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Title: Helon's Pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Volume 1 (of 2) - A picture of Judaism, in the century which preceded the - advent of our Savior.
Author: Strauss, Frederick
Language: English
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                          Transcriber’s Note:

This version of the text cannot represent certain typographical effects.
Italics are delimited with the ‘_’ character as _italic_.

Footnotes have been moved to follow the paragraphs in which they are
referenced.

Minor errors, attributable to the printer, have been corrected. Please
see the transcriber’s note at the end of this text for details regarding
the handling of any textual issues encountered during its preparation.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

                           HELON'S PILGRIMAGE
                                   TO
                               JERUSALEM.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

                           HELON'S PILGRIMAGE

                                   TO

                               JERUSALEM.

                         A PICTURE OF JUDAISM,

                IN THE CENTURY WHICH PRECEDED THE ADVENT
                            OF OUR SAVIOUR.

                    _TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF_

                           FREDERICK STRAUSS,

            WITH NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS BY THE TRANSLATOR.

                           ------------------

                    Ἡ ΣΩΤΗΡΙΑ ἘΚ ΤΩΝ ἸΟΓΔΑΙΩΝ ἘΣΤΙΝ.

                                VOL. I.

                           ------------------



                                LONDON:
                 PRINTED FOR J. MAWMAN, LUDGATE-STREET.

                                  ---

                                 1824.

------------------------------------------------------------------------



           LONDON: PRINTED BY A. APPLEGATH, STAMFORD-STREET.



------------------------------------------------------------------------

                               CONTENTS.

[Illustration]

                            VOL. I. BOOK I.

                               CHAPTER I.

                                                                   Page.

 Alexandria                                                            1

                               CHAPTER II.

 The Departure                                                        19

                              CHAPTER III.

 The Caravan                                                          42

                               CHAPTER IV.

 The Halt at Casium                                                   70

                               CHAPTER V.

 The Halt at Ostracine                                                94

                               CHAPTER VI.

 The Halt at Rhinocorura                                             117

                              CHAPTER VII.

 The Halt at Raphia                                                  147

                                BOOK II.

                               CHAPTER I.
                                                                   Page.

 The Promised Land                                                   179

                               CHAPTER II.

 The Pilgrimage                                                      197

                              CHAPTER III.

 The Day of Preparation for the Passover                             226

                               CHAPTER IV.

 The Paschal Lamb                                                    259

                               CHAPTER V.

 The Day after the Passover                                          275

                               CHAPTER VI.

 The Remaining Days of Unleavened Bread                              290

                              CHAPTER VII.

 Close of the Feast of the Passover                                  313



                           AUTHOR'S PREFACE.


The present work contains a picture of the Jewish people, in which their
ecclesiastical and civil constitution, their social and domestic life
are represented, as they existed at the time when the advent of the
Messiah was at hand.

From his boyhood the author had been inspired, by the perusal of similar
works on Pagan antiquities, with the wish to exhibit such a picture of
the Jewish nation; and, encouraged by men whose opinion he valued, he
had at an early period of life formed the resolution to undertake it,
had sketched the general outline of his work, and even executed
particular parts of it. Just at this time, however, it pleased the
Disposer of events to call him from the situation of leisure in which he
had hitherto been placed, to the execution of an office, whose
multiplied duties left him little time for any other occupations; and he
was compelled to abandon the design which he had so long cherished. It
was not without pain that he resolved to make this sacrifice of an
object which had long directed and animated his studies. The images
which it had left in his mind recurred from time to time, and revived
his former wishes. In particular, whenever he had occasion, in the
discharge of his pastoral duty, to narrate the histories of the Bible,
the question arose in his mind, whether it might not be possible to
delineate the peculiar system of life in which these writings
originated, according to the picture which they had left in his own
mind, without descending to all the minutiæ of antiquarian detail? In
pursuance of this thought, he has devoted his few and interrupted hours
of leisure, to the work which he now offers to the indulgence of the
reader, for which he hopes with the more confidence, having had such
large experience of it on a former occasion.

The plan of the work is the following. A young Jew, who had been
enamoured of the prevailing Grecian philosophy, has returned to the
observance of the law of his fathers, at one of those important crises
in life which decide the character of succeeding periods. Bent on the
fulfilment of the law, which he believes it impossible to accomplish any
where but in the place where the altar of Jehovah is fixed, he makes a
journey from Alexandria, where he had been brought up, accompanied by
his uncle, to Jerusalem, in the spring of the year 109 before the birth
of Christ, remains there during the half year which included the
principal religious festivals; becomes a priest; enters into the married
state; and, by the guidance of Providence, and varied experience,
attains to the conviction, that peace of mind is only to be found in
believing in Him who has been promised for the consolation of Israel.

The plan now traced, while it offered an opportunity of delineating the
progress of an interesting change in the sentiments of Helon himself,
seemed also to present the means of combining with this a living picture
of the customs, opinions, and laws of the Jewish people. No period of
their history seemed so well adapted to the design of this work, as that
of John Hyrcanus. It is about this time that the books of the Maccabees
close; it is the last era of the freedom and independence of the people,
whose character and institutions at the same time were so nearly
developed and fixed, that very little change took place between this and
the time of our Saviour. It was possible, therefore, to give a picture
which, as far as relates to usages and manners, should be applicable to
the times of the New Testament. By selecting this period, it was more
easy to avoid the inconvenience of placing fictitious characters in
contact with the real personages of history, than if the time of our
Saviour had been chosen. Hyrcanus and his sons have only in one instance
been brought upon the scene, and even here care has been taken to keep
them as much as possible in the back-ground, to avoid mingling the
individual realities of history with a series of events, which the
author has invented to answer the design of his work.

It was in the last years of the long reign of Hyrcanus that the opposing
sects of Sadducees and Pharisees first became conspicuous, and the one
hundred and ninth year before the Christian era is the date of the
destruction of Samaria. In the description of the temple, however, I
have allowed myself to anticipate a little, in order to describe its
magnificence in the days of Herod, whose temple was that to which our
Saviour resorted. In the description of the customs of sacrifice and
prayer, I have ventured to use, but with moderation, the accounts of
later times.

One thing it must be allowed to the author to remark, in order to
prevent the misapprehensions of those, who do not know what properly
belongs to a work like the present, and that is, that he is by no means
to be understood as uniformly declaring his own views; and he
particularly wishes this to be borne in mind in reading the first
part.[1]

Footnote 1:

  The translator wishes by no means to be supposed to agree even in
  those opinions, which, from the manner of bringing them forward,
  appear to be the author’s own. The discourses of the old man of the
  temple with Helon, in the second volume, are evidently an anticipation
  of Christianity, founded upon the author’s views of the doctrines of
  the New Testament. Those who agree with him in these views will think
  it reasonable, that such anticipations of the nature and office of the
  Messiah should be attributed to a Jew who was piously expecting his
  appearance; those who do not, will perceive that the _prolepsis_ which
  the author has allowed himself adds nothing to the evidence of the
  doctrines in question. I have passed over these parts of the work
  generally without remark, the only authority which could have been
  alleged in support of them being passages of Scripture, respecting the
  meaning of which the Christian world is far from being unanimous in
  its opinion.

It is well known that the want of a lively and distinct picture of those
local and national peculiarities which are presented in the Bible,
revolts many from the perusal of it, and exposes others to very
erroneous conceptions. It is the author’s prayer to Him, from whom these
precious records have proceeded, that the present work may serve, under
his blessing, to make the perusal of the Scriptures more attractive and
edifying; and he hopes those who shall drink with pleasure from his
humble rill, will not be satisfied without going to the fountain of
living waters.



                         TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.


The work which is now offered to the public, appeared in Germany in
1820, unaccompanied by notes or even references to Scripture. The author
alleged, as a reason for this omission, that the majority of readers
would not concern themselves about authorities, and that the few who did
might easily find them. He was, however, soon convinced, by the
expression of public opinion, that he had underrated the curiosity of
the former class, as much as he had overrated the patience of the
latter; and promised to remedy the deficiency. As the work had been
partly translated into Dutch and illustrated with notes, by the
Professors Vanderpalm and Clarisse, he purposed to add his own notes to
theirs, when their translation should be completed. It was my original
intention to have waited for the appearance of this appendix; but as
four years have now elapsed, and I have been unable to hear any tidings
of it from Germany, I thought it better to endeavour to supply the
defect. Having no clue whatever to guide me to the sources of the
author’s statements, it may happen that I have not assigned the precise
authority which he had in view; and, in justice to him, the reader will
not conclude, that all which is not fortified by a reference is
destitute of a warrant from antiquity, but only that the passage in
which it is found has not occurred to me.

The liberty which I have used with the original consists wholly in
retrenchments. Of these alterations some have been made to prevent
repetition and diffuseness: in a very few instances what appeared
evidently fanciful or unfounded has been silently effaced.

The reader who is not acquainted with any other authority for Jewish
antiquities than the Old and New Testament, will not, perhaps, be
displeased to find here a brief statement of the sources whence the
materials of the following work have been derived. He who chooses a
distant age for the scene of such a fiction as this, and endeavours to
give the form and colour of reality to the dim and broken outlines, will
find himself at a loss, even in delineating the best known ages of
Greece and Rome. But our author has undertaken a task of still greater
difficulty. The Jews were entire strangers to those kinds of literary
production, in which the living manners of a people are preserved to
posterity: literature among them was devoted to higher objects than
comedy, satire, and ethical description. The history of our Saviour, it
is true, carries us into the very bosom of domestic life among his
contemporaries; and the knowledge which we thus acquire is peculiarly
valuable, from the stamp of truth which is impressed on every part of
it. But if we learn much from this source, there is still more of which
we are left ignorant. Next to the books of Scripture, the Antiquities
and History of the Jews by Josephus, are the most authentic sources of
information. Philo, occupied in pursuing the phantoms of allegorical
interpretation, gives less aid than might have been expected from his
voluminous writings. Among the Fathers of the Christian church, Jerome,
who was long resident in Palestine, has left us, in various works, very
important information respecting the geography, natural history, and
customs of the country. Of the heathen writers, even the gravest and
most learned so pervert and confound every thing relating to the manners
and religion of the Jews, that they cannot be trusted for any thing
beyond geography, and the details connected with it.

The Rabbinical writings of the Jews are chiefly occupied with that
traditional law, which, in our Saviour’s time, had almost strangled, by
its parasitical growth, the genuine stock of the Mosaic institutions:
but they also contain much information respecting civil and religious
customs, especially the ritual of the second temple. According to the
Jewish doctors, there existed two kinds of law; the _written_,
promulgated on Sinai, and preserved in the Mosaic books; and the _oral_,
delivered at the same time,[2] but handed down, traditionally, by a
succession of teachers, to the captivity; and thence from Ezra to the
time of Rabbi Judah _Hakkadosh_, (the holy,) who lived about the middle
of the second century after Christ. As the dispersion of the Jews had
rendered the oral transmission of their learning more difficult and
uncertain, he reduced the traditions of the doctors into a system, to
which the name of the MISHNA (repetition) was given. It consists partly
of civil and criminal laws, partly of a ritual for the great Jewish
festivals; in both, the Mosaic precepts bear a very small proportion to
the later additions. The Mishna itself was soon found to need commentary
and supplement; and the _Gemara_ of Jerusalem was compiled by Rabbi
Jochanan, and two disciples of Judah Hakkadosh, to supply its
deficiencies. This collection appears to have been received as of
authority by the Jews of Palestine, who cultivated Rabbinical learning
in the academies of Tiberias and Jafnia. In the sixth century, Rabbi
Asa, president of the school of Sora, in the Babylonian territory, where
the Jews were numerous and flourishing, compiled another Gemara. The
original work of the Mishna, with the addition of one or the other of
these Gemaras, forms the _Talmud_ (doctrine) of Jerusalem or Babylon.[3]
The Talmud is the oracle of the Jewish doctors, venerated by the greater
part of them as of equal if not greater authority than the law itself;
though many, as the whole sect of Karaites, deny its authority. Probably
the first step towards the religious improvement of the modern Jews,
must be the abandonment of the Talmud, and a return to the simplicity of
the Mosaic law.

Footnote 2:

  See Maimonides, Preface to the Mishna, in Surenhusius, vol. i.

Footnote 3:

  Basnage, Hist. of the Jews, b. iii. c. 5-7.

Besides this great repository of their traditions, the Jews have
commentaries of their Rabbins, of uncertain age, on books of Scripture,
under the name of _Medraschim_; and collections of their sayings. I do
not mention here their cabalistical writings; which are, evidently, too
fanciful and absurd, to furnish materials to the antiquary.

After participating in the darkness of the middle ages, Jewish
literature and science revived with great brilliancy in the eleventh and
twelfth centuries, from the connection of the Jews with the Saracens of
Spain, and their acquaintance with the Aristotelian philosophy. Of the
learned men who arose about this time, Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and David
Kimchi, are most celebrated for their grammatical and critical works:
Moses Ben Maimon, or Maimonides, for the vigour of his understanding,
and his knowledge of the ancient rites and ceremonies of his nation. He
gave consistency and systematic form to the Jewish doctrines, and his
articles are the standard of Jewish orthodoxy. The age at which these
authors lived, however, prevents us from receiving them as original
testimonies to any thing which concerns the state of the Jews before the
destruction of their polity. The question how far Rabbinical authority
can be relied on for Jewish antiquity, resolves itself at last into the
credibility of those who wrote in the first five centuries after the
Christian era, and especially of the Mishna and the Gemaras.

