

38 Boclmrt, Hicroz. V. 3. p. 20. 



90 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

Bochart exactly reverses them, and the reasons which he adduces 
are incontrovertible. Pagninus, Munster, Schindler, Junius, 
and Tremellius, also suppose the ogur to be the crane ; as do 
also the most learned Hebrews, Jarchi, Kimchi, and Pomarius, 
following Jonathan in the Chaldee paraphrase, where it is tt3*vo 
KURKEJA. This latter word is adopted in the Talmud and Ara- 
bian writers; and may be assimilated in sound to the Hebrew, 
whence the Roman grits, the Greek yef#vcf , the Cambro-Britannic 

firan, and the German cran. From the note of this bird, says 
estus, is derived gruere, anglice, grunt. The Arabic name is 
gurnuk 39 . "The cranes," says Isidore, " take their name from 
their voice, which we imitate in mentioning them. The Turks 
and the Arabs give the name karieit to a bird with a long 
biH." 

In the Berischith Rabba, sect. 64, is the following fable. " A 
lion, devouring his prey, was obliged to desist, for a sharp bone 
stuck in his throat. He exclaimed, I will well reward any one 
who will take out the bone. The CORE of Egypt put its long 
beak down his throat, and pulled out the bone ; and said, Give 
me a recompense. The lion answered, Go, and make your 
boast that you have been between the jaws of the lion, and 
escaped unhurt." There is a similar fable in Phasdrus of the 
wolf and the crane. 

Ancient naturalists, who always mixed fiction with truth, have 
left us many pleasing but improbable accounts of these birds ; 
holding them forth as a pattern worthy of imitation for the wis- 
dom and policy of their government, their filial piety, and their 
art in war, displayed in their annual battles with the pigmies. 
But what is most remarkable is their migration, in which they 
fly at a height so great as to be imperceptible to the naked 
eye, but yet known by their note, which reverberates upon the 
listening ear. 

Aristophanes curiously observes, that '" it is time to sow when 
the crane migrates clamouring into Africa; she also bids the 
mariner suspend his rudder, and take his rest, and the moun- 
taineer provide himself with raiment;" and Hesiod, " when thou 
nearest the voice of the crane, clamouring annually from the 
clouds on high, recollect that this is the signal for ploughing, 
and indicates the approach of showery winter." 

" Where do the cranes or winding swallows go, 
Fearful of gathering winds and falling snow ? 
Conscious of all the coming ills, they fly 
To milder regions and a southern sky." PRIOR. 

The prophet Jeremiah mentions this bird, thus intelligent of 
seasons, by an instinctive and invariable observation of their 

39 Meninski, Lex. 3396. Forskal, p. viii. mentions among the obscure birds 
of Arabia, one which they call " ghornak." 
* Ib. 3581. 



OF THE BIBLE. ,91 

appointed times, as a circumstance of reproach to the chosen 
people of God, who, although taught by reason and religion, 
" knew not the judgment of the Lord." 

CRIMSON. bn~ft CARMEL. 

Occurs only 2 Chron. ii. 7, and iii. 14. 

The name of a colour. Bochart supposes it to be the 
" cochlea purpuraria," or purple from a kind of shell-fish taken 
near mount Carmel 41 . But as the name of the mount is said 
to mean a vineyard, I should rather suppose the colour to 
signify that of grapes; like the redness of the vesture of him 
who trod the wine-press, Isai. Ixiii. 1, 2. 

What our version renders " crimson," Isai. i. 18, and Jer. iv. 
30, should be scarlet. See PURPLE, SCARLET. 

CRYSTAL, mp KOREH. 

This word is translated " crystal" in Ezek. i. 22 ; and " frost," 
Gen. xxxi. 40; Job, xxxvii. 10; and Jer. xxxvi. SO; and "ice," 
Job, vi. 16; xxxviii. 29, and Psal. cxlvii. 17; KPTSTAAAOS, 
Rev. iv. 6; and xxii. 1. 

Crystal is supposed to have its name, from its resemblance to 
ice. The Greek word KfUtrraAAo? is formed from x^uog, ice, and 
qeXXoftui, to concrete; and perhaps the Septuagint meant it in 
the sense of ice in this text of Ezekiel, i. 22, as the glittering of 
ice, or, the astonishing brightness of ice. 

II. The word fiOIDf ZECUCITH, is translated " crystal" in Job, 
xxviii. 17. Mr. Good observes, " we are not certain of the 
exact signification, further, than that it denotes some perfectly 
transparent and hyaline gem." 

CUCKOW. Drntf SACAPH. 

Occurs Levit. xi. 16, only. 

Bochart conjectures the " larus," or " cepphus," the sea-mew 
or gull, is intended here; but Dr. Shaw thinks that, agreeably 
to its scripture name, it is the saf-saf, a bird which he thus de- 
scribes. " The rhaad, or saf-saf, is a granivorous and grega- 
rious bird, which wanteth the hinder toe. There are two species 
of it ; the smaller whereof is of the size of an ordinary pullet, but 
the latter as big as a capon, different also from the lesser in 
having a black head, with a tuft of dark blue feathers imme- 
diately below it. The belly of them both is white, the back and 
wings of a buff colour, spotted with brown, whilst the tail is 
lighter, marked all along with black transverse streaks. The 
beak and legs are stronger than birds of the partridge kind. 
Rhaad, which denoteth thunder, in the language of this country, 
is supposed to be a name that hath been given to this bird from 
the noise it raaketh in springing from the ground; as saf-saf, the 

41 Mr. Harmer says, " As to the carmeel, 2 Chron. iii. 14, 1 am extremely du- 
bious about its meaning, bat am rather inclined to think it does not signify any 
particular colour, but means flowery, or something of that kind." Obs. V. 4. 
p. 338. A. Clarke's edition. 



92 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

other name, very naturally expresseth the beating of the air when 
on the wing." 

The principal objection to adopting this bird is, that the 
SACAPH was prohibited as unclean, and it cannot be supposed 
that the saf-saf, a granivorous bird, should be so considered ; 
besides the SACAPH is placed in the text among birds of prey. 
Dr. Adam Clarke, who follows Bochart in supposing it the 
sea-mew, says, it may be named from nsnu> SACHEPHETH, a 
wasting distemper, or atrophy, mentioned Levit. xxvi. 16, and 
Deut. xxviii. 22; because its body is the leanest, in proportion 
to its bones and feathers, of most other birds ; always appearing 
as if under the influence of a wasting distemper. A fowl, which, 
from its natural constitution, or manner of life, is incapable of 
becoming plump or fleshy, must always be unwholesome: and 
this is reason sufficient why such should be prohibited. 

CUCUMBER. O'NU?p KISCHYIM ; ^Ethiop. kusaja ; Arab. 
kattscea; Gr. x/xuos; Lat. cucumis. 

Occurs Numb. xi. 5, only. 

The fruit of a vine very common in our gardens. Tournefort 
mentions six kinds, of which the white and green are most 
esteemed. They are very plentiful in the East, especially in 
Egypt, and much superior to ours. Maillet, in describing the 
vegetables which the modern Egyptians have for food, tells us, 
that melons, cucumbers, and onions are the most common ; 
and Celsius 42 and Alpinus 43 describe the Egyptian cucumbers, 
as more agreeable to the taste and of more easy digestion than 
the European. 

Hasselquist speaks of a cucumber called chate in Egypt, 
which he thinks may be reckoned among those for which the 
children of Israel longed. It differs not from the ordinary sort, 
excepting in size, colour, and softness ; and in being more pa- 
latable and wholesome. 

The cooling properties of this fruit render it also a very ser- 
viceable medicine in Egypt. Its pulp, beaten up and mixed 
with milk, is successfully applied to inflammations, particularly 
those of the eyes. 

CUMMIN. pOD CAMMON. Isai. xxviii. 25, 27 ; KTM1NON, 
Matth. xxiii. 23; Arab, kimmwn 44 ; Turc. kemmum. 

This is an umbelliferous plant; in appearance resembling 
fennel, but smaller. Its seeds have a bitterish warm taste, ac- 
companied with an aromatic flavour, not of the most agreeable 
kind. An essential oil is obtained from them by distillation. 

The Jews sowed it in their fields, and when ripe, threshed out 
the seeds with a rod. Isai. xxviii. 25, 27. The Maltese sow 
it, and collect the seeds in the same manner. 

Hicrobot. V. 2. p. 247. 43 Mcdccfn. JEgypt. 1. 1. c. 10. 

" Meninski, Lex. 2500 and 4022. 



OF THE BIBLE. 93 

CYPRESS, nnn TIRZAH. 

Occ. Isai.xliv. 14, only; and KTIIAPIESOE, Ecclus. xxiv. 13, 
and 1. 10. 

A large evergreen tree. The wood is fragrant, very compact, 
and heavy. It scarcely ever rots, decays, or is worm eaten ; for 
which reason the ancients used to make the statues of their gods 
with it. The unperishable chests which contain the Egyptian 
mummies were of cypress. The gates of St. Peter's church at 
Rome, which had lasted from the time of Constantine to that of 
Pope Eugene the Fourth, that is to say eleven hundred years, 
w ere of cypress, and had in that time suffered no decay. 

But Celsius thinks that Isaiah speaks of the ilex, a kind of oak; 
and Bp. Lowth that the pine is intended. The cypress, how- 
ever, was more frequently used, and more fit for the purpose 
which the prophet mentions than either of these trees. 
DATE. 

Occ. 2 Chron. xxxi. 5, only. 
The fruit of the Palm-tree. See PALM. 
DEER. b'K AIL. 

Occ. Deut. xii. 15 ; Psal. xlii. 2 ; Isai. xxxv. 6; and nb'N plur. 
a hind or doe, Jer. xiv. 5; 2 Sam. xxii. 34; Psal. xviii. 34; 
et. al. 

The Septuagint renders the word, whether masculine or femi- 
nine, by t A(j)o, which denotes both a stag and a hind. Dr. Shaw 4S 
understands *?{* in Deut. xiv. 5, as the name of the genus, in- 
cluding all the species of the deer kind, whether they are distin- 
guished by round horns, as the stag; or by flat ones, as the 
fallow-deer; or by the smallness of the branches, as the roe. 
Volney says that the -stag and deer are unknown in Syria. 
Dr. Geddes supposes the ail to be the larvine antelope, and 
this opinion is strengthened by Rosenmuller in his notes upon 
Bochart, 1. iii. c. 17. Vol. 2. p. 233. See HART, HIND, and 
ROE. 

DIAMOND, obir JAHALOM. Arab, almas 46 . 
Occ. Exod. xxviii. 18; xxix. 11; and Ezek. xxviii. 13. 
This has from remote antiquity been considered as the most 
valuable, or, more properly, the most costly substance in nature. 
The reason of the high estimation in which it was held by the 
ancients was its rarity and its extreme hardness. 

Our translators thus render the word, from a verb which sig- 
nifies to break ; whence niD^n HALMUTH, is a " hammer," or 
" maul," Jud. v. 26. Of course some stone may be intended 
which it was hard to break, or used in breaking others. But 
Dr. Geddes thinks the argument from etymology in favour of 
the diamond to be unsatisfactory ; and indeed we have facts 
enough from antiquity to make us doubt whether the diamond 
was in use in the t^mes of Moses. Whatever stone it was, it 
45 Travel*, p. 414. ed. 4to. 4d JNicbuhr. 



94 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

filled the sixth place in the high priest's breastplate, and on it 
was engraved the name of Naphtali 47 . 

For the word TOtt? SHMIR, rendered " diamond," Jerem. xvii. 1, 
and "adamant," Ezek. iii. 9, and Zech. vii. 12, see ADAMANT. 

DOG. n^D CHELEB ; Arab. kilb. 

An animal well known. By the law of Moses, it was declared 
unclean, and was held in great contempt among the Jews. 
Comp. 1 Sam. xvii. 43; xxiv. 14; 2 Sam. ix. 8; 2 Kings, viii. 
13. Yet they had them in considerable numbers in their cities. 
They were not, however, shut up in their houses, or courts, but 
forced to seek their food where they could find it. The Psalmist, 
Ps. lix. 6, 14, 15, compares violent men to dogs, who go about 
the city in the night, prowl about for their food, and growl, and 
become clamorous if they be not satisfied. Mr. Harmer has 
illustrated this by quotations from travellers into the East; and 
I may add from Busbequius 48 , that the Turks reckon the dog a 
filthy creature, and therefore drive him from their houses ; that 
these animals are there in common, not belonging to any par- 
ticular owners, and guard rather the streets and districts, than 
particular houses, and live on the offals that are thrown abroad. 
The continuator of Calmet, in Fragment, No. liii. " On car- 
casses devoured by dogs," has explained several passages of 
Scripture, by the mention of similar circumstances in the nar- 
ratives of travellers 49 . 

These voracious creatures were of use to devour the offal 
from the daily butchery of animals for food, and also what was 
left after the repasts of the Jews ; and to them was given the 
meat that had become tainted, or the animals that had died in 
consequence of being wounded, or being torn of other beasts. 
So Exod. xxii. 31, " Ye shall not eat any flesh that is torn of 
beasts in the field ; ye shall cast it to the dogs." Comp. Matth. 
xv. 26 ; Mark, vii. 27. We see that some of the heathens had 
the same aversion to eating the flesh of animals torn by beasts, 
as appears from these lines of Phocylides. 

n &nfoCofo Sttian tgixs, (Xfyiroffi Ss 
m xtwj, &afaiy awo 5fi; iSowflti. 



Eat not the flesh that has been torn by beasts; leave those remains to the dogs; 
Jet beasts feed on beasts, 

47 Michaelis, Suppl Lex. Hebr. after examining several opinions, thus con- 
cludes, " Ergo donee novae quid lucis affulgeat, qnee gemma Dbrr sit fateamur nos 
ignorare." 

48 Legat. Turc. Epist. iii. p. IT* ed. Elzev. Compare also Dr. Russell, Nat. 
Hist. Alep. p. 60. Sandy's Trav. p. 45, and Volney, Voyage, torn. 1. p. 216; 
torn. ii. p. 355. Le Bruyn, torn. i. p. 361. Thevenot, part i. p. 51. Maillet, 
let. ix. p. 30. 

49 The son of Sirach says, Ecclus. xiii. 18. " What agreement is there be- 
tween the hyena and a dog? and Mr. Bruce mentions the hyenas and dogs con- 
tending for the offals and carrion of the streets during the night season. Trav. 
V. iv. p. 81, &-r. 



OF THE BIBLE. 95 

In 1 Sam. xxv. 3, Nabal is said to have been " churlish and 
evil in his manners, and he was of the house of Caleb;" but this 
last is not a proper name. Literally it is " he was a son of a dog." 
And so the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic render. It means 
that he was irritable, snappish, and snarling as a dog. 

The irritable disposition of the dog is the foundation of that 
saying, Prov. xxvi. 17. " He that passeth by, and meddleth with 
strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the 
ears ;" that is, he wantonly exposes himself to danger. 

In Deut. xxiii. 18, CHELEB seems to be used for a patfiic, a 
catamite, called plainly UHp, in the immediately preceding verse, 
and joined, as here, with the "whore." Such abominable wretches 
appear likewise to be denoted by the term xuvff, " dogs," Rev. 
xxii. 15, where we may also read their doom. Comp. Rev. xxi. 8. 
The Pagan Greeks in like manner, though they practised the 
abomination without remorse, as St. Paul, Rom. i. 27, 28, and 
their own writers 50 , abundantly testify, yet called male prosti- 
tutes Hvvutioi from xuwv, a dog, and KI$U$, modesty 51 . The Son 
of Sirach says, Ecclus. xxvi. 25, " a shameless woman shall be 
counted as a dog." 

The dog was held sacred by the Egyptians. This fact we 
learn from Juvenal, who complains in his fifteenth satire, 

" Oppida tola canem venerantur, nemo Diauam." 

The testimony of the Latin poet is confirmed by Diodorus, who, 
in his first book, assures us that the Egyptians highly venerate 
some animals, both during their life and after their death ; and 
expressly mentions the dog as one object of this absurd adoration. 
To these witnesses may be added Herodotus, who says, " that 
when a dog expires, all the members of the family to which he 
belonged worship the carcass ; and that in every part of the 
kingdom the carcasses of their dogs are embalmed and deposited 
in consecrated ground." 

The idolatrous veneration of the dog by the Egyptians, is 
intimated in the account of their god Anubis, to whom temples 
and priests were consecrated, and whose image was borne in all 
religious ceremonies. Cynopolis, the present Minieh, situated in 
the lower Thebais, was built in honour of Anubis. The priests 
celebrated his festivals there with great pomp. "Anubis," says 
Strabo, " is the city of dogs, the capital of the Cynopolitan 
prefecture. These animals are fed there on sacred aliments, 
and religion has decreed them a worship." An event, however, 
related by Plutarch, brought them into considerable discredit 
with the people. Cambyses, having slain the god Apis, and 

50 See Leland, Advantage of Christianity, v. ii. p. 49, 61, and 126. Grotius 
de Verit, 1. ii. c. 13. note 4. Wetstein on Rom. i. 27. 

31 See more in JLe Clerc's note on Deut. xxiii. 18, and Daubuz on Rev. x.vii. 
13. 



96 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

thrown his body into the field, all animals respected it except 
the dogs, which alone eat of his flesh. This impiety diminished 
the popular veneration. Cynopolis was not the only city where 
incense was burned on the altars of Anubis. He had chapels 
in almost all the temples. On solemnities, his image always 
accompanied those of Isis and Osiris. Rome, having adopted 
the ceremonies of Egypt, the emperor Commodus, to celebrate 
the Isiac feasts, shaved his head, and himself carried the dog 
Anubis. 

In Matthew, vii. 6, is this direction of our Saviour to his dis- 
ciples : " Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither 
cast ye your pearls before swine ; lest these (the swine) trample 
them under their feet, and those (the dogs) turn again and tear 
you." It was customary not only with the writers of Greece 
and Rome, but with the Eastern sages, to denote certain classes 
of men by animals supposed to resemble them among the brutes. 
Our Saviour was naturally led to adopt the same concise and 
energetic method. By dogs, which were held in great detesta- 
tion by the Jews, he intends men of odious character and violent 
temper ; by swine, which was the usual emblem of moral filth, 
the abandoned and profligate ; and the purport of his admonition 
is, " as it is a maxim with the priests not to give a part of the 
sacrifice to dogs, so it should be a maxim with you, not to impart 
the holy instruction with which you are favoured, to those who 
are likely to blaspheme and abuse you, nor that religious wisdom 
which is more precious than rubies, and of which pearls are but 
imperfect symbols, to the impure, who will only deride and 
reproach you 52 ." 

Prudence will require you to consider the character of those 
whom we may wish to rebuke or exhort. For there are some 
such profane and bold contemners of every thing good and seri- 
ous, that any solemn admonition would not only be lost upon 
them, but excite in them the most violent resentment ; which, 
besides bringing us into difficulties, might cause even the name 
and truth of God to be blasphemed. 

DOVE, mv JONA ; Greek oivog 53 . 

A bird too well known to need a particular description. 

This beautiful genus of birds is very numerous in the East. 
In the wild state they are called pigeons, and generally build their 
nests in the holes or clefts of rocks, or in excavated trees ; but 
they are easily taught submission and familiarity with mankind ; 
and, when domesticated, build in structures erected for their 
accommodation, called " dove-cotes." They are classed by 

52 Jones's Illustrations of the Gospels, p. 132. 

63 " ColumbjE ferae genus, a vino, oivo;, sic appellatinn. Quia, Eustbathio 
auctore, oixanroj TO %?>/**, id est, vinum, vel uvas maturas colore refert ; vel quia 
vindtmiae tempore tere apparet." Aristot. Hist. lib. viii. c. S. Athenaeus, lib. 
iv. c. 2. 



OF THE BIBLE. 97 

Moses among the clean birds ; and it appears from the sacred, 
as well as other writers, that doves have been held in the highest 
estimation among the Eastern nations. 

Rosenmuller, in a note upon Bochart 5 *, refutes the opinion 
of that learned man, and of Michaelis, who derive the name 
from Ionia, by tracing it rather through the Arabic, where it 
signifies mildness, gentleness, &c. So Parkhurst derives the 
Hebrew name from a root which admits the sense of defenceless, 
and exposed to rapine and violence ; remarkable characteristics 
of this lovely bird. Accordingly the dove is used in Scripture, 
as the symbol of simplicity, innocence, gentleness, and fidelity. 
Hosea, vii. 1 1 ; Matth. ix. 16. See PIGEON. 

The first mention of the dove in the Scripture is Gen. viii. 8, 
10, 11, 12; where Noah sent one from the ark to ascertain if 
the waters of the deluge were assuaged. The raven had been 
previously sent out; and it is generally supposed, flew off, and 
was seen no more. But this meaning, says Dr. Adam Clarke, 
the Hebrew text will not bear ; for the original may be rendered 
" went, going forth, and returning." From whence it is evident 
that she did return, but was not taken into the ark. She made 
frequent excursions, and continued on the wing as long as she 
could, having picked up such aliment as she found floating on 
the waters; and then, to rest herself, regained the ark, where 
she might perch, though she sought not admittance. Indeed, 
this must be allowed, as it is impossible she could have con- 
tinued on the wing during twenty-one days, which she must 
have done had she not returned. The dove, a bird of swift and 
strong wing, accustomed to light and feed upon the ground, and to 
return home every evening from the most distant excursions, was 
then selected as a more faithful messenger than the carnivorous 
raven, because she found nothing to tempt her to be faithless ; as 
she fed, not on carrion, but on grains and vegetables, which were 
not yet to be had. She was sent forth thrice. The first time 
she speedily returned ; having in all probability gone but a little 
way from the ark, as she must naturally be terrified at the appear- 
ance of the waters. After seven days, being sent out a second 
time, she returned with an olive leaf plucked off; whereby it 
became evident that the flood was considerably abated and had 
sunk below the tops of the trees: and thus relieved the fears 
and cheered the heart of Noah and his family. And hence the 
olive branch has ever been among the forerunners of peace, and 
chief of those emblems by which a happy state of renovation and 
restoration to prosperity has beeh signified to mankind. At the 
end of other seven days, the dove, being sent out a third time, 
returned no more, from which Noah conjectured that the earth 
was so far drained as to afford sustenance for the birds and fowls; 
anil he therefore removed the covering of the ark, which probably 
'" Ilirroz. pan ii. 1. i. r. 1 ; vol. ii. page 530. 

K 



98 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

gave liberty to many of the fowls to fly off, which circumstances 
would afford him the greater facility for making arrangements 
for disembarking the other animals. See RAVEN. 

Doves might he offered in sacrifice, when those who were poor 
could not bring a more costly offering. 

Job's eldest daughter was called Jemima, probably from the 
Arabic name of a dove. This name was given to women of the 
greatest beauty in the East. So Semiramis had her name from 
semir jemamah, " the brown dove," or as Hesychius explains it, 
" the mountain dove 53 ." The dove was made the bird of Venus; 
and we find it placed on the head of the Dea Syria, whom the 
orientals imagined, as Lucian says, to be the same with Semi- 
ramis ; and it appears by medals that she was the same with 
Aphrodite, and with the mater deorum; and the same bird is her 
constant attendant when represented under those characters 56 . 

We have in the Asiatic Researches, vol. iv. p. 168, a Hindu 
story on this subject. The Puranas relate that Sami Rama, in 
the shape of a dove, came and abode at Asc'halanaschtan, which 
is obviously Askalon. Here Semiramis was born, according to 
Diodorus Siculus, and here she was nursed by doves; and 
Herodotus says, lib. i. c. 105, " of all the sacred buildings 
erected to the celestial Venus, the temple at Askalon is by far 
the most ancient. The Cyprians themselves acknowledge that 
their temple was built after the model of this, and that Cythera 
was constructed by .certain Phoenicians, who came from this part 
of Syria." 

Gaza was formerly called lonen, which has relation to the 
Hebrew ioneh, which signifies a dove ; and as Gaza was so near 
Askalon, it is probable that there too the goddess was wor- 
shiped. In fact, the whole coast was called " the coast of the 
lonim," [doves] as the sea which surrounds it was called " the 
Ionian sea," quite to the Nile. 

In Psalm fxviii. 13, is a reference to the dove; and as the 
passage is obscure, it may be well to attend to the illustration. 
" Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the 
wings of a dove covered with silver." 

Bp. Lowth gives up this and the following verse as inexpli- 
cable. Dr. Green understands the first part of this, of the 
contemptible state of the Israelites in Egypt (Gen. xlvi. 34), 
and that the Psalmist in the following similitude beautifully sets 
forth their opposite situation, by alluding to the splendour of the 
wings of the dove, so different from the filthiness of their former 

55 The Babylonians worshiped Semiramis, and carried a Dove in the standard 
in honour of her memory. 

" Quid referam ut volitet crebras intacta per urbes 
Alba Palaestino sancta columba Syro." TIBUL. I. 7. 

56 See Costard on the Mythological Astronomy of the Ancients, and Heath on 
Job,p.xx X iv. . 



OF THE BIBLE. 99 

situation. Dr. Durell renders it, " Did ye not lie among the 
sheep-folds, O ye wings of a dove, covered with silver, and with 
burnished gold in her feathers ?" And supposes it to be an 
allegory referring to Reuben, Manasseh, Dan, and Asher, who 
did not assist Deborah in the battle against Sisera. Jud. v. 16, 
17, 18. They are called doves as being the fittest emblems of 
their cowardice ; and the gold and silver, to which the wings are 
compared, may allude to the riches which these tribes seem to 
have acquired by preferring a domestic to a warlike life. But 
this construction is far-fetched, and seems to break the con- 
nexion. 

Mr. Wm. Baxter translates the original thus " Si requieveris 
sub oris alarum columbae de argentata?, cujus alarum terga sunt 
de fulgore auri; ha?c, ubi disperserit Saddai reges per earn, nivea 
comparebit in vexillo." It was the custom, he tells us, for the 
Hebrew armies, as well as the Syrians and Assyrians, to have a 
dove for their standard; to which the Psalmist alluding, says, 
" If you shall abide by your standard, the silver coloured dove, 
whose wings are gilt with gold, when the Almighty by its means 
has scattered the kings, the marks of victory shall be displayed 
in your ensign, and your dove appear white as snow." All 
interpreters have blindly followed the Septuagint in this place, 
who, either ignorantly, or perhaps wilfully, rendered it obscure ; 
for, being unwilling to gratify the Syrians, who worshiped a dove, 
with so honourable a mention of their deity, instead of translating 
the Hebrew word a standard, as they ought to have done, they 
made a proper name of it, and rendered it Mount Selmon 57 . 

The author of " Scripture Illustrated" enlarges upon this con- 
struction, and gives a new version, accompanied with remarks, 
which elucidate other passages. I shall insert it here, with a few 
emendations ; previously observing that the whole of this Psalm 
appears to be a triumphal ode for success in battle. 

Jehovah gave the matter of these glad tidings. 

Kings and hosts did flee, did flee ; 

And the spoil was divided among those at home. 

Now how is it possible that the same persons who had put to 
flight these kings, and had taken the spoil home to their families, 
should lie among the pots! How should these soldiers suffer 
such disgrace, and that at the very time when they enjoy their 
victory ! But if we recollect that the standard of the dove was 
used as a military ensign, and suppose it to be alluded to here, 
then we have an entirely distinct view of the article, and may 
understand it accordingly. 

Kings and armies did flee, did flee, 

And the homestead of their pursuers divided the spoil; 



57 Bowyer's tract entitled " A View of a Book under the title of Reliquias 
Bnxterianue." p. 33. 

K 2 



L 






100 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

Yes, surely, ye cast down among the crooks of tc<w 
The dove of wings imbricated u-ith silver 
And pinions embroidered vcith yellow gold. 
In this dispersion, directed by the Almighty, 
The kings became white as snow- on Salmon. 

That the dove was a military ensign, may be gathered from 
the history in the Chronicon Samaritanum, where we read that 
" the Romans placed a pigeon [or dove] on Mount Gerizim to 
hinder them from going thither to worship with troops. Some 
Samaritans attempted to go up, but the bird discovered them, and 
cried out the Hebrews ! The guards awoke, and slew those who 
were coming up." Understand a military sentry and ensign, and 
" the dove" becomes intelligible at once. 

The paleness of the kings who accompanied this banner, is 
extremely characteristic of their appearance when they saw their 
sacred emblem cast down, and trampled on by the Israelites ; 
or, if they themselves in their haste did cast it down, that they 
might flee the more swiftly, the shame is equal. 

To complete the statement, it remains to be proved that the 
word here employed, CDTIDU; SHOPHETIM, means an instrument 
capable of use in war; because it is usually rendered "fire 
ranges," or " pots ;" but in Ezek. xl. 43, we have this word 
where it can mean no such thing, but a kind of hooks, or catches; 
and so our version understands it, speaking of instruments for the 
use of the priests " and within were hooks" SHOPHETIM, for 
the purpose of holding up the victim while flaying, or some of 
its parts after they were divided. And that somewhat of a hook, 
or catch, was anciently appended to spears or lances, we know 
from the construction of the ancient English brown-bill, from 
the Lochaber axes of Scotland, &c. Corresponding exactly to 
which is the spear of an Egyptian king in his chariot, which is 
still extant among the hieroglyphical sculptures of Egypt. If, 
then, this hooked implement was an Egyptian or Canaanitish 
weapon, either of war or a sacred badge of the priest accom- 
panying the standard bearer; to see the venerated standard of 
the dove trampled on by enemies, together with the arms which 
should defend it, was an event which might well confound into 
paleness the kings which surrounded it, and who had expected 
victory from its assistance. 

Our reasonings lead us to conclude, 1st, That the dove was 
certainly used as a military ensign; 2dly, That as the Assyrians 
were eminent and ancient worshipers of the dove, it might be 
supposed to be appropriately their banner or standard : and this 
will authorize a translation of several passages of Scripture dif- 
ferent from our present public version. 

Jeremiah, speaking of the ravages which would be committed 
in Judea by Nebuchadnezzar, says, " the land is desolate because 
of the fierceness of the dove." And again, " let us go to our 
own people to avoid the sword of the dove :" and in another 



OF THE BIBLE. 101 

place, " they shall flee every one for fear of the sword of the 
dove." Each of these places is intelligible, by supposing the 
king of the Chaldeans to be here referred to, who bore a dove 
in his ensigns, in memory of Semiramis. 

To illustrate Cantic. i. 15; iv. 1 ; and v. 12, where the eyes 
are compared to those of the dove, the author of " Scripture 
Illustrated" has these remarks. " Nothing can be a more striking 
instance of the necessity of acquaintance with the east, as well 
in its Natural History as in other articles, than the passages in 
which the eyes are compared to doves. Our translators say " to 
the eyes of doves," which may be understood to imply meekness, 
tenderness, &c. and therefore it has passed hitherto without cor- 
rection. But the facts are, 1st, That our translators have added 
the word eyes; and 2dly, That they took the black for the white: 
they had in their ideas the white pigeon, or at least the light 
coloured turtle dove; whereas, the most common pigeon or 
dove, in the east, is the deep blue, or blue gray pigeon, whose 
brilliant plumage vibrates around his neck every sparkling hue, 
every dazzling flash of colour. And the passage, ch. v. 12, 
proves that the comparison of the author relates to this pigeon. 
The deep blue pigeon, standing amidst the foam of a waterfall, 
would be a blue centre surrounded by a bright space on each 
side of him. This, in the comparison, is the iris of the eye, 
surrounded by the white of the eye : but as the foam of this 
waterfall is not brilliant enough to satisfy the poet, he has placed 
the deep blue pigeon in a pond of milk, or in a garden basin of 
milk, and there, he says, he turns himself round, to parallel the 
dipping of the former verse. He wantons, sports, frisks, turns 
round : so sportive, mobile, and glittering is the eye, the iris of 
my beloved. The milk, then, denotes the white of the eye, and 
the pigeon surrounded by it ; " the iris of the eye is like a deep 
blue pigeon, standing in the centre of a pool of milk." The com- 
parison is certainly extremely poetical and picturesque. 

" This idea has not escaped the poets of Hindostan, for we 
have in Gitagoviuda the following passage. " The glances of 
her eyes played like a pair ofzvater birds of azure plumage, that 
sport near a full blown lotos on a pool in the season of dew." 

" This leads us to consider the comparison of the eyes of the 
bride to the pools of Heshbon : dark, deep, and clear are her 
eyes ; and so is a pigeon, and so are those pools, dark, deep, and 
clear. But were these pools surrounded by a border of dark 
coloured marble, analogous to the border of stibium, drawn 
along the eyelids of the spouse, and rendering them apparently 
larger, fuller, deeper ? As this comparison is used where orna- 
ments of dress are more particularly subjects of consideration, I 
think it not impossible to be correct; and certainly it is by no 
means contradictory to the ideas contained in the simile recently 
illustrated." 



102 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

The mourning of the dove, Isai. xxxviii. 14; and lix. 1 1, alludes 
to the plaintive murmuring of this bird, particularly of the turtle 
dove, which is said to be disconsolate and to die with grief at 
the loss of its mate. To this may be referred the " tabering of 
the doves/' Nah. ii. 7. 

The doves-dung, 2 Kings, vi. 25, CDOVIH CHIRIONIM, has 
been variously interpreted. Bochart, who has devoted seventeen 
pages to the discussion of this subject 58 , observes that the Ara- 
bians give the name to a kind of moss which grows upon trees 
or stony ground ; and also to a kind of pulse or pea, which is 
common in Judea, as may be seen 2 Sam. xvii. 28 ; the deer 
sativurn nigrum. This latter opinion is that of Dr. Shaw 59 . 
The ingenious Mr. Harmer, however, interprets this expression 
to mean strictly the dung of pigeons, which he thinks might be a 
valuable article as being of great use for quickening the growth of 
esculent plants, particularly melons, during the siege of Samaria. 
This opinion he illustrates by showing how much the Persians 
live on melons in the summer months, and that they use pigeons' 
dung in raising them. I add the following from Tavernier, p. 
146. " There are above three thousand pigeon houses in 
Ispahan ; for every man may build a pigeon house upon his 
own farm, which yet is very rarely done. All the other pigeon 
houses belong to the king, who draws a greater revenue from the 
dung than from the pigeons ; which dung, as they prepare it, 
serves to cultivate their melons." 

Mr. Edwards, in his work " On the Style, &c. of the Scrip- 
ture," p. 289, observes that it is not likely that they had much 
ground to cultivate in so populous a city, for gardens, nor is it 
reasonable to think that those distressed famished creatures who 
were so eager to relieve their present wants, would be much 
concerned to provide against the ensuing year. He is disposed, 
therefore, to understand it as meaning " the offals or refuse of 
all sorts of grain, which was wont to be given to pigeons at such 
a time of the year, when they had nothing abroad to feed upon ; 
that this refuse grain, this tail-corn, these sweepings of the floor, 
these vile remains, are here called dung by way of contempt, 
which comports with the style of Scripture, which uses that word 
to denote the vileness and baseness of a thing. 2 Kings, ix. 37 ; 
Psal. Ixxxiii. 10; Jer. viii. 2, and it is here joined with an Ass's 
head, which was the vilest sort of food ; and therefore both 
together do fully express the extremity of the famine at that time. 
It is certain that it cannot mean pigeon's dung, strictly so called, 
for no excrements are capable of being food." 

As all the ancient Jewish writers understand the word literally, 
it may be well to remark, that the stress of the famine might 
have been so great as to have compelled the poor among the 

58 Hieroz. part II. 1. 1. c. 7. page 572590. 59 Trav. p. 140. ed. 4to. 



OF THE BIBLE. 103 

besieged in Samaria to devour either the intestines of the doves, 
after the more wealthy had eaten the bodies ; or as it might per- 
haps be rendered, the crops, the contents of which, those who 
kept doves forced them to disgorge. There are not wanting in 
history, examples of those who, in the extremity of hunger, have 
been compelled to eat that at which their natures would other- 
wise reluct 60 . 

DRAGON. 

This word is frequently to be met with in our English transla- 
tion of the Bible. It answers generally to the Hebrew jn, pn, 
DOD, THAN, THANIN, and THANIM ; and these words are vari- 
ously rendered, dragons, serpents, sea-monsters, and whales. 

The following remarks, by my learned friend the Hon. James 
Winthrop of Cambridge, are ingenious. D3r> the plural of \r\ 
is used and translated plurally in the following passages by the 
word "dragons." Job, xxx. 29; Psal. xliv. 19; Isai. xiii. 22; 
xxxiv. 13 ; xxxv. 7 ; Jer. ix. 1 1 ; xiv. 6 ; xlix. 33 ; and Mic. i. 8, 
In all these places utter desolation is the idea conveyed; and 
the animal is described as snuffing wind, wailing, and belonging 
to the desert. These characters seem hardly to apply to a dra- 
gon or serpent. In Ezek. xxix. 3, it is translated as of the sin- 
gular number. The original is joined with a verb, pn is used 
plurally in Lam. iv. 3, and translated " sea-monsters ;" though 
the description of its manners rather applies to some wild beast 
than to a fish. The last letter ] is used as a plural termination, 
in conformity to the Chaldee; but the regular Hebrew letter 
would be Q. This word is in Psalm xci. 13, translated as of 
the singular number. In all other places it seems to be the sin- 
gular of " whales," and is in some of them so translated. In 
Mai. i. 3, niin is rendered " dragons." It is coupled with wil- 
derness, and is the plural form of jn. 

The Rev. James Hurdis, in a dissertation relative to this sub- 
ject 61 , observes, that the word translated " whales," in Gen. i. 
21, occurs twenty-seven times in Scripture; and he attempts, 
with much ingenuity, to prove that it every where signifies the 
crocodile. That it sometimes has this meaning, he thinks is clear 
from Ezek. xxix. 3, " Behold I am against thee, Pharoah king 
of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers." 
For to what could a king of Egypt be more properly compared 
than the crocodile ? The same argument he draws from Isai. 
li. 9- " Art thou not he that hath cut Rahab [Egypt], and 
wounded the dragon 62 ." 

60 See Fuller, Miscel. Sacr. 1. 6. c. 2. p. 724. Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. 1. Hi. c. 6. 
Josephus de Bello Jud. lib. vi. cap. ult. ad fincm. 

61 Critical Dissertation upon the true Meaning of the Word D'3'2n found in 
Gen. i. 21. Lond. 1790. 8vo. 

63 Consult J. M. Glaesmer, DC draconc insigni regum j^gyptiorum, ad illustr. 
Ezek. xxix. diutriba. In Biblioth. Brein. Class, vii. fas. 6. p. 976. 



104 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

Among the ancients the crocodile was the symbol of Egypt, 
and appears so on Roman coins 63 . 

From this ground Mr. Hurdis proceeds to explain all the other 
passages ; and finds, that though in one or two instances there 
is reason to hesitate, yet upon the whole, it is probable that 
wherever this animal is mentioned, it is the crocodile ; and there- 
fore Gen. i. 21, should be rendered "great crocodiles," or " the 
great crocodiles." I insert his entire remarks upon Isai. xxxv. 7. 
" The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land 
springs of water. In the habitations of dragons where each lay 
shall be grass with reeds and rushes." What can be clearer than 
that the crocodile is the subject of the latter part of this verse ? 
In this chapter, one of the most beautiful effusions of a fervid and 
inspired imagination, the prophet is figuratively describing the 
redemption of man, by the removal of every thing grievous to 
him, and the accession of every thing pleasant. The wilderness 
is to become a garden, and to blossom as the rose ; it is to blos- 
som abundantly, and to rejoice even with joy and singing; it is 
to break forth with streams, and to become pools and springs of 
waters. And these waters are to be without danger, for not 
only the crocodile shall not be found in them, but the very fear 
of him is to vanish ; he is, it seems, to be for ever removed, and 
the. habitation where he laid is to become grass with reeds and 
rushes. Here it is worthy of notice, that the crocodile was 
always considered as an inhabitant of the wilderness. And such 
he might well be deemed ; for the deserts, as the reader may see 
in Mr. Irwin's charts, came very near to the banks of the Nile ; 
and we may naturally suppose he would frequent those shores of 
the river which were desolate and not cultivated, because there 
he would be least molested. Accordingly, in Mai. i. 3, he is 
styled the crocodile of the wilderness. Again, in Isai. xliii. 20, 
' the beasts of the region shall honour me, the crocodiles, and 
the daughters of the ostrich, because I give waters in the wil- 
derness.' And again, Ezek. xxix. 4, where hooks are to be put 
into his jaws, and he is to be brought up out of the midst of his 
rivers, it is as follows, * and I will leave thee thrown into the 
wilderness.' When the crocodile thus delighted in unfrequented 
places, it will not appear wonderful that he should choose the 
ruins of old deserted towns and cities, which were near rivers 
and Jakes, for his especial abode when out of the water. Of 
Babylon^, therefore, it might properly be said, Isai. xiii. 22, 
that when she became desolate ' the crocodile should cry in her 
pleasant palaces;' and Jer. li. 13, that she should be ' a dwell- 

63 Scheuchzer, Phys. Sacr. in loc. 

64 In the middle of the sixteenth century the ruins of ancient Babylon were 
visited by Rauvvolf, who, among other particulars, mentions that they are now 
" a receptacle of serpents and venomous creatures ;" and by other travellers the 
place thereabouts is represented as " overrun with serpents, scorpions, and all 
sorts of venomous and unclean creatures" 



OF THE BIBLE. 105 

ing place for crocodiles.' And from hence, possibly, the pro- 
phets of the Old Testament borrowed a figurative expression, 
and said of every city that was to be destroyed utterly, that it 
should become * a den for crocodiles, and a court for the daugh- 
ters of the ostrich.' For it does not appear, I think, that these 
places were all of them accessible to the crocodile, especially 
the mountains of Esau ; and perhaps it may be doubted whether 
Babylon itself was ever its habitation, for I know not that the 
crocodile is to be found in the river Euphrates. Should it, how- 
ever, be insisted on, that these passages are to be understood 
literally, it must be no very improbable conjecture, that, under 
the name of crocodile the Hebrews might include every species 
of lizard, in the same manner as we, under the general name of 
lizard, include the crocodile." 

On the other hand, the learned bishop Pocock is persuaded 
that tannitn, Mic. i. 8, and Mai. i. 3, means jackals. He refers 
to an ancient Syriac version, to an Arabic one by Rabbi Saadias, 
and to the manuscript notes of R. Tanchum, a learned Jew 65 , 
as justifying this opinion: and Dr. Shaw and Mr. Scott think 
the same animals to be spoken of by the same name in Job, xxx. 
29, and Jer. iv. 3. Alkamus, in his Lexicon, makes the deeb, 
or jackal, and the teenam to be the same ; and as the latter has 
a great affinity with tannim, it is highly probable that it should 
have been interpreted sometimes deebs or jackals 66 . 

This construction derives some authority from Ecclus. xxv. 16, 
" I had rather dwell with a lion and a dragon, than to keep house 
with a wicked woman;" for travellers tell us that jackals follow 
the lion to partake of the prey after he is satiated. 

As a further illustration of this obscure subject, I make the fol- 
lowing extract from " Scripture Illustrated." 

" We have had, and shall have again, repeated occasions of 
wishing for better acquaintance with the natural history of the 
East, especially in those interpreters whose public translation is 
the voice of authority. Among other instances, we notice that of 
rendering tahash, Numb. iv. 10; Ezek. xvi. 10, et al. by the 
badger, which should rather be a kind of seal ; and that of ren- 
dering tannin, Lament, iv. 3, ' sea monsters,' which draw out 
the breast and give suck. Now philosophy knows nothing of 
monsters. Whatever is capable of posterity, of having young 
ones to suckle, is no monster. I know that this word, tannin, 
is supposed by those who have endeavoured to understand the 
natural history of the Bible, to denote a whale, or the whale 
kind ; but I rather wish to restrain it to the amphibia, to that 
class of animals which haunt the shores, as well as frequent the 

65 This Rabbi wrote on the whole Old Testament in Arabic, part of which the 
Bishop procured from the East. 

66 Shaw's Trav. p. 174, ed. 4to. compare also his learned note, page 429. See 
also Jkhmirrer, Dissert, ad Isai. xxvii. 



106 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

waters. To justify this idea, let us inquire how the tannin are 
described in Scripture. 

" We observe, first, that these tannin are frequently associated 
with the crocodile (which we know is completely amphibious), 
taking the leviathan for that creature. As Psal. Ixxiv. 13, ' Thou 
breakest the heads of the [t.anninini] dragons in the waters ; thou 
breakest the heads of the leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to 
be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.' Isai. xxvii. 1, 
' The Lord shall punish leviathan, and he shall slay the \tan~ 
niii] dragon that is in the sea.' As the tannin is associated with 
the leviathan, it is clear that it cannot be that creature in these 
passages. 

" Those commentators who have supposed that tannin means 
a whale, must relinquish that opinion when considering the ex- 
pressions of the prophet Malachi, i. 3, ' I disliked Esau, and 
gave his mountains to solitude, and his inheritance to the tanuth 
['dragons,' Eng. Tr.] of the wilderness.' Now, to say nothing 
of the scarcity of whales in the Red Sea, where only they could 
visit the inheritance of Edom ; how can whales come on shore 
to possess these inheritances ? Since whales are not amphibious, 
but always remain in the deep. 

" The LXX render this word, Lam. iv. 3, by dragons ; the 
Vulgate by lamia ; but neither dragons, i. e. serpents, nor lamia, 
have breasts to suckle their young. In Isai. xiii. 22, the Vul- 
gate reads 'sirens in the houses of pleasure;' the LXX also 
sirenes and elsewhere, sometimes E%IVOI, hedge-hogs. So that we 
may perceive that this word tannin, and its relatives, has been 
a perplexity to translators, as well ancient as modern. 

" But what are the characteristics of the tannin in Scripture ? 
1. It is evidently a creature of the amphibious kind; as appears 
from passages already adduced. 2. It suckles its young, and 
draws out the breast. 3. It is capable of exerting its voice very 
mournfully, as appears Mic. i. 8, * I will make a wailing like dra- 
gons' [tanim]. 4. It is capable of holding its breath awhile, 
of drawing in vehemently a quantity of breath, and consequently 
of emitting it with violence ; of panting, as Jer. xiv. 6. " The 
wild asses stand on the high places ; they puff for breath (or 
puff out breath) like dragons [tannitn] ; their eyes fail because 
there is no grass." By these properties we may discover the 
tannim." 

Hence the writer goes on to show the correspondence of the 
characters with the Phoca, and the Manati ; and adds, " we 
have now described a class of creatures which may justly claim 
a preference over the sea monsters of our translation : they are, 
1. Amphibious ; 2. Affectionate to their progeny; 3. Vocal; and 
4. Their breathing is like to the snorting of a horse, &c. We 
know also that they are found in the Mediterranean', consequent- 
ly on the coast of Judea; in the Red Sea, consequently oil the 



OF THE BIBLE. 107 

coast of Edoni; in the Indian Ocean, consequently they might 
go up the rivers (as the Tigris, &c. to Babylon, &c.) which is- 
sue therein; and, in short, they appear, under one species and 
another, to be capable of fulfilling all the characters which are 
attributed to the TANNIM in Scripture. 

" The reader will recollect that I have not presumed to deter- 
mine the species, but have merely attempted to establish the 
propriety of rendering TANNIN by this class of amphibia. 

" But we ought to observe farther in support of our princi- 
ples, 1 . That they are said to be given for meat to the people ; 
so these amphibia are mostly eatable, and some of them excel- 
lent eating. 2. The word iiOQU? SHEMAMAH, rendered * in soli- 
tude,' Mai. i. 3, in reference to the mountains of Edom, should, 
to establish the usual parallelism, be an animal. Now the word 
JYQQltf SHEMIMITH is so nearly the same word, that I think it may 
be taken as equivalent ; and this word signifies ' a spider,' says 
our translation, Prov. xxx. 26. A lizard, says Bochart. With- 
out examining this, observe how the sentiment of the prophet 
stands under this rendering. ' But I disliked Esau, and placed 
on his elevated places, his mountains and hills, (i. e. they were 
overrun with) spiders or lizards ; and his heritages, his levels, 
his shores, and strands, they were occupied by amphibious ani- 
mals, who dwell far from man in wastes and deserts, insomuch 
that Edom acknowledges, we are impoverished, &c. Does not 
this strengthen the energy and poetry of the passage ? 

" Though I believe what has been already said may be taken 
as corresponding to a general idea, and an idea sufficiently cor- 
rect, of the class of creatures described by the word tannim, 
yet it may not be amiss if we offer a few hints in addition. 1st, 
TANNUTH, feminine, Mai. i. 3. 2dly, TANNIM, masculine, freq. 
sometimes perhaps singular, at others dual or plural. We have 
also a word usually referred to the same root. 3. TANNIN, 
Exod. vii. 9, 10. 12. And 4. TANNININ, which I presume is 
the plural of the former. Exod. vii. 12. Lam. iv. 3. 

" I do not know that we can reduce this word in search of its 
root, to still greater simplicity ; but, I think if the word Levia- 
than, in which tan is one of the compounds, was separated into 
its parts, levi and than or tan, they might readily be taken to 
signify levi the jointed-rivet ed ; and tan the drawn out, elon- 
gated, lengthened: that is to say, ' the long animal with riveted 
scales ;' a very expressive name, and aq accurate description of 
the crocodile. The same, I guess, is the import of tan or taneh, 
jused as a verb, Judges, v. 11. 'Instead of the noise of the 
archers at the places of drawing water, there shall they (those 
that draw water) rehearse [vttV ITANU] drawn out, PROLONG mu- 
tual discourse, conversation, or remarks, on the subject of the 
righteous acts of the Lord." They shall be so full of their sub- 
ject, that they shall extend their reciprocal communications to a 



108 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

great length. So Judges, xi. 40. ' The daughters of Israel went 
yearly, four days in a year [nun 1 ? LETANUTH], to prolong con- 
versation, kindness, visits, &c. with the daughter of Jepthah.' 

" Should we transfer the preceding idea to animals, we shall 
find it describes a class of creatures which are of lengthened 
form ; whose hinder parts at least are in some degree taper, and 
drawn out. 

" These principles, if they are just, exclude the whole class of 
amphibia which have short bodies ; such as frogs, toads, turtles, 
tortoises 67 , &c. for though some of these have an appendage, 
which forms a tail, yet they can hardly be called * lengthened-out 
animals ;' their shells, or bodies, being round, iiot oblong, or 
protracted to any degree deserving of notice : and 1 think the 
general usage of scripture in reference to this word will justify 
the inferences which I have drawn from such passages as have 
now been the subject of consideration. 

" I feel a reluctance also in admitting that dragons, i. e. great 
serpents, are described by this word. But if the dragon was, as 
I believe it really was, a notion originally derived from the cro- 
codile, and if it be also ancient, then the rcord dragon may be 
more nearly allied to the word tan than the usual acceptation of 
it should lead us to believe. 

" I cannot quit this subject without wishing for some decisive 
character whereby to direct our application of these words to 
different creatures, though of the same class. Does tannin sig- 
nify precisely the same creature as tanniu and tannuTH? I 
should think not. But how to ascertain the distinction, or where 
to point it out, or by what marks of dissimilarity to discern them, 
I acknowledge my ignorance." 

In Deut. xxxii. 33, we read of " the poison of dragons" [TA- 
JSINIM]; upon which the same author has several remarks, with 
an attempt to identify a venomous reptile, and applies it to the 
Gecko; but Hurdis says, that " it is to be observed that non 
CHEMET, though it is here rendered * poison,' was so rendered in 
ver. 24 of this chapter, and is again so rendered Job, vi. 4, Psal. 
Iviii. 4, and cxl. 3 ; yet in all other instances, and it occurs in 
very many, it is ' fury' or ' wrath,' either of which will apply as 
well to the crocodile as the dragon. The Greek renders it, in 
all the above instances but the last, 9u|XO, in the last only it is 
tog. I see, therefore, no impropriety in saying, Their wine is the 
fury of crocodiles, and the cruel venom of asps. A figurative 
expression, I suppose, like that in Psal. xi. 6. ' Upon the wicked 
he shall rain snares, fire, and brimstone, and a horrible tem- 
pest ; this shall be the portion of their cup.' " 

67 In transcribing this article the idea struck me, that the notion of drawn out 
has, however,. some application to the tortoise, which has a remarkable faculty 
of projecting out his head and elongating the neck; as also of breathing hard, or 
puffing out the breath; though indeed the other characteristic:; may not be ap- 
plicable. 



OF THE BIBLE. 109 

I close this article, already protracted to a tedious length, with 
the following note from Dr. Adam Clarke on Exod. vii. 16. 
" What kind of serpent is here intended, learned men are not 
agreed. From the manner in which the original word is used in 
Psal. Ixxiv. IS; Isai. xxvii. 1; li. 9, and Job, vii. 12, some very 
large creature, either aquatic or amphibious, is probably meant. 
Some have supposed that the crocodile, a well known Egyptian 
animal, is here intended. In chap. iv. 3, it is said that this rod 
was changed into a serpent ; but the original word there is UfllJ 
NACHASH, and here pn TANNIN. As nachash seems to be a term 
restricted to no one particular meaning, so the words TAN MM, 
TANNIN, TANNINIM, and TANNOTH, are used to signify different 
kinds of animals in the Scriptures. As it was a rod, or staff", that 
was changed into the tannim in the cases mentioned here, it has 
been supposed that an ordinary serpent is what is intended by 
the word, because the size of both might be pretty nearly equal ; 
but, as a miracle was wrought on the occasion, this circumstance 
is of no weight ; it was as easy for GOD to change the rod into 
a crocodile, or any other creature, as to change it into an adder 
or common snake." 

From the Apochryphal story of Bel and the Dragon it ap- 
pears evident that the idol was a living crocodile 68 . See LE- 
VIATHAN and WHALE. 

DROMEDARY. This name answers to two words in the 
original. IDD, and fern. m33 BACAR, or BICRE. Isai. Ix. 6, and 
Jer. ii. 24. and D'nrKlMTK ACHASTARAN, Esth. viii. 10, " young 
dromedaries;" probably the name in Persian 69 . 

The dromedary is a race of camels chiefly remarkable for its 
prodigious swiftness. The most observable difference between 
it and the camel is, that it has but one protuberance on the back ; 
and instead of the slow solemn walk to which that animal is ac- 
customed, it paces, and is generally believed will go as far in one 
day as that will in three. For this reason it is used to carry 
messengers on despatches where haste is required. The animal 
is governed by a bridle, which, being usually fastened to a ring 
fixed in the nose, may very well illustrate the expression, 2 Kings, 
xix. 28, of putting a hook into the nose of Sennacherib ; and may 
be farther applicable to his swift retreat. 

Jer. ii. 23, properly gives the epithet " swift" to this animal. 

Dr. Shaw 70 mentions a dromedary named ashaary, and Mor- 

68 Justin Martyr, alhiding to the Egyptian worship, always deemed the op- 
probrium of Paganism, reprobates the senseless, trifling and disgusting objects 
of it. Ax>sc aXXa^/o xi SivSfa <? GO/J.IVOV, xati rsol<t/Atis, xcti ft,us, xai aiXnft>;, xi 
xfoxoSiiXs, x( TWV <xAo7<jy ait' ra nroXXa. Apol. 2. p. 63. ed. Francf. That the 
crocodile was held sacred we have the authority of Plutarch, Mor. 976. B. 
jElian de Nat. Animal, x. 24. Juvenal, Sat. xv. 2. Strabo, lib. xvii. 811. D. 
Minucius Felix, p. 268. 

69 This word is used 1 Chron. iv. as the name of a man; anglice, Mr. Swift. 

70 Trav. p. 167. ed. 4to. 



110 THIi NATURAL HISTORY 

gan, aashare 71 . Upon which the continuator of Calmet 72 re- 
marks : " The application of the word aashare to a swift drome- 
dary illustrates a passage in Prov. vi. 11; at least it illustrates 
the ideas of the Chaldee paraphrase on this passage, and the pa- 
rallel passage, or rather repetition, ch. xxiv. 34. * A little sleep, 
a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to sleep ; so shall 
thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an 
armed man.' It is evident that the writer means to denote the 
speed and rapidity of the approaches of penury; therefore, in- 
stead of * one that travelleth/ read a post, a swift messenger, an 
express. 

" The words ish magen are no where used in the sense of an 
armed man, or ' a man of a shield,' as some would render them 
literally ; but the Chaldee paraphrast translates them fOUD t<ro:i 
GABRA CISHERA, or rather ci-ashera, like an aashare rider. The 
similitude of the Hebrew letters, as they now stand, to what they 
would be if the word achastaran, which is used in Esther, was 
received instead of them, is worth our notice : pCKttNS prKZNG. 
If the Chaldee has not retained this reading, it has done no more 
than substitute the name of the swiftest species of camel with 
which the writer was acquainted, for the swiftest species men- 
tioned in the Hebrew. 

" The LXX translates fyopifu;, a runner ; which shows that 
they knew nothing of this ' man with a shield,' who certainly 
could not be expected to run so freely when encumbered with a 
shield, as another could run without one. Besides, a shield is 
an armour of defence : had it been said a sword, it might have 
denoted power and attack. Our translators, aware of this, have 
employed the ambiguous word ' armed.' The sentiment, on 
these principles, would stand thus : * So shall thy poverty ad- 
vance as rapidly as an express ; and thy penury as a strong and 
swift aashare rider/ " 

EAGLE. IQUNISR; Arab, nesr ; Chald. nescher. 

Occ. Exod. xix. 4; Levit. xi. 13, et al. freq. 73 . The name 
is derived from a verb which signifies to lacerate, or tear in 
pieces. 

The eagle has always been considered as the king of birds on 
account of its great strength, rapidity and elevation of flight, na- 
tural ferocity, and the terror it inspires into its fellows of the air. 
Its voracity is so great that a large extent of territory is requi- 
site for the supply of proper sustenance, Providence has there- 
fore constituted it a solitary animal : two pair of eagles are never 
found in the same neighbourhood, though the genus is dispersed 
through every quarter of the world. It seldom makes depreda- 

71 Hist, of Algiers, p. 101. 72 Fragments, No. 475. 

73 " Aquilarum diversae circa propriet.itera, magnitudinem et colorem sunt 
species; majores Arabico idiomate Nesir vocantur." Leo Africanus, Descr. 
Afr. 1. ix. c. 56. Et cap. 57. " Nesir maxima Africse volucrum, corpore gruem 
excedit, rostro tamen, collo et cruribus brevior." 



OF THE BIBLE. Ill 

tions on the habitations of mankind ; preferring its own safety to 
the gratification of appetite. Neither does it ever make mean or 
inconsiderable conquests ; the smaller and harmless birds being 
beneath its notice. It will, however, carry away a goose, or 
even a turkey. It has often been known to seize hares, young 
lambs, and kids ; which latter, as well as fawns, it frequently 
destroys for the sake of drinking their blood, as it never drinks 
water in the natural state. Having slain an animal too large to 
be eaten at once, it devours or carries off a part; leaving the 
remainder for other creatures less delicate ; for it never returns to 
feed upon the same carcass, neither will it ever devour carrion. 

Its sight is quick, strong, and piercing to a proverb. 

Jackson, in his Account of Morocco, p. 62, says, that " the 
VULTURE (nesser), except the ostrich, is the largest bird in Africa. 
They build their nests on lofty precipices, high rocks, and in 
dreary parts of the mountains. Mr. Bruce has called this bird 
' the golden eagle,' but I apprehend that he has committed an 
error in denominating it an eagle, the generical name of which, 
in the Arabic language, is El Bezz." On the other hand, Mr. 
SALT, Trav. in Abyssinia, says, " its general appearance in a 
natural state, together with the vigour and animation which it 
displays, incline me to think it more nearly allied m the natural 
system to the eagles, and I should therefore be inclined to call 
it * the African bearded Eagle.' " 

In Job, xxxix. 27, the natural history of the eagle is finely 
drawn up. 







Is it at thy voice that the eagle soars 9 

And therefore rnaketh his nest on high ? 

The rod: is the place of his habitation. 

He abides on the crag, the place of strength. 

Thence he pounces upon his prey. 

His eyes discern afar off. 

Even his young ones drink down blood; 

And wherever is slaughter, there is he. 



rs. Barbauld has given a description of the Eagle in the 
following lines : 

*' The royal bird his lonely kingdom forms 
Amid the gathering clouds and sullen storms: 
Through the wide waste of air he darts his flight, 
And holds his sounding pinions pois'd for sight; 
With cruel eye premeditates the war, 
And marks his destined victim from afar. 
Descending in a whirlwind to the ground, 
His pinions like the rush of waters sound ; 
The fairest of the fold he bears away, 
And to the nest compels the struggling prey." 

Alluding to the popular opinion that the eagle assists its fee- 
ble young in their flight, by bearing them up on its own pinions, 
Moses represents Jehovah as saying, Exod. xix. 4, "Ye have 
seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' 
wings, and brought you unto myself." Scheuchzer has quoted 



112 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

from an ancient poet, the following beautiful pharaplirase on 
this passage. 

" Ac velut alituum princeps, fulvusque tonantis 
Armiger, implumes, et adhuc sine robore natos 
Sollicita refovef cura, pinguisque ferinae 
Indulge! pastus: nio.x ut cum viribus :il;r 
Vesticipes crevere, vocat se blandior aura, 
Expansa invitat pluma, dorsuque morantes 
Excipit, attollitque humeris, plausuque secundo 
Fertur in arva, timens oneri,et tamen impete presso 
Reuiigium tentans alarum, incurvaque pinnis 
Vela legens, humiles tranat sub nubibus onis. 
Hinc sensim supra alta petit, jam jamque sub astra 
Erigitur, cursusque leves citus urget in auras, 
Omnia pervolitaus late loca, et agmine fwtus 
Fertque refertque suos vario, moremque volandi 
Addocet : ill! autem, longa assuetudine docti, 
Paulatim incipiunt pennis se credere coelo 
Impavidi : Tantu n a teneris valet addere curam." 

When Balaam, Numb. xxiv. 21, delivered his predictions re- 
specting the fate that awaited the nations which he then particu- 
larized, he said of the Kenites, " Strong is thy dwelling, and 
thou puttest thy nest in the rock ;" alluding to that princely bird, 
the eagle, which not only delights in soaring to the loftiest heights, 
but chooses the highest rocks, and most elevated mountains as 
desirable situations for erecting its nest. Comp. Hab. ii. 9> 
Obad. 4. 

What Job says concerning the eagle, which is to be understood 
in a literal sense, " where the slain are, there is he," our Sa- 
viour makes an allegory of, when he says, Matth. xxiv. 28, 
" Wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered 
together;" that is, wherever the Jews are, who deal unfaithfully 
with GOD, there will also the Romans, who bore the eagle in 
their standard, be to execute vengeance upon them. Comp. 
Luke, xvii. 37. 

The swiftness of the flight of the eagle is alluded to in several 
passages of Scripture ; as Dent, xxviii. 49, " The Lord shall 
bring a nation against thee from afar, from the end of the earth ; 
as swift as the eagle flieth." In the affecting lamentation of 
David over Saul and Jonathan, their impetuous and rapid career 
is described in forcible terms. 2 Sam. i. 23, " They were swifter 
than eagles;. they were stronger than lions." Jeremiah (iv. 13), 
when he beheld in vision the march of Nebuchadnezzar, cried, 
" Behold he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as 
a whirlwind. His horses are swifter than eagles. Wo unto us, for 
we are spoiled." To the wide expanded wings of the eagle, and 
the rapidity of his flight, the same prophet beautifully alludes in 
a subsequent chapter, where he describes the subversion of Moab 
by the same ruthless conqueror. Jer. xlviii. 4O, " Behold he 
shall fly as an eagle, and spread his wings over Moab." In the 
same manner he describes the sudden desolations of Ammon iu 



OF THE BIBLE. 113 

the next chapter ; but, when he turns his eye to the ruins of his 
own country, he exclaims in still more energetic language, Lam. 
iv. 19, " Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the hea- 
vens." 

Under the same comparison, the patriarch Job describes the 
rapid flight of time, ix. 26, " My days are passed away, as the 
eagle that hasteth to the prey." The surprising rapidity with 
which the blessings of common providence sometimes vanish 
from the grasp of the possessor is thus described by Solomon, 
Prov. xxx. 19, " Riches certainly make themselves wings; they 
fly away as an eagle towards heaven." 

The flight of this bird is as sublime as it is rapid and impetuous. 
None of the feathered race soar so high. In his daring excur- 
sions he is said to leave the clouds of heaven, and regions of 
thunder, and lightning, and tempest far beneath him, and to 
approach the very limits of ether 74 . Alluding to this lofty soar- 
ing is the prophecy of Obadiah, ver. 4, concerning the pride and 
humiliation of Moab : *' Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, 
and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring 
thee down, saith the Lord." The prophet Jeremiah, xlix. 16, 
pronounces the doom of Edom in similar terms : " O thou that 
dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the 
hill; though thou shouldst make thy nest high as the eagle, 1 
will bring thee down from thence, saith the Lord." 

It has been a popular opinion, that the eagle lives and retains 
its vigour to a great age; and that, beyond the common lot of 
other birds, it moults in its old age, renews its feathers, and is 
restored to youthful strength again 75 . This circumstance is 
mentioned in Psal. ciii. 5, and Isai. xl. 31. Whether the notion 
is in any degree well founded or not, we need not inquire. It is 
enough for a poet, whether sacred or profane, to have the au- 
thority of popular opinion to support an image introduced for 
illustration or ornament. 

It is remarkable that Cyrus, compared in Isai. xlvi. 11, to an 
eagle (so the word translated " ravenous bird" should be ren- 
dered), is by Xenophon said to have an eagle for his ensign ; 
using, without knowing it, the identical word of the prophet, 
with only a Greek termination to it 76 . So exact is the corre- 
spondence betwixt the prophet and the historian, the prediction 
and the event. 

Xenophon and other ancient historians inform us that the 

74 Apuleius, as quoted by Bochart. 

75 See Damir. Aristot. Hist- Anim. 1. ix. c. 33. Plin. N. H. 1. x. c. 3. 
Horus Apollo, 1. ii. c. 92. Yalterus, Aquilac Natura e Sacris Litteris, ex Deut. 
xxxii. 11, Ezek. xvii. 3, Psal. ciii. 5, et haec vicissim, ex Historia Natural! et 
monumentis Veterurn Hlustratsr, 4to. Lips. 1747. 

5 '* A very proper emblem for Cyrus," says Bishop Lowth, " as in other rr- 
spects, so particularly because the ensign of Cyrus was a golden eagle, AETOS 
Xfwffout, the very word B'J? which the prophet here uses, expressed as near as may 
be in Greek letters. Xenoph. Cyrop. 1. vii. sub init. 

L 



114 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

golden eagle with extended wings was the ensign of the Persian 
monarchs long before it was adopted by the Romans; and it is 
very probable, that the Persians borrowed the symbol from the 
ancient Assyrians, in whose banners it waved, till imperial Baby- 
lon bowed her head to the yoke of Cyrus. If this conjecture be 
well founded, it discovers the reason why the sacred writers, iu 
describing the victorious march of the Assyrian armies, allude so 
frequently to the expanded eagle. Referring to the Babylonian 
monarch, the prophet Hosea, viii. 1, proclaimed in the ears of 
all Israel, the measure of whose iniquities was nearly full 
" He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord." 
Jeremiah, xlviii. 40, predicted a similar calamity ; " Thus saith 
the Lord, behold he shall fly as an eagle, and spread his wings 
over Moab:" and the same figure was employed to denote the 
sudden destruction that overtook the house of Esau. " Behold, 
he shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread his wings 
over Bozrah." The words of these prophets received a full 
accomplishment in the irresistible impetuosity and complete 
success with which the Babylonian monarchs, and particularly 
Nebuchadnezzar, pursued their plans of conquest. Ezekiel de- 
nominates him, with great propriety, " a great eagle with great 
wings ;" because he was the most powerful monarch of his time, 
and let into the field more numerous and better appointed armies 
(which the prophet calls, by a beautiful figure " his wings," the 
wings of his army\ than perhaps the world had ever seen. The 
prophet Isaiah, referring to the same monarch, predicted the 
subjugation of Judea in these terms " He 'shall pass through 
Judah. He shall overflow, and go over. He shall reach even 
to the neck. And the stretching out of his wings (the array of 
his army) shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel." 
Isai. viii. 8. The king of Egypt is also styled by Ezekiel, " a 
great eagle, with great wings, and many feathers;" but he ma- 
nifestly gives the preference to the king of Babylon, by adding, 
that he had " long wings, full of feathers, which had divers 
colours ;" that is, greater wealth, and a more numerous army 77 . 
See GIER-EAGLE. 

EBONY. D'ttVl, or, according to 23 of Dr. Kennicott's co- 
dices, man HOBNIM ; Greek, EBENOS 78 ; Vulgate, hebeninos. 

An Indian wood, of a black colour, and of great value in 
ancient times 79 . As very hard and heavy, and admitting of a 

77 Paxton, Illustrations of Scripture, V. ii. p. 14. 

78 " Iu Montfauconii quidcm Hexaplis Origenianis nihil de Symmaclio notatura 
est: at ex Theodoreto disco, eum de Hebeno cogitasse. To. xigara, inijuit ad 
h. 1. o Zu/A/.axOf t?v? -rif>/u.riitvaiv, cKf 1 y ra ifsvia x?./xx firirai. Ergo Hcbeni 
nomen in hoc versu apud Symmachum legit, sed male ad rmp retulit." Mi- 
chaelis, Not. ad Geogr. Heb. exter. part i. p. 206. 

79 Sola India nigrum 

Fort ebenum. VIRG. Georg. ii. 117. 

vro; 
THEOCR. Idyl. xv. T. 123. 



OF THE BIBLE. 115 

fine polish, it was used in inlaid work with ivory, with which it 
formed a beautiful contrast. It is mentioned with ivory, as 
among the imported articles, in Ezek. xxvii. 1.5; and that is the 
only place in which the word occurs in Scripture. 

It is to be observed that the w : ord is in the plural, and Theo- 
phrastus, Hist. 1. iv. c. 5, Plin. N. H. 1. xii. c. 4, and other, 
authors mention two kinds of ebony; besides, all the other kinds 
of precious woods in Scripture are in the plural ; as D'lDW twenty 
times in Exodus, and D'QIJ^N or D'JTicfrtf I Kings, x. 12 ; 2 Chron. 
ix. 10, 11; and this, perhaps, not from their being varieties, but 
their being in separate pieces, or being sold in parcels. 

EGG. D'tfO BETZIM, plur. 

Occ. Deut. xxii. 6; Job, xxxix. 14; Isai. x. 14, and lix. 5. 
QON Luke, xi. 12. 

Eggs are considered as a very great delicacy in the east, and 
are served up with fish and honey at their entertainments. As 
a desirable article of food, the egg is mentioned, Luke, xi. 12. 
" If a son ask for an egg, will his father offer him a scorpion?" 
It has been remarked that the body of the scorpion is very like 
an egg, as its head can scarcely be distinguished 80 ; especially if 
it be of the white kind, which is the first species mentioned by 
JElian, Avicenna, and others. Bochart has produced testimo- 
nies to prove that the scorpions in Judea were about the bigness 
of an egg 81 . So the similitude is preserved between the thing 
asked, and the thing given. The reasoning is this If a child 
ask an earthly parent for bread, a necessary of life, he will not 
deny him what is proper for his support, putting him off with a 
stone ; and if he should ask for a sort of food of the more deli- 
cious kind, an eel or an egg, he will not, we may assure our- 
selves, give his child what is hurtful, a serpent or a scorpion. If 
sinful men, then, will give good gifts to their children, how much 
more will your heavenly Father give the necessary and the more 
desirable gifts of his spirit to those who supplicate for them ? 

This passage may be compared with Isai. lix. 5. 

They hatch the eggs of the basilisk- 
He that eateth their eggs dielh ; 
And when it is crushed, a viper breaketh forth. 

niQ^n CHALAMUTH, which in Job, vi. 6, our translators have 
rendered " the white of an egg," intends indeed insipidness, but 
it is not easy to fix the precise meaning to the Hebrew word 82 . 

Theophrastus also says, that Ebony was peculiar to India; but Pliny quotes 
Herodotus, to show that Ethiopia produces Ebony ; and Lucian mentions it as 
growing in that country. 

80 Lamy Appar. Bibl. b. iii. c. 2. 7. 

81 Bochart. Hieroz. vol. iii. p. 549. 

62 The critical reader will do well to consult Mr. Good's learned note upon 
the passage. 

L2 



116 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

ELM. rfo* ALAH. 

This word is found only once in our translation of the Bible. 
Hosea, iv. 13. But the word there used in the Hebrew is in 
all other places rendered oak. 
EMERALD, -pj NOPHEC. 

Occurs only Exod. xxviii. 18; and Ezek. xvii. 16, and xxviii. 
13: and MAP APACE, Rev. xxi. 19; and Ecclus. xxxii. 6; 
Tobit, xiii. 22; and Judith, x. 21. 

This is generally supposed to be the same with the ancient 
Smaragdus. It is one of the most beautiful of all the gems ; 
and is of a bright green colour, without the admixture of any 
other. Pliny thus speaks of it. " The sight of no colour is 
more pleasant than green; for we love to view green fields and 
green leaves, and are still more fond of looking at the emerald, 
because all other greens are dull in comparison with this. Be- 
sides, these stones seem larger at a distance, by tinging the 
circumambient air. Their lustre is not changed by the sun, by 
the shade, nor by the light of lamps ; but they have always a 
sensible moderate brilliancy 83 ." 

From the passage in Ezekiel we learn that the Tyrians traded 
in these jewels in the marts of Syria. They probably had them 
from India, or the south of Persia. The true oriental emerald 
is very scarce, and is only found at present in the kingdom of 
Cambay. 

FALLOW-DEER, nor YACHMUR. 
Occ. Deut. xiv. 5, and 1 Kings, iv. 23. 

The animal here mentioned is not the fallow-deer, but the fm- 
balus; and it is so rendered by the Septuagint and Vulgate ; and 
indeed Bochart has sufficiently proved that in the ancient Greek 
writers BB&zAo? or Bu&ctXis signifies an animal of the deer kind. 
This animal Dr. Shaw supposes to be the bekkar el wash, 
which is nearly of the same size with the red deer ; with which 
it also agrees in colour, as yachmur likewise the scripture name 
(being a derivative from ~)DH HOMMAR, rubere) may denote. The 
flesh is very sweet and nourishing; much preferable to the red 
deer, so might well be received, with the deer and the antelope, 
at Solomon's table, as mentioned 1 Kings, iv. 23 8 *. 

On the other hand Herodotus, Oppian, ./Elian, Aristotle, 
describe an animal of the species of Gazelles, which Pallas 85 
calls " Antelope Bubalis," and Oedman renders probable is the 
creature here mentioned 86 ; and Niebuhr observes that there is 
an antelope which still retains this name in Arabia 87 . It inha- 

83 Nat. Hist. 1. xTxvii. c. 5. 84 Trav. p. 170, and 415. ed. 4to. 

85 Spicel Zool. fasc. I. No. 10. 

86 Vermischte Sammlungen aus der Naturkunde, fasc. 1. c. 3, p. 27, and 
fasc. iv. c. 2. 

Prsef. xlii. 



OF THE BIBLE. 117 

bits the mountains of that country, and it is frequent about the 
Euphrates. 

For other conjectures I refer to the note of Rosenmuller on 
Bochart, Hieroz. 1. II. c. 28. p. 282, vol. i. Michaelis, Suppl. 
Lexic. Hebr. p. v. p. 1544, and Tychsen, Physiologus Syrus, 
p. 3642. 

FERRET. np3N ANAKAH, from p:N ANAK to groan, or cry 
out. 

Occ. Levit. xi. 29. 

The ferret is a species of the weasel ; but Bochart will have 
the ANAKAH to be the spotted lizard called by Pliny " stellio." 
Dr. James takes it for the " frog," in allusion to the name which 
literally signifies " the crier," befitting the croaking of that ani- 
mal; but we shall find the frog mentioned under another name. 
Dr. Geddes renders it " the newt," or rather " the lizard of the 
Nile 88 ;" and it evidently must be of the lizard species. Pliny 
mentions " the galeotes, covered with red spots, whose cries are 
sharp 89 , which may be the Gekko, which I have reason to think 
the animal here intended ; besides which, few if any lizards cry. 
As its name in the Indies tockai, and in Egypt gekko, is formed 
from its voice, so the Hebrew name anakah, or perhaps anakkah, 
seems to be formed in like manner; the double K being equally 
observable in all these appellations 90 . If these remarks are 
admissible, this lizard is sufficiently identified. 

FIG-TREE. nJND TEENAH ; Arab. tijn. 

Occ. Gen. iii. 7 ; Numb. xiii. 23 ; and elsewhere freq. ; and 
STKEH Matth. vii. 16; xxi. 19; xxiv.32; Mark, xi. 13, 20, 21 ; 
xiii. 28; Luke, vi. 44; xiii. 6, 7; xxi. 29; Joh. i. 48; James, 
iii. 12; and Rev. vi. 13. 

This tree was very common in Palestine. It becomes large, 
dividing into many branches, which are furnished with leaves 
shaped like those of the mulberry. It affords a friendly shade. 
Accordingly, we read in the Old Testament of Judah and Israel 
dwelling, or sitting securely, every man under his fig-tree. 1 Kings, 
iv. 25. (Comp. Mic. iv. 4; Zech. iii. 10; and 1 Maccab. xiv. 
12). And in the New Testament, we find Nathaniel under a 
fig-tree, probably for the purposes of devotional retirement. 
Joh. i. 49, 51. Hasselquist, in his journey from Nazareth to 
Tiberias, says, " We refreshed ourselves under the shade of a 
fig-tree, under which was a well, where a shepherd and his herd 
had their rendezvous; but without either house or hut." 

The fruit which it bears is produced from the trunk and large 
branches, and not from the smaller shoots as in most other trees. 
It is soft, sweet, and very nourishing. 

88 Lacerta Nilotica, Hasselquist, p. 221. Nat. Hist. 1. xxix. c. 4. 

90 In the Syriac version it is amkatha, which according to Gabriel Sionita is 
u. kind of lizard. 



118 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

Milton is of opinion that the banian-tree 91 was that with 
whose leaves our first parents made themselves aprons 92 . But 
his account, as to the matter of fact, wants even probability to 
countenance it ; for the leaves of this are so far from being, as 
he has described them, of the bigness of an Amazonian target, 
that they seldom or never exceed five inches in length, and three 
in breadth. Therefore we must look for another of the fig kind, 
that better answers the purpose referred to by Moses, Gen. iii. 7; 
and as the fruit of the banana-tree 03 is often, by the most ancient 
authors, called a fig, may we not suppose this to have been the 
fig-tree of Paradise? Pliny describing this tree, says that its 
leaves were the greatest and most shady of all others 94 : and as 
the leaves of these are often six feet long, and about two broad ; 
are thin, smooth, and very flexible, they may be deemed more 
proper than any other for the covering spoken of, especially 
since they may be easily joined together with the numerous 
threadlike filaments, which may, without labour, be peeled from 
the body of the tree 93 . 

The first ripe fig is still called boccore in the Levant, which is 
nearly its Hebrew name, JTYOS. Jer. xxiv. 2. Thus Dr. Shaw, 
in giving an account of the fruits in Barbary, mentions " the 
black and white boccore, or early Jig, which is produced in June, 
though the kermes or kermouse, the/zg, properly so called, which 
they preserve and make up into cakes, is rarely ripe before 
August 96 ." And on Nah. iii. 12, he observes that " the boc- 
cores drop as soon as they are ripe, and according to the beau- 
tiful allusion of the prophet, fall into the mouth of the eater upon 
being shaken" Farther, " it frequently falls out in Barbary," 
says he, " and we need not doubt of the like in this hotter 
climate of Judea, that, according to the quality of the preceding 
season, some of the more forward and vigorous trees will now 
and then yield a few ripe Jigs six weeks or more before the full 
season. Something like this may be alluded to by the prophet 
Hosea, ch. ix. 10, when he says that he saw their fathers as miD2 
the first ripe in the Jig-tree, at her first time. Such figs were 
reckoned a great dainty." Comp. Isai. xxviii. 4. 

The prophet Isaiah gave orders to apply a lump of figs to 
Hezekiah's bile ; and immediately after it was cured 97 . God, in 

91 Ftcu Indica : Opuntia. Tournef. 239. Cactus, Lin. gen. plan. 539. 

92 Paradise Lost, ix. 1101. 93 Musa, the Egyptian inauze. 
84 " Folium habct maximum umbrosissimumque." N. H. lib. xvi. c. 26. 
DS So Homer's Ulysses covers his nakedness in the wood. Odys. vi. 127. 

" Then where the grove with leaves umbrageous bends, 
With forceful strength a branch the hero rends; 
Around his loins the verdant cincture spreads, 
A wreathy foliage and concealing shades. BROOME. 

r Trav. p. 144, 335, and 342. ed. 4to. " Isai. xxxviii. 21 ; 2 Kings, xx. 7. 



OF THE BIBLE. 119 

effecting this miraculous cure, was pleased to order the use of 
means not improper for that end 98 . 

The story of our Saviour's denunciation against the barren 
fig-tree, Matth. xxi. 19; Mark, xi. 13, has occasioned some of 
the boldest cavils of infidelity, and the vindication of it has 
exercised the ingenuity of several of the most learned critics and 
commentators". The whole difficulty arises from the circum- 
stance of his disappointment in not finding fruit on the tree, 
when it is expressly said, " that the time of figs was not yet." 
While it was supposed that this expression signified, that " the 
time for such trees to bring forth fruit was not yet come," it 
looked very unaccountable that Christ should reckon a tree bar- 
ren, though it had leaves, and curse it as such, when he knew 
that the time of bearing figs was not come ; it seemed strange 
that he should come to seek figs on this tree, when he knew that 
figs were not used to be ripe so soon in the year. But it has 
been shown that the expression does not signify the time of the 
coming forth of figs, but the time of the gathering in of ripe 
jigs, as is plain from the parallel expressions. Thus " the time 
of the fruit," Matth. xxi. 34, most plainly signifies the time of 
gathering in ripe fruits, since the servants were sent to receive 
those fruits for their master's use. St. Mark and St. Luke 
express the same by the word time, or season; " at the season 
he sent a servant," &c. that is, at the season or time of gathering 
in ripe fruit, ch. xii. ; Luke, xx. 10. In like manner, if any 
one should say in our language, " the season of fruit" " the 
season of apples" " the season of figs," every one would 
understand him to speak of the season or time of gathering in 
these fruits. When therefore, St. Mark says, that " the time, 
or season of figs was not yet," he evidently means that the time 
of gathering ripe figs was not yet past; and if so, it was natural 
to expect figs upon all those trees that were not barren ; whereas, 
after the time of gathering figs, no one would expect to find 
them on a fig-tree, and its having none then would be no sign of 
barrenness. St. Mark, by saying, " for the time of figs was not 
yet," does not design to give a reason for what he said in the 
immediately following clause, " he found nothing but leaves ;" 
but he gives a reason for what he said in the clause before that, 
" he came if haply he might find any thereon ;" and it was a 

98 This appears from Pliny, N. H. 1. xxiii. c. 7. to have been the usual appli- 
cation to this kind of sore. " Carbunculi, si sine ulcere est, quam piiiguissiinam 
ficum imponi,singlare remedium est." 