It is now pretty generally admitted, that these works are very delusive
guides, in respect to the times of the Old Testament. But it might be
thought, that, having been compiled at so short an interval after the
destruction of Jerusalem, we might have trusted to them safely for
information respecting the times of the preaching of the Gospel, and the
immediately preceding period. And it cannot be denied that some
advantage is to be derived from them in this way, but much less than
might have been expected.[4] It is not necessary to have recourse to
works, which, like the _Entdecktes Judenthum_ of Eisenmenger, have been
written purposely to expose the Talmuds to contempt; it is sufficient
even to consult the professed extracts of what is useful in them, such
as the works of Lightfoot (a name not to be mentioned without respect
and gratitude) to be convinced how large a proportion is frivolous
subtlety or groundless fiction. Indulging themselves in an unbounded
license of invention, to solve difficulties, or exaggerate the glories
of their nation and religion, they incur the usual penalty of those who
violate the truth, and are suspected of falsehood, even when they may be
innocent. The rule which Schöttgenius lays down—_eligendum est quod
Scripturæ Sacræ magis convenit et quod cæteris paribus aliorum
antiquiorum auctoritas sequendum suaserit_—affords no guide in respect
to those accounts which Scripture does not confirm, nor yet by its
silence necessarily invalidate. Here an author can only follow his own
judgment and feeling of probability. The reader must determine for
himself, whether, in the Pilgrimage of Helon, only due weight has been
given to Rabbinical authority. I have endeavoured to enable him to
ascertain, by the references, what rests on this, and what on more solid
ground.

Footnote 4:

  “Ne credant se ex Talmude multum in antiquitatibus Hebraicis
  profecturos. Nam ubi Judæi, post destructionem templi, inter se adhuc
  disputant, quomodo hæc vel illa res suscipienda fuerit, quam tuto
  horum decisioni credas, qui te multo quam antea incertiorem
  relinquunt.” Schöttgen. Hor. Heb. ii. 804.

The descriptions given by travellers of the present manners of the
people of Palestine, Syria, and Arabia, have furnished another and less
fallacious means of completing the picture of Jewish life. Allied to the
children of Israel, according to the testimony of Scripture and their
own traditions, by a common origin, and experiencing little change from
age to age, these nations still present the strongest conformity with
the manners described in the Bible; nor has any thing contributed more
to its illustration, than the use which modern critics have made of
oriental voyages and travels. The Arab Sheikh, among his flocks and
herds, recalls the very image of patriarchal times; allowing for the
change which religion has made, the mourning and the festivity, the
diet, dress, and habitation, of the present natives of these regions,
will be found nearly what they were two thousand years ago. It is true,
that we advance a step further, when, from the present state of the
east, we describe what it was at this distant period, than when we
merely illustrate scriptural allusions from modern oriental manners: but
among the various descriptions which might be given, _that_ will be
nearest to the truth which is most accordant with the known usages of
eastern nations; and though this presumption can never amount to a
positive proof of its accuracy, the reader is not misled, provided he is
informed on what he relies. The author has also occasionally attributed
some of the practices of the modern Jews to their ancestors of the
Asmonean period; and, perhaps, the singular inflexibility which
characterises the manners not less than the faith of this people, may
justify him in so doing.

The reader may possibly think that too flattering a portrait of the Jews
has been drawn in the Pilgrimage of Helon. Whoever is acquainted with an
earlier work of the same author, _Die Glockentöne_, will perceive at
once, that the piety, enthusiasm, and ardent feeling, the sensibility to
the _religio loci_, which mark the hero of the narrative, are the
characteristics of the writer’s own mind. And as every variety of
temperament exists in every age of the world, there is nothing unnatural
in the creation of such a character as that of Helon among the Jewish
people, if it only acts and is acted upon, according to the principles
and motives of the times to which it is referred. If, in the description
of the national character, he has heightened its virtues, or touched its
faults with a lenient hand, it must be remembered, that this was the
almost inevitable consequence of that warm interest in his subject,
without which he could have had no power to engage his readers’
feelings. To those who cannot be satisfied, unless the Jews are
described as sunk in all the vices which mark a people for the vengeance
of heaven, I would suggest how improbable it is, that the religious and
moral advantages which they enjoyed should not have made them better
than those whose corrupt religion, if it had any, had a pernicious
influence on their morals—or that Providence should select the
instruments of the moral regeneration of mankind from among a people,
whose depravity equalled or exceeded that of the heathen world. Were
this a proper place for entering on such a discussion, it might not be
difficult to show how unjustly we identify the whole body of the people
with the hypocritical Pharisees whom our Lord rebuked; or infer their
ordinary character from what Josephus says of the atrocities committed
by them, when stung by oppression, engaged in a desperate struggle for
independence and existence, and maddened by faction and fanaticism;
under the influence of which, Christian nations have manifested an equal
disregard of justice and humanity.

The translator may perhaps be singular in regarding the Jewish people,
even in the last days of their national independence, as objects rather
of commiseration than abhorrence; but surely there can be no question,
that the language in which they are perpetually spoken of must tend to
retard the event, which every true Christian earnestly desires, the
removal of that veil of prejudice which hides from them the evidence of
the divine origin of the Gospel. Beneath the exterior appearance of
passive submission, which fear and oppression have taught the Jew to
assume, and the habits of sordid worldliness to which our unjust laws
condemn him, lurks a deep-seated animosity against the Christian name—a
name associated in his mind with the brutal outrages of fanatic mobs,
the extortion and cruelty of tyrannical rulers; and though last, not
least in bitterness, the harsh and contumelious language with which his
nation is assailed, as if they were branded with the curse of heaven,
and a perpetual memorial of its vengeance. While the feeling continues
which such reproaches necessarily perpetuate, the efforts of Christians
for the conversion of the Jews will probably be as fruitless as they
have hitherto been. It would well become the disciples of the religion
of love, to set the example of conciliation; and to renounce the use of
language which is equally unfavourable in its influence on those who
employ and those who endure it.

             Tuque prior, tu parce, genus qui ducis Olympo!

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                           HELON'S PILGRIMAGE

                                   TO

                               JERUSALEM.

[Illustration]

                            BOOK I. CHAP. I.
                              ALEXANDRIA.


The whole house was in commotion. The camels were receiving their load
in the inner court, and drinking, before their journey, from the
fountain beneath the palm trees. The slaves ran this way and that way:
in the apartments of the women the maid-servants were busily preparing
the farewell meal for the son of their mistress, who, while she hurried
in different directions and issued her commands, was repeating the words
of the forty-second Psalm.—

               As the hart panteth for the water-brooks,
               So panteth my soul after thee, O God!
               My soul thirsteth for God,
               The living God!
               When shall I return
               And appear before the face of God!

She had been born in the Holy Land, and her deceased husband had brought
her to Egypt. The country in which her youthful days had been spent, and
the journies to Jerusalem, in which she had borne a part, rose up to her
remembrance, and with overflowing eyes she proceeded:

               My tears have been my food day and night,
               While they say unto me continually
               “Where is thy God?”

The thought of her deceased husband rushed upon her mind, and her tears
flowed in a fuller stream. Yet with a lighter heart, and with a less
faltering voice, she proceeded: (ver. 4.)

       When I remember these things, my heart melteth within me;
       How I had gone with the multitude to the house of God,
       How I had gone with the voice of joy and praise,
       With the multitude that kept the festival.

At this moment Helon met her. She embraced him and said, “So once I went
to the holy city, but now I must remain a captive in a strange land. All
the day long this psalm of the sons of Korah dwells upon my mind. Thy
father sang it the last evening that we spent together. Immediately
after, he set out for the promised land, and returned no more.”

Helon was moved by the distress of his mother. His feelings had been the
same as hers, but he was near the accomplishment of his wishes. He was
about to visit the holy city, and the grave of his father in the valley
of Jehoshaphat; and raising himself from his mother’s embrace, he
replied, “Hast thou forgotten the thrice repeated chorus of that psalm?”

              Why art thou cast down, O my soul,
              And why art thou disquieted within me?
              Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him
              Who is my deliverer and my God.

Sallu, a young Jew, who had been purchased as a servant of the family
six years before, now entered the apartment. He was dejected, and
anxiously asked Helon, “Wilt thou not take me with thee, master?” The
mother replied, “Thou art free; yesterday thy six years expired, and it
shall be Helon's last employment before his departure solemnly to
emancipate thee.” The youth kept his eyes fixed upon Helon, as if he was
still asking him, “Wilt thou not take me with thee, master?” “Why dost
thou refuse thy freedom, Sallu?” said Helon. “Master,” replied he, “when
thy father bought me, six years ago, I was a houseless, friendless boy.
I have been brought up with thee, and if I now must leave thee, I shall
be again without a friend or a home. I will not leave thee: thou art
going to Jerusalem, and, if I go not with thee, I shall never behold the
altar of my God, nor the place to which I direct my prayers. Take me
with thee, and I will be a servant in thine house all my days. I have
called the elders, and they will be here immediately.”

They endeavoured to dissuade him from his purpose. Helon painted to him
the value of freedom, and the mercy of Jehovah towards the bondsmen in
Israel, in appointing their release in the seventh year. His mother
promised him that he should not go forth empty handed; that she would
give him “of her flock, and of her barn, and of her wine-press, of all
in which the Lord her God had blessed her,” as the Lord had commanded by
Moses in the law.[5] But Sallu replied, “Nay but I will remain with
thee: it is best for me to be here.” The elders had now arrived.

Footnote 5:

  Deut. xv. 14.

“This youth,” said one of them, “will be a servant of thy house. Come
together to the gate.”

The elders, with Helon, his mother, and Sallu, went through the covered
way, as far as the gate which opened to the outer court. Sallu stood
beside the gate-posts. The elder asked him, “Wilt thou not leave Helon?”
Sallu replied, “I will not leave him; for I love him and his house.”
Then Helon took an awl, and piercing his ears against the door-post,
made him his servant for ever. The elders pronounced a blessing, and
Helon put a ring through the ears of Sallu, as a sign that he was become
his property. The youth bounded for joy, and exclaimed, “I have bought
thee with my blood. Wilt thou not now take me with thee to the Holy
Land?” “Go,” said Helon, “to look after the camels, and prepare thyself
for the journey.”

The mother invited the elders to partake of the farewell supper with her
and her son, at which Elisama was also to be present. They consented,
and went back with her into the inner court (the _thavech_.) Helon
remained awhile behind, to inspect the preparations for the journey. The
slaves were equipping three stately dromedaries, which, young,
high-spirited, and fleet, deserved the name of ships of the desert. They
had taken a long draught at the well, while the slaves laid in order the
baggage which contained the food and clothing of the travellers, and
presents for their host in Jerusalem. In the east, the expressions of
friendship were made by deeds rather than by words, and the travellers
destined for their host costly caftans, Egyptian linen, a robe of thread
of gold, and some books written on papyrus. The camels, kneeling down,
received the burthen on their backs.

Helon’s uncle, Elisama, who was to be his guide on the pilgrimage to the
Holy Land, arrived, examined the preparations, and appointed to the
slaves the hour of departure. Helon and he then went together into the
inner court, where the elders were sitting under the palms beside the
fountain, and enjoying the refreshing coolness of the evening. This
inner court, around whose sides ran a portico and a gallery, was paved
with green, white, yellow, and black marble. An awning of various
colours was stretched over it to shelter from the burning rays of the
sun; and in the middle was the fountain with its lofty palms. In
Alexandria, as in the east generally, this was the place for the
reception of visitors.

The meal was prepared, and the elders arose from beside the fountain to
place themselves on cushions around the table. A venerable man with
hoary locks took the place of honour, the middle place, on the middle
cushion. The seven-branched lamp shed a bright light around, from its
one and twenty flames. The slaves had strewed the table, the cushions,
and the floor with the flowers of spring. Sallu came with a silver
basin, poured water on the hands of the guests, and when he had wiped
them sprinkled on them the fragrant nard. The most delicate productions
of fertile Egypt were served up; among which the mother had not
forgotten the fish of the Nile, that her son might taste them once more
before his departure. Helon lay before Elisama, or, as it was called in
the east, in his bosom.

Elisama, acting as father of the house, blessed the bread. He spread
both his hands over it, and said, “Blessed be thou, O Lord our God, King
of the world, who causest bread to grow out of the earth;” and the rest
answered “Amen.” As this was an entertainment, the wine also was
blessed. Elisama took the cup with both hands, then holding it with the
right, at the height of a yard above the table, he praised the Lord and
said, “Blessed be thou, O Lord our God, who hast given unto us the fruit
of the vine;” and the rest again replied, “Amen.” The bread and wine
were blessed with both hands, that the fingers might be a remembrance of
the number of the commandments. This done, he repeated the twenty-third
Psalm:

     The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.
     He maketh me to lie down in green pastures,
     He leadeth me beside the soft flowing waters,
     He refresheth my soul,
     He leadeth me in the straight path
     For his name’s sake.
     Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
     I fear no evil, for thou art with me;
     Thy rod and thy staff comfort me.
     Thou preparest a table for me
     In the presence of mine enemies;
     Thou anointest my head with oil;
     My cup runneth over
     Surely goodness and mercy follow me all my life,
     I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

This was the prayer with which the festive meal was usually hallowed in
Israel. The guests helped themselves and enjoyed the feast. When the
last dish was removed, Elisama began: “It is long since I repeated that
beautiful psalm, with such a feeling of devotion as to-day. One might
think that it had been written expressly for the feast on the evening
before our departure for the Holy Land. 'Happy the people that know the
sound of the trumpet!'”