99 See Poole's Synopsis, in loc. Vossius, Harm. Evang. 1. i. c. 6. Bp. Kidder, 
Demonstr. of the Messiah, ii. p. 38. Whitby, Doddridge, and Macknight, in 
loc. Bowman, Defence of our Lord's cursing the Fig-tree, in answer to Wool- 
ston, 8vo. Lond. 1721. Knatchbull, Annot. p. 52. Essay for a new Translation, 
&c. part 2. c. 6. Ballet's Notes, vol. ii. p. 114. Bp/Pearce, Vindication of 
the Miracles of Jesus. Works, v. ii. p. 360. ed. 4to. Dimock, Dissertation on 
lie Barren Fig-tree, Lond. 1804. Bowycr's Grit. Conject. 3d edit. 1782, 4to. 



120 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

good reason for our Saviour's coming and seeking figs on the 
tree, because the time for their being gathered was not come. 
We have other like instances in the gospels and indeed in the 
writings of all mankind, of another clause coming in between the 
assertion and the proof. Thus, in this very evangelist, ch. xvi. 
3, 4, " they said among themselves, who shall roll away the stone 
from the door of the sepulchre ? and when they looked they 
saw the stone was rolled away, for it was very great ; where, its 
being very great, is not assigned as a reason of its being rolled 
away, but of the women's wishing for some one to roll it away 
for them. 

Dr. Markland (as quoted by Bowyer) has, with great critical 
acumen, supported the construction that the fig-harvest was not 
over, and therefore fruit might well be expected on the tree. 
Another very late ingenious paraphrast 1 proposes putting the 
words into the form of an interrrogation, and rendering them 
thus, " for, was it not the time of figs ?" the negative interroga- 
tion implying the most positive assertion in the Hebrew language; 
and it is certain, as he observes, that, if the original words will 
bear this construction, no farther difficulty will remain, and the 
stumbling-block to the infidel is removed. 

But, if these methods of reconciliation should not be deemed 
clear and satisfactory (says Mr. Dimock), may we not, after all, 
presume that the original text has undergone some corruption ; 
For, might not the word, in the first copy, be srog instead of a, 
and the last syllable being omitted by the next copyist, might 
not the word ever afterwards be retained in its present form ? 
Should this supposition be admitted, the words will yield this 
plain and easy sense, "for this was the time of Jigs;" i. e. figs 
were then to be found on most trees ; whether ripe or not does 
not affect the argument : and, admitting a metathesis or transpo- 
sition in this place, with most of the commentators, the proposed 
emendation will appear still more necessary, as the whole passage 
will run thus : " And, seeing a fig-tree afar off, having leaves, 
he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon, for this was 
the time of figs ; but when he came to it, he found nothing but 
leaves." Here is the strictest consistency in every part of the 
narration, and the most pointed conformity and resemblance 
between the natural and the spiritual fig-tree. The one is cursed 
for its barrenness when it ought to have produced fruit; the 
other is destined to utter destruction for its incorrigible impeni- 
tence and despite unto the spirit of grace, under the ministry of 
Christ and his apostles. 

The continuation of Calmet, No. cclx. remarks, " though we 

commonly say our Lord cursed this fig-tree, yet the expression, 

strictly speaking, is incorrect." I conceive of our Lord as doing 

no more to this tree than bidding it to continue in its present 

1 Hardy in Nov. Testain. 



OF THE BIBLE. 121 

state ; q. d. " As thou art now barren, barren remain ; [no man 
has hitherto eat fruit of thee,] let no man in future eat fruit from 
thee : that sterility, which now renders thee unprofitable, shall 
continue to be thy character." In fact, then, the shrivelling of 
the leaves was the only alteration which took place in the 
apparent state of this tree, and those leaves being wholly useless, 
though the tree might be said to be cursed by reason of this 
privation, yet this injury was only apparent, and not real. It 
was no diminution of any man's property ; but was plainly say- 
ing, in action, as well as words, " this tree yields no fruit; let 
it not therefore produce leaves to disappoint the appetite of any 
subsequent seeker of food from it." 

St. Matthew informs us that the tree was " in the way," that 
is, in the common road, and therefore, probably, no particular 
person's property ; but if it was, being barren, the timber might 
be as serviceable to the owner as before. So that here was no 
real injury; but Jesus was pleased to make use of this innocent 
miracle to prefigure the speedy ruin of the Jewish nation on 
account of its unfruitfulness under greater advantages than any 
other people enjoyed at that day ; and, like all the rest of his 
miracles, it was done with a gracious intention, namely, to alarm 
his countrymen, and induce them to repent. In the blasting of 
this barren fig-tree, the distant appearance of which was so fair 
and promising, he delivered one more awful lesson to the dege- 
nerate nation, of whose hypocritical exterior and flattering but 
delusive pretensions, it was a just and striking emblem. 

It may be proper to add, that the author mentioned above 
supposes the tree here mentioned to be the Ficus Sycamorus, 
" which is always green, and bears fruit several times in the 
year, without observing any certain seasons " ;" and therefore 
might well be supposed to have fruit on it " while it was not 
now the general season for gathering figs from the kinds usually 
cultivated." The fruit, though not so pleasant as that of the 
common fig-tree, is yet palatable. 

FIR-TREE. \rn-0 BEROSH; Syr.berutha; Chald. beroth ; 
Arab, beraiet. 

Occ. 2 Sam. vi. 5; 1 Kings, v. 8, 10; vi. 15, 34; ix. 1 1 ; 2 
Kings, xix. 23 ; 2 Chron. ii. 8; iii. 5 ; Psal. civ. 17; Isai. xiv. 8 ; 
xxxvii. 24; xli. 19; lv. 13; Ix. 13; Ezek. xxvii. 5; xxxi. 8; 
Hosea, xiv. 8; Nah. ii. 3 ; and Zech. ii. 2. The LXX render 
it so variously as to show that they knew not what particular 
tree is meant 3 ; the Vulgate generally by " abietes," thejir-tree. 
Celsius asserts that it is the cedar; but Hillar maintains that it 
is the fir. 

The fir-tree is an evergreen of beautiful appearance, whose 

2 See Norden's Travels, vol. i. p. 79. 

3 See " Scripture Illustrated " on 2 Sam. vi. 5. Expos. Index. 



122 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

lofty height, and dense foliage, afford a spacious shelter and 
shade. 

The trunk of the tree is very straight. The wood was anciently 
used for spears 4 , musical instruments, furniture for houses, rafters 
in building, and for ships. 

In 2 Sam. vi. 5, it is mentioned that David played on instru- 
ments of fir-wood; and Dr. Burney in his History of Music, v. 
1. p. 277, observes, " this species of wood, so soft in its nature, 
and sonorous in its effects, seems to have been preferred by the 
ancients, as well as moderns, to every other kind for the con- 
struction of musical instruments, particularly the bellies of them, 
on which their tone chiefly depends. Those of the harp, lute, 
guitar, harpsichord, and violin, in present use, are constantly 
made of this wood." 

The word OTTO BROTHIM, occurs only in Cantic. i. 17 ; and 
is by Aquilla rendered boratine, as being the tree named by the 
Greeks Bodrov, which has also affinity with the Hebrew name, 
and is a tree growing in Arabia 5 . Pliny describes it under the 
name " bruta 6 ," as like the cypress, and of a pleasant smell 
like cedar. The Septuagint render it wxcipirtTOi) and the Vulgate 
" cypressina," cypress-trees. But others suspect that by the 
exchange of a single letter, this is used for O'UTO BEROSHIM, 
which indeed is the rendering of several MSS. both in Kennicott 
and De Rossi. 

The whole passage is very obscure, and perhaps is made more 
so, from the conjectures of critics, whether it means a framed 
house, or a covert of trees. If ni1p KIROTH mean beams, the 
corresponding word should be rafters, which the original is 
allowed to bear. lD>m RAHITHE is supposed to be from the 
Chaldee ion") to run. In the first instance, it evidently means 
canals, in which water runs for cattle, Gen. xxx. 38, 41. In 
another part of this Song, ch. vii. 5, it is translated lf galleries ;" 
but more properly there means flowing tresses. It must be con- 
fessed our printed copies here read ptDm ; but many MSS. and 
editions read pDm. Eight MSS. one edition, all the ancient 
versions, and a Greek MS. in the library of St. Mark at Venice, 
read the word plural, either p!0m or p'IDm 7 . Buxtorf, though 
he writes piD'iTl places it under the root ftm, and says, " Scribitur 
cum n, sed juxta Masor. legitur per n." 

If, as is most probable, a grove, or shady recess is to be 
understood, the branches of the cedars and firs are poetically 
called the beams and roof of their apartment ; and then the word 
rendered " rafters," retaining its original reference to canals for 

4 Nah. ii. 5; and figuratively for warriors, 2 Kings, xix. 23, and Isaiah, xiv. 8. 

5 Diod. Sicul. bibl. I. ii. 6 PHn. N. H. 1. xii. c. 17. 

7 Doderlcin Scholia in V. T. p. 193. Notre crit. in Rcpert. Bibl. et Orient. 
1. vii. p. 224. Paulus, Repert. Or. 1. xvii. p. 138. 



OF THE BIBLE. 123 

water, may imply what would shed off the rain ; and the former 
word, a covert from the scorching rays of the sun. 

" From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade." 

FISH. IT DAG. IX0TS, Matlh. vii. 10; xxvii. 27; Luke 
v. 6; Joh. xxi. 6, 8, 11. 

Occurs very frequently. 

This appears to be the general name in Scripture of aquatic 
animals. Boothroyd in the note upon Numb. xi. 4, says " J 
am inclined to think that the word "i\io here rendered " flesh," 
denotes only ihejlesh offish, as it certainly does in Levit. xi. 11; 
and indeed the next verse seems to support this explication. 
" We remember how freely we ate fish." It was then, particu- 
larly, \heflesh of fish, for which they longed, which was more 
relishing than either the beef or mutton of those regions, which, 
unless when young, is dry and unpalatable. Of the great abun- 
dance and deliciousness of the fish of Egypt, all authors, ancient 
and modem, are agreed." 

We have few Hebrew names, if any, for particular fishes. 
Moses says in general, Levit. xi. 9 12, that all sorts of river, 
lake, and sea fish, might be eaten, if they had scales and fins ; 
others were unclean. St. Barnabas, in his epistle, cites, as from 
ancient authority, " You shall not eat of the lamprey, the many 
feet, [polypes] nor the cuttle-fish 8 ." 

Though fish was the common food of the Egyptians, yet we 
learn from Herodotus, 1. ii. c. 37, and Chaeremon as quoted by 
Porphyry de Abstinentia, 1. iv. that their priests abstained from 
fish of all sorts. Hence we may see how distressing was the 
infliction which turned the waters of the river into blood, and 
occasioned the death of the fish. Exod. vii. 18 21. Their 
sacred stream became so polluted as to be unfit for drink, for 
bathing, and for other uses of water to which they were super- 
stitiously devoted, [ch. ii. 5; vii. 15; viii. 20;] and themselves 
obliged to nauseate what was the usual food of the common 
people, and held sacred by the priests. 

In Ezek. xxix. 4, in determining the punishment denounced 
against the king of Egypt, he is compared to the crocodile, in 
these words, " I am against thee, the great dragon that lieth in 
the midst of his rivers in Egypt. I will put hooks in thy jaws, 
and I will cause the fish in thy rivers to stick to thy scales, and I 
will bring thee out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of 
thy rivers shall stick to thy scales." If the remora is as trouble- 
some to the crocodile as it is to some other tenants of the water, 
it may here be referred to. Forskal mentions the echeneis neucrates 
[remora] at Gidda, there called kaml el kersh, " the louse of the 

8 Among the ancient Romans it was not lawful to use fsh without scales in 
the feasts of the gods, for which Pliny, 1. xxxii. c. 11, quotes this law of Numa, 
" Pisces qui squamosi non essent, ne pollucerentur." 



124 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

shark," because it often adheres very strongly to this fish ; and 
Hasselquist mentions it at Alexandria. 

In addition to what has been said in explanation of Luke xi. 
12, under the article EGG, may be added that the Greeks have 
an adage, KVTI ve^ny; ffxoqxiov, " instead of a perch [fish] a scor- 
pion 9 ." 

FITCHES, or VETCHES ; a kind of tare. 

There are two words in the Hebrew, which our translators 
have rendered "fitches;" nvp KETSACH, and DODD CUSMET. 
The first occurs only in Isai. xxviii. 25, 27, and must be the 
name of some kind of seed; but the interpreters differ much in 
explaining it. Jerom, Maimonides, R. David Kimchi, and the 
Rabbins understand it of the gith ; and Rabbi Obdias de Bai - 
tenora expressly says that its barbarous or vulgar name is fy'J 
NIELLE, [nigella 10 .] 

The gith was called by the Greeks MfAav&ov, and by the 
Latins, nigella u ; and is thus described by Ballester 12 : "It is 
a plant commonly met with in gardens, and grows to a cubit in 
height, and sometimes more, according to the richness of the soil. 
The leaves are small like those of fennel, the flower blue, which 
disappearing, the ovary shows itself on the top, like that of a 
poppy, furnished with little horns, oblong, divided by membranes 
into several partitions, or cells, in which are enclosed seeds of a 
very black colour, not unlike those of the leek, but of a very 
fragrant smell." And Ausonius, lib. xix. c. 8, observes, that its 
pungency is equal to that of pepper. 

" Est inter frtiges morsu piper aequiparens git." 

Pliny N. H. 1. xx. c. 17, says it is of use in bakehouses 
[pistrinis], and that it affords a grateful seasoning to bread ; 
" semen gratissime panes etiam condiet" "inferiorem crustam 
[panis] apium gitque cereali sapore condiunt." So also Diosco- 
rides, lib. xix. c. 8. Ewe^u peKctv, fyt(ji,v, 'fuwje?, x#T#7rAflw<ro/XVov 
eiq UQTOVS. And the Jewish Rabbins mention the seeds among 
condiments, and mixed with bread. For this purpose it was 
probably used in the time of Isaiah ; since the inhabitants of 
those countries, to this day, have a variety of rusks and biscuits, 
most of which are strewed on the top with the seeds of sesamum, 
coriander, and wild garden saffron 13 . As in the Talmud and 
various Rabbinical tracts, the gith, cummin, and sesamum are 
mentioned in connexion 14 , this may render probable the conjec- 

9 Erasm. chiliad. Beza in loc. 

10 In tract. Edajoth, c. v. 3. Tract. Tibbul. Jom. c. 1. 5. 

11 Salmasius in Solin. 126. 12 Hierogl. 1. iii. c. 5. p. 234. 

13 Rauwolf, Ray's Trav. p. 95. See also Harmer's Obs. v. iii. p. 265, " On 
different kinds of Seeds eaten with Bread." 

14 Tract Oketz. c. iii. 3. Edajoth. c. v. $ 3. Tibbul. Join. c. i. \ 5. Bux- 
torf, Lexic. Talmudic. p. 2101. 



OF THE BIBLE. 125 

ture, that the word pw NISMAN in this verse of Isai. xxviii. 25, 
translated "the appointed," is an error of the transcription, for 
JQDD SESAMON, which varies one letter only, and that by the mere 
omission of a stroke to complete its form ; the sesamum, so well 
known in the East. If we suppose the letter D to have been 
omitted here, then we may make the 3 into i, and read sesamem ; 
otherwise we may read, according to the Egyptian name SEMSE- 
MUM, pDQD, supposing the first syllable omitted. The passage 
would then be " He casts abroad the reheat, barley, and sesa- 
mum in their places." 

The other word rendered " fitches" in our translation of Ezek. 
iv. 9, is nDDD CUSMETH ; but in Exod. ix. 32, and Isai. xxviii. 
25, *' rye." In the latter place the Septuagint has e, and in 
the two former oAu? ; and the Vulgate in Exodus, " far," and in 
Isaiah and Ezekiel " vicia." S A ADI AS likewise took it to be 
something of the leguminous kind, ]Mbl, cicercula (misprinted 
circida in the Polyglott version) or a chickling. Aquila has fact, 
and Theod. o\v$a. Onkelos and Targum have NTWD and Syr. 
WBID which are supposed to be the millet, or a species of it 
called panicum. Pers. DTDTO, the spelt ; and this seems to be 
the most probable meaning of the Hebrew word ; at least it has 
the greatest number of interpreters from Jerom to Celsius. The 
following are the words of the former in his Comment, on Ezek. 
torn. iii. p. 722. " Quam nos vitiam [viciam] interpretati sumus, 
pro quo in Hebraeo dicitur chasamin; Septuaginta Theodotioque 
posuerunt oAuf#v, quam alii avenam, alii sigalam putant. Aquilse 
autem prima editio et Symmachus e#, sive e/#f, interpretati 
sunt; quas nos veljar, vel gentili Italia; Pannoniaeque sermone 
spicam speltamque dicimus." There are not, however, wanting, 
who think it was rye; among whom R. D. Kimchi, followed 
by Luther, and our English translators ; Dr. Geddes, too, has 
retained it, though he says that he is inclined to think that the 
spelt is preferable. Singular is the version of Gr. Ven. a/y/Ao^/, 
(probably a misprint for /y/Aw\(x) oats: yet the Arabic translator 
of Isaiah and Ezekiel uses a word ]'DV\I7, which some are of 
opinion denotes cte/ja, oats, while others think it means secale, 
rye 15 . 

Dr. Shaw thinks that this word may signify rice. Hasselquist, 
on the contrary, affirms that rice was brought into cultivation in 
Egypt under the Caliphs. This, however, may be doubted. 
One would think from the intercourse of ancient Egypt with 
Babylon and with India, that this country could not be ignorant 
of a grain so well suited to its climate. 

FLAG. iriN ACHU. 

Occ. Gen. xli. 2, 18, and Job, viii. 11, and P]iD SUPH, Exod. 
ii. 3, 5 ; Isai. xix. 6; and Jon. ii. 5, " weeds." 

14 Geddes, Crit. Rein, on Exod. ix. 32. 



126 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

The word achu in the two first instances is translated " mea- 
dows," and in the latter " flag." It probably denotes the sedge 
or long grass, which grows in the meadows of the Nile, very 
grateful to the cattle. It is retained in the Septuagint in Gen. 
EV TU ctyfi ; and is used by the Son of Sirach, Ecclus. xl. 16, 
#%/ and ct<xfci ; for the copies vary. 

St. Jerom, in his Hebrew questions or traditions on Genesis, 
writes, " Achi neque Graecus sermo est, nee Latinus, sed et 
Hebraeus ipse corruptus est." The Hebrew -can \ and jod being 
like one another, and differing only in length; the LXX inter- 
preters, he observes, wrote ntt ACHI for inN ACHU ; and, ac- 
cording to their usual custom put the Greek % for the double 
aspirate n. That the grass was well known among the Egyp- 
tians he owns in his Comment upon Isai. xix. 7, where the LXX 
render rfny AROTH, paper reeds, TO #%/ TO %Aw?ov. " Cum ab 
eruditis quaererem, quid hie sermo significaret, audivi ab JEgyp- 
tiis hoc nomine lingua eorum omne, quod in palude virens nasci- 
tur appellari." 

" We have no radix," says the learned Chappellow, " for ilftt, 
unless we derive it as Schultens does, from the Arabic achi, to 
bind or join together." Thus Parkhurst defines it, " a species 
of plant, sedge, or reed, so called from its fitness for making 
ropes, or the like, to connect or join things together ; as the 
Latin "juncus," a bulrush, a jungendo, from joining, for the 
same reason 16 ;' 1 and he supposes that it is the plant, or reed, 
growing near the Nile, which Hasselquist describes as having 
numerous narrow leaves, and growing about eleven feet high; of 
the leaves of which the Egyptians make ropes 17 . It should, 
however, be observed, says the author of" Scripture Illustrated," 
that the LXX in Job, viii. 1 1 , render butomus, which Heysichius 
explains as " a plant on which cattle are fed, like to grass ;" and 
Suidas, as " a plant like to a reed, on which oxen feed." These 
explanations are remarkable, because we read Gen. xli. 2, that 
the fat kine of Pharaoh fed in a meadow, says our translation, 
on ACHU in the original. This leads us to wish for information 
on what aquatic plants the Egyptian cattle feed ; which, no 
doubt, would lead us to the achu of these passages 18 . 

II. The word rpo SUPH is called by Aben Ezra " a reed 
growing on the borders of the river." Bochart, Fuller, Rivettis, 
Ludolphus, and Junius and Tremellius, render it by juncus, 
carer, or alga ; and Celsius thinks it the fucus or alga [sea- 

16 So the English retain the word junk, for an old rope, or cable. 

17 Hasselquist, Trav. p. 97. 

18 " Vocabulum Copticum esse jam alii monuerunt. Scholtzii et Woidii Lex. 
Copt. p. 10. et 53. Complectitur nomen vel maxime bucolica jEgyptia ab 
Heliodoro in ^thiopicis, lib. i. p. 10, elrganter descripta ; recteque a Joseplio, 
ipso quoque bono significationis teste Ixos, palustria, rcdditur, Ant. 1. v. c. 5. 
Michaelis, Lex. Hebr. Suppl. N. 61. p. 56. 



OF THE BIBLE. 127 

weed 19 .] Dr. Gedcles says, there is little doubt of its being 
the sedge called " sari ;" which, as we learn from Theophrastus 
and Pliny, grows on the marshy banks of the Nile, and rises to 
the height of almost two cubits 20 . This, indeed, agrees very 
well with Exod. ii. 3, 5, and " the thickets of arundinaceous 
plants, at some small distances from the Red Sea," observed by 
Dr. Shaw 21 ; but the place in Jonah seems to require some 
submarine plant. 

Browne, in his Travels, p. 19 1, observes, " At Suez I ob- 
served in the shallow parts of the adjacent sea a species of weed, 
which in the sunshine appeared to be red coral, being of a hue 
between scarlet and crimson, and of a spongy feel and quality. 
I know not whether any use be made of it, nor am I acquainted 
with its Arabic name; but it strikes me, that, if found in great 
quantities at any former period, it may have given the recent 
name to this sea; for this was the Arabian gulf of the ancients, 
whose Mare Erythrtzum, or Red Sea, was the Indian Ocean. 
This weed may, perhaps, be the SUPH of the Hebrews, whence 
YAM SUPH, their name for this sea." This, however, is all con- 
jecture ; and in the close of this article, I think it will appear is 
not an authority for the appellation given to this sea. 

One of the questions, which Michaelis proposed for the in- 
vestigation of the travellers sent into Arabia by the king of 
Denmark, was respecting the meaning of the term suph given 
to what is now called " the Red Sea 22 ." He himself was of the 
opinion which Celsius had advanced, that it meant a species of 
alga, probably the sargazo, which grew at the bottom of the sea, 
around the shore, and spread its floating leaves, of a reddish hue, 
on the surface. He observes that the rpD is mentioned in Exod. 
ii. 3, as growing in the Nile; and that in the ancient Egyptian 

19 " Alga venit pelago, sed nascitur ulva palude." 

Alga is the sea-weed ; viva is only used to express the reeds or weeds grow- 
ing in pools and standing waters. 

" Suf est le nom d'une herbe ou d'une plante, que Ton trouve en Ethiopie, dc 
la grandeur du Chardon, la fleur est meme asse/ semblable ii celle du Chardon, 
a la couleur pres, qui approche beaucoup de celle du Saffran. Les Abessins 
s'en servent beaucoup dans leurs teintures, et en fond un incarnat tres beau." 
Lobo, Voyage d^bissinie, trad. Fr. par M. le Grand, Amst. 1727, page 53. 

20 " Fructicosi generis est sari, circum Nilum nascens, duorum fere cubitorum 
altitud inc." Plin. N. H. 1. xiii. c. 23. 

21 Trav. p. 447, ed. 4to. 

82 Exod. xiii. 18; xv. 4; Numb. xiv. 25; xxi. 4; Judg. xi. 16; 1 Kings, ix. 
26; Psal. cvi. 7, 9, 22; cxxxvi. 13, 15 ; and Jer. xlix. 21. Once by the Sep- 
tuagint, Jud. xi. 16, rendered 9aX<w<rac <p, in other places, eft>9f<x Qatetaan, and in 
the Vulgate " rubrum mare." 

In our translation of Deut. i. 1, we read, " in the plain over against the Red 
Sea." As Moses and the people were in the plains of Moab, the place here 
spoken of, and called in the original SUPH, could not be the Red Sea, for they 
were now farther from that than they had yet been; and, indeed, there is no 
word for " sea" in the original. The place SUPH is perhaps the same that is 
called " Ziph" in 1 Sam. ix. 6. 



128 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

language, the sea is named sari, and that this plant, which is 
mentioned by Pliny, may be the sargazo of M. Jablonski 23 . 
M. Niebuhr, who was one of these travellers, remarks, " Reeds 
are so common about the Arabic gulf, as to have procured it the 
name Jam suph, or the sea of reeds, from the ancients 24 . But 
Mr. Bruce thinks the sea suph, in our and other versions called 
" the Red Sea," should be named the sea of coral. He says, 
11 As for what fanciful people have said of any redness in the 
sea itself, or colour in the bottom, all this is fiction; the Red 
Sea being in colour nothing different from the Indian or any 
other ocean. There is greater difficulty in assigning a reason 
for the Hebrew name Jam suph, properly so called, say learned 
authors, from the quantity of weeds in it. Thus, both Diodorus 
Siculus and Antemidorus in Strabo, (cited in Bochart, V. i. 
p. 82.) have taken particular notice of the jav/ou and (J)uxou, 
moss and alga, with which the sea abounds, and from whence 
they account for its remarkably green colour. Com. Wisd. xix. 7. 
Dr. Shaw also is for translating FpD D' " the sea of weeds" 
from the variety of algce and fuci ; but observes, " 1 no where 
observed any species of i\\ejiag kind; we have little reason, 
therefore, to imagine that this sea should receive a name from 
a production which does not properly belong to it." Forskal, 
Descr. plantar. Flor. JEgyptiaco Arabics, p. 24, declares, 
" Arundines non crescunt ad littora Maris Rubri, nisi ubi fontes 
et lacustria sunt loca, velut Ghobeibe; qua? rarissima inve- 
niuntur." Mr. Bruce also adds, '* I never (and I have seen 
the whole extent of it) saw a weed of any sort in it; and in- 
deed, upon the slightest consideration, it will appear to any one, 
that a narrow gulf, under the immediate influence of monsoons 
blowing from contrary points six months each year, would have 
too much agitation to produce such vegetables, seldom found 
but in stagnant waters, and seldomer, if ever, found in salt ones. 
My opinion then is, that it is from the large trees or plants of 
white coral, spread everywhere over the bottom of the Red Sea, 
perfectly in imitation of plants on land, that the sea has obtained 
this name." 

A learned friend, Rev. Dr. West, of New Bedford, who called 
upon me when writing this article, strengthened, by his ingenious 
criticisms, this opinion of Mr. Bruce. He observed that the 
word SUPH means, sometimes, a post or stake, to which the large 
branches of coral may bear some resemblance. Dr. Shaw 
speaks of them as so considerable, that they tied their boats to 
them. The sea is at this day called Bahrsuf, and the vegetation 
it produces sufo: and Calmet produces the authority of John 
de Castro, viceroy of the Indies for the king of Portugal, who 

23 Pantheon. JEgypt. 1. iv. c. 1. ^ 6. p. 151. et Diss. cle Terra Gosen, p. 60. 
84 Trav. V. ii. p. 349. translation. 



OF THE BIBLE. 129 

believed that it had its name from the quantity of coral found 
in it. 

If, after this, I might hazard a conjecture of my own, I would 
contend that it means the extreme or boundary sea ; my reasons 
for which I will adduce after accounting for the name which it 
now bears. It is certain that the books of the Old Testament 
invariably call it " the sea suph." I am inclined to believe 
that the name " Red" was not given it till after the Idumeans 
[or Edomites] had spread themselves from east to west, till they 
came to border upon and possess this sea. They had long the 
property and use of it for their shipping. Then it came to be 
called by the name of " the Sea of Edom." Afterwards the 
Greek mistook the name DITN for an appellative instead of a 
proper name, and therefore rendered it eqvfyct bctKctGcu., that is, 
the red sea ; for Edom, in the language of that country, signified 
red ; and it is observed in Scripture, that Esau, having sold his 
birthright to his brother Jacob for a mess of red pottage, was for 
that reason called Edom, i. e. the red. Gen. xxv. 30. And Strabo, 
1. xvi. p. 766 ; Pliny, N. H. 1. vi. c. 23 ; Pomponius Mela, 1. iii. 
c. 8, and others 25 say, that this sea was so called, not from any 
redness that was in it, but from a king who reigned in a country 
adjoining to it." This is confirmed by 1 Kings, ix. 6, and 
2 Chron. viii. 17, where the sea suph is mentioned as in the ter- 
ritory of Edom 26 . 

Now it is to be observed that this sea is twice mentioned ex-* 
pressly as the limit or extreme boundary of the possessions of the 
Israelites. Exod. xxiii. 31 ; and Numb, xxxiv. 3; and, in several 
instances, is implied, or included, in the boundary. Deut. xi. 24 ; 
Josh. i. 4; ] Kings, iv. 21, 24, and Psal. Ixxii. 8. The original 
and most general meaning of suph is end, limit, extremity, or 
farther part" 1 . This has induced me to believe it originally called 
by the Jews, the farther boundary sea. That it was not named 
suph because abounding in coral, I apprehend from this circum- 
stance, that that marine production is mentioned in Scripture 
by an entirely different name. It is spoken of in Job, xxviii. 
18, and Ezek. xxvii. 16, as a precious stone, and is called 
ramut 2 *. See CORAL. 

25 Agatharcides, p. 2. Quint. Curtius, 1. viii. c. 9. Philostratus, 1. iii. c. 15. 
Fuller, Miscel. Sacr. 1. iv. c. 20. Prideaux Connect. V. i. p. 10. Univ. Hist. 
V. xviii. p. 338. 

26 In 1 Kings, ix. 26, it is rendered by the LXX <r x rw 5sX*<nw the farthest sea. 
57 See Buxtorf and Taylor, Heb. Concordance. 

28 The opinion which I have given above is corroborated by the conjecture 
of Lippenius, whose remark has been lately pointed out to me. He supposes the 
name of the sea to mean, " circumscribed by visible bounds on both sides," in 
contradistinction, perhaps, to the Great Sea, or Mediterranean. " Dicitur mare 
Suph Hebraice ex rad. BID, deficere Jinire, unde est nomen w, finis, sen extremi* 
tas, Eccles. iii. 11. Hinc mare Suph est, vi verbi, mare tinitiunim, limitatum, 
terminis et littoribus circumseptum. 

[Navig. SaJomonis Ophirit, illustr. Wittemb. 1660, p. 286.J 
M 



130 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

The sea is now called " Bhar el Colzum ;" that is, the sea of 
drowning, or overwhelming. The term " Red Sea" appears to 
be very improperly adopted in Numb. xxi. 14; and Deut. i. 1. 
In the first passage we read, " what he did in the Red Sea, and 
in the brooks of Arnon." It should be in SUPHAH ; for there 
is no sea in the original. In the latter passage also, it should be 
in the plain over against SUPH. Here our translators confess, 
by their italics, that they have inserted the word " Sea" between 
Paran, Tophel, &c. By this insertion the geography is sadly 
confused. The proper rendering of this name, and the dismiss- 
ing of all reference to the Red Sea, is of great consequence to 
the ancient geography of the place : as that station which was 
in any tolerable sense over against the Red Sea, could not pos- 
sibly be near to Paran, nor to Hazaroth; neither could it be 
" eleven days journey from Horeb, by the way of Mount Seir ;" 
i. e. at Kadesh Barnea. 

FLAX. nnu?D PISHTAH. 

Occ. Exod. 31; Levit. xiii. 47, 48, 52, 59; Dent. xxii. 11 ; 
Josh. ii. 6; Jud. xv. 14; Prov. xxxi. 13; Isai. xix. 9; xliii. S ; 
xliii. 17; Jer. xiii. 1 ; Ezek. xl. 3; xliv. 17, 18; Hosea, ii. 5, 9; 
AINON Matth. xii. 20 ; and Rev. xv. 6. 

A plant very common, and too well known to need a descrip- 
tion. It is a vegetable upon which the industry of mankind has 
been exercised with the greatest success and utility. On passing 
a field of it, one is struck with astonishment when he considers 
that this apparently insignificant plant may, by the labour and 
ingenuity of man, be made to assume an entirely new form and 
appearance, and to contribute to pleasure and health, by fur- 
nishing us with agreeable and ornamental apparel. 

The word nnWD PISHTAH, Mr. Parkhurst thinks is derived 
from the verb iOUJD PASHAT, " to strip," because the substance 
which we term flax is properly the bark or fibrous part of the 
vegetable, pilled or stripped off the stalks. 

From time immemorial Egypt was celebrated for the produc- 
tion or manufacture of flax 29 . Wrought into linen garments, it 
constituted the principal dress of the inhabitants, and the priests 
never put on any other kind of clothing 30 . The fine linen of 
Egypt is celebrated in all ancient authors, and its superior ex- 
cellence mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures 31 . The manufac- 
ture of flax is still carried on in that country, and many writers 
take notice of it. Rabbi Benjamin Tudela mentions the manu- 

29 Herodot. 1. ii. p. 121. c. 105. p. 151. Plin. N. H. 1. xix. c. i. p. 156. 
Arrian Peripl. p. 145. Kircher, .Egypt. Rest. p. 370. Philostr. Vit. Apol. 
p. 258. 

30 Herodot. p. 116. Apuleius. Apol. p. 69. Plutarch de Iside ct Osiride, 
p. 352. S. Hieron. in Ezek. xliv. fol. 257, " Vestibus lineis utuntur jEgyptii 
Sacerdotes non solum extrinsecus sed et intrinsecus." And Silius Italicus, 
speaking of the priests of Ammon, says, " Velantur corpore lino." 

31 Prov. vii. 16; Ezek. xxvii. 7. 



OF THE BIBLE. 131 

factory at Damiata 32 ; and Egmont and Heyman describe the 
article as being of a beautiful colour, and so finely spun that the 
threads are hardly discernible. But as the Scripture uses the 
word fO BUTZ for " fine linen," Dr. Geddes supposes the byssits 
or cotton, of which the ancients made a very line cloth, to be 
intended. Of this I shall afterwards treat, and now proceed 
to illustrate the several texts where the nnU>D PISHTAH is intro- 
duced. 

The first instance is in Exodus, ix. 31; where the seventh 
plague in Egypt is thus described: " the flax and the barley 
were smitten; for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was 
boiled." The destruction of this article, so necessary and va- 
luable, and at the very season when they were about to gather 
it, must distress them very much 33 . 

The next instance in which flax is mentioned is Levit. xiii. 
47, 48, 52, 59, where the taint, or infection made by the leprosy 
in a garment is described 34 . 

In Deut. xxii. 11, is a prohibition of wearing a garment of 
flax and wool. The original word aiQjfitt SHAATNEZ, translated 
" linen and woollen," Levit. xix. 19, is difficult of explanation. 
I am inclined to believe that it must rather refer to a garment 
of divers sorts, than to what we call " linsey woolsey;" to one 
made up of patchwork, differently coloured, and arranged, per- 
haps, for pride and shov, like the coat of many colours made by 
Jacob for his son Joseph, Gen. xxxvii. S 35 . 

It is related in Joshua, ii. 6, that Rahab hid the Israelitish 
spies under the stalks of PISHTAH, which she had laid to dry on 
the roof of her house. Mr. Harmer has furnished some useful 
remarks upon this subject 36 , to ascertain the time of the year, 
and thus prove that Jiax is here spoken of. As, however, the 
order in the original is peculiar, " in flax of wood," some have 

1 " Damiata cujus incolae linum serunt, et Candidas telas texunt, quas in 
omnes mundi regioues deferunt." Jtiner. p 125. 

33 Acerba res est frugam pernicies, quis enim negaverit? Jam spe ipsa oblec- 
tantium, aque horreis appropinquantium. Acerba Ves praematura messis, et 
agricolse laboribns suis ingemiscentes, ac velut mortuis fcetibus assidentes. 
Miserum spectaculum terra ignominiose vastata atque detonsa, suoque ornatu 
spoliata !" Greg. Nazianzen, Oral, in plag. graudinis, p. 86. 

34 See on this subject the Disputation of Abarbinel, translated into Latin by 
Buxtorf, and annexed to the book of Cosri, p. 400. Bochart, Hieroz. p. i. 
p. 492. Celsius Hierohot. V. 2. p. 3QO. Adam Clarke's note ad loc. and 
Dr. Geddes, Cr. Rem. who explains in a very ingenious and satisfactory man- 
ner the nice distinction in the original between the warp and the woof; and con- 
futes the forced and far-fetched explications of Le Clerc, Houbigant, Dathe, 
and Rosenmuller. Another explanation is given by the learned Michaelis in 
his Commentary on the Laws of Moses, Vol. iii. p. 366, of Dr. Smith's trans- 
lation. 

35 For much curious illustration of this subject, see Mishna, Tract, Kilaim. 
Ainsworth, and Calmet,zn loc. Hiller, Hierophyt. part ii. p. 135, Braunius, de 
vestiment Hebrajorum, 1. i. c. iv. p. 102, and Spencer, de Legib. 1. ii. p. 397. 

36 Obs. V. 4. p. 97. 4th edit. I " . 

M 2 



132 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

thought hemp to be intended : but Alpian remarks 37 , that under 
the name of wood, some countries comprehended thorns, thistles, 
and other stemmy plants ; especially Egypt, where the reeds and 
rushes and the plant papyrus were used for fuel. I apprehend 
that the Hebrews did the same ; [cornp. Matth. vi. SO, Luke, xii. 
48,] and therefore our translation well expresses the sense of the 
original. 

In Judges, xv. 14, the same again occurs in the declaration, 
that the cords with which Samson was bound by the Philistines 
were as easily parted as a string of flax is separated by the fire. 

Prov. xxxi. 13, mentions^/for for the spindle, and the loom as 
sought for by the virtuous and industrious housewife. Comp. 
Exod. xxxv. 25. 

In the oracle concerning Egypt, Isaiah, xix. 9, it is declared, 
that " they that work in tine flax, and they that weave net-works, 
shall be confounded." The word here rendered " fine" is \?"W, 
which rather means tawney or brown, and must mean raw or 
unbleached flax. 

In predicting the gentleness, caution, and tenderness with 
which the Messiah should manage his administration, Isaiah, 
xlii. 3, happily illustrates it by a proverb. " The bruised reed 
he shall not break, and the smoking flax he shall not quench." 
He shall not break even a bruised reed, which snaps asunder 
immediately when pressed with any considerable weight; nor 
shall he extinguish even the smoking flax, or the wick of a lamp, 
which, when it first begins to kindle, is put out by every little 
motion. With such kind and condescending regards to the 
weakest of his people, and to the first openings and symptoms of 
a hopeful character, shall he proceed till he send forth judgment 
unto victory, or till he make his righteous cause victorious. This 
place is quoted in Matth. xii. 20, where, by any easy metonomy, 
the material for the thing made, flax, is used for the wick of a 
lamp or taper ; and that, by a synecdoche for the lamp or taper 
itself, which, when near going out, yields more smoke than 
light 38 . " He will not extinguish, or put out, the dying lamp." 

Isai. xliii. 17, the word translated "tow" means the flax of 
which the wick of a lamp is formed 39 . 

Jer. xiii. 1, a linen girdle is mentioned; and in Ezek. xl. 3, 
a measuring line of flax. 

By comparing Ezek. xliv. 17, 18, [clothed with TIU7D linen 

37 Deg. lib. xxxii. leg. 55. 3e Campbell, in loc. 

39 See Tract Shabbat. c. ii. 3. Rabbi Obdias de Bartenora. Pliny says, 
" Quod proximum cortici fiiit, sfupa appellatur, deterioris lini, lucernarum fere 
luminibus apitor." N. H. 1. xix. c. 50. 

40 So the Greeks used the word ir^o^o; [whence perhaps our English word 
skein"], a rope, for a measure, or perch. " Pertica :" and this last word may be 
derived from the Persisin; as ^*n fitrgtiv a^pua Tlfgattit rw ffopnty. " Do not men- 
sure wisdom Kil/i a Persian cord." L'aUimach. apud Plutarch de exilic, p. 602. 



OF THE BIBLE. 133 

garments, DDll/D linen tiaras, and DTR173 linen drawers], with the 
original institute in Exod. xviii. 39, and xxxix. 27, and Levit. 
vii. 10, we find the nniDD PIS UTAH substituted for the "O BAD, 
and U7U7 SHESH, by which names the Jewish Rabbins called the 
Egyptian and Indian flax 41 . Different words being used for the 
same thing have caused difficulties which the minuteness of ex- 
amination, pursued under this article, is intended to obviate. 
From an opinion that cotton was used for spinning and weaving 
long before mankind had learned to procure the filaments from 
flax, some have presumed that shesh means cotton. In aid of 
this construction, they observe that Alpinus, in describing the 
plants of Egypt 42 , says that the cotton is the shrub called by the 
Arabs sessa ; that Golius 43 explains the Syriac word schoscho of 
an ordinary kind of cotton ; and that both these words so nearly 
resemble the Hebrew Utttt SHESH as to identify it with the cotton. 
But, says Celsius 44 , the word is written bessct by Alpinus, which 
is the Arabic name for byssus ; and the Syriac word is the He- 
brew SHESH, which by the lexicographers is frequently con- 
founded with gossipyum. They add also, that Pliny remarks, 
that in the part of Egypt bordering upon Arabia, a fruit is pro- 
duced which some call " gossypion," but more " xylon/' from 
which is formed " xylinum 45 ;" and they adduce the declarations 
of Arrian, Philostratus, and others to the same purpose 46 ; and 
think that shesh and xes may be so pronounced as to make shesh- 
lynum or xylinum. But this is rather ingenious than correct ; 
and, after all, I am inclined to believe that nnttJD is the generic 
name forjlax, and by metonymy, for whatever is made of it, as 
thread, cord, lamp-zcick, and linen cloth ; and "O of cloth of a 
coarser texture, and tfflL' a finer ; or the latter may refer to the 
whiteness of the linen, as lilies are called DttNU?, the Parian mar- 
ble WD, Esther i. 6 47 , and a man of white hairs, ttfltf* 18 . By 
comparing Exod. xxv. 4, and xxvi. 23, with 2 Chron. ii. 14, and 
Exod. xxvi. 31, with 2 Chron. iii. 14, it appears that pa BUTZ 

41 Maimonid.Tr. Kele Hammak. c. 8. conf. Sheringham adTr. Joma. Abar- 
binel ad Exod. xxv. " Shesh est limiiii jEgyptiacum, quod cst praestantissimuai 
omnis generis lini." 

42 P. 38. Lex. Heptagl. p. 366. < 4 Hierobot. V. ii. p. 261. 

45 N. H. lib. xix. c. 1. 

46 Vide Bochart, Geogr. Sacr. p. 690. Salinas, in. Solin. p. 701. 

47 In the LXX Hatpin Xi9. In Cantic. v. 15, Aquila and Theodotion render 
nagivoi, and 1 Chron. xxix. 2. Hctg iov or ILxfiw, and Vulg. Marmor Parium. 

48 Mr. Harmer suggests that these words may import the colour of the cloth; 
that of the common people of Egypt being blue. Obs. V- iv. p. 102. 4th edit. 

Eben Ezra says, " Shesh idem est quod bad, species qua;dain lini quod nascitur 
in jEgypto tantum; tenue est, et album, et non tingitur.'' And Maimonides, 
" Ubicunque in lege dicitur shesh aut bad, intelligitur pishtah, id est byssus." 

Brown, in his Travels, p. 448, observes, that in the neighbourhood of Aleppo, 
" the country was cultivated with Hashish, a kind of flax." If Jin be an article 
in the shinh, we may find authority for understanding the Hebrew SHESH to be 
a variety of the flax, a somewhat different species from the common. 

From U-u; SHESH is derived our word SASH ; a girdle .of linen or silk. 



134 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

is called Ufltf SHESH ; and by comparing Exodus, xxviii. 42, with 
xxix. 28, that T3 is also called UKI? SHESH. 1 know of no other 
way of reconciling this than to suppose these several words to 
relate either to the quality or colour of cloth made of the same 
material. That white raiment was held in high estimation may 
be inferred from Eccles. ix. 8 ; Dan. vii. 9 ; Matth. xxvii. 2 ; 
Luke, ix. 29; Rev. iii. 4, 5; iv. 4; vii. 9, 13 ; xv. 6, and xix. 
8, 14 4 9. 

Hosea, ii. 5, 9, is the last place where the pishtah is men- 
tioned in the Old Testament ; and it is mentioned there together 
with wool. 

In the Talmud and Rabbinical tracts, much is written upon 
the sowing and gathering of the plant, and the maceration and 
dressing of the flax, and on the spinning and weaving of the 
thread 60 . 

Having mentioned flax as the produce of Egypt, and its ma- 
nufacture into cloth as practised there in the earliest ages, I 
would now add, that linen is still, according to Norden 51 , one 
of their principal merchandizes, and is sent away in prodigious 
quantities along with unmanufactured flax and spun cotton : to 
which may be added this remark of Sanutus 52 , who lived above 
four hundred years ago, that though Christian countries abounded 
in his time in flax, yet the goodness of the Egyptian was such, 
that it was dispersed all about, even into the west. For the 
same reason, without doubt, the Jews, Hittites, and Syrians 
anciently purchased the linen yarn of this country, though they 
had flax growing in their own. 

Our version having more than once mentioned " the fine linen 
of Egypt," numbers of people have been ready to imagine, says 
Mr. Harmer 53 , that their linen manufactures were of the most 
delicate kind, whereas in truth they were but coarse. This is 
proved by examining that in which their embalmed bodies are 
found wrapped up 54 . So Hasselquist observes 55 ; " the an- 
cients have said much of the fine linen of Egypt ; and many of 
our learned men imagine that it was so fine and precious that 
we have even lost the art, and cannot make it so good. They 
have been induced to think so by the commendations which the 
Greeks have lavished on the Egyptian linen. They had good 

49 Comp. Plutarch de Isid. et Osir. p. 352. Apul. metam. 1. ii. p. 245. " Nivea 
pulchriora lina." Sidon. Apollin. Epist. ix. v. 13. 

50 Tr. Chilaim. 1. c. et cap. 9, 1. Peah. c. vi. 5. Baba Bathra, c. ii. 10. 
Baba Kama, c. x. 9. et. c. ii. 5. Terumoth. c. ix. 1. Maimonid. tr. Sche- 
mitta vejobel. c. viii. 1. Tzitzit. c. xiv. Rab. Obad. de Bartenora, comment, 
ad Baba Kama, c. x. " Lana artificium in Judaea, et lini in Galilaea mulieribus 
exercetur." 

51 Trav. V. i. p. 70. 52 Gesta Dei apud. Fr. torn. ii. p. 24. 

53 Obs. V. 4. p. 91, 4th edit. 

54 See a Memoir of Dr. Hadley in the Philos. Transactions for 1764. 
46 Trav. p. 398. 



OF THE BIBLE. 135 

reason for doing it, for they had no flax themselves, and were 
unacquainted with the art of weaving : but were we to compare 
a piece of Holland linen with the linen in which the mummies 
were laid, and which is of the oldest and best manufacture of 
Egypt, we shall find that the fine linen of Egypt is very coarse 
in comparison with what is now made. The Egyptian linen was 
fine, and sought after by kings and princes, when Egypt was the 
only country that cultivated flax and knew how to use it." 

Hasselquist had great reason to suppose the linen in which the 
mummies were wrapped the finest at that time in Egypt; for 
those who were so embalmed were persons of great distinction, 
and about whom no expense was spared. The celebrity then, 
of the Egyptian linen, was owing to the great imperfection of 
works of this kind in those early ages ; no other in those times 
being equally good ; for, that linen cloth was made in ancient 
times in other countries, contrary to the opinion of Hasselquist, 
seems sufficiently evident from the story of Rahab, Josh. ii. 6, 
and the eulogium of a noble Jewish matron, Prov. xxxi. 13, 24. 

After all, there is no adjective in the original answering to the 
word " fine ;" there is only a noun substantive ttfttt SHESH, which 
has been supposed to involve in it that idea. But if it was so 
coarse, why is it represented as such a piece of magnificence, 
Ezek. xxviii. 7, for the ships of Tyre to have their sails of the 
linen of Egypt ? Certainly, because, though coarse in our eyes, 
it was thought to be very valuable when used even for clothing ; 
and if matting was then used for sails, sails of linen must have 
been thought extremely magnificent 56 . 

Mr. Harmer 57 has made some ingenious remarks upon the 
different kinds of linen manufactured in Egypt, which I shall 
here introduce with some alterations, additions, and notes. 

" As the linen of Egypt was anciently very much celebrated, 
so there is reason to think that there were various sorts of linen 
cloth in the days of antiquity ; for, little copious as the Hebrew 
language is, there are no fewer than four different words, at 
least, which have been rendered " linen," or " fine linen" by our 
translators 58 . This would hardly have been had they not had 
different kinds. 

96 The sails represented in the Praenestine pavement seem to have been of 
matting, and consequently were the sails of that time in Egypt famous for its 
pomp. Sails of matting are still used by the Arabs in their vessels on the Red 
Sea, as we are assured by Niebuhr in his description of that country, p. 188. It 
appears by Lord Anson's voyage, that the same usage obtains in some East-India 
vessels, B. iii. c. 5. Probably, then, it was the common practice in the first 
ages, which has not yet been deviated frem in these countries. 

Mat sails are in use to the present day among the Chinese. 

57 Obs. V. iv. p. 95, 4th edit. 

48 These are "n BAD, YU BUTZ, rut's PISHET, and uw SHESH. To these may be 
added HO SADIN, translated " fine linen" [hence the name "satin"]. Prov. xxxi. 
24; and "sheets," Jud. xiv. 12, 13; and pttN ETHUW, " fine linen." Prov. vii. 
16. The latter word may mean " beautifully wrought ;" and the sindon was un- 



130 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

" Our translators have been unfortunate in this article in sup- 
posing that one of the words might signify silk, and forgetting 
cloth made of cotton. 

" When Joseph was arrayed in Egypt as viceroy of that coun- 
try, they represent him as clothed in vestures of ' fine linen,' 
Gen. xli. 42, but being dubious of the meaning of the word 
there, they render it ' silk' in the margin. This was very un- 
happy : for they not only translate the word Ufii? SHESH ' linen' 
in a multitude of other places 59 , but, certainly, whatever the 
word signifies, it cannot mean silk, which was not used, we have 
reason to think, in those parts of the world till long after the 
time of Joseph 60 . They have gone farther, for they have made 
the word ' silk,' the textual translation of the Hebrew term 
SHESH, in Prov. xxxi. 22, which verse describes the happy effects 
of female Jewish industry. ' She maketh herself coverings of 
tapestry; her clothing is pink and purple 61 .' They suppose 
then that the Jewish women, of not the highest rank in the time 
of Solomon, were clothed with vestments made of a material so 
precious in former times we are told, as to be sold for its weight 
in gold ; for which reason it is said, that the emperor Aurelian 
refused his empress a garment of it, though she importunately 
desired one. Aurelian, a prince who reigned over all Syria and 
Egypt, the countries we are speaking about, and the rest of the 

doubtedly a vesture. It is retained in the Greek of Matth. xxvii. 29; Mark xiv. 
51,52; xv. 46; and Luke xxiii. 53. And as in the three last cited texts, the 
sindon is mentioned as a sepulchral covering, so Herodotus, lib. ii. c. 86, speak- 
ing of the Egyptian manner of preserving dead bodies, says, Aaa&vles TOV ytxfov, 
x<x7<Xi<rff8<r< cay avla TO aia/jM SINAONOS $va<nrns n\ap.uat XoflaW/*"/''"* ""- ^f>er 
having washed the dead man, they enclose his whole body in a wrapper of fine linen 
with thongs of leather. As to Mark, xiv. 51, 52, Pococke supposes that ffivSon 
mentioned in that place means a kind of sheet or wrapper, such as many of the 
inhabitants of Egypt and Palestine still wear as their only clothing in the day- 
time, and consequently the word may there denote a person's ordinary day-dress. 
Comp. Exod. xxii. 27. Herodotus, however, speaks of aivSwy as a usual night- 
dress of the Egyptians in his time. H /* tx t/u.ttlia EXij-a/xsyof wSn, D ZINAONI. 
See Wetstein on Mark. 

" Puer eja surge calceos et linteam da sindonem." ACSOMUS. 

The origin of the word is to be sought in the Egyptian language ; see Scholtz 
Exposit. vocab. Coptic, in Script. Hebr. et Graecis, in Repertorio Eichorniano, 
T. xiii. p. 14. Braunius de Vest. Sacerd. Hebr. i. 7, 103. p. 113. Munthe in 
Obs. c. Diod. Sicul. p. 93. Forster de Bysso Antiq. s. 18, p. 85. Pollux, Onom. 
vii. 172, 2INAUN tetv Aifwrriai p.ti, <srifioX<>y S'ay en, ro u Sxfo<wo xaXs/Atyox. 
So that it appears that it was an Egyptian garment, or inner dress a kind of 
shirt. D. Kitnchi says, " Sindon est vestis nocturna, quam induunt super car- 
nem, facta ex lino." Consult also Schroeder de Vest. Mul. Hebr. p. 341. Ca- 
saubon. Exercit. Antibarb. xvi. 65, p. 524. Chiflet de linteis sepulchralibus 
Cliristi. c. 5, and Fischer in Prolus Hi. de vitiis Lexicorum N. T. p. 74. 

M Exod. xxv. 4; xxvi. 1,31,36; xxvii. 9, 16, 18; xxviii. 5, 6, 8, 15, 40; 
xxxv. 6, 23, 25; xxxvi. 8, 35, 37 ; xxxviii. 9, 16, 18, 23 ; xxxix. 2, 3, 5, 8. 27, 
28, 29; Prov. xxxi. 22; Ezek. xvi. 10, 13; and xxvii. 7. 

60 Boothroyd on Gen. xli. 42, quotes Forster as proving that the original means 
mustin; which Pliny describes, and declares that the priests preferred it for their 
jrnbes on account of its fineness and whiteness. 

' ;| Lemery, Diet, des Drogues, art. " Bombyx." 



OF THE BIBLE. 137 

Roman empire, and who lived almost one thousand three hun- 
dred years later than Solomon, and nearer these times in which 
silk is become so common. This seems very strange ! 

" If they have introduced silk improperly, as hesitating some- 
times about the meaning of a word, rendered in common ' linen,' 
that they should not have thought of cloth made of cotton, which 
grows in great quantities in Egypt and Syria now, and makes one 
considerable branch of commerce, is to be wondered at 62 ? 

" It is very possible, however, that the growing of cotton in Sy- 
ria is not of the highest antiquity : yet it has been planted there, 
we may believe, many ages ; and, before they began to cultivate 
it, they might be and doubtless were acquainted with manufac- 
tures of cotton brought from places farther to the East 63 . Cali- 
coes and muslins are still brought from thence to Syria 64 ; and, 
as according to the very ingenious editor of the Ruins of Pal- 
myra, the East India trade was as ancient at least as the days 
of Solomon 65 , and Palmyra built on account of that commerce, 
some of those fine cotton manufactures were probably brought 
by the caravans then, and is what is meant by the Hebrew word 
VQ BUTZ. There are seven places ^ I think, in which the word 
BUTZ occurs in the Old Testament. The first mention that is 
made of it is in David's wearing a robe of BUTZ when he re- 
moved the ark from the house of Obed Edom to Zion, 1 Chron. 
xv. 27. Two other places refer to the ornaments of Solomon's 
temple ; a fourth to the dress of the Levites ; a fifth describes 
it as of the merchandises Syria carried to Tyre ; and the two 
other relate to the court of Ahazuerus, king of Persia. How 
natural to understand all these places of East India manufac- 
tures, muslins, or fine calicoes ! 

" Solomon's making the dress of the Levites the same with 
what his father David wore on a high solemnity, and with what 
was worn by the greatest men in the most superb courts of the 
East, agrees with the other accounts given of him, particularly 
his making silver in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars as those 
trees that in the vale are remarkable for abundance. 1 Kings, x. 
27." 

Mr. Parkhurst explains the butz of the lyssus ; the same as 
what we call " cotton," which is well known to be the produce 
of Egypt, Syria, and the neighbouring countries, and is the soft 

62 See Norden in respect to Egypt, V. i. p. 110; and Le Bruyn, as to Syria, 
torn. ii. p. 150. 

63 Silk as well as cotton is produced in large quantities in Syria, and makes 
a very principal part of the riches of that country. [Voyage de Syrie, par De 
La Roque, p. 8.] 

64 Rauwolf, p. 84. They are brought in the like manner from the East Indies 
to Egypt. Norden, V. i. p. 70. Maillet, let. 13, p. 194. 

65 P. 18. 

66 It occurs in eight places, viz. 1 Chron. iv. 21; xv. 27; 2 Chron. ii. 13; iii, 
14; v.12; Esth. \. 6; viii. 15; Ezek. xxvii. 16. 



138 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

downy substance formed in the pods of the shrub called " gossy- 
pium er ." The cloth made of it being of a finer texture and more 
delicate softness than that manufactured from flax, was used for 
the robes of the rich and noble. We trace the Hebrew word in 
the vestments of /3w<rof, Luke, xvi. 9, and Ilev. xviii. 12. 

FLEA. U?}T)D PAROS. 

Occ. 1 Sam. xxiv. 14, and xxvi. 20. 

The LXX, and another Greek version in the Hexapla, render 
it \{/uAAov, and the Vulgate pulex. It seems, says Mr. Parkhurst, 
an evident derivative from JpD free, and \Z?JT) to leap, bound, or 
skip ; on account of its agility in leaping or skipping. 

The flea is a little wingless insect, equally contemptible and 
troublesome. It is thus described by an Arabian author : " A 
black, nimble, extenuated, hunch-backed animal, which, being 
sensible when any one looks on it, jumps incessantly, now on 
one side, now on the other, till it gets out of sight 68 ." 

David likens himself to this insect ; importing, that while it 
would cost Saul much pains to catch him, he would obtain but 
very little advantage from it. 

FLY. The kinds of flies are exceedingly numerous ; some 
with two, and some with four wings. They abound in warm and 
moist regions ; as hi Egypt, Chaldea, Palestine, and in the mid- 
dle regions of Africa ; and, during the rainy seasons, are very 
troublesome. 

In the Hebrew Scriptures, or in the ancient versions, are seven 
kinds of insects, which Bochart classes among " muscae," or 
flies. 

The 1st. is y\y OREB, which occurs Exod. viii. 20 ; xxiv. 20; 
xxv. 27; xxix. 31 ; Psal. Ixxviii. 45; and cv. 31, which those 
interpreters, who, by residing on the spot, have had the best 
means of identifying, have rendered " the dogfly," wjvo^wia. ; 
and it is supposed to be the same which in Abyssinia is called 
the zimb. 

(2.) in? ZEBUB, 2 Kings, i. 2, 3, 6, 16 ; Eccles. x. i. ; and Isai. 
vii. 18. Whether this denotes absolutely a distinct species of 
fly, or swarms of all sorts, may be difficult to determine. 

67 " Superior pars ./Egypti in Arabiam vergens, gignit fruticera quern aliqui 
gossipion vocant, plures xylon, et ideo lina, inde facta xylina- Parvus est, simi- 
lemque barbatse nucis, defert fructum cujus ex interiore bombyce lanugo netur. 
Nee ulla sunt eis candore molitiave pra^ferenda. Vestes inde sacerdotibus 
yEgypti gratissimas." Plin. N. H. lib. xix. c. 1. " Tn Palaestina nascens in fol- 
liculis." Mercer. It is very accurately described in Pollux Onomast. vii. c. 17, 
sect. 75; by Philostr. vit. Apollon. ii. c. 20. Compare also Salmasius, lixercit. 
Plin. p. 701. Reland, Diss. Miscel. p. 1, 212, and J. R. Forster, De Bysso an- 
tiquorum, 8vo. Lend. 1776. Cotton seems to have derived its name from a fruit, 
in Crete, called by Pliny, 1. xv. c. 11, " Mala colonea," or " Cydonea." It is 
distinguished by other names, as bombyx, gossipium, and xylon; and the cloth 
made of it, byssus. " Feruut cotonei mali amplitudine cucurbitas, quae maturi- 
tate ruptje ostendunt lunuginis pilas, ex qiiibus vestes pretioso linteo faciunt." 
Plin. 1.12. c. 10. 

68 Alkazuinus, quoted by Bochart, Hieroz. part. ii. l.iv. c. 19, Vol. Hi. p. 475. 



OF THE BIBLE. 139 

(3.) mm DEBURRAH, Jud. xiv. 18 ; and Psal. cxviii. 12; ren- 
dered " bee." 

(4.) niT)5f TSIRA ; Greek eQvfe. Exod. xxiii. 28 ; Josh. xxiv. 
12; and Deut. vii. 20; " Hornet." 

(5.) DOTD SARABIM ; Greek oi^os- Ezek. ii. 6 ; and Hosea, 
iv. 16. 

(6.) pa BAK ; Greek KQNO*. Matth. xxiii. 24, the " gnat." 

(7.) D'33 CINNIM; Greek <ntwjre$. Exod. viii. 16; and Psal. 
civ. 31. " Lice." 

These will be found explained, under the several names by 
which they are translated, in the alphabetic order of this work ; 
and I shall confine myself in this article to the two first and the 
fifth. 

M. SONNINI *, speaking of Egypt, says, " of insects there the 
most troublesome are thejiies. Both man and beast are cruelly 
tormented with them. No idea can be formed of their obstinate 
rapacity when they wish to fix upon some part of the body. It 
is in vain to drive them away ; they return again in the selfsame 
moment; and their perseverance wearies out the most patient 
spirit. They like to fasten themselves in preference on the cor- 
ners of the eye, and on the edge of the eyelid ; tender parts, 
towards which a gentle moisture attracts them." 

I. The yiy OREB, with which Jehovah humbled the pride 
and defeated the obstinacy of Pharaoh, Exod. viii. 20, and Psal. 
xxviii. 4o, has been variously rendered. In our version it is 
translated " swarms of flies," and in the margin, " a mixture of 
noisome beasts." This last is borrowed from Josephus, and the 
Babylonian Targum ; and indeed almost all the ancient versions 
lean that way. Aquila and Jerom understood it of a mixture of 
various kinds of flies. The Arabic version reads " a mixture 
of wild beasts, venomous insects, and reptiles ;" Rabbi Selorno, 
" all kinds of venomous animals, as serpents and scorpions ;" 
Eben Ezra, " all the wild beasts mingled in association, as lions, 
bears, and leopards ;" Purver, " a mixture of noisome crea- 
tures ;" Delgado, " a mixture of vermin ;" Bate, " a raven ;" 
and Dr. Geddes, " a swarm of beetles 70 ." " I mention these 
marvellous renderings," says the author of Scripture Illustrated, 
" to show the absolute necessity of zcell understanding the NATU- 
RAL HISTORY of the country ; since that alone can direct our 
inquiries, and since all these opposed renderings cannot possibly 
be well founded. Moreover they appear to be contrary to verse 
31, which seems to imply the withdrawing of a single kind." 

That it was one particular insect, and not a mixture of dif- 

69 Trav. V. iii. p. 199. 

70 The " Blatta Egyptiaca" of LINN/EUS. This rendering is supported by Oed- 
mann, Michaelis, Orient. Bibl. Nov. p. v. p. 38, and Rosenmuller, in loc. This 
is a very voracious insect, that not only bites animals, but devours tender herbs 
and fruits. 



>rigmal by xuvo/ui/a, the dogjiy, which must 
A to the Egyptians, because they held dogs 
tion ; and worshiped Anubis under the form 
: of this kind, the authority of the LXX is 



140 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

ferent animals, is pretty clear. Bochart, who has treated this 
subject with his usual learning and ability, follows the Septua- 
gint, explaining the original by xuvo/xu/a, the dogjiy, which must 
be particularly hateful to 
in the highest veneration 
of a dog. In a case of this 

very high, as they translated the Pentateuch in the very place 
where these plagues happened. PHILO too thus describes it. 
" The imposers of names, who were wise men, gave this insect 
an appellation from the qualities of two most impudent animals, 
a dog and %fly : for this species of fly attacks with fearless fury, 
and will not be driven away, nor quit its hold, till it is satisfied 
w ith flesh and blood n ." 

The Egyptians paid a superstitious worship to several sotts of 
flies and insects 72 . If then, such was the superstitious homage 
of this people, nothing could be more determinate than the judg- 
ment brought upon them by Moses. They were punished by 
the very things they revered ; and though they boasted of spells 
and charms, yet they could not ward off the evil. 

II. The SOI ZEBUB, mentioned Eccles. x. 1, and Isai. vii. 18; 
and with the name of an idol, " Baal-zebub," 2 Kings, i. 2, 3, 6, 
comes now to be considered 73 . I expressed a doubt whether it 
referred to a particular species of fly, or to flies in general. 
Schindler, in his Lexicon, considers the Hebrew word, together 
with its Chaldee and Arabic cognates, as including the whole of 
winged insects : Culex, the gnat ; vespa, the wasp ; astrum, the 
gadfly ; and crabo, the hornet. This certainly implies the in- 
clusion of true flies, generally, whose species, it is well known, 
are sufficiently numerous. Moreover, that this should hardly be 
restrained to a single species of fly may be inferred from the pun 
employed in playing on the appellation 13aal-zebub, or " lord of 
flies," to convert it into Baal-zebul, or " lord of dung." This 
too I apprehend alludes to the nature of certain kinds of flies, 
or rather beetles, which roll their eggs in dung ; so that the 
change of name has a reference, a degrading reference to the 
manners of the symbol of this deity, including, no doubt, a sar- 
castic sneer at those of his worshippers 74 . The general import 

71 De Vita Mosis. Op. torn. ii. p. 101, cd. Mangey. " Ex toto vero descrip- 
lione, quam Philo de xwx<y*wia dedit, Michaelis in Suppl. ad Lex. Hebr. p. v. 
pag. 1960, magni veri specie colligit, esse tabanum, proprie sic dictum." Rosen- 
muller not. in Bochart. V. iii. p. 428. 

In a note to Martyn's translation of Virgil's Georgics, iii. v. 149, and also 
Stawell's, p. 425, Loud. 1808, is a particular account of this troublesome insect, 

72 Plin.N. H. 1. xxx. c. 11, Pint, sympof. I. iv. c. 5. Marsham Cliron. ./Egypt. 
sect. ix. p. 156. 

73 " Baal-zebub, the Aleim or god of the Philistines of Ekron." Parkhurst, 
Heb. Lex. 

74 The above explanation I have quoted from the " Scripture Illustrated." 
I add here, the explanation of Schlcusner. " Orte Vat sterorarium etium pro 
fa.no idulutrico Irgitur in Hicnm. licrac/ios, fol. 12. col. 2 et ibidem sacrificantes 
idolis Stercoranlet pbTin diciuitur." 



OF THE BIBLE. 141 

Of this word may be farther argued from what Pliny tells us, 1. 
x. c. 18, concerning the deity Achorem, from the Greek %0f, 
which may be from the Hebrew Ekron or Accaron, the city 
where Baal-zebub, the lord of flies, was worshiped. " The in- 
habitants of Cyrene," says he, " invoke the assistance of the god 
Achorem, when the multitude of flies produce a pestilence : but 
when they have placated that deity by their offerings, the flies 
perish immediately." 

Dr. Fanner, in his Essay on Demoniacs, p. 21, refutes the 
intimation that this change of the name was by way of derision, 
but, for the following reasons, I am inclined to retain the other 
opinion. 

As the Jews, after their return from the Babylonish captivity, 
held idols in the utmost detestation, this degrading turn might 
have been given to the name of the god of Ekron. That he was 
called BAAL-ZEBULin our Saviour's time appears from Matth. x. 
.5 ; xii. 24, 27 ; Mark, iii. 22; and Luke, xi. lo, 18, 19; where 
the name is written BEEAZEBOTA; as all the Greek manuscripts 
read it with a final A. Not only in the Rabbinical writings, but 
in the Chaldee Targums, and in the Syriac language, b^l signifies 
dung; [see Castell, Lexic. Heptaglot.] and there is no reason to 
doubt but it was applied in the same sense by the Jews among 
whom our Lord conversed. Lightfoot, Hor. Ilebr. Matth. xii. 
24, says, "among the Jews it was almost reckoned a duty of 
religion to reproach idols and idolatry, and call them by con- 
temptuous names, of which "712? was a common one ;" as he 
proves from a passage in the Talmudical Tract Beracoth. Sym- 
machus, in like manner as the evangelists, uses BeeA^f&Jt/A, for 
an? ^ID, 2 Kings, i. [See more in Wetstein's Var. Lect. on 
Matth. x.25.] 

A like contemptuous epithet is used in other places. So 
Levit. xxvi. 30; and Deut. xxix. 17, idols are styled D'Vfa and 
O'V?:i, dungy gods, from y?J, faces, ordure. This leads me to 
offer a correct version of Hosea, v. 12, which, in our common 
translation, is most sadly perverted; for there we read, "Ephraim 
is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked 
after the commandment." It seems strange, indeed, that will- 
ing obedience to the commandment should be the occasion of 
his errors and sufferings, especially as in the former chapter, 
verse 17, he is declared to be given to idols, and therefore for- 
saken of Jehovah. But the original requires here quite a dif- 
ferent rendering. Its literal and true meaning is, Ephraim is 
crushed and judicially broken, BECAUSE HE WILLINGLY BECAME 
ADDICTED TO IDOLS. And the word, which in our common 
translation is " commandment," in the Hebrew is Niy, a disgust- 
ing term to express an idol [excrementum, stercus], a term ex- 
pressive of the detestable and polluting nature of idolatry. And 
it may be observed, that the very pronunciation of the word is 



142 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

like that strong propelling of the breath from the nostrils when 
stench is perceived. 

BAAL-ZEBUB was worshiped by the Philistines, because he was 
supposed to defend his votaries from the fl.ies which infested 
those regions. History informs us that those who live in hot 
climates, and where the soil was moist (which was the case of 
the Ekronites, who bordered upon the sea), were exceedingly 
infested with flies. And it seems not improbable, that a general 
persuasion of his power of driving away flies from the places 
they frequented, might be the reason why the god of Ekron was 
called Beelzebub : for it was customary with the heathens to 
call their gods by the name of those insects from ^Yhich they 
were believed to deliver their worshippers 75 . The god of files, 
MwwSvj?, and the fly-hunter, Mviay^og, were titles ascribed by 
the Greeks to Jupiter as well as to Hercules. ATO/XWW A/< Svovtriv 
HAf/o/, e PwjU,2/ov $e ATOjau/w 'E^xA. Clem. Alexandr. in Proc- 
treptico. So the LXX translators, who certainly knew better 
than we, at this distance of time can pretend to do, what were 
the emblematic gods of the heathen, have constantly rendered 
Dint b}Q by B##A fj,viuv, Baal the Jiy. And in this they are 
followed by Josephus, who says that Ahaziah sent TT^OC TOV Axxo^wv 
Qeov Mviav, TOVTO yetq vjv ovo/xa 0fw, to the god-fly, (for that was 
his name) of Ekron. And an old writer, cited by Suidas, under 
the word HA/#, says concerning Ahaziah, that E%V)<7#r0 M.vtcti, 
TOV vp Axxciqu E;&oAw, he applied to the Jiy, the idol of those of 
Ekron. See also the corresponding testimonies of Nazianzen, 
Theodoret, Philastrius, and Procopius, which are adduced by 
Bochart, vol. iii. p. 499. It seems that the Ammorites and 
Canaanites were also votaries of this idol. And we find the 
figure of a fly upon some Phoenician medals ; as also upon the 
statue of the goddess Diana at Ephesus 76 . In like rfcanner the 
Elians adored Jupiter the driver away of flies, and the Romans 
under the character of Hercules Apomyius 77 . This name \vas 
afterwards used by the Jews to signify " the prince of devils." 
Comp. Matth. x. 2.5. That this deity was supposed to have 
power over evil spirits, and was capable of expelling them, 
appears from the opinions of the Pharisees, Matth. xii. 24; 
Mark, iii. 22 ; and Luke, xi. 15 ; where they accuse our Lord of 
combination with Baalzebub. That he was considered as the 

75 " Sic Hercules dictus titoxroyo;, interemptor vermiculorum vites infestantium, 
qui Graecis titts. Item XUVUTIVS, culicum depulsor CEtceis cultus." Lomierus de 
Vet. Gent, lustrationibus, p. 23. Bochart, Hieroz. par. ii. 1. iv. c. 9. Selden 
de Dis Syr. syntag. ii. c. 6. p. 228. ed. Amstel. 1680. Farmer on Demoniacs, 
ch. i. sect. ii. p. 18. 

76 Claud. Menit. Symb. Dian. Ephes. Stat. 1. ii. p. 391, Gronov. 

77 Pirn. N. H. 1. x. c. 29. Solin. c. i. Salmasius Exercit. Plin. in Solin. p. 9. 
Selden, de Diis Syriis, Syntagm. ii. ch. 6. Vossius de Idololatiia, b. ii. c. 4. 

Kolben mentions a like superstition among the Hottentots. Present Stale of 
the Cape of Good Hope, v. i. p. 99. 



OF THE BIBLE. 143 

patron deity of medicine, is clearly implied in the conduct of 
Ahaziah, 2 Kings, i. 2. If we look into heathen antiquity, we 
find that the Greek mythology considered Apollo as the god of 
medicine, and attributed also to Apollo those possessions by a 
pythonic spirit, which occasionally perplexed spectators, and of 
which, we have an instance, Acts, xvi. 19. On these principles, 
I apprehend, we see the reason why Ahaziah sent to Baalzebub, 
to inquire the issue of his accident, since Baalzebub was Apollo, 
and Apollo was the god of physic. We see also the reason of 
that apparently strange expression of the Scribes, Mark, iii. 22. 
" He hath Baalzebub," i. e. he is possessed by a pythonic spirit; 
as we read also verse 30, because they said " he hath an unclean 
spirit," i. e. the spirit of a heathen deity. To this agrees the 
contrast, in the following verses, between an impure spirit and 
the Holy Spirit. It illustrates also, the propriety of our Lord's 
assertion, that he cast out devils, not by a pythonic spirit, not by 
the god of physic, but by " the Spirit of God." 

I have insensibly been led into this long digression from the 
immediate purport of this article, to which I now return by 
quoting a description of the zirnb, from Mr. Bruce, with a note. 

" This word \_zimb~] is Arabic, and signifies thejiy in general. 
The Chaldee paraphrase is content with calling it simply zebub, 
which has the same general signification. The Ethiopic version 
calls it tsaltsalya, which is the true name of this particular fly 
in Geez. 

" It is in size very little larger than a bee, of a thicker pro- 
portion, and its wings, which are broader, are placed separate 
like those of a fly. Its head is large; the upper jaw or lip is 
sharp, and has at the end of it a strong pointed hair, of about a 
quarter of an inch in length ; the lower jaw has two of these 
hairs : and this pencil of hairs, joined together, makes a resist- 
ance to the finger, nearly equal to a strong bristle of a hog. Its 
legs are serrated on the inside, and the whole covered with 
brown hair, or down. It has no sting, though it appears to be 
of the bee kin4- 

" As soon as this winged assassin appears, and its buzzing is 
heard, the cattle forsake their food, and run wildly about the plain 
till they die, worn out with affright, fatigue, and pain. 

" The inhabitants of Melinda down to Cape Gardefan, to 
Saba, and the south coast of the Red Sea, are obliged to put 
themselves in motion, and remove to the next sand in the begin- 
ning of the rainy season. This is not a partial emigration ; the 
inhabitants of all the countries, from the mountains of Abyssinia 
northward, to the confluence of the Nile and Astaboras, are, 
once in a year, obliged to change their abode, and seek protec- 
tion in the sands of Beja, till the danger of the insect is over. 
The elephant and the rhinoceros, which by reason of their enor- 
mous bulk, and the vast quantity of food and water they daily 



144 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

need, cannot shift to desert and dry places, are obliged, in order 
to resist the zimb, to roll themselves in mud and mire, which, 
when dry, coats them over like armour. 

" Of all those who have written of these countries, the prophet 
Isaiah alone has given us an account of this fly, and described 
the mode of its operations 78 . 

" Providence from the beginning, it would appear, had fixed 
its habitation to one species of soil, which is black, fat earth, 
extremely fruitful. In the plagues brought upon Pharaoh, it 
was by means of this contemptible, yet formidable insect that 
God said he would separate his people from the Egyptians. 
The land of Goshen, the possession of the Israelites, was a land 
of pasture, not tilled nor sown, because not overflowed by the 
Nile: but the land overflowed by the Nile was the black earth 
of the valley of Egypt, and it was here that God confined the 
zimb ; for he says, it shall be a sign of this separation of the 
people which he had then made, that not one fly should be seen 
in the sand or pasture ground of the land of Goshen. And this 
kind of soil has ever since been the refuge of all cattle emi- 
grating from the black earth to the lower part of Atbara. So 
powerful is the weakest instrument in the hands of the Almighty! 
Isaiah, indeed, says, that ( the fly shall be in all the desert places/ 
and consequently, the sands ; yet this was a particular dispensa- 
tion of providence, to answer a special end, the desolation of 
Egypt, and was not a repeal of the general law, but a confirma- 
tion of it it was an exception for a particular purpose and a 
limited time." It was no trifling judgment, then, with which 
the prophet threatened the refractory Israelites. Isai. viii. 18. 
If the prediction be understood in the literal sense, it represents 
the oestra or cincinnella, as the armies of Jehovah, summoned 
by him to battle against his offending people ; or, if it be taken 
metaphorically, which is perhaps the proper way of expounding 
it, the prophet compares the numerous and destructive armies 
of Babylon to the countless swarms of these flies, whose distant 
hum is said to strike the quadrupeds with consternation, and 
whose bite inflicts, on man and beast, a torment almost insup- 
portable^. 

78 Chap. vii. 18. This verse, according to an amended translation, should 
read thus : " And it shall come to pass, as in that day Jehovah did hiss for the fly 
that was in the end of the rivers of Egypt, [alluding to the invasion of Sisac] so 
will he for the bee that is in the land of Assyria," [predicting the conquest of 
Senacherib.] 

See " Critical Remarks on Isai. vii. 18," by Granville Penn, Esq. 4to. Lond. 
1800. 

This method of gathering bees together by hissing or whistling, (ffwi<r/**ff) as 
we do now by beating of brass, was practised in Asia, in the fourth and fifth 
centuries. Cyril speaks of it as a thing very common in his time ; and so it is 
still in Lithuania and Muscovy^ countries abounding in bees, where the master of 
the hives leads them out to feed and brings them home again by a blast of his 
whistle. Nature Displayed, v. iii. p. 25, Eng. ed. 12mo. Bochart, v. iii. 506. 

78 Paxton's Illustr. of Scripture, v. i. p. 300. 



OF THE BIBLE. 145 

III. The word DO"iD SERABIM, Ezek. ii. 6, in our version 
rendered "scorpions," is by the LXX VK^oiq^cov<nv ; and in 
Hosea, iv. 16, they render iTDD SARERAH by Kaqois^trsv. These 
two places refer us to the insect called by the Greeks oigyo? or 
oestrus, and by the Latins asilus and tabanus. Our translation 
of the passage in Hosea is, " Israel slideth back as a backsliding 
heifer; now the Lord will feed them as a lamb in a large place." 
The iTVlD mD2 PARAH SARERAH, designs properly a cow which 
has been stung by a gad-fly, or other insect ; and the latter part 
of the verse refers to those retreats of safety, where the animal 
might feed as quietly as a lamb. Perhaps the sarar may be the 
sarran which Meninski describes as " a great bluish fly, having 
greenish eyes, its tail armed with a piercer, by which it pesters 
almost all horned cattle, settling on their heads, &c. Often it 
creeps up the nostrils of asses. It is a species of gad-fly, but 
carrying its sting in its tail." 

Vallisnieri, in his History of Insects, gives a description of 
the oxfly or gadfly. Its shape somewhat resembles a wasp, 
without a sting or proboscis in its mouth. It has two membra- 
naceous wings, with which it makes a most horrible whizzing. 
The belly is terminated by three long rings, one less than ano- 
ther, from the last of which proceeds a most formidable sting. 
This sting is composed of a tube, through which its eggs are 
emitted, and of two augers which make way for the tube to 
penetrate into the skin of the cattle : these augers are armed 
with two little darts, which have a point to pierce, and an edge 
to cut : at the end of the sting issues forth a venomous liquor, 
which irritates and inflames the fibres, and causes a swelling in 
the skin of the wounded animal : they often deposit an egg 
within this swelling, where a worm is formed, being nourished 
by the juice which flows from the wounded fibres. The worm 
remains nine or ten months there, and then comes out of its own 
accord, and creeps into some hole, and there enters into the state 
of a chrysalis; in which condition it lies for some time, and at 
last comes forth in the form of the parent fly. 

Mr. Clark in his account of the oestrus bovis, inserted in the 
" Transactions of the Linnaean Society," vol. iii. p. 295, says : 
" The pain it inflicts in depositing its eggs is much more severe 
than any of the other species. When one of the cattle is attacked 
by this fly it is easily known by the extreme terror and agitation 
of the whole herd. The unfortunate object of the attack runs 
bellowing from among them to some distant part of the heath, 
or to the nearest water ; while the tail, from the severity of the 
pain, is held with a tremulous motion, strait from the body, in 
the direction of the spine, and the head and the neck are also 
stretched out to the utmost. The rest from fear generally follow 
to the water, or disperse to different parts of the field. And 
such is the dread and apprehension in the cattle of this fly, that 

N 



146 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

I have seen one of them meet the herd when almost driven home, 
and turn them back, regardless of the stones, sticks, and noise 
of their drivers ; nor could they be stopped till they had reached 
their accustomed retreat in the water." 

Bochart has, in a very learned manner, illustrated the passage 
in Hosea; and supplied numerous quotations from the Fathers 
in confirmation of his opinion, and passages from the Greek and 
Latin classics, descriptive of the insect, and of the terror which 
it excites in the cattle, and the pain inflicted by its sting 80 . It is 
by no means clear, that the oestrus of modern entomologists is 
synonymous with the insects which the Greeks distinguish by 
that name. Aristotle, not only describes these as blood-sucker^ 
(Hist. An. 1. viii. c. 11.) but also as furnished with a strong pro- 
boscis, (I. iv. c. 7.) He observes, likewise, that they are produced 
from an animal inhabiting the waters, in the vicinity of which 
they most abound. (1. viii. c. 7.) And ^lian, Hist. 1. vi. c. 38, 
gives nearly the same account. Comparing the oestrus with the 
myops, he says, that the oestrus, for a fly, is one of the largest ; 
it has a stiff and large sting (meaning a proboscis), and emits a 
certain humming and harsh sound ; but the myops is like the 
cynomya, it hums more loudly than the oestrus, though it has a 
smaller sting. 

These characters and circumstances do not at all agree with 
the modern oestrus, which, so far from being a blood-sucker 
furnished with a strong proboscis, has scarcely any mouth. It 
shuns also the vicinity of water, to which our cattle generally fly 
as a refuge from it. It seems more probable that the oestrus of 
Greece was related to Bruce's zimb, represented in his figure 
with a long proboscis, which makes its appearance in the neigh- 
bourhood of rivers, and belongs, perhaps, to Latreille's genus 
Pangonia, or to his Nemestrina 81 . 

IV. Forskal mentions that there are immense numbers of the 
c ulex molestus at Rosetta, Kahira, and Alexandria ; extremely 
troublesome, particularly during the night. 

Solomon observes, Eccles. vii. 26, " dead flies cause the 
apothecaries' ointment to stink." " A fact well known," says 
Scheuchzer, " wherefore apothecaries take care to prevent flies 
from coming to their syrups and other fermentable preparations. 
For in all insects there is an acrid volatile salt, which, mixed 
with sweet, or even alkaline substances, excites them to a brisk 
intestine motion, disposes them to fermentation, and to putres- 
cence itself; by which the more volatile principles fly off, leaving 
the grosser behind : at the^ ^ame time, the taste and odour are 

80 Hieroz. v. ii. p. 419. Rosenmuller,in his note, says that this is the Tabanus 
bovis, of Linnaeus. S. N. t.'i. p. 5, page 2881. Forskall has mentioned it among 
the insects of Arabia. [Deser. Anim. Haunia; 1775, p. 85,] and adds, " Ubique 
eqiiis infestus." 

bl Kirby and Spence, Intro'd. to Entomology, p. 154. 



OF THE BIBLE. 147 

changed, the agreeable to fetid, the sweet to insipid." This 
verse is an illustration, by a very appropriate similitude, of the 
concluding assertion in the preceding chapter, that " one sinner 
destroyeth much good," as one dead fly spoils a whole vessel of 
precious ointment, which, in Eastern countries, was considered 
as very valuable, 2 Kings, xx. 13. The application of this pro- 
verbial expression to a person's good name, which is elsewhere 
compared to sweet ointment, Eccles. vii. 1 ; Cantic. i. 3, is 
remarkably significant. As a fly, though a diminutive creature, 
can taint and corrupt much precious perfume ; so a small mix- 
ture of folly and indiscretion will tarnish the reputation of one 
who, in other respects, is very wise and honourable; and so 
much the more, because of the malignity and ingratitude of 
mankind, who are disposed rather to censure one error, than to 
commend many excellencies, and from whose minds one small 
miscarriage is sufficient to blot out the memory of all other 
deserts. It concerns us, therefore, to conduct ourselves unblame- 
ably, that we may not by the least oversight or folly, blemish our 
profession, or cause it be offensive to others. 

FLINT. uroSn HALAMISH. 

Occ. Deut. viii. 15; xxxii. 13; Job, xxviii. 9; Psal. cxiv. 8; 
and Isai. 1. 7. 

A hard stone, whose parts, when broken, fly off with great 
force. Michaelis thinks that it particularly denotes the reddish 
granite or porphyry, which, as he shows from the testimony of 
eyewitnesses, abounds in and about Mount Horeb and Sinai. 
He owns, however, that in the place in Job it must be taken in 
a larger sense, as the skilful metalists, whom he consulted could 
not recollect that metalline ores were ever found in porphyry. 
Mr. Good renders it there, " sparry ore." 

FOWL. &y OUPH. 

Gen. i. 21, 30; and in many other places, is the generic name 
of all the feathered tribe. 

ID'j; AYIT, Gen. xv. 11; Job, xxvii. 7 ; Isai. xviii. 6 ; xlvi. 1 1 ; 
and Ezek. xxxix. 4, intends birds of prey. Whence the 
Greek word aielos, a species of eagle. 

n'TO~O BARBURIM, 1 Kings, iv. 23, means poultry fatted in 
the pen to the greatest delicacy. 

TiDy TSIPPOR, Gen. iv. 17, and many other places. A com- 
mon name for all birds ; but sometimes for the sparrow in 
particular. See SPARROW. 

FOX. *jyw SHUAL; Arab, taaleb. 

Occ. Jud. xv. 4; Nehem. iv. 3;c xi. 27; Psalm Ixiii. 10; 
Cantic. ii. 15; Lam. v. 18; and Ezek. xiii. 4. AAQI1HE, 
Matth. viii. 20; Luke, ix. 5, 8; and xiii. 32. 

Parkhurst observes, that this is the name of an animal, pro- 
bably so called from his burrowing, or making holes in the earth 
to hide himself or dwell in. The LXX render it by AWTTVJ, 



148 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

the Vulgate " Vulpes," and our English version " fox;" and it 
must be owned, that this seems a very proper appellation for 
that animal. Thus Oppian. 

Kaj crjyvrn vain tsv/tarots EVJ pwXeionriv. 
Cunning he dwells in burrows deep. 

But still it is no easy matter to determine, whether the He- 
brew byw, means the common fox, " canis vulpes," or the jackal, 
" canis aureus," " the little eastern fox/' as .Hasselquist calls 
him. Several of the modern oriental names of the jackal, i. e. 
the Turkish chical, the Persian sciagal, sciugal, sciachal, or 
schacul (whence the French chacal, and English jackal), from 
their resemblance to the Hebrew, favour the latter interpretation: 
and Delon, in his Travels, observes of the jackals that " they 
hide themselves in holes under the ground in the day time, never 
keeping abroad but in the night in search of prey ;" and Hassel- 
quist, p. 175, says, " that in Palestine he saw many of the jackals' 
caves and holes in the hedges round the gardens." The Hebrew 
name, therefore, may suit the jackal as well as ihefox. 

It is recorded in Judges, xv. 4, 5, that " Samson went and 
caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail 
to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails ; and 
when he had set the brands on fire, he let go 8 - into the standing 
corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also 
the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives." Dr. Shaw 
thinks jackals to be the animals here intended ; observing, that 
" as these are creatures by far the most common and familiar, as 
well as the most numerous of any in the Eastern countries, we 
may well perceive the great possibility there was for Samson to 
take, or cause to be taken, three hundred of them. The fox, 
properly so called (he adds), is rarely to be met with, neither is 
it gregarious." So Hasselquist remarks, " Jackals are found in 
great numbers about Gaza ; and from their gregarious nature, 
it is much more probable that Samson should have caught three 
hundred of them, than of the solitary quadruped, the fox." 

However strange the history of setting fire to corn by tying 
firebrands to foxes' tails may sound to us, yet we find such a 
practice alluded to in a very remarkable passage of Ovid, Fast, 
lib. iv. v. 681. 

" Cur igitur missae junctis ardentia taedis 
Terga ferant vulpes, causa docenda mihi." 

The following fable of Apthonius, which, says Mr. Merrick 83 , 
I the rather take notice of, as it is not mentioned by Bochart, 

82 Our translators insert the word " them," understanding of letting loose the 
foxes. 1 am rather disposed to think the substitution of " it" to be better; 
i. e. " he let it [the fire] go [spread] into the standing corn, &c." 

w Annot. on Psal. Ixiii. 3. 



OF THE BIBLE. 149 

seems much to the purpose. Ffw^yw TOV^U (pfiovov t^xoiei TO TGV 
yeirovo/; av^avo^evov A^/ov, &c. Agricola improbus cum inviderct 
proximo faturam segetis, quareretque pro pacto corrurnpere pos- 
set ejus tabores, captam vulpem, al/igatd face, in vicini scgetcrn 
dimittit. At ilia, non qua missa erat excurrens, voleute sic Deo, 
ejus qui dimiserat combussit segetem. Fab. 38. The reader 
will find in Mr. Thomas Hearn's Apparatus prefixed to Le- 
land's Collectanea, a copper-plate representing a brick of the 
Roman make (and therefore the less likely to have any imme- 
diate reference to the Scripture), found twenty-eight feet below 
a pavement in London, about the year 1675, on which is exhi- 
bited in basso relievo, the figure of a man driving into a field of 
corn two foxes with fire fastened to their tails 34 . Professor 
Michaelis, in his " Recueil de Questions, &c." xxxviii. thinks that 
the beasts mentioned by the Psalmist, Ixiii. 10, could be no other 
than jackals, which, says he, are so greedy of human carcasses 
as to dig them out of their graves. He adds, that the large 
number of foxes taken by Samson by no means agrees with the 
condition of the common fox, as far as we know it, but wonder- 
fully suits that of these animals, which assort themselves by 
hundreds. In order, however, to determine the point more 
clearly, he proposes that it be inquired whether the jackal be 
an animal apt to bite, and observes, that Samson's beasts should 
rather seem to have been of a timorous nature, and yet ought to 
have been provided with teeth considerably sharp, in order to 
defend themselves from those who might attempt to stop them, 
and to take the firebrands from them. With regard to these 
circumstances, it deserves to be remarked, that Kasmpfer de- 
scribes the animal as bold, and Aristotle speaks of the Ques as 
not afraid of a man, though not inclined to hurt him. Upon the 
whole, says Mr. Merrick, the jackal seems to have been as fit for 
Samson's purpose as the ordinary fox would have been ; and 
that the fox was capable of being employed by him, on the oc- 
casion recorded in Scripture, seems sufficiently clear from the 
quotations already given from Ovid and Apthonius. 

The author of " Scripture Illustrated" remarks, " There is 
some attention due to the nature and use of the torches, Jiam- 
beaux, employed by Samson in this procedure; and perhaps, 
could we identify the nature or form of these, the story might be 
relieved from some of its uncouthnesses. They are called CDHDb 
LAPADIM ; or rather, as in the Chaldee and Syriac, LAMPADIM ; 
whence the Greek A#/u/7r#?, and our lamp. Now, these lamps 
or burners, were placed between two jackals, whose tails were 
tied together, or at least there was a connexion formed between 
them by a cord; this is the reading of the LXX in the Com- 
plutensian, VMI <ruvf Jvjc-fv xepxov xqog XEQXOV. Possibly, then, this 

84 This brick was the key of an arched vault, discovered at the same time full 
of burnt corn. See Monthly Magazine, V. 1. p. 13, note. 



150 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

cord was of a moderate length, and this burner being tied in the 
middle of it, it had somewhat of the effect which we have seen 
among ourselves, when wanton malice has tied to the tail of a 
dog crackers, squibs, Sec. which, being fired, have worried the 
poor animal to his den; where, supposing them still to burn, 
they might set all around them on fire. We know it is the 
nature of the jackal to roam about dwellings and outhouses ; 
this would lead these animals to where the corn, &c. of the Phi- 
listines was stowed ; which, being inflamed, would communicate 
the conflagration in every direction. We must therefore sup- 
pose, 1. That these burners were at some distance from the 
animals, so as not to burn them. 2. That they were either dim 
in the manner of their burning, and their light ; or, perhaps, were 
even not to be alarmingly distinguished by their illumination. 
They might burn dead, as we say; so that their effect might 
take place too late to prevent the mischief that attended them. 

" This assimilates the circumstance of these lamps or burners 
pretty much to the history of Gideon, who, we find, used three 
hundred of them in his expedition, as Samson used one hundred 
and fifty; so that they could not be rare and valuable, but 
common and ordinary articles. 

" We ought also to know the actual state of the corn, said to 
be in sheaves, but, perhaps, properly, brought into the garner, 
the threshing floor, and there gathered into heaps ready for 
threshing: where it had acquired a great degree of dryness; 
and here, when it was once on fire, it could scarcely fail of 
being totally consumed. W T e are then, I presume, to under- 
stand the effects produced by these various companies of jackals, 
as if one rambling party set fire to the standing corn, others to 
the gathered corn, others to the vines, and others to the olives; 
so that by reason of the great number employed, a general de- 
vastation ensued of whatever was abroad, out of the towns or 
secured habitations." 

On the other hand, Dr. Kennicott remarks 85 : " The three 
hundred foxes, caught by Samson, have been so frequently the 
subject of banter and ridicule, that we should consider whether 
the words may not admit a more rational interpretation. For 
besides the improbability arising here from the number of these 
foxes, the use made of them is also very strange. If these ani- 
mals were tied tail to tail, they would probably pull contrary 
ways, and consequently stand still ; whereas, a firebrand, tied to 
the tail of each fox singly, would have been far more likely to 
answer the purpose here intended. To obviate these difficulties 
it has been well remarked, that the word D'VjMtt here translated 
' foxes,' signifies also handfuh (Ezek. xiii. 19, * handfuls of bar- 
ley') if we leave out that one letter 1, which has been inserted or 
omitted elsewhere almost at pleasure. No less than seven He- 
85 Remarks on select Passages in the Old Testament. Oxf. 1737. p. 100. 



OF THE BIBLE. 151 



brew MSS. want that letter here, and read D'byu;. Admitting 
this version, we see that Samson took three hundred handfuls (or 
sheaves) of corn, and one hundred and fifty firebrands ; that he 
turned the sheaves end to end, and put a firebrand between the 
two ends, in the midst; and then, setting the brands on fire, sent 
the fire into the standing corn of the Philistines. The same 
word is now used twice in one chapter, Ezek. xiii. 4, and 19; 
in the former verse, it signifies foxes, in the latter, handfuls; 
and in 1 Kings, xx. 10, where we render it ' handfuls,' it is 
#Aw?rf< in the Greek version." 

Dr. Kennicott refers to the " Memoirs of Literature," for the 
year 1712, p. 15. I presume that it is the same illustration 
which is given in the " Republ. des Lettres," Oct. 1707, a 
translation of which I here insert. 

" When Samson, exasperated against the Philistines, had 
determined to destroy their corn, he observed that they had put 
together all their sheaves, and made three hundred shocks. He 
therefore formed a plan to burn them, and the enterprise did not 
depend so much upon his great strength as upon his courage, 
prudence, and expedition. These three hundred shocks could 
not be set on fire one after another without loss of time, and 
danger of discovery. On this account he judged it necessary to 
lay two sheaves at length upon the ground to make a communi- 
cation between every two shocks. He then put some combus- 
tible matter between the two sheaves, such as flax, hemp, Sic. 
which he could easily carry with him into the fields ; and having 
effected this, he finally set fire to the combustible matter. The 
fire, aided probably by a dry season, and fanned by the wind, 
spread from sheaf to sheaf, and shock to shock, and running over 
the neighbouring fields, consumed the standing corn, the vine- 
yards, and the olives. 

" Hence it appears very evident, that Samson, who was a war- 
rior and not a huntsman, did not undergo the fatigue of hunting 
foxes, but directly attacked the harvest of his enemies. He did 
not unkennel three hundred beasts, but only found so many 
shocks of corn. He did not tie three hundred tails, but only 
joined so many sheaves together. Interpreters have been mis- 
led by the custom of the ancient Jews, who always affected the 
hieroglyphical or mystical sense in words of an equivocal signifi- 
cation. In this story they insinuated to the reader that Samson 
had deceived his enemies, who, by tampering with his wife, had 
before been too cunning for him. This gave occasion to saying, 
* Samson pursued the foxes ;' that is to say, he revenged him- 
self with great damage on the Philistines. They concealed this 
thought under the ambiguity of the word D^Ntf instead of D*by\D 
which properly signifies sheaves: for words must be explained 
according to the subject, scope, and series of the discourse. It 
is observable, too, that the word 231 which we translate " tail," 
signifies, through the whole tenor of the Jewish law, the ex- 



152 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

treme part of any thing whatever. For example, if a garden 
had five trees, in the Jewish language the fifth and last was 
always called D3r. In like manner the last sheaf of a whole 
shock was called n:r. 

" It is no wonder, therefore, that interpreters have not hit 
upon the real matter of fact, when they did not apprehend the 
design of the ancient Jews. They fatigue themselves in chasing 
the poor foxes, and bringing them by droves to Samson ; but all 
the whilQ they are at a loss to know how he surprised them, and 
where he kept and maintained them till opportunity served; in 
a word, how he could enchant so many beasts, and make them 
follow him to the place appointed; with other difficulties in the 
history too obvious to need enumeration. In reality they have 
undergone more drudgery and fatigue to provide Samson with 
foxes than he himself could have suffered had he attempted to 
surprise them in a hundred places. 

" To conclude, there was no need to maintain such a troop of 
wild beasts, since the prudent captain, without such an imprac- 
ticable method, was able, as we have seen above, to reduce to 
ashes the harvest of the Philistines, with no other assistance than 
his own hands and a small quantity of combustible matter." 

The following strictures upon this criticism were furnished by 
my venerated friend, the late Stephen Sewall, Hollis Professor 
of Hebrew and the Oriental languages in Harvard college at 
Cambridge ; and though some of his remarks are in part a reca- 
pitulation of preceding ones under this article, I shall give them 
entire. 

" However plausible this turn may seem, I think that it is 
as far from the sense of the sacred historian as it is from our 
translation, which I imagine truly expresses his meaning. For 
the word "D 1 ?, which our translators have rendered ' caught,' 
never signifies simply to get, take, or fetch, but always to catch, 
seize, or take by assault, stratagem, or surprise, &c. unless the 
following place, 1 Sam. xiv. 47, ' So Saul took the kingdom 
over Israel,' be an exception. Again, admitting the proposed 
alteration in the word ^yw, it will be difficult to prove that even 
then it means a sheaf. The word is used but three times in the 
whole Bible. Its meaning must be gathered from the con- 
nexion in which it stands here. The first place, 1 Kings, xx. 10, 
where it is rendered ' handfuls,' not of grain, but of dust. * The 
gods do so unto me, and more also,' says Benhadad, king of 
Syria, * if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all 
the people that follow me.' In Isaiah, xl. 12, the same word 
is translated ' the hollow of the hand/ ' Who hath measured 
the waters in the hollow) of his hand, and meted out the heavens 
with a span.' The last place in which the word occurs is 
Ezekiel, xiii. Q * And will ye pollute me among my people for 
handfuls of barley, and for pieces of bread?' The connexion here 
with pieces of bread seems evidently to point out to us handfuls 



OF THE BIBLE. 153 

of barley in the grain, not handfuls or sheaves in the ear and 
straw. In fine, from the places quoted, taken in their several 
conexions, the word plainly appears to mean a measure of 
capacity, as much as the hollow of the hand can hold; as a 
hand-breadth is used in Scripture for a measure of extension. 
Add to this, that in all other places of Scripture where we 
meet with the word handful, that is, as much grain in the stock 
as the reaper can grasp in his hand, or sheaf, a collection of 
such handfuls bound together, different terms from that in dis- 
pute, are always made use of in the original; as Ruth, ii. 15, 16, 
and elsewhere. 

" The supposed incredibleness of the story, as it stands in our 
Bibles, is, 1 imagine, the only reason for forcing it into another 
meaning. The language of the critics I oppose is this : * The 
action of Samson, as represented in our translation, is so ex- 
traordinary that it must be miraculous. The occasion was un- 
worthy of the divine interposition. Therefore the translators of 
the Bible must in this particular have mistaken the meaning of 
the sacred historian.' But we have shown above, from an ex- 
amination of the principal terms, that the translation is just. It 
remains then to be shown, either that the occasion was not 
unworthy of the divine interposition, or that the action was 
not above human capacity. The latter, I am fully persuaded, 
is the truth of the case, though I am far from thinking the 
former indefensible. The children of Israel were, in a peculiar 
manner, separated from the rest of mankind, for this purpose 
more especially, to preserve in the world, till the times of general 
reformation should come, the knowledge and worship of the 
one true God. At sundry times, and in divers manners, did the 
Deity for this end interpose. Many instances of this kind are 
recorded in the book of Judges. When this people perverted 
the end of their distinguished privileges, God suffered them to be 
enslaved by those idolatrous nations whose false deities they had 
worshiped. By this means they were brought to a sense of their 
error ; and when they were sufficiently humbled, * the Lord 
raised up Judges which delivered them out of the hand of those 
that spoiled them.' Jud. ii. 16. In such a state of servitude to 
the Philistines were they at this time. Samson was raised up in 
an extraordinary manner to be their deliverer ; and his intermar- 
riage with the Philistines was a means which Providence saw 
tit to make use of to effect their deliverance. Thus the affair is 
represented. Samson proposes his intentions to his parents. 
They expostulate with him. * Is there never a woman among 
the daughters of thy brethren, or among all thy people, that thou 
goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines ?' ' But they,' 
adds the sacred historian, ' were ignorant that it was of the Lord, 
that he sought an occasion against the Philistines; for at that 
time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.' Though Sam- 
son, then, might propose to himself nothing more in forming a 



154 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

connexion with a foreign lady than the gratification of his own 
inclinations, yet we are warranted to say, an overruling Provi- 
dence had a farther design. The same may be affirmed of other 
actions of Samson, which appear to have proceeded from pas- 
sions of a more rugged complexion. His intention in them 
might be unworthy of a divine interposition, but the end which 
God had in view, the deliverance of a people chosen to preserve 
his worship in the world, would make it highly fit and necessary. 
Nor ought it to be reckoned strange, that such means should be 
used ; for we are authentically assured that the wrath of man, 
and by parity of reason, other passions too, are sometimes made 
to praise the Lord. Thus much I thought necessary to say for 
the sake of those to whom a solution on natural principles shall 
seem unsatisfactory. Such a solution I now proceed to give. 

" In the first place, it is evident from the Holy Scriptures, 
that Palestine abounded with foxes, or that animal, be it what it 
will, which is signified by the Hebrew word VyiU7. This appears 
from many passages. Psal. Ixiii. 10; Cantic. ii. 15 ; Lam. v. 18 ; 
1 Sam. xiii. 17; Josh. xv. 28; xix. 3. From ^their numbers, 
theix, the capture would be easy. 

" Farther : under the Hebrew word byw was propably com- 
prehended another animal, very similar to the fox, and very plenty 
in Palestine ; gregarious, and whose Persic name is radically 
the same with the Hebrew. Allowing this to be the animal, 
the story is easily admissible to belief, without the supposition 
of a miracle. For it is not said, that Samson caught so many 
foxes in one hour, or one day ; or, that he caught them all with 
his own hands. Being then Judge of Israel, he might employ 
many hands, and yet be said, according to the common use of 
language, to do it himself. 

" Add to this, that the season, the days of wheat harvest, was 
extremely favourable for hunting these animals; and, as they 
were gregarious, many might be surrounded or entrapped at 
once. 

" I shall conclude with an argument more in favour of the 
justness of our translation, in rendering the word hy\W ' a fox,' 
not a sheaf. It has been esteemed by some persons of extensive 
literature to be a demonstrative argument. I shall mention it, 
and leave it to stand on its own bottom. At the feast of Ceres, 
the goddess of corn, celebrated annually at Rome about the 
middle of April, there was the observance of this custom, to 
fix burning torches to the tails of a number of foxes, and to let 
them run through the circus till they were burnt to death. This 
was done in revenge upon that species of animals, for having 
once burnt up the fields of corn. The reason, indeed, assigned 
by Ovid is too frivolous an origin for so solemn a rite ; and the 
time of its celebration, the 17th of April, it seems was not har- 
vest time, when the fields were covered with corn, 'vestitos 
messibus agros ;' for the middle of April was seed-time in Italy, 



OF THE BIBLE. 155 

as appears from Virgil's Georgics. Hence we must infer that 
this rite must have taken its rise from some other event than 
that by which Ovid accounted for it ; and Samson's foxes are a 
probable origin of it. The time agrees exactly, as may be col- 
lected from several passages of Scripture. For instance, from 
the book of Exodus we learn, that before the Passover, that is, 
before the fourteenth day of the month Abib, or March, barley 
in Egypt was in the ear ; xii. 18; xiii. 4. And in ch. ix. 31, 32, 
it is said that the wheat at that time was not grown up. Barley 
harvest, then, in Egypt, and so in the country of the Philistines 
which bordered upon it, must have fallen about the middle of 
March. Wheat harvest according to Pliny, N. H. lib. viii. c. 7, 
was a month later. ' In JEgypto hordeum sexto a satu mense, 
frumenta septimo metuntur.' Therefore, wheat harvest hap- 
pened about the middle of April; the very time in which the 
burning of foxes was observed at Rome. 

" It is certain that the Romans borrowed many of their rites 
and ceremonies, both serious and ludicrous, from foreign nations : 
and Egypt and Phoenicia furnished them with more perhaps 
than any other country. From one of these the Romans might 
either receive this rite immediately, or through the hands of their 
neighbours the Carthaginians, who were a colony of Phoenicians; 
and so its true origin may be referred back to the story which 
we have been considering." 

A writer in the Biblioth. Brem. class viii. fasc. v. p. 802, 
suggests, that all the difficulty is removed by supposing that 
Samson employed the Shualim (Shualites, or men of Shual, a 
district of the country bordering on the Philistines 86 ) to do this 
mischief. 

" Non nobis est tantas componere lites." 

II. Bochart has made it probable that the O"N IYIM spoken 
of in Isai. xiii. 22, xxxiii. 14, and Jerem. 1. 39, rendered by our 
translators " the beasts of the islands," an appellation very vague 
and indeterminate, are jackals* 1 ; and that the Qcasg of the Greeks, 
and the Beni ani of the Arabians are the same animal: and 
though he takes that to have been their specific name, yet he 
thinks, that from their great resemblance to a fox, they might 
be comprehended under the Hebrew name of a fox, SHUAL; 
which is indeed almost the same with sciagal or sciugal, the 
Persian names of the jackal 88 . J. C. Scaliger and Olearius, 
quoted by Bochart, expressly call the jackal a fox; and 
Mr. Sandys speaks of it in the same manner: " the jackals in 
my opinion are no other than foxes, whereof an infinite num- 
ber 89 ." Hasselquist calls it " the little eastern fox;" and 

86 1 Sam. xiii. 17 ; Josh. xv. 23 ; xix. 3, 41 ; 1 Chron. iv. 28 ; and Jud. i. 35. 
n The Chaldce paraphrases have Vinn chalhul; the sound of which aids the sense. 
58 Hieroz. p. 1. 1. 3. c. 13. Trav. b. 3. 



156 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

Kaempfer says, that it might not improperly be called " the wolf- 
fox 90 ." It is therefore very conceivable that the ancients might 
comprehend this animal under the general name of fox. 

To be " the portion of foxes," Psal. Ixiii. 10, is for men to 
have their land or habitation rendered desolate and ruinous, and 
themselves left unburied. " On my asking a gentleman of the 
army," says Mr. Merrick, " not long before returning from the 
East Indies, in what manner the barbarous nations of that country 
dispose of the bodies of their enemies killed in battle, he an- 
swered, that they leave them on the field to be devoured by the 
jackals and other animals. I could not but regard this intelli- 
gence as some confirmation of their opinion who suppose jack- 
als to be the beasts here meant by the Hebrew word which is 
translated foxes. 

In Cantic. ii. 15, foxes are mentioned as destroying the vines. 
These animals are observed by many authors to be fond of grapes, 
and to make great havock in vineyards. Aristophanes, in his 
" Equites," compares soldiers to foxes, who spoil whole coun- 
tries, as the others do vineyards. Galen, de Aliment. 1. 3. c. 2, 
tells us, that hunters did not scruple to eat the flesh of foxes in 
autumn, when they were grown fat with feeding on grapes. The 
following is the remark of Theocritus, Idyl. E. v. 112. 

MKTIW rets Saffvxefxof A\utftxois, ai rtt M/xww 



I hate those brush-tailed foxes, that each night 
Spoil Micon's vineyards with their deadly bite. 

Hasselquist remarks, p. 184, that "this animal is common in 
Palestine. They are very numerous in the stony country about 
Bethlehem. There is also plenty of them near the convent of 
St. John, in the desert, about vintage time ; and they destroy all 
the vines, unless they are strictly watched." The fable of " the 
fox and the sour grapes" is well known. In the original we 
have not only mention made of D'bjfltt, " foxes," but also of D'byiu; 
CMlDp, " little foxes," which, as it is generally conjectured by 
the commentators, may perhaps be jackals; animals, as Mr. 
Harmer observes, very common even in the present day, and, 
occasionally, extremely troublesome and injurious to vineyards 
and gardens 91 . 

Ezekiel, xiii. 4, compares the false prophets to foxes. Either 
it was his design to heighten their cunning and hypocrisy in imi- 
tating the true prophets; or he intended to show that these false 
teachers, instead of supporting Jerusalem, endeavoured only to 
destroy it, by undermining its walls and shaking its foundations, 
as foxes undermine the ground to make holes of retreat for them- 
selves. 

90 Amaenit. Exot. fasc. 2. p. 413. 

91 See at large on this passage Harmers Observations on Sol. Song, p. 25G. 



OF THE BIBLE. 157 

To give an idea of his own extreme poverty, our Lord says, 
Luke, ix. 58, " The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air 
have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." 
And he calls Herod, the tetrarch of Gallilee, a fox, Luke, xiii. 
32 ; thereby signifying his craft, and the refinements of his policy. 
In illustration of the pertinency of this allusion, I quote a remark 
of Busbequius, p. 58 : "I heard a mighty noise, as if it had been 
of men who jeered and mocked us. I asked, what was the mat- 
ter ? and was answered, only the howlings of certain beasts which 
the Turks call ciacals, or jackals. They are a sort of wolves, 
somewhat bigger than foxes, but less than common wolves, yet 
as greedy and devouring. They go in flocks, and seldom hurt 
man or beast ; but get their food more by craft and stealth than 
by open force. Thence it is, that the Turks call subtle and 
crafty persons by the metaphorical name of ciagals." 

It may be proper to close this article with a description of the 
JACKAL. It is a beast between the wolf and the dog ; and par- 
ticipating the nature of both, to the shyness and ferocity of the 
one, unites the impudence and familiarity of the other. 

Jackals never stir out alone, but always in flocks of twenty, 
thirty, or forty. They collect together every day to go in search 
of their prey. They live on little animals, and make themselves 
formidable to larger by their number. They attack every kind 
of beasts or birds almost in the presence of the human species. 
They abruptly enter stables, sheepfolds, and other places, with- 
out any sign of fear ; and, when they can find nothing else, they 
will devour boots, shoes, harnesses, &c. and what leather they 
have not time to consume they take away with them. When 
they cannot meet with any live prey, they dig up the dead car- 
casses of men or animals. The natives are obliged to cover the 
graves with large thorns and other things to prevent them from 
scratching and digging up the dead bodies. The dead are also 
buried very deep in the earth; for it is not a little trouble that 
discourages them. Numbers of them work together, and ac- 
company their labour with a doleful howling. And when they 
are once accustomed to feed on dead bodies, they run from coun- 
try to country, follow armies, and keep close to caravans. They 
will eat the most infectious flesh ; and so constant and vehement 
is their appetite, that the driest leather is savoury to them, and 
skin, flesh, fat, excrement, or the most putrid animal, is alike to 
their taste. 

For other particulars of the jackal, I refer to A. C. Guelden- 
staedt, in Nov. Comment. Acad. Petrop. torn. xv. p. 449. Oed- 
man Vermischte Sammungen, fascic. 2. Diederichs Zur Ges- 
chichte Simsons. Goet. 1778. 

FRANKINCENSE, run) LEBONAH. Exod. xxx. 34, et 
al. freq. AIBANOE, Matth. ii. 11 ; Apoc. xviii. 13. 

A dry, resinous substance, of a yellowish white colour, a strong 



158 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

fragrant smell, and bitter, acrid taste. The tree which produces 
it is not known. Dioscorides mentions it as procured from In- 
dia. What is here called the " pure frankincense," is no doubt 
the same with the 'mascula thura" of Virgil; and signifies what 
is first obtained from the tree. 

The region from which it is brought is said in Scripture to be 
Sheba, Isai. Ix. 6; Jer. vi.20. And Theophrastus, Hist, plant, 
lib. ix. c. 4, says, YLVETCU /xev ovv o Xtfiuvog sv T^ TUV Aqafiuv %w%u. 
pew, TTff/ TOV ^.ctfict, nut Afya/x/TTa, Y.u.1 ~KiTa$uiva. The same is 
said by Strabo ; 1. xvi. p. 778. Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. vi. c. 28, 
and 1. xii. c. 14, and Virgil, Georg. i. v. 58. 

Divisae arboribus patria. Sola India nigrum 
Fert ebenum ; solis est thurea virga Sabaeis. 

And Sidonius Apoll. carm. V. v. 43. 



Fert Indus ebur, Chaldaeus amoinum, 



Asyrius gemmas, Ser vellera, thura Sabaeus. 

From the name some have supposed it to be a gum from 
Mount Lebanon ; and others, that the mount itself was so called 
from the fragrance of the cedar trees resembling that of incense. 
This seems intimated in Cantic. iv. 14 ; and AUSONIUS, in Mo- 
nosyl. p. 1 10, says, " Libani ceu mentis honor thus." But it 
is very certain that the gum was brought to Judea from foreign 
parts. This is affirmed by Kimchi, ad Jerem. vi. 20. " Appor- 
tabatur thus e terris longe dissitis, quia non inveniebatur in terra 
Israelis." M. Niebuhr, Trav. p. 356, says, " We could learn 
nothing of the tree from which incense distils ; and M. Forskal 
does not mention it. I know that it is to be found in a part of 
Hadramaur, where it is called oliban" 

FROG. imDJf TSEPHARDEA ; Arab, akurrak ; Graec. BAT- 
PAXOS. 

Occ. Exod. viii. 2 14; Psal. lxxvii.45; cv. 30; and Revel, 
xvi. 13. 

There is no disagreement about the meaning of the word 9 " ; 
but its etymology is very uncertain. After examining and dis- 
proving those of the lexicographers and of Bochart, Dr. Geddes 
conjectures that the word is derived from the Hebrew root DDtf 
[pipere, mussitare, ululare], and the Arabic jm [slime, mud] ; 
as if we were to call the frog, f< the slime-croaker." 

A frog is, in itself, a harmless animal; but to most people 
who use it not as an article of food, exceedingly loathsome. 
GOD could with equal ease have sent crocodiles, lions, or tigers 
to have punished the Egyptians and their impious king, as frogs, 
lice, flies, &c. ; but, had he used any of those formidable animals, 

92 Aben Ezra, indeed, says that several Rabbins thought it was the crocodile; 
and Abarbanel himself deemed this opinion very probable. The proofs which 
he adduced in support of it had so great weight with D. Levi, that he firmly be- 
lieved it the right one. 



OF THE BIBLE. 159 

the effect would have appeared so commensurate to the cause, 
that the hand of GOD might have been forgotten in the punish- 
ment, and the people would have been exasperated without be- 
ing humbled. In the present instance, he shows the greatness 
of his power by making an animal devoid of every evil quality 
the means of a terrible affliction to his enemies. How easy is it, 
both to the justice and mercy of GOD, to destroy or save, by 
means of the most despicable and insignificant instruments! 
Though he is the Lord of hosts, he has no need of powerful 
armies, the ministry of angels, or the thunderbolts of justice, to 
punish a sinner, or a sinful nation ; the frog, or the Jiy, in his 
hands, is a sufficient instrument of vengeance. 

The river Nile, which was the object of great admiration to 
the Egyptians, is here made to contribute to their punishment. 
The expression, " the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly," 
not only shows the vast numbers of those animals which should 
infest the land, but it seems also to imply, that all the spawn or 
ova of those creatures which were already in the waters and 
marshes should be brought miraculously to a state of perfection. 
We may suppose that the animals were already in an embryo 
existence; but multitudes of them would not have come to a 
state of perfection had it not been for this miraculous interfe- 
rence. This supposition will appear the more natural when it 
is considered, that the Nile was remarkable for breeding frogs, 
and such other animals as are principally engendered in such 
marshy places, as must be left in the vicinity of the Nile after 
its annual inundations 93 . 

The circumstance of their coming up into the bed-chambers, 
and into the ovens and kneading-troughs, needs explanation to 
us, whose domestic apartments and economy are so different 
from those of the ancient nations. Their lodgings were not in 
upper stories, but recesses on the ground floor ; and their ovens 
were not like ours, built on the side of a chimney and adjacent to 
a fireplace, where the glowing heat would fright away the frogs ; 
but they dug a hole in the ground, in which they placed an earthen 
pot, which having sufficiently heated, they stuck their cakes to 
the inside to be baked. To find such places full of frogs when 
they came to heat them in order to bake their bread, and to find 
these nasty creatures in the beds where they sought repose, must 
have been both disgusting and distressing in the extreme. 

The magicians, indeed, went to persuade Pharaoh that Moses 
was only such a miracle monger as they were, by imitating this 
miracle as they had done the precedent ones, and bringing a fresh 
swarm of frogs. They might, indeed, have shewed their skill to 
a better purpose if they had tried to remove those vermin, of 
which the Egyptians did not need this fresh supply ; but it seems 
that they had not power enough to do that. Wherefore Pharaoh 
93 Dr. Adain Clarke, Annot. in loc. 



160 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

was reduced to the necessity of sending for Moses, and promis- 
ing him that he would let Israel go, if he would but rid him and 
his country of that odious plague. Moses took him at his word; 
and desiring him to name the time when he should free the land 
of these creatures, punctually and precisely performed it ; so 
that the next day, " the frogs died out of the houses, and out of 
the villages, and out of the fields;" and whilst his subjects were 
gathering them up in heaps in order to carry them off (their 
stench being like to have bred an infection), Pharaoh was think- 
ing how to elude his promise, not considering that he only made 
way for another plague. 

" From what is said in Rev. xvi. 13, I should be induced to 
think," says Mr. Bryant, " that these animals were of old, types 
of magicians, priests, and prophets ; particularly those of Egypt. 
If this be true, the miracle which Moses at this time exhibited 
was attended with a wonderful propriety in respect to' Pharaoh 
and his wise men ; and, at the same time, afforded a just punish- 
ment upon the whole of that infatuated people, ' quibus res eo 
pervenit, ut et rancc et culices et formicze l3ii esse viderentur." 
Lactantius, de Origine Erroris, lib. ii. c. 6. p. 135. 

The author of the book of Wisdom, ch. xix. v. 10, refers to 
this plague inflicted on the Egyptians, and says of the Israelites, 
that " they were mindful of the things that were done while they 
sojourned in the strange land, how the ground brought forth flies 
[cntvms] instead of cattle, and the river cast up a multitude of 
frogs [3#T?a%wv] instead of fishes." Phiio, also, in his life of 
Moses, 1. 1, has given a very particular account of the plague of 
frogs. Bochart has devoted seventeen pages to the elucidation 
of this subject 94 . 

FULLER'S-SOAP. See SOAP. 

GALBANUM. rashtl CHELBENAH. 

This word occurs in Exodus, xxx. 34, only. Michaelis SuppL 
ad Lex. Hebr. p. 753, makes the word a compound of ibn, 
" milk," or " gum" (for the Syriac uses the noun in both senses), 
and pb, " white;" as being the white milk or gum of a plant 95 . 

It is the thickened sap of an umbelliferous plant, called " me- 
topion," which grows on Mount Amanus in Syria, and is fre- 
quently found in Persia, and in some parts of Africa 96 . The 
plant rises with a ligneous stalk from eight to ten feet, and is 
garnished with leaves at each joint. The top of the stalk is 
terminated by an umbel of yellow flowers, which are succeeded 
by oblong channelled seeds, which have a thin membrane or 

94 Hieroz. Vol. iii. p. 563. 

95 It is still common to call the white juice which exudes from certain plants 
" the milk," and the term is retained in " gum lac,'' &c. 

96 Ftrula Africana galbanifera. Tournefort. Bnbon. galban. Linnaei. 

A particular description of the plant may be found in Morrison, Hist. pi. p. 
309. See also Dioscoridcs, 1. iii. c. 97. Plin. N. H. 1. xx. c. 25. 



OF THE BIBLE. 101 

wing on their border. When any part of the plant is broken, 
there issues a little thin juice of a cream colour. To procure 
this while the plant is growing, the natives wound the stem at 
a small distance above the root, and the gum which weeps out 
they collect for use. It is of a strong, piercing smell, and of a 
bitterish warm taste. 

It was an ingredient in the holy incense of the Jews. 

GALL. u?*T) RASH. 

Something excessively bitter, and supposed to be poisonous ; 
as Deut. xxix. 18; xxxii. 32; Psal. Ixix. 21 ; Jer. viii. 14; ix. 
15; xxiii. 15; Lam. iii. 19; Hosea, x. 4; Amos, vi. 12. It is 
evident from the first mentioned place, that some herb or plant 
is meant of a malignant or nauseous kind at least ; being there 
joined with rvormwood, and in the margin of our bibles explained 
to be " a very poisonful herb." Eben Ezra and the Rabbins 
observe, that the word is written with a van in Deut. xxxii. 32, 
and with an aleph in all the other places, and that improperly. 
And Dr. Geddes informs us, that in Deut. xxix. 18, instead of 
tt;4O RASH, five MSS. have u;n RUSH, and a sixth had at first 
the same reading; which, in the elder editions, was the textual 
reading in ch. xxxii. 32, and which, he thinks, the true original 
meaning. Gouset. Lex. Hebr. 785, says, that this plant is 
named from WD, to make poor, because it impoverishes the land 
where it grows, and the animals that feed upon it. 

I have inquired whether the word is retained in the Rhits Sy- 
riacum of Pliny. From the violent effects of the poisonous 
plant, whatever it may be, comes our English word " rash," an 
inflammatory eruption. 

In Psal. Ixix. 21, which is justly considered as a prophecy 
of our Saviour's sufferings, it is said, "they gave UJJO to eat;" 
which the LXX have rendered %oAviv, gall. And accordingly 
it. is recorded in the history, Matth. xxvii. 34, "They gave 
him vinegar to drink mingled with gall," oo? (J^eTU %oA^f. But 
in the parallel passage, Mark, xv. 23, it is said to be f<r(xuv7j0t- 
vov oivov, " wine mingled with myrrh," a very bitter ingredient. 
From whence I am induced to think that %oAv), and perhaps \I7N~), 
may be used as a general name for whatever is exceedingly bit- 
ter; and consequently, where the sense requires it, may be put 
specially for any bitter herb or plant, the infusion of which may 
be called U?4*")~D 97 . So %oAvj tsi^iOQ is used metaphorically by 
St. Peter, Acts, viii. 23. And as %o\y also denotes choler or 
anger, 3u/xo? is used by the LXX in the Old Testament for 
poison in this sense of stupifying. Psal. Ix. 3, oivog xaTuwfaw;, 
the wine of stupidity, of wrath, or malediction. So Psal. Ixxv. 9- 
ruy 1 ? " Wormwood," is by the LXX rendered %oAvj, Prov. v. 4, 
and Lament, iii. 15; and so is TlTlQ mererat/ti, from maiai; 
Job, xvi. 13. See MYRRH and WORMWOOD. 
97 filanoy, Note on Jerem. viii. 14. 
O 



162 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

The following are the remarks of Dr. Adam Clarke, " Per- 
haps the word %oAvj, commonly translated gall, signifies no more 
than bitters of any kind. It was a common custom to administer 
a stupifying potion, compounded of sour wine, which is the same 
as vinegar, from the French vinaigre, frankincense, and myrrh, 
to condemned persons, to help to alleviate their sufferings, or so 
disturb their intellect that they might not be sensible of them. 
The Rabbins say, that they put a grain of frankincense into a 
cup of strong wine ; and they ground this on Prov. xxxi. 6. 
Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, i. e. who is 
condemned to death. Some person, out of kindness, appears to 
have administered this to our blessed Lord; but he, as in all 
other cases, determining to endure the fulness of pain, refused 
to take what was thus offered to him, choosing to tread the wine- 
press alone. Instead of oo?, vinegar, several excellent MSS. 
and Versions have oivov, wine; but as sour wine is said to have 
been a general drink of the common people and Roman soldiers, 
it being the same as vinegar, it is of little consequence which 
reading is here adopted. This custom of giving stupifying 
potions to condemned malefactors is alluded to in Prov. xxxi. 6. 
Give strong drink, Ipu; SHEKAR, inebriating drink, to him who 
is ready to PERISH; and wine to him who is BITTER of soul 
because he is just going to suffer the punishment of death. And 
thus the Rabbins, as we have seen above, understand it. See 
Lightfoot and Schoetgen. 

" Michaelis offers an ingenious exposition of this place. 
' Immediately after Christ was fastened to the cross, they gave 
him, according to Matt, xxvii. 34, vinegar mingled with gall; 
but according to Mark, xv. 23, they offered him wine mingled 
with myrrh. That St. Mark's account is the right one, is pro- 
bable from this circumstance, that Christ refused to drink what 
was offered him, as appears from both evangelists. Wine mixed 
with myrrh was given to malefactors at the place of execution, 
to intoxicate them, and make them less sensible to pain. Christ, 
therefore, with great propriety, refused the aid of such remedies. 
But if vinegar was offered him, which was taken merely to 
assuage thirst, there could be no reason for his rejecting it. 
Besides, he tasted it before he rejected it; and therefore he 
must have found it different from that which, if offered to him, 
he was ready to receive. To solve this difficulty, we must sup- 
pose that the words used in the Hebrew Gospel of St. Matthew, 
were such as agreed with the account given by St. Mark, and 
at the same time were capable of the construction which were 
put on them by St. Matthew's Greek translator. Suppose St. 
Matthew wrote N"V1Q2 N'bn CHALEEA BEMIREERA, which sig- 
nifies sweet wine with bitters, or sweet wine and myrrh, as we 
find it in Mark ; and Matthew's translator overlooked the yod 
in N'Vn CHALEEA, he took it for ^n CHALA, which signifies 



OF THE BIBLE. 103 

vinegar; and bitter he translated by %oAv), as it is often used in 
the Septuagint. Nay, St. Matthew may have written N^n, and 
have still meant to express sweet wine ; if so, the difference only 
consisted in the points; for the same word which, when pro- 
nounced c/iale, signifies sweet, denotes vinegar as soon as it is 
pronounced chala.' 

" With this conjecture Dr. Marsh (Michaelis's translator) is 
not satisfied ; and therefore finds a Chaldee word for oivog wine, 
which may easily be mistaken for one that denotes ofyg vinegar ; 
and likewise a Chaldee word, which signifies <r/xvV#, myrrh, 
which may be easily mistaken for the one that denotes %oAvj gall. 
' Now,' says he, 'JOT CHAMAR, or JOQn CHAMERA, really denotes 
oivos wine, and fan CHAMETS, or Niron CHAMETSA, really denotes 
co, vinegar. Again, NTiD MURA, really signifies fffAVQVct myrrh, 
and NVlQ MURERA, really signifies %oAvj, gall. If, then, we 
suppose that the original Chaldee text was NTlED ID'bn N")Qn 
CHAMERA HALEET BEMURA, wine mingled with myrrh, which is 
not at all improbable, as it is the reading of the Syriac version, 
at Mark, xv. 23, it might easily have been mistaken for tt^Qn 
NWTQ lQ6n CHAMETSA HALEET BEMURERA, vinegar mingled 
with gall.' This is a more ingenious conjecture than that of 
Michaelis. See Marsh's Notes to Michaelis, vol. iii. part ii. 
p. 12? 28. But as that kind of sour wine, which was used by 
the Roman soldiers and common people, appears to have been 
termed oivog, and vinegar (vin aigre) is sour wine, it is not diffi- 
cult to reconcile the two accounts, in what is most material to 
the facts here recorded." 

Bochart thinks it to be the same herb as the evangelist calls 
e T<r<rw9ro, hyssop; a species of which growing in Judea, he proves 
from Isaac Ben Orman, an Arabian writer, to be so bitter as 
not to be eatable ; and Chrysostom, Theophylact, and Nonnus 98 , 
took the hyssop mentioned by St. John to be poisonous. Theo- 
phylact expressly tells us the hyssop was added, ug fyKyreqicaSEg, 
as being deleterious, or poisonous ; and Nonnus, in his paraphrase, 
says, 

ilf<ys uaauvu *i*tg<ur(Mioi o%o$ oXt9fou 

One gave the deadly acid mix'd with hyssop. 

In Jer. viii. 14; ix. 15, to give water of gall to drink, denotes 
very bitter affliction. Comp. Lament, iii. 19. 

In Habakkuk, ii. 15, we read, " Woe to him who maketh his 
neighbour drink; who putteth his flaggon to him, and maketh 
him drunken, that he may look on his nakedness :" which several 
versions render by words expressive of gall, or venom; that is 
what in the issue would prove so. Perhaps the prophet hints 
at the conduct of Pharaoh Hophra, king of Egypt, toward king 
Zedekiah : " He gave him gall to drink, and made him drunk, 

98 Cited in Martini Lexicon, art. Hyssopus. 
o 2 



164 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

that he might insult over his nakedness." The Rabbins relate, 
that one day Nebuchadnezzar, at an entertainment, sent for 
Zedekiah, and gave him an intoxicating liquor to drink, purposely 
to expose him to ridicule. 

" The gall of bitterness/' Acts, viii. 23, signifies the most 
desperate disposition of mind, the most incurable malignity; as 
difficult to be corrected as to change gall into sweetness. See 
HEMLOCK. 

There is another word, rmQ MERERATHI. from marar, 
which our translators render "gall," in Job, xvi. 13; xx. 14, 25. 
In two of the places, the human bile is intended ; in the other, 
the venom of the asp. 

In the story of Tobit, vi. o; viii. 13, the gall of a iish is 
mentioned as being used to cure his father's eyes. Pliny, N. H. 
1. xxviii. c. 10, says, the gall of a fish is prescribed for sore eyes; 
" ad oculorum medicamenta utilius habetur." 

GARLICK. aw SCHUM. 

As this word occurs only in Numbers, xi. 5, some doubts have 
arisen respecting the plant intended. From its being coupled 
with leeks and onions, there can be but little doubt that the 
garlick is meant. The Talmudists frequently mention the use 
of this plant among the Jews, and their fondness of it. " Moris 
autem apud Judaeus erat allium indere omni pulmento, ad con- 
ciliandum illi saporem "." And Salomon Zevi thus defends the 
practice ; " Hereditate hanc consuetudinem a majoribus nostris 
ad nos transiisse -arbitror, quibus allium vehementer arrisisse 
dicitur Numb. xi. Allium vero, Talmudis testimonio, cibus 
judicatur saluberrimus 1 ." 

That garlicks grew plenteously in Egypt, is asserted by Dios- 
corides, lib. i. p. 80; where they were much esteemed, and 
were both eaten and worshiped 2 . 

" Then gods were recommended by their taste. 
Such savoury deities must needs be good, 
Which serv'd at once for worship and for food." 

So Prudentius, describing the superstition of the Egyptians, 
says, 

" Numina 

Porrum et cepe nefas imponere nubibus ausi 
Alliaque ex terra coeli super astra colere." 

Hasselquist, however says, p. 290, " that garlick does not 
grow in Egypt, and, though it is much used, it is brought from 

99 Tract. Chilaim^c. i. 3. c. 6. 10; Nedar.viii. 6, iii. 10, vi. 10; Maaseroth, 
v. 8; Edajolh, ii. 6; Maschir, vi. 2; Tib. Jam. ii. 3; Ohaloth,vi. 6; Oketsim, i. 
2,3; Peah, vi. 9, 10; Terumoth, vii. 7; Maimon. Schemit. ve Jobel, vii. 11; 
Cow/. Buxtorf, Lex. Talm. in verbum. 

1 Theriac. Jud. c. i. 20. 

2 Pliny reports, lib. xix. c. 6, that onions and garlicks were reckoned among 
the deities of Egypt, and that they even swore by them. See also Minucius 
Felix, c. xxviii. p. 145, ed. Davisii, and Note. 



OF THE BIBLE. 165 

the islands of the Archipelago;" upon which, Mr. Harmer, Obs. 
V. ii. p. 337, thus reasons, " if an imported article in these 
times, we cannot suppose the enslaved Israelites were acquainted 
with it, when residing in Egypt in those elder times. Perhaps 
the roots of the colocassia might be meant, which are large, 
Maillet tells us, almost round, and of a reddish colour ; and, as 
being near akin to the nymphea, are probably very cooling." 
See ONION. 

GIER-EAGLE. am RACHAM. 
Occ. Levit. xi. 18; and Deut. xvi. 17, only. 
As the root of this word signifies tenderness and affection, it 
is supposed to refer to some bird remarkable for its. attachment 
to its young ; hence some have thought that the Pelican is to be 
understood ,- and Bochart endeavours to prove that the golden 
vulture is meant; but there can be no doubt that it is the per- 
cnopterus of the ancients 3 , the ack-bobba of the Arabians, parti- 
cularly described by Bruce under the name of Kachamah*. He 
says, " we know from Horus Apollo, 1. i. c. 11, that the Rachrna, 
or she-vulture, was sacred to Isis, and adorned the statue of the 
goddess ; that it was the emblem of parental affection ; and that 
it was the hieroglyphic for an affectionate mother." He farther 
says, that " this female vulture, having hatched her young ones,, 
continues with them one hundred and twenty days, providing 
them with all necessaries; and, when the stock of food fails 
them, she tears off the fleshy part of her thigh, and feeds them 
with that and the blood which flows from the wound." In this 
sense of attachment we see the word used with great propriety, 
1 Kings, iii. 26; Isai. xlix. 15; and .Lamentations, iv. 10. 

Hasselquist, (p. 194,) thus describes the Egyptian vulture,. 
(Vultur percnopterus.) " The appearance of the bird is as hor- 
rid as can well be imagined. The face is naked and wrinkled, 
the eyes are large and black, the beak black and crooked, the 
talons large, and extended ready for prey ; and the whole body 
polluted with filth. These are qualities enough to make the 
beholder shudder with horror. I\ otwithstanding this, the inha- 
bitants of Egypt cannot be enough thankful to Providence for 
this bird. All the places round Cairo are filled with the dead 
bodies of asses and camels ; and thousands of these birds fly 
about and devour the carcasses, before they putrify and fill the 
air with noxious exhalations." No wonder that such an animal 

3 From Dr. Russell we learn, that at Aleppo, the " Vultur percnopterus" of 
Linnaeus is called '73m, which is evidently the same with the Hebrew tarn, and 
the Arabic nnm. 

4 The figure which Gessner, de Avib. p. 176, lias given of it, Dr. Shaw says, is 
a very exact and good one. 

" Descriptionem ejus avis, qii.v Arabibus Rachaeme audit, accuratissimarn 
dedit Hasselquist in Itiner. p. 286, qui nomen ei indidit Vulturis percnopteri^ 
capite nudo, gula plumosaj quo nomine etiam comparet in Syst. Linn. t. i. p. 1. 
p. 249. Ilosenmuller. 



166 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

should be deemed unclean. This insatiable appetite seems to 
be alluded to in Prov. xxx. 16, where its name is unhappily trans- 
lated " womb." The wise man describing four things which are 
never satisfied, says, they are the grave, and the ravenous racham, 
the earth, that is always drinking in the rain, and the fire that 
consumeth every thing." Here the grave which devours the 
buried body, and the racham the unburied, are pertinently joined 
together. See EAGLE and VULTURE. 

GLASS. TAAOS. 

This word occurs Rev. xxi. 18, 21 ; and the adjective vaXivos, 
Rev. iv. 6; xv. 2. Parkhurst says, that in the later Greek 
writers, and in the New Testament, vcchos denotes the artificial 
substance, glass; and that we may either with Mintert, derive it 
from eAvj, " splendour," or immediately from the Hebrew "?rr, 
" to shine." So Horace, 1. iii. od. 13, v. 1. 

" O fons Blandusire, splendidior vitro." 

O thou Blandusian spring, more bright than glass. 

And Ovid, Hesiod. Epist. xv. v. 158. 



" Vitreo magis pellucidus amne." 



Clearer than the glassy stream. 

There seems to be no reference to glass in the Old Testa- 
ment. The art of making it was not known. De Neri, indeed, 
will have it as ancient as Job ; for the writer of that poem, ch. 
xxviii. 17, speaking of wisdom, says "gold and glass shall not 
be equalled to it." This, we are to observe, is the reading of 
the Septuagint, Vulgate, Latin, St. Jerom, Pineda, &c. for in 
the English version we read " crystal;" and the same is expressed 
in the Chaldee, Arias Montanus, and the king of Spain's edition. 
In other versions it is rendered " stone ;" in some " beryl ;" 
in the Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, &c. " diamond ;" in 
others "carbuncle;" and in the Targum, "mirror." The ori- 
ginal word is noiDr ZECHUCHITH, which is derived from the root 
zacac, to shine, be white, transparent ; and it is applied, Exod. 
xxx. 34, to frankincense, and rendered in the Septuagint pellucid. 
Hence the reason of so many different renderings ; for the word 
signifying beautiful and transparent, in the general, the trans- 
lators were at liberty to apply to it whatever was pure or bright. 
See CRYSTAL. 

Most authors will have Aristophanes to be the first who men- 
tions glass 5 ; but the word he uses is ambiguous, and may as 
well be understood of crystal. Aristotle has two problems 
upon glass ; but the learned doubt very much whether they be 
original. The first author, therefore, who made unquestionable 
mention of this matter, is Alexander Aphrodisoeus. After him, 
the word vcthos occurs commonly enough. Lucian mentions 
5 See his Comedy of the Clouds, Scene i. Act 2. 



OF THE BIBLE. 167 

large drinking glasses. And Plutarch, in his Symposiacon, says 
that the fire of the tamarisk wood is fittest for making glass. 
Among the Latin writers, Lucian is the first who takes notice 
of glass. Pliny relates the manner in which this substance was 
discovered. It was found, he says, by accident in Syria, at the 
mouth of the river Belus, by certain merchants driven thither by 
the fortune of the sea. Being obliged to live there, and dress 
their victuals by making a fire on the ground, and there being 
much of the plant kali upon the spot, this herb being burnt to 
ashes, and the sand or stones of the place accidentally mixed 
with it, a vitrification was made ; from whence the hint was taken 
and easily improved. 

This, says De Pau 6 , is probably a fabulous narrative. Man- 
kind had made fire in this same way, many thousand years before 
the existence of the town of Tyre ; and in certain cases, even 
the ashes of wood or dried herbs, are sufficient solvents. It 
was, therefore, superfluous to suppose that these adventurers had 
the good fortune to find some alkali ; and this circumstance has 
evidently been added afterwards to support an incongruous fable. 
The concourse of fortuitous causes has not been so powerful, in 
all such inventions, as people generally imagine ; and the pro- 
cedures must have been developed one after another. Chance 
seems, indeed, to have little to do in the discovery of glass, which 
could only be a consequence of the art of pottery. In Egypt, 
the people, in burning their earthen pots, might have disco- 
vered, sooner than the inhabitants of other countries, all the 
different stages of vitrification ; accordingly ancient historians 
agree, almost unanimously, that glass was known to the Ethio- 
pians ; the glasshouse of the great Diospolis, the capital of the 
Thebais, seems to be the most ancient regular fabric of the kind. 
They even had the art of chiseling and turning glass, which 
they formed into vases and cups. The Roman poets speak of 
these fragile goblets, as unfavourable to their parties of pleasure. 
So Martial, 1. xi. 

"Tolle puer calices, tepidi toreurnata Nili; 
Et mihi secura pocula trade inanu." 

one in the xiith book, as well as 



This passage is explained by 
by the following lines : 



" Non sumus audacis plebeia toreumata vitri ; 
Nostra nee ardent! gemma fcritur aqua. 
Aspicis ingenium Nili, quibus addere plura 
Dum cupit, ah ! quoties perdidit auctor opus." 

So that the factitious, transparent substance, now known to us 
by the name of glass, may probably enough be referred to in the 
New Testament by the Greek word u#Xo?; though, as we noted 
before, it is not mentioned in the Old Testament. 

Our translators have rendered the Hebrew word ntOD MA- 
6 Recherches sur les Egyptiannes. 



168 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

ROTH, in Exodus, xxxiii. 8, and Job, xxxvii. 18, " looking- 
glass." But the making mirrors of glass, coated with quick- 
silver, is an invention quite modern. Dr. Adam Clarke has a 
note upon this place in Exodus, where our version represents 
Moses as making " the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, 
of the looking-glasses of the women." He says, " Here metal 
highly polished must certainly be meant, as glass was not yet in 
use; and had it been, we are sure that /oofo'wg-GLASSES could 
not make a BRAZEN laver. The word, therefore, should be 
rendered mirrors, not looking-glasses, which in the above verse 
is perfectly absurd, because from those MAROTH, the brazen 
laver was made. The first mirrors known among men were the 
clear still fountain, and unruffled lake. The first artificial ones 
were apparently made of brass, afterwards of polished steel, and 
when luxury increased, they were made of silver ; but they were 
made at a very early period of mixed metal, particularly of tin 
and copper, the best of which, as Pliny tells us, were formerly 
manufactured at Brundusium. ' Optima apud majores fuerant 
Brundisina, stanno et aere mixtis.' Hist. Nat. 1. xxxiii. c. 9. 
But according to him the most esteemed were those made of tin : 
and he says that silver mirrors became so common that even 
the servant girls used them. * Specula (ex stanno) laudatissima, 
Brundusii temperabuntur; donee argenteis uti coepere et ancillaj/ 
Lib. xxxiv. c. 17. When the Egyptian women went to the 
temples, they always carried their mirrors with them. The 
Israelitish women probably did the same ; and Dr. Shaw states, 
that the Arab women carry them constantly hung at their breasts. 
It is worthy of remark, that at first these women freely gave up 
their ornaments for this important service, and now give their 
very mirrors, probably as being of very little service, seeing they 
had already given up the principal decorations of their persons. 
Woman has been invidiously defined, a creature fond of dress, 
(though this belongs to the whole human race, and not exclu- 
sively to woman). Had this been true of the Israelitish women, 
in the present case we must say, they nobly sacrificed their in- 
centives to pride to the service of their God." 

On the other hand, Dr. Geddes says, that " the word i"UOD 
from nN"), though it occurs above a hundred times in the Hebrew 
Scriptures, never elsewhere signifies a mirror. Why then should 
it have that signification here? especially as in the whole Penta- 
teuch, a mirror is not so much as mentioned under any denomi- 
nation : nor, indeed, as far as I know, in any Hebrew writing 
prior to the Babylonish captivity 7 . 

7 I know that Job, xxvii. 18, has been alleged as a proof, where WO pnn has 
been by moderns rendered " sicut speculum fusum" " as a molten looking- 
glass." But besides that, the word here is vn, not n.vin, it is very doubtful 
whether 'XI be well rendered " speculum." I have endeavoured to show the 
contrary in my C. R. on that place. At any rate it cannot be brought as a 
proof, that rwnn in Exodus has the same meaning. 



OF THE BIBLE. 109 

" The first time I meet with a mirror in the Bible, is in the 
book of Wisdom, vii. 26, ' the unspotted mirror of the power of 
God.' What Hebrew word, (if the book were ever in Hebrew) 
corresponded with effonrqov, we know not; but it could not, I 
think, be HN1Q. The term which the Syriac translator of 
Wisdom uses to express a mirror is N/TinQ; and the same term 
is employed by the Syriac translator of the New Testament in 
1 Cor. xiii. 12, and in James, i. 13." After examining the 
oriental versions and various readings Dr. Geddes seems assured, 
that the only proper rendering of the passage is, " he made the 
laver under the inspection of the women, who ministered at the 
entry of the door of the convention tent." 

It may be remarked that the word " looking-glass" occurs in 
our version of Ecclesiasticus, xii. 11. " Never trust thine enemy ; 
for like as iron [marg. brass] rusteth, so is his wickedness. Though 
he humble himself, and go crouching, yet take good heed and 
beware of him, and thou shalt be unto him as if thou hadst washed 
a looking-glass, and thou shalt know that his rust hath not been 
altogether wiped away." This passage proves, by its mention 
of rust, that mirrors were then made of polished metal. 

In reprobating in the daughters of Sion their superfluities of 
ornamental dress, Isaiah says, ch. iii. 23, that they shall be stripped 
ot their jewels, &c. and our version includes their glasses ; but 
Bp. Lowth, Dr. Stock, and Mr. Dodson, render it <( transpa- 
rent garments," like gauze ; worn only by the most delicate 
women, and such as preferred elegance to decency of habit 8 . 

This sort of garments was afterwards in use among the Greeks. 
Prodicus, in his celebrated fable, exhibits the personage of Sloth 
in this dress. 



" Her robe betray'd 



Through the clear texture, every tender limb, 

Heightening the charms it only seeni'd to shade, 

And as it flow'd adovvn, so loose and thin, 

Her stature show'd more tall, more snowy white her skin." 

This, like other Grecian fashions, was received at Rome when 
luxury began under the emperors 9 ; and it was sometimes worn 
even by the men, but looked upon as a mark of extreme effemi- 
nacy 10 . 

The word aroTTfov, or mirror, occurs in 1 Cor. xiii. 12, and 
James, i. 23. Dr. Pearce thinks that in the former place it 
signifies any of those transparent substances which the ancients 
used in their windows, and through which they saw external 
objects obscuredly. But others are of opinion that the word 



" elegantius, quam necesse esset probis.' 



9 The robes were called " multitia" and " Coa" by the Romans, from their 
being invented, or rather brought into fashion by one Pamnhila, from the isle of 
Cos. 

10 Juvenal, sat. ii. v. 65. 



170 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

denotes a mirror of polished metal ; as this, however, was liable 
to many imperfections, so that the object before it was not seen 
clearly or fully, the meaning of the apostle is, that we see things 
as it were by images reflected from a mirror, which shows them 
very obscurely and indistinctly. In the latter place a mirror 
undoubtedly is meant. 

In 2 Cor. iii. 18, " beholding as in a glass the glory of the 
Lord," the word y.a.ro^r^o^evoi is by Dr. Macknight rendered 
" reflecting as mirrors;" thinking it thus to agree best with the 
idea of the apostle's receiving and diffusing the light : but 
Dr. Doddridge adopts the construction " beholding as by a 
mirror," and remarks, in his note, that " here is one of the most 
beautiful contrasts that can be imagined. Moses saw the Sche- 
chinah, and it rendered his face resplendent, so that he covered 
it with a veil, the Jews not being able to bear the reflected light : 
We behold Christ, as in the glass of his word, and (as the reflec- 
tion of a very luminous object from a mirror gilds the face on 
which the reverberated rays fall), our faces shine too; and we 
veil them not, but diffuse the lustre, which, as we discover more 
and more of his glories in the gospel, is continually increasing 11 ." 

GLEDE. m DAJA. Deut. xiv. 13, and Isai. xxxiv. 15. 

As this is from a root which signifies blackness or darkness of 
colour, Bochart thinks the black 'vulture to be intended; and 
observes, that the Latin writers speak of an " ater vultur," black 
vulture, and sometimes call this species absolutely, " nigras aves," 
black birds: he adds, that the Hebrew cannot signify the kite 
or glede, because these birds are not gregarious as the vultures 
are, and as the nv*T are represented to be in Isaiah. Hasselquist 
tells us 12 , that near Grand Cairo in Egypt, " the vultures as- 
semble with the kites every morning and evening to receive the 
alms of the fresh meat left them by the legacies of great men." 

The word, however, is wanting in the Samaritan Pentateuch, 
and in four MSS. 13 , as well as in the corresponding passage 
Levit. xi. 14; from which place Bochart imagined that it had 
been dropped from its contiguity to a similar word iTWl. In 
Levit. xi. 14, six of Dr. Kennicott's codices read rwrn. Ad- 

11 The passage has been somewhat confused by the version of tmota, which 
does not always signify an exact image or representation, but a resemblance, 
(i. e. in regard to brightness and glory). 'Eixav is similarly used, 1 Cor. xi. 7 ; 
xv. 49; 2 Cor. iv. 4; Colos. i. 15; iii. 10; Heb. i. 3; and Wisdom, ii. 23. fls 
av n; f<yt'for, avr/xftw riXiov xci/ueyo;, ayriH/M>ni x carrot axTiva;, txtjOtv xr*u<)r- 
o/x,Evaf. Schol. apud Matthaei. 

12 Trav. 194. 

13 By Roseninuller it is said to be omitted by the Septuagint ; but Dr. Geddes 
thinks this a mistake ; observing, " that- it is true, that in the four printed edi- 
tions there is wanting one name, but that name, I think, corresponds with the 
Hebrew TOO, for which, in the Oxford MS. there is ?ov, as in the Vulgate ixion. 
So that, admitting this to be genuine, there are in verse 13 of Deut. xiv. three 
names corresponding with the three Hebrew names; and that corresponding 
with mn will be ixrixay, or, as the other copies, ixr*a." 



OF THE BIBLE. 171 

milling this reading, and we have the bird which Forskal thus 
describes, " Falco cera, pedibus flavis, supra cinereum, subtus 
ferrugineum, alis supra fuscis, cauda forficata; fusco-fasciata, 
longitudine corporis;" and whose Arabic name is Haddai 1 *. 
See KITE and VULTURE. 

GNAT. KQNQ*. 

Occurs, Matth. xxiii. 24. 

A small winged insect, comprehending a genus of the order of 
diptera. Bochart, Hieroz. T. iii. p. 442, shows from Aristotle, 
Plutarch, and others, that by xwvw^ is properly meant a kind of 
insect that is bred in the lees ofzcine. 

In those hot countries, as Servius remarks, speaking of the 
East, gnats are very apt to fall into wine if it be not carefully 
covered; and passing the liquor through a strainer, that no gnat 
or part of one might remain, became a proverb for exactness 
about little matters. This may help us to understand that pas- 
sage, Matth. xxiii. 24, where the proverbial expression of care- 
fully straining out a little fly from the liquor to be drunk, and yet 
swallowing a camel, intimates, that the Scribes and Pharisees 
affected to scruple little things, and yet disregarded those of the 
greatest moment 15 . 

The ancient Greek interpreters render those words, Amos, vi. 
6, which we translate " who drink wine in bowls," by who drink 
strained wine, but are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. 
This contradictory affectation of external purity, without corre- 
sponding internal sentiments, agrees well with the scope of the 
above. The Talmudists also mention jabhkuschin, or wine 
gnats, and Maimonides writes De lib. Petit, c. 2, 22, " He 
who strains wine, vinegar, or strong liquor, and swallows the 
jabhkuschin which he has strained, is deserving of punishment." 

In the Syriac version of Matth. xxiii. 24, the word is pS BAR, 
a word which frequently occurs in the Talmudical glosses, and 
in AVICENNA, and the Arabic writers; by Bochart rendered 
" ciuiex/' and corresponding to our English word bug. Captain 
Beaver, in his African Memoranda, p. 360, describes the termites, 
that most troublesome and descriptive species of ants, as exceed- 
ingly numerous; and says that they are called in the Bulama 
" bug-a-bugs." 

14 " In observation addit Forskal haec, ' An Falco Milvus, Linn.? sed nee 
totus ferrugineus, nee caput albidum. An falco forficatus ? sed subtus non albi- 
dus verum ferrugineus.' Unde in novissima Linnaeani Systemalis editione, 
T. i. p. 1. p. 261. hie falco sub lemmate Mgyptii peculiarem speciem efficit." 
Rosenmuller, Not. ad Bochart, T. ii. p. 778. 

15 " This clause," says Dr. Adam Clarke, " should be translated, ' Ye strain 
out the gnat, but ye swallow down the camel.' In the common translation, 
' Ye strain AT the gnat,' conveys no sense. Indeed it is likely to have been at 
first an error of the press, AT for OUT, which on examination I find escaped in 
the edition of 1611, and has been regularly continued since." 



172 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

GOAT. \y EZ ; Chaldee izza ; Phoenician aza; Arabic iidda, 
and hedsjaz. 

Occurs frequently in the Scripture. 

There are other names or appellations given to the goat; as 
(1.) D'U?n CHASIPH, 1 Kings, xx. 27, only; which means the 
" ram-goat," or leader of the flock ; (2.) D'TlDV ATHUDIM, a 
word which never occurs but in the plural, and means the best 
prepared, or choicest of the flock ; and metaphorically " princes;" 
as Zech. x. 3, " I will visit the goats," saith the Lord; i. e. I 
will begin my vengeance with the princes of the people. Isai. 
xiv. 9, " Hell from beneath is moved for thee, to meet thee at 
thy coming; it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the great 
goats of the earth :" all the kings, all the great men. And Je- 
remiah, 1. 8, speaking of the princes of the Jews, says " Remove 
out of the midst of Babylon, and be as the he-goats before the 
flocks." (3.) TDy TSAPHiR, a name for the goat of Chaldee 
origin, and found only in Ezra, vi. 17; viii. 35; and Dan. viii. 
5, 21. (4.) bwy AZAZEL, from ty " a goat," and hit* " to wan- 
der about," Levit. xvi. 8, " the scape-goat ;" and (5.) "));N SEAR, 
" hairy" or " shaggy," whence Z3'~)'IA1> SEIRIM, " the shaggy 
ones." In Levit. xvii. 21, it is said, " and they shall no more 
offer their sacrifices unto devils [SEIRIM, hairy ones,'] after whom 
they have gone a whoring." The word here means idolatrous 
images of goats, worshiped by the Egyptians. It is the same 
word that is translated " satyrs," Isai. xiii. 21 ; where the LXX 
render it Acttpovicc, daemons. But here they have ^ctrctioig, to vain 
things, or idols, which comes to the same sense. What gives 
light to so obscure a passage is what we read in Maimonides, 
Mor. Nev. p. iii. c. 46, that the Zabian idolaters worshiped 
demons under the figure of goats, imagining them to appear in 
that form, whence they called them by the names of SEIRIM ; 
and that this custom being spread among other nations, gave 
occasion to this precept. In like manner we learn from Hero- 
dotus, 1. ii. c. 46, that the Egyptians of Mendes held goats to be 
sacred animals, and represented the god Pan with the legs and 
head of that animal 16 . From those ancient idolaters the same 
notion seems to have derived to the Greeks and Romans, who 
represented their Pan, their fauns, satyrs, and other idols, in the 
form of goats. From all which it is highly probable, that the 
Israelites had learned in Egypt to worship certain daemons, or 
silvan deities, under the symbolical figure of goats. Though the 
phrase " after whom they have gone a whoring," is equivalent 
in scripture to that of committing idolatry, yet we are not to 
suppose that it is not to be taken in a literal sense in many- 
places, even where it is used in connexion with idolatrous acts 
of worship. It is well known that Baal peor and Ashtaroth 
16 That they paid divine honours to real goats, appears in the table of Isis. 



OF THE BIBLE. 173 

were worshiped with unclean rites; and that public prostitution 
formed a grand part of the worship of many deities among the 
Egyptians, Moabites, Canaanites, &c. And here it has a pecu- 
liar propriety, for Herodotus, Strabo, Pindar, and Plutarch, 
testify that amongst the ceremonies of their goat worship, it was 
customary for the Egyptian women to prostitute themselves to 
the goat that represented their god. " After this (says Dr. A. 
Clarke, in his note on Levit. xx. 16), need we wonder that God 
should have made laws of this nature, when it appears that these 
abominations were not only practised among the Egyptians, but 
were parts of a superstitious religious system. This one ob- 
servation wiU account for many of those strange prohibitions 
which we find in the Mosaic law : others, the reasons of which 
are not so plain, we should see the propriety of equally had we 
ampler historic records of the customs that existed in that 
country." 

Jeroboam's idols, 2 Chron. xi. 15, are also called seirim. See 
SATYRS. 

The goat is an animal found in every part of the world ; easily 
domesticated ; and too well known to need, a description. 

It was one of the clean beasts which the Israelites might both 
eat and offer in sacrifice. The kid, li GEDI, is often mentioned 
as a food, in a way that implies that it was considered as a deli- 
cacy 17 . But there is a passage thrice repeated in the Mosaic 
law [Exod. xxiii. 19; xxxiv. 26; and Deut. xiv. 21], which re- 
quires explanation ; and that given by Dr. Geddes seems the 
most satisfactory. ft This precept," says he, " has very much 
puzzled commentators. In both places of Exodus it is placed 
immediately after the precepts concerning festivals, sacrifices, 
and first-fruits; but in Deuteronomy, with precepts that forbid 
the eating of unclean things : yet in neither of these positions is 
the motive or the meaning readily conceived." 

Philo, with whom accord Aben Ezra and other learned Jews, 
is of opinion that the precept was given merely to teach the 
Israelites to abhor every species of cruelty. Bochart was pleased 
with this interpretation ; and Dr. Adam Clarke says, " We need 
go no further for the delicate, tender, humane, and impressive 
meaning of this precept." 

Maimonides, who very properly seeks for the natural reasons 
of the Mosaical injunctions, thought that a kid boiled in its 
mother's milk was prohibited as a gross and unwholesome food : 
but this is contrary to experience, unless boiling it in milk would 
render it so; for it is well known that the kid is both a tender 
and wholesome nutriment. 

Abarbanel, and others think that the precept alludes to some 
superstitious rite used by the idolatrous nations in honour of 

17 Gen. xxxviii. 16, 17; Judges, xv. 1; and Lukr, xv. 29. 



174 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

their gods; and a Caraite Jew, quoted by Cud worth 18 , affirms 
that it was customary among them to boil a kid in the milk of 
its mother, and with the decoction to besprinkle, in a magical 
manner, their fields and gardens ; thinking by this means they 
should make them fructify; which opinion was adopted by J. 
Gregoire 19 , and supported by Spencer by very specious argu- 
ments 20 . These, however, have been combated by Michaelis 21 , 
whose opinion is as follows. First, He takes it for granted that 
toiD may signify to roast as well as to boil. Secondly, That 
the kid's mother is here not to be limited to the real mother of 
any particular kid, but denotes any goat which has kidded. 
Thirdly, That nbn here means not milk, but butter. Fourthly, 
That the precept is not to be restricted to kids, but extends not 
only to lambs, but to all other not forbidden animals. These 
props being erected, he builds on them his conjecture, namely, 
that the motive of the precept was, to endear to the Israelites 
the land of Canaan, which abounded in oil, and make them for- 
get their Egyptian butter. Moses, therefore, to prevent their 
having any longing desire to return to that country, enjoins 
them to use oil in cooking their victuals, as well as in seasoning 
their sacrifices. 

" It must be confessed," says Dr. Geddes, " that this is an 
ingenious hypothesis. But is it well grounded ? I think not : 
for, in the first place, his second, third, and partly his fourth 
postulates cannot easily be granted. It is unnatural to extend 
the meaning of the kid's (or lamb's) mother to any other goat or 
ewe ; there is no proof that nbn ever signifies busier ; and, al- 
though TJ includes the lamb, to extend it to all other clean ani- 
mals is too great a stretch. But, in the second place, were all 
this granted, the conclusion would not, in my conception, be just. 
There was no need nor temptation for the Israelites to return to 
Egypt on account of its butter, when they possessed a country 
that flowed with milk and honey. Among the various modes of 
roasting meat in the East, which the reader may see in Harmer 22 . 
I find not that either oil or butter is used : and indeed roast meat 
is rarely eaten by them. There is no good reason then to turn 
^UD from its common acceptation, nor to convert milk into butter 
for the sake of establishing an hypothesis which is otherwise im- 
probable. 

On the whole, I cannot but, with Le Clerc and Dathe, greatly 
prefer the interpretation of Spencer, which is corroborated by 

18 Discourse on the Lord's Supper, c. 2. 

19 Notes and Observations, ch. xix. p. 92. 

20 De Legibus Hebr. 1. ii. c. 9. sect. 2. 

21 In his " Mosaiches Recht," part. iv. p. 210, of the second edition, and in a 
Memoir entitled " Commentatio de Legibus Mosis Israeliticis Palestinam caram 
facturis," sect. 10. 

22 Vol. i. p. 217, 316, 527, 329. 






OF THE BIBLE. 175 

the addition in the Samaritan copy 23 , and in some degree by the 
Targums 24 . For, granting that the Targums are of no great 
authority, and that the Samaritan addition is an interpolation, it 
is clear, at least, that when the Targums were composed, and 
when the interpolation was made, both Jews and Samaritans 
were of opinion that the precept alluded to some abominable rite 
which was meant to be proscribed." 

Of the goat's hair were made stuffs, Exod. xxxv. 6, 26, and 
coverings for tents. So travellers inform us, that in different 
parts of Asia Minor, Syria, Cilicia and Phrygia, the goats have 
long, fine, and beautiful hair, which is sheared at proper times 
and manufactured into garments. 

The tresses of Shulamith are compared to goat's hair. Cantic. 
iv. 1, vi. 5. Bochart refers the comparison to the hair of the 
eastern goats, which is of the most delicate, silky softness ; and 
is expressly observed by the ancient naturalist Damir, to bear a 
great resemblance to the fine locks of a woman : and Le Clerc 
observes, that the hair of the goats of Palestine is generally of a 
black colour, or very dark brown, such as that of a lovely bru- 
nette may be supposed to be. 

Our translation of 1 Sam. xix. 13, mentions "a pillow of 
goat's hair for a bolster," to support the image which Michal 
laid in the bed of David her husband, to deceive the messengers 
sent by Saul to slay him. She probably dressed up something in 
the figure of a man to serve the occasion ; which, by putting un- 
der the bed-clothes, might pass for David asleep to those that 
went into the chamber. And to make it appear still more natu- 
ral, she covered the back part with goat's hair, that a glancing 
view of it might make it appear like the back part of David's 
head. It is added, " and covered it with a cloth." This refers 
to the net which she hung before it as a skreen or curtain. 
Thus when Judith [ch. xiii. 9, 15] had beheaded Holofernes in 
his bed, " she pulled down the canopy, behind which he did lie, 
from the pillars." Dr. Shaw says [Travels, p. 221, 2d edit.], 
" a close curtain of gauze or fine linen is used all over the East, 
by people of better fashion, to keep out the flies 25 ." So Ho- 
race [Epod. ix. 15], speaking of the Roman soldiers serving 
under Cleopatra queen of Egypt, says, 

" Interque signa (turpe!) militaria 

Sol aspicit CONOPEOM." 

Amidst the Roman eagles, Sol survey'd, 

O shame ! the Egyptian canopy display'd " & . 

' 3 " For he who doth this is like a man who sacrificed! an abomination; and 
it is a trespass against the God of Jacob." 

24 " my people ! house of Israel ! it is not lawful for you to boil or eat flesh 
and milk mixed together, lest my wrath be enkindled, and I boil your products, 
corn and straw together." There is a play upon the word bttQ. 

25 See also Maillot, Descript. de 1'Egypte, Let. ix. p. 37. 

26 Our English word canopy comes from the Greek xuvtnew, from xavu-^ a 
gnat; because it was used as a defence against those insects. 



170 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

There is another place in which the word occurs, and it should 
seem, in the same sense. It is in the account which the historian 
gives us of the real cause of the death of Benhadad, the king of 
Syria, 2 Kings, viii. 15, where the " thick cloth, dipt in water, 
and spread over his face," was the canopy. I believe that it is 
commonly supposed that Hazael spread this net over the face of 
the king with the design of suffocating him ; and, indeed, it is 
so represented by the commentators. But, if we will carefully 
examine the narrative, we shall find, as Mr. Booth royd has stat- 
ed 27 , " that nothing is said which makes it clear that Hazael took 
the fly-net; on the other hand, the text rather suggests that the 
king did it himself: and, if his complaint was a fever, he might 
adopt this as a relief, wetting the net to allay the heat; but 
which, stopping the perspiration, occasioned his death. Accord- 
ing to Josephus, this king was greatly beloved by his subjects; 
and if Hazael had murdered him, would he be raised to the 
throne ? Besides, is it likely that the king should be alone, un- 
attended by his physicians ? Would not they, rather than Hazael, 
be the attendants of the sick monarch ? In short, there is nothing 
to support the common opinion either in the text or context; 
and its only foundation is, that Hazael succeeded him on the 
throne ; and, as the love of power is so prevalent, it is presumed 
that he contrived to smother him. We are not informed that 
Benhadad had any children ; and Hazael might succeed him by 
the choice of the people. The probabilities are, I think, against 
the received interpretation." Besides, we find that Hazael so 
respected the king that he named his own son after him. See 
2 Kings, xiii. 4. 

Of the goat's skin were made the leathern bottles so much 
used for carrying and preserving liquors. Sir John Chard in de- 
scribes the manner of making them. " When the animal is 
killed, they cut off its feet and its head, and then draw it out of 
the skin without opening the belly. They afterwards sew up 
the places where the legs were cut off, and the tail ; and when 
it is filled, they tie it about the neck." These bottles are men- 
tioned, Joshua, ix. 4, as being liable to become rent when much 
used or grown old, and also capable of being repaired. " Wine 
bottles, old and rent, and bound up." This reference helps us 
to understand the declaration of the Psalmist [Psalm cxix. 83], 
" I am become like a bottle in the smoke ;" and the mention of 
our Saviour, Matth. ix. 17, of putting new wine into new bot- 
tles, and the impolicy of putting it into old ones; for the wine 
fermenting would swell and thus easily rend those which had 
been frequently used, and perhaps injured by the acid lees of 
the old wine. 