Helon’s kindling glance, thanked Elisama for thus expressing the
sentiment of which his own heart was full. But one of the elders
replied, “The sound of the trumpet is heard also in Leontopolis, and the
psalm might be repeated with equal propriety, before a journey to the
nome of Heliopolis.”

“I always maintain,” said Elisama, “that Israel is Israel nowhere but in
the Holy Land.”

“But does not the law itself declare,” said the elder, “Thou shalt not
abhor an Egyptian, because thou wast a stranger in his land?[6] Did not
the patriarchs of our nation always repair to Egypt in their distress,
and did not the land of Ham almost always show a brotherly compassion
for the children of Shem? Why did our forefathers always resort to this
land of wonders, rather than to Syria or Mesopotamia? Does it not appear
as if some secret guiding of Providence had always impelled Israel to
unite himself with his brethren of Misraim? Was not our father Abraham
himself in Egypt?” “And well did Pharaoh reward him by his treatment of
Sarah,” interrupted Elisama. “Jehovah himself forbad Isaac to go down to
Egypt.”[7]

Footnote 6:

  Deut. xxiii. 7.

Footnote 7:

  Gen. xxvi. 2.

“Yet,” replied the elder, “Jacob came hither with seventy souls; Joseph
was proclaimed the father of the land, and Pharaoh said to him, I am
Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in the
land of Egypt.[8] Moses was born here and brought up at court, and
Jeremiah also was here.[9] When Alexander founded this city, he brought
a multitude of our nation hither; the first Ptolemy settled a hundred
thousand of them in different parts of the land, and because the kings
thought us to be the brethren of the Egyptians, we have obtained the
privileges of the highest rank of citizens, and are called, like the
conquerors themselves, Macedonians. The Lord has moved the heart of the
king and queen, and Onias, the son of Onias, has built us a temple in
Leontopolis, which is an exact copy of that on mount Moriah. Soon shall
we be still more highly exalted. You know that let the schemes of
Ptolemy Lathyrus be what they may, his mother Cleopatra, who is joint
regent with him, has the administration in her hands, and by her means
(a thing unheard of in any other country) two of our nation, Hilkias and
Ananias, the sons of Onias, are at the head of the army.”

Footnote 8:

  Gen. xli. 44.

Footnote 9:

  Jer. xlii.

“The God of Israel bless Cleopatra our queen! May he increase her a
thousandfold, and cause her seed to possess the gate of their enemies,”
exclaimed the elders.

“What thou hast said of our fathers, and of their journies into Egypt is
true; but acknowledge also,” said Elisama, “that they never failed to
return to the Holy Land, when they had an opportunity; and we will do
the same.”

“No,” said the elder, “we have our own temple in Egypt, our Oneion.”

“But it is contrary to the law of the Lord; on Moriah only should the
temple and the altar stand. Jehovah spoke to Moses saying,[10] ‘To the
place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes, to
put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither
shall ye come, and thither shall ye bring your burnt-offerings: but take
heed that thou offer not thy burnt-offerings in any place that thou
seest; in the place which the Lord shall choose there shalt thou offer
thy burnt-offerings, and do all that the Lord thy God requires of thee.’
And five hundred years after, when the temple was built, he said to
Solomon, when he appeared to him in the night, ‘I have heard thy prayer
and have chosen this place to myself, as a house of sacrifice.’[11] And
this place is Moriah, where Abraham was about to offer up his own son.”

Footnote 10:

  Deut. xii. 1-14.

Footnote 11:

  2 Chron. vii. 12.

“Knowest thou not,” continued the elder, “what Isaiah, the greatest of
all the prophets, said two hundred years later? Our high priest wrote
the passage to the king and queen at the building of the Oneion. In that
day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan
and swear to the Lord of Hosts: one shall be called Irhaheres,
Leontopolis.”[12]

Footnote 12:

  Is. xix. 18.

Elisama replied, “I adhere to the words of the psalm, ‘The Lord hath
chosen Zion and delights to dwell therein.’[13] To Isaiah also the Lord
spoke, saying, ‘I will comfort you as one whom his mother comforteth,
and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.’[14] We might say to you of
Alexandria, what the Lord said by the mouth of Jeremiah, 'Go up into
Gilead and take balm, O virgin daughter of Egypt!'”[15]

Footnote 13:

  Ps. cxxxii. 13.

Footnote 14:

  Is. lxvi. 13.

Footnote 15:

  Jer. xlvi. 11. 20.

“Yet Jehovah, in the same chapter, calls Egypt a fair heifer.”

“True, but he threatens her; ‘destruction cometh from the north,’ and in
us will his word be fulfilled, 'ye shall be ashamed of Egypt as thou
wast ashamed of Assyria.'”[16]

Footnote 16:

  Jer. ii. 36.

“Now accursed be he who reviles the Oneion, the temple of the Lord, and
Egypt and the queen,” exclaimed the elder, in vehement indignation. They
had long ceased to eat, as their conversation became more animated, and
sat upright upon their cushions. The elder started on his feet, and
seemed about to offer some violence to Elisama; but a grey-headed elder,
who had hither only listened, interposed between them, and with the
calmness of age said to them both, “Peace, my children! There is enough
of strife in Israel; let not us increase it. Do thou remain in Egypt,
and thou Elisama take thy way to Jerusalem. The Messiah cometh and will
teach us all things.”

The mother entered the room. “What sayst thou, dejected mother in
Israel,” continued the aged man. “She could not,” she said, “divest
herself of the fear that one of the travellers would never return. So it
had been six years before. Her only comfort was, that her deceased
husband had been buried in the valley of Jehoshaphat, and nothing would
have induced her to consent to Helon’s departure, but the thought that
he would visit his father’s grave. Ye all knew him,” said she, turning
to the guests, “he was a stay of Israel in a foreign land.”

The elders turned to Helon and said, “Blessed be thou, for thou art the
son of an upright man, and one that feared God.” “As to thy apprehension
that one of us may not return,” said Elisama, “let us rather hope, that
we shall bring back with us a new member of the family, a future mother,
either from Jericho or from Anathoth.”

The mother smiled, with a significant look, which seemed to say that she
already knew more of this matter. The elder, who had scarcely recovered
from his passion, seemed not well pleased that the number of Aramæan
Jews in Alexandria should be increased. Helon blushed, and observed the
modest silence which became a youth in Israel, in the presence of his
elders.

“Of the two,” said the old man, “thou wouldst rather receive thy new
relation from Anathoth.” “True,” she replied, “many of our friends live
there, and there the holy prophet Jeremiah was born.” The mention of
Jeremiah was sufficient to kindle Elisama. His forefathers had
accompanied the prophet, when, after Ishmael’s outrage upon
Gedaliah,[17] he was carried into Egypt, by the people who feared the
vengeance of the king of Babylon; and he had sojourned with this family.
“While there lives one of our race,” exclaimed Elisama, “never shall it
be forgotten by us that we once entertained a prophet of the Lord. His
writings are our favourite study, and by them we are directed to seek
the Holy Land.”

Footnote 17:

  Jer. xli. xlii. xliii.

The discourse assumed a more cheerful character. The last cup was
emptied. Sallu washed the hands of the guests, and sprinkled them with
fragrant oil. Elisama pronounced the thanksgiving, and the old man
rising up, took Helon’s hand and said, “Farewell, and take with thee my
blessing.” Then, laying his hands upon the young man’s head, he said—

        “He that keepeth Israel neither slumbereth nor sleepeth.
        May Jehovah be thy keeper, thy shade on thy right hand!
        May Jehovah preserve thy going out and coming in,
        From this time forth and for evermore?”—Ps. cxxi.

The other elders also blessed him, but it was evident that they would
have done it with a more hearty good will, if he had been going to
Leontopolis. All the guests took leave, and returned to their respective
abodes.



                              CHAPTER II.
                             THE DEPARTURE.


It was late in the evening: the slaves extinguished the seven-branched
lamp and laid the cushions for beds in the porticoes which surrounded
the inner court. All retired speedily to rest, that they might set out
the earlier on the following morning. But the mother still lingered on
the spot; her grief increased as the time of departure drew nigh;
weeping she embraced her child, and said, “Call me Mara, for I am a
sorrowful mother in Israel.” Helon in silence leant upon her bosom, till
Elisama came, and said to her: “Bethink thee of what our prophet
saith,[18] 'Rachel weepeth for her children and refuseth to be
comforted. But thus saith the Lord, refrain thy voice from weeping and
thine eye from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded and thy children
shall come again to their own border.'” He forced her away into the
inner apartments, and himself lay down on one of the cushions in the
portico.

Footnote 18:

  Jer. xxxi. 15.

Helon did not attempt to sleep. Wishing his uncle calm repose, he
ascended the roof of the house where stood the _alija_, a small
apartment like a turret, dedicated to secret meditation and prayer. From
the roof there was an extensive view over the city of Alexandria; on the
north to the Mediterranean, on the south to the lake Mareotis, and on
the east to the Nile and the Delta. Here he had often stood when a boy,
and with restless longing had looked towards the Holy Land. It was a
clear, calm night of spring. Refreshing odours arose from the
surrounding gardens. The countless stars shed down their twinkling
radiance upon him, and the moon’s new light was mirrored in the lake and
the canals of the Nile.

Before him lay the city of Alexander, justly styled in the days of her
highest prosperity, the Queen of the East and the Chief of Cities. In
what stillness she now reposed, with her towering obelisks! How deep the
silence and the rest which wrapt her 600,000 inhabitants, and her five
harbours, by day so full of activity and noise! The house was near the
Panium, from which the whole city could be seen at one view. There stood
the Bruchium which, besides the royal palace, contained the Museum,
rendered the chief seat of the learning of the times, by its library of
400,000 volumes, and by being the residence of the learned men, whom the
munificence of the Ptolemies had collected around their court. Here
Helon had sat for several years, at the feet of the philosophers. He
thought on those years, and, as he compared them with his present hopes,
he exclaimed:

        Better is a day in thy courts than a thousand!
        I would rather be a door-keeper in the house of the Lord
        Than dwell in the tents of sin.—Ps. lxxxiv. 10.

“Truly the tents of sin,” said he to himself, as he paced the roof,
“even when I think on my own people, who live here in high favour. Let
them be called Macedonians if they will, let the sons of the high priest
be the commanders of the army, let them hope for still greater
distinctions from Cleopatra’s favour, it is still an exile and Israel is
in affliction. Their schisms in doctrine and laxity of morals are too
plain a proof of it.”

He went into the alija and brought out his harp; the plaintive tones
resounded through the still air of night as he sung

 By the rivers of Babel we sat and wept
 When we thought on Zion.
 We hung our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.—Ps. cxxxvii.

“Here we ought to hang them upon the pyramids,” continued he. “The
controversy which destroyed the harmony of our social meal this evening
still jars upon my soul. Praised be God, that Jeremiah sojourned with my
forefathers, that they like myself have continued Aramæan Jews, and have
not gone over to the Hellenists.”

The _Diaspora_, or body of the Jews dispersed in foreign countries, was
divided at this time into Hellenists and Aramæan Jews. The Hellenists
had adopted the Greek, at that time the universal language of the
civilized and literary world; the Aramæan Jews used, even in foreign
lands, the Hebrew, or rather a dialect of that language, called the
Aramæan. The latter attached themselves to the temple at Jerusalem, the
former worshipped at Leontopolis in Egypt. A division once begun is
easily extended to other points. With the Greek language the Hellenists
had adopted Grecian culture, yet wished still to continue Jews, and
hence arose the necessity for uniting philosophy with the law. The only
way in which this could be accomplished, was that which they adopted, of
attributing the doctrines of Grecian wisdom to the law, as its inward
and spiritual meaning. In this undertaking the Egyptians had led the way
for them. Egypt is the native country of allegories. For a long time
past the popular religion had been very different from that of the
sacerdotal caste, and they stood to each other in the relation of the
letter to the spirit; of the image to the reality. The Hellenistic Jews
had adopted this Egyptian mode, and three classes had been formed
amongst them. One party openly renounced both law and allegory, living
without the law, which indeed it was impossible to observe exactly any
where but in Judea. Another outwardly conformed to the law, but did so
for the sake of its hidden and spiritual meaning. A third set were
contented with this spiritual meaning, which they arbitrarily annexed to
it, and concerned themselves no further with the literal observance. No
little confusion had arisen from this variety of opinions, and the
incessant controversies to which they gave rise.

Helon had been hurried by the prevailing spirit of his age and country
for some years into the vortex of allegory. A youth of such an ardent
temperament and high intellectual endowments, connected with the most
considerable families of the Alexandrian Jews, could scarcely escape
this temptation. Had his father been alive, he would have been a
constant monitor to him against the danger—but since his death on the
journey to the Holy Land, Helon’s danger had increased, with the
increase of his liberty. It seems too as if it were necessary that those
master spirits, who are destined successfully to oppose the errors of
their times, should themselves for a while be involved in them. The
scattered intimations which the law itself affords opened to him a new
and attractive field, which he was eager to explore completely. He was
advised to make himself acquainted with the Grecian philosophy, as the
source of the knowledge which he desired, and for this purpose he
resorted to the Museum. His first instructor here was a Stoic, who
demanded from him a greater rigour than even the law had required, but
at the same time taught him, that the knowledge of God was not
necessary. Helon forsook him, and applied himself to an acute
Peripatetic; but his thoughts seemed more occupied with his pecuniary
remuneration, than with the high rewards of wisdom and philosophy. Helon
lost no time in seeking another teacher. A Pythagorean required, as a
preliminary, a long study of music, astronomy and geometry, and Helon
thought that the knowledge of the truth might surely be attained by a
less circuitous process. At last a young and lively Greek of the name of
Myron, whom he had known as a child, introduced him to a Platonic
philosopher. In him he seemed to have found all of which he had been in
search. He perused with Myron the dialogues of him whom his disciples
called _the divine_. Those were hours never to be forgotten, in which
his doctrine of reminiscences, of virtue that is not to be taught or
learnt, of That which is, first irradiated his mind. About this time he
became acquainted with a wise Jew, who was also a Platonist, and
profoundly skilled in the interpretation of the law. He could answer
every question which Helon wished to ask respecting the sense of
scripture. He explained to him the seven days of creation, and the ten
commandments, in their spiritual import; and taught him much respecting
the world of ideas, which he had not found even in Plato. His new
teacher represented the divine intelligence, not as an attribute of God,
but as a being having a distinct existence, and called it the image of
God, his first born son, the highest of the angels and the primeval man.

For a long time his fancy rioted in these speculations, to which he was
so entirely devoted, that if he continued to observe the law, it was
owing to the pure and simple manners to which he was accustomed in his
father’s family. But every thing which only gratifies the understanding
loses its charm, especially with men of lively and ardent temperament,
when it loses its novelty. When Helon’s first transport, at the
enlargement of his views, had subsided, and cool reflection began to
resume her sway; when he perceived that Myron could, with equal ease,
explain and vindicate the worship of Jupiter, Bacchus, and Apollo—the
Orphic and Dionysian mysteries—and all the idolatries of polytheism, by
the aid of the same principles which his teacher had applied to the
interpretation of scripture; suspicions were awakened in his mind that
these principles could not be true. That which converts falsehood into
truth, he thought, can never increase the force and evidence of truth.
The promises which were given to Israel, the threatenings and warnings
of Jehovah against participation in idolatry, recurred to his mind. The
image of his deceased father was daily held up to him by his mother, as
one who had abhorred the system of the Hellenists. A feeling of pride in
his own nation, as the chosen people of Jehovah, was awakened in his
bosom, and he could no longer take pleasure in the society of Myron.

He began now to remark the endless varieties and inconsistencies of
these allegorical interpretations. Every one, full of the persuasion of
his own wisdom, expounded the divine word according to his own fancy.
Helon could not but perceive that all this wisdom was an arbitrary,
self-invented, human system of doctrine respecting divine things, in
opposition to which, not only Plato but the whole tenour of scripture
taught him, that God only can be our instructor in things relating to
himself, and that human reason must here rely upon revelation. This
revelation he found in the law, delivered to his nation upon mount
Sinai, under circumstances the most impressive and sublime. While this
train of thought tended to alienate him from the Hellenists and their
system, his mother one evening remarked to him with sorrow his slowness
in fulfilling the divine precepts. At first he was so much offended by
it, that he replied to her remonstrance only by a sarcastic look, and
retired to his books. But conscience did not allow him to rest. Suddenly
the divine denunciation occurred to him, “The eye that mocketh at his
father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall
pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.”[19] He was deeply
moved, and now saw with opened eyes the abyss of immorality, to the edge
of which this new wisdom had conducted him. He had long desired to be
free from the burthensome duties of the law, and he had now transgressed
against the first commandment with promise. He felt to what this heathen
philosophy, this partial culture of the mind, was bringing him; and in
the lives of its professors he saw, in all their rank maturity, the
vices, of which he discovered the seeds in his own heart. They lived
without a law, sunk in heathen vice and immorality. He now perceived
that nothing but the most faithful obedience to the law could make him
truly happy, that in this way only he became a partaker in the promises
of God to the upright, and that the passion for allegories had corrupted
his mind instead of enlightening it. These reflections determined him to
return to the faith of his fathers.

Footnote 19:

  Prov. xxx. 17.

He now felt himself once more at home under his paternal roof; his
former filial reverence for his mother returned; his father’s spirit
seemed to smile on his conversion; and the experienced counsels of his
uncle proved much more than an equivalent to him for all the wisdom of
the Museum. All the joys and the longings of his childhood returned upon
him; the feelings of the present moment seemed to be linked immediately
to the remembrances of his boyish days, and all that had intervened
appeared like a period of delusion. His desire to behold Jerusalem came
over him again, in all its original vividness: it had been the strongest
of his early feelings, and the very names of Canaan, Zion, and
Jerusalem, had held a mysterious sway over his imagination. His mother,
as he sat upon her knees, had told him of the place, towards which he
was taught to lisp his prayer; of the thousands who went up to the
feast; of Moses, David, and Solomon; and had represented Egypt as a land
of exile, another Babel, in comparison with the land of his fathers. He
often saw her weep when she spoke of Jericho and her native city, and
related how she, when a maiden, had gone up in the choir of singers to
the festival, but must now remain in a strange land. As the severest
punishment for his childish offences, he used to be told, that it would
be a long time before he would be fit to accompany his father on a
pilgrimage to the Holy Land; and the reward of his proficiency and his
obedience was the promise of a sight of Jerusalem. When Jews from the
holy city visited Alexandria, and, as their custom was, came to see his
father, it was a festival for Helon; he regarded these strangers with
scarcely less veneration than his fathers had done Jeremiah, and tried
all the insinuating arts of which he was possessed, to induce the most
courteous among them to tell him something about the land of his
ancestors. It was the land of promise, the theme of sacred song, the
theatre of sacred history. When his father was in a cheerful mood, he
used to relate anecdotes of his pilgrimages, beginning and ending every
narrative with the words of the children of Korah:

               The Lord loveth the gates of Zion,
               Whose foundation is in the holy mountains,
               More than all the dwellings of Jacob.
               Glorious is it to speak of thee,
               O city of God!—Ps. lxxxvii.

The journey from which his father never returned, was to have been the
last which he made alone—on the next, Helon was to have accompanied him.
His grief at being obliged to remain at home, his mother’s tears, his
father’s solemn farewell, as it were prophetic of the fatal event; his
mother’s daily remarks, “Now they are in Hebron, to-day they will reach
Jerusalem; to-day the passover begins, to-day it will be over;” their
joyful expectations of his return, and the overwhelming intelligence of
his death, had all combined to leave an impression on his mind, which he
had with difficulty mastered for a time, and which now revived with
uncontroulable force. Since his return to the law of his fathers, a
pilgrimage to Jerusalem had been his dream by night and his thought by
day. Leontopolis, the character and proceedings of the Hellenists, and
even the conversation at this evening’s entertainment, all conspired to
convince him, that Egypt was no place for the fulfilment of the law. It
was now the predominant wish of his soul to become a true Israelite, a
faithful follower of the law, and a worthy member of the people of the
Lord, and he felt that only in the Holy Land could he become so.

All these reflections and retrospects of his past life filled the mind
of Helon, as he laid down his harp upon the parapet of the roof, and
paced up and down in strong emotion. At times he stopped, and fixing his
eyes on the north-east, almost persuaded himself that the clouds which
he saw there were the hills of Judah. In the mean time Sallu, who, like
his master, had been unable to sleep, had silently placed a lamp in the
alija. Helen was attracted by the light and went in. A roll lay
unfolded; he looked into it, and opened at the splendid description
which an exile at Nineveh, of the tribe of Naphthali, makes of the holy
city. (Tob. x.) “O Jerusalem, the holy city! Many nations shall come
from far to the name of the Lord God, with gifts in their hands. Blessed
are they that love thee, and rejoice in thy peace. Let my soul bless
God, the great King: for the Lord our God will deliver Jerusalem from
all her afflictions. The gates of Jerusalem shall be built of sapphires
and emeralds and precious stones; thy towers and battlements of pure
gold: and the streets of Jerusalem shall be paved with white marble, and
in all her streets shall they say, Hallelujah! Praised be God who hath
exalted her, and may his kingdom endure for ever. Amen.”

“Hallelujah,” he exclaimed, “that before me an Egyptian Jew could put
such words into the mouth of a captive at Nineveh.” He hastened to his
harp, and placing the footstool under his foot, turned towards the Holy
Land as he sung

         O Jehovah, thou art my God, early will I seek thee.
         My soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee,
         In a dry and thirsty land.
         Would that I might see thy sanctuary,
         To behold thy power and glory.—Ps. lxiii.

He knew by heart all the psalms which had any relation to Jerusalem, and
no sooner had he finished one, than his fingers and his voice, unbidden,
began another.

         When Israel went out of Egypt,
         The house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
         Judah was his sanctuary,
         Israel his dominion.—Ps. cxiv.

His own pilgrimage to Jerusalem seemed to him like the departure of
Israel from Egypt fourteen hundred years before, and he was transported
at once to those remote ages with so lively a feeling, that the psalm
seemed to him to spring fresh from his own soul, and to have been
dictated by his own emotions. The forty-third Psalm occurred to his
mind, and with the raised look, but subdued voice of humble devotion, he
sung—

       Send out thy light and thy truth and let them guide me!
       Let them bring me to thy holy hill and to thy tabernacles!
       Then will I go unto the altar of God,
       Unto God my exceeding joy.
       Yea upon the harp will I praise thee,
       O God, my God!
       Why art thou cast down, O my soul,
       And why art thou disquieted within me?
       Hope in God; for I shall yet praise him
       Who is the health of my countenance and my God.

The tones of the harp gradually died away, and Helon remained absorbed
in gratitude and devotion towards Jehovah.

At length he arose to perform his evening prayer. Since his return to
the law of his fathers, he had been rigid in the performance of this
duty, and without discriminating accurately, in the fervour of his new
zeal, between the commands of God, and the usages established by
tradition, he would gladly even have added to their length and
frequency. There was at this time a distinction commonly made among the
Aramæan Jews between the _righteous_ man, who only aimed to fulfil the
law as it was left by Moses; and the _pious_ man, who, not content with
this, endeavoured by the performance of other ordinances to attain a
still higher degree of the divine favour. At an earlier period of
Helon’s life, it would have seemed to him a superfluous trouble, to
endeavour to deserve the character of the righteous man; now, nothing
could satisfy him, but to aspire to the rank of a pious man.

The washing of the hands preceded prayer, because nothing impure was to
appear before the purest of Beings. Helon next covered his head with his
mantle, a sort of tallith. This mantle had at the four corners fringes,
which were called zizis, consisting of eight double twisted threads of
wool, whose azure colour had a reference to the heavens, with five
tassels for the five books of the law. The use of these fringes had been
commanded by God himself to the children of Israel, “That they might
look upon them and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do
them, and seek not after their own heart and their own eyes.”[20] He
next bound the phylacteries, called tephillim, on his forehead and his
left arm, in such a way, that the strings of the first hung upon his
breast, and the latter were wound seven times round the fore-arm, then
across the fore-finger and the thumb, and finally three times round the
middle finger. These phylacteries were little cases, containing strips
of parchment, on which the following sentences of the law were written.
Deut. v. 11, 13-21. Exod. xiii. 11-16. Deut. vi. 4-9. and Exod. xiii.
1-10. of which the Lord had commanded “They shall be for a token upon
thine hand and for frontlets between thine eyes.”[21] In the phylactery
for the forehead there were four strips, in that for the left arm only
one.

Footnote 20:

  Num. xv. 38.

Footnote 21:

  Deut. vi. 8.

He now placed himself with his face towards Jerusalem and prayed the
_Kri-schma_, a prayer which consisted of these three passages from the
books of Moses; Deut. vi. 4-9. in which it is commanded to love and
honour God alone; Deut. xi. 13-21. where the promises are given for the
fulfilling of the law; and Numb. xv. 37-41. where it is required that
the commandments be diligently kept. He concluded all with a prayer to
God, as being, in every act of religious worship, the beginning and the
end, the centre to which every thing tends.

Having performed his devotions, he descended with a cheerful heart from
the roof, and laid himself beside Elisama in the portico. At the first
cock-crowing he arose; for strengthened and animated by hope he had
little need of sleep.

He went first to the alija, and having repeated the ceremonies of the
preceding evening, and again concluded with an act of praise to God, he
roused the slaves and bade them lead the laden camels to the gate. His
mother came, with eyes red with weeping, from the apartment of the
women. The sun was rising at that moment, and Elisama approaching her,
tried to console her with the words of the eighty-fourth Psalm,

     The Lord God is a sun and shield,
     The Lord will give grace and glory;
     No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
     O Lord of Hosts
     Blessed is the man that trusteth in thee!

“Yes,” she exclaimed,

               Turn thee unto me and have mercy upon me,
               For I am desolate and afflicted.

The travellers were invited to take some food, but Elisama declared that
only the servant in Israel took food early in the morning, and to others
it was a disgrace. The mother, however, was not to be dissuaded, and
compelled them to take dates, figs, and honey. “Greet thy father’s
grave,” said she to Helon. “Let thy first visit be to the valley of
Jehoshaphat.” Sallu led out the camels. He was full of joy, and every
moment touched his ear-ring as a badge of honour. The mother embraced
her son, and weeping said to him,

               The Lord bless thee and keep thee!
               The Lord make his face to shine upon thee
               And be gracious unto thee!
               The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee
               And give thee peace!

“Go then,” she exclaimed, “God be with thee on the way, and his angel
lead thee!”