There is a variety of the goat in Syria larger in size than the 
common, and having long pendulous ears which are often one 

27 Improved version of (he Rible. 



OF THE BIBLE. 177 

foot in length 28 . Dr. Russell tells us, that this kind 4< are kept 
chiefly for their milk, of which they yield no inconsiderable 
quantity ; and it is sweet and well tasted." The milk of goats 
for food is mentioned, Proverbs, xxvii. 27. Mr. Harmer, quot- 
ing Amos, iii. 12, "As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of 
the lion, two legs, or a piece of' ear, so shall the children of 
Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria and Damascus," re- 
marks, " though it is indeed the intention of the prophet to ex- 
press the smallmss of that part of Israel that escaped from de- 
struction, and were seated in foreign countries ; yet it would 
have been hardly natural to have supposed a shepherd would 
exert himself to make a lion quit a piece only of an ear of a 
common goat : it must be supposed, I think, to refer to the 
large-eared kind." 

II. The ipN AKKO, or " wild-goat," mentioned Deut. xiv. 5, 
and no where else in the Hebrew bible, is supposed to be the 
tragelaphus, or goat-deer. Schultens, in his manuscript " Ori- 
gines Hebraicae," conjectures that this animal might have its 
name, " ob fugacitatem," from its shyness, or running away. 
This conjecture is confirmed by Dr. Shaw [Travels, p. 415], 
who, from the LXX, and Vulgate translation of the name, con- 
cludes that it means some animal resembling both the goat and 
the deer ; and such a one he shows that there is in the East, 
known by the name of ihejishtall, and in some parts called Jer- 
wee; which, says he, is the most timorous species of the goat 
kind, plunging itself, whenever pursued, down rocks and preci- 
pices, if there be any in its way 29 . 

III. The word by JAAL, or IOL, plural IOLTM, feminine IOLEH, 
occurs 1 Sam. xxiv. 3; Job, xxxix. 1 ; Psal. civ. 18 ; and Prov. 
v. 19, and various have been the sentiments of interpreters on 
the animal intended by it. Bochart insists that it is the ibex or 
rock-goat. The root, whence the name is derived, signifies " to 
ascend," " to mount ;" and the ibex is famous for clambering, 
climbing, leaping, on the most craggy precipices. The Arab 
writers attribute to the jaal very long horns, bending backwards ; 
consequently it cannot be the chamois. The horns of the jaal 
are reckoned (says Scheuchzer) among the valuable articles of 
traffic, Ezek. xxvii. 15. 

The ibex is finely shaped, graceful in its motions, and amiable 
in its manners. The female is particularly celebrated by natural 
historians for tender affection to her yotnig, and the incessant 
vigilance with which she watches over their safety ; and also for 
ardent attachment and fidelity to her mate. 

We remark, say the authors of " Scripture Illustrated," on 

28 Capra Mambrica. Linn. S. N. p. 95. See the Figure in Russell's Aleppo, 
V. ii. pi. 2. 

29 Capra cornnbus reclinatis, auribus pendulis, gula barbata. Linn. Syst. ed. 
13, p. 194. 



178 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

the passage of Proverbs, v. 19, that commentators have hardly 
seized the poet's meaning. He is contrasting the constancy 
and fidelity of a wife against the inconstancy and infidelity of a 
mistress ; and uses, first, the simile of the hind, as expressing 
kindness in prosperity and in society. The attachment of the 
ibex, in spite of deserts and solitude, forms his second simile. 
He means to compare, 1, the hind, or female deer, accompany- 
ing its mate in the forest, on the plains, amidst verdure, amidst 
fertility; 2dly, the female ibex, faithful to its associate on the 
mountain crags, amidst the difficulties, the dangers, the hard- 
ships of rocks and precipices, to the constancy of a wife, who, 
in the most trying situations, still encourages her partner, shares 
his toils, partakes his embarrassments, and, however he may be 
hunted by adversities, endeavours to moderate by her constancy, 
and to cheer by her blandishments, those hours of solitude and 
solicitude, which otherwise were dreary, comfortless, and hope- 
less." 

Graevius declares that the by in this passage is not the ibex, 
but a species of gazelle described by Buffon, N. H. torn. xii. 
and Suppl. T. v. under the name of " Nanguer," or " Nagor." 

GOLD. 2Pif ZAHAB. Gen. xxiv. 22, and very frequently in 
all other parts of the Old Testament 30 . XPTSOS, Matth. xxiii. 
16, 17, et al. 

The most perfect and valuable of the metals. 

In Job, xxviii. 15, 16, 17, 19, gold is mentioned five times, 
and four of the words are different in the original. (1.) TOD 
SEGOR, which may mean gold in the mine, or shut up (as the 
root signifies) in the ore. ('2.) ODD KETHEM, from DriD CATHAM, 
to sign, seal, or stamp ; gold made current by being coined ; 
standard gold, exhibiting the stamp expressive of its value. (3.) 
nnr ZAHAB, wrought gold, pure, highly polished gold. (4.) JID 
PAZ, denoting solidity, compactness, and strength ; probably 
gold formed into different kinds of plate, or vessels. Jerom, 
in his Comment on Jer. x. 9, writes, " septem nominibus apud 
Hebraos appellatur aurum." The seven names (which he does 
not mention) are as follows, and thus distinguished by the He- 
brews. (I.) ZAHAB, gold, in general. (II.) ZAHAB TOB, good 
gold, of a more valuable kind, Gen. ii. 12. (III.) ZAHAB OPHIR. 
gold of Ophir, 1 Kings, ix. 28, such as was brought by the navy 
of Solomon. (IV.) ZAHAB MUPHAZ, solid gold, pure, wrought 
gold; translated 1 Kings, x. 18, "the best gold." (V.) ZAHAB 
SHACHUT, beaten gold, 2 Chron. ix. 15. (VI.) ZAHAB SEGOR, 
shut up gold ; either as mentioned above, " gold in the ore," or 
as the Rabbins explain it, " gold shut up in the treasuries," 

30 In the books of Ezra and Daniel it is written am ; and once in Isai. xiv. 
4, where the prophet, introducing the Jews singing their song of triumph after 
their return from Babylon, very properly and beautifully uses a Chaldee word, 
and probably the very same as the Babylonians applied to their superb and opu- 
lent capital. Park hurst, Heb. Lex. in verb. 



OF THE BIBLE. 179 

gold in bullion. (VII.) ZAHAB PAHVAIM, 2. Chron. iii. 6. To 
these, Buxtorf adds three others : (1.) CDrO KETHEM, pure gold 
of the circulating medium. (2.) -|3 BETZER, gold in the trea- 
sury. (3.) V">H CHARUTZ, choice, fine gold. 

Arabia had formerly its golden mines. " The gold of Sheba," 
Psalm Ixxii. 15, is, in the Septuagint and Arabic versions, the 
gold of Arabia. Sheba was the ancient name of Arabia Felix. 
Mr. Bruce, however, places it in Africa, at Azab. The gold of 
Ophir, so often mentioned, must be that which was procured 
in Arabia, on the coast of the Red Sea. We are assured by 
Sanchoniathon, as quoted by Eusebius, and by Herodotus, that 
the Phoenicians carried on a considerable traffic with this gold 
even before the days of Job, who speaks of it, chap. xxii. 24. 
But Mr. Good contends that the original T31N AUPHIR, in this 
place, which is generally rendered " Ophir," with gold added to 
it to give it a sense, is a direct Arabic verb from apher or nfr, 
and signifies " to flow" " rush" "pass on." " Whoever consi- 
ders the Hebrew of the 24th and 25lh verses," says Chappelow, 
" must be inclined to think that there is the figure paronomasia, 
as the rhetoricians call it; a near affinity both in letters and 
sound." 

Then shall thou heap up, as the dust [APHAR], treasure [BETZER]. 
Then shallitjlow [AUPHIR] as the treasure [BETZER] of the brooks; 
And then shall the Almighty be thy treasury [BF.TZERECA]. 

That this is no unusual way in scripture expression, in the Old 
and New Testament is very certain, as Bp. Sanderson has re- 
marked, 1st. Sermon ad Aulam, page 2. Two instances, 
amongst several to which he refers, are very particular. Isai. 
xxiv. 18, where the prophet, expressing the variety of God's 
inevitable judgments under three several appellations, the fear, 
the pit, and the snare, uses three words, agreeing with each other 
in letters and sound, pachad, pachath, pach : and Rom. xii. 3, 
where the apostle, exhorting men not to think of themselves too 
highly, sets it off with exquisite elegancy, thus, Mvj vKeqtypoveiv 
'Ko.^ o $si fyovtiv, uKha fyovetv eiq TO crutypovEiv. 

On the method of working gold among the ancients, and of 
forming various vessels and ornaments from it, see Goguet, part 
ii. book ii. ch. 5. art. 2. p. 158, Vol. ii. 

GOPHER. 1DJ jo; ETSE GOPHER, Gopher wood. 

Occurs only Genesis, vi. 14. 

The wood of which the ark was built. There are various 
opinions about it. The LXX render it uA# Ter^ayiavet, squared 
limbers ; Eben Ezra, Onkelos, Jonathan, and most of the Rab- 
bins, cedar; Jerom, in the Vulgate, " ligna levigata," planed 
wood, and elsewhere, " ligna bituminata," pitched wood, which 
last is adopted by Delgado, a learned London Jew 31 . Kimchi 

31 The Hebrew word gaphar signifies to pilch or daub icilh pitch. Gophrith, 
which signifies bitumen, is not much unlike it. 

P2 



180 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

translates it, wood most proper to float ; Junius, Tremellius, and 
Buxtorf, a kind of cedar called by the Greeks xf^eAarv) ; Ave- 
narius and Munster, pine; Castalio, turpentine; Pelletier pre- 
fers the opinion of those who suppose that the ark was made of 
cedar. His reasons are the great plenty of it in Asia, whence 
Herodotus and Theophrastus relate that the kings of Egypt and 
Syria built whole fleets of it; the incorruptibility of the wood; 
and the common tradition prevailing throughout the East that 
remains of the ark are yet found on Mount Ararat. The Ma- 
hometans explain it by the word " sag," which is understood to 
be the Indian plane-tree 32 . And Dr. Geddes 33 apprehends that 
the Syrian translator has given the true meaning in the word 
N|Try, rendered in the Polyglott by the Latin word " vimen," 
signifying, in general, a twig, or rod, wicker of any kind. In 
Arabia the same word signifies a chest, coffer, or basket made of 
twigs, particularly of palm-tree leaves : and, indeed, all the first 
vessels of capacity, whether coffer, ark, or ship, seem to have 
been composed of the same materials. He conceives, therefore, 
that the ark of Noah was a large coffer formed of twigs, like bas- 
ket-work, and covered over with bitumen, within and without, 
to keep out the water. He does not presume absolutely to de- 
termine of what wood it was constructed, but thinks it must have 
been of osier, which, as we learn from Columella, was the prin- 
cipal of the wicker kind. It is certain, that not only baskets, 
but boats were made originally of such twigs, and particularly 
of osier 3 *; and even those which were externally covered with 
skins, had ribs of that wood on account of its pliability 33 . 

On the other hand, the learned Mr. Fuller, in his Miscella- 
nies, 1. iv. c. 5, has shown that the wood of which the ark was 
built was undoubtedly that which the Greeks call xim#?/<7<r05 or 
the cypress tree ; for, taking away the termination, kupar and 
gopher differ very little in sound. The affinity of the letters 3 
and 3, G and c, strengthens the resemblance. This observation 
the great Bochart has confirmed, and shown very plainly, that no 
country abounds so much with this wood as that part of Assyria 
which lies about Babylon. Cocquius, Phytologia Sacra, p. 
125 ; and Celsius, Hierobotan. V. i. p. 329, very learnedly sup- 
port and confirm this interpretation. 

GOURD, jvp'p KIKIUN. 

Occurs Jonah, iv. 6, 7, 9, 10, only. 

It is difficult to determine what the plant was which grew 
up suddenly, and made a shelter to the prophet Jonah. The 
author of " Scripture Illustrated," p. 190, says, " the gourd of 
Jonah should be no trivial lesson to theological disputants. So 
long ago as the days of Jerom and Augustine, those pious fathers 
differed as to what the plant was ; and they not only differed in 

32 Herbelof. p. 675. 33 Critical Remarks, Vol. i. p. 67. 

34 Herodot. Clio. Niebuhr, Arab. V. ii. 175. 



OF THE BIBLE. 181 

words, but from words they proceeded to blows; and Jerom 
was accused of heresy at Rome by Augustine. Jerom thought 
this plant was an ivy, and pleaded the authority of Aquila, Sym- 
machus, Theodotion, and others: Augustine thought it was a 
gourd, and he was supported by the Seventy, the Syriac, the 
Arabic, &c. &c. Had either of them ever seen the plant ? No. 
Which of them was right ? Neither. Let the errors of these 
pious men teach us to think more mildly, if not more meekly, 
respecting our own opinions ; and not to exclaim, Heresy ! or 
to enforce the exclamation, when the subject is of so little 
importance as gourd versus ivy." 

" Nevertheless, there is a just importance in this subject as 
well as in others ; and the most minute plant or insect mentioned 
in the word of God demands our best endeavours to obtain a 
competent acquaintance with it." 

M. Michaelis, in his remarks on this subject, says, " Celsius 
appears to me to have proved that it [the kikiun'] is the ' kiki/ 
of the Egyptians. He refers it to the class of the ricinus (the 
great catapucus). According to Dioscorides it is of rapid growth, 
and bears a berry from which an oil is expressed. Lib. iv. c. 
164. In the Arabic version of this passage, which is to be 
found in Avicenna, it is rendered, " from thence is pressed the 
oil which they call oil of kiki, which is the oil of Alkeroa 36 . 
So Herodotus, Hist. Euterpe, 94, says: " The inhabitants of 
the marshy grounds in Egypt make use of an oil, which they 
term the kiki, expressed from the Sillicyprian plant. In Greece 
this plant springs spontaneously without any cultivation ; but 
the Egyptians sow it on the banks of the river and of the canals ; 
it there produces fruit in great abundance, but of a very strong 
odour. When gathered they obtain from it, either by friction 
or pressure, an unctuous liquid which diffuses an offensive smell, 
but for burning it is equal in quality to the oil of olives." This 
plant rises with a strong herbaceous stalk to the height of ten 
or twelve feet; and is furnished with very large leaves, not 
unlike those of the plane-tree. Rabbi Kimchi says that the 
people of the East plant them before their shops for the sake of 
the shade, and to refresh themselves under them. M. Niebuhr, 
Descr. Arab. p. 180, Fr. ed. says, " I saw for the first time at 
Basra, the plant el-keroa, mentioned in M. Michaelis's Ques- 
tions, No. LXXXVII. It has the form of a tree. The trunk 
appeared to me rather to resemble leaves than wood ; neverthe- 
less, it is harder than that which bears the Adam's fig. Each 
branch of the keroa has but one large leaf, with six or seven 
foldings in it. This plant was near to. a rivulet which watered it 
amply. At the end of October, 1765, it had risen in Jive months 

36 Jerom says, that the Punic and Syriac name of the Kikiun is alkeroa : thus 
a Coptic lexicon explains the English word, KOYKI hy the berry of the alkeroa. 
Abenbitar also renders the kiki of Dioscorides by the Arabic alkeroa. 



182 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

time, about eight feet, and bore at once flowers and fruit, ripe 
and unripe. Another tree of this species, which had not had so 
much water, had not grown more in a whole year. The flowers 
and leaves of it which I gathered, withered in a few minutes; as 
do all plants of a rapid growth. This tree is called at Aleppo, 
" Palma Christi." An oil is made from it called " oleum de 
keroa; oleum CICINUM ; oleum ficus infernalis." The Chris- 
tians and Jews of Mosul [Nineveh] say, it was not the keroa 
whose shadow refreshed Jonah, but a sort of gourd, el-kera, 
which has very large leaves, very large fruit, and lasts but about 
four months.'' 

The epithet which the prophet uses in speaking of the plant, 
" son of the night it was, and, as a son of the night it died," 
does not compel us to believe that it grew in a single night, but 
either by a strong oriental figure that it was of rapid growth, or 
akin to night in the shade it spread for his repose. The figure 
is not uncommon in the East, and one of our own poets has 
called the rose " child of the summer." Nor are we bound to 
take the expression " on the morrow," as strictly importing the 
very next day, since the word has reference to much more dis- 
tant time, Exod. xiii. 5 ; Deut. vi. 20 ; Josh. iv. 6. It might 
be simply taken as afterwards. The circumstance of the speedy 
withering of the flowers and leaves of the keroa should not be 
slightly passed over ; nor that of its present name cicinum (pro- 
nouncing the c hard like K), which is sufficiently near the kikiun 
of Jonah. The author of " Scripture Illustrated" remarks, " as 
the history in Jonah expressly says, the LORD prepared this plant, 
no doubt we may conceive of it as an extraordinary one of its 
kind, remarkably rapid in its growth, remarkably hard in its 
stem, remarkably vigorous in its branches, and remarkable for 
the extensive spread of its leaves and the deep gloom of their 
shadow ; and, after a certain duration, remarkable for a sudden 
withering, and a total uselessness to the impatient prophet." 
The following extract will explain the circumstance of the worm 
with which this plant is infested. " Rumphius in Herbario Am- 
boinensi, t. iv. p. 95, narrat, calidioribus diebus, tenui cadente 
pluvia, in ea generari erucas nigras magna multitudine, ejus folia 
per unam noctem subito depascentes, ut nuda? modo costne 
supersint, idque se saepius non sine admiratione vidisse, simillime, 
addit, arbusculae, olim Niniviticae." 

Hiller, in his Hierophyticon, part i. p. 456, gives a beautiful 
poetical illustration of this history. 

" Aspice mcerentis ricinum solamine Jonae, 

Quern modo nascentem perdidit atra dies. 
Floruit et tuguri contex it cultnina vatis, 

Et contra solein grutior umbra fuit. 
Una scd liunc ut uox nascentem vidit, eundein 

Arentein vidit poue bc-quuta dies. 



OF THE BIBLE. 183 

Scilicet base mundi frustra gaudentis imago, 

Gaudia post ortum mox peritura suum. 
Nil stabile Eeternumque manet sub sole, suusque, 

Qui perimat ricinutn, vermis et eurus erit. 
Quatn praestat gaudere Dei praesentis amore, 

Atque Bono nunqimm deficiente frui !'' 

In Poole's Annotations is a pathetic and eloquent apostrophe 
on this passage of sacred history. It will be recollected that 
Jonah could have wished with all his soul to have had the gourd 
spared ; and pity for it found way to his breast as soon as it was 
destroyed, although it had cost him no labour or toil. It is on 
this consideration that Jehovah says, " And shall I not spare 
Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thou- 
sand persons, which cannot discern between their right hand and 
their left, and also much cattle ?" 

" Jonah, thou hast pity on a sorry shrub, and shall thy God 
be by thee confined, that he should not have pity on a vast and 
mighty city? A stately structure, which cost immense treasures; 
was the labour of almost one million and a half of workmen, 
through eight years, and the great wonder of the world ! Thy 
gourd, Jonah, may not be named on the same day with this; 
only in a passion this must be ruined to please thee, and thy 
gourd must not, lest it displease thee. Is this equal ? Wouldst 
thou have me less merciful to such a goodly city, than thou art 
to a weed? It was a single gourd Jonah pitied, and is angry 
that it is smitten ; here are many hundred thousands of men and 
w r omen which I have pitied and spared. Here are more than 
six score thousand innocents, who are infants, who are my crea- 
tures, made for eternity, who grow slowly under my care and 
charge, whom I value as my own; and, peevish Jonah, wilt thou 
not allow me to show pity to mine own invaluable creatures, 
when thou pitiest what is neither thine, nor valuable ? Had it 
been thine, this might have required thy affection ; had it been 
of worth, this might have excused thy earnestness for it ; but all 
this aggravates thy fierce and cruel passion against Nineveh. 
Beside men, women, and children who are in Nineveh, there are 
many other of my creatures that are not sinful, and my tender 
mercies are, and shall be, over all my works. If thou wouldst 
be their butcher, yet I will be their God. I know what becomes 
me, God of prophets, and though once I hearkened to Elijah 
to send fire from heaven to contemptuous sinners, yet it is not 
meet to send fire from heaven on repenting Nineveh. I know- 
how to impress their minds with a continual belief that Jonah 
came from God to preach repentance, and that it was their 
repentance which prevented their overthrow. I can save thy 
credit, Jonah, and yet not humour thy cruelty. Go, Jonah, 
rest thyself content, and be thankful. That goodness, mercy, 
and kindness, which spared Nineveh, hath spared thee, in this, 
thine inexcusable frowardness. I will be to repenting Nineveh 



184 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

what I am to thee God, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, 
and of great kindness; and I will turn from the evil thou and 
they deserve." 

II. We read of the WILD-GOURD, in the second book of Kings, 
iv. 39; that Elisha, being at Gilgal, during a great famine, bade 
one of his servants prepare something for the entertainment of 
the prophets who were in that place. The servant, going into 
the field, found (as our translators render it) some witd-gourds, 
gathered a lap full of them, and having brought them with him, 
cut them in pieces and put them into a pot, not knowing what 
they were. When they were brought to table, the prophets, 
having tasted them, thought they were mortal poison. Imme- 
diately the man of God called for flour, threw it into the pot, 
and desired them to eat without any apprehensions. They did 
so, and perceived nothing of the bitterness whereof they were 
before so sensible. This plant or fruit is called in Hebrew 
niypD PEKAOTH and D'VpD PEKAIM. There have been various 
opinions about it. Celsius supposes it the colocyiith 37 . The 
leaves of the plant are large, placed alternate ; the flowers white, 
and the fruit of the gourd kind, of the size of a large apple, 
which, when ripe, is yellow, and of a pleasant and inviting 
appearance; but, to the taste intolerably bitter, and proves a 
drastic purgative. 

It seems that the fruit, whatever it might have been, was early 
thought proper for an ornament in architecture. It furnished a 
model for some of the carved work of cedar in Solomon's tem- 
ple. 1 Kings, vi. 18; vii. 24. 

GRAPE, ajy HANAB. 

Occurs frequently. 

The fruit of the vine. There were fine vineyards and excel- 
lent grapes in the promised land. The bunch of grapes which 
was cut in the valley of Eschol, and was brought upon a staff 
between two men to the camp of Israel at Kadeshbarnea, 
[Numb. xiii. 23,] may give us some idea of the largeness of the 
fruit in that country : though, as Dr. A. Clarke observes, " the 
bringing of the cluster in this manner was probably not rendered 
necessary by the size of the bunch or cluster, but to preserve it 
from being bruised, that the Israelites might have a fair specimen 
of the fruit." It would be easy to produce a great number of 
witnesses to prove, that the grapes in those regions grow to a 
prodigious size. By Calmet, Scheuchzer, and Manner this sub- 
ject has been exhausted ; and to them I may refer the reader ^ 
observing only, that Doubdan assures us, that in the valley of 



37 Cucumis prophetarum. Linn. Syst. Nat. 1436. Cucumis colocynthis. 

38 Among other authorities, see Olearius Itiner. 1. 3. Forster, Diet. Haebr. 
p. 862. J. C. Dietcrius, Antiq. Bibl. p. 249. Iluetius, Qiucst. Alnctanae. 1. 2. 
c. 12. n. 24. Leo Africanus, Kadzivil, Sir J. Chardin, Voyages, t. iii. p. 12. 



OF THE BIBLE. 185 

Eschol were clusters of grapes to be found of ten or twelve 
pounds 39 . 

Moses, in the law, Levit. xix. 10; Deut. xxiv. 21, 22, com- 
manded that when the Israelites gathered their grapes, they 
should not be careful to pick up those that fell, nor be so exact 
as to leave none upon the vines. What fell and what were left 
behind the poor had liberty to glean. For the same beneficent 
purpose the second vintage was reserved : this, in those warm 
countries, was considerable ; though never so good nor so plen- 
tiful as the former 40 . The wise son of Sirach says [Ecclesiasticus, 
xxxiv. 15], " I waked up last of all, as one that gleaneth after 
grape-gatherers. By the blessing of the Lord, I profited, and 
filled my wine press like a gatherer of grapes." 

It is frequent in Scripture to describe a total destruction, by 
the similitude of a vine, stripped in such a manner that there was 
not a bunch of grapes left for those who came to glean 41 . 

The prophecy, Gen. xlix. 1 1 , " He shall wash his clothes in 
wine, and his garments in the blood of the grape," means that 
he shall reside in a country where grapes were in abundance. 
The vineyards of Engedi and of Sorek, so famous in Scripture, 
were in the tribe of Judah ; and so was the valley of Eschol, 
whence the spies brought those extraordinary clusters. 

The proverbial expression, Jerem. xxxi. 29, " the fathers have 
eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge," 
seems to be founded on what is generally declared in several 
parts of Scripture, that God visiteth the sins of the fathers upon 
the children ; and perhaps on his having particularly threatened 
to bring evil upon Judah and Jerusalem, for the sins committed 
in the reign of Manasseh; ch; xv. 2; 2 Kings, xxi. 11 15; 
xxiii. 26, 27. " But," says Bishop Blaney, " it certainly does 
not follow from hence, as the proverb would seem to insinuate, 
that the innocent children were to be punished for the offences 
of their guilty fathers. This is in no way consistent with our 
ideas of natural justice ; nor can any instance be produced of 
God's ever having proceeded in such a manner. I speak of 
judicial punishment, properly so called, and not of the natural 
effects and consequences of sin. If children have been punished 
for the transgressions of their parents, it was because the chil- 
dren were guilty as well as the parents. Nor did the children 
suffer more than their own iniquities had deserved ; although the 
delinquency of their forefathers might have become a reasonable 
motive for treating them with greater severity than they would 
otherwise have met with, in order to put a stop to the progress 
of hereditary wickedness. This is all, I conceive, that ever was, 
or could be designed, by God's visiting the sins of the fathers 

39 Voyage de la Terrc Sainte, c. 21. 

40 M. Flaccus Illjricus, Clav. S. S. voce racemus. 

41 Isai. xvii. 6; xxiv. 13; Jcr. vi. 9; xlix. 9; Obad. 5. 



186 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

upon the children. It is promised, however, that in those future 
times of which the prophet was speaking, no regard of any kind 
should be had to the sins of others, but that every man should 
bear his own burden, and suffer simply and solely for his own 
transgressions." So, in Ezekiel, xviii. 2, Jehovah says, " What 
mean ye that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, 
saying, the fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are 
set on edge ? As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, ye shall not any 
more use this proverb in Israel." Upon this passage Archbishop 
Newcombe observes, " the Chaldee explains the proverb rightly : 
' the fathers have sinned, and the sons are smitten.' In the 
second commandment, it is expressly declared that the children 
should be punished in this life for the idolatry of their fathers. 
Idolatry was high treason, while the theocracy subsisted ; and 
was to be restrained by the severest sanctions, under a dispensa- 
tion appointed for these among other purposes, to preserve the 
Israelites from the general taint of idolatry, and to maintain and 
propagate the knowledge of the one God." 
II. 



II. The WILD GRAPES, DU?KS BAESHIM, are the fruit of the 
wild, or bastard vine 42 ; sour and unpalatable; and good for 
nothing but to make verjuice. 

In Isaiah, v. 2 4, Jehovah complains that he had planted his 
people as a choice vine, excellent as that of Sorek 43 ; but that 
their degeneracy had defeated his purpose and disappointed his 
hopes : " When he expected that it should bring forth choice 
fruit, it yielded only such as was bad :" not merely useless and 
unprofitable grapes, but clusters offensive and noxious. By the 
force and intent of the allegory, says Bishop Lowth, to good 
grapes ought to be opposed fruit of a dangerous and pernicious 
quality; as in the application of it, to judgment is opposed 
tyranny, and to righteousness oppression. 

Hasselquist 44 is inclined to believe that the prophet here 
means the " Solanum incanum," hoary night shade ; " because 
it is common in Egypt and Palestine, and the Arabian name 
agrees well with it. The Arabs call it " Aneb el dib," wolf's 
grapes. The prophet could not have found a plant more oppo- 

42 Called in Latin, " labrusca." Plin. 1. xxiii. c. 1. Virg. Eel. v. V. 5. 

43 Sorek was a valley lying between Ascalon and Gaza, and running far up 
eastward in the tribe of Judah. Both Ascalon and Gaza were anciently famous 
for wine. The former is mentioned as such by Alexander Trallianns; the latter 
by several authors (quoted by Reland, Falsest, p. 589, and 986). And it seems 
that the upper part of the valley of Sorek, and that of Eschol (where the spies 
gathered the large hunch of grapes which they were obliged to bear between 
two upon a staff,) being both near to Hebron, were in the same neighbourhood ; 
and that all this part of the country abounded with rich vineyards. Compare 
Numb. xiii. 22, 23 ; Jud. xvi. 3, 4: and see P. Nau, Voyage de la Terre Sainte, 
1. iv. c. 18. De Lisle's posthumous Map of the Holy Land. Paris, 1763. Bo- 
chart Hicroz. ii. col. 725, Thevenot, . p. 406, and Bishop Lowth's Notes on 
Isai. v. 2, &c. * 

44 Trav. p. 298. See abo Michaelis, Quest. No. Ixiv. 



OF THE BIBLE. 187 

site to the vine than this ; for it grows much in the vineyards, 
and is very pernicious to them. It is likewise a vine." Mr. Bate, 
however, explains it of grapes that rot upon the -vine; so Mon- 
tanus, " uvas putidas." 

Jeremiah uses the same image, ch. ii. 21, and applies it to the 
same purpose, in an elegant paraphrase of this part of Isaiah's 
parable, in his flowing and plaintive manner. " I planted thee 
a Sorek, a cion perfectly genuine. How then art thou changed, 
and become to me the degenerate shoot of a strange vine !" 

From some sort of poisonous fruits of the grape kind, Moses 
[Deut. xxxii. 32, 33] has taken those strong and highly poetical 
images with which he has set forth the future corruption and 
extreme degeneracy of the Israelites, in an allegory which has a 
near relation, both in its subject and imagery, to this of Isaiah. 

" Their vine is from the vine of Sodom, 
And from the fields of Gomorrah. 
Their grapes are grapes of gall; 
And their clusters are bitter. 
Their wine is the poison of dragons, 
And the deadly venom of aspics." 

The historians mention fruits brought from the neighbourhood 
of Sodom, which on the outside appeared to be fair and of a 
lively red colour, but within were very bitter, and as it were full 
of soot and ashes 45 . Tertullian, Apol. c. xl. speaks of them in 
the same manner. But Maundrell, describing the Dead Sea, 
tells us, that for the apples of Sodom so much talked of, he 
neither saw nor heard of any hereabouts ; nor was there anv tree 
near the lake from which one might expect such a kind of fruit : 
which induced him to believe that it was only a fiction, kept 
up, as Lord Bacon observes, as many other false notions are, 
" because it serves for a good allusion, and helps the poet to a 
similitude." 

Hasselquist says that the " Poma Sodomitica," the apple of 
Sodom, is the fruit of the " Solatium Melongsena" of Linnaeus, 
called by others " mad apple." It is found in great quantities 
near Jericho, in the valleys near the Jordan, and in the neigh- 
bourhood of the Dead Sea. If this fruit causes madness, if it 
grows near the city of Sodom, and retains the name " Sodomi- 
tica," may it not be the vegetable intended by Moses? Does 
it sufficiently resemble the vine to be compared to it 46 ? See 
GALL. 

GRASS. win DESHA. 

Occurs first in Gen. i. 11, and -afterwards frequently. 

The well known vegetable upon which flocks and herds feed ; 
and which decks our fields and refreshes our sight with its 

43 Josephus De Bel. Jud. 1. iv. c. 27. Plia. 1. v. c, 16. Strabo,!. xvi. Tacitus, 
1. v. c. 6. " Atra et inania \elut in cinerem vaneseunt." Solinus, c. xxxvi. 
46 Scripture Illustrated, p. 77. 



188 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

grateful verdure. Its feeble frame and transitory duration is 
mentioned in Scripture as emblematic of the frail condition and 
fleeting existence of man. The inspired poets draw this picture 
with such inimitable beauty as the laboured elegies on mortality 
of ancient and modern times have never surpassed. See Psalm, 
xc. 6, and particularly Isai. xl. 6, 7, 8. " A voice sayeth, Pro- 
claim ! And I said, what shall I proclaim ? All flesh is grass, and 
all its glory like the flower of the field. The grass withereth, 
the flower fadeth, when the wind of Jehovah bloweth upon it. 
Verily, this people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower 
fadeth ; but the word of our God abideth for ever." This is 
thus versified by Mr. Butt. 

" Lo! a voice spoke. Proclaim ! and I replied 
What? That all flesh is grass, and all its pride 
But as a field-flower. Quickly fades the grass, 
And so as quick, the flower's soft glories pass ! 
Yea, e'en the little day allow'd their kind 
Shortens beneath Jehovah's stormy wind. 
Judah, as grass, shall speedily decay; 
Grass is soon gone, nor Sowers a longer day 
Boast; but the word of God which I proclaim, 
For ever lives, for ever is the same." 

As in their decay the herbs of the field strikingly illustrate the 
shortness of human life, so in the order of their growth, from 
seeds dead and buried, they give a natural testimony to the doc- 
trine of a resurrection: and the prophet Isaiah [xxvi. 19,] and the 
apostle Peter, [1 Pet. i. 24, 25,] both speak of bodies rising from 
the dead, as of so many seeds springing from the ground to re- 
novated existence and beauty. 

II. It is a just remark of Grotius that the Hebrews ranked' 
the whole vegetable system under two classes, yy OTZ, and iU?y 
OSHEB. The first is rendered uAov or JevJpov, tree ; to express 
the second, the LXX have adopted %OfTOj, as their common way 
to translate one Hebrew word by one Greek word, though not 
quite proper, rather than by a circumlocution. It is accordingly 
used in their version of Gen. i. 1 1, where the distinction first oc- 
curs, and in most other places. Nor is it with greater propriety 
rendered " grass" in English, than %opro? in Greek. The same 
division occurs in Matth. vi. 30, and Rev. viii. 7, where our 
translators have in like manner had recourse to the term " grass." 
Dr. Campbell prefers and uses the word herbage, as coming 
nearer the meaning of the sacred writer. Under the name herb 
is comprehended every sort of plant which has not, like trees and 
shrubs, a perennial stalk. That many, if not all sorts of shrubs, 
were included by the Hebrews under the denomination, tree, is 
evident from Jotham's apologue of the trees choosing a king, 
Jud. ix. 7, where the bramble is mentioned as one. See HAY. 

GRASSHOPPER, njn CHAGAB; in Arabic giaba is the 
term for Grasshoppers in general. See MENISKI, No. 6717, 
6020. 



OF THE BIBLE. 189 

Occ. Levit. xi. 22; Numb. xiii. 33; 2 Chrou. vii. 13; 
Eccles. xii. 5 ; and Isai. xl. 22; 2 Esdras, iv. 24; Wisd. xvi. 9 ; 
Ecclus. xliii. 17- 

Bochart supposes that this species of the locust has its name 
from the Arabic verb hajaba, to veil; because when they My, as 
they often do in great swarms, they eclipse even the light of the 
sun. " But I presume/' says Parkhurst, " this circumstance is 
not peculiar to any particular kind of locust; I should rather, 
therefore, think it denotes the cucullated species, so denominated 
by naturalists from the cucullus, cowl or hood, with which they 
are furnished, and which distinguish them from the other kinds. 
In Scheuchzer may be seen several of this sort 47 ; and it will 
appear that this species nearly resemble our grasshopper." Our 
translators render the Hebrew word " locust" in the prayer of 
Solomon at the dedication of the temple, 2 Chron. vii. 13, and 
with propriety. But it is rendered " grasshopper" in Ecclesias- 
tes, xii. 5, where Solomon, describing the infelicities of old age, 
says, " the grasshopper shall be a burden." " To this insect," 
says Dr. Smith, "the preacher compares a dry, shrunk, shrivelled, 
crumpling, craggy old man ; his backbone sticking out, his knees 
projecting forwards, his arms backwards, his head downwards, 
and the apophyses or bunching parts of the bones in general 
enlarged. And from this exact likeness, without all doubt, arose 
the fable of Tithonus, who, living to extreme old age, was at last 
turned into a grasshopper." Dr. Hodgson, referring it to the 
custom of eating locusts, supposes it to imply, that " luxurious 
gratification" will become insipid; and Bishop Reynolds, that 
" the lightest pressure of so small a creature shall be uncomfort- 
able to the aged, as not being able to bear any weight." Other 
commentators suppose the reference to the chirping noise of the 
grasshopper, which must be disagreeable to the aged and infirm, 
who naturally love quiet, and are commonly unable to bear much 
noise. It is probable that here also a kind of locust is meant ; 
and these creatures are proverbially loquacious. They make a 
loud, screaking, and disagreeable noise with their wings. If one 
begins, others join, and the hateful concert becomes universal. 
A pause then ensues, and, as it were, on a signal given, it again 
commences : and in this manner they continue squalling for two 
or three hours without intermission 48 . 

The prophet Isaiah, xl. 22, contrasts the grandeur and power 
of God, and every thing reputed great in this world, by a very 
expressive reference to this insect. " Jehovah sitteth on the 
circle of the earth, and the inhabitants are to him as grasshop- 
pers." What atoms and inanities are they all before Him, who 
sitteth on the circle of the immense heavens, and views the 
potentates of the earth in the light of grasshoppers, those poor 
insects that wander over the barren heath for sustenance, spend 
47 Phys. Sacr. tab. cclv. and cclvi. 48 Paxton's Illustrations, V. i. p. 324. 



190 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

the day in insignificant chirpings, and take up their contemptible 
lodging at night on a blade of grass ! See LOCUST. 

GREYHOUND. TD? ZIRZIR. 

Occurs Prov. xxx. 31, only; from a root which signifies 
straight or slender. 

Critics have variously interpreted the word here used. In the 
Chaldee paraphrase and Vulgate it is called " a cock," by 
R. David a " a hunting dog/' by R. Levi a " leopard," and by 
others " the zebra." The Hebrew words DUTlQ TO? ZIRZIR 
MOTERAJIM, signify something girt about the Joins, and so may 
well be applied to a harnessed horse 49 , which is a very stately and 
majestic creature in his going, and is called " the goodly horse 
in the battle." Zech. x. 4. 

" Et nova velocem cingula laedat equum." OVID de rented. 

HARE. rO31tt ARNEBETH. Arab. Arneb. 

Occ. Levit. xi. 6, and Deut. xiv. 7. 

This name is derived, as Bochart and others suppose, from 
rntf ARAH, to crop, and Sj NIB, the produce of the ground; 
these animals being remarkable for devouring young plants and 
herbage. 

This animal resembles the rabbit, but is larger, and somewhat 
longer in proportion to its thickness 50 . 

" The hare in Syria," says Dr. Russel, Aleppo, V. ii. p. 154, 
is distinguished into two species, differing considerably in point 
of size. The largest is the Turkman-hare, and chiefly haunts 
the plains; the other is the common hare of the desert. Both 
are abundant." 

It was pronounced unclean by the Levitical law, probably 
from its habits of lasciviousness 51 . That the animal here desig- 
nated was the hare, is plain from the circumstance that the 
Jews abstained from eating it, as we learn from Plutarch, 
Sympos. iv. 9- 5, and Clemens Alexandrinus, Paedag. 10 52 . 
Mr. Harmer, however, suggests difficulties in this appropriation; 
and says I can never persuade myself that the two Hebrew words 
in Leviticus, shaphan and arnebeth, mean two animals so nearly 
resembling each other, as the hare and the rabbit, that even 
modern naturalists put them under the single name ' lepus,' 
which in common Latin means the hare exclusively. Our 

49 Sec Junius and Treraellius, Piscator, Glassius, Bochart, Buxtorf, and 
Schultens. 

50 Concerning the distinction between the hare and the rabbit, see Philoso- 
phical Transactions, Vol. Ixii. p. 4. 

41 " Cur iinmundis accenscretur, rationes physicas potuit habere Moses. Me- 
elicorum certe principes Galemis, yEetius, Rhasis, et Damir, lios sequutus, lepo- 
rina came scribunt crassum sanguincm et mclancholicum gigni." Bochart, 
Hieroz. Tom. ii. p. 403. 

52 Cfesar, de Bell. Gal. 1. v. p. 171, observes, that the ancient inhabitants of 
Britain abstained from eating the hare. 



OF THE BIBLE. 191 

translation is evidently suited to our circumstances in England, 
where hardly any other of the wild quadrupeds of the smaller 
sort are eaten, but hares and rabbits, rather than to Asiatic cus- 
toms, and the beasts that reside in the Arabian deserts." 

The difficulty on this animal is, that Moses says the arnabeth 
chews the cud, which our hares do not: but Aristotle takes 
notice of the same circumstance, and affirms that the structure 
of its stomach is similar to that of ruminating animals 53 . The 
animal here mentioned may then be a variety of the species. 
Interpreters in general suppose the hare to be here intended; 
called by the Arabs at this day Arneb, Erneb, and Eraneb. 
The LXX however translate Aaavvov?, which Aristotle, 1. i. 
c. 1, and Pliny, 1. viii, c. 55, and x. 63, seem to describe dif- 
ferently from the hare. 

HART. w AJAL; Arab, igial. 

Occ. Deut. xii. 15; xiv. 5; Psalm, xlii. 1; Isai. xxxv. 6. 

The stag or male deer 51 . Dr. Shaw considers its name in 
Hebrew as a generic word including all the species of the deer 
kind ; whether they are distinguished by round horns, as the 
stag ; or by flat ones, as the fallow deer ; or by the smallness of 
the branches, as the roe. See DEER. 

Mr. Good observes 55 that " the hind and roe, the hart and the 
antelope were held, and still continue to be, in the highest esti- 
mation in all the Eastern countries, for the voluptuous beauty of 
their eyes, the delicate elegance of their form, or their graceful 
agility of action. The names of these animals were perpetually 
applied, therefore, to persons, whether male or female, who 
were supposed to be possessed of any of their respective qua- 
lities. In 2 Sam. i. 19, Saul is denominated " the roe of Israel ;" 
and in verse 18 of the ensuing chapter, we are told that " Asahel 
was as light of foot as a wild roe." A phraseology perfectly 
synonymous with the epithet " swift-footed," which Homer 
has v so frequently bestowed upon his hero Achilles. Thus 
again, Lament, i. 6, " Her princes are like harts which find 
no pasture; they are fled without strength before their pur- 
suers." And farther, in a passage more similar still to the 
present, [Cantic. ii. 9,] is that, Habakkuk, iii. 19, " The Lord 
Jehovah is my strength ; he will make my feet like hinds' feet ; 
he will cause me to tread again on my own hills." Our poet, 
Cantic. ii. 9, assimilating the royal bridegroom to a hart, sup- 
poses him to fly forwards from his native mountains, in conse- 
quence of his having found favour in the sight of his beloved. 
Hafiz, in like manner, compares himself to the same order of 
animals ; but adds, that he is compelled to remain on his hills 
and in his deserts, because the delicate fawn, his mistress, has 

53 Hist. Anim. 1. iii. c. 21, de part. anim. 1. iii. c. 15. 

54 See TElian, 1. v. for a chapter on the d$er of Syria. 

55 Sacred Idylls, p. 84. 



192 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

not taken compassion on him. See the commencement of 
Gazel vii. which may be thus translated. 

" Tell to that tender fawn, O Zephyr! tell 
O'er rocks, o'er desert hills, she makes me dwell. 
Whence has such sweetness (ever may she live!) 
No bless'd remorse her honey'd bard to give ?" 

See HIND. 

HAWK, p NETZ; from the root nw NATASH, to fly, 
because of the rapidity and length of flight for which this bird 
is remarkable. 

Occ. Levit. xi. 16; Deut. xiv. 15; and Job, xxxix. 26. 

Naz is used generically by the Arabian writers to signify both 
falcon and hawk ; and the term is given in both these senses by 
Meninski. There can be little doubt that such is the real mean- 
ing of the Hebrew word, and that it imports various species of 
the falcon family, as jer-falcon, gos-hawk, and sparrow-hawk. 

As this is a bird of prey, cruel in its temper, and gross in its 
manners, it was forbidden as food, and all others of its kind in 
the Mosaic ritual. 

The Greeks consecrated the hawk to Apollo ; and among the 
Egyptians no animal was held in so high veneration as the ibis 
and the hawk. 

Most of the species of hawks, we are told, are birds of passage. 
The hawk, therefore, is produced in Job, xxxix. 26, as a speci- 
men of that astonishing instinct which teaches birds of passage 
to know their times and seasons, when to migrate out of one 
country into another for the benefit of food, or a warmer climate, 
or both. The common translation does not give the full force 
of the passage ; " Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom ?" The real 
meaning is, " Doth she know, through thy skill or wisdom, the 
precise period for taking flight, or migrating and stretching her 
wings towards a southern or warmer climate ?" The passage is 
well rendered by Sandys : 

" Doth the wild haggard tower into the sky, 
And to the south by thy direction fly?" 

Her migration is not conducted by the wisdom and prudence 
of man ; but by the superintending and upholding providence of 
the only wise God. 

HAY. T2fn CHAJIR. 

In the two places where this word occurs, Prov. xxvii. 25, 
and Isai. xv. 16, our translators have very improperly rendered it 
" hay." But in those countries they made no hay 56 ; and if 
they did, it appears from inspection, that hay could hardly be 
the meaning of the word in either of those texts. 

The author of " Fragments in continuation of Calmet, No. 
clxxviii." has the following remarks. " There is a gross impro- 

48 Maundrell's Journey, p. 144, 2d edit. Harmer, Obs. V. i. p. 425. 



OF THE BIBLE. 193 

priety in our version of Proverbs, xxvii. 25. ' The Hay ap- 
peareth, and the tender grass shovveth itself, and the herbs of the 
mountains are gathered.' Now, certainly, if the tender grass is 
but just beginning to show itself, the hay, which is grass cut and 
dried after it has arrived at maturity, ought by no means to be 
associated with it, still less ought it to be placed before it. And 
this leads me to observe that none of the dictionaries which I 
have seen, seem to me to give the accurate import of the word, 
which I apprehend means the first shoots, the rising, just budding, 
spires of grass. So in the present passage Tlfn nbj GAL.EH 
CHAjtli, the tender risings of the grass are in motion ; and the 
buddings of grass [grass in its early state, as is the peculiar im- 
port of Nun DESHA] appear; and the tufts of grass (proceed- 
ing from the same root) collect themselves together, and, by their 
union, begin to clothe the mountain tops with a pleasing ver- 
dure." Surely, the beautiful progress of vegetation, as described 
in this passage, must appear too poetical to be lost; but what 
must it be to an eastern beholder ! to one who had lately wit- 
nessed all surrounding sterility! a grassless waste! 

" Consult Joel, ii. 22. ' Fear not, ye beasts of the field [that 
the earth shall be totally barren, after the locust had devoured 
its produce], because the pastures of the wilderness do spring :' 
put forth the rudiments of future pasturage in token of rapid 
advance to maturity. See also Deut. xxxii. 2, * As the small 
rain on the first shoots of the grass.' 

" The same impropriety, but in a contrary order, and where 
perhaps the English reader would be less likely to detect it, 
occurs in our version of Isai. xv. 6, ' For the waters of Nimrim 
[water is a principal source of vegetation] shall be desolate [de- 
parted, dead], so that (the ' hay,' in our translation, but the word 
is TJfn CHAJIR as before) the tender just sprouting risings 
of the grass are withered [dried up]; the [fflin DESHA] tender 
buddings of the grass are entirely ruined [' faileth'] ; green it 
was not [i. e. it never came to greenness, to which state it was 
prevented from arriving for want of water]. l There is no green 
thing ;' in our version. The following verse may be thus trans- 
lated : ' Insomuch that the reserve he had made, and the deposit 
he had placed with great care in supposed security, shall be 
driven off to the brook of the willows [Hebr. river of the 
Orebim]. Consult the anxiety of Ahab, who sent all over his 
kingdom to discover at the brooks grass enough to save the 
horses alive. [Quere, whether on this occasion he would have 
sent them to feed at the brooks ; or would have had the grass 
cut and brought to them ?] Ahab, it seems, hoped for the pos- 
sibility of finding grass, i. e. not grass left from a former growth, 
but chajir, fresh tender shoots of grass just budding, 1 Kings, 
xviii. 5. 

" A similar gradation of poetical imagery is used 2 Kings, xix. 

9 



194 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

26, ' Their inhabitants were of shortened hand; dismayed, 
ashamed, they were as grass of the field [vegetables in general], 
as the green buddings [desha} ; as the tender risings [chajir] on 
the house tops ; and those too struck by the Kind before they ad- 
vanced in growth to a rising tip' What a climax expressive of 
imbecility ! 

" Is it not unhappy that in the only two places of the Old 
Testament where our translators have used the word hay, it 
should be necessary to substitute a word of a directly contrary 
meaning, in order to accommodate the true rendering of the 
passages to the native (eastern) ideas of their authors r" 

HAZEL, n 1 ? LUTZ. 

Occurs only Genesis, xxx. 37. 

St. Jerom, Hiller, Celsius, and Dr. Shaw say that the almond- 
tree is spoken of here ; and that by lauz or luz, the Arabians 
always mean the almond : he must mean the ami/gdalus sylves- 
tris, which Rauwolf calls " Lauzi Arabum. Crescit circa 
Tripolin et Halepum in sepibus. Fructus inserviunt mensis se- 
cundis." See ALMOND. 

HEATH, l^ny OROR. Jerem. xvii. 6, and xlviii. 6. 

" He shall be like the heath in the desert. He shall not see 
when good cometh ; but shall inhabit the parched places in the 
wilderness, a salt land." The LXX and Vulgate render oror 
" the Tamarisk ;" and this is strengthened by the affinity of the 
Hebrew name of this tree with the Turkish arar* 1 . Taylor 
and Parkhurst render it " a blasted tree, stripped of its foliage." 
If it be a particular tree, the tamarisk is as likely as any. Cel- 
sius thinks it to be the juniper ; but from the mention of it as 
growing in a salt land, in parched places, the author of Scrip- 
ture Illustrated" is disposed to seek it among the lichens, " a 
species of plants which are the last production of vegetation 
under the frozen zone, and under the glowing heat of equatorial 
deserts ; so that it seems best qualified to endure parched places, 
and a salt land. Hasselquist mentions several kinds seen by 
him in Egypt, Arabia, and Syria." 

In Jer. xlviii. 6, the original w : ord is "wny ORUOR, which the 
Septuagint translators must have read THy ORUD, for they render 
it ovog ctyqios, wild ass ; and, as this seems best to agree with the 
flight recommended in the passage, it is to be preferred. See 
'WILD Ass, p. 29. 

HEMLOCK, urn KOSH and UNO RASH. 

Occurs Deut. xxix. 18; xxxii. 32; Psal. Ixix. 21 ; Jer. viii. 
14; ix. 15; xxiii. 15; Lam. iii. 5, 19; Hosea, x. 4; and 
Amos, vi. 12. In the two latter places our translators have 
rendered the word " hemlock," in the others, " gall." 

Hiller 58 supposes it the " Centaureum" described by Pliny, 
N. H. 1. xxv. c. 6; but Celsius 59 shows it to be the hemlock. 

57 See Meninski. Lex. 3248. s8 Hierophyt. p. ii. c. xi. 2. 

59 Hicrobot. Vol. ii. p. 46. 



OF THE BIBLE. 195 

It is evident from Deut. xxix. 1 8, that some herb or plant is 
meant of a malignant or nauseous kind 60 , being there joined 
with " wormwood," and in the margin of our bibles explained to 
be " a poisonful herb." In like manner, see Jerem. viii. 14; ix. 
15 ; and xxiii. 15. In Hosea, x. 4, the comparison is to a bitter 
herb, which, growing among grain, overpowers the useful vege- 
table, and substitutes a pernicious weed. " If (says the author 
of ' Scripture Illustrated') the comparison be to a plant growing 
in the furrows of the field, strictly speaking, then we are much 
restricted in our plants likely to answer this character; but if 
we may take the ditches around, or the moist or sunken places 
within the field also, which I partly suspect, then we may in- 
clude other plants ; and I do not see why hemlock may not be 
intended. Scheuchzer inclines to this rather than wormwood or 
' agrostes,' as the LXX have rendered. I suppose the prophet 
means a vegetable which should appear wholesome, should re- 
semble those known to be salutary (as judgment, when just, 
properly is) ; but experience should demonstrate its malignity 
(as unjust judgment is when enforced). Hemlock is poisonous, 
and water-hemlock especially ; yet either of these may be mis- 
taken, and some of their parts, the root particularly may be re- 
ceived but too fatally." 

Michaelis, Quest. No. xlii. is inclined to think it the henbane, 
" hyoscyamus." See GALL. 

HEN. OPNIS. Matth. xxiii. 37, and Luke, xiii. 34; [and 
compare 2 Esdras, i. 30.] 

In these passages, our Saviour exclaims, " O Jerusalem, Jeru- 
salem ! how often would I have gathered thy children together, 
even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye 
would not." The metaphor here used is a very beautiful one. 
When the hen sees a bird of prey coming, she makes a noise to 
assemble her chickens, that she may cover them with her wings 
from the danger. The Roman eagle was about to fall upon the 
Jewish state. Our Lord expresses a desire to guard them from 
threatened calamities. They disregarded his invitations and 
warnings ; and fell a prey to their adversaries. 

The affection of the hen to her brood is so strong as to become 
proverbial. There is a beautiful Greek epigram in the Antho- 
logia, which affords a very fine illustration of this passage 61 . It 
has been thus translated. 

" Beneath her fostering wing, the hen defends 
Her darling offspring, while the snow descends; 

60 " Instead of U'NI, five MSS. have uni, and a sixth had at first the same 
reading, which, in the elder editions, was the textual reading in ch. xxii, 32, 
and which I am apt to think is the true original reading. But what is the pre- 
cise meaning of tt'to or uni, it is not easy to determine." Dr. Geddes, Cr. Rem. 
in loc. 

61 Antbol. lib. i. tit. 8T, ed. Bosch, p. 344. 



196 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

And through the winter's day unmoved, dcfiea 
The chilling fleeces and inclement skies; 
Till, vanquish'd by the cold and piercing blast, 
True to her charge she perishes at last." 

Plutarch, in his book " De philostorgia," represents this pa- 
rental attachment and care in a very pleasing manner. " Do we 
not daily observe with what care the hen protects her chickens ! 
giving some shelter under her wings, supporting others upon 
her back ; calling them around her, and picking out their food ; 
and if any animal approaches that terrifies them, driving it away 
with a courage and strength truly wonderful !" 

"It does not appear," says Michaelis 62 , "that the Israelites 
were accustomed to the breeding of poultry ; for in the history 
of the Patriarchs, where so much is said on rural economy, not 
a word do we find concerning poultry, not even in the laws relat- 
ing to offerings. Nay, great as is the number of other animals 
mentioned in it, the Hebrew bible does not so much as furnish 
a name for them ; unless perhaps in a book written about the 
commencement of the Babylonish captivity, and even there, 
through the mistakes of transcribers, it is rendered almost undis- 
coverable. I entertain a suspicion, of which, however, I can- 
not here enter fully into the grounds, that in Jerem. xvii. 1 1, in- 
stead of *)TT we should read .13*1, and translate, ' the hen hatches 
and clucks with the chickens of eggs not her own.' Sometimes 
the hen steals the eggs of a bird of a different species, hatches 
them, and clucks with the chickens as if they were her own; 
but if they are not of the gallinaceous kind, but ducks or such 
like, they soon forsake their supposititious mother. To a hen of 
this thievish cast, the miser, who accumulates wealth by unjust 
means, may be compared. His riches take wings and flee away. 
This explanation, however, is not incontrovertible ; and if here the 
prophet had not our domestic poultry in his view, in no passage 
of the Old Testament is mention made of them, nor do we find 
them among the Jews until after their subjection by the Ro- 
mans." See PARTRIDGE. 

HERON. nsJK ANAPHA. 

Occ. Levit. xi. 19, and Deut. xiv. 18. 

This word has been variously understood. Some have ren- 
dered it the kite, others the woodcock, others the curlieu, some 
the peacock, others the parrot, and others the crane. The root 
EJ3N ANAPH, signifies to breathe short through the nostrils, to 
snuff, as in anger; hence to be angry; and it is supposed that 
the word is sufficiently descriptive of the heron, from its very 
irritable disposition. Bochart, however, thinks it the mountain 
falcon; the same that the Greeks call ctvovea, mentioned by 
Homer, Odys. i. 320 ; and this bears a strong resemblance to 
the Hebrew name. 

M Comment, on Laws of Moses, V- ii. p. 3S6, transl. 



OF THE BIBLE. 197 

HIND. nb'N AJALAH. 

Occ. Gen. xJix. 21; 2 Sam. xxii. 34; Job, xxxix. 1 ; Psalm 
xviii. 33; xxix. 9; Prov. v. 19; Cantic. ii. 7 ; iii. 5; Jer. xiv. 
5; Habak. iii. 19- 

The mate or female of the stag. It is a lovely creature, and 
of an elegant shape. It is noted for its swiftness and the sure- 
ness of its step as it jumps among the rocks 63 . David and Ha- 
bakkuk both allude to this character of the hind. " The Lord 
maketh my feet like hind's feet, and causeth rne to stand on 
the high places 61 ." The circumstance of their standing on the 
high places, or mountains; is applied to these animals by Xe- 
nophon 65 . 

Solomon has a very apposite comparison, Prov. v. 19, of 
connubial attachment, to the mutual fondness of the stag and 
hind. " Let the \\ife of thy bosom be as the beloved hind and 
favourite roe." It is well known that the males of the gazelle 
kind are remarkably fond of their females at the time \vhen the 
natural propension operates ; and, though at other seasons weak 
and timid animals, they will then, at the hazard of their lives, en- 
counter any danger rather than forsake their beloved partners. 

Our translators made Jacob, prophesying of the tribe of 
Naphtali, Gen. xlix. 21, say, " Naphtali is a hind let loose, he 
giveth goodly words." Interpreters pretend that this prediction 
relates to Barak, who was of that tribe, who had not the courage 
to oppose the army of Sisera without the assistance of Deborah, 
though she assured him that God had commanded him to do it, 
and promised him success; but yet gave goodly words in the 
song which he sung after obtaining the victory. But, as this 
prophecy regarded the whole of the tribe, it could not be ac- 
complished in the person of an individual ; besides, it was not 
he that composed the song, but the prophetess Deborah, who 
was of the tribe of Ephraim. Nor do we rind it any where re- 
corded that Naphtali, or his posterity, have been more eloquent 
than the other tribes ; not to mention that the Galileans, whose 
country made a part of that of the Naphtalites, and who might 
have been of the same tribe, were so unpolished in their lan- 
guage that those at Jerusalem could not bear their dialect 66 . 
The Chaldee paraphrase, and that of Jerusalem, and the Rab- 
bins, have mentioned other fables to justify this version, which 
suppose that the tribe of Naphtali were quick in bringing good 
news, See. But the total want of connexion between the images 
employed and the future situation of Naphtali, so as that the 

63 2 Sam. xxii. 34; Cantic. ii. 8, 9 ; viii. 14. 

64 Psal. xviii. 33; Hah. iii. 19. 

85 E^xocrt.x 5* t X ovT<x T xt, rat; / EN TOI UPELIN ESTaSAS 
EAAK)YL. Venari oportet cuni cauibus cervas quae in montibus slant, lib. de 
Venat. 

66 Pirke Aboth. c. 39. Thus Peter was charged with being a Galilean, 
Matth. xxvi. 73. "Thou art one of them; thy speech bewrayeth thee." 



198 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

one should be the counterpart of the other, which the prophecy 
has been to the circumstances of the other tribes in every pre- 
ceding instance ; and the incoherence and want of unity between 
the first and the last clause of the same verse convince me that 
something is wrong. The learned Bochart removes the whole 
difficulty, and elucidates the passage only by altering a little the 
punctuation of the original ; and it then reads, " Naphtali is a 
spreading tree, shooting forth beautiful branches 6r ." This ren- 
dering agrees with the translation of the Septuagint, with the 
Chaldee paraphrase, and with the Arabic version. It renders 
the passage intelligible, and the accomplishment of the prophecy 
complete. Nor are we to wonder that the changing of a few 
arbitrary points should make so essential a difference in transla- 
tion ; when a very trifling alteration will sometimes make con- 
siderable change in the sense of a word even in our own lan- 
guage 68 . Admitting this construction of the passage, it may 
refer to the fruitfulness of the soil, and the especial, providential 
care and blessing of the Almighty ; agreeably to the expression 
of Moses, Deut. xxxiii. 23, *' O Naphtali, satisfied with favour, 
and full with the blessing of the Lord !" So that he may be re- 
presented under the figure of a tree planted in a rich soil, grow- 
ing to a prodigious size, and extending its numerous branches in 
all directions. This, indeed, renders the simile uniform ; but 
another critic has remarked, that " the allusion to a tree seems 
to be purposely reserved by the venerable patriarch for his son 
Joseph, who is compared to the boughs of a tree ; and the repe- 
tition of the idea in reference to Naphtali is every way unlikely 69 ." 
11 Besides," he adds, " the word rendered * let loose,' imports an 
active motion, not like that of the branches of a tree, which, 
however freely they wave, are yet attached to the parent stock ; 
but an emission, a dismission, or sending forth to a distance : in 
the present case, a roaming, roaming at liberty. The verb ' he 
giveth' may denote shooting forth. It is used of production, 
as of the earth which shoots forth, yields, its increase, Levit. 
xxiv. 4. The word rendered ' goodly' signifies noble, grand, 
majestic; and the noun translated 'words,' radically signifies 
divergences, what spread forth. For these reasons, he proposes 
to read the passage, ' Naphtali is a deer roaming at liberty ; he 
shooteth forth spreading branches,' or ' majestic antlers.' Here 
the distinction of imagery is preserved ; and the fecundity of the 
tribe and the fertility of their lot intimated." 

In our version of Psal. xxix. 9, we read, " the voice of the 
Lord maketh the hinds to calve, and discovered! the forests." 
Mr. Merrick, in an ingenious note on the place, attempts to 

67 See Hieroz. (om. ii. p. 257. Ancient Univ. Hist. vol. ii. b. i. p. 492, and 
Dr. Geddcs' remarks and note on the place. 

63 Dr. Collyer's Lectures on Scripture Prophecy, p. 152. 
19 Sec " Scripture Illustrated," by the editor of Calmet. 



OF THE BIBLE. 199 

justify the rendering; but Bp. Lowth, in his Lectures on the 
sacred poetry of the Hebrews, observes, that, " this agrees very 
little with the rest of the imagery, either in nature or dignity ; 
and that he does not feel himself persuaded, even by the reason- 
ings of the learned Bochart on this subject, Hieroz. part 1. lib. 
iii. c. 17. Whereas the oak, struck with lightning, admirably 
agrees with the context. [The Syriac seems, for m^N, hinds, 
to have read rfhtf, oaks, or rather, perhaps, terebinths' 10 . And 
Bochart himself explains the word rh'H (which has been ab- 
surdly understood by the Masorites and other commentators as 
relating to a stag) as spoken of a tree in a very beautiful expli- 
cation of the obscure passage in Genesis, xlix. 2 1 71 ." 
The passage in the Psalm may be thus versified : 

Hark ! his voice in thunder breaks, 
And the lofty mountain quakes ; 
Mighty trees the tempests tear, 
And lay the spreading forests bare ! 

HOG. See SWINE. 

HONEY, jinn DEBASH. 

Occ. Gen. xliii. 1 1, and frequently in the Old Testament ; and 
MEAT, Matth. iii. 4 ; Mark, i. 6 ; and Rev. x. 9 ; and MEAIS- 
SION KHPION, a bee's, or honey-comb, Luke, xxiv. 42. 

A sweet vegetable juice collected by the bees from various 
flowers, and deposited in the cells of the comb 72 . 

Most probably, that the Jews might keep at distance from 
the customs of the heathen, who were used to offer honey in 
their sacrifices, Jehovah forbid that any should be offered to 
him, that is to say, burnt upon the altar. Levit. ii. 11; but at 
the same time commanded that they should present the first 
fruits of it. These first fruits and offerings were designed for 
the support and sustenance of the priests, and were not consumed 
upon the altar. 

Some suppose that the honey here mentioned was not that 
produced by bees, but a sweet syrup procured from dates when 
in maturity; and the Jewish doctors observe, that debash, ren- 
dered "honey," in 2 Chron. xxxi. 15, signifies properly dates'**. 
The Arabians at this day call the dates dubous, and the honey 
obtained from them dibs or dibis. Dr. Geddes in his Critical 
Remarks on Gen. xliii. 11, says: "In my version I have ren- 
dered the Hebrew word UDT, palm-honey ; after Bochart and 

70 Celsius, Hierobot. V. i. p. 34. Michaelis, Quest, xliv. 

71 See Gregory's translation, Vol. ii. p. 253. 

72 Bochart has devoted tieenty-eight pages to the illustration of the passages of 
Scripture where honey is mentioned. Hieroz. V. 3. p. 374. 

73 Talm. tract. Nedarim, c. 6. 10. Terumoth, c. xi. 2. Maimonid. Com-' 
ment. in Tr. Biccurim, c. i. Misn. 3. Josephus mentions this palm honey, de Bel. 
Jud. 1. v. c. 3. See also Hiller, Hierophyt. part i. p. 125: Celsius, Hierobot. p. 
ii. p. 476. 



200 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

Celsius. I am now convinced that it is the inspissated juice of 
the grape, still called at Aleppo by the same name, dibs. It 
has much the appearance of coarse honey, but is of a finer con- 
sistence. It is much used by the inhabitants of Aleppo ; it is 
brought to town in great goat skins, and retailed in small quan- 
tities in the bazars." [Russel's Aleppo, Vol. i. p. 82.] See 
other authorities in Rosenmuller. In truth, neither common 
honey nor palm honey could have been considered as a rare gift 
to the governor of Egypt, where palms and bees were so abun- 
dant : whereas, raisin honey, or a syrup made out of the grapes, 
which grew not in Egypt, might be deemed even a royal pre- 
sent." But it is doubtful whether this inspissated juice was so 
early known ; and it is certain the honey abounded in the eastern 
countries from the remotest ages. So common and plenteous 
was it in Palestine that it was literally, as well as metaphorically, 
" a land Mowing with honey 7 V 

In hot weather, the honey burst the comb and ran down the 
hollow trees or rocks, where, in the land Judea, the bees depo- 
sited great store of it. This, flowing spontaneously, must be the 
best and most delicious, as it must be quite pure, and clear from 
all dregs and wax. This the Israelites called rny JAAKA, wood- 
honey"* 5 . It is, therefore, improperly rendered honey-comb, 1 
Sam. xiv. 27, and Cantic. v. 1 ; in both which places it means 
the honey that has distilled from the trees, as distinguished from 
the domestic, which was eaten with the comb. 

Hariner thinks that the word DD13 NOPHETH, which occurs 
Prov. v. 3; xxiv. 13; xxvii. 7; and Cantic. iv. 11, may be the 
honey of dates ; but Russel mentions the wild honey, or that 
found in the trees, as called by the natives noub ; and this word 
bears some resemblance to the Hebrew 76 . 

Hasselquist says, that between Acra and Nazareth, " great 
numbers of wild-bees breed to the advantage of the inhabitants ;" 
and Maundrell observes of the great plain near Jericho, that he 
perceived in it, in many places, a smell of honey and wax as 
strong as if he had been in an apiary. 

Milk and honey were the chief dainties of the earlier ages 77 , 
and continue to be so of the Bedoween Arabs now 78 . So butter 
and honey are several times mentioned in Scripture as among 
the most delicious refreshments. Comp. 2 Sam. xvii. 29; 
Cantic. iv. 11; Job, xx. 17; and Isai. vii. 15. 



74 Exod. iii. 8; xiii. 5; Deut. xxxii. 13; Psal. Ixxx. 17, et al. 

75 "A voce iy> JAAR, quae syh-am sonat (ut jar Pimice lignum apud Augusli- 
nurn in Psalmum xxiii.), iy JAAR, vel my J.VAUA, est favus proprie in sjlva 
reperdis." Bochart, Hieroz. V. iii. p. 377. 

76 Forskal, descr. Anim. p. xxiii. remarks, " Saepe in sylvis Arabiae fluens vid 
mel; quod vocant indigcnae noub." 

77 Callim. hymn, in Jov. xlviii. Horn. Odys. *x. v. 68, et Eustath. not. in loc. 

78 D'Arvieux, p. 205. Banner Obs. V. i. p. 299. 



OF THE BIBLE. 201 

A fine lesson on the necessity of moderation is taught by Solo- 
mon, Prov. xxv. 16. " Hast thou found honey ? eat so much as 
is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith and vomit it." 
Upon this passage Dr. Knox has the following remarks 79 . 
" Man, indeed, may be called a bee in a figurative style. In 
search of sweets, he roams in various regions, and ransacks every 
inviting flower. Whatever displays a beautiful appearance so- 
licits his notice and conciliates his favour, if not his affection. 
He is often deceived by the vivid colour and attractive form, 
which, instead of supplying honey, produce the rankest poison ; 
but he perseveres in his researches, and if he is often disap- 
pointed, he is also often successful. The misfortune is, that 
when he has found honey, he enters upon the feast with an ap- 
petite so voracious that he usually destroys his own delight by 
excess and satiety." 

How beautifully is this thought illustrated by Shakspeare. 
The words, too, are selected with a felicity, of which poetry fur- 
nishes but few examples : 

" All violent delights have violent ends, 
And in their triumphs die ; the sweetest honey 
Is loathsome in its own deliciousness, 
And, in the taste, confounds the appetite." 

The wild-honey, MEAT AFPION, mentioned to have been a 
part of the food of John the Baptist, Matth. hi. 4, was probably 
such as he got in the rocks and hollows of trees 80 . Thus " ho- 
ney out of the stony rock," Psalm, Ixxxi. 16; Deut. xxxii. 13. 
Josephus, Bell. Jud. iv. 27, says of the country near Jericho, 
that it was IJ.XITTOT$QQOS Je v\ %,(*)%&, See also Shaw's Trav. p. 
337, and Maundrell, p. 24. 

The Hebrew name of the vessel for the preservation of honey, 
1 Kings, xiv. 3, is p2p3 BAKBUK. From Jerem. xix. 1, it ap- 
pears to have been an earthen vessel. Our translators are there- 
fore unhappy in rendering it " bottle." A vessel with a long 
narrow neck could not be proper for a substance so thick and 
apt to candy as honey ; but the force of the image is apparent 
by retaining the word honey-pot. The intimation would then 
be " though the people of Israel who dwelt here in former 
times have been grateful to me, saith Jehovah, as honey is to 
men, and I have preserved them with special care, yet that in 
which they have been kept shall be cast from me and totally de- 
stroyed as the honey-pot is broken in their sight." See BEE. 

79 Sermons, p. 424. 

80 On this subject the reader is referred to the following authors. Reland, 
Palestin. p. 374. Lightfoot, Hor. Hebr. in loc. T. Hasaeus, in Bibl. Brem. 
Cl. i. p. 122. Schurzfleish, Dissert. 17. Witsius, Miscel. Sacr. torn. ii. ex. xv. 
41. Altmann, Obs. theol. et philol. 

Wctstein cites from Diodorus Siculus, speaking of the Nabatheans, f 
avron MEAI WOXUTO xaX/xixo ATPION; in t/ieir country is a great deal of 
wild honey, as it is called. 



202 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

HORNET, njrw TSIREAH. 

Occ. Exod. xxiii. 28; Deut. vii. 20; and Joshua, xxiv. 12. 
Compare Wisdom, xii. 8. 

" The root," says Dr. A. Clarke, " is not found in Hebrew, 
but it may be the same with the Arabic saraa, to strike down ; 
the hornet, probably so called from the destruction occasioned 
by the violence of its sting." 

The hornet, in natural history, belongs to the species crabo, 
of the genus vespa or wasp. It is a most voracious insect, and 
is exceedingly strong for its size, which is generally an inch in 
length, and sometimes more. 

In each of the instances where this creature is mentioned in 
the Scripture, it is as sent among the enemies of the Israelites, 
to drive them out of the land. Some explain the word meta- 
phorically, as " I will send my terror as the hornet," &c 81 . But 
Bochart, v. iii. p. 402, contends that it is to be taken in its pro- 
per literal meaning ; and has accumulated examples of several 
other people, having been chased from their habitations by 
insects of different kinds. jElian, lib. xi. c. 28, records that the 
Phaselites who dwelt about the mountains of Solyma were 
driven out of their country by wasps. As these people were Phe- 
nicians or Canaanites, it is probable that the event to which he 
refers is the same as took place in the days of Joshua. 

How distressing and destructive a multitude of these fierce 
and severely stinging insects might be, any person may conjec- 
ture. Even the bees of one hive would be sufficient to sting a 
thousand men to madness; but how much worse must wasps 
and hornets be ! No armour, no weapons could avail against 
these. A few thousands of them would be quite sufficient to 
throw the best disciplined army into confusion and rout. From 
Joshua, xxiv. 12, we find that two kings of the Amorites were 
actually driven out of the land by these hornets, so that the 
Israelites were not obliged to use either sword or bow in the 
conquest. 

The Septuagint renders the word <HKIA, the z&asp. The 
author of the book of Wisdom, ch. xii. 8, says that God sent 
wasps against them, to drive them by degrees out of their coun- 
try ; making those very creatures a punishment, to which they 
had paid divine honours. 

HORSE. DID sus. The Turkish name is sukk. 

Occ. Gen. xlix. 17 ; and afterwards frequently in the Hebrew 
Scriptures; and inilOS, James, iii. 3 ; and Rev. vi. 2, 4, 5, 8 ; 
andix. 7, 9, 17; xiv. 20; xviii. 13; xix. 11, 14, 18, 19, 21. 

The word anON ABBIRIM, is also given several times to 
denote horses, as Judges, v. 22; Jer. viii. 16; xlvii. 2, 3; 1. 11, 
and elsewhere; but seems rather an epithet than a name. And 

81 Kusebins Caesariensis, Angustiiuis, Rabamis Maurii?, Liranus, Junius and 
Tremellius, Piscator, Ainsworth, Michaelis, and Dr. Geddes. 



OF THE BIBLE. 203 

HDD PARAS, in 1 Sam. viii. 1 1 ; and Isai. xxi. 7, may mean steeds 
broken for the chariot, or used in war ; perhaps horsemen ; 
CD'Uns PARASTM, or Persians. "p") RAMACH, which occurs only 
in Esther viii. 10, is supposed to mean mares; this seems con- 
firmed by the Arabic version of Cantic. i. 10. 

A very serviceable and well known animal. The description 
of the war-horse in the book of Job, ch. xxxix. 19 25, is very 
tine. The following is a corrected translation of it, 

Hast thou bestowed on the horse mettle ? 

Hast thou clothed his neck tcith a mane 82 ? 

Canst thou make him bound like the locust B3 ? 

The majesty of his snort is terrible 84 . 

He paiaeth in the valley, and exulteth. 

He advanceth boldly against the clashing host. 

He mocketh at /ear, and trembleth not; 

Nor turneth he back from the sword. 

Against him rattleth the quiver, 

The glittering spear, and the shield. 

With rage and fury he devoureth the ground, 

4nd is impatient when the trumpet soundeth. 

At the full blast of the trumpets, lie crieth, ahah! 

He scenteth the battle afar off, 

The thunder of the chieftains, and the shouting. 

" Every word of this," says M. Rollin 83 , " would merit an 
explication, in order to display the beauties of it; but I shall 
take notice only of the latter, which give a kind of understanding 
and speech to the horse. 

" Armies are a long time before they are set in battle array ; 
and are sometimes a great while in view of one another without 
moving. All the motions are marked by particular signals; and 
the soldiers are appointed to perform their various duties by the 
sound of a trumpet. This slowness is importunate to the horse. 

82 Our version is " with thunder," which Dr. Stock has followed ; Mr. Good 
has " with the thunder-flash." The metaphor appears to me to be too bold, even 
for oriental hyperbole. I rather believe the mane to be intended ; and Bochart 
supports the reading by collateral proofs. That the seventy interpreters under- 
stood this passage of Job in the same sense is probable ; for though at present 
we read, mSvacts r^a^nXu avra poCox [/ear], I am inclined to think it was origi- 
nally written poGnx [mane]. It is certain, the mane shows the beauty of a horse. 
Xenophon, De Re Equestr. says, " the gods have given the horse, for the sake of 
ornament, a mane and aforetop." To which may be added, that nothing is more 
common among the poets in describing a horse, than to make particular mention 
of his mane flowing luxuriantly on his neck and shoulders, shaken and parted by 
every blast of wfind. 

83 That is, is it to be ascribed to thee, that the horse hath such particular mo- 
tions ; leaping and prancing in the same manner with the locusts? It is a common 
saying among the Arabians, the horse acts the locusts, i.e. he leaps and jumps 
from place to place as they do. See Bochart and Schultens. 

84 So Jerem. viii. 16, "The snorting of his horses was heard: the whqle land 
trembled." The description which Suidas extracts from an ancient writer is 
exactly the same. " The noise of the arms, and the horses was such that xafla- 
*8ov7ij tJ-E^crXwaovTo, they who heard it were terrified." Bochart gives us several 
quotations of the same kind, relating to the war-horse. 

83 Belles Lettres, v. ii. p. 328, " On the elegance of .the Sacred Writings." 



204 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

He is ready at the first sound of the trumpet. He is very impa- 
tient that the army must so often have notice given to it. He 
murmurs against all these delays ; and, not being able to con- 
tinue quietly in his place, nor to disobey orders, he strikes the 
ground perpetually with his hoof; and complains in this way, 
that the warriors lose their time in gazing upon one another. 
He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage. In his im- 
patience, he considereth as nothing all such signals as are not 
decisive, and which only point out some circumstances to which 
he is not attentive ; neither believeth he that it is the sound of 
the trumpet. But when it is earnest, and the last blast calls to 
battle, then the whole countenance of the horse is changed. One 
would conclude that he distinguishes by his smell, that the battle 
is about to begin, and that he heard the orders of the general 
distincrfy, and answers the confused cry of the army by a noise 
that discovers his joy and courage. He saith among the trum- 
pets, ha! ha! and he smelleth the battle afar off] the thunder of 
the captains, and the shouting." 

If the reader compares Homer's and Virgil's admirable de- 
scriptions of the horse, he will find how vastly superior this is 
to them both. 

In the " Guardian," No. 86, is a very ingenious critique on 
this fine passage of Job; and Bochart has filled fifty quarto 
pages with his illustrations and remarks. I shall add the poe- 
tical version of Mr. Scott. 

" Hast thou with prowess fill'd the martial horse ? 

Thou toned his throat with roaring thunder's force? 

Light as the locust in the field he bounds ; 

His snorting with majestic terror sounds. 

Ardent for fame, and glorying in his might, 

He paws, he stamps, impatient for the fight : 

The ground he swallows in his furious heat, 

His eager hoofs the distant champaign beat: 

He scarce believes that the shrill trumpet blows; 

He neighs exulting, as the blast still grows; 

Trembling with rapture, when the shouts from far, 

And thunder of the chiefs arouse the war : 

Deriding death, he rushes undismay'd 

Where flames with horrid wheel the slaughtering blade, 

Where quivers clang, and whizzing arrows fly, 

And spears and javelins lighten in his eye." 




Horses were very rare among the Hebrew* in the early ages. 
The patriarchs had none ; and after the departure of the Israelites 
from Egypt, Jehovah expressly forbid their ruler to procure 
them. Deut. xvii. 16. " He shall not multiply horses to him- 
self, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he 
should multiply horses; forasmuch as the Lord hath said, Ye 
shall henceforth return no more that way." As horses appear 
to have been generally furnished by Egypt, God prohibits these, 
1. Lest there should be such commerce with Egypt as might 



OF THE BIBLE. 205 

lead to idolatry. 2. .Lest the people might depend on a well 
appointed cavalry, as a means of security, and so cease from 
trusting in the promised aid and protection of Jehovah. And 3. 
That they might not be tempted to extend their dominion by 
means of cavalry, and so get scattered among the surrounding 
idolatrous nations, and thus cease, in process of time, to be that 
distinct and separate people which God intended they should be; 
and without which the prophecies relative to the Messiah could 
not be known to have their due and full accomplishment. 

In the time of the Judges, we find horses and war chariots 
among the Canaanites, but still the Israelites had none ; and 
hence they were generally too timid to venture down into the 
plains, confining their conquests to the mountainous parts of 
the country. In the reign of Saul, it would appear, that horse 
breeding had not yet been introduced into Arabia ; for, in a war 
with some of the Arabian nations, the Israelites got plunder in 
camels, sheep, and asses, but still no horses. David's enemies 
brought against him a strong force of cavalry into the field : and 
in the book of Psalms, the horse commonly appears only on the 
side of the enemies of the people of God ; and so entirely unac- 
customed to the management of this animal had the Israelites 
still continued, that, after a battle, in which they took a consider- 
able body of cavalry prisoners, (2 Sam. viii. 4,) David caused 
most of the horses to be cut down, because he did not know 
what use to make of them. Solomon was the first who esta- 
blished a cavalry force : and compared to what it is usual now, 
it was a very inconsiderable one. 1 Kings, x. 26. He also car- 
ried on a trade in Egyptian horses for the benefit of the crown. 
2 Chron. ix. 28. At this period Egypt was still the native 
country of the best horses : none were yet bred in Arabia, else 
would not the Phoenician kings have purchased horses at second 
hand from Solomon, at his own price, but have rather got them 
directly from Arabia themselves. It is remarkable too, that one 
horse cost him as much as another, namely, one hundred and 
fifty shekels (1 Kings, x. 2Q), which shows that the qualities of 
horses had not yet been noticed with the eyes of amateurs. 
Even at the time when Jerusalem was conquered, and first 
destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, Arabia seems not to have bred 
horses ; for the Tyriaus brought theirs from Armenia. Arabia, 
therefore, could hardly have been, as Buffon supposes, the ori- 
ginal and natural climate of horses ; but must have had its breed 
only at a late period from other countries. 

Under these circumstances it is not wonderful that the Mosaic 
law should take no notice of an animal which we hold in such 
high estimation. To Moses, educated as he was in Egypt, and, 
with his people, at last chased out by Pharaoh's cavalry, the use 
of the horse for war and for travelling was well known : but as 



206 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

it was his object to establish a nation of husbandmen, and not of 
soldiers for the conquest of foreign lands ; and as Palestine, from 
its situation, required not the defence of cavalry, he might very 
well decline introducing among his people the yet unusual art 
of horse breeding. A great deal of land that might be applied 
to the production of human food is requisite for the maintenance 
of horses in every country : but in those days, riding was less 
frequent, and travelling in carriages almost unknown, the roads 
not being adapted to it, so that journeys were generally per- 
formed on foot ; and when riding was necessary, the camel was 
always at hand, and in the sterile regions of Arabia this contented 
creature, which requires but very little provender, and may be 
brought to drink but once in four days, is vastly preferable to a 
horse; and those who wished to proceed more at their ease, 
made use of the ass, which, in a mountainous country, is much 
surer footed than a horse, and in southern climates, is so much 
more nimble and spirited than in northern, that, according to 
M. Maillet, in his description of Egypt, a horse in that country 
must gallop to keep pace with him at a trot 86 . 