Helon tore himself from her, and, accompanied by his uncle, descended
the inner court. He had scarcely reached the outer, before the
delightful expectation of visiting Jerusalem had already gained the
ascendency in his thoughts over the sorrow of departure. And when from
the end of the street he had cast back a look on the parental house, and
blessed once more his mother and the alija, he proceeded with alacrity
on his way, repeating to himself,

          Blessed is the man who puts his confidence in thee,
          And thinks of the way to Jerusalem.

No farewell to home is ever less painful than the first.



                              CHAPTER III.
                              THE CARAVAN.


The slaves halted before the gate with the camels and the horses. The
camels bore the travelling equipage, provisions, clothes, and presents
for the hosts. Sallu when weary was to find a seat upon the one which
was most lightly loaded. Elisama and Helon mounted two stately Egyptian
horses, which they designed to sell again at Gaza. Egypt abounds with
beautiful horses, and supplies the neighbouring country with them.

They had arranged their journey so well, that, by joining a Tyrian
caravan from Pelusium to Gaza, they would be able to arrive in Judea
time enough to accompany the pilgrims from Hebron on their way to
Jerusalem. From Alexandria to Pelusium their road lay through Egypt, and
they might venture to make it alone.

Alexandria lies upon a tongue of land, between the Mediterranean sea on
the north, and the lake Mareotis on the south. Their journey at first
lay between these two, affording them views first of one and then of the
other. The shore of the lake was covered with palm trees and papyrus,
canals united it with the Nile, and splendid buildings rose on every
side of it. Helon, in spite of his longing for the Holy Land, was
compelled to confess, that Alexander had chosen a spot to bear his name,
not only preeminently convenient for trade, but delightfully situated.

The places through which they passed, being well known to both our
travellers, offered nothing to divert the course of their thoughts. They
halted one day, because it was the sabbath, on which the law did not
permit them to travel more than a thousand paces. The whole journey
lasted nine days, in the course of which they ferried over several
branches of the Nile, crossing both the great and the little Delta. They
passed through Naucratis, celebrated for several centuries past, as the
first emporium of Grecian commerce with Egypt; Sais, with its temple of
Neitha; Busiris, with the ruins of the largest temple of Isis in Egypt;
and Tanis, anciently the royal residence. This land of wonders, however,
had little other effect upon Helon, than to make him often repeat—

          Blessed is the man who puts his confidence in thee,
          And thinks of the way to Jerusalem!

His uncle sometimes smiled at him, and observed that it was well that
they had left the elder behind at Alexandria. For the rest but little
conversation passed. Elisama was wearied by the journey, and Helon and
Sallu were silent, or repeated passages from the Psalms.

At length they came in sight of Pelusium, where they were to meet the
Phœnician caravan; and Helon rejoiced that he should leave the
country of the grave and gloomy Egyptians, to penetrate into the desert
that conducted him to the land of his forefathers.

As they made a circuit round the city, they saw outside one of the gates
a promiscuous assemblage of men, goods, camels, and horses. The neighing
of the Egyptian and Arabian steeds pierced through the hoarser cry of
the camels. Egyptians, Phœnicians, Syrians, Romans, and swarthy
Ethiopians, were hurrying in every direction, between the piled up heaps
of merchandise; Greek, Aramaic, and Latin, were blended in one confused
murmur. The main part of the caravan consisted of Phœnicians from
Tyre, who, according to the custom which then prevailed, had carried
wine in earthen jars to Egypt, where little wine was produced. They had
gone through Alexandria to Memphis, and as they passed, Elisama had
agreed with them to be conducted from Pelusium to Gaza. They had just
arrived from Memphis, and this was the rendezvous for all who wished to
accompany them in their journey through the desert. They had purchased,
to carry back with them, horses, cotton and embroidered cloths, and the
fine and costly linen of Egypt. The leader of the caravan, busied with a
variety of cares, briefly saluted Elisama and Helon, and informed them
that he should depart on the following morning at daybreak, and that the
camels should be arranged four and four. Half the inhabitants of
Pelusium had come out, to traffic or to gaze, and the tumult and bustle
were indescribable.

While Elisama and Helon endeavoured to find themselves a suitable
lodging-place for the night, in the marshy land around this city, which
borders on the vast sandy desert of Arabia, and Sallu was following them
with the slaves, a well-known voice exclaimed, “Welcome Elisama and
Helon! Are ye also for Tyre?” It was Myron, the young and handsome Greek
from Alexandria, Helon’s early friend, who had introduced him to the
knowledge of Platonism, and studied Plato with him in the Museum. Since
his return to the law, Helon had purposely avoided him, and would
willingly not have encountered him here, just as he was entering on his
journey to Jerusalem. Myron was going to Damascus, and meant to
accompany the caravan to Tyre; and although they told him that their
intention was only to go as far as Gaza, this did not prevent his
offering to join company with them to that place; and he made his
proposal with so much of Greek urbanity, that they knew not how to
refuse. The pleasure of their society, he said, would save him from
dying of tedium; which, if he kept company any longer with the
Phœnicians, who could talk of nothing but their merchandise,
threatened to be more fatal than thirst to him in crossing the desert.
“Your oriental gravity,” said he, “will be enlivened by my Grecian
levity, and together we shall form the most agreeable party in the whole
caravan.” He took the hand of Elisama with a smile, and the bargain was
concluded.

Long before sunrise on the following morning, the tumult of the caravan
began again. Helon’s camel was bound behind the three camels of Elisama:
Sallu led them, the slaves urged them on, and the three travellers
mounted their horses. The trumpet sounded a second time, as the signal
of departure. The camels were arranged four together, and our party
endeavoured to place themselves as near as possible to the head of the
line of march, to avoid the clouds of sand which were raised in the
middle and near the end. Between every fifty parties, came a horse with
a guide, and a man bearing a kettle of pitch, raised on a pole, which
was to be kindled during the night. The principal guide, who had the
superintendence of the whole caravan, rode usually in front, on a horse
richly caparisoned, and accompanied by a camel which carried his
treasure. He was the absolute master of the whole train; at his nod the
blasts of the trumpet were given, and every one set forward or halted. A
litter was borne behind him, in which he occasionally reposed.

It was an hour after sunset before all was arranged and the third blast
of the trumpet was given. The guide mounted his Arabian horse, and the
march began. Thousands of persons from Pelusium and the neighbourhood,
stood by the road-side, and saluted them as they departed. The slaves
began to sing, and the bells on the necks and feet of the camels chimed
between. Every thing in the caravan was performed in measured time, the
step of the camels, the jingling of the bells, and the song of the
slaves. Both men and beasts were full of alacrity, and thus, even in the
desert, one portion of the dreary way after another is performed without
tediousness.

Helon’s heart beat high with the thought that he had entered on the road
to Jerusalem; and he could not refrain from exclaiming, when the signal
for the march was given, “Happy are the people that know the sound of
the trumpet.” To Myron his exclamation was unintelligible, and he
continued to exercise his Attic raillery upon every thing around him;
but Helon was too much absorbed in his own thoughts to notice him.

The first day’s journey, as is usual with caravans, was very short; and
they halted, after a march of an hour and a half, at Gerrha, where there
was a fountain, by which they encamped. All the press and tumult was
renewed. The beasts and the merchandise were placed in the middle, and
tents were erected all around, as a shelter from the burning heat of
noon. Myron’s slave went to fetch wood and water: Sallu unpacked the
travelling equipage from the camel, and the three travellers helped him
to set up the tent. He then spread a carpet, on which Elisama seated
himself; coverlets and mattresses were brought out for sleeping; and a
round piece of leather, having rings at the circumference which can be
drawn together like a purse by a string which runs through them. This
was to be laid on the ground before the meal, that the dishes might be
placed upon it. The slave had brought the wood—a fire was made in the
sand, and the camp kettle placed upon it.

While Sallu and the slave were preparing the meal, Helon and Myron
joined Elisama in the tent. Myron’s slave brought a hare which he had
purchased of an inhabitant of Pelusium, and was about to dress it.
Elisama observed it, and joined with Sallu, who thrust the slave away,
exclaiming, “that the animal was unclean, and must not be dressed for
food for his masters.”

“Nay, what is this?” said Myron; “the game is excellent, and I meant it
to do honour to my introduction into your society.”

“We may not eat of it,” replied Elisama; “it is unclean. It is forbidden
in the law to eat any animal, which ruminates without dividing the
hoof.”[22]

Footnote 22:

  Deut. xiv. 7.

“Ye are then worse off even than the Egyptians,” said Myron, “who are
only forbidden to eat their sacred animals. We Greeks are wiser than
either: we eat what we like.”

“And _do_ what ye like;” interposed Helon. “But we have the law.”

“And what need,” said Myron, “of any other law than that which is
written in the hearts of all men?”

“Yet that this law, written in the heart, is not of itself sufficient,
and does not supersede the necessity of a revealed law, you might have
learnt from your own Socrates. Remember what he says of his dæmon.”

“If the Jew attempts to turn the weapons of the heathen against himself,
let us see if the heathen cannot do the same with those of the Jew. Ye
call Abraham the progenitor of your people.”

“Undoubtedly,” said Elisama.

“Did he not live many hundred years before the law was given by Moses?
If so, which you cannot deny, this progenitor, whom ye prize so highly,
and exalt above all men that ever lived, had not even heard of the law,
and was no better than one of us.”

Helon was for a while silent and perplexed. At length he replied, “The
example of our father Abraham urges us to obedience to the law: for
circumcision, which is a leading part of it, was commanded to him, and
he performed it on all his house on the same day on which Jehovah made a
covenant with him and changed his name.”[23]

Footnote 23:

  Gen. xvii. 23.

“I will give thee a better answer,” interposed Elisama. “It is true,
that Abraham had not the law of Moses, and could not, in our sense of
the word, exhibit the righteousness of the law. He received the commands
of the Lord immediately from himself, and therefore needed not that they
should be engraved on tables of stone. And for the same reason he was
permitted to sacrifice elsewhere than in Jerusalem, though his greatest
and most costly sacrifice, that of his son, was appointed to be
performed on Moriah, the hill where our temple stands. The Lord, who
himself gave him the law, was every where with him, in Egypt as in
Mamre. But now, since Israel has been stained with sin, the glory of
Jehovah will dwell only on his own holy hill; and it is our duty to
repair to Jerusalem and bring thither our offerings.”

A new view of the subject opened itself to Helon’s mind, and Myron
listened with great attention; Elisama continued:

“Obedience to the law presupposes three things. First, that a law is
given. Secondly, that external circumstances are so disposed that the
observance of the law is practicable; and, thirdly, that there be
willingness to obey. The two first existed in Abraham, as perfectly as
in his descendents. The third could only be formed in the people of
Israel, by the events of several centuries, confirming the promises to
the obedient and the threats denounced against the disobedient. Israel
is at length grown wise by experience, and the time draws near, when the
Messiah shall come to deliver his people from oppression, and bless all
nations of the earth by means of the law. But Abraham needed no such
discipline—he practised voluntary obedience.”

“By Apollo,” said Myron, “thou speakest wisely!”

“Such a man,” pursued Elisama, “do we venerate in our great progenitor.
Is there any people that can produce one like him? In him every thing
was united essential to that happiness which is attainable only by the
law. For this reason also he received the promise from Jehovah, that in
his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed. Abraham was to
become a people, and that people must attain the righteousness of
Abraham. But with a people such a change must be progressive: Israel
first of all received the law on Sinai, then the promised land and a
temple; and only through a long course of discipline learnt to obey the
law willingly. These three periods, together with the end which is yet
to come, and the beginning in Abraham, form the series of Jewish
history. You Greeks like to have things presented to you in such
arranged and comprehensive views.”

“With good reason,” exclaimed Myron, who had all that curiosity for
knowledge of every kind, which was the characteristic of his nation.
“And now, my venerable Elisama, I would fain hear from thee the whole
history of thy people, arranged according to the plan which thou hast
traced. Ere we reach Gaza, we shall pass many an hour together, at the
places of encampment, which might be so employed, agreeably to us all.
You will delight in an opportunity of relating what redounds so much to
the honour of your people; Helon will listen as gladly as you will
relate; and I shall rejoice in an opportunity of hearing a connected
narrative of your history.”

“As thou wilt, Myron,” said Elisama, “in the hope that you Greeks may
also learn to value duly the chosen people of Jehovah. It is only of the
history of such a people as Israel, that such an orderly developement
can be made: it is necessary for this purpose that God himself should
have taught us what plan of his he designs a nation to fulfil. Of Israel
he declared this, even when he had no political existence; and we need
only open our eyes upon his history, in order to perceive the
progressive accomplishment of the promise. The Messiah, when he comes,
will perhaps teach us to what purpose Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians have
existed. I know not what it may be, but this I know, that theirs must be
a subordinate part, and an inferior destination to that of Israel. This
I tell you frankly, and you will see the proofs of it still more
strongly in the history itself. Are you satisfied with it?”

“Only begin your discourse,” said Myron, “and I promise you to listen,
as the Hellenic nation listened to Herodotus, when he recited his
history at the Olympic games. A Greek of Athenian blood, a pupil as I
boast myself to be of the Alexandrian philosophy, knows no greater
pleasure than to acquire knowledge, wherever he may find it. Pythagoras
travelled into the east, and Plato visited Egypt and Italy. Conversation
is the life of life; and a discourse which is regularly renewed should
have some fixed object, by which it may be resumed at each successive
opportunity. Do us then this favour, and relate the history of your
nation.”

Helon had been sitting absorbed in thought on what he had heard from his
uncle. “What a noble subject,” he now exclaimed, “for our conversation
on our pilgrimage to the Passover! What an excellent preparation for the
momentous times which are approaching! Truly, ‘days should speak and
length of years give understanding.’ How profound is the discernment of
those ‘whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditate upon it
day and night!’ Begin then, dearest uncle, and speak of the glories of
our forefathers.”

“Youths,” said Elisama, “I will not refuse your request, though ye
praise me too much. I call to mind the psalm of Asaph, which I will
rehearse to thee, Myron:

 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching!
 Incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
 I will open my mouth in parables;
 I will declare the histories of old,
 Which we have known and heard,
 Which our fathers have told us
 That we might not hide them from their children,
 Showing to the generation to come the praise of Jehovah,
 His strength, and the wonders he hath done.

 He established a testimony in Jacob,
 And appointed a law in Israel,
 Which he commanded our fathers
 That they should make known to their children;
 That the generation to come might know them, the sons which should be
    born;

 That when grown up they might declare them to their children,
 That they might set their hope in God,
 And not forget the works of God,
 And keep his commandments.—Ps. lxxviii.

“Israel is rich in such psalms as this. The history of our nation lives
in their poetry, it is interwoven with their prayers, it is the
groundwork of doctrine and the theme of narrative; all our festivals
rest upon it as their basis, and nothing great or important can take
place in Israel, which has not an historical reference. The cause of
this lies in the promise of Jehovah and in its fulfilment. We seek our
wisdom in the revelation which God has given us—ye seek it in your own
reflections: hence our wisdom is historical, yours speculative. What we
know of God and of his law, was communicated to us through the
discourses of God to our fathers, or derived from the observation of his
dealings with them. It is therefore a bold undertaking in which I
engage, to relate the history of our nation, and I must stipulate
beforehand that you will not expect from me any thing like a perfect
view of it, in the halts of a caravan. You must also permit me, Myron,
to go on, after the oriental manner, in an unbroken narrative, which
besides better suits a history, than that dialogue form, interrupted by
question and objection, in which you Greeks so much delight. There will
be time for these when my narrative is ended.”

“Make what stipulations thou wilt,” said Myron, “only begin.”

“For to-day,” said Elisama, resuming, “I must confine myself to the
patriarchs, not only because our discourse has been accidentally led to
them, but because the knowledge of their history is absolutely necessary
to understand what follows.

“Our father Abraham is at once, the last star in the night of primeval
history, and the morning star which announces the approaching day. The
history of the creation and the fall you have doubtless heard already in
the Bruchium; for I am told that both your philosophers and our
Hellenists employ themselves very diligently upon it; and I must lament,
that, leaving the true path of knowledge, they should prize the
interpretations of the heathens above the genuine word of Jehovah. But
enough of these men.

“Notwithstanding the fall of our first parents, they had still a just
knowledge of God and of his will, connected with his promise, that the
seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent. But when Cain
was compelled to flee from his father’s house, unwilling to relate to
his children the story of his own fratricide, he represented himself as
the origin of the human race, on which account his descendants, who had
been brought up in his sins, called themselves the _Sons of Men_; in
contradistinction to which, the children of the other sons of Adam, who
were acquainted with the history of the creation, called themselves
_Sons of God_. By the sins of these sons of men, and their mixture with
the sons of God, iniquity became so prevalent upon the earth, that
Jehovah sent a deluge, in which only Noah and his family were saved. In
him and the descendents of his son Shem alone, was the true knowledge of
God preserved, when the former iniquities again obtained the ascendency
among other nations and they fell into idolatry. When the true religion
began to give way before the false, even in Ur of the Chaldees, where
Abram the son of Terah lived, Jehovah bade him leave his native country
and his father’s house, to go to a land which the Lord should show him.
That land was Canaan. This Abram is our father Abraham, who, when he
arrived at Bethel, erected a tabernacle there, and built an altar, and
proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord appeared often unto him and
proved his faith: ten of these trials are recorded in scripture. The
severest of them was that in which he was commanded to offer up his son
Isaac, in whom the promise was to be fulfilled. But his steadfastness in
all these trials made him worthy that on him all these promises should
rest. God promised him, in the person of his descendents, the land of
Canaan, which on this account we still call the Land of Promise. The
Lord made him to come forth from his tent, and said, ‘Look towards
heaven, and see if thou canst count the stars thereof—such shall thy
seed be.’[24] On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abraham, and
said, ‘To thy seed will I give this land from the river of Egypt unto
the great river Euphrates.’ But these promises, to make his posterity a
mighty nation and to give them a fair country for their inheritance, had
their motive in a yet higher promise. After he had endured, with such
noble firmness and resignation, the most grievous of all his trials, God
said unto him, ‘In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be
blessed.’[25] This prophecy is the radiant point of Jewish history,
never obscured through all the vicissitudes of our condition, nay,
wonderful to relate, shining most brightly in the very circumstances
which seemed most unauspicious for its fulfilment. The promise was
renewed to his son Isaac, and his grandson Jacob; its import involves
the history of the whole human race. Abraham stood alone in his
knowledge and his worship of the one true God; except indeed that he
found at Salem, the present Jerusalem, a single priest of the Most High,
the king Melchisedec. It was necessary therefore that the people of the
promise should separate themselves from all other nations, even from the
rest of Abraham’s descendents. In Isaac they separated themselves from
Ishmael and his children; in Jacob from Esau and his children, the
Edomites: for thus only could they continue to be the people of the
promise.

Footnote 24:

  Gen. xv. 5.

Footnote 25:

  Gen. xxii. 18.

“How great and dignified does the patriarch appear, in whom were united
all those qualities, to which his descendents could only be formed by
the lapse of a thousand years—the knowledge of the will of Jehovah from
his own immediate communication; in his own house, and its precincts, a
temple; unlimited faith and unreserved obedience!

“While I mention these three distinguishing characteristics of the
patriarch, I cannot help dwelling more particularly on the second, of
which I am reminded by the contrast of our life in Egypt; and because
our present situation, living in tents and caravans in the desert, has
some analogy with his. His whole dwelling, and the region in which for
the time he had his abode, were consecrated as a temple by the
manifestations of Jehovah. The manifold complexity of relations and
collision of interests, which are so burdensome in the life of men in
cities, were unknown to him, in the simple grandeur of his pastoral
state. His days flowed on in intercourse with God, amidst the groves,
the hills and the plains of the finest countries of the east. Now he
dwells upon the lofty sides of Lebanon, near the cedars that pierce the
heavens; on the approach of the rainy season, he drives his herds to the
warmer plains of Jordan. He is in the fields with the earliest glow of
morning, and his simple tent is designed only for shelter at night, and
during the rain. Three hundred and eighteen servants, born in his
house,[26] feed his countless flocks of sheep and goats, his herds of
cattle, asses and camels. In the fairest part of the pasture the dark
brown tents are pitched, and in the midst of them the tent of the
patriarch. Seldom does he come into a city; for they are the abodes of
corruption. If a stranger makes his appearance, he is hospitably
received, the fatling of the flock is killed, and while the patriarch’s
own hands prepare it for food, Sarah bakes cakes upon the hearth; the
guest is feasted, and not till he has eaten and been satisfied is he
asked who he is. Benevolence guides all his actions. If he falls in with
another body of roving shepherds, he says to Lot, ‘Why should there be
strife betwixt me and thee; if thou wilt go to the left hand, I will go
to the right; or if thou wilt go to the right hand, I will go to the
left.’ Independent of all without, he rules as a king in his own house:
but his highest dignity is that he is also a priest there. He walks
before God with a perfect heart: to him he repairs in danger and in joy,
to him he offers thanks, to his command he is ready to sacrifice his
dearest hopes: to him he erects altars, raises memorials of his
providential guidance, and proclaims his name. And Jehovah dwells with
his servant Abraham, he appears to him, and blesses him in all things;
he discloses the future to him, and says, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham
that which I am about to do, seeing that he shall become a great and
mighty nation; and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him.
For I know him that he will command his children and his household after
him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, and do what is just and
righteous, that the Lord may accomplish unto Abraham that which he hath
spoken of him.’[27]

Footnote 26:

  Gen. xiv. 14.

Footnote 27:

  Gen. xviii. 17.

“Thus he lived a complete century in Canaan; he came thither not as an
old man, but in the prime of life, in his seventy-fifth year, and in his
hundred and seventieth year he died, in a good old age, and was gathered
to his people.

“His son Isaac and his grandson Jacob led the same patriarchal life.
Both took to themselves wives from the native country of Abraham, that
they might form no connection with the Canaanites. Jehovah appeared to
both of them, and their lives throughout, in an equal degree, were
simple and happy, like that of Abraham.

“Such was the origin of our nation, and half the world joins with us to
extol our great progenitor. The Magi of Persia; the Arabs, the sons of
Ishmael, and the Edomites, the children of Esau, even Egypt itself
celebrates the wisdom of Abraham, and the whole east praises his name.

“But the sun is already high in the heavens, the slaves are waiting for
us with the food, and an old man needs rest before he undertakes a
further journey.”

The slaves brought the victuals prepared in the Jewish fashion, the
round piece of leather was spread upon the ground; they sat around it,
ate, and were satisfied. Myron often wished to renew the conversation,
but Elisama did not speak during the meal, and Helon was lost in
reflections on the glory of his nation, and in anticipation of the
delight of soon standing where Abraham and Isaac had talked with God.

After the meal they all laid themselves down during the heat of noon.
The evening came—but hardly had the night begun, when, at the fourth
hour, (about ten of our reckoning) the trumpets sounded for the first
time. The tent was struck, the camels loaded, the travellers mounted
their horses, each party resumed their former station in the line, and
about midnight, after the third blast, they broke up from Gerrha. On
account of the heat, caravans travel chiefly at night, and halt during
the hottest time of the day. The march was now more orderly and
peaceable. The flames flashed from the burning pitch-kettles which were
borne aloft, and threw their light over the desert. It was an attractive
sight, to behold them like scattered suns, along a line of march
extending for several thousand paces, and to see men and beasts
travelling onward through the night by their ruddy gleam. Their journey
lay this night and every night, as far as Gaza, along the sea, whose
distant thunder was occasionally heard, mingling with the songs of the
slaves and the bells of the camels.



                              CHAPTER IV.
                          THE HALT AT CASIUM.


In the morning our travellers found themselves in the neighbourhood of
Casium. The march had not been long, but the situations of the wells
determine the halts of the caravans. Near the town a large sand-hill
extended into the sea, on the point of which was built the temple of
Jupiter Casius. The active Greek set off, though the distance was
considerable, not for the purpose of worshipping there, but of examining
it as a work of art. Helon felt no desire to accompany him, for on a
journey to Jerusalem and in his present state of mind, it seemed to him
nothing less than a sin to visit a heathen temple, even for the
gratification of his curiosity. Elisama praised his determination, and
reminded him of the reproof delivered by the mouth of Jeremiah, “Thou
hast always broken thy yoke and burst thy bands; and hast said, I will
not be restrained, but on every high hill and every green tree thou hast
gone after idolatry.”[28] In the mean time Elisama began, and Helon
devoutly joined in this psalm:

Footnote 28:

  Jer. ii. 20.

        Bless the Lord O my soul,
        And all that is within me bless his holy name!
        Bless the Lord O my soul,
        And forget not all his benefits;
        Who forgiveth all thine iniquities,
        Who healeth all thy diseases,
        Who redeemeth thy life from destruction,
        Who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercy.
        He satisfieth thy mouth with good things
        So that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
        Jehovah executeth righteousness
        And judgment for all that are oppressed.
        He made known his ways unto Moses,
        His acts unto the children of Israel.
        The Lord is merciful and gracious,
        Slow to anger and plenteous in mercy.—Ps. ciii.

They next sang the hundred and sixth Psalm, which describes the journey,
the wilderness, and the disobedience of Israel. “It is well,” said
Elisama, when they had done, “that our Greek is not here, or his nascent
reverence for our people might be stopped in its growth. I must confess
his society was at first very burthensome to me, but he is more open to
the reception of the truth than I had given him credit for being, and I
have hopes that he may become a stranger of the gate.”

Myron returned full of admiration of the precious works of art which he
had found in the temple of the Casian Jupiter, in which however, as a
connoisseur, he found of course something to blame. At the meal the
discourse of Helon and Myron (for Elisama was too oriental in his habits
to talk at such a time) turned upon the ancient Goshen, in whose limits
they now supposed themselves to be. They agreed that at the distance of
fourteen hundred years it was very difficult to identify it, but that
probably it was the district of Lower Egypt which is bounded by the sea,
by the eastern branch of the Nile at Pelusium and by the river of Egypt,
and that it perhaps ascended as far as Heliopolis to the south.

When they awoke towards evening, refreshed by their sleep, the
conversation respecting Goshen was resumed. Elisama, seated upon his
carpet, thus took up the discourse:

“It seems then that we are at least on the skirts of that fruitful
district of pasturage, in which the children of Abraham sojourned, and
where they grew from a family to a people. Thou hast already heard,
Myron, that our father Jacob came down to Egypt, with seventy persons,
to his son Joseph, who had preserved the land of Pharaoh, by his wise
precautions, from the miseries of famine; that two hundred and fifteen
years after Jacob went down into Egypt, and four hundred and thirty
years after Abraham left his native country at God’s command, 603,550
fighting men of the Israelites quitted Egypt, without reckoning the
22,000 Levites, or the women and children. During these four hundred and
thirty years Israel grew into a nation.