Solomon, having married a daughter of Pharaoh, procured a 
breed of horses from Egypt; and so greatly did he multiply 
them, that he had four hundred stables, forty thousand stalls, 
and twelve thousand horsemen. 1 Kings, vi. 26 ; 2 Chron. ix. 
25. 

Horses were conducted to foreign markets in strings ; a cir- 
cumstance favourable to those interpreters who would refer the 
whole passage, 1 Kings, x. 28; and 2 Chron. i. 16, to horses 
instead of linen yam, which seems rather to break the connexion 
of the verses. Some are therefore inclined to read, " and Solo- 
mon had horses brought out of Egypt, even strings of horses, 
(literally drawings out, prolongations:) the king's merchants 
received the strings (i. e. of horses), in commutation (exchange 
or barter). And a chariot, or set of chariot horses (i. e. four), 
came up from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a 
single horse for one hundred and fifty." And these he sold again, 
at a great profit, to the neighbouring kings. As the whole con- 
text seems rather applicable to horses than to linen yarn ; so, 
this idea, while it strictly maintains the import of the words, 
preserves the unity of the passage 87 . 

It seems that the Egyptian horses were in high repute, and 
were much used in war. When the Israelites were disposed to 
place too implicit confidence in the assistance of cavalry, the pro- 
phet remonstrated in these terms; " the Egyptians are men, and 
not God ; and their horses are flesh, not spirit." Isai. xxxi. 3. 

86 The above remarks are from Michaclis' Commentaries on the Laws of 
Moses, article 166, vol. ii. 394. Smith's transl. 

87 Scripture Illustrated in addition to Calmef, v. iii. 



OF THE BIBLE. 207 

Bishop Lovvth observes, that " the shoeing of horses with iron 
plates nailed to the hoof, is quite a modern practice, and was 
unknown to the ancients, as appears from the silence of the 
Greek and Roman writers, especially those that treat of horse 
medicine, who could not have passed over a matter so obvious, 
and of such importance, that now the whole science takes its 
name from it, being called by us, farriery. The horseshoes of 
leather and of iron which are mentioned ; the silver and the gold 
shoes with which Nero and Poppaea shod their mules, used oc- 
casionally to preserve the hoofs of delicate cattle, or for vanity, 
were of a very different kind ; they enclosed the whole hoof, as 
in a case, and were bound or tied on. For this reason, the 
strength, firmness, and solidity of a horse's hoof was of much 
greater importance with them, than with us, and was esteemed 
one of the first praises of a fine horse. For want of this artificial 
defence to the foot, which our horses have, Amos (vi. 12), speaks 
of it as a thing as much impracticable to make horses run upon 
a hard rock, as to plough up the same rock with oxen. These 
circumstances must be taken into consideration, in order to give 
us a full notion of the propriety and force of the image, by 
which the prophet Isaiah (v. 28), sets forth the strength and ex- 
cellence of the Babylonish cavalry, which made a great part of 
the strength of the Assyrian army." " The hoofs of their horses," 
says he, " shall be counted as flint." A quality, which, in times 
when the shoeing of horses was unknown, must have been of 
very great importance. The value of a solid hoof is intimated 
in several places in the writings of Homer ; and Virgil mentions 
it as an indispensable requisite in a good breed of horses; Georg. 
iii. v. 68. 

" et solido graviter sonat ungula cornu." 

As the eastern heathens who worshiped the sun imagined that 
he rode along the sky in a chariot drawn by fleet horses, to com- 
municate his light and warmth to the world, they consecrated to 
him the finest steeds and chariots. With these they rode to the 
eastern gates of their cities as the sun arose, to pay their homage. 
The Jews at one time became infected with this species of ido- 
latry. We read, 2 Kings, xxiii. 11, that Josiah took away the 
horses from the court of the temple, which the kings of Judah, 
his predecessors, had consecrated to the sun. 

Bochart, Hieroz. vol. i. devotes one hundred and seventeen 
pages to an explication of all those passages in Scripture, in 
which the horse is mentioned, and displays a profundity of learn- 
ing and ingenuity on the subject : and Michaelis has annexed to 
his " Commentaries on the Laws of Moses," a dissertation on 
the most ancient history of horses and horse-breeding, in Palestine 
and the neighbouring countries. 



208 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

HORSE-LEECH, npnty ALAKAH ; Arab, alak; from a root 
which signifies to adhere, stick close, or hang fast 88 . 

Occurs Proverbs, xxx. 15, only. 

A sort of worm that lives in the water ; of a black or brown 
colour ; which fastens upon the flesh, and does not quit it till it 
is entirely full of blood. 

Solomon says, " the horse- leech hath two daughters, give, 
give." This is so apt an emblem of an insatiable rapacity and 
avarice, that it has been generally used by different writers to 
express it. Thus Plautus, Epidic. act. ii. makes one say, speak- 
ing of the determination to get money, " I will turn myself into 
a horse-leech, and suck out their blood ;" and Cicero, in one of 
his letters to Atticus, calls the common people of Rome " horse- 
leeches of the treasury." Solomon, having mentioned those 
that devoured the property of the poor, as the worst of all the 
generations which he had specified, proceeds to state the insa- 
tiable cupidity with which they prosecuted their schemes of 
rapine and plunder. As the horse-leech had two daughters, 
cruelty and thirst of blood, which cannot be satisfied ; so, the 
oppressor of the poor has two dispositions, rapacity and avarice, 
which never say they have enough, but continually demand addi- 
tional gratifications. 

Bochart, however, Hieroz. v. iii. p. 785, thinks that the trans- 
lators have been mistaken in confounding allukah with allakah, 
which indeed signifies a horse-leech, whereas the former means 
what we call destiny, or the necessity of dying; to which the 
ancient Rabbins gave two daughters, Eden or Paradise, and 
Hades or Hell : the first of which invites the good, the second 
calls for the wicked. This interpretation seems strengthened by 
the observation, Prov. xxvii. 0, " hell and destruction (that is, 
Hades and the grave), are never satisfied." 

HUSKS. KEPATION. 

Occurs Luke, xv. 16. 

The husks of leguminous plants, so named from their resem- 
blance to Hf#, a horn: but Bochart thinks that the X?#TI#, 
were the ceratonia, the husks or fruit of the carob-tree, a tree 
very common in the Levant 89 . We learn from Columella, that 
these pods afforded food for swine : and they are mentioned as 
what the prodigal desired to eat, when reduced to extreme 
hunger. 

88 Some etymologists deduce the Latin name Hirudo from htereo, to stick. 
Horace, Ar. Poet, says, 

" Non missura cutem, nisi plena cruoris, hirado." 
Like leeches stick, nor quit the bleeding wound, 
'Till off they drop, with skins full, to the ground." BARNSTON. 

89 Called in Spain algaroba, garofero, carobbe, or locust. See Dillon's Travels 
in Spain, p. 360, note. Ceratonia, carogue, and St. Johns bread. Millar. 
Ceratonia, siliqua. Lin. Spec. Plant. 1513. 



OF THE BIBLE. 209 

The fruit is very common in Palestine, Greece, Italy, Pro- 
vence, and Barbary. It is suffered to ripen and grow dry upon 
the tree. The poor feed upon it, and the cattle are fattened by 
it. The tree on which it grows is of a middle size, full of 
branches, and abounding with round leaves of an inch or two 
in diameter. The blossoms of it are little red clusters, with 
yellow stalks. The fruit itself is a flat cod, from six to fourteen 
inches in length, one and a half broad; composed of two husks 
separated by membranes into several cells, wherein are contained 
flat seeds. The substance of these husks, or pods, is filled with 
a sweetish kind of juice. 

HYSSOP. ni!N ESOB; Arab, supha. 

Occ. Exod. xii. 22; Levit. xiv. 4, 6, 49, 51, 52; Numb. xix. 
6, 18; 1 Kings, iv. 33; Psal. li. 7. T2EQIIOE Matth. xxvii. 
48; Mark, xv. 36; John, xix. 29; and Hebr. ix. 19- 

A plant of \hegymnospermia order, belonging to the didynamia 
class. It has bushy stalks, growing a foot and a half high ; small, 
spear-shaped, close-sitting opposite leaves, with several smaller 
ones rising from the same joint; and all the stalks and branches 
terminated by erect whorled spikes of flowers, of different co- 
lours in the varieties of the plant. The leaves have an aromatic 
smell, and a warm pungent taste. It grows in great plenty on 
the mountains near Jerusalem. It is of a bitter taste ; and, from 
being considered as possessing detersive and cleansing qualities, 
derived probably its Hebrew name. 

The original word has been variously translated ; and Celsius 
has devoted forty-two pages to remove difficulties, occasioned by 
the discordant opinions of the Talrnudical writers, and to ascer- 
tain the plant intended. That it is the hyssop, seems most pro- 
bable: the passage in Hebrews, ix. 19, sufficiently indentifies it. 

Under the law, it was commonly used in purifications as a 
sprinkler. When the people of Israel came out of Egypt, they 
were commanded to take a bunch of hyssop, to dip it in the 
blood of the paschal lamb, and sprinkle it on the lintel and the 
two side-posts of the door. It was also used in sprinkling the 
leper. The hyssop is extremely well adapted to such purposes, 
as it grows in bunches, and puts out many suckers from a single 
root. 

Solomon is said, 1 Kings, iv. 33, to have composed a work on 
Botany, in which he described plants " from the cedar in Leba- 
non to the hyssop which springeth out of the wall." This work 
is mentioned in the Mishna pesachim, c. iv. t. ii. ed. Surenhu- 
sius, p. 148. See also Fabricius, Codex Pseud. V. Test. p. 
1045. It is supposed that this is the Arabic work, of which 
Morhoff, Polyh. 1. i. c. C, makes mention. See also, Cod. 
M. S. Ashmol. -p. i. N. 8277. Scheuchzer says, " Ce qui me 
paroit tres sur, c'est que ce livre existe, il doit contenir uu 
ample conimentaire sur les Plantes et les Animaux de I'Ecriture, 

R 



210 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

et toute la doctrine de la philosophic orientale 90 ." Hasselquist 
supposed the plant here mentioned to be a species of moss, very 
common on the walls of Jerusalem. Professor Sibthorpe, who 
likewise visited that part of Asia, thinks it more probably a little 
plant, still called hyssopo, frequently growing on rocks in the 
Holy Land, of which he obtained a beautiful drawing. But 
Isaac Ben Omran, an Arabian author, says that the hyssop 
grows in abundance on the mountains about Jerusalem. The 
wall therefore may mean cliffs, or the passage may be rendered, 
around the walls. 

In John, xix. 29, it is observed that at the crucifixion of our 
Lord, " they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, 
and put it to his mouth ;" and in Matth. xxvii. 48, and Mark, xv. 
56, the sponge filled with vinegar is said to be " put on a reed." 
Critics and commentators have puzzled themselves and others to 
account for this variety of expression in the Evangelists. Some 
have supposed that there must have been some plant in Judea 
of the lowest class of trees or shrubs, which was either a species 
of hyssop, or had a strong resemblance to what the Greeks 
called vcrffUKOs, the stalk of which was what was meant by the 
reed in Matthew and Mark 91 ; and others, that there was a 
species of hyssop, whose stalk was sometimes two feet long, 
which was sufficient to reach a person on a cross, that was by- 
no means so lofty as some erroneously imagine 92 . 

Now, all the difficulty of this passage in St. John arises from 
an idea that tWwTrw here, must mean the same with x#A#/^u in 
St. Matthew and St. Mark : whereas, St. John does not men- 
tion the reed ; but says, that when they had put the sponge upon 
hyssop, i. e. when they had added bitter to the sour, or gall to 
the vinegar, they advanced it to his mouth, no doubt, with the 
reed. In St. Matthew and St. Mark the word is Enolifyv: In 
St. John KQoaqvs'yxuv ctvlov TU dloy^ctli, which makes the repeti- 
tion of xuKctp.cj) less necessary. Add to this the paraphrase of 
Nonnus, who undoubtedly understood it in the sense it is here 
explained. 



In Pliny, Nat. Hist. 1. xxiii. c. 1, we have the vinegar, the 
sponge, and the bunch of hyssop, brought together, though on a 
different occasion. " Calidum acetum, in spongia appositum, 
adjecto hyssopi fascicule, medetur sedis vitiis." See also lib. 
xiv. 16. 

INCENSE. Gum, thus; so called by the dealers of drugs 
in Egypt from Thur or Thor, the name of a harbour in the north 
bay of the Red Sea, near Mount Sinai ; thereby distinguishing 

90 Phys. Sacr. T. v. p. 27. 9I Dr. Campbell's Note, in loc. 

92 See Salmasius, cited by Wolfius, and Scheuchzer, Phys. Sacr. on Matth. 
xxvii. 48. 



OF THE BIBLE. 21 I 

it from the gum arable, which is brought from Suez, another 
port in the Red Sea, not far from Cairo. It differs also in being 
more pellucid and white. It burns with a bright and strong 
flame, not easily extinguished. It was used in the temple ser- 
vice as an emblem of prayer 93 . Authors give it, or the best 
sort of it, the epithets while, pure, pellucid; and so it may have 
some connexion with a word, derived from the same root, sig- 
nifying unstained, clear, and so applied to moral whiteness and 
purity 94 . 

This gum is said to distil from incisions made in the tree 
during the heat of summer. What the form of the tree is \vhich 
yields it we do not certainly know. Pliny one while says, it is 
like a pear-tree; another, that it is like a mastic tree; then, that 
it is like the laurel ; and, in fine, that it is a kind of turpentine 
tree. It has been said to grow only in the country of the Sa- 
beans, a people in Arabia Felix. And Theophrastus and Pliny 
affirm that it is found in Arabia. Dioscorides, however, men- 
tions an Indian as well as an Arabian frankincense. At the 
present day it is brought from the East Indies, but not of so 
good a quality as that from Arabia. See FRANKINCENSE. 

The " sweet incense," mentioned Exod. xxx. 7, and else- 
where, was a compound of several drugs, agreeably to the 
direction in the 34th verse. Where so many sacrifices were 
offered, it was essentially necessary to have some pleasing per- 
fume, to counteract the disagreeable smells that must have 
arisen from the slaughter of so many animals, the sprinkling of 
so much blood, and the burning of so much flesh. 

IRON, ^nn BARZEL. 

Occurs first in Gen. iv. 22, and afterwards frequently; and 
the ChaldeebnD in Dan. ii. 33, 41, and elsewhere often in that 
book. EIAHPOS, Rev. xviii. 12, and the adjectives, Acts, xii. 
10; Rev. ii. 27; ix. 9; xii. 5; and xix. 15. 

A well known and very serviceable metal. The knowledge 
of working it was very ancient, as appears from Gen. iv. 22. 
We do not, however, find that Moses made use of iron in the 
fabric of the tabernacle in the wilderness, or Solomon in any 
part of the temple at Jerusalem. Yet from the manner in which 
the Jewish Legislator speaks of iron, the metal, it appears, must 
have been in use in Egypt before his time. He celebrates the 
great hardness of it (Levit. xxvi. 19, Deut. xxviii. 23, 48), takes 
notice that the bedstead of Og, king of Bashan, was of iron 
(Deut. iii. 11), he speaks of mines of iron (Deut. viii. 9), and 
he compares the severity of the servitude of the Israelites in 
Egypt, to the heat of a furnace for melting iron (Deut. iv. 20). 
We find also that swords (Numb. xxxv. 16), knives (Levit. i. 
17), axes, (Deut. xix. 5), and tools for cutting stones (Deut. 
xxvn. 5) were made of iron. ,. ^ 

99 Psalm cxli. 2; Rev. viii. 3, 4. 94 Psalm Ii. 7 ; Dan. xii. 10. 

R 2 



212 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

By the " northern iron," Jer. xv. 12, \ve ma}' probably under- 
stand the hardened iron, called in Greek %#Au\{/, from the Cha- 
lybes, a people bordering on the Euxine sea, and consequently 
lying on the north of Judea, by whom the art of tempering steel 
is said to be discovered. Strabo speaks of this people by the 
name of Chalybes, but afterwards Chaldsei ; and mentions their 
iron mines, lib. xii. p. 549- These, however, were a different 
people from the Chaldeans, who were united with the Babylo- 
nians. 

IVORY. nanJUJ SCHENHABBIM ; from )U7 SCHEN, a tooth; 
and nan HABBIM, elephants. EAE*ANTIN02, Rev. xviii. 12. 

The first time that ivory is mentioned in Scripture is in the 
reign of Solomon. If the forty-fifth Psalm was written before 
the Canticles, and before Solomon had constructed his royal and 
magnificent throne, then that is the first mention of this commo- 
dity. It is spoken of as used in decorating those boxes of 
perfume, whose odours were employed to exhilarate the king's 
spirits. 

It is probable that Solomon, who traded to India, first brought 
thence elephants and ivory to Judea. " For the king had at sea 
a navy of Tharshish, with the navy of Hiram : once in three 
years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold and silver, and 
ivory" 1 Kings, x. 22; 2 Chron. ix. 21. 

" India mittit ebur, molles sua thura Sabaai." 

It seems that Solomon had a throne decorated with ivory and 
inlaid with gold; the beauty of these materials relieving the 
splendour, and heightening the lustre of each other, 1 Kings, x. 
18. Ivory is here described as VlJ |tt; SCHEN GEDUL, great tooth, 
which clearly shows that it was imported in the whole tusk. It 
was, however, ill described as a tooth" says the author of 
" Scripture Illustrated;" " for tooth it is not, but a weapon of 
defence, not unlike the tusks of a wild boar, and for the same 
purposes as the horns of other animals. This has prompted 
Ezekiel to use another periphrasis for describing it ; and he calls 
it ju; rnrjp KEREN UTH SCHEN, horns of teeth." This, however, 
is liable to great objection, since the idea of horns and of teeth, 
to those who have never seen an elephant, must have been very- 
confused, if not contradictory. Nevertheless, the combination 
is ingenious ; for the defences which furnish the ivory answer the 
purposes of horns; while, by issuing from the mouth, they are not 
unaptly allied to teeth." Several of the ancients have expressly 
called these tusks horns, particularly Varro, de Ling. Lat. lib. vi. 
says of them, " Quos dentes multi dicunt, sunt cornua ;" what 
many people call teeth are horns. The LXX render the two 
Hebrew words by o^ovrctt; eteQeivnvovs, and the Vulgate " denies 
eburneos." The Targum, however, in Ezekiel, separates 






OF THE BIBLE. '213 

and pi?, explaining the former word by horns of the rock goats, 
and the latter, by elephant's teeth$ 5 . 

Cabinets and wardrobes were ornamented with ivory, by what 
is called marquetry. Psalm xlv. 8. 



Quale per artetn 



Inclusum buxo aut Oricia terebintho 

Lucet ebur." VIRG. JEn. x. v. 135 96 . 

These were named " houses of ivory," probably because made 
in the form of a house or palace; as the silver N#o/ of Diana, 
mentioned Acts, xix. 24, were in the form of her temple at 
Ephesus; and as we have now ivory models of the Chinese 
pagodas or temples. In this sense I understand what is said of 
the ivory house which Ahab made. 1 Kings, xxii. 39 : for the 
Hebrew word translated " house is used," as Dr. Taylor well 
observes, for " a place, or case, wherein any thing lieth, is con- 
tained, or laid up." Ezekiel gives the name of house to chests 
of rich apparel, ch. xxvii. 24. Dr. Durell, in his note on 
Psalm xlv. 8, quotes places from Homer and Euripides, where 
the same appropriation is made. Hesiod makes the same, Op. 
et D. v. 96. As to dwelling-houses, the most, I think, we can 
suppose in regard to them is, that they might have ornaments of 
ivory, as they sometimes have of gold, silver, or other precious 
materials, in such abundance, as to derive an appellation from 
the article of their decoration ; as the emperor Nero's palace 
mentioned by Suetonius, in Nerone, c. 31, was named " aurea," 
or golden, because " lita auro," overlaid zcith gold. This me- 
thod of ornamental buildings, or apartments, was very ancient 
among the Greeks. Homer, Odys. iv. v. 72, mentions ivory as 
employed in the palace of Menelaus at Lacedremon. 



Above, beueath, around the palace, shines 
The sumlcss treasure of exhausted mines; 
The spoils of elephants the roof inlay, 
And studded amber darts a golden ray. 

And Bacchylides, cited by Athenaeus, lib. ii. says, that in the 
island Ceos, one of the Cyclades, the houses of the great men 
%ft7w 5' fAfCp^v?/ re (j.cqftcuqovGi-j, glister with gold and ivory. 
Lucan, in his description of the palace of Cleopatra, Pharsal. 
1. x. v. 119, observes, that "Ebur atria vestit," ivory overlays 
the entrances. And that the Romans sometimes ornamented 
their apartments in like manuer, seems evident from Horace, 
Carm. 1. ii. Ode xviii. v. 1. 

95 See Micliaelis, Geogr. Hebr. Exter. pars i. p. 204. 

96 See also Athen;cus, 1. ii. Lucan, Pharsal. 1. x. v. 119. Horat. Carm. 1. ii. 
Od. 17, v. 1. Ovid Met. 1. ii. v. 3. 



214 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

" Non ebur, neque aureum 
Mea renidet in domo lacunar."" 
Nor ivory, nor golden roof 
Adorns my house. 

And no doubt, when Ovid. Metam. 1. ii. v. 3, said of the 
palace of the sun, 

" Cujus ebnr nitidum fastigia summa tegebat," 
Its lofty roof shining with ivory bright, 

his idea was taken from some ancient palaces or temples. So, 
in modern times, Lady M. W. Montague, affirms, Let. xxxix. 
v. ii. p. 146, that in the Haram of the fair Fatima of Constanti- 
nople, which she had seen, " the winter apartment was wains- 
cotted with inlaid work of mother-of-pearl, ivory of different 
colours, and olive wood." 

Our marginal translation in Cantic. v. 13, renders the Hebrew 
words, " towers of perfumes," which Harmer, Outlines, p. 165, 
says may mean vases in which odoriferous perfumes are kept. 

Amos, vi. 4, speaks of beds, or sofas of ivory. So we read in 
Homer, Odyss. xix. v. 55, of HA/SVVJV&VWTVIV A(#vr/ %ai cytyvqw, 
a couch wreathed zvith ivory and sitter : and Odyss. xxiii. v. 199, 
of Ae%o? /5#AAwv %U<7w re HKI uqyvqu vj5' etetyctvrt, variegating 
a bed with gold, silver, and ivory. 

If we might trust to the Chaldee interpreter, the knowledge of 
ivory would be much more ancient than we have supposed it ; 
for this authority informs u., that Joseph placed his father Jacob 
on a bed of ivory. " 1 would not altogether reject this inter- 
pretation (says the author of ' Scripture Illustrated'), for ivory 
might be known in Egypt, either from Ethiopia, or by the cara- 
vans from the central parts of Africa, or it might be procured 
from India by means of trading vessels or trading merchants ; 
and certainly, its beauty and ornament would w r ell become the 
residence of the Nazir, or Lord Steward of the royal household 
of the Egyptian Pharaohs." 

In Ezek. xxvii. 6, the benches of the Tyrian ships are said to 
be " made of ivory." The meaning is, ornamented. The author 
of " Fragments in continuation of Calmet," No. ccxvii. asserts, 
that " shrines" must be intended. 

On Rev. xviii. 12, see Kypke, Obs. sacr. torn. ii. p. 461, for 
some observations concerning the value which the ancients set 
upon ivory, and the various uses to which they applied it. 

JACINTH. TAKIN00S. 

Occ. Rev. xxi. 20; and, as an adjective, ch. ix. 17- 

The name of a gem, or precious stone 97 , of a violet colour, 
arising from an admixture of red and blue. 

m " Hyac'mthus lapis habens purpureum, et cferuleum colorem, ad modum 
illiiKs lloris." Vet. Diet, in Diet. Pliil. Martini citatus. " Hyacinthus ex uo- 
niiiii; ui flore vocutur." Isicxloiu.-, lib. xvi. cap. i\. 



OF THE BIBLE. 215 

The hyacinth of Pliny 98 is now thought to be the amethyst of 
the moderns ; and the amethysts of the ancients are now called 
garnets. 

In the Alexandrian version, by this Greek word, are translated 
the Hebrew n*?3n TECELET, in Exod. xxv. 4 ; xxvi. 4 ; xxviii. 31 ; 
Nutnb. iv. 6, 9, 11; 2 Chron. ii. 7, 14, and iii. 14; rendered 
in our version "blue;" and wnn TACASH, " badger's skins," in 
Numb. iv. fi, 8, 10, and Ezek. xvi. 10; and in both instances a 
colour or tincture^ is intended. 

JASPER. nDW JASPEH. 

Exod. xxviii. 20; xxxix. 13; and Ezek. xxviii. 13. IASIIIS, 
Rev. iv. 3, and xxi. 11, 18, 19. 

The Greek and Latin name Jaspis, as well as the English Jas- 
per, is plainly derived from the Hebrew, and leaves little room 
to doubt what species of gem is meant by the original word. 

The jasper is usually defined, a hard stone, of a bright, beau- 
tiful green colour; sometimes clouded with white, and spotted 
with red or yellow. 

JUNIPER, am ROTHEM. 

Occ. 1 Kings, xix. 4, 5 ; Job, xxx. 4; and Psalm cxx. 4 1 . 

As the Arabic word ratam, which answers to the Hebrew 
ROTHEM, seems to be explained by the Spanish word retama, 
probably first introduced into Spain by the Moors; and that 
word is known to signify broom, Celsius, Hierob. t. i. p. 247, 
thinks it clear, that it must be the plant referred to, in the places 
above. 

I. In 1 Kings, xix. 4, where our translators say of Elijah, that 
" he lay and slept under a juniper-tree" the Septuagint version 



retains the word pa&tyt, ; and in verse 6, simply has tyvrov, " a 
plant;" in Job, xxx. 4, $0.1; uAwv, roots of zeood; in Psalm 
cxx. 4, #v0?#xa? eqyfjuuov Q, coals of the desert. From these dif- 
ferences it should appear that they did not know the true tree in 
question. And Josephus, not venturing to designate the tree 
under which Elijah rested, says barely, " under a certain tree." 
Antiq. lib. viii. c. 7. That it was not likely to be the juniper, 
Celsius strongly contends ; the shade of which was considered 
as noxious. 

" Solet esse gravis cantantibus umbra; 

Jmiperi gravis umbra." VIRG. Eccl. x. v. 75. 



98 " Hie emicans in ainethysto fulgor violaceus, dilutus est in hyacintho." 
Plin. N. H. lib. xxxvii. c. 9. 

99 Among the laws of Gratian, Valerian, and Theodosius, is this curious one : 
" Fucandae atque distraliendae pnrpurae vel in serico, vel in lana, quae blatta vel 
oxyblattea atque hyacinthina dicitur, facultatem nullus possit habere privatus. 
Sin autem aliquis supradocti muricis vellus vendiderit, fortunarum suarum et 
capitis sciat se subiturum esse discrimen." 

1 See Job. Stengel, " De Junipero Biblico." Biblioth. Brem. Class vii. 
fasci. 5. p. 856. 



216 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

But Virgil speaks of the broom, as supplying browse to the 
cattle, and shade to the shepherds. 



-" salices, humilesque genistas 



Aut illae pecori frondem, aut pastoribus umbras 

Sufficiunt." Georg. ii. v. 434. 

If it were not that the commentators universally refer to the 
shade of a tree, we should suppose the word to be the same with 
Rithmah in the wilderness of Paran, not far from Kadesh-barnea; 
(Numb, xxxiii. 18.) and that his resting was at a place so called 
in the desert: a place which had its name from the great num- 
ber of plants of broom growing in that district. 

II. Job complains, ch. xxx. 4, that poor, half-famished fel- 
lows despised him, whose condition had been so necessitous, 
that they were obliged to use " roots of retem for food." The 
Chaldee reads it a kind of broom. This, though an unusual and 
hard diet, was more palatable and nutritious than the ligneous 
and rancid roots of juniper : and Dioscorides, 1. ii. c. 136, ob- 
serves, that the orobanche, or rape, which grows from the roots 
of broom, was sometimes eaten raw or boiled, like asparagus. 
Chappelow, however, says, that " the herb ratam is of so per- 
nicious a nature, that when the Arabians say, * ratama alragolo,' 
they understand by it ' deliquium passus est vir propter esum 
illius herba ;' the influence of it being such, as to make him who 
eats it faint away. Therefore, when we read that ratam roots 
were their food, we are to suppose a great deal more than the 
words express ; namely, that their hunger was so violent, as not 
to refrain even from those roots, which instead of refreshing or 
nourishing them, affected their spirits to such a degree, as to 
make them swoon or faint away." Celsius, who defends the 
reading of broom (genista) suggests an amendment in the trans- 
lation, by rendering DQrf? LACHMAM,^W, and not " food 2 ;" and 
it is so rendered Jerem. xlvii. 14. And Mr. Harmer remarks, 
" I much question whether the roots of the juniper, or of any 
other tree in those deserts, can afford nourishment to the human 
body on the one hand ; and on the other, I would observe, that 
the interlineary translation of Arias Montanus supposes that the 
meaning of the passage is, that they used the roots of the tree in 
question for fuel. And certainly the same Hebrew letters may 
as well signify the one as the other that they used those roots 
for warming themselves as for bread. 

" The reason, I presume, that has inclined so many to under- 
stand the word as our translators have done, has been in part, 
from not knowing how far the roots of this tree of the deserts 
might be used for food by these miserable outcasts from society : 

2 annV reducere, non ad Dnb, quod panem significat, sed ad rad. onn calefacit; 
undo infinitivus est Oinn, vel Din, quod cum Lit. servili, ct aflixo, crit 
Vide doctissim, Opitium, in Lex. Ebr. 



OF THE BIBLE. 217 

and, on the other hand, that they could not want fire in those 
sultry deserts for the purpose of warming themselves. But as 
Irvvin complains not unfrequently of the cold of the night, and 
sometimes of the day, in the deserts on the west side of the Red 
Sea; so, in an Appendix to the History of the Revolt of Ali 
Bey, we find the Arabs that attended the author of that Journal, 
through the Deserts that lay between Aleppo and Bagdat, were 
considerably incommoded with the cold." 

He adds, that we find in the Travels of Rauwolf, that in the 
wilderness they gathered dry boughs, stalks of herbs, &c. to 
make a fire to dress some food with : and that Thevenot men- 
tions the gathering of broom, for boiling their coffee, and warming 
themselves in the wilderness, going from Cairo to Mount Sinai : 
and concludes that it is most probable that the roots mentioned 
in our text were gathered by the poor outcasts for fuel. 

III. David observes, Psalm cxx. 4, of the calumniating cruelty 
of his enemies, that it was " like arrows of the mighty with 
coals of juniper," as our translation renders it. It is indeed true, 
that juniper abounds with a piercing oil, and makes a smart fire; 
and Pliny and others affirm that its coals, raked up, will keep 
glowing a long time : and, admitting this construction, the ob- 
servation of the Psalmist will emphatically imply, not only the 
severity, but the lasting fire of malice. Restraining, however, 
our approbation of the original word to broom, we may recollect 
that Geirus declares, that the retama (genista) " ligniis aliis 
vehementius scintillet, ardeat, ac strideat," sparkles, burns, and 
crackles more vehemently than other wood." 

Mr. Harmer concludes his criticisms upon this perplexing 
subject, with the following observation : " How happy would a 
more perfect knowledge of the Natural History of the East 
be !" 

KID. 1* GEDI. 

The young of the goat. 

Among the Hebrews the kid was reckoned a great delicacy ; 
and appears to have been served for food in preference to the 
lamb. See GOAT. 

The village of Engedi, situate in the neighbourhood of Jericho, 
derives its name from the Hebrew word ]*y AIN, a fountain, and 
nj GEDI, a kid. It is suggested by the situation among lofty 
rocks, which, overhanging the valleys, are very precipitous. A 
fountain of pure water rises near the summit, which the inhabi- 
tants called Engedi, the fountain of the goat, because it is hardly 
accessible to any other creature. 

KITE, rm AJAH. 

Occ. Levit. xi. 14; Deut xiv. 13; Job, xxviii. 7- 

Bochart supposes this to be the bird which the Arabians call 
the ja-jao, from its note; and which the ancients named " <tsa- 
lon," the merlin ; a bird celebrated for its sharp-sightedncss. 



218 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

This faculty is referred to in Job, xxviii. 7, where the word is 
rendered " vulture." 

As a noun masculine plural,. DN, in Isai. xiii. 22; xxxiv. 
14; and Jerem. 1. 39, Bochart says that jackals are intended: 
but, by the several contexts, particularly the last, it may well 
mean a kind of unclean bird, and so be the same with the above. 
See GLEDE. 

LAPWING. nDOn DUKIPHATH. 

Occ. Levit. xi. 19, and Deut. xiv. 18. 

The bird intended by the Hebrew name in these places is 
undoubtedly the hoopoe; a very beautiful, but most unclean and 
filthy species of birds. 

The Septuagint renders it TOT#, and the Vulgate upupa; 
which is the same with the Arabian interpreters. The Egyptian 
name of the bird is kuknpliah,m\A the Syrian, kikuphah; which 
approach the Hebrew DUKIPHATH. It may have its name from 
the noise or cry it makes, which is very remarkable, and may 
be heard a great way. 

LEAD. mS}? OPHKETH. 

Occ. Exod. xv. 10; Numb. xxxi. 22; Job, xix. 24; Jerem. 
vi. 29; Ezek. xxii. 18; xxvii. 12; Zech. v. 7, 8. 

A mineral of a bluish white colour. It is the softest next to 
gold, but has no great tenacity, and is not in the least sonorous. 
It is mentioned with five other species of metal, Numb. xxxi. 22; 
and there is no doubt but that this is the meaning of the word ; 
so the Septuagint render it throughout, /xoA^o; or /xoA;o?. 

Our translators render Job, xix. 23, 24, " Oh that my words 
were now WRITTEN ! Oh that they were PRINTED in a book ! 
that they were GRAVEN with an iron PEN and lead, in the rock 
for ever !" There is in our translation, a strange confusion, 
writing, printing, and engraving. Printing is a modern inven- 
tion, and pens (from penna, a feather), a modern instrument for 
writing. An iron feather, quill or pen, must be a great impro- 
priety of translation. Michaelis 3 says that he does not under- 
stand what the Hebrew word means, which is here translated 
" lead." The passage has been the subject of much criticism. 
The remarks of Mr. Costard are very ingenious 4 . They are 
as follows : 

tf The Vulgate renders the word msy by plumbi lamina, from 
whence it is apparent what opinion the authors of that version 
were of. The LXX have MoA/&5o, and our English lead. But 
if, indeed, mDy be rightly translated lead, it must mean the 
materials on which the writing was made ; for lead is of too 
soft a substance to be used in the nature of a style. What time 
the custom of writing upon lead began, is uncertain, but it is 
probable not till late. The oldest inscriptions were on stones, 

3 Przelect. in Lowth, p. 211. * Observations on the Book of Job, p. 22. 



OF THE BIBLE. 219 

as the Jaw at Mount Sinai, Exod. xxiv. 12, or on stones plas- 
tered over, as were those in Gil gal, Deut. xxvii. 2. Lead and 
brass, and the like, may be supposed not to come into use till 
commerce and literature, and the politer arts of life made writ- 
ing more frequent and necessary. That lead was of use in the 
Augustan age, appears from Tacitus 5 , and that it continued some 
little time after, is asserted by other authors 6 ; but how long 
before that it had been introduced is not so clear. Pausanius 
says, that he saw in Boeotia Hesiod's Epyct wrote on lead [p. 306], 
but greatly injured by time. Pausanias lived under the emperor 
Adrian, about a hundred and seventeen years after Christ. So 
that the writing might not have been much older than Augustus 
Caesar; the very dampness of the place where he describes it to 
have been, contributing not a little to its decay. 

'Tis true, indeed, the custom of writing upon lead might have 
been of more ancient date in the East, at least for any thing 
that we can know to the contrary, could we be certain that the 
country thereabouts produceth any lead. It may not be impro- 
bable, therefore, that n")DV in this place, may signify the instru- 
ment, or style made use of; and that the i van joined to it, should 
be rendered or, the rock being the thing on which Job wishes 
his words to be wrote. 

That rDD)? was some heavy substance, appears from Exod. 
xv. 10, where Pharaoh and his army are said to have sunk to the 
bottom of the Red Sea rDDIiO. But in order to this being lead, 
'tis necessary that it should be not only heavy but ductile, pro- 
perties very distinct. In Zechuriah, v. 8, we meet with msiyn, 
pN* the stone of Ophereth. By this, one would be apt to think 
that it means some hard stone, sharpened by nature or art, and 
so tit for engraving on a rock. That mDiy OPHERETH included 
under it the notion of hardness or strength, appears yet in the 
Arabic verb aphar; and that such stones were used by the an- 
cients instead of knives and tools for engraving, may be learnt 
from Moses [Exod. iv. 25], Jeremiah [xvii. 1], and Herodotus 
[p. 1 19, Edit. Gronov. and p. 405]. 

" But in which of these senses soever we take the word, it is 
plain that our author was acquainted with the manner of writing 
upon rcax or skins, or other materials at least, more manageable 

5 Nomen Germanic! plumbeis tabulis insculptum, Annal. lib. ii. c. 69. Priug 
autein quam digrediamur ab ^Egypto (says Pliny, N. H. 1. xiii. c. 11), et Papyri 
natura dicetur, cum chartae usu maxiine human! tag vitas constet et meuioria. Et 
hanc Alexandri Magni victoria repertam, autor cst M. Varro, condita in jEgypto 
Alexandria, ante non fuisse chartarum usum. Palmarum foliis primoscriptatutn, 
deinde quarmidam arborum libris. Postea publica montunenta, plumbeis volu- 
minibus, mox et privata, linteis confici cffipta aut ceris." 

6 Pineda, on this place of Job, mentions some leaden books of Ctesiphon and 
Caecilius, disciples of St. James, and written with an iron style. And Kutychius, 
speaking of the Seven Sleepers, as they are commonly called, says, the governor 
wrote an account of them in lead. Ann. Alex. p. 390. 



220 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

than stones or lead, but not so lasting : for he wishes in the first 
place for a book "IDD SEPHER, to write his words in. But as if 
that was not sufficient, or like to be durable enough, he wants 
farther, an iron or stone style to engrave them on a rock." 

The reader may also find in Harmer's Obs. v. ii. p. 149, some 
curious observations upon this obscure passage. I am myself 
inclined to believe that if lead be intended by the msy, its use 
might have been for a MALLET to drive the iron chisel, so as to 
make an inscription upon the rock. The word signifies some- 
thing heavy. Comp. Exod. xv. 10. In Zech. v. 8, we meet 
with " the stone of Ophereth," or of hardness, from the Arabic 
word aphar, hard, heavy. 

In Jerem. vi. 2Q, we have a reference to the use of 1'ead in 
refining metals. Before the use of quicksilver was known, lead 
was used to separate silver from the other substances mixed with 
it. So we learn from Pliny, N. H. 1. xxxiii. c. 31, " Excoque 
(argentum) non potest nisi cum plumbo nigro, aut cum vena 
plumbi." Silver cannot be refined or separated, but with lead, or 
lead ore. And long before him, Theognis (who was born about 
the middle of the sixth century before Christ, and consequently 
lived in the time of Cyrus the Great), in his Tvufj.cti, v. 1101, 
mentions it as then used in the refining of gold. 

Fir @<rsyoy S' x8ay, cTfTfio/M,svos ft /*oX(6Sw 

Xevtros awriipQoj tav, xaXoj cwracny urn. 

But coming to the test, or furnace, and ground with lead, and 
then being refined gold, you will be approved of all. 

The severity of God's judgments, and the fiery trial of his ser- 
vants, Ezekiei (in ch. xxii. 17 22), has set forth at large, with 
great boldness of imagery and force of expression. " Moreover, 
the word of Jehovah came to me saying, Son of man, the house 
of Israel is become unto me as dross, all of them are as copper, 
and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace they are 
as the dross of silver. Therefore, thus saith the Lord Jehovah, 
because ye are all of you become dross, therefore, lo, I will 
gather you into the midst of Jerusalem, as men gather silver, 
and copper, and iron, and lead, and tin into the midst of the 
furnace, to blow the fire upon them, to melt them, so will I 
gather you in mine anger, and I will blow upon you, and melt 
you, yea I will collect you and blow upon you with the fire of 
my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof, as silver 
is melted in the midst of the furnace 7 ." Malachi, ch. iii. 2, 3, 
treats the same event under the like images. 

Lead is mentioned three times in our translation of the book 
of Ecclesiasticus, ch. xxii. 14. " What is heavier than lead 

7 On the discovery and art of working metals among the ancients, much curi- 
ous information will be found in Goguet's Origin of Laws, Arts, &c. v. i. p. 140, 
book ii. ch. iv. 



OF THE BIBLE. 221 

[MOATBAON] ; and what is more burthensome than a fool?" 
Ch. xxxviii. 30, " The potter fashioneth the clay with his arm, 
he appiieth himself to lead it over ;" in the original eiQ TO (rvv- 
Tsteteecti ro %^<rpc#, to polish over the vessel. And xlvii. 18, 
" Thou didst gather gold as tin, and didst multiply silver as lead," 
fj-oXvtov. Which is a reference to 1 Kings, x. 27, " He made 
silver to be in Jerusalem as stones." 

LEEK, -yyn CHATZIR. 

In Numb. xi. 5, translated " leek." In 1 Kings, xviii. 5 ; 
2 Kings, xix. 26; Job, xl. 15; Psalm xxxvii. 2; xc. 5; ciii. 
15; civ. 14; cxxix. 6; cxlvii. 8; and Isai. xxv. 7; xxxvii. 27; 
and xl. 6, it is rendered " grass." In Job, viii. 12, " herb." 
In Prov. xxvii. 25, and Isai. xv. 6, " hay." And in Isaiah, 
xxxiv. 13, "a court" 

A plant with a bulbous root. It is much of the same nature 
with the onion. The kind called karrat by the Arabians (the 
" allium porrum" of Linnaeus), Hasselquist says, must certainly 
have been one of those desired by the children of Israel ; as it 
has been cultivated and esteemed from the earliest times to the 
present in Egypt. The inhabitants are very fond of eating it 
raw, as sauce for their roasted meat; and the poor people eat it 
raw with their bread, especially for breakfast. 

There is reason, however, to doubt whether this plant is in- 
tended in Numbers, xi. 5, and so differently rendered every where 
else. It should rather intend such vegetables as grow promis- 
cuously with grass. Ludolphus supposes that it may mean let- 
tuce and sallads in general 8 : and Maillet observes, that the 
succory and endive are eaten with great relish by the people in 
Egypt. Some, or all of these, may be meant. 

LENTIL. D'liny ODESHIM. 

Occ. Gen. xxv. 34 ; 2 Sam. xvii. 28 ; xxiii. 1 1 ; and Ezek. 
iv. 9- 

A sort of pulse ; in the Septuagint <j5#xo, and Vulgate lens. 
The lentils of Egypt were very much esteemed among the an- 
cients. St. Austin says " they grow abundantly in Egypt ; are 
much used as a food there ; and those of Alexandria are con- 
sidered particularly valuable." [In Psalm xlvi.] Dr. Shaw, 
Trav. p. 140, 4lo. ed. says, " Beans, lentils, kidney beans, and 
garvancos are the chiefest of their pulse kind. Beans, when 
boiled and stewed with oil and garlic, are the principal food of 
persons of all distinctions. Lentils are dressed in the same 
manner as beans, dissolving easily into a mass, and making a 
pottage of a chocolate colour. This we find was the ' red pot- 
tage,' which Esau, from thence called Edom, exchanged for his 
birthright." 

LEOPARD, -ma NIMR. 

Occ. Cantic. iv. 8; Isai. xi. 6; Jer. 5, 6; xiii. 23; Hosea, 
8 in Append, ii. ad. Hist. JEt\nop. p. 27. 



222 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

xiii. 7 ; Hab. i. 8 ; and Dan. vii. 6. IIAPAAAIS, Rev. xiii. 2, 
and Ecclesiasticus, xxviii. 23. 

There can be no doubt that the parcl or leopard is the ani- 
mal mentioned. Bochart shows that the name is similar in the 
Chaldee, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic. The LXX uniformly 
render it by Tcctfic&ii; ; and Jerome, " pardus." 

The leopard is a beast of prey ; usually in height and magni- 
tude, equal to a large butcher's dog. Its shape is like a cat's, 
and its skin is beautifully spotted. Fierce, savage, and incapable 
of being tamed, he attacks all sorts of animals ; nor is man him- 
self exempted from his fury. In this circumstance, he differs 
from the lion and the tiger, unless they are provoked by hunger, 
or by assault. His eyes are lively and continually in motion ; 
his aspect is cruel, and expressive of nothing but mischief. His 
ears are round, short, and always strait. His neck is thick. His 
feet are large ; the fore ones have five toes, the hind but four ; 
and both are armed with strong and pointed claws : he closes 
them like the fingers of the hand, and with them he tears his 
prey as well as with the teeth. Though he is exceedingly car- 
nivorous, and devours great quantities of food, he is neverthe- 
less gaunt. He is very prolific; but having for his enemy the 
panther and the tiger, who are more strong and alert than himself, 
great numbers of his species are destroyed by them 9 . 

Probably these animals were numerous in Palestine ; as we 
find places with a name intimating their having been the haunts 
of Leopards. Nimrah, Numb, xxxii. 3; J5et/i-^limrah t v. 36; 
and Josh. xiii. 27; and "waters of Nimrah," Isai. xv. 6; and 
Jerem. xlviii. 34, and " mountains of leopards," Cantic. iv. 8. 
Nimrod might have his name from this animal. " He was a 
mighty hunter before the Lord; wherefore it is said, even as 
Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord ;" Gen. x. 9* It is 
supposed, however, that his predatious were not confined to the 
brute creation. Dr. Geddes remarks, that the word " hunter" 
expresses too little. He was a freebooter in the worst sense of 
the word ; a lawless despot. 

" Proud Nimrod first the bloody chase began, 
A mighty hunter and his prey was man." 

Isaiah, describing the happy state of the reign of Messiah, ch. 
xi. 6, says, " the leopard shall lie down with the kid." Even 
animals shall loose their fierceness and cruelty, and become 
gentle and tame. 

Jeremiah, v. 6, mentions the artful ambuscades of this animal ; 
and in ch. xiii. 23, alludes to his spots : " Can a Cushite change 
his skin, or a leopard his spots ? Then may ye prevail with them 
to do good who are habituated to do evil ;" and Habakkuk, i. 8, 
refers to its alertness. 

9 Voyages de Desmarchais, torn. i. p. 202. 



OF THE BIBLE. 223 

LEVIATHAN, inn 1 ?. 

Occ. Job, iii. 8; xli. 1 ; Psal. Ixxiv. 14; civ. 26; Isai. xxvii. 1. 

The old commentators concurred in regarding the zchale as the 
animal here intended 10 . Beza and Diodati were among the first 
to interpret it the crocodile; and Bochart has since supported 
this last rendering with a train of argument which has nearly 
overwhelmed all opposition, and brought almost every commen- 
tator over to his opinion 11 . It is very certain that it could not 
be the zchale, which does not inhabit the Mediterranean, much 
less the rivers that empty themselves into it ; nor will the cha- 
racteristics at all apply to the whale. " The crocodile, on the 
contrary, is a natural inhabitant of the Nile, and other Asiatic 
and African rivers; of enormous voracity and strength as well 
as fleetness in swimming; attacks mankind and the largest ani- 
mals with most daring impetuosity ; when taken by means of a 
powerful net, will often overturn the boats that surround it ; has, 
proportionally, the largest mouth of all monsters whatever; 
moves both its jaws equally, the upper of which has not less than 
forty, and the lower than thirty-eight sharp, but strong and massy 
teeth ; and is furnished with a coat of mail, so scaly and callous 
as to resist the force of a musket ball in every part, except under 
the belly. Indeed, to this animal the general character of the 
leviathan seems so well to apply that it is unnecessary to seek 
farther 12 ." 

Mr. Vansittart observes, that " the main proof that the levia- 
than is the crocodile of the Nile, arises chiefly from some parti- 
cular circumstances and contingencies attending the crocodiles 
of Egypt, and of no other country : and if these circumstances 
are such, that we can suppose the Hebrew writer drew his ideas 
from them in his description of Leviathan, they will afford an al- 
most certainty that leviathan represents the crocodile of the 
Nile." He then proceeds by quoting a passage from Herodo- 
tus, where the historian describes that animal, and relates the 
peculiarities attendant upon him in parts of Egypt ; remarking, 

la Theod. Hasseus, in a very ingenious work, " Disquisitio de Leviathane Jobi 
t Ca?to Jonae," Brem. 1723, attempts to prove that the Leviathan is the Orcus 
of Pliny, the Physeter macrocophaluf, or Ddphinus rostra sursum repando, of 
Linnaeus. The learned Schultens, in his Commentary upon this chapter of Job, 
contends that the animal is the dragon or serpent, of a monstrous size, &c. Wes- 
ley on Job, quotes Cartwrisrht as affirming, " Antiquornm plerique turn per Be- 
hemoth, turn per Leviathan Diabolunt intelligent." Mercer says, '' Nostri colle- 
gerunt hanc descriptionem Leviathanis ad Satanam pertinere." And, " Multa 
in Leviathanis descriptione nulli alii quam Diabolo, aut saltern noa adeo proprie 
congruunt." 

11 Bochart, Hieroz. torn. iii. p. 737 774. ed Rozenmuller. See also Sceuch- 
zer, Pbys. Sacr. Chapellow, Heath, Scott, and Good, and more particularly, 
" Remarks, Critical and Philological, on Leviathan, described in the 41st chap- 
ter of Job,'' by Rev. W. Vansittart, Oxf. 1810. 

12 "The Book of Job literally translated," &c. by J. II. Good, 8vo. Lond. 
1812, p. 479. 



224 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

that " some of the Egyptians hold the crocodile sacred, particu- 
larly the inhabitants of Thebes, and others bordering upon the 
lake Mceris, who breed up a single crocodile, adorn him with rings 
and bracelets, feed him with the sacred food appointed for him, 
and treat him with the most honourable distinction." With much 
ingenuity, he proceeds to illustrate this description in the book 
of Job, and to consider it as strongly indicating the peculiarities 
of the Thebaid crocodile. It would occupy too much room to 
detail his remarks : some of them will be inserted in the course 
of the following comment; but he states this as the result of the 
whole. " The chapter introduces two speakers in the shape of 
dialogue, one of whom questions the other in regard to such and 
such circumstances relating to leviathan; and. this continues till 
the twelfth verse ; at which the description of leviathan com- 
mences. The dialogue is professed to be between the Almighty 
Jehovah and his servant Job. But whether it is Jehovah him- 
self, or some one representing him, is not to be inquired in this 
place. As it is, the person appears extremely well acquainted 
with the crocodile, as he does also with the other animals de- 
scribed in the 39lh and 40th chapters. The other person of the 
dialogue appears to be one well knowing the worship paid to 
the crocodile : and the eleven first verses are an exposure of the 
folly of making an animal of a savage nature, and one whose 
head could be pierced with fishhooks, a God. Of these eleven 
verses, the six first appear to relate to the mode of treatment 
received by the crocodile in the places where he was worshiped ; 
the remaining five to his treatment at Tentyra, and wherever he 
was considered as a destructive animal. At the twelfth verse 
the description of leviathan commences, and is divided into three 
parts, and classed under the different heads of (1.) v*G his parts; 
(2.) nniru "Cn great might ; (3.) irny rn his well-armed make. 
Of these the first and the third describe him as truly as a natu- 
ralist would do. The second or middle part magnifies him as a 
god. If then, this second part be in honour of the crocodile as 
god, then the person speaking it must be either an inhabitant of 
Egypt, a worshipper of that animal, or one well acquainted at 
least with his worship:" or, perhaps, the whole chapter may be 
altogether an argument, founded on the idolatrous homage paid 
to this creature. 

I cannot say that I am convinced by the reasonings and infer- 
ences of Mr. Vansittart, though I consider them as entitled to 
much consideration. Under the article " DRAGON," I have ad- 
duced authorities to show that the jn THAN is the Crocodile ; if 
so, ib LEVI, must mean some characteristic. In the article just 
referred to, it is suggested that it may mean "jointed," or 
"lengthened out:" Parkhurst says, "coupled-" it may also 
mean " tied" and " associated." In this latter sense it may 



OF THE BIBLE. 225 

strengthen the suggestion of Mr. Vansittart, that the trained 
crocodile is meant as distinguished from the one unsubdued 13 . 

I now proceed to give a corrected version of the description 
contained in the 41st chapter of Job, with explanations and re- 
ferences to the crocodile. 

Behold leviathan ! whom thou leadest about idth a hook 14 , 
Or a rope which thoufixest upon his snout 15 , 

It is no easy matter, says Mr. Scott, to fix the precise meaning 
of the several terms here used : they seem, however, to denote 
in general the instruments made use of, partly for the taking him 
alive in the water, and partly for governing him when brought to 
land. Herodotus expressly asserts, 1. ii. 70, that one of the 
modes by which this creature was occasionally taken, in his time, 
was by means of a hook, Kyw.HjTqc'J, which was baited with a dog's 
chine, and thrown into the midst of the river; the crocodile, hav- 
ing swallowed which, was drawn on shore and dispatched. 

Hast fhou put a ring in his nose, 

Or pierced his cheek through with a clasp ? 

This has been usually supposed to refer to the manner of muz- 
zling the beast, so as to be able to lead him about, by a hook or 
ring in the nostrils, as is threatened Pharaoh, under the emblem 
of the crocodile, Ezek. xxix. 4. But Mr. Vansittart thinks the 
words here used expressive of ornaments 16 ; and says, " this se- 
cond verse may be considered as expressive of leviathan led about 
not as a sight, but in his state of divinity ; and the x^xo?, a gold 



13 I have in my possession an ancient medal, bearing on one side the heads of 
Aug. Caesar and M. Agrippa; and on the other a CROCODILE chained to a tree, 
with the words Col. Nem. [Colonia Neinausus] a province of Gaul, with which 
those princes were rewarded after the conquest of Egypt. 

14 (nU'nn.) Septuag. ct%tis. " I conceive," says Mr. Vansittart, " that thi s 
verb signifies leading about, rather than drawing out; and that leading about 
leviathan is meant instead of dragging him out of the water. Hence, perhaps, 
leading about one of the tame crocodiles. The word for forcibly drawing out 
leviathan with a hook, Ezek. xxix. 4, is "pribyn from the root nby." 

is ^ rope." The original word signifies a reed or rush, growing upon the 
banks of the Nile. Hence some imagine that it alludes to the stringing levia- 
than upon it, as boys frequently string fish upon a rush, or <wig of a tree, which 
they pass through the gills. Schultens would render it " a rope made of reeds;" 
as the Egyptians at this day make ropes of rushes, and probably from time im- 
memorial did so. Pliny, 1. xix. c. 3, informs us that the Greeks at first made 
their ropes of rushes. The ancient Britons learned the same manufactory of the 
Romans; and our English sailors call old rope "junk," from its latin name 
juncus, a bullrush. 

16 (mm.) LXX. ^iXX/a), armilla. This word signifies fibula, as well as spina ; 

ee Robertson ; and Jibula is an ornament of dress. Where nn is used for a fish 

ook, or a strong iron hook, for the purpose of dragging any one violently, or 

estraining him, it is generally rendered by a strong word suited to the occasion, 

id not a word usually adapted to ornaments: thus Ezek. xix. 4, where Israel, 

ider the figure of a young ravaging lion, is caught in a net, and carried fet- 

red (DTird) into Egypt, the LXX render it tx XTI/A&J, and the Vulgate catenis, 

not armilla, as above. 

ftXXfon is usually the rendering for TC, bracelet. It occurs frequently in this 
sense, and answers to the latin armilla. liiel has been anxious to prove that it 



226 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

ring or ornament worn at the nose ; for, in the Eastern countries, 
nasal rings are as frequent as any other ornament whatever. The 
commentators and lexicographers, not dreaming of applying He- 
rodotus's account of the Thebaid crocodile to the illustration of 
leviathan, have imagined only large rings for the purpose of 
chaining leviathan. Herodotus says, the ears and fore feet were 
the parts from which the ornaments were suspended. But as 
the ears do not appear capable of bearing earrings, from their 
laying extremely flat upon the lower jaw, perhaps they were 
put upon other parts; or the historian, hearing that the sacred 
crocodile was adorned with ornaments, fixed them naturally 
upon the ears and fore feet, as earrings and necklaces were the 
most usual ornaments of the Greeks. Very likely the ornaments 
were not always put upon the same parts, but varied at different 
times; and that in the time of the Hebrew writer, the nose and 
the lips received the ornaments, which, in the days of the Greek 
historian, were transferred to the ears and fore feet. The exact 
place of the ornaments is, however, of no material consequence ; 
it is sufficient for our purpose to know, that ornaments were put 
upon the sacred crocodile, and that he was treated with great 
distinction, and in some degree considered a domestic animal. 
The three verses immediately following speak of him as such ; 
as entering into a covenant of peace, being retained in subjec- 
tion, &c. 

Has he made many supplications to thee ? 
Has he addressed thee teith flattering words ? 
Hast thou (in return) made a league with him, 
And received him into perpetual service ? 

The irony here is very apparent. The sacred poet shows a 
wonderful address in managing this deriding figure of speech in 
such a manner as not to lessen the majesty of the great Being 
into whose mouth it is put. 

Hast thou played with him as a bird? 
Wilt thou encage him for thy maidens ? 
Shall thy partners spread a banquet for him, 
And, the trading strangers bring him portions 1 " 1 ? 

Job is here asked how he will dispose of his captive. Whe- 
ther he will retain him in his family for his own amusement, or 
the diversion of his maidens ; or exhibit him as a spectacle to 

means an iron ring, or hook, or bit; because he thinks something of restraint is 
best adapted to the sense : but its general acceptation is the bracelet, XWJ/AOS rr,; 
Xfigos. ornamentnm manus. See Trommius and Biel. 

(Ipn) Tftwweiy ; the LXX use this word for boring the ear of a slave. 

(vrV?) xXoj, Vulg. maxilla; the flesh that covers and wraps over the jaw. 

17 Trading strangers. a'3y2D CANONIM Canaanites. The word is used as traf- 
fickers, Isai. xxiii. 8 ; Hosea, xii. 7, and Zeph. i. 1 1. The LXX render it poi- 
vixaiy 16 the Phenecian people. " Si Philoni Byblio credimus, qui Sanchonia- 
tlionem, veterem scriptorem Phcenicium, Graece transtulit, primus %vtt, !tl est - 
Chanaan, Phcenicis cognomen habuit. Unde et Phcenice regio %m dicitur apud 
Stephanum." Bochart. 



OF THE BIBLE. 227 

the Phoenician caravans. But Mr. Vansittart gives quite another 
turn to the verse. He thinks the word a>"On CHABARIM, which 
I have rendered " partners," signifies charmers (incantatores) ; 
hence rendered by the Chaldee Targum, N'OOH wise-men; and 
that it is to be applied to the priests who had the charge of the 
sacred crocodile, and might as well be called charmers of the 
crocodile, as the psylli were of serpents : and DOJ733, which is 
at present rendered " merchants," may be formed from 3733 pros- 
travit, humilem, reddere, and mean suppliants, zaorshippers. 
Hence he would understand it of the PRIESTS making a feast, 
and the SUPPLIANTS going up to make offerings. 

Has thou filled his skin with barbed irons, 
Or his head with harpoons 18 ? 

The impenetrability of his skin is here intimated, and is after- 
wards described at large. The attempt to wound him with mis- 
sile weapons is ridiculed. This is a circumstance which will 
agree to no animal so well as to the crocodile. The weapons 
mentioned are undoubtedly such as fishermen use in striking large 
fish at a distance. 

Make ready thy hand against him. 
Dare the contest; be firm 19 . 
Behold ! the hope of him is vain ; 
It is dissipated even at his appearance. 

The hope of mastering him is absurd. So formidable is his 
very appearance that the resolution of his opposer is weakened, 
and his courage daunted. 

None is so resolute that he dare rouse him, 
Who then is able to contend with me? 
That will stand before me, yea, presumptuously ? 
Whatsoever is beneath the whole heavens is mine. 
I cannot be confounded at his limbs and violence, 
Nor at his power, or the strength of his frame* 1 . 

" However man may be appalled at attacking the leviathan, 
all creation is mine : his magnitude and structure can produce 
no effect upon me. I cannot be appalled or confounded; I can- 
not be struck dumb." 

Job is, in this clause, taught to tremble at his danger in hav- 

18 Gussett, and after him Parkhnrst and Miss Smith, render this, " Wilt thou 
put his skin in a booth, and his head in the fish hut?" But this rendering is re- 
mote, and inaccordant with the preceding- verse. Bp. Stock thinks that b<6tf 
TZALTZAL, is the fisherman's tinkler, from the well known custom of fishers to 
attach a bell to the end of the harpoon to terrify the fish when struck. 

19 For the authority of this rendering I refer to Good, and his learned Note, 
p. 481, 

20 This gives light to the phrase, ch. iii. 8, " ready to rouse the leviathan ;" 
and intimates the hazard of such a conflict. 

21 J. M. Good's version of the verses above I have principally followed ; and 
refer to his notes for satisfactory reasons for rendering. 

S 2 



228 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

ing provoked, by his murmurs and litigation, the displeasure of 
the Maker of this terrible animal. 

The poet then enters upon a part of the description which has 
not yet been given, and whicli admirably pairs with the detailed 
picture of the war-horse and Behemoth. Nor does he descend 
from the dignity he had hitherto supported, by representing the 
great Creator as displaying his own wonderful work, and calling 
upon man to observe the several admirable particulars in its for- 
mation, that he might be impressed with a deeper sense of the 
power of his maker. 

Who will strip off the covering of his armour K ? 
Against the doubling of his nostrils who will advance 23 . 

This verse is obscure. The first line, however, seems to de- 
scribe the terrible helmet which covers the head and face of the 
crocodile. The translation might be, " Who can uncover his 
mailed face r" If in the days of Job they covered their war-horses 
in complete armour, the question will refer to the taking off the 
armour; and the scales of leviathan be represented by such an 
image. Then the second line may denote bridling him, after the 
armour is stript off for some other service. 

The doors of his face who will tear open? 

The rows of his teeth are TERROR; 

The plates of his scales, TRIUMPH ! 

His body is like embossed shields, 

They are joined so close one upon another 

The very air cannot enter betn-een them. 

Each is inserted into its next ; 

They are compact, and cannot be separated. 

The mouth of the crocodile is very large ; and the apparatus 
of teeth perfectly justifies this formidable description. The in- 
dissoluble texture, and the largeness of the scales with which he 
is covered, are represented by the powerful images of these 
verses 24 . 

22 Our common version is, " Who can discover the face of his garment?" Mr. 
Chapellow follows this; and Vansittart only substitutes "colour" for "face." 
Una 1 ? signifies in general, a. garment; but the garment or clothing of a warrior 
and a war-horse is a coat of mail. Such a covering seems alluded to, Isai. Ixix. 
17, and Ixiii. 1. 

23 " The doubling of his nostrils." Usually " a double bridle," or " the fold 
or doubling of the bridle." Bochart observes from Pol. Onom. that the Greeks 
called those parts of the lips which end at the cheeks, %Xivoi, bridles; and hence 
Parkhurst has rendered the passage " his gaping jaws." This, however, is a very 
circuitous explanation, and after all not quite correct. ]DT RISN means equally, 
" the bridle or halter of a horse," and " the bridle or halter part," i. e. the snout 
or nostrils; that around which the cord is usually tied, or into which, in some 
animals, it is fixed by a hole bored through it. Thus verse 2 of the above chap- 
ter, " Canst thou fix the cord to his snout?" The very same term, in the very 
same twofold sense of a bridle or a halter applied round the nose of a horse, and 
the nose itself is still common to the Arabic. [J. M. Good, Note, p. 483.] 

24 Herodotus, Euterpe Ixvii. says, that the crocodile has $ig/*ct XscnSwrov apf-n- 
XTOV i#i v yftiTB, " a skin of scales upon the back impenetrable;" and ./Elian, cle 
Nat. Anim. X, 24, varae Si irtfvxi xcu r-w owfv ap/nxrof \i-riui /*v 7f rt xai poA/<r< 



OF THE BIBLE. '2*29 

His snortings ars the radiance of light ; 
And his eyes as the glancing* of the datcn-'. 

Schultens remarks, that amphibious animals, the longer time 
they hold their breath under water, respire so much the more 
strongly when they begin to emerge ; and the breath confined 
for a length of time, effervesces in such a manner, and breaks 
forth so violently that they appear to vomit forth flames. 

The eyes of the crocodile are small, but they are said to be 
extremely piercing out of the water 26 . Hence, the Egyptians 
comparing the eye of the crocodile, when he first emerged out of 
the water, to the sun rising from out of the sea, in which he was 
supposed to set, made the hieroglyphic of sunrise. Thus Horus 
Apol. says, lib. i. 65, " When the Egyptians represent the sun- 
rise, they paint the eye of the crocodile, because it is first seen 
as that animal rises out of the water." 

From out of his mouth issues flashes ; 
Sparks of fire stream out 71 
l''rom his nostrils bursleth fume, 
As from the rush-kindled ouen 28 . 
His breath kindleth coals ; 
Raging fire spreadeth at his presence. 

Here the creature is described in pursuit of his prey on the 
land. His mouth is then open. His breath is thrown out with 
prodigious vehemence : it appears like smoke ; and is heated to 
that degree as to seem a flaming fire. 

The images which the sacred poet here uses are indeed very 
strong and hyperbolical ; they are similar to those Psal. xviii. 8. 
" There went a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his 



" Shut up with a thick skin and scales, with which he appears armed as with the 
strongest shells, he is impenetrable as to his hack and tail." And Diodonn 
Siculus, p. 41. sect. 3.5. TO 5s <r/*a Sav/tarus v*o r*s ipvjtus ayjupurat. TO fMi fag 
Sf/<Kz atvra itsu poXiSairo* ifi xau rn ax.\r,gorirt Sjonptfov. " His body is protected 
by nature in a most extraordinary manner; for his whole skin is impenetrable 
with scales of a wonderful hard texture." 

M Tyndal has rendered this distich nearly verbally: 

" Hys neesynge is lyke a glistrynge fyre, 

And hys eyes lyke the mornynge shyne." 

26 Herodot. Euterpe. Ixviii. So Pliny, 1. ii. c. 25. " Hebetes oculos hoc animal 
dicitur habere in aqua, extra acerritni visus." 

27 Bishop Stock renders it with a strange mingling of figures 

" Out of his mouth march burning lamps, 
Sparks of fire do fling themselves." 

38 Our common version is "as from a seething pot or cauldron," which is fol- 
lowed by Chappellow, Stock, and Good. The word Tn rendered "seething- 
pot," is translated "kettle," 1 Sam. ii. 14; "caldron," 2 Chron. xxv. 13; 
" basket," 2 Kings, x. 7, and Jer. xxiv. 1, 2 ; and " pot," Psalm, Ixxxi. 6. And 
]D3N AGMON, here rendered " caldron," and in the 2d verse of the chapter, " a 
hook," is elsewhere correctly translated a " rush," or " bullrush." Now, recol- 
lecting that the Egyptians heated their baking places with dry rushes, as they 
did their kilns with stubble; the comparison of the mouth of the crocodile belch- 
ing out vapour apparently ignited, to the smoke and fire issuing from an oven 
or furnace, is much more pertinent than to the vapour of a boiling pot. 



230 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

mouth devoured : coals were kindled by it." Ovid. Metapli. 
viii. does not scruple to paint the enraged boar in figures equally 
bold. 

" Fulmen ab ore venit, frondesque adflatibus ardent." 

Lightning issueth from his mouth, and boughs are set on fire 
by his breath. Silius Italicus, 1. vi. V. 208, has a correspondent 
description. 

In his neck dicelleth MIGHT ; 

And DESTRUCTION exulteth before Aim 29 . 

Might and destruction are here personified. The former is 
seated on his neck, as indicating his power, or guiding his move- 
ments ; and the latter as leaping and dancing before him when 
he pursues his prey, to express the terrible slaughter which he 
makes. 

The flakes of his flesh are compacted together. 
They are firm, and will in no teise give away. 
His heart is as hard as a stone, 
Yea, as hard as the nether mill-stone. 

These strong similes may denote not only a material but also 
a moral hardness, his savage and unrelenting nature. JElian 
calls the crocodile, " a voracious devourer of flesh, and the most 
pitiless of animals." 

At his rising, the mighty are alarmed; 

Frighted at the disturbance which he makes in the water 30 . 

The sword of the assailant is shivered at the onset, 

As is the spear, the dart, or the harpoon. 

He re.garde.lh iron as straw, 

Copper as rotten wood. 

The arrow cannot make him flee. 

Sling-stones he deemeth trifling ; 

Like stvbble is the battle-axe reputed 31 ; 

And he laugheth at the quivering of the javelin. 

49 In our version "and sorrow is turned into joy before him." The very re- 
verse is the fact. 

30 The original of this passage has been strangely understood by translators. 
Thus the Vulgate, " territi purgabuntur," their fears are so great that they exo- 
nerate themselves; and Junius and Tremellius, " metu confractionum se pur- 
gant;" which is rendered, in sufficiently delicate terms in our common version, 
" by reason of breakings they purify themselves." The literal rendering of 
iNunrp D^wn MISEBARIM JITHATAU, is, " they are confounded at the tumults." 
But the question is, What are the tumults referred to? By regarding the plural 
termination of D'~au>n as a distinct word, D' 13W73, we have a clear and satisfac- 
tory answer; for the passage will then run, " the tumult of the water," or "sea." 

31 " Battle-axe," our version, " darts," and Bp. Stock, u clubs." Mr. Chap- 
pellow observes, " When words are found but once in the Bible, as nmn TOTHACH 
is, it will be a difficult matter to ascertain their true meaning; especially those 
relating to instruments or weapons which the ancients used either in war or in 
any mechanic business. We can only learn from thence what they were in 
general intended for; but not their particular form or composition. This ob- 
servation will, I am inclined to think, hold good with regard to the CHATVITH, 
MASSAO, and SHIIUAH, in the 26th verse. To which led me add, that SHIR.TAH, 
being mentioned the last of the three, it may suggest some instrument of greater 
moment than the other two: for if JAH is sometimes joined to a word to enlarge 
the sense, this may possibly be the case here." V. i. p. 564. 



OF THE BIBLE. 231 

These expressions describe, in a lively manner, the strength, 
courage, and intrepidity of the crocodile. Nothing frightens 
him. If any one attack him, neither swords, darts, nor javelins 
avail against him. Travellers agree that the skin of the croco- 
dile is proof against pointed weapons. 

His bed is the splinters of flint 

Which the broken rock scatter eth on the mud 33 . 

This clause is obscure, and has been variously rendered. The 
idea seems to be, that he can repose himself on sharp pointed 
rocks and stones with as little concern as upon mud. 

He maketh the main to boil as a caldron : 
He snujfeth up the tide as a perfume. 
Behind him glittereth a pathway; 
The deep is embroidered with hoar 33 . 

To give a farther idea of the force of this creature, the poet 
describes the effect of his motion in the water. When a large 
crocodile dives to the bottom, the violent agitation of the water 
may be justly compared to liquor boiling in a caldron. When 
swimming upon the surface, he cuts the water like a ship, and 
makes it white with foam ; at the same time his tail, like a rud- 
der, causes the waves behind him to froth and sparkle like a 
trail of light. These images are common among the poets. 
Thus Homer, Odyss. 1. xii. v. 235, as translated by Pope 



' tumultuous boil the waves; 



They toss, they foam, a wild confusion raise, 
Like waters bubbling o'er the fiery blaze." 
He hath not his like upon earth, 
Even among those made not to be daunted. 
He looketh upon every thing with haughtiness ; 
He is king over all the sons of the fierce. 

Mr. Good observes, that all the interpreters appear to have run 
into an error in conceiving, that " the sons of pride or haughti- 
ness, in the original yni} '33, refer to wild beasts, or monsters of 
enormous size ; it is far more confounding to the haughtiness and 
exultation of man, to that undue confidence in his own power 
which it is the very object of this sublime address to humiliate, 
to have pointed out to him, even among the brute creation, a 
being which he dares not to encounter, and which laughs at all 
his pride, and pomp, and pretensions, and compels him to feel 
in all these respects his real littleness and inferiority. It is dif- 
ficult, perhaps impossible, to find a description so admirably 

37 Bp. Stock renders this, 

" Underneath him are splinters of the potter, 
Which the breaking rock scattereth on the mud." 

33 The word Stt>n signifies " to embroider, or work in tapestry." It furnishes, 
says Mr. Good, "a beautiful and truly oriental image for ' the deep is covered 
with foam.' " Bp. Stock has " the seu he rendereth like unto wort." This is 
bathos, both literally and figuratively. 



232 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

sustained in any language of any age or country. The whole 
appears to be of a piece, and equally excellent." 
The following is the poetical version of Mr. Scott: 

" Doubtless, with hook and cordage, thou art bold 
To draw LEVIATHAN from his watery hold ; 
To strain the noose about his dreadful jaw, 
And tame his fierceness with domestic law ! 
Will he, in humble parle, before thy feet, 
With mollifying words thy grace entreat? 
And, if thy clemency his life but spare, 
Eternal service to his victor swear? 
What duty wilt thou to this slave assign? 
Tied, like a household bird, with silken twine, 
His gamesome mood thy weighty cares may ease, 
Or his soft touch thy gentle damsels please. 
Or wilt thou send him into foreign lands 
Barter'd to Zidon's ships, or Tema's bands? 

" Is open war thy choice ? What fame is won, 
If thou invade him basking in the sun ! 
Surely thy javelins will transpierce his hide. 
And showers of fang'd harpoons his skull divide. 
Assail him, but remember well the foe, 
Fell him at once, or aim no second blow. 
Deceiving hope ! his look thy heart appals, 
The foe appears, the swooning champion falls. 
Not even the fiercest chief, with war's whole power, 
Dares rouse this creature in his slumbering hour. 
Who then shall face my terrors? where is he 
Whose rash presumption will contend with me? 
Where is the giver to whose gifts I owe, 
Owner of all above and all below ? 

" Come forth, LEVIATHAN, harness' d for the fight, 
In all thy dread habiliments of might? 
Behold his limbs, their symmetry survey, 
For war how well adjusted his array : 
The temper'd morion, o'er his visage brac'd, 
What hardy valour ever yet unlac'd ? 
Who, near his mouth, with double rein, will draw, 
And lift the huge portcullis of his jaw ? 
Behold he yawns, the hideous valves disclose 
Death's iron teeth embattled rows on rows. 
Proud o'er his mailed back his scales are class'd, 
Like serried shields, lock'd each in each so fast, 
And seal'd together, that no breath of wind 
Insinuates; so close the plates are join'd, 
So solder'd that the stoutest force were vain 
To pierce the tight-wedged joints, and burst the chain. 
His sneeze is lightning, from his eye the ray 
Streams like the pupil of emerging day. 
He belches flame, and fire at every blast 
Leaps sparkling out: a smoke his nostrils cast 
Like clouds which from a boiling caldron rise, 
Or marish mist beneath the morning skies. 
His breath enkindles coals; so hot it steams 
That his wide mouth a furious furnace seems. 
Strength on his neck is throned; where'er he turns 
Woe springs before him, and the carnage churns. 
His flesh coheres in flakes, with sinews barr'd, 
Compact as steel, indissolubly hard: 
His heart is from the quarry hewn, compress'd 
Hard as the nether milUtonc is his chest. 



OF THE BIBLE. 233 

The valiant tremble when he lifts his head, 
Down sink the mighty, impotent with dread. 
The sword at hand, the missile arms from far, 
Will thunder on his skin an idle war: 
The sword breaks short, the blunted spears rebound, 
And harmless clank the javelins on the ground. 
Iron as straw, and brass as mouldering wood, 
He scorns; nor flees, nor flinches to elude 
The whirring shaft; as stubble is the stone, 
From the strain'd sling with forceful eddies thrown; 
An stubble is the pounding mace; his hide 
Death's every brandished weapon will deride. 

" Sharp, ragged pebbles are his chosen bed, 
On pointed rocks his slimy couch is spread. 
What time he flounces in 'the wave and mire, 
He boils the water like the rage of fire : 
The boiling water to a thick perfume 
Works, as he dashes the discolour'd spume, 
The flood turns hoary, while his way he cleaves, 
And in his rear a shining path he leaves. 

" Dire reptile, on (he dust without a peer, 
Fiird with a soul incapable of fear; 
All beasts of lofty stature he disdains, 
And fiercest o'er the fierce, supreme he reigns." 

The word leviathan is found in the original of Job, iii. 8 ; in 
our version rendered "mourning." Mr. Good has a long note, 
explaining the passage as having a reference to ancient sorceries, 
and execrating incantations : but Mr. Scott's version and note 
seems satisfactory. 

Let them curse it that curse the day 
Of those tcho shall awake leviathan. 

To stir up or awake leviathan is represented, in ch. xli. 8 10, 
to be inevitable destruction. It was natural to mention such a 
terrible casualty in the strongest terms of abhorrence, and to 
lament those who so miserably perished with the most bitter 
imprecations on the disastrous day. Job here calls for the 
assistance of such language, to execrate the fatal night of his 
nativity. 

Or it may have a reference to the execration expressed by the 
Ombitias against the Tentyrifes. The Ombtae were the inha- 
bitants of Ombos, a town upon the right bank of the Nile, not 
far from the cataracts of the ancient Siene, now Assuan. This 
people were remarkable for the worship of the crocodile, and 
the foolishly kind manner in which they treated and cherished 
him. Their nearly opposite neighbours, the Tentyrites, were, 
on the contrary, conspicuous for their hatred and persecution of 
the same animal. The different mode of treatment of this ani- 
mal produced deadly feuds and animosities between the two 
people, which Juvenal, in his fifteenth Satire, ridicules most 
justly. He was an eyewitness of the hostility described, resid- 
ing as a Roman officer at Siene. If there be any allusion to 
this in the passage before us, it would mean, " let my birth be 



234 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

held in as much abhorrence, as is that of those who are the 
rousers of leviathan." 

" Immortale odium, et nunquam sanabile vulnus 
Ardet adhuc Ombos et Tentyra." Juv. Sat. xv. v. 35. 
Between two neighbouring towns a rancorous rage 
Yet burns ; a hate no lenients can assuage. 

By leviathan, Psalm Ixxiv. 14, we may suppose Pharaoh to 
be represented, as a king of Egypt is called by Ezekiel, xxix. 3, 
" the great dragon (or crocodile) that lieth in the midst of his 
rivers :" and if, says Mr. Merrick, the Arabic lexicographers 
quoted by Bochart, Phaleg. 1. i. c. 15, rightly affirm that Pharao, 
in the Egyptian language, signified a crocodile, there may pos- 
sibly be some such allusion to his name in these texts of the 
Psalmist and of Ezekiel, as was made to the name of Draco, 
when Herodicus, in a sarcasm recorded by Aristotle, Rhet. 1. ii. 
c. 23, said that his laws, which were very severe, were the laws 
own avOfWTrou #AA J^HOVTO?, non hominis sed draconis. Moses 
Chorenensis mentions some ancient songs, which called the de- 
scendants of Astyages a race of Dragons, because Astyages in 
the Armenian language signified a dragon, 1. i. c. 29, p. 72. 

LIGN-ALOE. D'W AHALIM. 



Occ. Numb. xxiv. 6; Psalm xlv. 9; Prov. vii. 17; Cantic. 
iv. 14. 

The Geneva version and ours have rendered the Hebrew 
word ahalim by aloe-trees, Numb. xxiv. 6, though they might, 
with as good reason, render it by tents, as the Septuagint, the 
Vulgate, and the Syriac, and Arabic versions have done ; since 
it evidently has this signification in several places of Scripture 34 : 
and since Balaam, in the preceding verse, admires the tents and 
the tabernacles of Jacob and Israel. Nay, since there grow no 
aloe-trees in Mesopotamia, which was Balaam's country ; nor in 
the land of Moab, where these words were expressed, it seems 
more natural to translate the word by that of tabernacle or tent 35 . 
It is true that what is here observed, that God planted those 
ahalim, seems to denote that they were trees, as well as the 
cedars which are mentioned directly after : but in answer to this 
it may be said, that the verb to plant, is not only employed to 
signify to put trees in the earth to grow, but also to express the 
pitching or setting up of tents, as may be seen in Dan. xi. 4, and 
elsewhere. It is likewise true, as l)ioscorides observes 36 , that 
the zcood of aloes was formerly brought from Arabia into other 
countries ; but this is no argument that it grew there, since we 

34 Gen. iv. 20; xiii. 3; Josh. vii. 21 ; Judg. vii. 8; Job, xxii. 23; Dan. xi. 
45, &c. 

35 Tents were probably first made (it may be then) of the thick-leaved boughs 
of trees; so that the word may be rendered arbour or bower. 

36 Lib. i. c. 21. 



OF THE BIBLE. 235 

find, that Jacob sent laudanum to Pharaoh, Gen. xliii. 11, 
which was collected in the land of Gilead, whence the Israelites 
transported it to Egypt, Gen. xxvii. 25, and might leave some 
of it in Syria, as they passed that way. Not to mention that no 
ancient author speaks of the wood of aloe 3T , Actius, Dioscorides, 
Paul ^Egineta, Serapion, and some modern Arabians, having 
mentioned it first, who give that wood the name of agalloch, or 
xylaloe, that is, the wood of aloe, because it resembles the aloe 
in colour, or perhaps, because they could find no wood nearer 
the Arabic agalttgen, or the Indian or Arabic ahala. However 
it be, it is certain that what we now call the wood of aloes comes 
from the Indies, the best sort from Sumatra and Malacca. 

The Septuagint, Vulgate, Geneva version, and ours render 
ahaiim by aloes, only in Prov. vii. 1? ; Psalm xlv. 9; and Can- 
tic, iv. 14. But this is manifestly a mistake, and clearly destroys 
the sense of these texts. For, as Junius, Tremellius, Piscator, 
and Ursinus observe, aloes have a bad smell, and cannot enter 
among the perfumes which are mentioned in these places. But 
in abandoning this signification, Junius, Buxtorf, and others, 
seem not to have succeeded better in rendering it santal. For 
though the heart of several sorts of the santal yields an agree- 
able fragrance, yet this seems known (or rather used), only by 
the modern Arabians, who, in speaking of it, remark that it 
comes from the Indies. 

The same difficulty may be brought against the opinion of 
those who are for rendering ahaiim, by the wood of aloe, called 
agalloch or xijlaloe. For suppose that Balaam should have 
meant trees, he must have spoken of such as were common in 
Syria and Arabia, whereas the agalloch comes from the East 
Indies, and from Taprobane : and Serapion formally denies, 
upon the testimony of Abahanifa an Arabian, that any of it 
grows in Arabia. 

Nor is it probable that David or Solomon speak of this wood 
in the places cited out of their writings : for though it may be 
presumed that the fleet which Solomon sent to Ophir might 
bring some of this wood among other rarities, yet the books of 
the Psalms, of Proverbs, and of Songs, were composed before 
the setting out of that fleet. It may likewise be questioned, 
whether that fleet brought any of that wood to Judea, because 
it is so rare and precious, even in the Indies, that one pound of 
it costs as much as three hundred weight of the best frankin- 
cense; as Garsias declares. Nor yet is it to be supposed, 
though this wood had been common in Judea in David's and 
Solomon's time, that they would have mixed it with myrrh and 
cinnamon ; for the agalloch or Indian lign-aloe, is so odoriferous 

37 See Garsius aromat. 1. i. c. 16. Bacchin. in Mathiolum.l. i. Jul. Seal. 142, 
Extrcit. sec. vi. Ursinus arboret. sac. c. iii. et 43, et hort. aromat. c. 2. Plin. 
Nat. Hist. 1. xxvii. c. 4. Bochart, Canaan, 1. i. c. 46. 



236 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

and so agreeable, that it stands in no need of any composition to 
increase or moderate its perfume. 

Yet there is another kind of wood, called the Syrian aloe, or 
of Rhodes, and of Candia, called otherwise aspalatha, which is 
a little shrub covered with prickles : of the wood of which, per- 
fumers (having taken off the bark) make use to give a con- 
sistency to their perfumes, which otherwise would be too thin 
and liquid. Cassiodorus observes, that this is of a very sweet 
smell, and that in his time they burned it before the altars instead 
of frankincense. Levinus Lemnius says, that it resembles very 
much the agalloch, or Indian lign-aloe. All which considera- 
tions make it probable, that ahalim should have been rendered 
the aspalatha. See ALOE. 

LIGURE. Dtt; 1 ? LESCHEM. 

Occ. Exod. xxviii. 19; and xxxix. 12, only. 

A precious stone of a deep red colour, with a considerable 
tinge of yellow. Theophrastus and Pliny describe it as resem- 
bling the carbuncle, of a brightness, sparkling like fire. 

The generality of the Hebrew lexicographers, and most of the 
ancients, critics, and commentators, whom we find reckoned up 
in a very learned article upon the li&ure, in Martinus' lexicon, 
suppose that to be the leschem ; and the Septuagint, Josephus, 
and Jerom, so render it, and their authority is decisive. 

LILY. |Untt7 SHUSHAN. 

Occ. 1 Kings, vii. 19, 22, 26; 2 Chron. iv. 5; Cantic. ii. 2, 
16; iv. 5; v. 13; vi. 2,3; vii. 2 ; Hosea, xiv. 5. KPINON. 
Matth. vi. 28 ; and Luke, xii. 27. 

A well known sweet and beautiful flower; which furnished 
Solomon with a variety of charming images in his Song, and with 
graceful ornaments in the fabric and furniture of the Temple. 

The title of some of the Psalms " upon Shushan or S/iosha- 
iiim 38 " probably means no more than that the music of these 
sacred compositions was to be regulated by that of some odes, 
which were known by those names or appellations. 

By " the lily of the valley," Cantic. ii. 2, we are not to under- 
stand the humble flower, generally so called with us, the lilium 
convallium, but the noble flower which ornaments our gardens, 
and which in Palestine grows wild in the fields, and especially 
in the valleys. 

Pliny reckons the lily the next plant in excellency to the 
rose ; and the gay Auacreon compares Venus to this flower. In 
the East, as w ith us, it is the emblem of purity and moral excel- 
lence. So the Persian poet, Sadi, compares an amiable youth 
to " the white lily in a bed of narcissuses," because he surpassed 
all the young shepherds in goodness 39 . 

38 Psalm xlv. Ix. Ixix. and Ixxx. 

39 Forskal gives to the Arabic susann, the Linnaean name Pancratium, which 
is a kind of narcissus. 



OF THE BIBLE. 237 

As in Cantic. v. 13, the lips are compared to the lily, Bishop 
Patrick supposes the lily here instanced to be the same which, 
on account of its deep red colour, is particularly called by Pliny 
" rubens lilium," and which he tells us was much esteemed in 
Syria. 

Such may have been the lily mentioned in Matth. vi. 28 30, 
for the royal robes were purple. " Consider the lilies of the 
iield how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin ; and yet 
I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not 
arrayed like one of these." So Luke, xii. 27. The scarcity of 
fuel in the east obliges the inhabitants to use, by turns, every 
kind of combustible matter. The withered stalks of herbs and 
flowers, the tendrils of the vine, the small branches of rosemary, 
and other plants are all used in heating their ovens and bagnios. 
We can easily recognise this practice in that remark of our 
Lord, Matth. vi. 50, " If God so clothe the grass of the field, 
which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not 
much more clothe you, O ye of little faith !" The grass of the 
field, in this passage, evidently includes the lilies of which he 
had just been speaking, and by consequence herbs in general ; 
and in this extensive sense the word %o(flo<; is not unfrequently 
taken. Those beautiful productions of nature, so richly arrayed, 
and so exquisitely perfumed, that the splendour even of Solomon 
is not to be compared to theirs, shall soon wither and decay, 
and be used as fuel. God has so adorned these flowers and 
plants of the field, which retain their beauty and vigour but for 
a few days, and are then applied to some of the meanest pur- 
poses of life : will he not much more take care of his servants 
who are so precious in his sight ; and designed for such important 
services in the world ? This passage is one of those of which Sir 
Thomas Brown says, " the variously interspersed expressions 
from plants and flowers elegantly advantage the significancy of 
the text." 

Mr. Salt, in his voyage to Abyssinia, p. 419, says, " At a few 
miles from Adowa, we discovered a new and beautiful species 
of Amaryllis, which bore from ten to twelve spikes of bloom 
on each stem, as large as those of the " Belladonna," spring- 
ing from one common receptacle. The general colour of the 
corolla was white, and every petal was marked with a single 
streak of bright purple down the middle. The flower was sweet 
scented, and its smell, though much more powerful, resembled 
that of the lily of the valley. This superb plant excited the 
admiration of the whole party ; and it brought immediately to 
my recollection the beautiful comparison used on a particular 
occasion by our Saviour, " I say unto you that Solomon in all 
his glory was not arrayed like one of these." And Sir J. E. 
SrnmY 40 observes, " It is natural to presume the divine teacher, 

Considerations respecting Cambridge, V te<l ^ n * l e Monthly -Repository, 
iy. p. w;. 



238 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

according to his usual custom, called the attention of his hearers 
to some object at hand ; and as the fields of the Levant are 
overrun with the Amaryllis Lutea, whose golden likceous 
flowers in autumn afford one or the most brilliant and gorgeous 
objects in nature, the expression of ' Solomon in all his glory 
not being arrayed like one of these,' is peculiarly appropriate. 
I consider the feeling \vith which this was expressed as the 
highest honour ever done to the study of plants ; and if my bo- 
tanical conjecture be right, we learn a chronological fact re- 
specting the season of the year when the Sermon on the Mount 
was delivered." 

The lily is said to have been brought originally from Persia, 
whose chief city was called Shushan, and one of its provinces, 
Susiana, from the plenty of these beautiful flowers growing there 
naturally. 

Souciet affirms, that the lily mentioned in Scripture is the 
Crown Imperial or Persian lily. 

Mr. Beckmann 41 informs us, that "the roots of the magnificent 
Fritillaria Imperials were about the middle of the sixteenth 
century brought from Persia to Constantinople, and were carried 
thence to the emperor's garden at Vienna, from whence they 
were dispersed all over Europe. This flower was first known 
by the Persian name tusac, until the Italians gave it that of 
Corona Imperial 4 ". I have somewhere read that it has been 
imagined that the figure of it is to be found represented on coins 
of Herod, and that on this account it has been considered as the 
lily so much celebrated in the Scripture." 

It appears from Cantic. v. 13, that the lily there spoken of 
was red, and distilled a certain liquor. There are crown impe- 
rials with yellow flowers, but those with red are the most com- 
mon ; they are always bent downwards, and disposed in the 
manner of a crown at the extremity of the stem, which has a tuft 
of leaves at the top. At the bottom of each leaf of this flower 
is a certain roscid humour, appearing in the form of a pure drop 
of water. This is what the spouse in the song alludes to : " His 
lips are like lilies dropping sweet scented myrrh." 

" Moisten'd with sweets and tinged with ruddy hue, 
His lips are lilies dropping honey-dew." 

LIME. Ttf SEED. 

Occ. in Deut. xxvi. 2, 4; Isai. xxxii. 12; Amos, ii. 1. 

A soft friable substance obtained by calcining or burning 
stones, shells, or the like. From Isai. xxxiii. 12, it appears that 
it was made in a kiln lighted with thorn bushes; and from Amos, 
ii. 1, that bones were sometimes calcined for lime. The use of 
it was for plaster, or cement; the first mention of which is in 
Deuteronomy, xxvii. where Moses directed the elders of the - 
people, saying, " Keep all the commandments which I command 

41 History of Inventions, V. iii. p. 5. " J Chisius, Hist. Plant, i. p. 128. 



OF THE BIBLE. 239 

you this day. And it shall be on the day when you shall pass 
over Jordan unto the land which the Lord your God giveth you, 
that you shall set up great stones and plaster them with plaster; 
and shall write upon them all the words of this law, &c." 
Upon this passage the learned Michaelis 43 has the following 
remarks. 

" The book of the law, in order to render it the more sacred, 
was deposited beside the ark of the covenant. The guardians 
of the law, to whom was intrusted the duty of making faithful 
transcripts of it, were the priests. But Moses did not account 
even this precaution sufficient for the due preservation of his 
law in its original purity ; for he commanded that it should 
besides be engraven on stones, and these stones kept on a moun- 
tain near Sichem, in order that a genuine exemplar of it might 
be transmitted even to latest generations. 

11 In his ordinance for this purpose there are one or two par- 
ticulars that require illustration. He commanded that the stones 
should be coated over with time ; but this command would 
have been quite absurd, had his meaning only been that the laws 
should be cut through this coating ; for after this unnecessary 
trouble, they could by no means have been thus perpetuated 
with such certainty, nor have nearly so long have resisted the 
effects of wind and weather, as if at once engraven in the stones 
themselves. Kennicott, in his second dissertation on the printed 
Hebrew text, p. 77, supposes that they might have been cut 
out of black marble, with the letters raised, and the hollow 
intervals between the black letters filled up with a body of 
white lime to render them more distinct and conspicuous. But 
even this would not have been a good plan for eternizing them ; 
because lime cannot long withstand the weather, and whenever 
it began to fall off in any particular place, the raised characters 
would, by a variety of accidents, to which writing deeply en- 
graved is not liable, soon be injured and become illegible. No 
one that wishes to write any thing in stone, that shall descend to 
the most remote periods of time, will ever think of giving a pre- 
ference to characters thus in relief. And besides, Moses, if this 
was his meaning, has expressed himself very indistinctly ; for he 
says not a word of the colour of the stone, on which, however, 
the whole idea turns. 

" 1 rather suppose, therefore, that Moses acted in this matter 
with the same view to future ages, as is related of Sostratus, the 
architect of the Pharos, who, while he cut the name of the then 
king of Egypt in the outer coat of lime, took care to engrave his 
own name secretly in the stone below, in order that it might 
come to light in after times, when the plaster with the king's 

43 " Commentaries on the Laws of Moses;" translated by Dr. Smith, V. i. 
p. 356. 



240 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

name should have fallen off. In like manner, Moses, in my 
opinion, commanded that his laws should be cut in the stones 
themselves, and these coated with a thick crust of lime, that the 
engraving might continue for many ages secure from all the 
injuries of the weather and atmosphere, and then, when by the 
decay of its covering it should, after hundreds or thousands of 
years, first come to light, serve to show to the latest posterity 
whether they had suffered any change. And was not the idea 
of thus preserving an inscription, not merely for hundreds, but 
for thousands of years, a conception exceeding sublime ? It is 
by no means impossible, that these stones, if again discovered, 
might be found still to contain the whole engraving perfectly le- 
gible. Let us only figure to ourselves what must have happened 
to them, amidst the successive devastations of the country in 
which they were erected. The lime would gradually become 
irregularly covered with moss and earth; and now, perhaps, the 
stones, by the soil increasing around and over them, may resemble 
a little mount; and were they accidentally disclosed to our view, 
and the lime cleared away, a!l that was inscribed on them three 
thousand five hundred years ago would at once become visible. 
Probably, however, this discovery, highly desirable though it 
would be, both to literature and religion, being in the present 
state of things, and particularly of the Mosaic law, now so long 
abrogated, not absolutely necessary, is reserved for some future 
age of the world. What Moses commanded, merely out of 
legislative prudence, and for the sake of his laws, as laws, God, 
who sent him,- may have destined to answer likewise another 
purpose; and may choose to bring these stones to light, at a time 
when the laws of Moses are no longer of any authority, in any 
community whatever. Thus much is certain, that no where in 
the Bible is any mention made of the discovery of these stones, 
nor indeed any farther notice taken of them, than in Josh. viii. 
30 35, where their erection is described ; so that we may hope 
they will yet be one day discovered." 

On the contrary, Dr. Geddes considers this as " mere fancy," 
observing that " the end of the inscription was, undoubtedly, that 
it might be at all times legible to every Israelite. To cover it 
over with plaster would be to lock it from the sight of the people, 
and to render it a useless dumb monitor. Others suppose that 
the writing was upon the plaster itself; and this 1 should deem 
more probable, if a writing of that kind were durable, when 
exposed to the winds and weather; which, when done m fresco, 
I am told it is. But it is a question, if the Israelites understood 
painting in fresco : and stones would naturally occur to the 
legislator as the most proper material for preserving his injunc- 
tions. The Greek of Venice has a word which, perhaps, the 
best of all expresses the meaning of the original, r/ravwra? T'U- 



OF THE BIBLE. 241 

rov$ V rt retvu : by which, I conceive, is not meant that the 
stones were to be plastered over with plaster, as our translation 
has it, but that they were to be cemented together with mortar." 

LINEN. Cloth made of flaxen thread. Lat. lii/urn; Anglice 
line, a thread, or cord. , 

Lipsius, in his notes on Tacitus, Aunal. ii. says, " Nolim 
erres, distincta genera vestium olim Byssinia, Bombycina, et 
Serica. Byssina e lino, Bombycina e verme, Serica ex arborum 
lana confectae." 

According to Virgil, serica is the product of a worm, and is 
called " vellera serum," the cocoon of the silk-worm. 

" Fine linen," BTS2OE, is mentioned Luke, xvi. 1Q ; and 
Rev. xviii. 12. From Pollux, Onomastic. vii. c. 17, sect. 75, 
we learn that vf Buenos A/vou TI eido? Ttff' IvSoig, BYSSUS is a species 
of 'flax from India. Pliny, 1. xix. c. 1, says, " Huic lino (ab- 
estino) principatus in toto orbe. Proximus byssino, mulierum 
maxime deliciis circa Elim in Achaia genito :" and Pausanias, 
Eliac. 1. i. QtzvfAeiveii 5' etvlig v Ty HAf/# TTVJV Buo-trov. H la 
Biwcrof y i> TV} HAe/ hfTsloTtfTO? [JiV tivt'Au. ovJf ctTto^ei Tyg TLfyaitiov, 
eqi $e OWL o^otug #v0vj. But it appears uncertain, whether the 
Byssus of Elia or Judea, \vasjiax or cotton 44 . 

Theocritus, Idyl. ii. v. 73, mentions Byss, as a clothing worn 
by women on festive occasions. 



Buajoio xaXoy avgowoi 

Trailing a beauteous robe of byss* 

See FLAX. 

LION. -)K, ART, or n")M ARJEH. 

Occ. Gen. xlix. 9; Deut. xxxiii. 22; Psalm vii. 3; xxii. 14; 
Hos. xiii. 8 ; Mic. v. 7, and frequently. 

A large beast of prey : for his courage and strength called the 
king of beasts. 

This animal is produced in Africa, and the hottest parts of 
Asia. It is found in the greatest numbers in the scorched and 
desolate regions of the torrid zone, in the deserts of Zaara and 
Biledulgerid, and in all the interior parts of the vast continent 
of Africa. In these desert regions, from whence mankind are 
driven by the rigorous heat of the climate, this animal reigns sole 
master. Its disposition seems to partake of the ardour of its 
native soil. Inflamed by the influence of a burning sun, its rage 
is most tremendous, and its courage undaunted. Happily, in- 
deed, the species is not numerous, and is said to be greatly 
diminished ; for, if we may credit the testimony of those who 
have traversed those vast deserts, the number of lions is not 
nearly so great as formerly. Mr. Shaw observes, that the Ro- 

44 Other authorities may be found in Philostratus, Vit. Apollon. ii. c. 20. 
Salmass. Exercit. Plin. p. 701. Reland, Diss. Miscel. p. i. p. 212. Forster,de 
Bysso Antiquoruin, Lond. 1776. 

T 



'242 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

mans carried more lions from Libya in one year for their public 
spectacle, than could be found in all that country at this time. 
It is likewise remarked, that in Turkey, Persia, and the Indies, 
lions are not so frequently met with as in former times. 

From numberless accounts we are assured, that powerful and 
terrible as this animal is, its anger is noble, its courage mag- 
nanimous, and its temper susceptible of grateful impressions. 
It has been often seen to despise weak and contemptible ene- 
mies, and even to pardon their insults, when it was within its 
power to punish them. It has been known to spare the life of 
an animal that was thrown to be devoured by it: to live in 
habits of perfect cordiality with it ; to share its subsistence, and 
even to give it a preference, where its portion of food was 
scanty. 

The form of the lion is strikingly bold and majestic. His 
large and shaggy mane, which he can erect at pleasure, sur- 
rounding his awful front: his huge eyebrows; his round and 
fiery eyeballs, which, upon the least irritation, seem to glow 
with peculiar lustre : together with the formidable appearance 
of his teeth exhibit a picture of terrific grandeur which no 
words can describe. 

The length of the largest lion is between eight and nine feet; 
the tail about four; and its height about four feet and a half. 
The female is about one-fourth part less and without a mane. 

As the lion advances in years its mane grows longer and 
thicker. The hair on the rest of the body is short and smooth, 
of a tawny colour, but whitish on the belly. 

Its roaring is loud and dreadful. When heard in the night, it 
resembles distant thunder. Its cry of anger is much louder and 
shorter. 

Kolben, who says he had often heard it 45 , observes that " it 
is one of the most horrid sounds in nature, which the stoutest 
man can scarcely hear without trembling;" but it becomes still 
more dreadful when it is known to be a sure prelude of destruc- 
tion to whatever living creature comes in his way. Comp. Jud. 
xiv. 5 ; Jer. ii. 15; Amos, iii. 8. " The lion hath roared, who 
will not fear?" 

The lion seldom attacks any animal openly, except when im- 
pelled by extreme hunger; in that case no danger deters him. 
But, as most animals endeavour to avoid him, he is obliged to 
have recourse to artifice, and take his prey by surprise. For 
this purpose, he crouches on his belly in some thicket, where 
he waits till his prey approaches; and then, with one prodigious 
spring, he leaps upon it at the distance of fifteen or twenty feet, 
and generally seizes it at the first bound. If he miss his object, 
he gives up the pursuit; and, turning back towards the place of 
his ambush, he measures the ground step by step, and again lies 
Nat. Hist, of Cape of Good Hope. 



OF THE BIBLE. '243 

in wait for another opportunity. The lurking places are gene- 
rally chosen by him near a spring, or by the side of a river, 
where he has frequently an opportunity of catching such animals 
as come to quench their thirst. 

The lion is a long lived animal, although naturalists differ 
greatly as to the precise period of its existence. Of some that 
have been trained in the Tower of London, one lived to the age 
of sixty-three years, and another exceeded seventy. 

The attachment of a lioness to her young is remarkably strong. 
For their support she is more ferocious than the lion himself: 
makes her incursions with greater boldness; destroys without 
distinction, every animal that falls in her way, and carries it 
reeking to her cubs. She usually brings forth in the most re- 
tired and inaccessible places : and when afraid that her retreat 
should be discovered, endeavours to hide her track by brushing 
the ground with her tail. When much disturbed or alarmed, 
she will sometimes transport her young (which are usually three 
or four in number) from one place to another in her mouth : 
and, if obstructed in her course, will defend them to the last 
extremity. 

The lion has several names in Scripture, according to his 
different ages or character. 

M GOE, a little lion, a lion's whelp. Occ. Deut. xxx. 22; 

Jer. li. 38; Ezek. xix. 2; Nah. ii. 13. 

TDD CHEPHIR, a young lion, that has done sucking the lioness, 
and leaving the covert, begins to seek prey for himself. So 
Ezek. xix. 2, 3, " The lioness hath brought tip one of her 
whelps; it became a CHEPHIR , it learned to catch the prey ; 
it devoured men" Psalm xci. 13 ; Prov. xix. 12, and else- 
where frequently. 

')N ART, a grown and vigorous lion: having whelps, eager in 
pursuit of prey for them, Nahum. ii. 12; valiant, 2 Sam. 
xvii. 10; arrogantly opposing himself, Numb, xxiii. 24. 
This is, indeed, the general name, and occurs frequently. 
bnu? SHACAL, one in full strength of his age. A black lion. 
Job, iv. 10; x. 16; Psalm xci. 13; Prov. xxvi. 13; 
Hosea, v. 14; xiii. 7. 
U;* 1 ? LAISH, a fierce or enraged lion. Job, iv. 11; Prov. xxx. 

30 ; and Isai. xxv. 6. 

A regard to these characteristics and distinctions is very im- 
portant for illustrating the passages of Scripture where the ani- 
mal is spoken of, and discovering the propriety of the allusions 
and metaphors which he so often furnishes. 1 will quote a few 
instances in proof of this. 

In Job, iv. 10, 11, our translators render " the roaring of the 
lion, and the voice of the fierce lion, and the teeth of the young 
lions are broken, fhe old lion perisheth for lack of prey, and 
the stout lion's whelps are scattered abroad.^' Here, in the ori- 

T2 



244 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

ginal, are five different words to express a lion, or rather five 
different lions; the ARIEH, the greater and more adult lion; 
SHACHAL, the sullen and strong lion; CHEPHIR, the young lion 
rising in full vigour; LAISH, the ferocious lion; and LABIAH,. 
the lioness, with her whelps, literally, " sons of labia." The 
most obvious reason why Eliphaz uses so many distinct words 
is, no doubt, to insinuate that Job and his family had tyrannized 
over mankind ; some in one way, and some in another ; like so 
many lions of different ages, fierceness, and strength. 

So in Nahum, ii. 1 1, 12, the prophet inquires Where are the 
inhabitants of Nineveh, who were strong and rapacious as lions? 

Where is the habitation of the devouring lions, [ARIAH] 
And the feeding-place of the young lions? [CEPHIRIM] 
Whilher the devouring lion [ARIAH] retired, 
The lionesses [LABIAH] and the lion's whelps ? 
The devouring lion [ARIATH] tare for his whelps. 
And strangled for his lionesses [LABIAH]; 
And filled his dens with prey, 
And his habitations with rapine. 

The allegory, says B>shop Newcome, is beyond measure 
beautiful. 

In Gen. xlix. Q, " Judah is a lion's whelp, gone up from de- 
vouring the prey. He stooped dozen, he couched tike [ARIAH] a 
grown lion;" (about to spring upon his prey and tear it to 
pieces); " and like [LABIAH] the lioness," having whelps, then 
most fierce and most active. " Who shall rouse her then ?" 

The Scripture also has taken notice of whatever is formidable 
in him; his look, his walk, his roar, his teeth, his paws, &c. 
And this with a discrimination which it is difficult to express in 
a translation, but gives admirable force and accuracy to the ori- 
ginal allusion. For instance, in Gen. xlix. 9, we read of " the 
lion's whelp," which in Jer. li. 8, is said not to roar, [3NU;] as 
would a full grown lion, but [Drti] to roar imperfectly, to growl ; 
by which it is distinguished from " the young lion," Judg. xiv. 5, 
which [JNtti;] roared, with the full sound of menace. 

Bochart, Hieroz. V. ii. has traced the several characteristics 
of the lion, through all the passages of Scripture in which they 
are mentioned, and has devoted ninety- pages to their explication. 
Paxton, in his Illustrations of Scripture, V. i. p. 505, has filled 
twenty-eight pages, with the like purpose of explaining every 
reference to the lion which is to be found in the Bible. 

Bochart supposes the ^TO? SUACAL to be the black lion, 
according to the import of the Hebrew name. Oppian, V.enat. 
iii. informs us that he had seen lions of this colour ; and Pliny, 
N. H. 1. viii. c. 17, assures us that there were lions of this sort 
in Syria. 

I take an opportunity here to introduce a remark upon a 
singular event. 

While the Jews were learning in their captivity the salutary 



OF THE BIBLE. 245 

lessons of humility and obedience to God, divine providence 
was graciously employed in correcting the various superstitions 
of the Cutheans, and leading them to truer notions of things. 
When these mixed people introduced into Samaria the several 
deities of their own countries, and worshiped them according to 
their own manner; the Lord, jealous of his honour, and concerned 
to maintain the sanctity of his land, was highly provoked at such 
profanation, and sent among them a number of lions by which 
they were grievously vexed and destroyed 46 . Why he made 
choice of these animals to annoy them, may not perhaps be 
accounted for with any degree of certainty or precision. But 
if we suppose, as we have some reason to suppose, that Arioch 
or Ariel, that is the lion God, was their chief and general deity 47 ; 
then the sending lions among them was a kind of judgment the 
most appropriate that we can well conceive, as it served to con- 
vince them in the most affecting manner that wherewithal a man 
sinneth by the same also shall he be punished. But whatever 
might be the reason for which the punishment was particularly 
inflicted in this form, yet certain it is that it produced upon 
them the desired effect. For it brought them to the acknow- 
ledgment of the true God; and to a respectful compliance with 
his laws and worship. And though they continued for a time to 
join their own gods with the Lord God of Israel, yet did they 
gradually so advance in knowledge, and ultimately so improve 
in piety, as to forsake all their false deities and confine them- 
selves to the worship of the Lord, and to the worship of him 
only 48 . 

LIZARD. rwiQV LETAAH. 

Occurs Levit. xi. 30, only. 

All interpreters agree that the original word here signifies a 
sort of lizard. Bochart takes it for that kind which is of a redish 
colour, lies close to the earth, and is of a venomous nature. 

LOCUST. rCTiN ARBEH. The word is probably derived 
fDI RABAH, which signifies to multiply, to become numerous, &c. 
because of the immense swarms of these animals by which dif- 
ferent countries, especially the east, are infested. See this cir- 
cumstance referred to, Jud. vi. 5; vii. 12; Psalm cv. 34; Jer. 
xlvi. 23; li. 14; Joel, i. 6; Nahum, iii. 15, and Judith ; ii. 19, 

46 2 Kings, xvii. 25, 26. 

47 The principal deity of the Assyrians was Af*ij or Mars (see Hyde de rel. 
vat. Pers. c. ii. p. 62), whose symbol was a lion. Josephus says (Antiq. Jud. 
1. ix. c. 14, 3, and 1. xii. c. 5, ^ 5) that these Cutheans were destroyed by 
plagues and not by lions. How he came by this reading it is not easy to con- 
ceive, unless he translated the Hebrew word nx by Afr,j, which he found to be 
sometimes used in a sense equivalent to XOI/AO?, pestis, or plague, and then adopted 
the word as the most common and best understood. Though in truth it is to be 
suspected it proceeded from a worse cause. 

.'" See Patrick's Commentary on 2 King?, xvii. 41. Owen's Sermons at the 
Boolean Lecture, V. 2. p. 81. 



24(3 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

20; where the most numerous armies are compared to the 

ARBEH, Or loCUSt. 

The locust, in entomology, belongs to a genus of insects 
known among naturalists by the name of GRYLLI. The common 
great brown locust is about three inches in length ; has two 
antennae about an inch long, and two pair of wings. The head 
and horns are brown; the mouth and insides of the larger legs 
bluish ; the upper side of the body and upper wings, brown, the 
former spotted with black, and the latter with dusky spots. The 
back is defended by a shield of a greenish hue ; the under wings 
are of a light brown hue tinctured with green, and nearly tran- 
sparent 19 . The general form and appearance of the insect is that 
of the grasshopper so well known in this country. 

These creatures are frequently mentioned in the Old Testa- 
ment. They were employed as one of the plagues, for the 
punishment of the Egyptians ; and their visitation was threaten- 
ed to the Israelites as a mark of the divine displeasure. Their 
numbers and destructive powers very aptly fit them for this 
purpose. When they take the field they always follow a leader, 
\vhose motions they invariably observe. They often migrate 
from their native country, probably in quest of a greater supply 
of food. On these occasions they appear in such large flocks 
as to darken the air, forming many compact bodies, or swarms, 
of several hundred yards square. These flights are very frequent 
in Barbary, and generally happen at the latter end of March or 
beginning of April, after the wind has blown from the south for 
some days. The month following the young brood also make 
their appearance, generally following the track of the old ones. 
In whatever country they settle, they devour all the vegetables, 
grain, and in fine all the produce of the earth, eating the very 
bark off" the trees ; thus destroying at once the hopes of the 
husbandman, and all the labours of agriculture ; for though their 
voracity be great, yet they contaminate a much greater quantity 
than they devour, as their bite is poisonous to vegetables, and 
the marks of devastation may be traced for several succeeding 
seasons 50 . 

There are various species of them, which consequently have 
different names; and some are more voracious and destructive 
than others; though all are most destructive and insatiable 
spoilers. Bochart, Hieroz. iii. 251, enumerates ten different 
kinds which he thinks are mentioned in the Scripture, viz. 

49 For a very curious and circumstantial account of the Locust, the reader is 
referred to Dillon, Travels in Spain, p. 256, ed. 4to. 

50 " Dans quelque endroit que se jettent ces especes d'armees elles ne laissent 
rien apies elles, elles cousument meme en pen d'heures le travail et le revenu de 
toute une annee. Ces petits animaux devorent tout ce qu'il y a de verdure dans 
les champs, ils pelent, ils rongcnt,1te ecorchent tout. Us sont meme si voraces, 
que lorsqu' il ne Icur reste plus rien a manger, ils se drchirent entre cux, et se 
devorent les uns les autres." Scheuchzer, torn. ii. p. 62. 



OF THE BIBLE. 247 

(1) nmN ARBEH. (2) 21J GOB. (3) Dtt GAZAM. (4) SJn CHAGAB. 
(5) ^Q3n CHANAMAL. (6) b'DH CHASIL. (?) ^JIH CHARGAL. (8) 

p 1 ?' JELEK. (9) D}/7D SOLAM. (10) bl6lf TSELTSAL. From what 
he has written, and from various other sources 51 , I shall endea- 
vour to give an explanation of each of these names, with the 
aim to identify the several species, and elucidate the passages of 
Scripture in which they are mentioned. 

(1) rWH* ARBEH. Occurs Exod. x. 4, 12, 13, 14, 19 ; Levit. 
xi. 22; 1 Kings, viii. 37; 2 Citron, vi. 28; Psalm Ixxviii. 46; 
cv. 34; cix. 23 ; Prov. xxx. 27 ; Joel, i. 4, ii. 25 ; and translated 
" Grasshopper," Jud. vi. 5 ; vii. 12 ; 1 Kings, viii. 37 ; Job, 
xxxix. 20; and Jer. xlvi. 23. See GRASSHOPPER. 

This is probably the general name, including all the species. 
If understood of a single kind, it must be without doubt the 
" gryllus gregarius" of Forskal, or the common gregarious 
locust, which the Arabs call i^iJ DJERAD ; and which the Jews 
who dwell in Yemen assured Mr. Forskal is the same with the 
Hebrew rO"W. 

Is it not probable that the fable of the HARPIES originated 
from the plunderings of the locust tribes ? The name 'Advice is 
not dissimilar to the Hebrew rQ~)N ARBEH, the generic name of 
the locusts. CEL^ENO resembles the Syriac ND3/7D SOLHAMO, 
and the Hebrew CDi/?D SALAM : ACHOLOE may be deduced from 
bstt ACHAL, to devour; and AELLofrom *y]yy HAHOL 52 . 

(2.) 31 j GOB, or O1J GOBAI. Isai. xxxiii. 4; Amos, vii. 1 ; and 
Nah. iii. 17, only. 

Bochart derives it from the Arabic NOJ " e terra emergere;" 
Castel furnishes another root, the Arabif 3W " secuit." O1J 
which is the reading of many MSS. is formed says Houbigant, 
as 2U7 captivity, and signifies a swarm of locusts. 

This is supposed to be the locust in its caterpillar state ; so 
called either from its shape in general, or from its continually 
hunching up its back in moving, says Parkhurst ; who adds, to 
explain these passages, I would observe that it is in their cater- 
pillar state that the locusts are the most destructive, marching 
directly forward, and in their way eating up every thing that is 
green and juicy; that in and near the Holy Land, they are in 
this state in the month of April, which corresponds to the begin- 
ning of the springing up of the latter growth after the king*s 
feedings (Amos, vii. 1), which was in March : and in the begin- 
ning of June, mp DID in the time of cooling (Nah. iii. 17), when 
the people are retired to their cool summer houses, or country 

51 Rosenmuller, note in Bocharti Hieroz. torn. iii. Oedmann Vermischte 
Sammlungen, Fasc. ii. part 2. Tyschsen Comment, de Locustis quarum in V. T. 
mentio fit, Rostoch. 1787. Ludolphus, De Locustis. append. Hist. /Ethiop. 
Hasseus, de Judaica terra depopulatio pettGazam, Arbe. Jelek, et Chasii, ad 
vat. Joel, illstr. 1724. 

5 * See Clericus, diss. de stat. sal. sub. finem, appendix in Com. Genes. 



248 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

seats, the caterpillar-locusts of the second brood are settled in 
the fences, whither the parent-locusts had retired to lay their 
eggs. But for the farther illustration of these particulars I must 
request the reader attentively to peruse Dr. Shaw's Travels, p. 
187, 2d edition, and compare it with Manner's Observations, v. i. 
p. 225, &c. and v. ii. p. 466, &c. 

Increase thyself as the locust, increase thyself as the numerous locust: 

Multiply thy merchants more than the stars of heaven, 

fet the locust hath spoiled, and hathjlotcn away. 

Thy crowned princes are as the numerous locust, 

And the captains as the GORAl 

Which encamp in the hedges in the cold day. 

The sun riseth, they depart : and their place is not knotcn. 

Nah. iii. 16, 17. 

Your spoil shall be gathered as the CHASIL gathereth: As the 
DOJ GOBIM run to and fro, so shall they run and seize it. Isai. 
xxxiii. 4. 

(3.) OH GAZAM. Occurs Amos, iv. 9; and Joel, i. 4; ii. 25, 
only, and in our translation is rendered " the palmer worm." 

Bochart says that this is a kind of locust, which, furnished with 
very sharp teeth, gnaws off, not only grass and grain, and the 
leaves of trees, but even their bark and more tender branches. 
But Michaelis, agreeing with the LXX translation y.a^vj and 
the Vulgate " eruca," thinks it means the caterpillar, which might 
have its name from the sharp sickle with which its mouth is 
armed, and with which it cuts the leaves of trees to pieces; and 
which, beginning its ravages long before the locust, seems to 
coincide with the creature mentioned in Joel, i. 4: butTychsen 
thinks it the " Gryllus cnstatus" of Linnaeus. 

(4.) D^n CHAGAB. Occurs Levit. xi. 22; Numb. xiii. 34; 
2 Chron. vii. 13 ; Eccl. xii. 5 ; and Isai. xl. 22. See the article 
GRASSHOPPER. 

Tychsen supposes it the " Gryllus Coronatus" of Linnaeus. 

(5.) toan CHANAMAL. Psalm Ixxviii. 47. 

Bochart, following some of the Rabbins, would render this a 
species of locust. In our translation it is rendered " hail ;" but 
the word for hail in Exod. ix. which is here referred to, is TO. 
As bD3n is found only in Psalm Ixxviii. 47, its signification is 
uncertain. The French word Chenille bears some resemblance 
to it. 

(6.) b'Dn CHASIL. Occ. Deut. xxviii. 38 ; Psalm Ixxviii. 46; 
Isai. xxxiii. 4; 1 Kings, viii. 37; 2 Chron. vi. 28; Joel, i. 4; 
ii. 25. 

This has been variously rendered. Paulus in Clav. Psalm- 
orum, p. 197, thinks it the " eruca, qua3 ex nympha, (s. larva) 
prorepserit." Oedman, Fasc. ii. c. vi. p. 138, that it is the 
" cimex .rEgyptius," Linn, and Tychsen that it is the " gryllus 
verucivorus," Linn. Sys. Nat. t. i. p. iv. p. 2067- See CATER- 
PILLAR. ' 



OF THE BIBLE. 249 

(7.) bnn CHARGOL. Occ. Levit. xi. 22, only. 

Rosenmuller, in his notes to Bochart, suggests that this may 
be the " Gryllus onos," or " papus" of Linnaeus. See BEETLE. 

(8.) pb> JELEK. Occ. Psalm cv. 34; Jer. li. 27; Joel, i. 4; 
ii. 25; and Nah. iii. 15. See CANKER-WORM. 

Oedman, Fasc. ii. c. vi. p. 126, takes it for the " Gryllus 
cristatus," Linn. Sys. Nat. t. i. p. 4. p. 2074, and Tychsen the 
" Gryllus hoematopus, horripilaus." 

(9.) DybD SOLAM. Occ. Levit. xi. 22, only, where it is ren- 
dered " the bald locust." 

A kind of locust, probably so called from its rugged form, as 
represented in Scheuchzer's Pys. Sacr. tab. ccl. fig. i. Tychseu 
is persuaded that it is the "Gryllus eversor;" Linn. 

(10.) bxhu TZALTZAL. Occ. Deut. xxviii. 42, only. 

Michaelis, Suppl. Lex. Hebr. defines this the " Gryllus tal- 
piformis;" Oedmann, Fasc. ii. p. 140, opposes this; and Tych- 
sen insists that it must intend the " Gryllus Stridulus" of Linn, 
t. i. p. 14, p. 2078, and that its very name imports this. Most 
of the ancient versions, says Dr. Geddes, favour some such 
meaning ; yet he is inclined to think that it is not an animal, 
but a particular sort of blight that principally affects trees ; and 
therefore follows the LXX who render it e^trv^ 53 , and the 
Vulgate "rubigo^V 

II. These insects come into the catalogue of animals permit- 
ted for food ; Levit. xi. 20 22. " All fowl that creep, going 
upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. Yet these ye 
may eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, 
which have legs above their feet to leap withal upon the earth." 
The author of " Scripture Illustrated," remarking the obscurity 
of this rendering, (t fowl-going on all four; flying-creeping; legs 
above their feet" observes that the passage would read thus, 
literally All winged reptiles, walking on four feet are abomina- 
tion to you : but yet these ye may eat from among all winged 
creepers, going on four, those which have in them joints (D'JTO 
CAROIM), at the upper part of their hind legs (6n REG ELI), for 
the purpose of leaping from off' the earth. These parts of the 
locust had exercised the critical inquiries of Michaelis, Quest. 
xxx. which Niebuhr answered by information, that " Arbah is 
the name at Bagdad and Maskat of those locusts of passage, 

53 Suidas, however, says that the word means a little animal which is born in 
the fruit, and destroys it; &DfiSiov rt E ru <riru <ytKV*ivov : but he adds, that some 
consider it only as a malady that harbours in the needs, and corrupts the fruit; rmt 
votro tttiYvo/xEvov rots avtgfMtatv, o AU/**WT/ rov xttprroy. 

54 Mr. Bruce, in describing the Zimb, says, " The Chaldee version is content 
with calling this animal simply Zebub, which signify fly in general, as we express 
it in English. The Arabs call it Zimb in their translation, which has the same 
general signification. The Ethiopia calls it ftalsalya, which was the true name 
of this particular fly in Greek, and was the same in Hebrew." He must have 
referred to the insect abovementioned. 



250 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

which devour all they meet with, and then go farther. CHAGAB 
is also a locust known at Maskat. Rijelin are the two hind 
legs: kiraim are the joints." By these terms, I understand the 
joints of the hinder leg, those very conspicuous ones, which 
unite the muscular thigh with the slender leg. The distinction, 
I presume, is this ; the locust has usually, beside his wings, six 
legs ; four for crawling, and two for leaping. Such as may have 
four legs only, are forbidden, since they only creep with such 
feet, though they also fly with their wings : but if they have two 
hind legs also, with which they leap, then, as they leap and fly, 
as well as creep, they are allowed. It will follow that the lo- 
custs named in the following verse have six legs. This principle 
excludes other insects, flies, &c. which use their two fore feet 
as paws, but do not leap with any. 

" The ARBEH, after its kind; the SOLAM, after its kind; the 
CHARGOL, after its kind; and the CHAGAB, after its kind." 
Strange as this permission to eat locusts may appear to the mere 
English reader, yet nothing is more certain than that several 
nations, both of Asia and Africa, anciently used these insects for 
food, and that they are still eaten in the East. Diodorus Siculus, 
lib. xxiv. c. 3, mentions a people of Ethiopia who were so fond 
of eating them that they were called Acridophagi, eaters of 
locusts. They made large fires, which intercepted the flight of 
the locusts, which they collected and salted ; thus preserving 
them palatable till the season for again collecting them returned 55 . 
Ludolphus, Dr. Shaw, and all the modern travellers, mention 
the custom of eating them, fried and salted 56 . 

" Locusts (says Jackson in his account of Marocco, p. 5) 
are esteemed a great delicacy, and, during the time of their 
swarming, dishes of them are generally served up at the prin- 
cipal repasts. There are various ways of dressing them; that 
usually adopted is to boil them in water half an hour, then 
sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and fry them, adding a little 
vinegar. The head, wings, and legs are thrown away, the rest 
of the body is eaten, and resembles the taste of prawns. As 
the criterion of goodness in all eatables among the Moors is 
regulated by the stimulating qualities which they possess, so these 
locusts are preferred to pigeons, because supposed to be more 
invigorating. A person may eat a plate full of them, containing 
two or three hundred, without any ill effects." 

III. The dire armies of these invading destroyers are magni- 

K See also Strabo, lib. xvi. Plin. N. H. I. xvii. c. 30. Agatharcidcs, peri- 
plus de rubro mari. ./Elian, lib. vi. c. 20. Athenaeus, I. xlix. Jeroin, who lived 
in the fifth century, speaks of the Orientals and inhabitants of Libya, as eating 
locusts. 

36 Ludolphus, p. 67. Dr. Shaw's Trav. p. 419, ed. 4to. Mariti, y. ii. p. 189. 
Russell, N. H. of Aleppo, p. 62. Hasselquist, 231, 419. Niebuhr, Description 
de 1'Arabie, p. 150. 



OF THE BIBLE. 251 

scribed in S 
phet Joel, 5 
and notes. 



ficently described in Scripture. I select the sublime description 
of the prophet Joel, and accompany it with some illustrations 



Hear this, ye old men ; 
And give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. 
. Hath such an event happened in your days, 

Or even in the days of your fathers ? 
Tell ye your children of it ; 
And let your children tell their children; 
And their children tell another generation. 
What the GAZAM leave, the ARREH devour; 
What the ARBEH leave, the JALF.K devour ; 
What the. JALEK leave, the CHASIL devour. 
Before them a fire consumeth, 
And behind a flame burneth : 
The land is as the garden of Eden before them, 
And behind them a wilderness of desolation ; 
Yea, and nothing shall escape them. 

They consume like a general conflagration. " Wheresoever 
they feed (says Ludolphus), their leavings seem as it were 
parched with fire 57 ." Though the land before their coming 
shall appear beautiful for its verdure and fruitfulness as the gar- 
den of Eden ; yet, after the ravages they have made on it, it 
shall look like a desolate and uncultivated wilderness. Neither 
herbage, nor shoots, nor leaves escape them. So Adanson, in 
his voyage to Senegal, says, " After devouring the herbage, with 
the fruits and leaves of trees, they attacked even the buds and 
the very bark : they did not so much as spare the reeds with 
which the huts were thatched." And Ludolphus, '* Sometimes 
they corrode the very bark of trees ; and then the spring itself 
cannot repair the damage." 

% Their appearance shall be like the appearance of horses, 

And like horsemen shall they run. 

Many writers mention the resemblance which the head of 
the locust bears to that of the horse 58 ; whence the Italians call 
them " cavalette." But I do not apprehend the prophet here 
describing the shape of the insect, but rather its properties, its 
fierceness, and swift motion : and thus, in Rev. ix. 7, the locusts 
are compared to horses prepared for the battle ; furious and 
impatient for the war. 

Like the sound of chariots, on the tops of the mountains shall they leap : 
Like the sound of a flame, offlre which devoureth stubble. 
They shall be like a strong people set in battle array. 

The noise of their coming shall be heard at a distance, like 
the sound of chariots passing over the mountains. When they 
fall on the ground and leap from place to place and devour the 

57 Hist. JSthiop. h i. c. xiii. So Pliny, xi. 29, " Malta contactn adurentcs." 

58 Theodora in Joelcm. Albertus, lib. fxvi. So Ray, on Insects, " Caput 
oblongum, cqui instar, prona spectans." 



252 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

fruits, the sound of them will resemble the crackling of the stub- 
ble when consuming by the flames ; or the din and clamour of 
an army ready prepared to engage in battle. 

How this description agrees to the locusts is shown abundantly 
by Bochart ; who tells us, from several authors, that they fly 
with a great noise ; as St. John has also described them, Rev. 
ix. 9, The sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots, of 
many horses running to battle ; that they may be heard at six 
miles distance; and that when they are eating the fruits of the 
earth the sound is like that of a flame driven by the wind 59 . 

Before them shall the people be much pained; 
All faces shall gather blackness. 

Their approach shall be heard with consternation, their ravages 
observed with distress : every face shall wear the marks of the 
most dreadful fear 60 . 

They shall run like mighty men ; 

Like warriors shall they climb the wall: 

And they shall march every one in his way; 

Neither shall they turn aside from their paths ; 

Neither shall one thrust another. 

They shall march each in his road. 

Many writers mention the order of locusts in their flight and 
march, and their manner of proceeding directly forward, what- 
ever obstacles were interposed. Jerom, who had seen them in 
Palestine, gives a very particular account of it ; and Bochart 
quotes other authorities from Cyril, Theodoret, and Sigebert. 

Though they fall on the sword, they shall not be wounded- 

Their outward coat being so hard and smooth that they are 
not wounded though they alight upon the edge of the sword. So 
Rev. ix, 9, " They had breast-plates, as it were breast-plates of 
iron." 

They shall run to and fro in the city ; 

They shall run upon the wall; 

They shall climb up into the houses ; 

They shall enter in at the windows like a thief. 

49 " Quand ces insectes volent en societe Us font un grand bruit. Elles s'e- 
levent avec un bruit semblable a celui d'une tempete. Klles engloutissent, de- 
vorent, recherchent, rongent, et pe'lent toute la verdure des champs avec un si 
grand tintamare, qu'elles se font entendre de loin." Encyclop. voc Sauterelle. 

" La plupart des sauterelles autant plus qu'elles ne volerit ; et leur saut est 
telle qu'ils s'elancent en decrivant, dit on, un espace qui a deux cent fois la lon- 
gueur de leur corps." 

Cyril says of them, that while they are breaking their food with their teeth, 
the noise is like that of a flame driven about by the wind. 

" Transeuntes grylli super verticem nostrum sono magnae cataractae ferve- 
bant." Forskal, Descript. Animal, qua? in Itinere Oriental! obs. p. 81. 

60 Virgil gives the epithet of black to fear: 

" Caligantem nigra formidine lucum." Georg. iv. 

The same expression with this of Joel is used by the prophet Nahum, ii. 10, 
to denote the extremity of sorrow and pain ; The knees smite together, and much 
pain is in all loins, and thf faces of them all gather blackntss. 



OF THE BIBLE. 253 

KIMCIII, upon the place, says, " They are not like other ene- 
mies, against whom you may shut the gate ; for they enter the 
house by the window as a thief." And Jerom himself tells us, 
" Nothing is un passable to locusts ; since they get into the fields, 
the trees, the cities, the houses, and most secret chambers." 
And Theodoret, who was himself a witness, tells us, " No height 
of walls is sufficient to prevent their entrance ; for they easily 
get over them, and, like thieves, enter into houses by the win- 
dows, not only by flying, but by creeping up the walls." 

Before them the earth quaketh, the heavens tremble ; 
The. sun and the moon are darkened, 
And the stars withdraw their shining. 

Kimchi tells us, that all these expressions are by way of simi- 
litude, to denote the greatness of the affliction occasioned by 
these locusts, according to the usual custom of Scripture ; and 
Jerom agrees with him, and adds that we are not to imagine that 
the heavens moved, or the earth shook ; but that these things 
seemed to be so through the greatness of their affliction and 
terror. Others expound the metaphor in a different way ; " the 
earth," that is the common people ; " the sun, moon, and stars," 
their nobles and great men ; all ranks and degrees should be in 
the utmost consternation. But I see not why these expressions 
may not have a more literal meaning, at least most of them. 
" The earth shall tremble," really appear to do so, through the 
continual motion of these insects invading houses, fields, trees, 
and corn : or the earth may be said to move through the exces- 
sive fear and trembling of those who dwell in it. " The heavens 
shake," or as the word may signify, move, because the locusts 
should obscure the very light of them : and thus Jerom himself 
explains it, though he declares for the figurative sense : " through 
the multitude of the locusts covering the heavens, the sun and 
moon shall be turned into darkness." Bochart has brought 
many instances to prove that this was often literally the case. 
Dr. Chandler quotes a remarkable one that happened in Ger- 
many, from the Chronicon of Hermanns Contractus, under the 
year 873 ; which is thus translated. " So great a multitude of 
locusts, of an unheard of size, coming in swarms from the east, 
like an army, passed over these countries, that, during the space 
of two whole months, they oftentimes, by their flight, obscured 
the ravs of the sun for the space of one whole mile ; and when 
they alighted in one hour consumed every thing that was green 
upon a hundred acres or more: and being afterwards driven 
into the sea by the wind, and thrown back by the waves, they 
corrupted -the air by their stench, and produced no small pesti- 
lence 61 ." 

Luudius also, one of the commentators upon the Mischna 62 , 

61 Canisii Thesaur. Monum. Eccless. V. 3. ed. Antw. 1725. 
*- Tractat. de Jejun. Mischna ed. Surenhusii. 



254 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

tells us, that while he was in the University of Jena in Saxony, 
there came a prodigious swarm of locusts, which seized upon all 
the fields near the city, and devoured all the growing herbage ; 
and when they rose upon the wing, intercepted like a cloud the 
very heavens from their sight ; and that they are so dreaded by 
the Jews, that when they make their appearance they immedi- 
ately sound the trumpet for a fast. 

Dr. Shaw 63 , by whose excellent zoological remarks in his 
travels, so many passages in the sacred writings have been elu- 
cidated, has shown, from the testimony of his own observation, 
that these poetical expressions are scarcely hyperbolical with 
respect to this formidable insect. And Pliny, the Roman natu- 
ralist, gives a description of its migratory swarms almost equally 
sublime with that of the eastern poet. " This plague," says he, 
" is considered as a manifestation of the wrath of the gods. For 
they appear of an unusual size; and fly with such a noise from 
the motion of their wings that they might be taken for birds. 
They darken the sun. And the nations view them in anxious 
suspense; each apprehensive lest their own lands should be 
overspread by them. For their strength is unfailing : and, as 
if it were a small thing to have crossed oceans, they pervade 
immense tracts of land, and cover the harvests with a dreadful 
cloud : their very touch destroying many of the fruits of the 
earth, but their bite utterly consuming all its products, and even 
the doors of houses 64 ." 

The account which M. Volney gives of these insects and of 
their devastations, is a wonderful illustration of this passage of 
the prophet 65 . " Syria, as well as Egypt, Persia, and almost 
all the south of Asia, is subject to a calamity no less dreadful 
than that of the volcanos and earthquakes I have mentioned, I 
mean those clouds of locusts so often mentioned by travellers. 
The quantity of these insects is incredible to all who have not 
themselves witnessed their astonishing numbers ; the whole 
earth is covered with them for the space of several leagues. 
The noise they make in browsing on the trees and herbage may 
be heard at a great distance, and resembles that of an army in 
secret. The Tartars themselves are a less destructive enemy 
than these little animals. One would imagine that fire had fol- 
lowed their progress. Wherever their myriads spread, the ver- 

63 Travels into the East, p. 256, &c. fol. edit. 

64 Nat. Hist. 1. xi. c. 29. 

As extraordinary as the latter circumstance may appear, Mr. Adanson men- 
tions a very similar one to which he was witness; " a swarm of locusts at Sene- 
gal devoured even the dry reeds with which the huts were thatched." Voyages 
a Senegal. 

The Sieur de Bauplan gives a very particular description of the devastation 
these destructive creatures made in the Ukraine. His narrative would of itself 
be a good commentary upon Joel's prophecy. See Churchill's Collection of 
Voyages, Vol. i. p. 471. 

85 Trav. V. i. State of Syria, ch. i. sect. v. p. 188. 



OF THE BIBLE. 255 

dure of the country disappears; trees and plants stripped of 
their leaves and reduced to their naked boughs and stems, cause 
the dreary image of winter to succeed in an instant to the rich 
scenery of the spring. When these clouds of locusts take their 
flight, to surmount any obstacles, or to traverse more rapidly a 
desert soil, the heavens may literally be said to be obscured with 
them. Happily this calamity is not frequently repeated, for it 
is the inevitable forerunner of famine, and the maladies it occa- 
sions." 

III. It is well known that locusts were eaten in the east. 
And commentators have exhausted their learning and ingenuity 
to prove that St. John eat these insects in the wilderness 66 . But 
the word in the original signifies also buds or pods of trees, as 
several learned men have proved 67 . And every one must sup- 
pose that the baptist lived on a food that was very easy to be 
made ready, and probably that which nature itself furnished 
accommodate to his palate. Besides, locusts are never eaten 
without some kind of previous dressing ; such as roasting, or dry- 
ing them in the sun, or salting and smoking them : which does 
not seem an occupation worthy the baptist, whom the scripture 
represents as sufficiently taken up in devout meditation and spi- 
ritual exercises. 

LOUSE. D CINNIM. 

Occ. Exod. viii. 16, 17, 18; and Psalm cv. 31. 

It would be needless to describe this little contemptible insect. 

Various as are the antipathies of mankind, all seem to unite 
in their dislike to this animal, and to regard it as their natural 
and most nauseous enemy. 

JOSEPHUS, the Jewish Rabbis, and most of the modern trans- 
lators render the Hebrew word here lice 68 ; and Bochart 69 and 
Bryant 70 have laboured hard to support this interpretation. The 
former endeavours to prove that the D'3D in Exod. viii. may mean 
lice in the common acceptation of the term, and not gnats as 
others have supposed; 1. Because the creatures here mentioned 
sprang from the dust of the earth, and not from the waters, 2. 
Because they were both on men and cattle, which cannot be 
spoken of gnats. 3. Because their name comes from the radix 
p, which signifies to make firm, fix, establish, which can never 
agree to gnats, files, &c. which are ever changing their place, and 
are almost constantly on the wing. 4. Because rUD KINNAH is 
the term by which the Talmudists express the term louse, &c. 

66 Matlh. iii. 4 ; Mark, i. 8. See Bochart, t. iii. p. 488. Wolfius, Cur. Phil, 
in loc. Shaw's Trav. p. 188. 

67 A*fiS. See Athanasius, Isiodorus Dam. Ep. 1. 1, ep. 5, et 132. Paulinas 
Carm. de Joan. Partelion diac. de lum. sane. Capell Comment. Knatchbull 
Annot. p. IS. A%ga$is, wild pears. H. Stephan. 

68 Josephus, Antiq. 1. ii. c. 14. Chald. Targum. Montanus, Munster, Vata- 
blus, Junius and Tremelius. 

09 Hieroz. torn. ii. p. 455. 70 On the plagues of Egypt, p. 56, et ?q. 



256 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

To which may be added, that if they were winged and stinging 
insects, as Jerom, Origen, and others have supposed, the plague 
of flies is unduly anticipated ; and the next miracle will be only 
a repetition of the former. 

Mr. Bryant, in illustrating the propriety of this miracle, has 
the following remarks. " The Egyptians affected great external 
purity ; and were very nice both in their persons and clothing ; 
bathing and making ablutions continually. Uncommon care was 
taken not to harbour any vermin. They were particularly soli- 
citous on this head ; thinking it would be a great profanation of 
the temple which they entered if any animalcule of this sort 
were concealed in their garments. The priests, says Herodo- 
tus, are shaved, both as to their heads and bodies, every third 
day, to prevent any louse, or any other detestable creature being 
found upon them when they are performing their duty to the 
gods. The same is mentioned by another author, who adds 
that all woollen was considered as foul, and from a perishable 
animal ; but flax is the product of the immortal earth, affords a 
delicate and pure covering, and is not liable to harbour lice. 
We may hence see what an abhorrence the Egyptians showed 
towards this sort of vermin, and what care was taken by the 
priests to guard against them. The judgments, therefore, in- 
flicted by the hands of Moses were adapted to their prejudices. 
It was, consequently, not only most noisome to the people in 
general, but was no small odium to the most sacred order in 
Egypt, that they were overrun with these filthy and detestable 
vermin." 

Mr. Harmer supposes, that he has found out the true mean- 
ing in the word tarrentes, mentioned by Vinasauf, who speaking 
of the expedition of king Richard I. to the Holy Land, says, 
" While the army were marching from Cayphus to Caesarea, 
they were greatly distressed every night by certain worms called 
tarrentes, which crept on the ground, and occasioned a very 
burning heat by most painful punctures; for, being armed with 
stings, they conveyed a poison, which quickly occasioned those 
who were wounded by them to swell ; and was attended with 
the most acute pain." 

Dr. Adam Clarke remarks, that the circumstance of these 
insects being in man and in beast, agrees so well with the nature 
of the acarus saaguisttgus, commonly called " the tick," that he 
is ready to conclude that this is the insect meant. This animal 
buries both its sucker and head equally in man or beast ; and 
can with very great difficulty be extracted before it is filled 
with the blood and juices of the animal on which it preys. When 
fully grown, it has a glossy black oval body. Not only horses, 
cows, and sheep, are infested with it in certain countries, but 
even the common people, especially those who labour in the 
fields, in woods, &.c. " I know (continued he) no insect to which 



OF THE BIBLE. '257 

the Hebrew term so properly applies. This is \\iejixed, estab- 
biished insect, which will permit itself to be pulled in pieces 
rather than let go its hold ; and this is literally nCi"Q21 Q1N2 
BAADAM UBA-BEHEMAH, TN man and IN beast, burying its trunk 
and head in the flesh of both." 

On the other hand, Dr. Geddes says, that those who think 
that lice were meant, ought not to have so confidently appealed 
to the Syriac and Chaldee versions as being in their favour ; for 
NOfy? or NTlCfyp, which are the words they use, are without suf- 
ficient authority translated pediculus in the Polyglott 71 and by 
Buxtorf. From Bar-Bahlul, the prince of Syrian lexicogra- 
phers, we learn that the Syriac NQbp is an animalcule hurtful to 
the eyebrows, " animalcula palpebris inimica." Nor is it to be 
doubted that the Chaldee, being the same word, has the same 
meaning 72 ; So Walton: " Bestiola est exigua, laedens cutem, 
penetrans per nares, aures, itemque oculos. Non igitur pedicu- 
lus, illis partibus vix, aut ne vix infensus unquam." Philo, 
who must have been well acquainted with the insects of Egypt, 
describes it nearly in the same manner: "A small but most 
troublesome animal, which hurts not only the surface of the 
skin, but forces its way inwardly by the nostrils and ears, and 
even insinuates itself into the pupils of the eyes if one be not 
. very heedful 73 ." Indeed, the authority of the Septuagint alone is 
to me (says Dr. Geddes) a stronger proof that not lice, but 
gnats, c-j<uv/<$, is the genuine meaning of CD'33, than that of all 
the Rabbinical commentators together, with Josephus at their 
head, and with the collateral aid of both Arabs, Pers. and Gr. 
Ven. although the Arabs are at best but dubious evidence on 
the question 74 . Nor of small avail is the testimony of Jerom, 
who, both here and in the Psalms, follows the Septuagint, and 

71 That is by the translator of the Syriac and Thargum; for the translator of 
Onkelos, renders Nfinbp by " ciniphes." 

72 The Samaritan ovabp belongs to the same class. 

73 To SE aov, De Vita Mosis, 1. i. p. ii. p. 97, ed. Mangey. The description 
given by Origen, who also resided in Egypt, is to the same purport : " Hoc ani- 
mal pennis quidein suspenditur per acre volitans, sed ita subtile est et imininu- 
tum, ut oculi visum, nisi acute cernentis, effugiat: corpus tainen cum insiderit 
acenimo terebrat stimulo, ita ut quern volitantem videre quis non valeat, sentiat 
stimulantem." Homil. iv. in Exod. ex interpret. Rufini, torn. ii. p. 141. ed. 
Bened. 

Augustinus, de convenientia dectm prtzceptorum et decem plagarum, ait, " Cini- 
phes natae sunt in terrae jEgypti de limo, muscas minutissimae, inquietissimas et 
inordinante volantes, non permittentes homines quiescere. Dum abiguntur, ite- 
rum irruunt. 

74 The Arabic word is Vnp, too generical a term to restrict the meaning to 
lice, as it denotes several other animalcules of the insect kind; as the curious 
reader may see by turning to Golius or Castcll. Certain it is, that by the Ara- 
bic translator of the Psalms, who made his version from the Greek, the same 
word is used to express <rxivipe?. So that, on the whole, only two versions, 
namely PeYs. and Gr. Ven. are decidedly for lice, the former having uau>, the 
latter pSiifir. 

U 



2-58 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

renders sciniphes; which he would hardly have done, if his He- 
brew masters, to whom he sometimes gave too much credit, had 
told him that the word had a different meaning." 

Dr. Geddes then proceeds to explain the etymology of the 
word 75 ; remarking, " some will have it to be an Egyptian word, 
but this I think improbable, as in that case we should probably 
find <TMw(pf rendered by it in the Coptic version, which however 
has a very different word, lehlem. Others derive it from pD, al- 
luding, they say, to the steadiness with which lice adhere to the 
human body ; or to the^zrra settling of the gnats or mosquitoes 
on the bodies of men or animals. Others make p the root, and 
quote Isaiah, li. 6, p/YiQ 1 p ICQ, which in our common English 
version is rendered " they shall die in like manner;" but which, 
according to those interpreters, should be, like a louse. If p 
here be the singular of D3D 76 , it would greatly confirm the ver- 
sion of the Septuagint in Exodus ; for the ephemerical life of 
any species of gnats would be a fitter image of the transitoriness 
of human life, than the very uncertain duration of the louse ; be- 
sides that the figure would be less ignoble, and more congruous 
to the dignity of the subject. On the whole I am inclined to 
think that the p of Isaiah, is the singular of DOD, and that D3D is 
a blunder of the Hebrew copyists ; for in the Samaritan exam- 
plars the word is uniformly written full." 

If we can suppose that the word was originally written SOD 
CINNIP, instead of D'33 CINNIM, which has embarrassed the critics 
by its plural termination, the difficulty will be wholly removed, 
and we shall have the Greek word <rx/w%J/. 

MALLOWS, rrbn MALUACH. 

Occurs Job, xxx. 4, only. 

It is uncertain what is meant by the original term. In He- 
brew, in Chaldee, and in Syriac, the word implies a brackish or 
salt-tasted plant. In the Septuagint it is rendered ahi^ct, the 
halimus. 

The deserts of Arabia abound with saline particles, which give 



75 Bochart's objections are well answered by Michaelis, to whose supplementa 
I refer my reader; and also to Oedmann's excellent Vermischtte Sammlungen 
aus der Naturkttnde zur Erklarung der Heil. Schrift. p. i. c. 6. His book was 
originally written in Swedish, but translated into German by Groning,and printed 
at Leipsic in 1786. A good account of it may be found in Michaelis' New Ori- 
ental Library, part iii. p. 20, &c. 

76 " Singularera recentiorum mihi faciunt, a quo plurale D'33, ut putant, or- 
tum : quod quidem mihi suspectum esse jam supra professus sum. Sed fac verum 
esse, vel huic loco aptiores culices quam pediculi erunt: hoc quidem, turpe ani- 
mal atque in magnifico carmine indecorum ac prope nefas nominatu, mortales 
quidem agnosco, sed mori non videmus, nisi vi necentur; ut vel,quam diu vivant, 
ignoremus; perennare et in dies augescere sentiunt ii quibus haerent : at culices 
annum viveiido non superant, sed stato anni tempore einoriunturet intereunt; 
multo melior brevitatis vitae humanae nee turpis imago. Michaelis's Snppl. ad 
Lexic. He!>r. 



OF THE BIBLE. 259 

a saltish bitter taste to the few hardy plants that live there 77 . 
Mr. Scott, who makes this remark, adds, " the original word 
denotes either in general all such brackish vegetables ; or some 
particular plant of the desert that camels are exceedingly fond 
of." 

Drusius, Hiller, Celsius, and Schultens, interpret this of the 
halimus, which Dioscorides describes as a kind of bramble, with- 
out thorns, and says that its leaves are boiled and eaten 78 . It 
grows, says Heysichius, in dry and desert places; according to 
Antiphanes, in clefts and openings of the earth. Bochart 
quotes from Abenbitar, an Arabian author, a declaration that 
the plant which Dioscorides calls " halimus," is that which the 
Syrians call " maluch 80 ." Galen says, that the tops when young 
are used for food. Serapion says, that at Bagdad, quantities of 
this vegetable are hawked about; those who carry it, crying 
" molochia, molochia '." which is nearly the Hebrew word : and 
it is certain from Meninski [Lexic. 3968], that the potherb, 
which the Turks call " kusmechaet," " kiismelaet," and " miil- 
lach," is a species of halimus; probably the sea-orach 61 . The 
reasons which Bochart gives for supposing it the halimus are, 
(1st.) because the Syrians still call this plant by the same name; 
(2.) because the Hebrew name and Greek A7u/xoc refer to the 
salt taste, which the Arab writers attribute to this plant ; (3.) 
because as the maluach is described as the food of the wretched, 
so is the halimus in Athenaeus ; (4.) because the LXX render 

77 So also M. Volney observes, " Cette qualitc saline est si inherente au sol 
(dans toute le desert d' Arabic et d'Afrique)qu'elle passe jusque dans les planter. 
Toutes celles du desert abondent en soude et en sel de Glauber." Voyage, torn. 
i. p. 354. 

78 Diosc. lib. i. 121. 

79 AthenEEus [lib. iv. c. 16] relates of Antiphanes (speaking of the Pythago- 
reans), Ey rn <af5fa Tguyovres AXi/*a xai xaxa rotavra <nXX<yoyTef. 



80 "Halimus, quod populus Syriaj vocat malucli, est arbustum, ex quo fiunt 
sepes, rhamno simile, nisi quod caret spinis, et folio simile oleas, sed latiori, cres- 
cens ad littora maris et circa sepes." "Galenus libro sexto scribit, almaluck 
plantain esse quae abundat in regione Cilicias, cujus summitates comeduntur cum 
sunt recentes, atque etiam reconduntur, et parantur in tempus posterum, et ge- 
neratur in corpore illis utentis semen et lac : sapor autem salsus est, et aliquan- 
tum stypticus." 

So also Prosper Alpinus, De Plantis JEgijpii, cxxviii. p. 45, " In cibis nihil 
est ipsa ^Egyptiis familiarius, vel gratius: deeoquunt enim in aqua vel jure car- 
niuni ut nos be tarn elixare solemus. Convivia carentia melochire ferculis ab his 
parumreputantur; cibus quidem illis populis melochia est familiarissimus, ex quo 
multi tamen male se habent, nain parum nutrit.et succum viscidum gignit ex quo 
in difficiles obstructiones viscerum, qui earn in cibo frequentant, incurrunt. Ni- 
hilominus Melochiam in cibis non oinittunt, pracipue viscosiorem mucilaginem 
facientem, avide omnes esitant." 

See also Abdollatiph, Compend. Hist. JZgypti. p. 15. 

81 Atriplex maritima fruticosa, halimus et portulaca marina dicta angustifolia. 
Rai. Syn. iii. p. 153. The " Atriplex Hortensis," or garden orach is cultivated 
in gardens, and used as a substitute for spinage, to which it is still preferred by 
some. 

U 2 



200 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

rvbo by 'AAIMA ; and (lastly) because it is described in Job as 
cropped upon the shrub, which exactly agrees with what the 
Arab writers say of the maluch or halimus, namely, that they ate 
the tops of it. 

Mr. Harmer quotes the following passage from Biddulph 82 : 
" We saw many poor people collecting mallows, and three leaved 
grass, and asked them what they did with it ; and they answered 
that it was all their food, and that they boiled it and did eat it. 
Then we took pity on them, and gave them bread, which they 
received very joyfully , and blessed God that there was bread in 
the world." Upon this Mr. Harmer makes these observations: 
" This was in Syria, not far from Aleppo. Whether mallows 
was one. of the herbs Job precisely meant, may be doubted; it 
appears, however, to be a species of herb actually used for food 
by the very poor people of the East: and at the same time, the 
joy they expressed upon having a little bread given, shows that 
it was not any gustfulness in those herbs which they eat, which 
caused them to gather them, or the force of long established 
habit, but the extremity of want. As Biddulph went to Jeru- 
salem some time before the translation of the Bible was under- 
taken by the command of King James I., the observation he 
made of the people, eating mallows in Syria, might engage those 
learned men so to render the word used in that passage of the 
book of Job." 

Dr. Shaw [Trav. p. 141, ed. 4to.] has the following note: 
" mellou-keah, or mulookiah, NTrto, as in the Arabic, is the 
same with the melochia, or corchorus, J. B. ii. 982, J. R. H. 
259. It is a podded species of mallows, whose pods are rough, 
of a glutinous substance, and used in most of their dishes. Mel- 
lou-keah appears to be a little different name from rnbft, Job, 
xxx. 4, which we render "mallows;" though some other plant 
of a more saltish taste and less nourishing quality may be rather 
intended." 

Mr. Good thinks that " the real plant is a species of salsola or 
salt -wort ; and the term cthi^ct, employed in the Greek versions, 
gives additional countenance to this conjecture. The salsola, 
salt-wort, or kali, is, in modern botany, an extensive genus of 
plants, comprising not less than two or three and twenty different 
species, of which some are herbaceous, and others shrubby; 
several of them common to Asia, and not a few indigenous to a 
dry, sandy soil. They have all a saline and bitter taste." 

MANDRAKE, own DUDAIM. 

Occurs Gen. xxx. 14, 15, 16; and Cantic. vii. 13. 

Interpreters have wasted much time and pains in endeavour- 



82 Collection of Voyages and Travels, from the Library of the Earl of Oxford, 
p. 807. 



OF THE BIBLE. '2()l 

ing to ascertain what is intended by the Hebrew word dudaim 9 *. 
Some translate it by " violet," others, " lilies," " jasmins," 
" truffle or mushroom," and some think that the word means 
" flowers," or " tine flowers," in general. Bochart, Calmet, 
and Sir Thomas Browne, suppose the citron intended; Celsius 
is persuaded, that it is the fruit of the lote tree; Hiller, that 
cherries are spoken of; and Ludolf maintains that it is the fruit 
which the Syrians call " mauz," resembling in figure and taste 
the Indian fig ; but the generality of interpreters and commenta- 
tors understand MANDRAKES, a species of melon, by dudaim ; and 
it is so rendered in the Septuagint, and in both the Targums, on 
Gen. xxx. 14. It appears from Scripture, that they were in per- 
fection about the time of wheat harvest, have an agreeable odour, 
may be preserved, and are placed with pomegranates. Hassel- 
quist, the pupil and intimate friend of Linnaeus, who travelled 
into the Holy Land to make discoveries in natural history, ima- 
gines that the plant commonly called " mandrake," is intended. 
Speaking of Nazareth in Galilee, he says, " What I found most 
remarkable at this village was the great number of mandrakes 
which grew in a vale below it. I had not the pleasure to see 
this plant in blossom, the fruit now [May 5th, O. S.] hanging 
ripe on the stem, which lay withered on the ground. From the 
season in which this mandrake blossoms and ripens fruit, one 
might form a conjecture that it was Rachel's dudaim. These 
were brought her in the wheat harvest, which in Galilee is in tlie 
month of May, about this time, and the mandrake was now in 
fruit." 

Both among the Greeks and Orientals this plant was held in 
high repute, as being of a nature provocative of amorous inclina- 
tions 84 ; and from it, philtres, or love potions were made; and 
this is favoured by the original, which signifies loves, that is, 
incentives to copulation. It is probable that this opinion of 
their possessing prolific qualities, and being helpful to concep- 
tion, might make Rachel desire to have them; and lead the 
spouse, in Canticles vii. 13, to extol their odours. The latter 

83 Besides what is to be found in commentators and critics, in Calmet, Hiller, 
Celsius, Lemnius, Cocquins, and others, the following authors have published 
distinct dissertations and treatises on the DUDAIM; J. H. Heidegger, Drusius, 
Ant. Deusing, J. Thomasius, C. Ravins, and M. Lichcntanz. I possess also 
" A critical Dissertation on the Mandrake of the Ancients, with some Observa- 
tions on the Egyptian, Grecian, and Roman Literature, Botanj,and Medicine." 
Lond. 1737, 8vo. 

M. Granier, of the Royal Academy of Nismes, has published " a historico-bo- 
tanical Dissertation on the Mandragora." 

64 See Dioscorid. 1. iv. c. 76. Matthiolus in Dioscorid. Brodeus in Theo- 
phrast. Bauhin, Hist. Plant, torn. iii. p. 614. The emperor Julian, in his epistle 
to Calixenes, says, that he drank the juice of the mandrake to excite amorous 
inclinations. 

The ancients gave to the fruit the name of appks of love, and to Venus, the 
goddess of love, that of Mandragoritis. 



262 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

passage is thus paraphrased by Michaelis: " Jam et somnifero 
odore, venereus mandragoras, late olens, spiral suadetque 
amores." Now widely exhaling its somniferous fragrance, the 
voluptuous mandrakes breathe and excite to love. From this 
passage it appears that the dudaim yielded a remarkable smell, 
at the same time that the vines and pomegranates flowered, 
which in Judea is about the end of April or beginning of May. 
Maundrel observes that the chief priest of the Samaritans in- 
formed him that they were still noted for their genial virtue. 

The Abbe Mariti, in his Travels, Vol. ii. p. 195, thus de- 
scribes the Mandrake. " At the village of St. John in the 
mountains, about six miles south-west from Jerusalem, this 
plant is found at present, as well as in Tuscany. It grows low 
like lettuce, to which its leaves have a great resemblance, except 
that they have a dark green colour. The flowers are purple, 
and the root is for the most part forked. The fruit, when ripe 
in the beginning of May, is of the size and colour of a small 
apple, exceedingly ruddy, and of a most agreeable odour. Our 
guide thought us fools for suspecting it to be unwholesome. He 
ate it freely himself; and it is generally valued by the inhabi- 
tants as exhilarating their spirits, and a provocative to venery." 

Pythagoras is the first who conferred on the mandrake the 
name of " anthropomorphon," on what account we know not, 
but the idea seems to have been very general, and attended with 
strange conceits. 

Theophrastus mentions this plant in four places. In one, he 
considers its medicinal properties, its soporific qualities, and 
its tendency to excite love ; and in the others, he mentions the 
superstitious ceremonies performed at the time of gathering it. 

Dioscorides has given a particular relation of all the virtues 
ascribed to the mandrake in his time. 

Pliny makes mention of the plant in seven different places in 
his natural history. 

MANNA. PMAN. 

Comp. Exod. xvi. 15, S3, 35 ; Numb. xi. 6, 7,9; Deut. viii. 
3; Josh. v. 1; Nehem. ix. 20; Psalm Ixviii. 24. MANNA, 
John, vi. 31, 49, 58; Heb. ix. 4; Rev. ii. 17 s5 - 

The food which Jehovah gave the children of Israel during 
their continuance in the deserts of Arabia, from the eighth en- 
campment in the wilderness of Sin. Moses describes it as 
white like hoar frost, round, and of the bigness of coriander 
seed. It fell every morning upon the dew ; and when the clew 
was exhaled by the heat of the sun, the manna appeared alone, 

85 To account for its being called Myy in the New Testament, and not May, 
we may observe, that this is in conformity with the Septuagint, where May** is 
almost constantly used for )n. Josephus, Antiq. lib. iii. c. i. 10, says, KX*T< 
Si 'Ef xioi TO &go/u.ot rero Myy, ro <y*f M<x tvtfiirr-nffiv Kara T*iy n^ETtfixy SiaXtxTov, 
ri rr' ij-i; avaxfivsja. The Hebrews call this food MANNA; for the particle MAN 
in our language is the asking of a question, What is this? 



OF THE BIBLE. 203 

lying upon the rocks or the sand. It fell every day except on 
the sabbath; and this only around the camp of the Israelites. 
Every sixth day there fell a double quantity; and though it 
putrified and bred maggots when it \vas kept any other day, yet 
on the sabbath there was no such alteration : and the same sub- 
stance which was melted by the heat of the sun when it was left 
abroad, was of so hard a consistence when brought into the tent, 
that it was beaten in mortars ; and would even endure the fire, 
made into cakes and baked in pans. It fell in so great quantities 
during the whole forty years of their journey, that it was suffi- 
cient to feed the whole multitude of above a million of souls. 
Every man (that is, every male or head of a family) was to 
gather each day the quantity of an omer (about three quarts 
English measure) ; and it is observed that " he that gathered 
much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack ;" 
because his gathering was in proportion to the number of per- 
sons for whom he had to provide. Some having fewer, others 
mqre in family, and the gathering being in proportion to the 
persons who were to eat of it, therefore, he that gathered much 
had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack. 
Probably every man gathered as much as he could ; and then, 
when brought home, and measured by an omer, if he had a 
surplus, it went to supply the wants of some other family that 
had not been able to collect a sufficiency, the family being large, 
and the time in which the manna might be gathered, before the 
heat of the day, not being sufficient to collect enough for so 
numerous a household, several of whom might be so confined 
as not to be able to collect for themselves. Thus there was an 
equality ; and in this light the words of St. Paul, 2 Cor. viii. 
15, lead us to view the passage 86 . 

To commemorate their living upon manna, the Israelites were 
directed to put one omer of it into a golden vase ; and it was 
preserved for many generations by the side of the ark. 

Our translators and others make a plain contradiction in the 
relation of this account of the manna, by rendering it thus, " and 
when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another it is 
manna, for they knew not what it was** :" whereas the Septua- 
gint, and several authors, both ancient and modern, have trans- 
lated the text according to the original " the Israelites seeing 
this, said one to another, what is it? for they knew not what it 
was ;" and therefore they could not give it a name. Moses im- 
mediately answers the question, and says, " this is the bread 
which the Lord hath given you to eat." From Exod. xvi. 31, 
we learn that this substance was afterwards called p MAN T , pro- 
bably in commemoration of the question they had asked on its 
first appearance. 

What this substance was, we know not. It was nothing that 

M Dr. A Clarke's Comment, in loc. 

87 Ur. Gcddes has a learned and ingenious discussion of (his subject. 



201 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

was common to the wilderness. It is evident that the Israelites 
never saw it before, for Moses says, Deut. viii. 3, 16. " He 
fed thee with manna which thou knewest not, neither did thy 
fathers know :" and it is very likely that nothing of the kind had 
ever been seen before ; and by a pot of it being laid up in the 
ark, it is as likely that nothing of the kind ever appeared more, 
after the miraculous supply in the wilderness had ceased 88 . 

In our version of Psalm Ixxviii. 24, 25, we read " He rained 
down manna upon them to eat, and gave them of the corn of 
heaven. Man did eat angel's food ; he sent them meat to the 
full." Dr. Durell observes, that D'")QN ABIRIM, is used in no 
other place to denote ANGELS, and seems here to denote oxen, 
as in Psalm xxii. 12; 1. 13; Ixviii. 30; Isai. xxxiv. 7; and 
Jerem. 1. 11: and that the corresponding word nr TSHEDA, 
which signifies any food procured by hunting, countenances 
this sense. He would, therefore, render it, " every one eat 
the flesh of oxen; he sent them venison (orvictuals) in plenty." 
Mr. Dimock remarks upon this construction : " But supposing 
that they did eat oxen at some time in the wilderness, these words 
refer to the miraculous transaction recorded Exod. xvi. 11 16; 
and from comparing John, vi. 33, I am inclined to think that 
this word is written by mistake for D'nbtt, " every one did eat 
the bread of God;" or for DliT "V3N, " of the mighty Jehovah." 
The word, indeed, in its primary sense, means " of the mighty 
ones," and so it is several times translated ; but it also means 
" wings," or u feathers :" and if this be admitted, then, with- 
out so improbable a construction as that of Dr. Durell (for the 
Israelites had not oxen to spare for food), or so great an emenda- 
tion as that of Mr. Dimock, the passage may be read 

He opened the doors of heaven. 

And showered down manna upon them to eat ; 

Man did also eat winged food, 

He sent them flesh [DH^ LKHEM], even to satiety 89 . 

The author of the book of Wisdom, xvi. 20, 21, says, that 
the manna so accommodated itself to every one's taste that it 
proved palatable and pleasing to all. 

It has been remarked that at this day manna is found in several 
places of the world; in Arabia, on Mount Libanus, Calabria, 
and elsewhere. The most famous is that of Arabia, which is a 
kind of condensed honey, which exudes from the leaves of trees, 
from whence it is collected when it has become concreted. Sal- 
rnasius thinks this of the same kind which fed the children of 
Israel; and that the miracle lay, not in creating any new sub- 
stance, but in making it fall duly at a set time every day, through- 
out the whole year, and that in such plenty as to suffice so gre;it 
a multitude. But in order for this, the Israelites must be sup- 
posed every day to have been in the neighbourhood of the trees 

88 Dr. A. Clarke. " 9 See or6 rendered "flesh," Zcph. i. 17. 



OF THE BIBLE. 205 

on which this substance is formed ; which was not the case, 
neither do those trees grow in those deserts. Besides, this kind 
of manna is purgative, and the stomach could not endure it in 
such quantity as is implied by its being eaten for food. In short, 
the whole history of the giving the manna is miraculous. I refer, 
however, to the remarks of Michaelis, in his dissertation on the 
influence of opinions on language, 4to. p. 56, for a different 
construction. For the most ample investigation of the whole 
subject, the following authors may be consulted ; Scheuchzer, 
Phys. Sacr. V. ii. p. 101. Buxtorf, Hist. Manna?, in Exercit. 
Sacr. p. 536 390. Salmasius, Com. de Manna, in Hyle la- 
trica, p. 245 254 ; et Exerc. Solin. p. 809 : but especially 
T. E. Faber, Dissert, de Manna (in Reiskii et Fabri opusculis 
medicis, a C. G. Grunero editis), xxiv. p. 131, et xxix. 
p. 139; to S. G. Donatus, in not. ad epitomen Phys. Sacr. 
Scheuchzerianae and to A. F. Bushing's notes, &,c. upon the 
last mentioned work. " Qui triumviri doctissimi omnia colle- 
gerunt quae Veteres et Recentiores de variis Mannae generibus 
tradidere." Rosenmuller, Not. in Bochart, Hieroz. torn. iii. 
p. 597- 

MARBLE. urn? sis. 

Occ. 1 Chron. xxix. 2; Esth. i. 6; and Cantic. v. 15. 