“In order that the promise of Jehovah, ‘that all nations should be
blessed in Abraham,’ might be accomplished, it may easily be conceived
that it was necessary that Abraham should become a people. But there was
no country where it could have been accomplished in so short a time as
in this. Canaan was already fully peopled, but in Goshen there was ample
room for them to increase and spread. The Canaanites would not have
looked quietly on for so many years, and have witnessed their increase,
whereas the Egyptians would feel themselves bound by gratitude to
Joseph, at least during the first century after his death, to abstain
from any injury towards his nation. Nowhere else could Israel have been
kept so free from mixture with other nations, as in the neighbourhood of
the Egyptians, whose religion inspired them with a horror of pastoral
tribes. The land was at the same time fruitful, and facilitated the
existence of numerous families. Finally, Egypt already possessed a civil
polity more perfect than existed at that time in any other country; and
though no human means were necessary to form a lawgiver for Israel, yet
by constantly observing a people living under a constitution which
regulated the rights and duties even of the lowest order of the people,
the Israelites were prepared to value and receive a similar constitution
themselves.

“When therefore Israel had become a numerous people, and began to feel
the want of a system of laws, Divine Providence so arranged
circumstances, as to awaken in them a longing for freedom and for the
promised land. The Pharaohs inhumanly oppressed them, and made their
lives bitter to them, by labour in brick and tile, and in all manner of
service in the field. At length it was even given in command to the
midwives to kill all the male infants. This was indeed, in one point of
view, only a just punishment for the guilt of Israel, in worshipping the
sacred animals of the Egyptians, and leaving the service of the true
God: but as calamity, by the wise ordinance of Jehovah, serves at once
for punishment and deliverance, the cruelty of the Egyptians proved the
means of Israel’s deliverance and exaltation.

“God raised up Moses and laid his spirit upon him. After the command of
Pharaoh for the murder of the male infants, he was exposed by his
parents among the reeds of the Nile, and rescued in a wonderful manner
by the king’s own daughter. At the royal court, where he was brought up,
he became acquainted with all the wisdom of the Egyptians. When forty
years of age, hurried away by sympathy for his suffering countrymen,
whom even at Pharaoh’s court he had not forgotten, he slew an Egyptian
who was committing an outrage upon an Israelite, and was compelled to
flee. He took refuge in the wilderness, and by a pastoral life of forty
years formed his mind in solitude and amidst the sublimities of nature,
where only a faint remembrance of the world remained to him, and
thoughts of God filled his soul. Here God appeared to him in mount
Horeb, in a bush that burned with fire and yet was not consumed. ‘And
Moses said, I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush
is not burned. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God
called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses,
and he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy
shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy
ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of
Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face.
And the Lord said, I have seen the affliction of my people which are in
Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters. I know
their sorrows, and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the
Egyptians, and to bring them out of that land unto a good land and a
large, a land flowing with milk and honey. Come now, therefore, I will
send thee to Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people, the
children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt.’[29]

Footnote 29:

  Exod. iii. 2.

“This was the calling of Moses. His apprehension of his own unworthiness
was removed, and the Lord made known his name unto him; I WILL BE THAT I
WILL BE. He began the great work, and at the first step had to contend
with the unsteadiness of Israel, which, during the remaining forty years
of his life, occasioned him no less trouble than the assaults of their
enemies. Pharaoh refused to let the people go, and nine plagues in
succession, which Jehovah denounced by Moses, and then brought upon the
land, were able only for a time to overcome Israel’s fickleness and
Pharaoh’s obstinacy. At last the tenth was inflicted, and on the
fourteenth of the month Nisan, Israel, with their wives and their
children, and all their possessions, came out from the house of bondage
in Egypt, and passed through the Red Sea, in which the Egyptians,
following them, were drowned. This is, of all the events in the history
of our nation, the most important, from its connection with the giving
of the law which immediately followed. We keep the feast of the Passover
in remembrance of this event. Our great leader was also a poet, and sang
the following song, the oldest and the noblest ode of victory that the
world can show:

 I sing unto the Lord for he is great—
 Chariot and horse he hath thrown into the sea.
 The Lord is my strength, my song, my salvation:

 He is my God, and I will sing praise unto him,
 My father’s God, and I will exalt him.
 Jehovah is mighty in war,
 Jehovah is his name.
 Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea,
 His chosen captains are drowned in the Red Sea.
 The depths have covered them,
 They sank to the bottom as a stone.
 Thy right-hand, O Jehovah, is become glorious in power,
 Thy right-hand, O Jehovah, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.
 In the greatness of thy might thou overthrowest them that rise up
    against thee,
 Thou sendest forth thy wrath which consumeth them as stubble.
 With the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together,
 The floods stood upright as a heap,
 The waves were congealed in the depths of the sea.

   The enemy said,—

 I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil,
 My desire shall be gratified upon them, I will draw my sword, my hand
    shall destroy them.
 Thou didst blow with thy breath, the sea covered them,
 They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
 Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods?
 Who is like unto thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing
    wonders?
 Thou stretchedst out thy right-hand—the earth swallowed them.
 Thou hast led forth in thy mercy thy redeemed people,
 Thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy place;

 The people hear and are afraid
 Anxiety taketh hold on the inhabitants of the land of the Philistines;
 The princes of Edom quake,
 Terror taketh hold on the mighty men of Moab,
 All the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away.
 Let fear and dread fall upon them, by thy mighty arm,
 Let them become stiff as stone,
 Till thy people pass over, O Lord,
 Till the people which thou hast purchased pass over.
 Bring them in, plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance,
 To the place of thy dwelling which thou thyself hast prepared,
 To the sanctuary which thy hands have built.
 Jehovah reigns for ever and ever.—Exod. xv.

“This first victory, which ennobled Israel as a people, was destined to
be the forerunner of a series of victories, till its greatest, that over
all nations, shall be won. This first song of triumph has given the
model to a number of similar compositions, all of which refer to it.

“Israel was now made free. But this was scarcely accomplished when it
was made also a holy nation, and on the fiftieth day after the departure
from Egypt, God gave to our fathers that treasure which hallows them
above every other people, the law upon mount Sinai. Yonder in the
desert, in the midst of a sandy and naked region, rises a mountain, with
two summits, of which the lower is called Horeb, the higher Sinai.
Northward from them are two valleys, terminating in a plain, in which
the people was encamped. In this impressive solitude, cut off from all
other nations of the earth, surrounded with steep and pointed rocks,
beneath a burning sky, amidst the thunders and the lightnings of
Jehovah’s presence, they received the law.

“Jehovah declared to Moses that Israel should be to him a kingdom of
priests and a holy people.[30] For this purpose they were commanded to
wash their garments and keep themselves holy to the third day, and it
was forbidden that man or beast should ascend the mountain, or even
touch it with his foot. The third day came. Early in the morning ‘there
were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the
voice of the trumpet exceeding loud, so that all the people that were in
the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to
meet God; and they stood at the lower part of the mount. And mount Sinai
was altogether in a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire,
and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole
mount trembled greatly. And the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and
grew louder and louder, and Moses spake, and the Lord answered him with
a voice.’

Footnote 30:

  Exod. xix. 6.

“Awful preparations! symbols of the presence of Jehovah! who drew near
to give the law. While he thus displayed himself in all the terrific
majesty of heaven on the loftiest pinnacles of the land; and the people,
overwhelmed with terror, felt their own feebleness before him, he gave
to Moses the tables with the ten commandments, and afterwards the rest
of the law; and all was concluded with a promise to the obedient, and
the threat, ‘Cursed be he that fulfilleth not all the words of this law
to do it. And all the people shall say Amen.’

“The whole constitution and legislation of Israel rests on the relation
of the people to God as their king. From the covenant between them arose
a twofold authority. Aaron was the first high priest and Moses the first
chief. The high priest conducted the worship of the people before
Jehovah; the chief directed their civil and military affairs. Their
employment in the land which they were to occupy was to be agriculture.

“But the Jews, who had been corrupted by living in Egypt, were not fit
subjects for such a constitution. It was necessary that a new generation
should arise, and for this purpose Moses led them forty years backward
and forward in the wilderness, and only two, of whom he himself was not
one, came into the promised land. Forty-four stations in the desert are
reckoned up, in which they successively encamped, as we do now; and it
was only by the severest discipline that they could be retained in
obedience. Often was Jehovah compelled to visit them with heavy
calamities, and sweep them away by thousands. Yet he never ceased also
to perform miracles of mercy and almighty power upon them.

“Amidst all these sins of the people, in their forty years wandering in
the wilderness, Moses was the representative of the divine authority,
and the medium of divine communication. Against him the fury of the
rebellious people was vented, and by him Jehovah both blessed and
punished them. Moses stood among them, like a rock in the desert, a
wonder, or rather a miracle of firmness combined with meekness,
steadfast resolution, with wise indulgence, absolute submission to God,
with boldness and determination in the guidance of the people. In the
long and unhappy period of forty years of wandering, he displayed the
aptitude for command which his kingly education had given him, joined
with that love to his suffering countrymen, with which he could only
have been inspired by being a native Jew.

“He died on mount Nebo, in the sight of that land for which he had done
and suffered all to which human strength was equal. His eye was
permitted to behold it, but not his foot to tread its soil. Firm as he
was in acting and in suffering, he had once allowed himself to be
overcome, and therefore he was not permitted to attain the end of his
journey, or go to his rest in Canaan. Perhaps it was also the will of
God, that the hands which had been stretched out over the Red Sea, which
had received the tables of the law from Jehovah, and had built his
tabernacle, should not be stained by the blood of the Canaanites. Even
in the battle with Amalek, these hands were only lifted up in the
attitude of prayer.[31]

Footnote 31:

  Exod. xvii. 11.

“Listen to the last glowing words of this extraordinary man!

          Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak,
          And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth!
          My doctrine shall drop as the rain,
          My speech shall distil as the dew.
          As rain upon the tender herb,
          And as the showers upon the grass.
          For I will proclaim aloud the name of Jehovah,
          Ascribe ye greatness unto our God!
          He is a rock, his work is infinite,
          All his ways are just.
          God is truth, without deceit,
          Just and right is he—
          Remember the days of old,
          Consider the years of many generations,
          Ask thy father and he will show thee,
          Thine elders, and they will tell thee,
          When the Most High divided the lands to the nations,
          When he separated the children of men,
          He set bounds to the people,
          That the numbers of Israel might have room to dwell.
          For the Lord’s portion is his people,
          Jacob is the extent of his inheritance.
          He found him in a desert land,
          And in the waste howling wilderness.
          He led him about, he instructed him,
          He kept him as the apple of his eye.
          As an eagle covers her nest around,
          And hovers over her young,
          Spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them up,
          And beareth them aloft upon her pinions,
          So the Lord, he alone, did lead them,
          And there was no strange god with him—
          See now that it is I,
          And there is no god with me.
          I kill and I make alive,
          I wound and I heal;
          There is none that can deliver out of my hand.
          For I lift my head to heaven,
          And say, I live for ever.
          If I whet my glittering sword,
          And my hand lay hold on judgment,
          I will render vengeance to mine enemies,
          And reward them that hate me.
          I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
          And my sword shall satiate itself on carcasses,
          On the blood of the slain and the captive,
          On the bared head of mine enemies?—Deut. xxxii.

“Again in the animated commencement of his benediction, imitated in so
many later poems of our nation:

           Jehovah came from Sinai,
           He rose up unto them from Seir;
           He shined forth from Paran,
           He came from the hills of Cadesh.
           From his right hand darted the rolling fire;
           Yea, he loved the people!
           All his glory is around thee;
           And sitting at thy feet they received thy words.
           Moses commanded us the law,
           The inheritance of the congregation of Israel.
           He was king in Israel,
           In the assembly of the heads of the people,
           Together with the tribes of Israel.—Deut. xxxiii.

“In this manner, Myron, and by means of such a man, did Israel obtain
its treasure and inheritance, the law. And this is the first period of
the history of our people.”

“Our best thanks belong to thee, venerable old man,” said Myron, “for
the relation of it, and I can readily believe, that the history of thy
nation has more in it than is commonly supposed. It was, I must confess,
in a very different way that Lycurgus, Solon, Numa Pompilius, and even
Pythagoras himself, gave their laws. There is something grand, exalted
and divine, in the manner in which Moses speaks and acts. But permit me
to remind you, that though you mentioned his being brought up at the
court of Pharaoh, and instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, you
have given us no hint that he may have learned much from the pillars of
Isis, and that an imitation of the Egyptian polity is every where
conspicuous in your law, especially in the double power of the king and
the priest, the institution of a sacerdotal caste, the encouragement
given to agriculture, your festivals, and many other particulars.”

“I gave no hint of it,” said Elisama, “because in this sense it does not
exist. To say nothing of its being as yet an undetermined point, whether
the Jews learned these things from the Egyptians, or the Egyptians from
the Jews; I will suppose that the wisdom of the Egyptians is of that
high antiquity which you ascribe to it, and maintain that Jehovah wisely
chose institutions for his people not too remote from those to which
they were accustomed; that some things, which were for higher reasons
essential in the Jewish economy, have an accidental coincidence with
circumstances of the Egyptian customs. But disregarding outward and
accidental things, let the spirit of the two systems be compared, and
you will find that one is the spirit of God, and the other the spirit of
the world. In our religion there is no worship of animals or of images,
no polytheism, no secret doctrines of the priests. These are essential
points, which show that the legislation of Moses must have had a higher
origin, and was not learned by him from any other nation. Would it,
besides, be surprising if, in giving a divine revelation to his people,
Jehovah should have chosen a form for its communication, in which, as
being familiar to them, they would more readily adopt it? Though this
form was of human invention, it was purified and hallowed by God’s
adoption of it.”