A valuable kind of stone ; of a texture so hard and compact, 
and of a grain so fine, as readily to take a beautiful polish. It is 
dug out of quarries in large masses, and is much used in build- 
ings, ornamental pillars, &c. Marble is of different colours, 
black, white, &c. and is sometimes most elegantly clouded and 
variegated. The stone, mentioned in the places cited above, is 
called the stone of sis, or sish ; the LXX and Vulgate render 
it Parian stone, which was remarkable for its bright white colour. 
Probably the cliff Ziz, 2 Chron. xv. 16, was so called from being 
a marble crag : the place was afterwards called Petra. 

The variety of stones torn BAH AT, u? ( U7 sis, TF DAR, and mnD 
SOCHERETH, mentioned in the pavement of Ahasuerus, must 
describe marble of different colours. The ancients sometimes 
made pavements wherein were set very valuable stones. 

" Eo deliciarum pervenimus, ut nisi gemmas calcare nolimus." 
Seneca, epist. 86. And Apuleius thus describes the pavement 
of the apartments of Psyche, " pavimenta ipsa lapide pretioso 
caesim diminuto, in varia pictura genera discriminabantur." 

Michaelis supposes the DAR to mean alabaster. 

MELON. DTKOnN ABATTICHIM 90 . 

Occ. Numb. xi. 5, only. 

A luscious fruit so well known that a description of it would 
be superfluous. It grows to great perfection, and is highly 
esteemed in Egypt, especially by the lower class of people, 

90 The name of the water-melon in Egypt now is baliich. See Forskal, Flor. 
JEgypt. Arab. p. 75, and Hasselquist, p. 255. 



266 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

during the hot months 91 . The juice is peculiarly cooling and 
agreeable in that sultry climate, where it is justly pronounced, 
" one of the most delicious refreshments that nature, amidst her 
constant attention to the wants of man, affords in the season of 
violent heat." 

There are varieties of this fruit ; but that more particularly 
referred to in the text, must be the water-melon. It is cultivated 
(says Hasselquist) on the banks of the Nile, in the rich, clayey 
earth, which subsides during the inundation. This serves the 
Egyptians for meat, drink, and physic. It is eaten in abundance 
during the season, even by the richer sort of people : but the 
common people, on whom Providence has bestowed nothing but 
poverty and patience, scarcely eat any thing but these, and ac- 
count this the best time of the year, as they are obliged to put 
up with worse fare at other seasons. This fruit likewise serves 
them for drink, the juice refreshing these poor creatures, and they 
have less occasion for water, than if they were to live on more 
substantial food in this burning climate." This well explains 
the regret expressed by the Israelites for the loss of this fruit, 
whose pleasant liquor had so often quenched their thirst, and 
relieved their weariness in their servitude; and which would 
have been exceedingly grateful in a dry, scorching desert. 

Mr. Harmer makes the following quotation from the travels of 
Egmont and Heyman, V. 2, p. 12, to show how refreshing this 
fruit is. " The inhabitants of Mount Carmel chiefly employ 
themselves in improving their gardens, where they have, among 
other fruits, excellent melons and pasteques, which, in goodness 
and taste, are not at all inferior to those of Naples and the West 
Indies. The latter are called in America, water-melons, and 
very properly, consisting of little else than a rind and delicious 
water. The pulp of some is reddish, especially that part nearest 
the centre of the fruit, where they have also small seeds, the sur- 
face of which is blackish or reddish, and beneath, a white, soft, 
and palatable substance, whence a kind of oil is expressed, of 
great use in colds, inflammations, and cutaneous disorders. The 
melons which have a white pulp are of a very agreeable taste, 
but not so much esteemed as the other, probably more from pre- 
possession than any solid reason. Both, however, may supply 
the place of drink, as they dissolve in the mouth, quench the 
thirst, and are of a cooling quality." 

MILLET, jm DOCHAN. 

Occ. Ezek. iv. 9. 

A kind of plant so called from it thrusting forth such a quan- 
tity of grains. Thus in Latin it is called " millium ;" as if one 
stalk bore a thousand seeds 92 . It has been supposed that the 

91 For a particular account of the melons of Egypt, I refer to Prosp. Alpinus, 
de Plantis jEgypti; and Celsius, Hierobot. torn. i. p. 356383. 
M Martinus, Lexic. Etymol. 



OF THE BIBLE. 207 

dochan means what is now called in the East " durra," which, 
according to Niebuhr 93 , is " a sort of millet, and when made 
into bad bread with camel's milk, oil, butter, or grease, is almost 
the only food which is eaten by the common people in Arabia 
Felix." "I found it so disagreeable (says he) that I should 
willingly have preferred plain barley bread to it." This illus- 
trates the appointment of it to the prophet Ezekiel as a part of 
his hard fare. 

Durra is also used in Palestine and Syria, and it is generally 
agreed that it yields much more than any other kind of grain 
" Le durra rend beaucoup plus que tous les autres grains." 

Hiller and Celsius insist that the dochan is the panic: but 
Forskal has expressly mentioned the dokn, " holcus dochna," 
as a kind of maize, of considerable use in food ; and Browne, in 
his travels, p. 291, describes the mode of cultivation. 

MINT. HATOSMON. 

Occ. Matth. xxiii. 23; and Luke, xi. 42. 

A garden herb, well known. 

The law did not oblige the Jews to give the tithe of this sort 
of herbs : it only required it of those things which could be com- 
prehended under the name of income or revenue. But the Pha- 
risees, desirous of distinguishing themselves by a more scrupulous 
and literal observance of the law than others, gave the tithes of 
mint, anise, and cummin. Matth. xxiii. 23. Christ did not dis- 
commend this exactness ; but complained, that while they were 
so precise in these lesser matters, they neglected the more essential 
commandments of the law, and substituted observances, frivolous 
and insignificant, in the place of justice, mercy, and truth. 

MOLE. This word, in our version of Levit. xi. 30, answers 
to the word rOWfi THINSEMETH, which Bochart has shown to 
be the CHAMELEON; but he conjectures, with great propriety, 
thafrbn CHOLED, translated " weasel," in the preceding verse, is 
the true word for the mole 9 *. The present name of the mole in 
the East is khuld, which is undeniably the same word as the 
Hebrew choled. The import of the Hebrew word is, to creep 
into, and the same Syriac word implies, to creep underneath, to 
creep into by burrowing; which are well known characteristics 
of the mole. 

Our translation uses also the word mole in Isai. ii. 20, where 
the original is rTHD 1DH CAPHAR PHARUT. Bochart is for read- 
ing these two words as one; and so three copies collated by 
Dr. Kennicott read it. The author of " Scripture Illustrated" 
observes, that " the general scope of the passage is a threatening 
against pride, and a denunciation of vengeance on idols and idol 
worshippers ;" and conjectures that " it describes the action of 

93 Description de 1'Arabie, p. 45, 135, 136. See also Rauwolf, in Raj's 
Trav. p. 161, and quoted by Harmer, Obs. V. iv. p. 97. 
94 Hieroz. torn. Hi. p. 485454 edit. Rosenmuller. 



268 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

a public personage, a chief, for whom idols had been provided in 
a magnificent temple, as so terrified as to flee to caves and dens 
for shelter; and that these valuable idols should be taken from 
their shrines, and thrown into places as dark, dismal, and abo- 
minable as their former residences had been brilliant and vene- 
rable." Accordingly, he understands the word chapharpharut 
to mean, not an animal, but a place, a deep sink, or subterranean 
vault deep cavities dug by human powers, Michaelis, Suppl. 
ad Heb. Lex. p. 877, thinks the word signifies sepulchres, which 
in Palestine were frequently cells or vaults, Itezcn or dug in the 
rocks, and consequently were proper receptacles for bats. 

MOTH, wy ois. Job, iv. 19, and WWy oisis, Job, xiii. 
28; xxvii. 18; Psalm vi. 7; xxxi. 9, 10; xxxix. 11; Isai. 1. 9; 
Hosea, v. 12. 

The moth is properly a winged insect, flying by night, as it 
were a night butterfly ; and may be distinguished from day but- 
terflies by its antenna, which are sharp at the points, and not 
tufted. But as this creature, like others, undergoes a transfor- 
mation, in our translation of the Scripture, it is spoken of in its 
grub state, during which, it eats garments, 8tc. made of wool. 

The clothes-moth is the Tinea Argentea ; of a white, shining, 
silver, or pearl colour. It is clothed with shells, fourteen in 
number, and these are scaly. Albin asserts this to be the insect 
that eats woollen stuffs ; and says that it is produced from a gray 
speckled moth, that flies by night, creeps among woollens, and 
there lays her eggs, which, after a little time, are hatched as 
worms, and in this state they feed on their habitation, till they 
change into a chrysalis, and thence emerge into moths. 

" The young moth, or moth-worm (says the Abbe Pluche), 
upon leaving the egg which a papilio had lodged upon a piece 
of stuff commodious for her purpose, finds a proper place of 
residence, grows and feeds upon the nap, and likewise builds 
with it an apartment, which is fixed to the groundwork of the 
stuff with several cords and a little glue. From an aperture in 
this habitation, the moth-worm devours and demolishes all about 
him ; and, when he has cleared the place, he draws out all the 
fastenings of his tent; after which he carries it to some little 
distance, and then fixes it with the slender cords in a new situa- 
tion. In this manner, he continues to live at our expense, till 
he is satisfied with his food, at which period he is first trans- 
formed into the nympha, and then changed into the papilio" 

This account of the insect will help us to understand several 
passages in Scripture. 

I. Mr. Hervey conjectured that the comparison in Job. iv. 
19, was to that of a house, whose fragility was such, that it 
would be crushed or overset by a moth flying against it ; but it 
seems rather to imply, either the wasting or consuming effect of 
a moth's corroding, or the ease and indifference with which we 



OF THE BIBLE. 269 

crush the insect. Mr. Good makes these remarks upon the 
passage : " The comparison of man on account of his littleness, 
his feebleness, and his shortness of life, to a worm, or an insect, 
is common to the sacred writings ; but in no other part of them, 
nor in any other writings whatsoever, is the metaphor so exten- 
sively applied or so admirably supported. The passage, indeed, 
has not been generally understood in its full import ; but it has 
enough under every translation to challenge a comparison with 
every attempt at the same kind in the Greek or Roman poets." 

II. From the change of person, and for other reasons, we 
must suppose that the verse in our translation of Job, xiii. 28, is 
to be transposed, and read after the second verse in the next 
chapter ; and read in this connexion. 

Man, born of a woman, 
Fete of days, and full of trouble, 
Springeth up as afloicer, and is cut down 
Flitteth as a shadow, and remaineth not 
Wasteth away Uke that which is decayed, 
As a garment which the moth consumes. 

This perishing condition of a moth-eaten garment, as also of 
the insect itself, is referred to in Isai. li. 6. " The earth shall 
wax old as doth a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die 
in like manner" The word p KIN here means some kind of 
insect living in the garment; it is translated " louse," in Exod. 
viii. 

III. He who buildeth his fortunes by methods of injustice, 
is by Job, ch. xxvii. 18, compared to the moth, which, by eating 
into the garment wherein it makes its habitation, destroys its own 
dwelling. The structure referred to is that provided by the 
insect, in its larva or caterpillar state, as a temporary residence 
during its wonderful change from a chrysalis to a winged insect. 
Mr. Scott has thus happily rendered the passage : 

" Wretch, as a moth that ravages the looms, 
Weaves its frail bower, and as it weaves consumes." 

IV. In Psalm vi. 7, the word rendered in our translation, 
" consumed," is, according to the original, moth-eaten. This 
may be an application of the figure allowable in the oriental 
style ; or, as applied to the eyes, may refer to a disease or con- 
sumption of the eye, mentioned by travellers in the East, occa- 
sioned by little insects. The same remark must apply to Psalm 
xxxi. 9. 

V. The declaration in Psalm xxxix. 1 1, is a reference to the 
corroding effects of the moth-worm, and contains an instance of 
that assimilation of words of which the Orientals are fond. 

When thou Kith rebukes dost correct man 95 , [WN AM] 
Thou makest his beauty to consume like a moth, [wy] ois. 

95 A man of distinction. 



270 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

VI. The devastations of this creature are mentioned in Isai. 
1.9. 

All of them shall wax old as a garment, 
The moth shall consume them. 

And more particularly in ch. li. 8. 

The moth shall consume them like a garment, 
And the worm shall eat them like woo/. 

The latter word here DD SAS, is the proper name of the moth 
itself in its papilio state, properly so called from its agility. So 
the Septuagint render it EVJTO?, and the Vulgate tinea: and 
hence is derived vj, and NDD used in the Greek and Syriac of 
Matth. vi. 19, 20. The ingenious Abbe Pluche, comparing the 
papilios in general with the caterpillars from which they spring, 
remarks: "The caterpillar, who is changed into a nymph, and the 
papilio, that proceeds from it, are two animals entirely different : 
the first was altogether terrestrial, and crawled along the ground : 
the second is agility itself 96 ." 

VII. In Matth. vi. 19, 20, is this injunction : " Lay not up 
for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth [SH2] and rust 
[BPQ2IS] do corrupt but, lay up for yourselves treasures in 
heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupt." The treasures 
here specially intended were garments : for it was customary for 
the opulent in Asiatic countries, where their fashions in dress 
were not fluctuating like ours, to have repositories full of rich 
and splendid apparel. These were, from their nature, exposed 
to the depredations of the moth. Fabricated of perishing mate- 
rials, they were liable to be prematurely consumed, or taken away 
by fraud and violence. The moth here mentioned, and in Luke, 
xii. 83, is, undoubtedly, the same as that last described in Isai. 
li. 8 ; and Mr. Wakefield says, that he believes that the word 
Bfwovf, never means rust: IOQ and evqus are the terms used in that 
sense by Greek authors. On this account, some have supposed 
Rquffig to mean a species of worm, and others have thought this 
phrase to be a hebraism, not uncommon in the New Testament 
for a devouring moth 97 . This last construction is very plausible, 
particularly as Luke mentions only the moth : but in the para- 
graph above, we find the devouring effects of the insect alluded 
to, in two distinct states. In Isai. 1. 9, Aquila has tyuffig, for the 
Hebrew word rendered moth, and Theodotion, GY&. 

VIII. In the book of Ecclesiasticus, ch. xix. 3, we read Svjrf 
ucu (rxcahyKeg xAtgOVtyt|d'0U0 > /v etvrov, " Moths and worms shall have 
him to heritage." The first may mean the consumers of his 



96 Nature Displayed, vol. i. p. 34, Eng. transl. 

97 Schultetus, in Exc. Evang. ii. c. 35, " HS xi BPnSIS, non esse duas 
diversas species sed per Hendiadyn explicandum judicat ut sit idem quod t{ 
Bffc-ffxtKHt." Conf. etiam Lud de Dieu. Crit. Sacr. p. 328. Bochart, Hiero/. 
torn. iii. p. 513. 



OF THE BIBLE. 271 

raiment, the second, the devourers of his body : and xlii. 13, ATTO 
y#f i^uTiov exxoQVSTcu OT^, <( From garments cometh a moth." 

MOUSE. "ODj; ACHBAR. In Chaldee, ACALBAR : probably 
the same with the Allarbui, of the Arabians, or the Jerboa. 

Occ. Levit. xi. 29; 1 Sam. vi. 4, 5, 11, 18; Isai. xlvi. 1?. 

A small mischievous animal, known by every body. All in- 
terpreters acknowledge that the Hebrew word achbar signifies 
a mouse, and more especially a jield-mouse. Moses declares it 
to be unclean, which insinuates that it was eaten sometimes : 
and, indeed, it is affirmed that the Jews were so oppressed with 
famine during the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans, that, not- 
withstanding this prohibition, they were compelled to eat dogs, 
mice, and rats. Isaiah, Ixvi. 1 7, justly reproaches the Jews, with 
eating the flesh of mice and other things that were impure and 
abominable. Herodotus imputes the ruin of the army of Sen- 
nacherib to mice 9 s . These creatures, he says, having gnawed 
the leather of their bucklers one night, and the strings of their 
bows, Sennacherib was obliged to retreat with precipitation. 
This destruction of the Assyrian army was of the highest ser- 
vice to the Egyptians, whose country Sennacherib had invaded, 
and where he had committed the greatest ravages for three years 
successively; and which he undoubtedly would have attacked 
again after the conquest of Jerusalem. Of this great deliverance 
the Egyptians preserved the memory by the hieroglyphical repre- 
sentation of the gnawing of the strings of their bows, &c". 

It is known what spoil was made by mice in the fields of the 
Philistines, 1 Sam. v. 6, 7, &c. after this people had brought 
into their country the ark of the Lord ; so that they were obliged 
to take the resolution to send it back, accompanied with mice 
and emrods of gold, as an atonement for the irreverence they 
had committed, and to avert from their land the vengeance that 
pursued them. 

Judea has suffered by these animals in other times. William, 
Archbishop of Tyre, records 1 , that in the beginning of the twelfth 
century a penitential council was held at Naplouse, where five 
and twenty canons were framed for the correction of the manners 
of the inhabitants of the Christian kingdom of Jerusalem, who 
they apprehended had provoked God to bring upon them the 
calamities of earthquakes, war, and famine. This last the arch- 
bishop ascribes to locusts and devouring mice, which had for four 
years together so destroyed the fruits of the earth as seemed to 
cause almost a total failure in their crops. 

Bochart has collected many curious accounts relative to the 
terrible devastation made by these animals 2 . 

The author of " Scripture Illustrated" has shown at large that 

98 Lib. ii. c. 142. Horapoll. Hieroglyph. 1. i. c. 50. 

1 Gesta Dei apud Francos, p. 82,1. a Hieroz. torn. ii. p. 432. 



272 THE NATURAL HJSTORY 

as the Arabs class the Jerboa under the El Akbar, which only 
means the largest mm montanus, that animal is the one described 
in Scripture, and signifies " the male Jerboa." In this he follows 
Pennant, Hist. Quadr. p. 427, and the Arabic version of Isai. 
Ixvi. 17, which renders the word Akbar by "Jerboa." 

MULBERRY-TREE. NDS BACA. 

Occ. 2 Sam. v. 23, 24; 1 Chron. xiv. 14, 15; Psal. Ixxxiv. 7. 

That some kind of tree is intended in these several places is 
very certain. The LXX in Chronicles render it avion, " pear- 
trees ;" so Aquila and the Vulgate both in Samuel and Chroni- 
cles, " pyrorum." Others translate it " the mulberry-tree 3 ." 
More probably it is the large shrub which the Arabs still call 
" Baca ;" and which gave name to the valley where it abounded. 
Of this valley Celsius remarks that it was " rugged and embar- 
rassed with bushes and stones, which could not be passed through 
without labour and tears 4 (referring to Psal. Ixxxiv. 7, and the 
" rough valley," Deut. xxi. 4) ; and he quotes from a manuscript 
of Abu'l Fideli a description of the tree which grew there, and 
mentions it as bearing a fruit of an acrid taste. M. Forskal 
mentions an obscure tree by the name of B^iECA, which has 
leaves rather ovated, smooth, entire; and is poisonous. The 
berries are destructive to sheep. 

The sound of people's going upon the tops of the trees, 2 Sam. 
v. 23, 24, is a thing not so congruous to our conceptions, we 
are therefore induced to suspect that the word Bochim, which 
our translation calls mulberry trees, is, in reality, the proper 
name of a place; Judges, ii. 1. and Psal. Ixxxiv. 7 ; and Beroche 
Bochim, tops of mulberry trees, may signify the mountains of 
Bochim. And so the sense of the words will be, " when thou 
hearest a noise as of many people marching, upon the hills, or 
highplaces, of Bochim, then thou hast nothing to do but to fall 
immediately upon the enemy" This interpretation clears the 
text from any seeming absurdity. 

In 1 Maccabees, vi. 34, it is said that Antiochus Eupator 
coming into Judea with a powerful army, and many elephants, 
those who had the care of these animals showed them the blood 
of grapes and mulberries [/xofwv] that they might provoke them 
tojight. The elephant of its own nature is not cruel; to ren- 
der him fierce he must be vexed, urged, made drunk, or shown 
some blood, or something like blood. Experience shows that 
many animals are provoked at the sight of blood or of any lively 
red colour. 

3 So Ursinus, Arbor. Bibl. c. iii. p. 75. ND1, morus, forte a sanguineis lachry- 
mis, quas haccae fundunt compressae: nam cognatum n:a, bachah, fletum signi- 
%at, xXt)9/*oy. TJnde Bacchte quasi fletu fcemineo ululantes: quasi Mebacchoth 
deflentes, t'n Piel. Ita Heysychius, ait " Bucchum significare Phcenicibus 



4 Hierobot,tom. i. p. 335. 



OF THE BIBLE. 273 

MULE. T)D PERED. 

Occurs 2 Sam. xiii. 29; 1 Kings, i. 33; x. 25; etal. freq. 

A mongrel kind of quadruped, between the horse and the ass. 
Its form bears a considerable resemblance to the last mentioned 
animal : but in its disposition it is rather vicious and intractable; 
so that its obstinacy hath become a proverb. 

With this creature the early ages were probably unacquainted. 
It is very certain the Jews did not breed mules, because it was 
forbidden them to couple together two creatures of different 
species. JLevit. xix. 19. But they were not prohibited the 
making use of them : thus we find in David's time that they had 
become very common, and made up a considerable part of the 
equipage of princes. 2 Sam. xiii. 29; xviii. 9; 1 Kings, i. 33, 
38, 44 ; x. 25 ; 2 Chron. ix. 24. 

Some have thought that Anah, son of Zibeon, found out the 
manner of breeding mules ; Gen. xxxvi. 24. The Talmuds ex- 
pressly say it. But the word in the original never signifies mules; 
they are always expressed by a word which has no resemblance 
with it. It is said that Anah found the DO' JEMIM in the wil- 
derness: But the word rendered found does not signify to invent 
or discover some new thing. It is used more than four hundred 
times in the Bible ; and always signifies to find a thing which 
exists already, or to encounter with a person or enemy 5 . For 
example, as when it is said of the tribes of Judah and Simeon, 
that they found or encountered with Adorn Beseck, at Beseck, 
and fought against him. Jud. i. 5. And of Saul, that the ar- 
chers found him, and he teas sore wounded. 1 Sam. xxxi. 3. And 
of the prophet who went from Judah to Bethlehem, that a lion 
found, or met, him in the wan, and slew him. 1 Kings, xiii. 24. 
It does not follow that every thing which happens in feeding of 
asses should relate to those animals, or their production : be- 
sides, there is no reference here to horses or mares, without 
which mules cannot be produced. Nor is it probable that the 
way of engendering mules was so known in the land of Edom 
where Anah lived, since we read nothing of these animals till 
David's time, as we have observed before, which was more than 
seven hundred years after. It is therefore much more likely 
that the Samaritan version has the true sense of the original, in 
rendering Emeans, who were neighbours of the Horites, Gen. 
xiv. 5 ; and likewise the Chaldee paraphrase translating it giants ; 
because the Emeans or the Emines were as tall as the Anakims, 
and passed for giants as well as they ; as Moses observes, Deut. 
ii. 10. It seems also that the Septuagint, Aquila, Symmachus, 
and Theodotian, mean to express the same. And this version 
we are advocating is not exposed to the difficulties which the 
other translations labour under. And it is a much more remark- 

1 But Bate and Geddes declare that xvn never signifies to JigJit, but to mttt 
with, to come up tcith. 



274 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

able circumstance, and more proper to give a character of dis- 
tinction to Anah, that he met and combated such formidable 
people as the Emeans were, \vho perhaps lay in ambush for 
him in the wilderness, than to observe with the Latin, Vulgate, 
and some others, that he discovered hot springs, or that he had 
invented the production of mules, which should be looked upon 
rather as an effect of chance than of art or reason. This has 
induced some of the Jewish Rabbies 6 to abandon the opinion 
of a great many o/ their doctors, and to follow the Chaldee 
paraphrase. 

The word UD RECHES, rendered " mules" in Esther, viii. 10, 
14, and " dromedaries" in 1 Kings, iv. 28, may mean a particu- 
lar breed of horses. Jackson, in his Account of Morocco, p. 40, 
describes " the desert horse," a peculiarly fine breed, and re- 
markably swift; which he says is called by the Arabs, Er-reech. 
In 2 Sam. viii. 4; 1 Chron. xviii. 4; and 2 Sam. x. 18, ^D") 
RECHEB, means chariot. 

MUSTARD. EINATII. Matth. xiii. 32; xvii. 20; Mark, 
iv. 31; Luke, xiii. 1Q; and xvii. 6. 

A well known garden herb. Christ compares the kingdom 
of heaven to " a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and 
sowed in the earth, which indeed, said he, is the least of all seeds, 
but when it is grown, is the greatest among herbs, and becometh 
a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches 
thereof." Matth. xiii. 31, 32. This expression will not seem 
strange, says Sir Thomas Browne, if we recollect that the mus- 
tard seed, though it be not simply and in itself the smallest of 
seeds, yet may be very well believed to be the smallest of such 
as are apt to grow unto a ligneous substance, and become a kind 
of tree. He observes, likewise, that the parable may not ground 
itself upon generals or imply any or every grain of mustard, but 
point at such a peculiar grain as from its fertile spirit and other 
concurrent advantages has the success to become arboreous. 
The expression also that it might grow into such dimensions that 
birds might lodge on its branches, may be literally conceived, if 
we allow the luxuriancy of plants in India above our northern 
regions. And he quotes upon this occasion, what is recorded 
in the Jewish story, of a mustard-tree that was to be climbed 
like a fig-tree. The Talmud also mentions one whose branches 
were so extensive as to cover a tent 7 . Without insisting on the 
accuracy of this, we may gather from it that we should not judge 
of eastern vegetables by those which are familiar to ourselvjes. 
Scheuchzer describes a species of mustard which grows several 

6 R. Salomon, Nachmanidis, Jacob Abendanah, and Aaron Codraita. 

For farther elucidation of this subject see the very learned Note of Dr. Adam 
Clarke on Genesis, xxxvi. 24. Bryant's Observations on Passages of Scripture. 

7 See on this subject Light foot's Heb. and Talm. Exercif. in loc. Tremell. in 
loc. Raphel. Annot. ex Herodot. p. 163. and Doddridge's Fam. Expos. 



OF THE BIBLE. '275 

feet high, with a tapering stalk, and spreads into many branches. 
Of this aborescent, or tree-like vegetable, he gives a print 8 ; and 
Linnanis mentions a species, whose branches were real wood, 
which he names " Sinapi Erucoides." 

MYRRH. -no MTJR. 

Exod. xxx. 23; Esth. ii. 12; Psalm xlv. 8; Prov. vii. 17; 
Cantic. i. 13; iii. 6; iv. 6, 14; v. 1, 5, 13. SMTPNA, Matih. 
ii. 11; and John, xix. 39; Mark, xv. 23; and Ecclus. xxiv. 15. 

A precious kind of gum issuing by incision, and sometimes 
spontaneously from the trunk and larger branches of a tree grow- 
ing io Egypt, Arabia, and Abyssinia 9 . Its taste is extremely 
bitter; but its smell, though strong, is not disagreeable, and 
among the ancients it entered into the composition of the most 
costly ointments ; as a perfume, it appears to have been used to 
give a pleasant fragrance to vestments, and to be carried by 
females in little caskets in their bosoms 10 . 

The Magi, who came from the East to worship our Saviour 
at Bethlehem, made him a present of myrrh among other things, 
Matth. U. 11. 

Mention is made, Mark, xv. 23, of v-ine mingled with myrrh, 
offered to Jesus at his passion, to take from him, as some sup- 
pose, the too quick sense of pain. The ancient Jewish writers 
tell us that a little frankincense in a cup of wine (agreeably to 
Prov. xxxi. 6) used to be given to criminals when going to ex- 
ecution, with the design of alleviating the anguish, by stupifying 
the feeling of pain : and this mixture, under the name of " the 
cup of trembling," or "malediction," appears to be alluded to 
in the Chaldee Targums on Psalm Ixxv. 9; lx. 5 ; Isai. Ii. 17, 
22, and Jer. xxv. 15, 17, 28. But our Lord refused it, and re- 
solved to meet death in all its horrors; thus evincing his unshaken 
attachment to the truth for which he suffered : and thus has he 
shown mankind how to bear trials and sufferings without resort- 
ing to any expedient for blunting the natural sensibility. Some 
think this the same with the wine mingled with gall, mentioned 
by Matthew, xxvii. 34 ; but others consider them as two distinct 
mixtures or potions 11 . Matthew, writing in Syriac, made use 
of the word ")Q MAE, which signifies gall, or any bitter ingredient ; 
and his translator mistook it for 11O MUR, myrrh. Admitting 
this, the narrative of the two Evangelists will be reconciled, and 
the prophecy, Psalm Ixix. 21, fulfilled; "they gave me gall to 
eat, and in my thirst, vinegar to drink :" for the whole tenor of 

8 Phys. Sacr. torn. viii. p. 59. Tab. DCLXXXTII. 

9 A description of the tree may be found in Pliny, N. H. 1. xii. c. 15. Pomet, 
Hist, des Drogues, p. 1, p. 252; and in the last volume of Bruce's Travels, 
with a drawing. 

10 See Mrs. Francis's poetical Translation of Solomon's Song. p. 11, note j 
and Good's Sacred Idylls, p. 75. 

11 Edwards' Exercilations, and J. Jones' Illustration of the four Gospels, 
p. 574. 

X 2 



270 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

that Psalm seems to be a continued prophecy of the sufferings 
of Christ, as well as of that judicial blindness, ruin, and disper- 
sion which fell on the impenitent Jews 12 . 

The drink presented by one of the soldiers, Matth. xxvii. 47, 
seems to have been presented with friendly views, after his de- 
claration, " I thirst." It was probably some of the drink which 
the soldiers had brought with them to supply their wants while 
they guarded the prisoners under the cross. It was given to him 
in a sponge fastened to a reed, which John specifies to be the 
stalk of a plant called hyssop. Jesus, we are told, received this 
liquor, that is, sucked it from the sponge put to his lips, for his 
hands were nailed to the cross. It was previously to this that 
the vinegar mingled with gall, meaning sour wine mixed with a 
bitter herb, which Mark calls myrrh, was offered him; and which 
on tasting he refused to drink. See GALL. 

Myrrh is mentioned, John, xix. 39> among the articles brought 
by Nicodemus to embalm the body of Jesus. That this gum 
was among the principal ingredients for embalming the dead we 
have the authority of Herodotus, 1. ii. c. 86, and others. 

II. The myrrh, ]2*b LOTH, mentioned Genesis, xxxvii. 25, and 
xliii. 11, Celsius concludes, from the affinity of names in Ara- 
bic, to be the gum called "ledum," or " ladanum;" and Ursinus 
supports this rendering by unanswerable proofs. This is col- 
lected from the " cistus labdaniferus," a beautiful and fragrant 
shrub. Dioscorides says, that it was pulled off the beards of 
goats 13 , who, feeding upon the leaves of the plant, the viscous 

C'ce by degrees collects and hardens into little lumps upon the 
r. M. Tournefort, in his Voyage to the Levant, describes 
the method of gathering this gum in Candia. He says that it is 
brushed off the shrub in a calm day, by thongs of leather tied 
to poles, and drawn over the tops of the shrubs : to these straps 
it adheres, and from them it is afterwards scraped off and made 
into cakes. 

MYRTLE. Din HADAS. 

Oce. Nehem. viii. 15; Isai. xli. 19; Iv. 13; Zech. i. 8, 9, 1(>. 

A shrub, sometimes growing to a small tree, very common in 
Judea. It has a hard woody root, that sends forth a great num- 
ber of small flexible branches, furnished with leaves like those of 
box, but much less, and more pointed ; they are soft to the touch, 
shining, smooth, of a beautiful green, and have a sweet smell. 
The flowers grow among the leaves, and consist of five white pe- 
tals disposed in the form of a rose : they have an agreeable per- 
fume, and ornamental appearance. They are succeeded by an 
oval, oblong berry, adorned with a sort of crown made up of the 
segments of the calix : these are divided into three cells contain- 
ing the seeds. 

12 See Ant. Univ. Hist. V. x. c. 11, note z. p. 601. 

" Comp. HerodoUib. iii. r. IK. edit. Gale; and Plin.Nat. Hist. 1. xii.c. 11, 






OF THE BIBLE. 277 

Savary, describing a scene at the end of the forest of Platanea, 
says, "myrtles, intermixed with laurel roses, grow in the valleys 
to the height of ten feet. Their snow-white flowers, bordered 
with a purple edging, appear to peculiar advantage under the 
verdant foliage. Each myrtle is loaded with them, and they 
emit perfumes more exquisite than those of the rose itself. They 
enchant every one, and the soul is filled with the softest sensa- 
tions." 

The myrtle is mentioned in Scripture among lofty trees, not 
as comparing with them in size, but as contributing with them 
to the beauty and richness of the scenery. Thus Isai. xli. 19, 
intending to describe a scene of varied excellence, " I will plant 
in the wilderness the cedar, and the shittah-tree, and the myrtle, 
and the oil-tree." That is, I will adorn the dreary and barren 
waste with trees famed for their stature and the grandeur of their 
appearance, the beauty of their form, and the fragrance of their 
odour. The Apochryphal Baruch, speaking of the return from 
Babylon, expresses the protection afforded by God to the people 
by the same image: "even the woods and every sweet smelling 
tree shall overshadow Israel by the commandment of God." 
Ch. v. 8. 

The feminine form riDTH HADASSAH, is the original Hebrew 
name of ESTHER. Esth. ii. 7. The note of the Chaldee Tar- 
gum on this passage declares, " they call her HADASSAH, be- 
cause she was just, and those that are just are compared to 
ntyrtie" 

NARD. See SPIKENARD. 

NETTLES. We find this name given to two different words 
in the original. The first is "?nn CHARUL U , Job, xxx. 7 ; Prov. 
xxiv. 31; and Zeph. ii. 9- It is not easy to determine what 
species of plant is here meant. From the passage in Job the 
nettle could not be intended, for a plant is referred to large 
enough for people to take shelter under. The following ex- 
tract from Denon's Travels may help to illustrate the text, and 
show to what an uncomfortable retreat those vagabonds must 
have resorted. " One of the inconveniences of the vegetable 
thickets of Egypt is, that it is difficult to remain in them, as nine 
tenths of the trees and plants are armed with inexorable thorns, 
which suffer only an unquiet enjoyment of the shadow which 
is so constantly desirable, from the precaution necessary to 
guard against them." 

Celsius and Scheuchzer are inclined to render it the " Paliu- 
rus." This may suit the idea in Job, but is not so well adapted 
to the reference in the two other places. 

II. The U?1Q'p KEMOSH, Prov. xxiv. 31 ; Isai. xxxiv. 13; and 
Hosea, ix. 6, is by the Vugate rendered " urtica," which is well 
defended by Celsius ; and very probably means the nettle. 
14 Hence is derived our English word churl. 



278 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

NIGHT-HAWK. DQnn TACHMAS. 

Occ. Levit. xi. 16, and Deut. xiv. 15 13 . 

That this is a voracious bird seems clear from the import of 
its name ; and interpreters are generally agreed to describe it as 
flying by night. On the whole it should seem to be the " strix 
orientalis," which Hasselquist thus describes : " It is of the size 
of the common owl, and lodges in the large buildings or ruins 
of Egypt and Syria, and sometimes even in the dwelling-houses. 
The Arabs settled in Egypt call it " Massasa," and the Syrians 
" Banu." It is extremely voracious in Syria; to such a degree, 
that if care is not taken to shut the windows at the coming on of 
night, he enters the houses and kills the children : the women, 
therefore, are very much afraid of him." 

NITRE, ina NETHER. 

Occ. Prov. xxv. 0; and Jerem. ii. 22. 

This is not the same that we call "nitre," or " saltpetre," but 
a native salt of a different kind, distinguished among naturalists 
by the name of " natrum." 

The natrum of the ancients was an earthly alkaline salt. It 
was found in abundance separated from the water of the lake 
Natron in Egypt. It rises from the bottom of the lake to the 
top of the water, and is there condensed by the heat of the sun 
into the hard and dry form in which it is sold. This salt thus 
scummed off is the same in all respects with the Smyrna soap 
earth. Pliny, Matthiolus, and Agricola, have described it to us : 
Hippocrates, Galen, Dioscorides, and others, mention its uses. 

It is also found in great plenty in Sindy, a province in the in- 
ner part of Asia, and in many other parts of the east; and might 
be had in any quantities. 

The learned Michaelis 16 plainly demonstrates, from the nature 
of the thing and the context, that this fossil and natural alkali 
must be that which the Hebrews called nether. 

Solomon must mean the same when he compares the effect 
which unseasonable mirth has upon a man in affliction to the ac- 
tion of vinegar upon nitre, Prov. xxv. 20. For vinegar has no 
effect upon what we call nitre, but upon the alkali in question 
has a great effect, making it rise up in bubbles with much effer- 
vescence ir . 

It is of a soapy nature, and was used to take spots from cloths, 
and even from the face. Jeremiah alludes to this use of it, ii. 
22. See SOAP-EARTH. 



14 "Nomen avis impurae, de quo id unum docere lectores velim, dubhandum 
rsse, nee quidquam certi DOS habere, donee aliqua nova lux ex Arabia, nee ex 
lexicis, haec enim silent, nee ex libris, sed ex nsu quotidiano linguae vernacular, 
et plebejae adfulgeat: cui si periit vocabulum, selenium ignorabimus, non raagno 
nostro damno." Michaelis, Suppl. Lex. Hebr. * 

16 Comment. Reg. Gotting. 1763, and Nov. act. erud. an. 1767. p. 455. 

17 Watson's Chem. Essays, v. 1. p. 130. See also Shaw's Travels, p. 479.ed 4to. 



OF THE BIBLK. 270 

NUTS. DOID2 BAT A MM. 

Occ. Gen. xliii. 11, only. 

I. This word is variously rendered by translators. The LXX 
render " turpentine." Onkelos, the Syriac, and the Arabic, not 
understanding it, have left it untranslated. Two towns seem to 
have been named from this fruit, Josh. xiii. 26 ; six. 2o. There 
is a species of Terebinthus which bears a kind of small nut, 
which some prefer to the pistachio ; and some think it superior 
to the almond. [Theophrast. Hist. iv. 5.] The name of this is 
in Arabic beten, which has considerable resemblance to the He- 
brew word. From this nut is extracted an oil, which, having 
neither taste nor smell, is used by the orientals as a menstruum 
for the extraction of the odoriferous parts of jasmins, roses, &c. 
by infusion 18 . With this is composed a fragrant unguent with 
which those who love perfumes anoint the head, the face, and 
the beard 1 . 

The tree grows on Mount Sinai and in Upper Egypt. The 
Arabs call it " festuck" and " ban." 

On the other hand, Bochart, Celsius, Dr. Shaw, and others- , 
are of opinion that the pistachio- nut is here meant. 

The tree grows to the height of twenty-five or thirty feet. 
The bark of the stem and the old branches is of a dark russet 
colour, but that of the young branches is of a light brown ; 
these are furnished with winged leaves, composed sometimes of 
two, and at others of three pair of lobes, terminated by an odd 
one: these lobes approach towards an oval shape, and their 
edges turn backward. The flowers come out from the side of 
the branches in loose bunches or catkins. To these succeed 
the nuts, which are of the size and shape of hazel nuts, only they 
are a little angular, and higher on one side than on the other. 
They are covered with a double shell, the outermost of which is 
membraneous, dry, thin, brittle, and reddish when ripe ; the other 
is woody, brittle, smooth and white. The kernel is of a pale 
greenish colour ; of an oily, sweetish taste, and quite agreeable 
to the palate. 

II. The fUN AGUZ, mentioned Cantic. vii. 11, should have 
been specified, says Dr. Shaw, and called " Wall-nuts? tin; 
Arabic jeuz, or as Forskal spells it, djauz, being the same. In 
Persic they are also called guz, goz, and ketcs. See Meninski 
Lexic. 4068. 

18 Balanus myrepsica, or glans unguentaria. 

19 Hasselquist. Comp. Lcvit. viit. 12; Psal. xxiii. 5; civ. 15; cxxxiii. 2; 
cxli. 5.9. 

20 Aben Ezra, R. Nathan, Mercer, Munster, Pagninus, Arias Montanns, and 
Scheuch/er. " Pistacia esse multis probarunt Bochartus in Geogr. S. P. 11. I. 1. 
c. 10. et Celsius Hierobot. torn. 1. p. 24. quibu? adstipulatur Michaelis in Suppl. 
p. 1. p. 171. Plinius N. H. 1. xiii. c. 10. " Syria prseter hanc peculiares habet 
arhores. In nucum genere pistacia nota. Prodesse adverstis serpentium tra- 
duntur morsus, et potu et cibo." Sic quoque Dioscorides, I. i. c. 17. Rosen- 
i.mllcr, in Gen. xliii. 11. 



*280 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

OAK. 

One of the largest, most durable, and useful of forest trees. 
It has been renowned from remotest antiquity, and held in great 
veneration, particularly among idolatrous nations. 

Celsius judges that the Hebrew words mentioned in the note 21 
do all signify the " terebinthus judaica," the terebinth : but that 
jl'pN ALLON, signifies an oak~~, and is derived from a root denot- 
ing strength- That different trees are meant by these different 
words is certain from Gen. xxxv. 4. 8; Isai. vi. 16; and Hos. 
iii. 13; and probably they signify the trees he mentions. 

The terebinth, says Mariti, Trav. v. ii. p. 114, is an evergreen 
of moderate size, but having the top and branches large in pro- 
portion to the body. The leaves resemble those of the olive, 
but are of a green colour intermixed with red and purple. The 
twigs that bear them always terminate in a single leaf. The 
flowers are like those of the vine, and grow in bunches like 
them : they are purple. The fruit is of the size of juniper ber- 
ries, hanging in clusters, and each containing a single seed of the 
size of a grape stone. They are of a ruddy purple, and remark- 
ably juicy. Another fruit, or rather excrescence is found on 
this tree scattered among the leaves, of the size of a chestnut, of 
a purple colour, variegated with green and white. The people 
of Cyprus say that it is produced by the puncture of a fly ; on 
opening them they appear full of worms. The wood is hard and 
fibrous. A resin or gum distils from the trunk. The tree 
abounds near Jerusalem, and in Cyprus. 

In Gen. xii. 6, it is said that " Abraham passed through the 
land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh." Dr. 
Geddes remarks, " I very much doubt if ever jl^N signify a. plain; 
whereas it certainly signifies a tree of some sort or other 23 : and 
it is my fixed opinion that it is that species called terebinthus, 
which lives to a very great age, and seems to have been held in 
as great veneration in the east, as the common oak was among 
the Greeks, Romans, Germans, Gauls, and Britons 24 . 

The terebinth under which Abraham entertained three an- 
gels, Gen. xviii, 1, 2, &c. is very famous in antiquity. Josephus, 
De Bell. 1. iv. c. 7, says, that six furlongs from Hebron they 

21 bv* AIL, Gen. xiv. 6. O^N AILIM, Isai i. 2i). D^N ALIM, Isai.lvii. 5. iibv* 
AILON, Josh. xix. 43 ; 1 Kings, iv. !). pbN ALON, translated " plain" in the fol- 
lowing places: Gen. xii. 6; xiii. 18; xiv. 13; xviii. 1 ; Deut. xi.30; Josh. xix. 
33; Judges, iv. 11; ix. 6. 37 ; 1 Sam. x. 3. nbs ALAH, Gen. xxxv. 4; Josh, 
xxiv. 2fi; Jud. vi. 11. 19; 1 Sam. xvii. 2, 19; xxi. 10; 2 Sam. xviii. 9, 10, 14; 
1 Kings, xiii. 14; 1 Chron. x. 12; Isai. i. 30; vi. 13, where it is translated " Teil- 
tree;" Ezek. vi. 13; Hos. iv. 13, rendered " Elms." 

22 Gen. xxxv. 8; Jos- xix. 33; Isai. ii. 13; vi. 13; xliv. 14; Hosea, iv. 13; 
Amos, ii. 9; and Zecli. xi. 2. 

23 Some translators, from a similarity of sound, have rendered pbN ALON, by 
tilnus, the alder-tree. 

34 S're also Michael i* Spirdrciui'.i neozr. pars ii. p. 16. 



OF THE BIBLE. 281 

showed a very large terebinth, which the inhabitants of the coun- 
try thought to be as old as the world itself. Eusebius assures 
us, that in his time the terebinth of Abraham was still to be 
seen, and that the people, both Christians and Gentiles, held it 
in great veneration, as well for the sake of Abraham as of the 
heavenly guests he entertained under it. St. Jerom says that this 
terebinth was two miles from Hebron. Sozomen, Hist. 1. ii. c. 
4, places it fifteen stadia from this city ; and an old itinerary 
puts it at two miles. These varieties might make one doubt whe- 
ther the tree of which Josephus speaks were the same as that of 
Eusebius, Jerom, and Sozomen. 

The terebinth of Jacob, Gen. xxxv. 4, where he buried the 
gods that his people had brought out of Mesopotamia, was be- 
hind the city of Shechem, and was very different from that where 
Abraham had set up his tent near Hebron ; yet they have very 
absurdly been confounded together. It is thought to have been 
under the same terebinth that Joshua, ch. xxiv. v. 6, renewed 
the covenant with the Lord; and that Abimelech, the son of 
Gideon, was made king by the Shechemites. Jud. ix. 6. 

Dr. Geddes suggests that Gen. xlix. 21, may be rendered 
" Naphtali, is a spreading terebinth, producing beautiful bran- 
ches." The vicinity of the lot of Naphtali to Lebanon, and its 
being perhaps itself a woody country, may have suggested this 
allusion. See HIND. 

This seems confirmed by the remark respecting wisdom in 
Ecclesiasticus,xxiv. 16, "As the turpentine tree [TEPEBIN00S] 
I stretched out my branches, and my branches are the branches 
of honour and grace." 

That the oak grew in Palestine we have th testimony of the 
author of Cod. Middoth, c. iii. 7, who speaks of oaken plank 
for the temple of Solomon; and of Radzivil, Peregr. Hieroso- 
li/m. p. 61, who mentions oaks as growing in the valley near 
Gethsemane. 

Bishop Lowth thinks that neither the oak nor the terebinth 
will do in Isai. i. 29, 30, from the circumstance of their being 
deciduous ; for the prophet's design seems to require an ever- 
green : otherwise the casting of its leaves would be nothing out 
of the common established course of nature, and no proper 
image of extreme distress, and total desertion : parallel to that of 
a garden without water, that is, wholly burnt up and destroyed. 
An ancient- 5 , who was an inhabitant and a native of this coun- 
try, understands it, in like manner, of a tree blasted with un- 
common and immoderate heat 26 . Upon the whole he chooses 
to make it the ilex ; which word Vossius derives from the He- 
brew alath : that whether the word itself be rightly rendered or 

'" Epliracm. Syr. in loc. edit. A-scmani. 
26 Comp. Paul. i. 4; Jcrctn. xvli. 8. 



282 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

not, the propriety of the poetical image might at least be pre- 
served. 

The Ilex is the evergreen oak commonly called the hollv 27 . 
The leaves are from three to four inches long, and one broad 
near the base, gradually lessening to a point. They are of a 
lucid green on the upper side, but whitish and downy on the un- 
der; and are entire, standing on pretty long foot-stalks. These 
remain on the tree, retaining their verdure through the year, and 
do not fall till they are thrust off by young leaves in the spring. 

It bears an acorn smaller than those of the common oak, but 
similarly shaped. 

OIL. pp SHEMEN. 

Occurs frequently. 

The invention and use of oil is of the highest antiquity. It is 
said that Jacob poured oil upon the pillar which he erected at 
Bethel, Gen. xxviii. 18. The earliest kind was that which is 
extracted from olives. Before the invention of mills this was 
obtained by pounding them in a mortar, Exod. xxvii. 20; and 
sometimes by treading them with the feet in the same manner 
as were grapes, Deut. xxxiii. 24, Micah vi. 15. Whether any 
previous preparation was made use of in those ancient times to 
facilitate the expression of the juice, we are not informed ; but 
it is certain, that mills are now used for pressing and grinding 
the olives (according to Dr. Chandler) which grow in the neigh- 
bourhood of Athens. These mills are in the town, and not on 
the spot in which the olives grow; and seem to be used in con- 
sequence of its being found that the mere weight of the human 
body is insufficient for an effectual extraction of the oil 28 . The 
oil when expressed is deposited in large earthen jars, sunk in the 
ground in the areas by the houses : that for daily use is kept in 
cruises. 

The Hebrews used common oil with their food, in their meat 
offerings, for burning in their lamps, &,c. 

As vast quantities of oil were made by the ancient Jews, it 
became an article of exportation. The great demand for it in 
Egypt led the Jews to send it thither. The prophet Hosea, 
xii. 1, thus upbraids his degenerate nation with the servility and 
folly of their conduct : "Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth 
after the east wind ; he daily increaseth falsehood and vanity : 
and a league is made with Assyria, and oil carried into Egypt." 
The Israelites, in the decline of their national glory, carried the 
produce of their olive plantations into Egypt as a tribute to their 
ancient oppressors, or as a present to conciliate their favour, and 
obtain their assistance in the sanguinary wars which they were 
often compelled to wage with the neighbouring states. 

There was an ointment, very precious and sacred, used in 

27 Her, Lin. gen. plant. 158. Aquifolitim, Tourn. inst. R. H. 600, tab. 371. 

28 Banner's Obs. V. iii. p. 172. 



OF THE BIBLE. 283 

anointing the priests, the tabernacle, and furniture 29 . This was 
compounded of spicy drugs ; namely, myrrh, sweet cinnamon, 
sweet calamus, and cassia, mixed with oil olive. Maimonides 
pretends to tell us the manner of making this mixture. " Each 
of these four species," saith he, " was pounded separately ; then 
they were all mixed together, and a strong decoction of them 
made with water; which, being strained from the ingredients, 
was boiled up with the oil, till the water was all evaporated 30 ." 
The holy anointing oil, to be used for the consecration of the 
priests and other religious purposes, Exod. xxx. 23 25, was 
compounded of the following ingredients. 

Pure myrrh, TiTT ~1Q mor deror 500 shekels. 

Sweet cinnamon, D\IO pJp kinnemon bosem . 250 
Sweet calamus, Dil?n rwp kaneh bosem . . . 250 

Cassia, mp kiddah 500 

Olive oil, D'? pi; shemen zait 1 hin. 

Dr. Adam Clarke makes the following computation: 

Ibs. oz. dwts. gr. 

500 shekels of the first and last make 48 4 12 2 Iff 
250 of the cinnamon and cassia, 24 2 6 10J4 

But it must be observed, that the word shekel is not used in 
the original ; so that some have supposed the gerah was the 
weight intended. The shekel, indeed, seems supplied by verse 
24. " According to the shekel of the sanctuary." These words, 
however, probably denote only a correct, or standard weight. 

The difficulty is, that so great a quantity of drugs put into so 
small a quantity of oil (between five and six quarts) would ren- 
der the mixture rather a paste than a liquid. To answer this 
difficulty, some have supposed that the drugs were previously 
steeped, and their oil drawn from them, which oil was mixed 
with the pure oil of olives ; others think, that recourse was had 
to pressure, to force out an oil strongly impregnated; others 
think that the mass was distilled ; and some that the value of the 
ingredients was intended, as five hundred shekel-worth of one 
kind, and two hundred and fifty shekel-worth of others ; but all 
agree that sixty-two pounds of aromatics to twelve pounds of 
oil is not according to modern art, and seems contradictory to 
the exercise of art in any state of practice. The adoption of 
gerahs instead of shekels would give a proportion of 35y oz. of 
drugs to 123 oz. of oil, or 3| to 1. In common, 1 oz. of drugs 
to 8 of oil is esteemed a fair proportion. 

After all, it may be the best to substitute proportional parts, 
as in the usual preparations of apothecaries, after zchose manner 

29 Exod. xxx. 23, 24, 25. 

30 De apparatu templi, c. i. sec. 1, apnd Crenii fascic. sext. p. 84, et seq. 
Comment, in Mishn. tit. cherith, c. i. sec. 1, torn. v. p. 237, edit. Surcnh. Holling, 
do L-g. Hebr. 107. Schikard, Jus. Reg. Hebr. Theor. iv. p. 63. 



284 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

it was directed that the ingredients should be compounded ; this 
proportion to be ascertained by the shekel of the sanctuary, or 
the standard weight. 

Where so many sacrifices were offered, it was essentially ne- 
cessary to have some pleasing perfume to counteract the dis- 
agreeable smells that must have arisen from the slaughter of so 
many animals, the sprinkling of so much blood, and the burning 
of so much flesh, &c. Accordingly, direction was given for the 
composition of a holy perfume of the following ingredients. 

Stacte, DD3 NATAPH; probably the prime kind of myrrh 

Onycha, nbmu SHECHELETH, 

Galbanum, pUD^n CHELBONAH, 

Incense, (pure) npr n:c6 LEBONAH ZAKAH. 

As there is no mention of oil to be used with those drugs, the 
composition was probably of a dry kind, to be burnt in the cen- 
ser, or occasionally sprinkled on the flame of the altar. 

There is an allusion to the ingredients of this sacred perfume 
in Ecclesiasticus, xxiv. 14, " I yielded a pleasant odour like the 
best myrrh, as galbanum, and onyx, and as the fume of frankin- 
cense in the tabernacle." The use of aromatics in the East may 
be dated from the remotest antiquity. " Ointment and per- 
fume." says Solomon, " rejoice the heart." They are still in- 
troduced, not only upon every religious and festive occasion, but 
as one essential expression of private hospitality and friendship. 

II. The OIL-TREE, Isai. xli. 19, pu; YV ETZ SCHEMEN, though 
understood by our translators of the olive, 1 Kings, vi. 23, 31, 
33, and Nehem. viii. 15, cannot mean the olive, which has 
another appropriate name ; but must intend some luxuriant and 
handsome tree. 

Jackson, in his history of Morocco, mentions " forests of the 
argan tree, which produces a kind of olive, from the kernel of 
which the Shellucks express an oil, much superior to butter for 
frying fish ; it is also employed economically for lamps, a pint of 
it burning nearly as long as double that quantity of olive-oil." 

OLIVE-TREE, rvr ZAIT. 

Occurs very often. EAAIA, Matth. xxi. 1; Rom. xi. 17, 
24; James, iii. 12. AFPIEAAIOS, Oleaster, the wild olive, 
Rom. xi. 17, 24. 

Tournefort mentions eighteen kinds of olives; but in the 
Scripture we only read of the cultivated and wild olive. The 
cultivated olive is of a moderate height, thrives best in a sunny 
and warm soil. Its trunk is knotty : its bark is smooth, and of 
an ash colour : its wood is solid, and yellowish ; its leaves are 
oblong, and almost like those of the willow, of a dark green 
colour on the upper side, and a whitish below. In the month 
of June it puts forth white flowers, growing in bunches, each of 
one piece, and widening toward the top, and dividing into four 



OF THE BIBLE. 285 

parts. After this flower succeeds the fruit, which is oblong and 
plump. It is first green, then pale, and when quite ripe, be- 
comes black. Within it is enclosed a hard stone, filled with 
oblong seeds. The wild olives were of a lesser kind. Canaan 
much abounded with olives 31 . It seems almost every proprietor, 
kings, or subjects, had their olive-yards 32 . 

The olive-branch was, from most ancient times, used as the 
symbol of reconciliation and peace 33 . 

On the method of grafting olives, see the passages quoted by 
Wetstein, in Rom. xi. 17, 19, 23. See OIL. 

ONION, too BATZAL. 

Occ. Numb. xi. 5, only. 

A well known garden plant with a bulbous root. 

Onions and garlics were highly esteemed in Egypt ; and not 
without reason, this country being admirably well adapted to 
their culture. 

The allium cepa, by the Arabs called basal, Hasselquist thinks 
one of the species of onions for which the Israelites longed. He 
would infer this from the quantities still used in Egypt, and their 
goodness. " Whoever has tasted onions in Egypt (says he), 
must allow that none can be had better in any part of the uni- 
verse. Here they are sweet ; in other countries they are nau- 
seous and strong. Here they are soft ; whereas in the northern, 
and other parts, they are hard, and their coats so compact that 
they are difficult of digestion. Hence they cannot in any place 
be eaten with less prejudice, and more satisfaction, than in 

T 1 

Egypt. 

The Egyptians are reproached with swearing by the leeks and 
onions of their gardens 34 . Juvenal, Sat. xv. ridicules these su- 
perstitious people who did not dare to eat leeks, garlick, or 
onions, for fear of injuring their Gods. 

" Quis nescit, Volusi Bythynice, qualia deinens 

/Egyptus portenta colit. 

Porrum et cepa nefas violare ant frangere niorsu; 

O sanctas gentes quibus hiec nascuntur in hortis 

Xumina !" 

How Egypt, mad with superstition grown, 

Makes gods of monsters, but too well is known. 



31 Deut. vi. 11; viii. 8; xxviii. 46. 

w 1 Chron. xxvii. 28; 1 Sam. viii. 14; Nebem. v. 11. 

33 From Exi, olive, comes the Greek word Exaioj, which signifies mercy. 

34 " Allium caepasque inter Deos in jurejurando habet Egyptus." Plin. 
N.H. 1. xix. c. 6. 

" Vilia Niliacis venerantnr oluscula in hortis, 
Porrum et cepa Deos imponere nubibus ausi." 

PRUDENTIUS, 1. ii. contr. Symm. p. 250. 

C!em. Recogn.l. v. Hieron. in Esai. 1. xiii. c. 46, fol. 151. Minut. Felix. 
c. xvii. p. 145, ed. Davis, et nota. 



286 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

'Tis mortal sin an onion to devour; 
Each clove of garlic has a sacred power. 
Religious nation, sure, and bless'd abodes, 
"Where every garden is o'errun with gods ! 

So Lucian, in his Jupiter trajted. torn. ii. p. 233, where he is 
giving an account of the different deities worshiped by the several 
inhabitants of Egypt, says HyXovaiuTuis $e XfOjx/xuov, those Pe- 
lusium worship the onion. 

Hence arises a question, how the Israelites durst venture to 
violate the national worship, by eating those sacred plants ? We 
may answer, in the first place, that, whatever might be the case 
of the Egyptians in later ages, it is not probable that they were 
arrived at such a pitch of superstition in the time of Moses ; for 
we find no indications of this in Herodotus, the most ancient of 
the Greek historians : 2dly, the writers here quoted appear to 
be mistaken in imagining these plants to have been really the 
objects of religious worship. The priests, indeed, abstained 
from the use of them, and several other vegetables ; and this 
might give rise to the opinion of their being reverenced as di- 
vinities; but the use of them was not prohibited to the people, 
as is plain from the testimonies of ancient authors, particularly 
of Diodorus Siculus. 

ONYCHA. nbnu; SHECHELETH. 
Occ. Exod. xxx. 34. ONTH, Ecclus. xxiv. 15. 
A fragrant gum, or perfume. 

The Hebrew word r6)TU? occurs no where in the Bible, but 
in the place referred to above. The Arabic version renders it 
" ladanum." Herodotus affirms that drug to be much used by 
the Arabians in perfumes; and, according to Pliny, N. H. 1. xii. 
c. 17, who mentions its fragrant smell, it was the extract of 
an herb called " ladan." These and other arguments Bochart 
offers, to support the Arabic version. But the Septuagint, the 
Vulgate, and the generality of interpreters, render it " onycha," 
though they are not agreed what that is. Dioscorides describes 
it to be the produce of a shell-fish, found in some lakes in India. 
Rumphius, in his rarities of Amboyna, 1. ii. c. 17, describes the 
odoriferous onyx, to which he gives the name of the Hebrew 
word employed in this passage. He informs us that this shell is 
the covercle of the purpura, and of the whole class of the mu- 
rex ; adding, that in the Indies this onyx serves as the basis of 
the principal perfumes. He describes ten kinds of these shells, 
and gives as synonymes to his No. X. " Ungnis odoratus, onyx 
marina, Blatta Byzantina : Arab. Adfar-al-tibi." Forskal, in his 
" Materia Medica Cahirina," describes it thus : " Unguis odora- 
tus (opercula cochlea), Dafr el asrit. Nigritis fumigatorium 
est." But as India was too distant for drugs to be brought from 
thence to Judea or Arabia, where the Israelites then were, and 



OF THE BIBLE. 287 

as the context and etymology 35 seem to require some vegetable 
substance, their opinion seems most probable, who take it for 
the gum of some aromatic plant growing in Arabia ; and perhaps 
it is the bdellium, which is a fragrant gum, smooth and shining 
like a man's nail, which the Greeks call onyx, and is by some 
authors named " bdella onyx," to distinguish it from bdellium of 
another kind. 

In Ecclesiasticus it is mentioned with the other odoriferous 
- ingredients in the holy incense, by the name of onyx. 

ONYX. QJTU7 SHOHEM. 

Occ. Gen. ii. 12; Exod. xxv. 7; xxviii. 9, 20: xxxv. 27; 
xxxix. 6; 1 Chron. xxix. 2; Job, xxviii. 16; Ezek. xxviii. 13. 

A precious stone, so called from the Greek ovo, the nail, to 
the colour of which it nearly approaches. It is first mentioned 
with the gold and bdellium of the river Pison in Eden ; but the 
meaning of the Hebrew word is not easily determined. The 
Septuagint render it in different places, the sardius, beryl, sap- 
phire, emerald, &c. Such names are often ambiguous, even in 
Greek and Latin, and no wonder if they be more so in Hebrew. 
It is certain that Arabia abounded with precious stones of all 
sorts, as appears from Ezek. xxvii. 22, where the prophet, enu- 
merating the chief commodities in which the Arabian merchants 
from Sheba and Raamah trafficked with Tyre, mentions spices, 
precious stones, and gold, agreeable to what Moses says of the 
bdellium, gold, and onyx of Havilah. And it may be observed, 
that the same prophet, v. 23, mentions Eden as one of the 
countries in the neighbourhood of Sheba, which directs us to 
seek for the situation of Paradise in those parts. 

In Exod. xxviii. 9> 10, a direction is given, that two onyx 
stones should be fastened on the ephod of the high priest, on 
which were to be graven the names of the children of Israel, like 
the engravings on a signet; six of the names on one stone, and 
six on the other. Dr. Adam Clarke remarks, " So signets or 
seals were in use at that time, and engraving on precious stones 
was then an art ; and this art, which was one of the most ele- 
gant and ornamental, was carried, in ancient times, to a very 
high pitch of perfection, particularly among the ancient Greeks; 
such a pitch of perfection as has never been rivalled, and cannot 
now be even well imitated. And it is very likely that the Greeks 
themselves borrowed this art from the ancient Hebrews, as we 
know it flourished in Egypt and Palestine, long before it was 
known in Greece." 

In 1 Chron. xxix. 2, onyx stones are among the things pre- 
pared by David for the temple. The author of " Scripture Il- 
lustrated" observes upon this passage, that " the word onyx is 

13 Irt Syriac JVTO is to drop, to distil: and xnbrro is a tear, distillation. It 
must therefore mean something that exudes, and cannot mean a shell, which is a 
friable substance. 



288 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

equivocal, signifying, 1st, a precious stone or gem ; and 2dly, a 
marble called in Greek, onychites, which Pliny, N. H. 1. xxxvii. 
c. 6, mentions as a stone of Caramania. Antiquity gave both 
these stones this name, because of their resemblance to the nail 
of the fingers. The onyx of the high priest's pectoral was, no 
doubt, the gem onyx; the stone prepared by David was the 
marble onyx, or rather onychus" for one would hardly think 
that gems of any kind were used externally in such a building, 
but variegated marble may readily be admitted." 

Onyx stones are sometimes found of a large size. In the ca- 
thedral church at Collen in Germany there is one exceeding a 
palm, or hand's breadth 36 . 

OSPREY. rwij; AZANIAH. 

Occ. Levit. xi. 13, and Deut. xiv. 12. 

Generally supposed to be the black eagle; and there are good 
reasons for referring it to the Nisser-Tokoor described by Mr. 
Bruce. 

OSSIFRAGE. ens PERES. 

Occ. Levit. xi. 13, and Deut. xiv. 12. 

Interpreters are not agreed on this bird : some read vulture, 
others the black eagle, others the falcon. The name Peres, by 
which it is called in Hebrew, denotes to crush, to break; and 
this name agrees with our version, which implies " the bone- 
breaker," which name is given to a kind of eagle, from the cir- 
cumstance of its habit of breaking the bones of its prey, after it 
has eaten the flesh ; some say also, that he even swallows the 
bones thus broken. 

Onkelos uses a word which signifies naked, and leads us to 
the vulture : indeed, if we were to take the classes of birds in 
any thing like a natural order in the passages here referred to, 
the vulture should follow the eagle as an unclean bird. The 
Septuagint interpreter also renders vulture; and so do Minister, 
Schindler, and the Zurick versions. 

OSTRICH, myjoNEHor JAANAH. In Arabic NEAMAH; 
in Greek c-$8$oxci[j,yhos, the camel-bird; and still in the east, says 
Niebuhr, it is called " thar edsjammel," the camel-bird. 

Occ. Levit. xi. 16; Deut. xiv. 15; Job, xxx. 2Q; Isai. xiii. 
21; xxxiv. 13; xliii. 20; Jer. 1. 39; Lament, iv. 3; and 
Mic. i. 8. 

QW RINONIM. Job, xxxix. 13. 

The first name in the places above quoted is, by our transla- 
tors, generally rendered " owls." 

" Now, it should be recollected," says the author of ' Scrip- 
ture Illustrated,' " that the owl is not a desert bird, but rather 
resides where habitations are not far off, and that it is not the 
companion of serpents; whereas in several of these passages 

36 Lee's Temple, p. 298. Boetius, de Gem. 1. ii. c. 92. p. 243. 



OF THE BIBLE. 289 

the JON EH is associated with deserts, dry, extensive, thirsty de- 
serts, and with serpents, which are their natural inhabitants. 

" Our ignorance of the natural history of the countries where 
the ostrich inhabits lias undoubtedly perverted the import of the 
above passages; but let any one peruse them afresh, and ex- 
change the owl for the OSTRICH, and he will immediately disco- 
ver a vigour of description, and an imagery much beyond what 
he had formerly perceived." 

The Hebrew phrase myn ro BATH JON EH, means " the 
daughter of vociferation," and is understood to be the female 
ostrich, probably so called from the noise which this bird makes 37 . 
It is affirmed by travellers of good credit, that ostriches make a 
fearful screeching lamentable noise 38 . Dr. Shaw, Trav. p. 455, 
ed. 4to. who was an earwitness to the noises which ostriches 
sometimes make, has these remarks ; " During the lonesome part 
of the night, they often make very doleful and hideous noises ; 
which would sometimes be like the roaring of a lion, at other 
times it would bear a nearer resemblance to the hoarser voice of 
other quadrupeds, particularly the bull and the ox. I have often 
heard them groan as if they were in the greatest agonies." 
" How gloomy is it then, and even terrible (to use the expres- 
sion of Sandys), to travellers who penetrate with timorous appre- 
hensions into the immensity of these deserts, where every living 
being, man not excepted, is an object of dread and danger !" 

The ostrich is generally thought to be the largest, at least it is 
one of the tallest birds in the world ; being full seven, and some- 
times eight feet in height, from the head to the top of the ground, 
and about four from the back to the ground. When the neck is 
stretched out in a right line it measures six feet from the head 
to the rump, and the tail about a foot more. One of the wings 
is a foot and a half long without the feathers, and with the fea- 
thers three feet. The plumage is generally black and white, 
though it is said to be sometimes gray. The largest feathers, 
which are at the extremities of the wings and tail, are usually 
white; and the small feathers on the back and belly are a mix- 
ture of black and white. This fowl has no feathers on the sides 
of the thighs, nor under the wings. That half of the neck which 

37 Cotnp. Mic. i 8. In Lament, iv. 3, not only the Keri and Complutensian 
edition, hut more than fifty of Dr. Kennicott's codices read D'3jrO, and this 
reading, (not the common printed one cny O, which seems to make no sense), is 
no doubt the true one. Parkhurst. 

" There can be 110 stronger instance of THF. NECESSITY OF ACQUAINTANCE WITH 
NATTJRAL HISTORY IN INTERPRETING SCRIPTURE, than these passages." Scr. 
lllustr. 

38 Pocock, Comment, on Mic. i. 8. O^V' JONEH, and D'33T RINONIM, names 
by which the ostrich is known in the Holy Scriptures, may very properly be de- 
duced from my ONAH and pi RONAN; words which the lexicographers explain 
by " exclamare," or " clamare fortiter ;" for the noise made by the ostrich is 
loud and sonorous. As in Exod. xxxii. 18. It is not the voice of them that shout 

m:y/or mastery, 

Y 



2.90 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

is next to the body is covered with smaller feathers thau those 
on the belly and back, and like them, are a mixture of white and 
black. These feathers are peculiar to the ostrich. Other birds 
have several sorts ; some of which are soft and downy, and 
others hard and strong : but almost all the feathers of an ostrich 
are as soft as down, and utterly unfit to serve for flying, or to 
defend it against external injury. The webs on the feathers of 
other birds are broader on one side than on the other, but in 
those of the ostrich the shaft is exactly in the middle. As the 
wings are not large enough in proportion to the body, to raise 
it from the ground, they serve as sails or oars to cut through or 
impel the air, and add great swiftness to their feet, which are 
shodden with a horny substance, enabling them to tread rirmlv 
and to run a great while without hurting themselves. The head 
and the upper part of the neck of this animal are covered with 
very fine white shining hairs ; with small tufts in some places, 
consisting of about ten or twelve hairs, which grow from a 
single shaft about the thickness of a pin. The wings are fur- 
nished with a kind of spur, resembling the quill of a porcupine, 
which is of a horny substance, hollow, and about an inch long. 
There are two of these on each wing, the largest of which is at 
the extremity of the bone of the wing, and the other about a foot 
lower. The neck appears proportionably more slender than that 
of other birds from its not being covered all over with feathers. 
The bill is short, and shaped somewhat like that of the duck. 
The external form of the eye resembles that of a man, the upper 
eyelid being furnished with eyelashes which are longer than those 
on the lid below. The tongue is very short and small. The 
thighs, which are large and plump, are covered with a flesh- 
coloured skin which appears greatly wrinkled. Some of them 
have a few scattered hairs on their thighs, and others are entirely 
without. The legs are covered with scales ; and the ends of the 
feet are cloven, having two very large toes on each, which are 
also covered with scales. The toes are of unequal sizes ; that 
on the inside is the largest, and is about seven inches long, in- 
cluding the claw, which is three quarters of an inch in length, 
and nearly the same in breadth. The other two have no claws, 
and do not exceed four inches in length. 

Ostriches are inhabitants of the deserts of Arabia, where they 
live chiefly upon vegetables ; lead a social and inoffensive life, 
the male assorting with the female with connubial fidelity. Their 
eggs are very large, some of them measuring above five inches 
in diameter, and weighing twelve or fifteen pounds. These ani- 
mals are very prolific, laying forty or fifty eggs at a clutch. 

Of all animals this is the most voracious. It will devour 
leather, grass, hair, stones, metals, or any thing that is given to 
it : but those substances which the coats of the stomach cannot 
operate upon pass whole. It is so unclean an animal as to eat 



OF THE BIBLE. 291 

its own ordure as soon as it voids it. This is sufficient reason, 
were others wanting, why such a fowl should be reputed un- 
cean, and its use as an article of diet prohibited. 

" The ostrich (says M. Buffon) was known in the remotest 
ages, and mentioned in the most ancient books. It is frequently 
the subject from which the sacred writers draw their comparisons 
and allegories. In still more distant periods, its flesh seems to 
have been used for food, for the legislator of the Jews prohibits it 
as unclean. It occurs also in Herodotus, the most ancient of 
the profane historians ; and in the writings of the first philoso- 
phers who have treated of the history of nature. How indeed 
could an animal, so remarkably large, and so wonderfully proli- 
fic, and peculiarly suited to the climate, as the ostrich, remain 
unknown in Africa, and part of Asia, countries peopled from the 
earliest ages, full of deserts indeed, but where there is not a spot 
which has not been traversed by the foot of man ? 

" The family of the ostrich, therefore, is of great antiquity. 
Nor in the course of ages has it varied or degenerated from its 
native purity. It has always remained on its paternal estate ; and 
its lustre has been transmitted unsullied by foreign intercourse. 
In short, it is among the birds what the elephant is among the 
quadrupeds, a distinct race, widely separated from all the others 
by characters as striking as they are invariable." 

This bird is very particularly described in the book of Job, 
xxxix. 13 18. An amended version of the passage, with re- 
marks, will conclude this article. 

The wing of the ostrich-tribe is for flapping. 

The word which our English bible renders peacock is, says 
Mr. Scott, one of the Hebrew names of the ostrich. The pea- 
cock was not known in Syria, Palestine, or Arabia, before the 
reign of Solomon, who first imported it. It was originally from 
India. Besides, the ostrich, not the peacock, is allowed on all 
hands to be the subject of the following parts of the description. 
And while the whole character, says Mr. Good, precisely applies 
to the ostrich, it should be observed, that all the Western Arabs 
from Wedinoon to Senaar, still denominate it ennim, with a near 
approach to the Hebrew name here employed. Neither is the 
peacock remarkable for its wing, but for the beauties of its tail : 
whereas, the triumphantly expanded, or as Dr. Shaw turns it, 
the quivering expanded wing, is one of the characteristics of the 
ostrich. " When I was abroad, says this entertaining writer, I 
had several opportunities of amusing myself with the actions and 
behaviour of the ostrich. It was very diverting to observe with 
what dexterity and equipoise of body it would play and frisk about 
on all occasions. In the heat of the day, particularly, it would 
strut along the sunny side of the house with great majesty. It 
would be perpetually fanning and priding itself with its quh'er- 

\ 2 



292 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

ing expanded mugs, and seem at every turn to admire and be in 
love with its own shadow. Even at other times, when walking 
about or resting itself on the ground, the wings would continue 
these fanning and vibrating motions, as if they were designed to 
mitigate and assuage that extraordinary heat wherewith their 
bodies seem to be naturally affected 39 . 

Mr. Vansittart, however, thinks that the text speaks of the 
wing or feathers of the ostrich as a desirable thing to be possessed 
and exulted in, and would render it, " the wing of the ostrich 
is to be desired 40 ." The feathers of the ostrich were in all pro- 
bability as much esteemed anciently as they are now. Pliny, 
N. H. 1. x. c. 1, speaks of them as used to ornament helmets: 
" conos bellicos galeasque adornantes pennae." 

But of the stork and falcon for flight. 

Mr. Good remarks, that "our common translation, with great 
singularity, renders rTT'Dn HASIDEH, " ostrich," even Junius and 
Tremellius translating " ciconia," or stork; although they render 
the term nw NESSEH, " ostrich," which our common translation 
renders " feathers." NESSEH, indeed, as a noun singular may 
be feather, if it be a radical term of itself; but if, as the greater 
number of both ancient and modern interpreters concur in be- 
lieving it to be, a derivative from yz NEZZ, it will import a large 
Arabian bird of some kind or other, though the kind has been 
very unnecessarily made a subject of doubt. The writers of the 
Septuagint, not fully comprehending the meaning of either of the 
words, have merely given the Hebrew names in Greek euri$& v.ca 
vewct. Junius and Tremellius, and Piscator have rendered TOJ 
NESSEH, ostrich, as they have non RENNIM, peacocks. St. 
Jerom has translated NESSEH, " accipiter," hawk or falcon : the 
Chaldee commentary coincides with Jerom ; and hence Tyndal 
makes it " the sparrow-hawk." It may possibly be this, as the 
" falco nissus" is said to be found in some parts of Africa, as 
well as of Europe. N AZ is used generically by the Arabian wri- 
ters to signify both falcon and hawk; and the term is given in 
both these senses by Meninski. There can be little doubt that 
such is the real meaning of the Hebrew word, and that it imports 
various species of the falcon family. 

" The argument drawn from Natural History advances from 
quadrupeds to birds ; and of birds, those only are selected for 
description which are most common to the country in which the 
scene lies, and, at the same time, are most singular in their 
properties. Thus the ostrich is admirably contrasted with the 
stork and the eagle, as affording an instance of a winged animal 
totally incapable of flying, but endued with an unrivalled rapidity 
of running, compared with birds whose flight is proverbially 

39 See also Mr. Good's learned note upon the passage, p. 462. 

40 Observations on select Places of the Old Testament, Svo. Oxford, 1812. 





OF THE BIBLE. 293 

swift, powerful, and persevering. Let man, in the pride of his 
wisdom, explain or arraign this difference of construction ! 
Again, the ostrich is peculiarly opposed to the stork, and to 
some species of the eagle, in another sense, and a sense adverted 
to in the verses immediately ensuing; for the ostrich is well 
known to take little care of its eggs, or its young; while, not 
to dwell upon the species of the eagle just glanced at, the stork 
has ever been and ever deserves to be held in proverbial repute 
for its parental fondness." 

It may be remarked, that " the eagle spreading abroad her 
wings, and taking her young upon them," is mentioned Deut. 
xxxii. 1 1, as an example of care and kindness. So that this pas- 
sage may imply that the wings of the stork, however wonderful 
for their plumage, are neither adapted for the flying of the pos- 
sessor, nor for the shelter of her young ; and so are peculiarly 
different from those of all other birds, and especially those most 
remarkable for their flight and other particulars. 

She haveth her eggs on the ground, 

And tcarmelh them in the dust; 

And is heedless thai the foot may crush them, 

Or the beast of the field trample upon them. 

As for the stalk, " the lofty fir trees are her house;" but the 
improvident ostrich depositeth her eggs in the earth. She build- 
eth her nest on some sandy hillock, in the most barren and so- 
litary recesses of the desert; exposed to the view of every travel- 
ler, and the foot of every wild beast. 

Our translators appear by their version, which is confused, to 
have been influenced by the vulgar error, that the ostrich did not 
herself hatch her eggs by sitting on them, but left them to the 
heat of the sun, probably understanding Dtyn TAZOB, as of a 
total dereliction; whereas the original word CDGnn TEHAMMK.M 
signifies actively, that she heatetli them, namely, by incubation. 
And Mr. Good, who also adopts this opinion, observes that 
there is scarcely an Arabian poet who has not availed himself 
of this peculiar character of the ostrich in some simile or 
other. Let the following suffice, from Nawabig, quoted by 
Schultens : 

" Est qi i omittat pietatem in propinquos, alienis benefaciens 
Ut stnithio deserit ova sua, et ova aliena incubat." 
There are who, deaf to nature's cries, 

On stranger tribes bestow their food : 
So her own eggs the ostrich flies, 

And, senseless, rears another's brood. 

This, however, does not prove that she wholly neglects in- 
cubation, but that she deserts her eggs, which may be because 
frighted away. The fact is, she usually sits upon her eggs as 
other birds do; but then she so often wanders, and so far in 
search of fo#d, that frequently the eggs are addle by means of 



294 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

her long absence from them. To this account we may add, 
when she has left her nest, whether through fear or to seek food, 
if she light upon the eggs of some other ostrich, she sits upon 
them, and is unmindful of her own. Leo Africanus says, they 
lay about ten or a dozen at a time : but Dr. Shaw observes, that 
by the repeated accounts which he had received from his con- 
ductors, as well as from Arabs of different places, he had been 
informed that they lay from thirty to fifty. He adds, " we are 
not to consider this large collection of eggs as if they were all 
intended for a brood. They are the greatest part of them re- 
served for food, which the dam breaks, and disposeth of accord- 
ing to the number and cravings of her young ones." 

This special reservation of some of the eggs is mentioned by 
./Elian, Hist. 1. xiv. c. 7 ; and is confirmed by Vaillant, Trav. V. 
ii. p. 422. 

Mr. Barrow, Travels in Southern Africa, p. 89, says, "Among 
the very few polygamous birds that are found in a state of nature, 
the ostrich is one. The male, distinguished by its glossy black 
feathers from the dusky gray female, is generally seen with two 
or three, and frequently as many as five of the latter. These 
females lay their eggs in one nest to the number of ten or twelve 
each, which they hatch all together, the male taking his turn of 
sitting on them among the rest. Between sixty and seventy eggs 
have been found in one nest ; and if incubation has begun, a few- 
are most commonly found lying round the sides of the hole, 
having been thrown out by the birds, on finding the nest to con- 
tain more than they could conveniently cover. The time of 
incubation is six weeks. For want of knowing the ostrich to 
be polygamous, an error respecting this bird has slipt into the 
Systema Nature, where it is said that one female lays fifty 
eggs." 

She hardeneth herself for that which is not hers, 
Her labour is vain, without discrimination. 

Mr. Vansittart, in his remarks upon this clause, shows that 
it is not intended to indicate any want of care for her young; but, 
as the eggs are set upon by several female ostriches, alternately, 
the young are the joint care of the parent birds without discrimi- 
nation. The Hebrew word JTUJpn HICSHIAH, occurs but once, 
besides in this place, throughout the Old Testament, and that is 
Isaiah, Ixiii. 17, where the prophet refers to God's casting off his 
people, and taking strangers in their place, and is exactly what 
is applicable to this passage in Job. 

" On the least noise (says Dr. Shaw) or trivial occasion, she 
forsakes her eggs, or her young ones : to which perhaps she ne- 
ver returns ; or if she does, it may be too late either to restore 
life to the one, or to preserve the lives of the others. Agree- 
able to this account the Arabs meet sometimes with whole nests of 
these eggs undisturbed : -some of them are sweet and good, others 



OF THE BIBLE. 295 

are addle and corrupted : others again have their young ones or" 
different growth, according to the time, it may be presumed, 
they have been forsaken of the dam. They (the Arabs) often 
meet with a few of the little ones no bigger than well grown 
pullets, half starved, straggling and moaning about like so many 
distressed orphans for their mother. In this manner the ostrich 
iijay be said to be hardened against her young ones as though 
they tcere not hers; her labour, in hatching and attending them 
so far, being rain, without fear, or the least concern of what 
becomes of them afterwards. This want of affection is also 
recorded Lam. iv. 3, " the daughter of my people is become cruel, 
like ostriches in the wilderness ," that is, by apparently desert- 
ing their own, and receiving others in return. Hence one of 
the great causes of lamentation was, the coming in of strangers 
and enemies into Zion, and possessing it. Thus, in the 12th 
verse of this chapter, it is said, " The kings of the earth, and all 
the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the 
adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of 
Jerusalem ;" and in ch. v. ver. 2, " Our inheritance is turned 
to strangers, our houses to aliens." 

Mr. Vansittart adds, the phrase " her labour is vain" wants an 
explanation ; because, while eggs are laid, and young ostriches 
produced, it can never be correct : and if the mother did even 
drive her young ones from her, still it could not be said that her 
labours had not been successful ; because, while there was a 
young brood remaining, it would be evident that she had been 
prosperous. Now, labour in vain, as it appears to me, must 
.either be that which is not productive, or else what profits not 
the person who labours, or otherwise what profits another who 
does not labour. And this, I think, is the case with the ostrich 
in the interpretation here suggested ; and is moreover the true 
signification of the phrase p"6. This phrase occurs Levit. xxvi. 
16, " Ye sow your seed in vain, for another shall reap it," not 
yourselves. Likewise, Isai. Ixv. 21, 22, 23 : " They shall build 
nouses, and inhabit them ; and they shall plant vineyards, and 
eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inha- 
bit; they shall not plant, and another eat; they shall not labour 
in vain:" that is, profitless for themselves, and for the good of 
others. And again, Isai. xlix. 4, " Then I said, I have laboured 
in vain ; I have spent my strength for nought and in vain ;" that 
is, when he had departed from the worship of Jehovah, and had 
been given up to the service of the gods of the nation, and con- 
sequently to their advantage, and not his own. It is in this 
sense that I wish to understand the Hebrew word, which is not 
a forced signification, and is moreover the exact peculiarity and 
property of the ostrich intended to be marked. 

The phrase " without fear," or " without solicitude," " with- 
out maternal discrimination," implies that she appears to be 



296 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

without any apprehension or concern for those belonging to her- 
self more than for those of another. 

Because God hath made her feeble of instinct, 
And not imparted to her understanding. 

Natural affection and sagacious instinct are the grand instru- 
ments by which Providence continueth the race of other ani- 
mals : but no limits can be set to the wisdom and power of God. 
He preserveth the breed of the ostrich without those means, and 
even in a penury of all the necessaries of life. 

" Those parts of the Sahara (the desert) which these birds 
chiefly frequent are destitute of all manner of food or herbage ; 
except it be some few tufts of coarse grass, or else a few other 
solitary plants of the laureola, apocynum, and some other kind, 
each of which is destitute of nourishment, and, in the Psalmist's 
phrase, even withereth before it is plucked. So that, consider- 
ing the great voracity of this camel bird, it is wonderful not only 
how the little ones, after they are weaned from the provision I 
have mentioned, should be brought up and nourished; but even 
how those of fuller growth, and much better qualified to look out 
for themselves, are able to subsist 41 ." 

Yet at the time she haughtily assumes courage 
She scorneth the horse and his rider. 

Dr. Durell justifies this translation by observing, that the os- 
trich cannot soar as other birds, and therefore the words in our 
version when she lifteth up herself, cannot be right : besides the 
verb tt"VD occurs only in this place, and in Arabic it signifies, to 
take courage, and the like. 

" Notwithstanding the stupidity of this animal, its Creator hath 
amply provided for its safety, by endowing it with extraordinary 
swiftness, and a surprising apparatus for escaping from its enemy. 
They, when they raise themselves up for flight, laugh at the. horse 
and his rider. They afford him an opportunity only of admiring 
at a distance, the extraordinary agility and the stateliness like- 
wise of their motions ; the richness of their plumage, and the 
great propriety there was in ascribing to them an expanded qui- 
vering wing. Nothing certainly can be more entertaining than 
such a sight, the wings, by their rapid but unwearied vibrations, 
equally serving them for sails and oars ; while their feet, no less 
assisting in conveying them out of sight, are no less insensible of 
fatigue 42 ." 

*' In running, the ostrich has a proud haughty look; and, even 
when in extreme distress, never appears in great haste, espe- 
cially if the wind be favourable with it 43 ." 

Xenophon, in his Anabasis, mentioning the desert of Arabia, 

41 Dr. Shaw, Trav. p. 451, ed. 4to. 4> Dr. Shaw. 

4S Naturalist's Cabinet, v. iii. p. 82. 



OF THE BIBLE. 297 

states that the OSTRICH is frequently seen there ; that none could 
take them, " the horsemen who pursued them soon giving it 
over ; for they escaped far away, making use both of their feet 
to run, and of their wings, when expanded, as a sail to waft 
them along." 

I conclude this article by a poetical version partly from Dr. 
Young and Dr. Scott. 

Didst thou the ostrich clothe with plumes so fair? 

Which, nor with falcon's, nor the stork's compare; 

Who heedless roaming, or by fear subdued, 

Feel's not a parent's fond solicitude. 

While far she flies, her scatter'd eggs are found 

Without an owner on the sandy ground ; 

Cast out at fortune, they at mercy lie, 

And borrow life from an indulgent sky. 

Unmindful she that some unhappy tread 

May crush her young in their neglected bed ; 

As far she wanders for her daily food, 

Or on her way adopts some casual brood, 

And these without discrimination share 

Offered attendance, not instinctive care. 

Yet when her sudden enemy she sees, 

Uprising, with the favouring gale, she flees, 

And skims along the plain with rapid speed, 

And scorns alike the hunter and his steed. 

OWL. 

There are several varieties of this species, all too well known 
to need a particular description. They are nocturnal birds of 
prey, and have their eyes better adapted for discerning objects in 
the evening, or twilight, than in the glare of day. 

Under the preceding article I have shown that what our trans- 
lators, in several places, have rendered " owls" is an appellation 
of the ostrich. I shall now examine the other passages. 

I. DID cos. Levit. xi. 17; Deut. xiv. 16; and Psal. cii. 6, is, 
in our version, rendered " the little owl." Aquila, Theodotion, 
Jerom, Kimchi, and most of the older interpreters are quoted to 
justify this rendering. M. Michaelis, Quest. No. c. p. 211, 
at some length supports the opinion that it is " the horned owl." 
Bochart, though with some hesitation, suspected it to be the 
" onocrotalus," a kind of pelican; because the Hebrew name 
signifies " cup," and the pelican is remarkable for a pouch or bag 
under the lower jaw ; but there are good reasons for supposing 
that bird to be the nNp KAATH of the next verse. Dr. Geddes 
thinks this bird " the cormorant; 1 ' and as it begins the list of 
water-fowl, and is mentioned always in the same contexts with 

confessedly a water-bird, his opinion may be adopted. 

II. fyKW YANSUPH. Levit. xi. 17; Deut. xiv. 16; and Isai. 
xxxiv. 11. In the two first places our translators render this 
" the great owl," which is strangely placed after " the little owl," 
and among water-birds. " Our translators," says the author of 
Scripture Illustrated, " seem to have thought the owl a conve- 



298 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

nient bird, as we have three owls in two verses 44 ." Some critics 
think it means a species of night-bird, because the word may be 
derived from P)U;:J NESHEPH, which signifies the twilight, the time 
when owls fly about. But this interpretation, says Parkhurst, 
seems very forced; and since it is clearly mentioned among 
water-fords, and the LXX have, in the first and last of those 
texts, rendered it by IBIS, the Ibis, I feel disposed to adopt that 
bird here ; and think the evidence strengthened by this, that in a 
Coptic version of Levit. xi. 17 * 5 , it is called IP or HIP, which 
with a Greek termination, would very easily make //3/f. In the 
Samaritan version, according to the order of the words, ~]bw 
SHALAC, " the cormorant" of our translation is rendered O'N IBI, 
and rjnw YANSUPH by -O"0 BARBERI, perhaps the KO$V%IOS : 
but I think it most likely that the order has been changed, and 
that the IBIS is the bird here intended. 

III. nsp KIPPOZ, which occurs only in Isai. xxxiv. 15, and is 
in our version rendered " the great owl," Bochart thinks to be 
that species of serpent which is called in Greek UKOVTICU;, and in 
Latin Jaculus, from the violence with which it leaps or darts on 
its prey 46 . But the prophet's hints respecting making a nest, 
and laying and hatching eggs, are contrary to his construction ; 
for though some serpents are oviparous, and may be thought to 
make nests to receive their eggs, yet we know of no serpent that 
hatches them, warms them by incubation, and forwards them by 
parental attention. These actions are certainly those of a bird 17 . 
As the creature is represented as the tenant of desolate places, 
I see no sufficient reason for rejecting our translation, and there- 
fore retain " the great owl." 

(4.) D'b' 1 ? LILITH, Isai. xxxiv. 14, in our version the " scrich- 
owl." The root signifies " night :" and as undoubtedly a bird 
frequenting dark places and ruins is referred to, we must admit 
some kind of owl. 

" A place of lonely desolation, where 

The screeching tribe and pelicans abide, 
And the dun ravens croak mid ruins drear, 

And moaning owls from man the farthest hide." 

OX. 1p3 BACRE ; Arab, bcekerre, and bykar. See Meninski 
Lexic. 

The male of horned cattle of the beeve kind, at full age, when 
fit for the plough. Younger ones are called " bullocks." 

Under the article " bull," I asserted that the Jews never cas- 

44 Again in Isai. xxxiv. 11, 13, 14, 15, four different words are rendered 
owls; meaning, however the Ibis (or bittern) the ostrich, the lilith, and the 
acontias. 

45 Vid. Chr. Scholzii, Lexic. JEgypt. Lat. Oxonii. 1775. 4to. p. 155. Georgi. 
Fragm. Evang. S. Joh. Coptic. Roraae. 1789. 4to. p. cxi. prref. 

46 Hieroz. v. iii. p. 194. edit. Roseninuller. 

47 Scripture Illustrated, in loc. p. 172. 



OF THE BIBLE. 299 

trated any of their animals, grounding their declaration on Levit. 
xxii. 24, and yet quoted a passage from Dr. Adam Clarke, who 
thinks that oxen were castrated animals. This was also the opi- 
nion of Le Clerc. But Michaelis, in his elaborate work on the 
laws of Moses, vol. ii. p. 400, article clxviii. has proved that 
castration was never practised. 

The rural economy of the Israelites led them to value the ox 
as by far the most important of domestic animals, from the con- 
sideration of his great use in all the operations of farming 48 . 

In the patriarchal ages, the ox constituted no inconsiderable 
portion of their wealth. Thus Abraham is said to be very rich 
in cattle, Gen. xxiv. 35. This is also remarked of Jacob, Gen. 
xxx. 43. And of Job it is declared, that "his substance was 
seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hun- 
dred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she-asses, and a very great 
household ; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of 
the East." Job, i. 3. 

Men of every age and country have been much indebted to 
the labours of this animal. So early as in the days of Job, who 
was probably the contemporary with Isaac, " the oxen were 
ploughing, and the asses feeding beside them," when the Sabeans 
fell upon them, and took them away. In times long posterior, 
when Elijah was commissioned to anoint Elisha, the son of 
Shaphat, prophet in his stead, he found him ploughing with 
twelve yoke of oxen, 1 Kings, xix. 1Q. For many ages, the 
hopes of oriental husbandmen depended entirely on their labours. 
This was so much the case in the time of Solomon, that he ob- 
serves, in one of his Proverbs, " Where no oxen are, the crib is 
clean (or rather empty); but much increase is by the strength 
of the ox." Prov. xiv. 4. The ass, in the course of ages, was 
compelled to bend his stubborn neck to the yoke, and share his 
labours; but still, the preparation of the ground, in the time of 
spring, depended chiefly on the more powerful exertions of the 
latter. 

When this animal was employed in bringing home the pro- 
duce of the harvest, he was regaled with a mixture of chaff, 
chopped straw, and various kinds of grain, moistened with aci- 
dulated water. Such is the meaning of that prediction, Isai. 
xxx. 24, " the oxen likewise, and the young asses that ear the 
ground, shall eat clean provender 49 , which hath been winnowed 
with the shovel, and with the fan." When the Lord returns to 
bless his repenting people, so rich and abundant shall be the 
produce of their fields, that the lower animals which toil in the 
service of man, and have assigned for their usual subsistence the 
most ordinary food, shall share in the general plenty, and feed 

48 See some interesting remarks on this subject, in Michaelis 1 Commentaries on 
the Laws of Moses, v. ii. p. 388. Dr. Smith's translation. 
i9 Bishop Lowth renders it, " well fermented maslin." 



300 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

on provender, carefully separated from all offensive matters, and 
adapted to their taste. But among the Jews, this animal was 
best fed when employed in treading out the corn ; for the divine 
law, in many of whose precepts the benevolence of the Deity 
conspicuously shines, forbad to muzzle him, and by consequence 
to prevent him from eating what he would of the grain he was 
employed to separate from the husk. This allusion is involved 
in the address of the prophet Hosea, ch. x. 1 1, to the ten tribes, 
in which he warns them that the abundance and tranquillity 
which they had so long enjoyed, should not exempt them from 
the punishments due to their multiplied crimes. Despising the 
frugal and laborious life of their ancestors, they had become 
slothful and voluptuous, like an ox that declines to bend his 
neck any longer to the yoke, and loves the easier employment of 
treading out the corn, where he riots without restraint on the 
accumulated bounties of heaven : " Ephraim is as an heifer that 
is taught "(or has become nice and delicate), " and loveth to tread 
out the corn ; but I passed over upon her fair neck. I will make 
Ephraim carry me." This latter clause gives the image of a 
husbandman mounting his bullock, to direct it over the corn, and 
perhaps to prevent or restrain the feeding. 

The ox was also compelled to the labour of dragging the cart 
or waggon. The number of oxen commonly yoked to one cart 
appears to have been two. [Comp. Numb. vii. 3, 7, 8; 1 Sam. 
vi. 7 ; and 2 Sam. vi. 3, 6. 

The wild-ox, i^n THEO. Deut. xiv. 5, is supposed to be the 
oryx of the Greeks, which is a species of large stag. It is ren- 
dered oryx by Jerom ; and Aquila used the same term in trans- 
lating Isai. li. 20, where the Hebrew word is Nin THOA, in our 
version " wild-bull," which is probably the same word, with the 
mere transposition of the two last letters. The prophet suys 
(as translated by Bp. Lowth) : 

Thy sons lie astounded. They are cast down ; 

At the head of all the streets, like the oryx taken in the toils. 

Many interpreters, besides the English translators, are dis- 
posed to consider the Hebrew words here named as intending 
the buffalo or some species of the wild ox. But Aben E/ra 
asserts, that no wild bull is to be found in Judea and the sur- 
rounding countries. Three varieties of that animal are natives 
of a cold climate. The buffalo, it is admitted, is bred in southern 
latitudes; but in ancient time she seems to have been confined 
to the remotest parts of the East. No mention is made of him, 
at least, by any writer before the Christian era ; for the /3oi/aAo 
or /3puoA/e of the ancient Greeks, was the name of a wild-goat. 
Besides, the wild-bull was not taken in a net; but, according 
to the ancients, in a deep pit, for he is too furious and powerful 
an animal to be detained by a snare, as referred to in Isaiah ; 



OF THE BIBLE. 301 

but every variety of the deer, and consequently the oryx, it was 
the custom to hunt with nets and dogs. This statement renders 
it extremely probable, that the Hebrew word THEO, or THOA, 
was a name given to the oryx, the white goat of the desert 50 . It 
may be the bekkar el wash, described by Dr. Shaw. 

The oryx inhabits the solitudes of Africa, on the confines of 
Egypt; from whence he might easily make excursions into the 
deserts which border on the land of Canaan. He seems, indeed, 
according to the authorities quoted by Bochart, Hieroz. lib. iii. 
p. 971, to have been properly an Egyptian animal, and fami- 
liarly known to the inhabitants of that country : but his charac- 
ter and habits must have been well known to the people of 
Israel, who sojourned for many years in Egypt, and spent their 
time chiefly in tending their flocks and herds in the pastures of 
Goshen, where they probably had many opportunities of meet- 
ing him, and many reasons perhaps, to remember his strength 
and intrepidity. After their deliverance from the Egyptian yoke, 
they settled in a neighbouring country, and had occasional inter- 
course with Egypt. These facts will account for the mention 
of this animal in their sacred writings, and for their allusions to 
its manners. 

PALM-TREE, non TAMAR. 

Occurs, first Exod. xv. 27 ; and afterwards frequently. 

This tree, sometimes called the date-tree, grows plentifully in 
the East. It rises to a great height. The stalks are generally 
full of rugged knots, which are the vestiges of the decayed leaves: 
for the trunk of this tree is not solid like other trees, but its 
centre is filled with pith, round which is a tough bark full of 
strong fibres when young, which as the tree grows old, hardens 
and becomes ligneous. To this bark the leaves are closely 
joined, which in the centre rise erect, but after they are advanced 
above the vagina which surrounds them, they expand very wide 
on every side the stem, and as the older leaves decay, the stalk 
advances in height. The leaves, when the tree has grown to a 
size for bearing fruit, are six or eight feet long ; are very broad 
when spread out, and are used for covering the tops of houses, 
&c. 

The fruit, which is called " date," grows below the leaves in 
clusters: and is of a sweet and agreeable taste. The learned 
Kasmpfer, as a botanist, an antiquary, and a traveller, has ex- 
hausted the whole subject of palm-trees. " The diligent natives 
(says Mr. Gibbon) celebrated, either in verse or prose, the three 
hundred and sixty uses to which the trunk, the branches, the 
leaves^ the juice, and the fruit were skilfully applied." The 
extensive importance of the date-tree (says Dr. Clarke 51 ) is one 
of the most curious subjects to which a traveller can direct his 

Paxton, lllustr. c*f Scr. v. p. 614. 5I Travels, part. ii. sect. ii. p. 302. 



302 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

attention. A considerable part of the inhabitants of Egypt, of 
Arabia, and Persia, subsist almost entirely upon its fruit. They 
boast also of its medicinal virtues. Their camels feed upon the 
date stone. From the leaves they make couches, baskets, bags, 
mats, and brushes ; from the branches, cages for their poultry, 
and fences for their gardens ; from the fibres of the boughs, 
thread, ropes, and rigging; from the sap is prepared a spiritu- 
ous liquor; and the body of the tree furnishes fuel: it is even 
said, that from one variety of the palm-tree, the phanix farini- 
fera, meal has been extracted, which is found among the fibres 
of the trunk, and has been used for food. 

In the temple of Solomon were pilasters made in the form of 
palm-trees. 1 Kings, vi. 29- It was under a tree of this kind, 
that Deborah dwelt between Ramah and Bethel. Judges, iv. 5. 
To the fair, flourishing, and fruitful condition of this tree, the 
Psalmist very aptly compares the votary of virtue : Psalm xcii. 
12, 13, 14. 

The righteous shall flourish like a palm-tree. 
Those that are planted in the house of JEHOVAH, 
In the courts of our GOD, shall flourish; 
In old age they shall still put forth buds, 
They shall be full of sap and vigorous M . 

The palm is crowned at its top with a large tuft of spiring 
leaves, about four feet long, which never fall off, but always con- 
tinue in the same flourishing verdure. The tree, as Dr. Shaw 
was informed, is in its greatest vigour about thirty years after it 
is planted; and continues in full vigour seventy years longer, 
bearing all this while, every year, about three or four hundred 
pounds weight of dates. 

The trunk of the tree is remarkably strait and lofty. Jere- 
miah, ch. x. 0, speaking of the idols that were carried in proces- 
sion, says they were upright as the palm-tree. And for erect 
stature and slenderness of form, the spouse, in Cantic. vii. 7, is 
compared to this tree. 

How framed, my love, for delights! 
Lo, thy stature is like a palm-tree, 
And thy bosom like dusters of dates. 

On this passage, Mr. Good observes, that " the very word 
Tamar, here used for the palm-tree, and whose radical meaning 
is strait or upright (whence it was afterwards applied to pillars 
or columns, as well as to the palm), was also a general name 
among the ladies of Palestine, and unquestionably adopted in 
honour of the stature they had already acquired, or gave a fair 
promise of attaining." 

A branch of palm was a signal of victory, and was carried 

S2 In Mr. Merrick's Annotations, p. 194, is a very ingenious illustration of this 
passage. 



OF THE BIBLE. 303 

before conquerors in the triumphs 53 : to this, allusion is made 
Rev. vii. 9, and for this purpose were they borne before Christ 
in his A\ay to Jerusalem, John, xii. 13. 

From the inspissated sap of the tree, a kind of honey, or dispse, 
as it is called, is produced little inferior to that of bees. The 
same juice after fermentation, makes a sort of wine, much used 
in the East 54 . It is once mentioned as zcine, Numb, xxviii. 7. 
(Comp. Exod. xxix. 40); and by it is intended the strong drink, 
Isai. v. 11, xxiv. 9 55 . Theodoret and Chrysostom, on these 
places, both Syrians and unexceptionable witnesses in what be- 
longs to their own country, confirm this declaration. " This 
liquor (says Dr. Shaw), which has a more luscious sweetness 
than honey, is of the consistence of a thin sirup, but quickly 
grows tart and ropy, acquiring an intoxicating quality, and giving 
by distillation, an agreeable spirit, or araky, according to the 
general name of these people for all hot liquors, extracted by 
the alembic." Its Hebrew name is ~)D\y SIKER, the S/Xf^a of 
the Greeks ; and from its s\veetness, probably, the saccharum 
of the Romans. Jerom informs us 56 , that in Hebrew, "any 
inebriating liquor is called Sicera, whether made of grain, the 
juice of apples, honey, dates, or any other fruit." 

Herodotus, Hist. " Clio" 193, in his account of Assyria, 
says, " the Palm is very common in this country, and generally 
fruitful. This they cultivate like fig-trees, and it produces them 
bread, wine and honey. The process observed is this : they 
fasten the fruit of that which the Greeks term the male tree to 
the one which produces the date, by this means the worm which 
is contained in the former, entering the fruit, ripens and prevents 
it from dropping immaturely. The male palms bear insects in 
their fruit in the same manner as the wild fig-trees. 

Upon this subject, the learned and industrious Larcher, in his 
notes upon Herodotus, has exhausted no less than ten pages. 
The ancients whom he cites are Aristotle, Theophrastus, and 
Pliny ; the moderns are Pontedera and Tournefort, which last 
he quotes at considerable length. The Amcenitates Exoticae of 
Kaempfer will fully satisfy whoever wishes to be more minutely 
informed on one of the most curious and interesting subjects 
which the science of natural history involves. 

This tree waa formerly of great value and esteem among the 
Israelites, and so very much cultivated in Judea that, in after 
times, it became the emblem of that country/ as may be seen in 
a medal of the emperor Vespasian upon the conquest of Judea: 
it represents a captive woman sitting under a palm tree, with 

M Aul. Gel. Noct. Att. 1. iii. c. 6. Alex, ab Alex. Genial, dier. I. v. c. 8. 
M Plin. 1. 14, sec. 19, and 1. 13. c. 9, et Philostratus, apoll. 2. 
55 See the Notes of Bishop Lowth, and Shaw's Trav. p. 143. ed. 4to. 
36 Epist. ad Nepotianum de Vita Clcricorum : et in Isai. xxviii. 1. 



304 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

this inscription, JUDEA CAPTA. And upon a Greek coin, 
likewise, of his son Titus 57 , struck upon the like occasion, we 
see a shield suspended upon a palm tree with a victory writing 
upon it. Pliny also calls Judea " palmis inclyta," renowned 
for palms. 

Jericho in particular was called " the city of palms," Deut. 
xxxiv. 3; and 2 Chron. xxviii. 15; because, as Josephus 58 , 
Strabo 59 , and Pliny 60 have remarked, it anciently abounded in 
palm-trees. And so Dr. Shaw, Trav. p. 343, remarks that 
though these trees are not now either plentiful or fruitful in 
other parts of the Holy Land, yet there are several of them at 
Jericho, where there is the convenience they require of being 
often watered; where likewise the climate is warm, and the soil 
sandy, or such as they thrive and delight in. 

Tamar, a city built in the desert by Solomon (1 Kings, ix. 18; 
comp. Ezek. xlvii. 19 ; xlviii. 28), was probably so named from 
the palm-trees growing about it, as it was afterwards by the Ro- 
mans called ft Palmyra," or rather " Palmira" on the same ac- 
count from Palma, a palm-tree. It is otherwise named IDin 
TADMOR, which seems a corruption of the former appellation. 
2 Chron. viii. 4. Josephus, Antiq. 1. viii. c. 6. 1. tells us 
that after Solomon had built several other cities, " he entered 
the desert which is above Syria, and, taking possession of it, 
erected there a very large city, distant two days journey from 
Upper Syria, one irom the Euphrates, and six from Babylon ; 
and that the reason of his building at such a distance from the 
inhabited parts of Syria was, that no water was to be met with 
nearer, but that at this place were found both springs and wells." 
And this account agrees with that of the late learned traveller 
Mr. Wood, who describes Palmyra as watered with two streams, 
and says the Arabs even mention a third now lost among the 
rubbish. Josephus adds that " Solomon having built this city, 
and surrounded it with very strong walls, named it 0AAAMOPA, 
Thadamora, and that it was still so called by the Syrians in his 
time, but by the Greeks " Palmira." Mr. Parkhurst, after 
quoting this passage, makes these remarks : " With all due defe- 
rence to such learned men as may dissent from me, I apprehend 
that Palmira was a name first imposed, not by the Greeks, but 
by the Romans. There is no Greek word from whence this 
appellation can probably be derived; but Palmira from Palma, 
is the very oriental name translated into Latin ; and as the warm 
climate of this city, and its enjoying the benefit of water in the 

" Vaillant Numism. Imp. Rom. Gr. p. 21. Scheuchzer, Phys. Sacr. on 
Exod. xv. 27. Vol. ii. p. 99. Tab. clvii. and on Job, xxxix. v. 18. vol. 6. 
Tab. DXXIV. 

58 Antiq. 1. iv. c. 6. 1. and 1. xv. c. 4. 2. and De Bell. Jud. 1. i. c. 6. 6. 

* 9 Lib. xvi. p. 1106. >d. An^tel. 

60 i\at. Hist. 1. v. c. 14. and 1. xiii. c. 4, and 9. 



OF THE BIBLE. 305 

desert, make it highly probable that its Hebrew and Latin 
names refer to the palm-trees with which it once abounded, so 
Abul Feda 61 , a learned oriental geographer, who flourished in 
the fourteenth century, expressly mentions the palm-tree as com- 
mon at Palmyra even in his time. I cannot find that this city 
is ever mentioned by any of the old Greek writers, not even by 
that accurate geographer Strabo ; nor indeed in the Roman his- 
tory is any notice taken of it, till Appian, in the fifth book of 
his civil wars, speaks of Mark Antony as attempting to plunder 
it 62 . But for a farther account of the ancient history and pre- 
sent state of this once noble and powerful city, I with great 
pleasure refer the reader to Mr. Woods' curious, learned, and 
magnificent work, entitled " A Journey to Palmyra," and shall 
only add that the Arabs of the country, like the Syrians in Jo- 
sephus's time, still call it by its old name Tadmor; and that 
Mr. Bryant tells us 63 he was assured by Mr. Wood that " if 
you were to mention Palmyra to an Arab upon the spot, he 
would not know to what you alluded, nor would you find him 
at all better acquainted with the history of Odanatus and Ze- 
nobia. Instead of Palmyra, he would talk of Tedmor; and in 
lieu of Zenobia, he would tell you that it was built by Salmah 
Ebn-Doud, that is by Solomon the son of David." 

As the Greek name for this tree signifies also the fabulous 
bird called the phoenix, some of the fathers have absurdly ima- 
gined that the Psalmist xcii. 12, alludes to the latter; and on 
his authority have made the phoenix an argument of a resurrec- 
tion. Tertullian calls it a full and striking emblem of this 
hope 6 *. 

Celsius, in the second volume of his Hierobotanicon, has de- 
voted one hundred and thirty-Jive pages, replete with learning, 
to a description of the palm-tree, and an elucidation of the pas- 
sages of scripture where it is mentioned; and Hiller, in his 
Hierophyticon, has thirty-eight pages. 

PALMER-WORM, ou GAZAM. 

Occurs Joel, i. 4; and Amos, iv. 9. 

Bochart says that it is a kind of locust, furnished with very 
sharp teeth, with which it gnaws off grass, corn, leaves of trees, 
and even their bark. The Jews support this idea by deriving 
the word from M GUZ or pa GAZAZ, to cut, to shear, or mince. 
Notwithstanding the unanimous sentiments of the Jews that this 

61 For an account of whom see the Arabic authors mentioned at the end of 
Prideaux's Life of Mahomet, p. 153; and Herbelot, Biblioth. Orient, in 
Jboulfeda. 

62 Comp. Prideaux, Connect, part ii. hook vi. anno 41. 

63 New System of Mythol. v. i. p. 214. 

64 " Plenissimum atque firmissimum hqjus spei specimen." De ress. c. 13. 
See also Clement, ad Corinthos. id const, apost. 1. 5. c. 8. Cyril, catec. 18. 
F.piph. in aneor. sec. 80. id. phys. c. It. Ambros. de fid. ress, &c. 

I rather think, however, that the Greek name *oivu*> was from Phcemda, be- 
cause they first became acquainted with the tree from that country. 

/ 



30(3 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

is a locust, yet the LXX read H^TV^, and the Vulgate eruca, a 
caterpillar; which rendering is supported by Fuller, Miscel. 
Sacr. 1. v. c. 20. Michaelis agrees with this opinion, and thinks 
that the sharp cutting teeth of the caterpillar, which, like a sickle, 
clear away all before them, might give name to this insect. Cater- 
pillars also begin their ravages before the locust, which seems to 
coincide with the nature of the creature here intended. 

PANNAG. UD. 

Occurs Ezek. xxvii. 17, only. 

Some have thought this to be the name of a place ; and per- 
haps the original of Phoenicia. Luther, Houbigant, Taylor, 
Dathe, and many others suppose the name to mean balsam. 
Mr. Dimock 65 conjectures it to bethejig. Others are inclined 
to suppose it the valuable plant which Dioscorides and Pliny 
have described by the name of " panax," from which a compo- 
sition was made serviceable in many diseases ; whence panacea 
became the name of a universal medicine 66 . But as the Syriac 
renders by a word which signifies millet, which panic resembles, 
Bp. Newcome translates by this latter word from the similarity 
of its sound to UD. The panic was sometimes used for food. The 
Massilians when besieged by Caesar, " panico vetere omnes 
alebantur." B. C. II. 32. Though according to Galen it is 
dry and affords not much nutriment; it might be useful in voy- 
ages, because it could be preserved for a long time. 

PAPER-REED. NO; GOMA. 

Occ. Exod. ii. 3 ; Job, viii. 11; Isai. xviii. 2; xxxv. 7. 

For a particular description of this plant 1 refer back to the 
article BULL-RUSH. When the outer skin, or bark, is taken off, 
there are several films or inner pellicles, one within another. 
These, when separated from the stalk, were laid on a table art- 
fully matched and flatted together, and moistened with the water 
of the Nile, which, dissolving the glutinous juices of the plant, 
caused them to adhere closely together. They were afterwards 
pressed, and then dried in the sun ; and thus were prepared 
sheets or leaves for writing upon in characters marked by a co- 
loured liquid passing through a hollow reed. Plin. N. H. 1. 
xxx. c. 12. Herodotus, 1. xi 67 . This formed the most ancient 

65 Rev. Henry Dimock, in a learned serm. on Matth. v. 18. Oxford, 1783. 

66 Killer Hierophyt. part ii. p. 52. 

67 In the 16th volume of the Archaeologia, part 2d, 1812, are some particulars 
of the Egyptian papyrus, and the mode adopted for unfolding a roll of the same, 
by W. Hamilton, Esq. from which I extract the following account of the man- 
ner in which the paper was manufactured: " On an inspection of the paper, it 
is plainly perceived to be composed of the inner filaments of the papyrus plant, 
split into very thin layers; the coarser and thicker ends of these threads being 
cut off, equal in length to the breadth of the paper which was to be made, were 
laid parallel and close to each other; a coat of gum, or some other gluey sub- 
stance, was then laid upon this substratum, and over that were laid transversely 
the finer and thinner shreds of the same reed. The whole mass was then amal- 
gamated by a regular pressure or beating: from the fragile nature of the mate- 
rial, I should think the former mode most likely." 

The plant is called " El Babir," whence the papyrus, and our word paper. 



OF THE BIBLE. 307 

books; and from the name of the plant is derived the word 
paper. 

" Papyrus, verdant on the banks of Nile, 
Spread ils thin leaf, and waved its silvery style; 
Its plastic pellicles INVENTION took, 
To form the polish'd page and letter'd book, 
And on its folds with skill consummate taught 
To paint in mystic colours sound and thought." 

Mr. Bruce, in the Appendix to his Travels, has furnished a 
very particular and interesting account of the papyrus, its ancient 
uses, &c. with a beautiful engraving of the plant. 

In Isai. xix. 7, the word rendered in our version " paper- 
reeds," is r\r\y HA ROTH, and means a meadow, a low, naked, 
open tract of land, near a river. In Judges, xx. 33, it is trans- 
lated " meadows." 

PARTRIDGE, jnp KRA or KORA. 

Occurs 1 Sam. xxvi. 20; and Jer. xvii. 11. ITEPAIE, Ecclus. 
xi. 31. 

In the first of these places David says, " the king of Israel is 
come out to hunt a partridge on the mountains :" and in the 
second, " the partridge sitteth (on eggs), and produceth (or 
hatcheth) not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall 
leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be con- 
temptible." This passage does not necessarily imply that the 
partridge hatches the eggs of a stranger, but only that she often 
fails in her attempts to bring forth her young. To such disap- 
pointments she is greatly exposed from the position of her nest 
on the ground, where her eggs are often spoiled by the wet, or 
crushed by the foot. So he that broods over his ill gotten gains 
will often find them unproductive ; or if he leaves them, as a bird 
occasionally driven from her nest, may be despoiled of their pos- 
session. 

As to the hunting of the partridge, which Dr. Shaw observes 
is the greater, or red-legged kind, the doctor says : " The Arabs 
have another, though a more laborious method of catching these 
birds ; for, observing that they become languid and fatigued after 
they have been hastily put up twice or thrice, they immediately 
run in upon them, and knock them down with their zerwattys, or 
bludgeons as we should call them." Precisely in this manner 
Saul hunted David, coming hastily upon him, putting him up 
incessantly, in hopes that at length his strength and resources 
would fail, and he would become an easy prey to his pursuer. 

Bochart thought the bird in the prophet was of the snipe or 
woodcock kind ; that bird, however, haunts the marshes, not the 
mountains. Our author adds : " Observing that Buffon makes a 
separate species of the hartavella, or Greek partridge, I shall 
offer that as the proper bird in these passages. 

" To the red partridges, and principally to the bartaxella, 



308 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

must be referred all that the ancients have related of the par- 
tridge. Aristotle must needs know of the Greek partridge 
better than any other, since this is the only kind in Greece, in 
the isles of the Mediterranean, and, according to all appearance, 
in that part of Asia conquered by Alexander. Belon informs 
us that " the bartavella keeps ordinarily among rocks ; but has 
the instinct to descend into the plain to make its nest, in order 
that the young may find at their birth a ready subsistence : lays 
from eight to sixteen eggs :" is capable of connexion with the 
common hen ; and has also another analogy with the common 
hen, which is, to sit upon (or hatch) the eggs of strangers for 
icant of its own. This remark is of long standing, since it oc- 
curs in the sacred books. Now, if, in the absence of the proper 
owner, the bartavella partridge sits on the eggs of a stranger, 
when that stranger returns to the nest, and drives away the in- 
truder before she can hatch them, the partridge so expelled re- 
sembles a man in low circumstances, who had possessed himself 
for a time of the property of another, but is forced to relinquish 
his acquisition before he can render it profitable ; which is the 
simile of the prophet, and agrees too with the other place i 
which the bird is mentioned." 

Dr. Shaw also mentions the method of catching by means of 
a decoy ; and observes, " this may lead us into the right inter- 
pretation of Ecclesiasticus, xi. 30, which we render ' like as a 
partridge taken (or kept) in a cage, so is the heart of the proud;' 
but should be, like a decoy partridge in a cage" 

Forskal mentions a partridge whose name in Arabic is kurr ; 
and Latham says, that in the province of Andalusia in Spain, 
the name of the partridge is churr: both taken, no doubt, like 
the Hebrew, from its note. 

PEACOCK. O'Oin THOUCHM. 

Occurs I Kings, x. 22; and 2 Chron. ix. 21. 

A bird distinguished by the length of its tail, and the brilliant 
spots with which it is adorned; which displays all that dazzles 
in the sparkling lustre of gems, and all that astonishes in the 
rainbow 68 . 

Bochart has shown, that the Hebrew word here means pea- 
cocks; and that this rendering is justified by the Chaldee, Syriac, 
Arabic, and Latin versions 69 ; and is so understood by most of 
the learned men among the Jews. On the other hand, Huet 70 , 
Reland 71 , and Oldermaim 72 , would render it " parrots," and to 

68 The following is the description of Tertullian. "Quanquam et Pavo pluma 
vestis, et quidem de cataclictis: imo omni conchylio pressior, qua colla florent : 
et omni patagio inauratior, qua terga fulgent: et omni synnate solution, qua 
caiidae jacent. Multicolor et discolor et versicolor. Nunquam ipsa, quando 
alia. Toties denique imitanda, quoties movenda." De Pallio, c. iii. 

69 So the LXX according to the Alexandrian manuscript, raattav. 

70 Tn Comment, de Navig. Salomon):-, c. vii. $ (>. 

" Dis". de Terra Ophir. Miss. Dis. vi. " Dfs. de Ophir. et Tars. sec. i. <j 23. 



OF THE BIBLE. 309 

this, Mr. Harmer 73 is inclined. Haseus 74 gives a new explica- 
tion to the word, supposing it to be the same with succiim, in- 
habitants of caves, or caverns ; and means the long-tailed monkey. 
But the evidence in favour of peacocks seems to me to prepon- 
derate. 

The peacock is a bird originally of India ; ttance brought into 
Persia and Media. Aristophanes mentions " Persian peacocks;" 
and Suidas calls the peacock, "the Median bird." From Persia 
it was gradually dispersed into Judea, Egypt, Greece, and Eu- 
rope. If the fleet of Solomon visited India, they might easily 
procure this bird, whether from India itself, or from Persia; 
and certainly, the bird by its beauty was likely to attract atten- 
tion, and to be brought among other rarities of natural history 
by Solomon's missionaries, who would be instructed to collect 
every curiosity in the countries they visited. " Let any one 
(says Mr. Parkhurst) attentively survey the peacock in all the 
glorious display of {he prismatic colours of his train, (mille 
trahem varies adverso sole colores), and he will not be surprised 
that Solomon's mariners, who cannot be supposed ignorant of 
their master's taste for Natural History, should bring some of 
these wonderful birds from their southern expedition." 

" The Peacock view, still exquisitely fair, 
When clouds forsake, and when invest the air; 
His gems now brightened by a noontide ray ; 
He proudly waves his feathers to the day. 
A strut, majestically slow, assumes, 
And glories in the beauty of his plumes 75 ." 

PEARL. A hard, white, shining body ; usually roundish, 
found in a shell fish resembling an oyster. 

The Oriental pearls have a fine polished gloss, and are tinged 
with an elegant blush of red. They are esteemed in the East 
beyond all other jewels. 

We find this word but once in our common translation of the 
Old Testament, namely Job, xxviii. 18, answering there to the 
Hebrew word U?DJ GABISH, the meaning of which is very uncer- 
tain. The word signifies " hail," large hail stones, Ezek. xiii. 
11, 13; and xxxviii. 22; and, when applied to precious stones, 
should seem to refer to a kind resembling hail, in form, or in 
clearness, or in both : this leads to crystal, rather than to any 
other ; accordingly the LXX so render it. The word CDO'3D 
PENINIM, in the same verse, and in Prov. iii. 15; viii. 11 ; xx. 
15; xxxi. 10; and Lam. iv. 7, translated " rubies," undoubtedly 
signifies pearls. The learned Bochart, in an elaborate disser- 
tation on this subject, maintains this rendering, and remarks, that 
hence the words Hivvct, isivvivog A/0o?, w/vwxov, pinna, are retained, 
jn Greek and Latin, either for the pearl oyster, or the pearl 

73 Obs. V. ii*p. 413. 74 Biblioth. Brem. cl. ii. 

75 Devon's Poetical Paraphrase of Job, p. 33. 



310 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

itself: and Mr. Bruce mentions a shell-fish, which retains the 
name " pinna," from which is obtained a most beautiful pearl 76 . 
He remarks, that " it is tinged with an elegant blush of red." 
" Upon the maturest consideration I have no doubt that the 
pearl found in this shell is the penim or peninim rather, for it is 
always spoken of in the plural, to which allusion has often been 
made in Scripture. And this derived from its redness is the 
true reason of its name. On the contrary, the word pinna has 
been idly imagined to be derived from ' penna,' a feather, as 
being broad and round at the top, and ending at a point, or like 
a quill below. The English translation of the Scriptures, erro- 
neous and inaccurate in many things more material, translates 
this peninim by rubies, without any foundation or authority, but 
because they are both red, as are bricks and tiles, and many other 
things of base and vile materials. The Greeks have translated 
it literally pina, or pinna, and the shell they call pinnicus ; and 
many places occur in Strabo, JEliau, Ptolemy, and Theophras- 
tus, which are mentioned famous for this species of pearl. I 
should imagine also, that by Solomon saying it is the most pre- 
cious of all productions, he means that this species of pearl was 
the most valued or the best known in Judea. For though we 
learn from Pliny that the excellence of pearls was their white- 
ness, 'yet we know that pearls of a yellowish cast are those 
esteemed in India to this day, as the peninim or reddish pearl 
was in Judea in the days of Solomon." 

II. In the New Testament pearls are several times mentioned, 
where the Greek word is MAPFAPITHS. 

PELICAN. nNpKAATH 77 . 

Occ. Levit. xi. 18; Deut. xiv. 17; Psal. cii. 7; Isai. xxxiv. 
1 1 ; and Zeph. ii. 14. 

A very remarkable aquatic bird, of the size of a large goose. 
Its colour is a grayish white, except that the neck looks a little 
yellowish, and the middle of the back feathers are blackish. The 
bill is long, and hooked at the end, and has under it a lax mem- 
brane, extended to the throat, which makes a bag or sack, ca- 
pable of holding a very large quantity. Feeding her young from 
this bag has so much the appearance of feeding them with her 
own blood, that it caused this fabulous opinion to be propagated, 
and made the pelican an emblem of paternal, as the stork had 
before been chosen, more justly, of filial affection. 

The voice of this bird is harsh and dissonant; which some say- 
resembles that of a man grievously complaining. David com- 
pares his groaning to it. Psal. cii. 7. On this passage Mr. Merrick 

76 Travels, Vol. vi. p. 276, ed. 8vo. 

77 As riNp KAATH, signifies to vomit up, the name is supposed to be very de- 
scriptive of the pelican, who receives its food into the pouch under its lower jaw, 
and, by pressing it on its breast with its bill, throws it up for the nourishment of 
its yourg. 



OF THE BIBLE. 31 1 

remarks, that the Hebrew word ntfp KAATH, \\hich occurs 
several times in scripture as the name of a bird, is here trans- 
lated by the Septuagint, Apollinaris, the Vulgate, and Jerom, 
the pelican; but elsewhere, by the last of them, the onocrotalus; 
which is called so by the Greeks, and by the Arabians the water 
camel, from its loud and harsh noise. Sir George Wheeler, in 
his journey into Greece 78 , describes, from his own inspection, 
a bird which we, as he says, call the pelican, and the modern 
Greeks toubana ; and which Mr. Spon thought the onocrotalus. 
It may, I imagine, have that name from the word rs&z, the same 
in modern Greek with the Latin tuba, with reference to the 
noise it makes ; as the bittern is observed by Bochart to be 
called in Italian, on the same account, trombone, from the sound 
of a trumpet. Bochart thinks that the onocrotalus may rather 
be the cos, which occurs in the verse of the Psalmist; and con- 
sequently that some other bird is meant by kaath. But, as his 
explanation of the word cos does not seem sufficiently supported, 
I see no necessity of departing from the ancient versions above 
mentioned. Mr. Merrick has therefore retained the word peli- 
can in his translation of the passage, and says that he does it with 
the more confidence, as it has in our language been applied, by 
writers of great note, to the onocrotalus : and that it was anciently 
so applied (which circumstance may perhaps reconcile Jerom's 
different versions of kaath) is allowed by Bochart himself 79 , who 
quotes Oppian's exeutica, of which a Greek paraphrase is extant, 
for the use of the word. Mr. Ray, in his Notnenclator C/assicus, 
says that the onocrotalus is now acknowledged to be a far dif- 
ferent bird from the bittern, with which some moderns have 
confounded it, and to be that which we call in English the pe- 
lican 80 . Hasselquist gives an account of this bird under the 
name of pelecanm onocrotalus* 1 . Professor Michaelis thinks 
the same 82 . If the name pelican strictly means the spoonbill, 
which, as we may collect from this learned writer's words, is the 
opinion of foreign naturalists, and not the onocrotalus, it may 
be necessary to obviate a difficulty raised by Bochart, who 
thinks that the bird mentioned by the Psalmist ought to be a 
clamorous bird, but finds no account of noise made by the pe- 
lican. Dr. Hill says that the spoonbill is as common in some 
parts of the Low Countries as rooks are in England, and makes 
more noise. I would also just observe that, though a consider- 
able number of ancient interpreters, above quoted, give us the 
pelican in this text in Psalms, M. Michaelis seems mistaken in 
adding to their authority that of Aquila : neither Montfaucon's 

78 Page 304. TO Hieroz. p. 2. 1. 2. c. 20. 

* See likewise Sir T. Brown's Vulg. Er. 5. 1. Willoughby, Ornitb. b. 3. 
sec. 2. c. 1. 

81 Trav. p. 208. quoting Lin. syst. nat. p. 132. n. 1. 
w Rccueil des Questions, &c. Q. 100. 



312 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

hexapla nor Trommius direct us to any text in which Aquila 
has translated the word kaath. As the kaat/t seems to be a 
water bird, it may be asked why it is said to inhabit the desert, 
which may be supposed destitute of water? To this Bochart 
answers, that all deserts are not so ; as three lakes are placed by 
Ptolemy in the inner parts of Marmarica, which are extremely 
desert, and the Israelites are said to have met with the waters 
of Marah and the fountains of Elim in the deserts of Arabia, 
Exod. xv. 3. 27- We may add, that in a passage of Isidore 83 
the pelican is said to live in the solitudes of the river Nile : 
which circumstance well agrees with Dr. Shaw's supposition 84 , 
that the prophet Amos might with sufficient propriety call the 
Nile a river of the wilderness 85 ." And it may be farther re- 
marked, that it appears from Damir, quoted by Bochart, that 
the onocrotalus does not always remain in the water, but some- 
times retires far from it. And, indeed, its enormous pouch 
seems to be given it for this very reason, that it might not want 
food for itself and its young ones when at a distance from the 
water. 

PIGEON. H3V IONEH. See the article DOVE. 

Michaelis, in his Commentary on the Laws of Moses, v. ii. 
p. 386. Smith's trl. says, " It may be doubted whether breeding 
of pigeons was much practised among the Israelites ; for those 
kept in dove-cotes are, in the later Hebrew, called by a name 
equivalent to Herodian doves, because Herod is said to have in- 
troduced them 86 . Pigeons, it is true, appear frequently among 
their offerings; but then they might be of the wild kind as well 
as turtle-doves. Here, however, I speak dubiously ; for, even 
in the patriarchal history, we find pigeons used as offerings; and 
Egypt, out of which the Israelites came, is at this day full of 
pigeon-houses." 

PINE-TREE. 

The pine appears in our translation three times, namely Ne- 
hem. viii. 15; Isai. xli. 16, and Ix. 13. These I proceed to 
examine. 

1. Nehemiah, viii. 15, giving directions for observing the 
feast of tabernacles, says, " Fetch olive branches, pine branches, 
myrtle branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths." 
The Hebrew phrase pu? H;ETZ SHEMEN, means literally branches 
of oily or gummy plants. The LXX say cypress. Scheuchzer 
says the Turks call the cypress zemin. The author of Scrip- 
ture Illustrated says, " I should prefer the whole species called 
jasmin, on account of its verdure, its fragrance, and its flowers, 
which are highly esteemed. The word jasmin, and jasemin of 
the Turks, resembles strongly the shemen of the Hebrew original 

83 Lib. 12. c. 7. quoted in Martinius's Lexic. Philolog. 

M Trav. p. 288, and 21)0. ed. 28. S5 See Merrick's Annot. on Psal. cii. 

** Buxfoif, Chald. Rabbin Lexic. j>. 63)0. * 



OF THE BIBLE. 313 

here. The Persians also name this plant semen and simsyk." 
The authority, however, of the Septuagint must prevail. 

II. In Isai. xli. 19, and Ix. 13, the Hebrew word is vnn Ti- 
DAHER. A tree, says Parkhurst, so called from the springiness 
or elasticity of its wood. Luther thought it the elm, which is a 
lofty and spreading tree ; and Dr. Stock renders it the ash. 

After all it may be thought advisable to retain the pine. La 
Roche, Descr. Syria?, p. 160, describing a valley near to Mount 
Lebanon, has this observation ; " La continuelle verdure des 
pins et des chenes verds fait totijours sa beaute." 

PITCH. riDf ZEPHET. Exod. ii. 3. Isai. xxxiv. 9. 
ctetytzhToi;, Septuagint. 

A fat, combustible, oily matter; sometimes called asphaltos 
from the lake Asphaltites [lake of Sodom] or dead sea, in Judea, 
on the surface of which it rises in the nature of liquid pitch, and 
floats like other oleaginous bodies ; but is condensed by degrees 
through the heat of the sun, and grow s dry and hard. 

The word which our translators have rendered "pitch" in 
Gen. vi. 14, and "slime" "Ol HHEMAR, Gen. xi. 3, and xiv. 10, 
is generally supposed to be bitumen 87 . In the first of these 
places it is mentioned as used for smearing the ark, and closing 
its interstices. It was peculiarly adapted to this purpose. Be- 
ing at first soft, viscous, and pliable, it might be thrust into every 
chasm and crevice with the greatest ease ; but would soon ac- 
quire a tenacity and hardness superior to those of our pitch. A 
coat of it spread over both the inside and outside of the ark 
would make it perfectly water-proof. The longer it was kept 
in the water, the harder and stronger it would grow. The Arabs 
still use it for careening their vessels. In the second passage it 
is described as applied for cement in building the tower of Ba- 
bel. It was much used in ancient buildings in that region ; 
and, in the ruins of Babylon, large masses of brickwork cemented 
with it are discovered. It is known that the plain of Shinar did 
abound with it both in its liquid and solid state 88 : that there was 
there a cave and fountain which was continually casting it out, 
and that the famous tower and no less famous walls of Babylon 
were built by this kind of cement, is confirmed by the testimony 
of several ancient authors 89 . Modern travellers inform us, that 

w And so should it have been rendered, Exod. i. 14. ii. 3. 

88 ThusStrabo tells us, " In Babylonia bitumen multurn nascitur, cujus duplex 
est genus, authore Krastothene, liquidum et aridum. Liquidum vocant naptham, 
in Susiano agro nascens: aridum vero quod etiam congelescere potest in Baby- 
lonia fonte propinguo naptha?." Lib. xvi. 

89 Dioscorides, 1. 1. c. 100. Thus Justin, 1. 1, speaking of Semiramis, says, 
" Hasc Babylonian condidit, murumque urbis cocto latere circumdedit, are:,a 
vice bitumine interstrato, quse materia in illis locis passim e tenris exaestuat." 
Vitruvius also says, " Babylonia, locus est amplissima magnitudine, habens su- 
pranatans liquidum bitumen, et latere testaceo structum murum Semiramis Ba- 
byloni circumdedit." lib. viii. See also Strabo, lib. xvi. Aristot. de inirab. 
torn. i. p. 1163, Alt. du. Val. fol. Paris 1619. Plin. Nat. Hist. !. 2. c. 106. 
f 103. I. 28. c. T. ^ 23. t 



314 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

these springs of bitumen are called oyum hit, ' the fountains of 
hit ;' and that they are much celebrated and used by the Persians 
and Arabs. 

The slime pits of Siddim, Gen. xiv. 10, were holes out of 
which issued this liquid bitumen, or naptha. 

Bitumen was formerly much used by the Egyptians and Jews 
in embalming the bodies of their dead 90 . 

POMEGRANATE, jvn. RIMMON. 

Occurs Numb. xiii. 24 ; xx. 5 ; 1 Sam. xiv. 2 ; and frequently 
elsewhere. 

A low tree, growing very common in Palestine, and other 
parts of the east. Its branches are very thick and bushy : some 
of them are armed with sharp thorns. They are garnished with 
narrow spear-shaped leaves. Its flowers are of an elegant red 
colour, resembling a rose. It is chiefly valued for the fruit, 
which is as big as a large apple, is quite round, and has the gene- 
ral qualities of other summer fruits, allaying heat and quenching 
thirst. The high estimation in which it was held by the people 
of Israel may be inferred from its being one of the three kinds of 
fruit brought by the spies from Eschol to Moses and the congre- 
gation in the wilderness; Numb. xiii. 23; xx. 5; and from its 
being specified by that rebellious people as one of the greatest 
luxuries which they enjoyed in Egypt, the want of which they 
felt so severely in the sandy desert. The pomegranate, classed 
by Moses with wheat and barley, vines and tigs, oil-olive and 
honey, was, in his account, one principal recommendation of the 
promised land. Deut. viii. 8. The form of this fruit was so 
beautiful as to be honoured with a place at the bottom of the 
high priest's robe ; Exod. xxviii. 33, and Ecclesiasticus, xiv. Q ; 
and was the principal ornament of the stately columns of Solo- 
mon's temple. A section of the apple gives a fine resemblance 
of a beautiful cheek. Cantic. iv. 3. The inside is full of small 
kernels, replenished with a generous liquor. In short, there is 
scarcely any part of the pomegranate which doth not delight 
and recreate the senses. 

" Wine of the pomegranates," Cantic. viii. 1, may mean either 
wine acidulated with the juice of pomegranates, which the Turks 
about Aleppo still mix for this purpose 91 : or rather, wine made 
of the juice of pomegranates, of which, Sir John Chardin says, 
they still make considerable quantities in the East, particularly 
in Persia 92 . 

POPLAR, run 1 ? LIBNEH. 

Occ. Gen. xxx. 37, and Hosea, iv. 13. 

The white poplar, so called from the whiteness of its leaves, 

90 Greenhill's Art of Embalming. Hence it was called " Gummi funeruro," 
and " Muinia." 

91 Russell, Nat. Hist, of Aleppo, p. 107. 
S! Harmcr's Ohs. V. i. p. 377. 



OF THE BIBLE. 315 

bark, and wood. In both the above places, the Vulgate inter- 
prets it poplar; in the latter, the LXX and Aquila render it 
Afuxv|, white (i. e. poplar}, but in the former it is rendered 
QZ&OV ffTVctqcMivyv, a rod of sty rax, by the LXX ; and Michaelis 
adopts this. 

PULSE. >"?p KALI. 

Occ. Levit. xxiii. 14; Ruth, ii. 14; 1 Sam. xvii. 17; and 2 
Sam. xvii. 28. 

A term applied to those grains or seeds which grow in pods, 
as beans, peas, vetches, &c. from ViS PHUL, a bean. 

The Vulgate renders this kali, in 2 Sam. xvii. 28, "frixum 
cicer," " parched peas/' Now Dr. Shaw informs us, that the 
deer garavancos, or chich-pea, are in the greatest repute after 
they are parched in pans or ovens ; then receiving the name of 
leblebby. This seems to be of the greatest antiquity, for Plau- 
tus, Bacch. art. iv. sec. v. speaks of it as very common in his 
time: 

" Tarn frictum ego illuin reddatn, quatn frictum est cicer." 

And Horace, Art. Poet. 249, mentions it as the food of the 
poorer Romans : 

" Si quid fricti ciceris probat, et nncis emptor." 

The like observation we meet with in Aristophanes, speaking 
of a country clown, who was v0?#x/wv roufff/vflou, parching 
cicers. 

II. In Daniel, i. 12, 16, the word rendered " pulse," D'JTW 
ZEROIM, may signify seeds in general. Various kinds of grain 
were dried and prepared for food by the people of the East, as 
wheat, barley, peas, &c. of the nature and preparation whereof 
some curious remarks may be seen in Manner's Observations, 
Vol. i. p. 271. 

PURPLE. pTjM ARGAMAN. 

Occ. Exod. xxv. 4, and elsewhere frequently. nOP$TPA, 
Mark, xv. 17, 20; Luke, xvi. 19; John, xix. 2, 5; and Rev. 
xvii. 4; xviii. 12, 16. 

This is supposed to be the very precious colour extracted from 
the purpura or murex, a species of shell-fish ; and the same with 
the famous Tyrian dye, so costly, and so much celebrated in anti- 
quity-' 3 . The purple dye is called in 1 Maccab. iv. 23, " pur- 
ple of the sea," or sea purple; it being the blood or juice of a 
turbinated shell-fish, which the Jews call jl6n CHALSON. See 
BLUE and SCARLET. 

Among the blessings pronounced by Moses upon the tribes of 
Israel, those of Zebulon and Issachar (Deut. xxxiii. 19), are, 

93 See this largely described, and the manner of dyeing with if, in Pliny, N. 
Hist. 1. 9. c. 6065, ed. Bipont. Goguet, Orig. of Laws, Art?, &c. V. ii. p 98. 
Swinburne, in his Travels through the Sicilies, gives a particular account of (his 
dye. Sect. 31. 



316 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

" they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of the trea- 
sures hid in the sand." Jonathan Ben Uzziel explains the latter 
clause thus : " From the sand are produced looking-glasses, and 
glass in general ; the treasures, the method of finding and work- 
ing which, was revealed to these tribes." Several ancient writers 
inform us, that there were havens in the coasts of the Zebu- 
lonites, in which the sand proper for making glass was found. 
The words of Tacitus are remarkable: " Et Belus amnis Ju- 
daico mari illabitur, circa ejus os lectae arenas admixto nitro in 
vitrum excoquuntur." The river Belus falls into the Jewish 
sea, about whose mouth those sands mixed with nitre are col- 
lected, out of which glass is formed 94 . But it seems much more 
natural to explain the treasures hid in the sand, of those highly 
valuable murices and purpuras, which were found on the sea- 
coast, near the country of Zebulon and Issachar, and of which 
those tribes partook in common with their heathen neighbours of 
Tyre, who rendered the curious dyes made from those shell-fish 
so famous among the Romans by the names of " Sarranum Os- 
trum," " Tyrii colores." 

In reference to the purple vestment, Luke, xvi. 19, it may be 
observed that this was not appropriately a royal robe. In the 
earlier times it was the dress of any of higher rank. Thus all 
the courtiers were styled by the historians " purpurati." This 
colour is more properly crimson than purple; for the LXX, 
Josephus, and Philo, constantly use toqtyvqav, to express the He- 
brew pntt, by which the Talmudists understood crimson: and 
that this Hebrew word was not the Tyrian purple, but brought to 
that city from another country, appears from Ezek. xxvii. 7 95 . 

The purple robe put on our Saviour, John xix. 2, 5, was a 
Roman custom ; the dressing of a person in the robes of state, 
the investiture of office: and the robe brought by Herod's or 
the Roman soldiers, scoffingly, as though it had been the " pictze 
vestes" usually sent by the Roman senate. 

In Acts, xvi. 14, Lyclia is said to be " a seller of purple." 

Mr. Harmer styles purple "the most sublime of all earthly 
colours, having the gaudiness of red, of which it retains a shade, 
softened with the gravity of blue." 

PYGARG. pt&n DISHON. 

Occ. Deut. xiv. 5, only. 

The translation pygarg is from the Septuagint, nwyayyo?, which 
signifies white buttocks. Dr. Shaw thus expresses himself : " Be- 
sides the common gazelle or antelope (which is well known in 
Europe), this country likewise produces another species, of the 
same shape and colour, though of the bigness of our roebuck, 
and with horns sometimes two feet long. This the Africans call 

94 Strabo, 1. xvi. Plin. N. H. I. xxxvi. c. 26. Tacit. Hist. 1. v. c. 7. 

95 For curious information respecting the purple dye of the ancients, I refer 
to Goguet, Vol. ii. p. 98 107. 



OF THE BIBLK. 317 

Lidmee, and may, I presume, Be the Strepsicorus and Adduce 
of the ancients. Bochart, from the supposed whiteness of the 
buttocks, finds a great affinity between the dddace I have men- 
tioned and the Dison, which our translation renders ' pygarg,' 
after the Septuagint and Vulgate versions. 

QUAIL, iVttf SELAV. 

Occ. Exod. xvi. 13 ; Numb. xi. 31, 32 ; and Psalm cv. 10. 

A bird of the gallinaceous kind. Hasselquist, mentioning the 

?uail of the larger kind, says, " it is of the size of the turtle-dove, 
have met with it in the wilderness of Palestine, near the shores 
of the Dead Sea and the Jordan, between Jordan and Jericho, 
and in the deserts of Arabia Petrea. If the food of the Israelites 
was a bird, this is certainly it ; being so common in the places 
through which they passed." 

It is said that God gave quails to his people in the wilderness 
upon two occasions. First, within a few days after they had 
passed the Red Sea, Exod. xvi. 3 13. The second time was 
at the encampment at the place called in Hebrew, Kibroth Hat- 
rcrrfl//, the graves of lust, Numb. xi. 32; Psalm cv. 40. Both 
of these happened in the spring, when the quails passed from 
Asia into Europe. They are then to be found in great quan- 
tities upon the coast of the Red Sea and Mediterranean. God 
caused a wind to arise that drove them within and about the 
camp of the Israelites : and it is in this that the miracle consists, 
that they were brought so seasonably to this place, and in so 
great number as to furnish food for above a million of persons 
for more than a month. 

The Hebrew word shalav signifies a quail, by the agreement 
of the ancient interpreters. And the Chaldee, Syriac, and Ara- 
bic languages call them nearly by the same name 96 . The Sep- 
tuagint, Josephus, and most of the commentators, both ancient 
and modern, understand it in the same manner; and with them 
agree Philo (de Vita Mosis, 1.1); Josephus (Antiq. 1. iii. c. i. 
12); Appollinaris, and the Rabbins. But Ludolphus 97 has 
endeavoured to prove that a species of locust is spoken of by 
Moses. Dr. Shaw 98 answers, that the holy Psalmist, in describ- 
ing this particular food of the Israelites, by calling the animals 
feathered fowls, entirely confutes this supposition. And it should 
be recollected, that this miracle was performed in compliance 
with the wish of the people that they might havejiesh to eat. 

But, not to insist on other arguments, they are expressly called 
")NU7 SHEER, flesh. Psalm Ixxviii. 27, which surely locusts are 
not: and the Hebrew word is constantly rendered by the Sep- 
tuagint, ofTuyo/xvjT^a, a large kind of quail, and by the Vulgate, 
" coturnices," quails. Com. Wisd. xvi. 2; xix. 12; Numb. xi. 

96 For the Arabic name saliva, see Herbclot. Bibl. Orient, p. 477, and Sale's 
Koran, c. ii. p. II, V. i. edit. 8vo. note. 

97 Co nment. ad Hist. /Ethiop. p. 168. M Trav. p. 189, 2d edit. 



318 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

31, 32; and Psalm cv. 40; and on Numb. xi. observe, that 
DTOO KEAMATHAYIM should be rendered, not "two cubits 
high," but, as Mr. Bate translates it, " two cubits distant, i. e. 
one from another ; for quails do not settle like the locusts one 
upon another, but at small distances." " And (says Mr. Park- 
hurst) had the quails lain for a day's journey round the camp, 
to the great height of two cubits, upwards of three feet, the peo- 
ple could not have been employed two days and a night in ga- 
thering them. The spreading them round the camp was in 
order to dry them in the burning sands for use, which is still 
practised in Egypt." 

I shall subjoin another authority which Ludolphus himself 
was desirous of consulting, as it is produced by Mr. Maundrell, 
in his journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem. Ludolphus, when 
Mr. Maundrell visited him at Francroft, recommended this to 
him as a subject of inquiry when he should come to Naplosa 
(the ancient Sichem), where the Samaritans live. Mr. Maun- 
drell accordingly asked their chief priest what sort of animal he 
took the selavim to be : he answered that they were a sort of 
fowls; and by the description, Mr. Maundrell perceived that he 
meant the same kind with our quails. He was then asked what 
he thought of locusts, and whether the history might not be bet- 
ter accounted for, supposing them to be the winged creatures 
which fell so thick about the camp of Israel. By his answer it 
appeared that he had never heard of any such hypothesis^. 

The difficulties which encumber the text, supposing these to 
be quails, led bishop Patrick also to imagine them to be locusts. 
But his opinion is ably confuted by Harmer, Obs. Vol. iv. p. 
367 ; as is that of Ludolphus by Paxton, in " Illustrations of 
Scripture," Vol. ii. p. 84 101. 

RAM-SKINS, RED. Q'OTNQ ob'N my OROTH EYLIM 

MEADAM1M. 

Occ. Exod. xxv. 5. 

Dr. Adam Clarke, in his note on this place, observes, that 
"this phrase is literally the skins of red rams;" and adds, "it 
is a fact, attested by many respectable travellers, that in the 
Levant, sheep are often to be met with that have red or violet 
coloured fleeces : and almost all ancient writers speak of the 
same thing. Homer, Odyss. 1. ix. v. 425, describes the rams of 
Polyphemus, as having a violet coloured fleece. 

"Strong were the rams, with native purple fair, 

Well fed, and largest of the fleecy care." POPE. 

Pliny, Aristotle, and others, mention the same : and from 
facts of this kind, it is very probable, that the fable of the golden 
Jieece had its origin. 

Without pretending to dispute these authorities, I am rather 

99 Merrick. Annot. in Psalm cv. 40. 



OF THE BIBLE. 319 

disposed to understand the original as referring to skins tanned 
or coloured in dressing. 

RAVEN, miy OREB. Chald. orla. Syr. croac 1 . Lat. 
corvus. 

Occ. Gen. viii. 7; Levit. xi. 15; Deut. xiv. 14; 1 Kings, 
xvii. 4. 6; Job, xxxviii. 41; Psal. cxlvii. 9; Prov. xxx. 17; 
Cantic. v. 11; Isai. xxiv. 1 1 . 

KOPAH, Luke xii. 24, only. 

A well known bird of prey. All the interpreters agree that 
OREB signifies the raven, from oreb, evening, on account of its 
colour. M. Michaelis, in proposing a question respecting cer- 
tain birds, says of the oreb ; " II est decide, que c'est le cor- 
beau ; il seroit done superflu de le demander. Mais je desire- 
rois plus de certitude sur le nom Syriaque des corbeaux." One 
can hardly doubt that it is taken from the note of this bird. 

I. On the decrease of the waters of the flood, so that the tops 
of the mountains became visible, Noah sent forth out of one of 
the windows of the ark a raven, a bold adventurous bird, by way 
of experiment, to see whether the waters were sunk or abated. 
Forty days the violent rain had continued, and he might think 
this therefore a likely time for the waters to run off again. In 
the original text, in the Samaritan, in the Chaldee and Arabic it 
is said that the raven returned to the ark ; but the Greek inter- 
preters, the Syriac, the Latin, and most of the eminent fathers 
and commentators say that he did not return any more. Here 
are great authorities on both sides; but the latter reading, though 
so contrary in sense to the other, yet in the Hebrew is not very 
different in the form of the letters 2 , and appears to be the better 
reading of the two. For, if the raven had returned, what occa- 
sion had Noah to send forth a dove ? or why did he not take the 
raven in unto him into the ark, as he did afterwards the dove ? 
or why did he not send forth the same raven again, as he did 
afterwards the same dove again ? It is not improperly expressed 
in our translation, that " the raven went forth to and fro," flying 
hither and thither, " until the waters were dried up from off the 
face of the earth." He found, perhaps, in the higher grounds 
some of the carcasses of those who had perished in the deluge 3 . 

II. Many have thought that the prophet Elijah was in his 
retirement fed oy this bird. But a writer in the memoirs of lite- 

1 Anglice croak. Mr. Foskal mentions a raven, ghoreb, which lives on car- 
rion. This being the oreb of the Hebrews, shows the pronunciation of that 
word. 

2 " Neque scriptura multum differunt nun N1V et 3W NiVi. Nam DOM etjod 
in veteribus manuscriptis litterae sunt tarn similes, ut saepissime permutentur. Et 
lamed a tsade fere solo cornu differt; quod tsade dextrum habet et demissus, 
lamed sinistrum et elatius. Sciunt quid velim, qui Rabbinorum lection! assueve- 
runt. Hinc igitur, nisi fullor,diversae lectionis et versionis horuin verborum vera 
est origo." Bochart, Hieroz. pars post. lib. ii. c. 13. col. 212. Tom. ii. p. 803. 
edit. Rosenmuller. 

3 Bp. Newton's Diss. v. ii. p. 114. 



320 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

rature, for April, 1710 4 , shows from many authors, that there 
was in the country of Bethschan, in Decapolis, by the brook 
Cherith or Carith, a little town called Aorabi or Orbo : Judges, 
vii. 25; and Isai. x. 6. And he therefore explains the word 
orebim, which in 1 Kings, xvii. 4, we translate " ravens," of the 
inhabitants of that village, some of whom, he contends, daily car- 
ried bred and flesh to Elijah, who was retired to and laid in a 
cave in the neighbourhood. And he supports this interpretation 
by the opinions of Chaldee, Arabic, and Jewish writers. 

On the other hand Scheuchzer vindicates the commonly re- 
ceived opinion. He introduces his examination of this piece of 
history with the following remark : " Two sorts of critics are 
apt to occasion displeasure to the orthodox; those who reduce 
the miracles of Holy Scripture to a mere nothing, deny or 
diminish the power of God over the operations of nature, to vary 
them at his pleasure; and those who, desirous of discovering 
the truth, and with the utmost veneration for truth when disco- 
vered, seek new explications of things, and depart from received 
interpretations : these often meet with stronger blame than they 
deserve, a severity even to injustice." He proceeds to state 
that he does not think the orebim of the Hebrew means the 
inhabitants of a town called Oreb, nor a troop of Arabs called 
Orbim, but the birds, RAVENS. 

The editor of Calmet in the Appendix, under the article 
" Elijah," has some pertinent observations on this subject. " We 
ought to consider," says he, " 1. That Ahab sought Elijah with 
avidity, and took an oath of every people, no doubt also in his 
dominions, that he was not concealed among its inhabitants ; his 
situation therefore required the utmost privacy, even to solitude. 
2. That when the brook Cherith was dried up, the prophet was 
obliged to quit his asylum, which he needed not to have done 
had a people been his suppliers, for they could have brought 
him water as well as food. 

" Let us now suppose for a moment, that Elijah was con- 
cealed in some rocky or mountainous spot, where passengers 
never strayed ; and here a number of voracious birds had built 
their nests, on the trees which grew around it, or on the projec- 
tions of the rocks, Jkc. These flying every day to procure food 
for their young, the prophet availed himself of a part of what 
they brought, and while they, obeying the dictates of nature, de- 
signed only to provide for their offspring, divine providence 
directed them to provide at the same time for the wants of Eli- 
jah ; so that what he gathered, whether from their nests, what 
they dropped, or brought to him, or occasionally from both 

4 See also H. Von der Hart, in a work entitled, " Renards de Samson, Ma- 
choire d'Ane, Corheaux d'Ellie, &c. Helinst. 1707. This opinion was first advo- 
cated by Rabhi Jehudah, and afterwards bv J. F. Scmidt, Dissert. Elias corvo- 
ruin alumn. Altorf. Nov. 1718, and is solidly refuted by Reland, Palaestina, IK 
194. 



OF THE BIBLE. ,321 

means, was enough for his daily support. And the orebim fur- 
nished him bread (orjiesh) in the morning; and bread (orjtesh) 
in the evening. But, I rather think, there being a good many 
of them, some might furnish him bread (i. e. grain), and others 
flesh ; and vice versa, at different times ; so that a little from each 
made np his solitary, but satisfactory meal. To such straits was 
the exiled prophet driven, and such was the dependence of this 
zealous man of God ! 

" As to God's commanding the Orebim, it is a mode of speech 
used where vocal commands were not employed." 

III. It has been said that when the raven sees its young newly 
hatched, and covered with a white down, or pen-feathers, it con- 
ceives such an aversion for them, that it forsakes them, and 
does not return to its nest till after they are covered with black 
feathers. It is to this, they say, the Psalmist makes allusion 
when he says, Psal. cxlvii. 9. The Lord giveth to the beast his 
food, and to the young ravens which cry: And Job, xxxviii. 41. 
Who provideth for the raven his food? II hen his young ones 
cry unto GOD, wandering for want of meat. But those who 
have more diligently examined the nature of birds are not agreed 
about this fact, which indeed has too much the air of a fable to 
be credited without good proofs. Vossius says 5 that it is the 
extreme voracity of the young ravens that makes the old ones 
sometimes forsake their nests when they find themselves not able 
to satisfy them. Others will have it, that this proceeds only 
from the forgetftilness of the old ravens, that they think no longer 
of returning to their nests, in order to feed their young. Others 
imagine that Job and the Psalmist allude to what is said by some 
naturalists 6 , that the ravens drive out their young ones early from 
their nests, and oblige them to seek food for their own suste- 
nance. The same kind providence which furnishes support to his 
intelligent offspring is not unmindful of the wants, or inattentive 
to the desires of the meanest of his creatures. 

" Lo, the young ravens, from their nest exiled, 

On hunger's wing attempt the aerial wild ! 

Who leads their wanderings, and their feast supplies? 

To God ascend their importuning cries 7 ." 

Christ instructs his disciples, from the same circumstance, to 
trust in the care and kindness of heaven. Consider the ravens, 
for they neither sow nor reap, neither have storehouse, nor barn; 
and Godfeedeth them. Hon much better are ye than theforcls. 
Luke, xii. 24. 

The blackness of the raven has long been proverbial. It is 
alluded to in Cantic. v. 1 1. 

Solomon, speaking of the peculiar regard and veneration due 
to the worthy persons and salutary instructions of parents, ob- 
* Voss. de idoL 1. 3. c. 84. and Vales, de sac. phil. c. 55. 
6 Plin. 1. 10. c. 1-2. JElltut, 1. 1 1. c. 49. Arist. 1. 2. c. 41. 7 Scott. 

A A 



322 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

serves that an untimely fate and the want of decent interment 
may be expected from the contrary : and that the leering eye 
which throws wicked contempt on a good father, and insolent 
disdain on a tender mother, shall be dug out of the unburied 
exposed corpse by the ravens of the valley, and eaten up by the 
young eagles. Prov. xxx. 17 8 . 

It was a common punishment in the east, and one which the 
orientals dreaded above all others, to expose in the open fields 
the bodies of evil-doers that had suffered by the laws of their 
offended country, to be devoured by the beasts of the field and 
the fowls of heaven. The wise man insinuates that the raven 
makes his first and keenest attack on the eye ; which perfectly 
corresponds with his habits, for he always begins his banquet 
with that part. Isiodore says of him, " primo in cadaveribus 
oculum petit ;" and Epictetus, Ot [j^v HO^CMES TUV TsreXsvr^orcav 
rag o<pQ#A|U,8 hvfjLctivovTai, the ravens devour the eyes of the dead. 
Many other testimonies might be adduced ; but these are suffi- 
cient to justify the allusion in the proverb. 

The raven, it is well known, delights in solitude. He frequents 
the ruined tower or the deserted habitation. In the prophecy of 
Isaiah, xxxiv. 11, it is accordingly foretold, that the raven, with 
other birds of similar dispositions, should fix his abode in the 
desolate houses of Edom. " The cormorant and the bittern 
shall possess it. The owl and the raven shall dwell in it ; and 
he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones 
of emptiness." The prophet Zephaniah, ii. 14, in like manner, 
makes the raven croak over the perpetual desolations of Nineveh. 
" Both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper 
lentiles of it ; their voice shall sing in the windows ; desolation 
shall lie in the thresholds." In the Septuagint and other ver- 
sions the Hebrew word for " desolation" [CHOREE] is rendered 
raven. The meaning is, that in those splendid palaces, where 
the voice of joy and gladness was heard, and every sound which 
could ravish the ear and subdue the heart, silence was, for the 
wickedness of their inhabitants, to hold her reign for ever, inter- 
rupted only by the scream of the cormorant and the croaking of 
the raven 9 . 

REED, pojN AGMON. 

Occ. Job, xl. 21 ; xli. 2, 20; Isai. ix. 14; xix. 15; Iviii. 5. 
KAAAMOS, Matth. xi. 7 ; and several times in the New Tes- 
tament. 

A plant growing in fenny and watery places : very weak and 
slender, and bending with the least breath of wind. Com. Matth. 
xi. 7 ; Luke, vii. 24. 

Thus in 1 Kings, xiv. 15, it is threatened, "The Lord shall 
smite Israel as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root 

1 " Hie prior in cadaveribus ociilmn petit." Isiodor. orig. 1. 12. c. 7. 

" Eflbssos orulas vorat corvus." Catul. ep. 10:>. v. 5. 
9 Paxton, Illustr. v. 2. p. 'il. 



OP THE BIBLE. 323 

up Israel out of the good land which he gave to their fathers, 
and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made 
their idol-groves, provoking him to anger." The slenderness and 
fragility of the reed is mentioned 2 Kings, x\ iii. 20 ; Isai. xxxvi. 
6 ; and is referred to in Matth. xii. 20, where the remark, illus- 
trating the gentleness of our Saviour, is quoted from the prophecy 
of Isaiah, xlii. 3. The Hebrew word in these places is n:p 
KANEH, as also in Job, xl. 21 ; Isai. xix. 6; xxxv. 7 ; aud Ezek. 
xxix. 6. See CANE. 

Under the article CALAMUS I ought to have given its whole 
Hebrew name, which is DUO i"Dp KANEH-BOSEM; and not have 
repeated the description under the article CANE. I am inclined 
to think the Calamus aromaticus to be a different plant from the 
dcorus vents; the former being remarkable for its fragrance, the 
latter for its warm pungent taste : the one is described as a reed, 
the other as zjlag. In the Encyclopaedia Perthensis other dis- 
tinctions are stated. 

It was used for writing 10 , and hence called " Calamus Scrip- 
torius," and answers to the word in our translation rendered 
" pen :" as 3 John, verse 13, " I have many things to write unto 
thee, but I will not with pen, xaAa/xa, and ink." The Alexan- 
drian manuscript is c%oivo^juncus. So in Jerem. viii. 8, H#A#/x0f, 
in the LXX, answers to the Hebrew word joy OITH. In the 
third book of Maccabees it is remarked that the writers employed 
in making a list of the Jews in Egypt produced their reeds quite 
worn out. This usage was common among the ancients. Thus 
Persius, Sat. iii. 

" Inque manus charts, nodosaque venit arundo." 

The English word pen comes from the Latin penna ; but the 
use of quills for writing is a modern invention, the first authentic 
testimony of their being applied to this use is in Isiodorus, who 
died in 636. 

The long stalk of the reed was also used for a measuring 
rod 11 . Com. Rev. xi. 1 ; xxi. 15, 16, with Ezek. xl. 5. Also 
for a balance, Isai. xlvi. 6, probably after the manner of the 
steelyard, whose arm or beam was a graduated reed. 

A reference *.o this article enables me to correct two passages 
in the book of Job, to which our English version does not do 
justice. The first is the second verse of chapter xli. ; where the 
word is translated " hook," but means a thong or rope of rushes. 
The passage should have been rendered thus : 

Say, canst thou tie up his mouth with a rush-rope. 
And bore his jaw through with a thorn ? 



10 " Arundinestenues, intus cavae, extus glahrae, fusco rubentes, quibus Ttircae 
et Mauri pro calamis scriptoriis utuntur, pennarum anserinarum usiun igno- 
rantes: Syringes seu Fistularis Dioscoridis." Rauwolf, Hodoep. p. i. c. 8. 
p. 97. 

11 " AUudine 6 vel. 8 ulnar. excrcscunt.'' Forskal. 

A A 2 



324 THE NATURAL HISTORY 

The muzzle was to secure his mischievous jaws, and the thorn 
to make it fast, and prevent its slipping off, by pinning it to his 
cheeks. Thus the Greek word c^oivog, which properly signifies 
a bull-rush, is also used for a rope 12 ; and the Latin word juncus, 
a bull-rush, ajungendo, from joining, for the same reason. We 
even retain the word in English junk, an old rope. And Has- 
selquist observes that of the leaves of one sort of reed which 
grow near the Nile the Egyptians now make ropes. " They lay 
them in water, like hemp, and then make good and strong cables 
of them, which, with the bark of the date tree, are almost the 
only cable used in the Nile." 

The second instance is in the 20th verse, where the word is 
rendered "caldron." It should be, 

Out of his nostrils issuelh smoke, 
And the rushes are kindled before it 13 . 

See BULL-RUSH, CANE. 

ROE. QI: TSEBI. Arab, dsabi. Chald. tabitha. Persic 
zabejat [Meninski, 3168]. 

Occ. Deut. xii. 15, 22; xiv. 5; xv. 22; 1 Kings, iv. 23; 
1 Chron. xii. 8; 2 Sam. ii. 18; Prov. vi. 5; Cantic. ii. 7, 9, 
17; iii. 5; iv. 5; vii. 3; viii. 14; Isai. xiii. 14. 

AOPKAS, Ecclesiasticus, xxvii. 20. 

A small animal of the deer kind, being only three feet four 
inches long, and somewhat more than two feet in height. The 
horns are from eight to nine inches long, upright, round, and di- 
vided into three branches. The body is covered with long hair, 
the lower part of each hair is ash colour, near the end is a nar- 
row bar of black, tipped with ash colour. The ears are long ; 
the insides of a pale yellow, and covered with long hair. The 
chest, belly, legs, and inside of the thighs are of a yellowish 
white; the rump of a pure white. The tail is very short. 

The form of the roe buck is elegant, and its motions light and 
easy. It bounds seemingly without effort, and runs with great 
swiftness. When hunted it endeavours to elude its pursuers by 
the most subtle artifices: it repeatedly returns upon its former 
steps, till, by various whidings, it has entirely confounded the 
scent. The cunning animal then, by a sudden spring, bounds to 
one side; and, lying close down upon its belly, permits the 
hounds to pass by, without offering to stir. 

They do not keep together in herds, like other deer, but live 
in separate families. The sire, the dam, and the young ones 
associate together, and seldom mix with others. 

It may, however, be questioned, whether this animal was a 

12 Hence our English word skein. 

13 Ovid did not scruple to describe the enraged boar in figures equally bold : 

" Fulmcn ab ore vcnii, frondesque adllutibus ardenl." 



OF THE BIBLE. 325 

native of those southern countries : Pliny says that it was not 14 . 
The Greek name, dorcas, may as well be understood of the gazel, 
or antelope, which is very common all over Greece, Syria, the 
Holy Land, Egypt, and Barbary. 

It may be further urged, that the characteristics attributed to 
the dorcas, both in sacred and profane history, will very well 
agree with the gazel. Thus Aristotle describes it to be " the 
smallest of the horned animals," as it certainly is, being even 
smaller than the roe. It is celebrated as having tine eyes ; and 
they are so to a proverb. The damsel whose name zcas Tabitha, 
zohich is by interpretation, Dorcas, spoken of Acts, ix. 36, might 
be so called from this particular feature and circumstance. 
Asahel, likewise, is said, 2 Sam. ii. 18, to be as szviji of foot as 
the tzebi; and few creatures exceed the antelope in swiftness. 
This animal also is in great esteem among the eastern nations, 
for food; having a very sweet musky taste, which is highly 
agreeable to their palates ; and therefore might well be received, 
as one of the dainties at Solomon's table. 1 Kings, iv. 23. 

If then we lay all these circumstances together, they will ap- 
pear to be much more applicable to the gazel or antelope, which 
is a quadruped well known and gregarious; than to the roe, 
which was either not known at all, or else very rare in those 
countries. 

Its exquisite beauty probably gave it its name, which signifies 
loveliness 15 . 

When the Arabians intend to describe a beauty, they make use 
of several similitudes. They compare her face to the mild ma- 
jesty of the moon, &c. &c. Amongst others, a most remarkable 
and common expression of this kind is, when they compare her 
eyes to those of a rock goat, which is a very common animal 
in Syria and Palestine. Hasselquist thinks this comparison more 
remarkable, because Solomon in his Canticles 16 , uses some, taken 
from the same animal ; and concludes that we have every reason 
to suppose, the doe of the royal lover, the rock-go