“I will confute his heathen unbelief in another way,” said Helon, “and
turn his own weapons upon him, more successfully, I hope, than he lately
endeavoured to do upon me.”

“Speak then,” said Myron, “do you question, and I will reply: here in
the desert let us renew our ancient practice among the Academic
philosophers. A dialogue will be a relief too, for your uncle presumes
upon more patience in his hearers than belongs to Greeks of Athenian
blood.”

“This,” said Helon, “is not the only thing which is tiresome to you.”

“I acknowledge it—a transient gleam of the Divinity from time to time is
well; but my thoughts must return to the things of earth.”

“How well hast thou characterised thyself and the religion of thy
heathen brethren,” said Helon. “You have, indeed, a gleam of divine
truth, a remnant of ancient, primeval tradition, eclipsed and shrouded
in the darkness of human error.”

“To look on the sun, and only on the sun, dazzles the eyes. Elisama is
always pointing thither, and my eyes already ache with straining.”

“The rising sun does not dazzle or strain the eye,” replied Helon, “and
Elisama will tell you, that as yet we only see the dawn, and that
thousands of years will pass before noon arrives. But I was going to
confute you out of your own Plato. Does he not say that truth and virtue
cannot be taught?”

“He does.”

“How then, O wise Myron, can they be attained?”

“Only in the state of divine inspiration, as we have often read in the
dialogues of the god-like sage,” replied Myron.

“What name then must be given to the knowledge of that which is true,
and which is?” continued Helon.

“We must call it a reminiscence of that divine condition, in which,
according to Plato, the soul formerly was, but from which it has
fallen.”

“And do not you yourself say, that all this is merely an intimation of
the truth, and that that which is, cannot be comprehended by means of
such symbols? It is for this reason that I call such knowledge,
Revelation; and I hold this doctrine of Plato to be a relic of those
primeval times, when the true and revealed knowledge of God was not yet
entirely obliterated. But we can prove by historical evidence that God
spoke by Moses, and that our law therefore is what it claims to be, a
Revelation.”

“But what are these historical proofs, on which all depends?”
interrupted Myron.

“Has not Elisama given them in the course of his narrative, and are they
not plainly to be discerned in our sacred writings? But I will give you
another proof. If Moses had read his doctrines on the hieroglyphic
pillars of Egypt, how happened it that they were not read by the priests
of Isis, who must have had still readier access to them?”

Myron appeared to be about to answer, though somewhat perplexed by the
question, when they were interrupted by the well-known blast of the
trumpet. They had not observed that they were prolonging their discourse
far into the night. Sallu and the slave came up, and pulled the poles of
the tent out of the sand. “It is time,” said Elisama, “that we should
desist, and indeed such disputes, Helon, have little results! Let him
fear God, and he will believe in the law.”

“In that case,” said Helon, “we should as men enjoy that friendly
communion in the knowledge of the truth, of which as youths we dreamt in
the Bruchium.” He reached his hand to Myron, who took it smiling, and
hastened to his horse.



                               CHAPTER V.
                         THE HALT AT OSTRACINE.


The march began, as usual, about midnight, and terminated at Ostracine.
They had not proceeded far from Casium, when they reached the lake
Sirbonis, whose surface was so covered with the drifted sand, that they
had difficulty in distinguishing it, in the darkness, from the
surrounding wilderness. A few sabbath-days’ journies farther on, they
came to a green, fertile, and blooming vale, called Larish, in the midst
of the desert, like a flower growing in the sand. A small brook
discharges itself by this valley into the lake Sirbonis. In summer, it
is commonly dry: now its clear waters were flowing, and the stars were
reflected in them. Elisama checked his horse, as they were about to
cross it, and called to Helon, “Farewell to Egypt; this is the boundary!
I cross the _river of Egypt_.”

There seemed to be something melancholy in his tone, as if the farewell
were painful, notwithstanding his approach to the Holy Land. The ominous
anticipations of Helon’s mother occurred to him, and though at
Alexandria he had despised them as female weakness, he could not shake
them off. Helon called aloud, with an animated voice, so that all before
and behind might hear him, “Farewell Egypt; I see thee not again—or only
as a new man!” He rode forward, giving himself up to the imaginations of
his own mind, to which there was something of a fascinating interest in
this nightly procession, amidst songs near and distant, the measured
tinkling of the bells, beneath the glimmering light of the stars, and
ruddy gleams of pitch-kettles, which deepened the surrounding shadows.
He felt now more than ever that he had left Egypt behind, and was
surprised at the almost poetical enthusiasm which began to be awakened
within him.

Two hours after sunrise, they arrived at Ostracine. No one was weary.
The tent was pitched, and they laid themselves under it. Myron was
rather dissatisfied, as having had the worst of the argument; Helon was
full of the animating reflections which the journey in the night had
excited in him; and Elisama still under the influence of the melancholy
which had seized him at the river of Egypt. All emotions are durable in
the mind of an oriental, and he does not quickly part either with his
sorrow or his joy. Yet all were full of alacrity, and Myron, as usual,
the first to speak, began thus:

“Though I have little chance of making my cause good to any one’s
satisfaction but my own, while I continue with you, yet I shall rejoice,
Elisama, to hear the continuation of your narrative. I presume we would
all rather speak and hear, than sleep.”

“Listen then,” said Elisama, “and perhaps the narrative may enable me to
throw off the melancholy that weighs upon me. I related to you, at
Casium, that Jehovah had given the law to our nation, in preference to
every other, as their inheritance, and their treasure. But though given,
much was yet necessary in order that the law should be obeyed. It was
not in every land, nor under all circumstances, practicable to walk
blameless in all the commandments of the Lord. The whole legislation on
mount Sinai had a reference to the future condition of Israel in Canaan,
where those circumstances, under which alone the law could be fulfilled,
either already existed, or were to be produced.

“First of all it was necessary, that the land of Canaan, which was still
occupied by many native tribes, should be conquered. Moses, the man
‘with whom Jehovah talked as a man talketh with his friend,’[32] was
dead. But he had left his people the law, and an ardent longing for rest
in the land of which he had presented so attractive a picture; and,
besides all this, he had left them a valiant successor to himself,
Joshua, the son of Nun, who, with Caleb, had alone been found worthy,
among so many thousands, to enter into the promised land. Joshua was
indeed not a second Moses; for a prophet like him has not since arisen
in Israel, who had known God face to face. But, even in his youthful
years, we knew Joshua as a faithful servant of Moses, who never quitted
the tabernacle till his master returned to the camp. At the same time we
saw him victorious over Amalek, in the valley of Rephidim, while Moses,
standing on the top of Horeb, held up the staff of God. Next he appears
as one of those who explored the land of Canaan, and brought back a true
report of it, with a specimen of its fruits; and last of all, the Lord
himself calls him a man in whom his spirit is, and commands Moses ‘to
lay his hands upon him, and present him to the priest Eleasar, and the
whole congregation, and put his glory upon him, that all the children of
Israel might obey him.’[33] Eleasar was to consult the Lord for him;
and, at his word, both he and all the children of Israel were to go out
and come in. This Moses had done, and when he died the Lord confirmed
the appointment, and said to Joshua, ‘Be strong, and of good courage,
and thou shalt divide unto this people the land which I have sworn to
their father to give them.’

Footnote 32:

  Exod. xxxiii. 11.

Footnote 33:

  Num. xxvii. 23.

“By him, accordingly, the conquest of the land of promise was
accomplished. The terror of the Lord went before him; the swelling
Jordan divided itself to let him and the people pass; Jericho and Ai
fell before him, in a manner equally wonderful and terrific, and the
march of the victorious army proceeded without a check to Sichem, which
Jacob had given to Joseph. The craft of the Gibeonites and their
neighbours saved their lives, but furnished Israel with the _Nethinim_,
the hewers of wood and drawers of water.[34] Thus he smote one and
thirty kings, and divided the land among the tribes, established cities
of refuge, and built Timnath-Serah, on the hills of Ephraim.[35] The
tribes of Gad and Reuben, and the half tribe of Manasseh, received their
inheritance on the eastern side of Jordan; but, on condition that 40,000
men from among them should assist in the conquest of the country on the
other side, and on their return should erect, near the Jordan, a
monument of their having partaken in the war with their brethren. A
short time before his death, he held a general assembly of the people,
in which he made Israel renew the covenant with Jehovah.[36] When he
died, he bequeathed to fourteen judges, who ruled Israel in succession,
the difficult duty of upholding what he had established. The people, not
yet sufficiently confirmed in the law, since more was necessary for this
purpose than the mere possession of the land, allowed themselves to be
seduced into the idolatry of the Canaanites. From without, the
Mesopotamians, Moabites, Canaanites of the north, Midianites,
Amalekites, Amonites, and Philistines, harassed and subdued the yet
unconsolidated nation. In this way nearly 500 years elapsed, in which
fourteen heroes and sages, whom we call Judges, arose, and each, in
their time, employed their energies in opposing the universal
corruption, or delivering the people from oppression. So much did it
cost to secure the possession of the portion which Jehovah had given to
his people! Samuel closes this list of heroes, a man on whom, in a
peculiar manner, the spirit of the Lord rested, and who, under the
influence of this spirit, established schools of the prophets, to
perpetuate the knowledge of the law.

Footnote 34:

  Josh. ix.

Footnote 35:

  Josh. xix. 49.

Footnote 36:

  Josh. xxiii. xxiv.

“Thus was the land acquired: but there was still wanting a civil
constitution, and a vigorous executive government. Jehovah alone would
be their king; but the people felt the necessity that this dignity
should be embodied to them in the person of one from among themselves.
Samuel disapproved this imitation of the customs of the heathens, but he
was compelled to yield, and anointed first Saul, and then David, king.
In the whole history of our nation, there is no character that takes a
more powerful hold of human sympathies than David, from his youth and
his friendship, his heroic spirit, his conquests and institutions, his
weaknesses and his sufferings. Scripture calls him ‘a man after God’s
own heart.’ Under him the promise of God to Abraham was fulfilled in the
amplest sense, and from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates,
the whole country was subject to Israel. But he did still more. He
became the central point to all the tribes who had hitherto lived in
nominal federation and virtual independence. He united all the five
millions of his subjects by a common bond, and made Jerusalem the
capital. For the first time, under him, it was possible to observe the
civil laws of Moses. Joshua had conquered a country for the law, but
David established a state for it.

“Still one thing was wanting, the temple, in which the glory of the Lord
should dwell. The tabernacle, its prototype, had been brought to Shiloh,
and from thence to Gibeon. The ark had been captured by the Philistines,
had been brought back by them to Bethshemesh, thence to Kiriath Jearim,
to Gilgal, to Nob, to the house of Obed-Edom at Gibeon, and finally to
Zion. In all these places sacrifices had been performed. This was
contrary to the will of Jehovah. David, who knew this, had already made
preparations for the building of a temple, but it was not the pleasure
of Jehovah that he should erect it. It was reserved for Solomon his son,
to be the third, who, after Joshua and David, should furnish the last
and most important of those means, which still were wanting to make the
external observance of the law practicable. And how did he perform this
duty! In what strains do our sacred books speak of his wisdom, of his
riches and of the unparalleled splendour of his temple! Kings and queens
came from the east to behold this wonder of the world.

“The reign of Solomon was the era in which all was fulfilled, which
Israel could still desire; in which every thing united to give external
dignity to the worship of Jehovah. The country was tranquil within, and
at peace with its neighbours, governed by its king with wisdom, and
united by the temple which served as a central point to the whole
nation. This is the most splendid era of our history, and when an
Israelite pictures to himself days of happiness and prosperity, it is
under the image of the reign of Solomon.

“Only read, Myron, the translation of our Books of Kings, and you will
be surprised to find, that on reaching the reign of Solomon, you are
transported from the calm tone of historic narrative, to the animated
style of poetry, as if its own traits and colours were not strong or
bright enough to do justice to the reminiscences of those joyous,
youthful days. In the history of a nation, as in the life of an
individual, there is always some one period, in which every thing is
combined that contributes to happiness; it comes once, and comes not
again!

“But I am wandering from my proper subject, which is to describe to you
the wisdom and the riches of Solomon. The Books of Kings relate, that at
his entrance on his kingly office, after he had sacrificed a thousand
burnt-offerings on the hills of Gibeon, Jehovah appeared to him in a
dream[37] and asked him what he should give him. Solomon, in his
humility, calls himself a little child, who knew not how to go out or to
come in, and asks only an understanding heart, to discern good from
evil. And the answer of Solomon pleased the Lord, and God said unto him,
‘Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long
life, nor riches, nor the life of thine enemies, but hast asked
understanding to discern judgment, behold I have given thee a wise and
understanding heart, so that there was none like thee before thee,
neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have given thee
also that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honour, so that
there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise
like unto thee.’ Accordingly we are told of his wisdom, ‘that he
excelled all the children of the east country and all the wisdom of
Egypt. For he was wiser than all men, than Ethan the Ezrahite, and
Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all
nations round about. And he spoke 3000 proverbs, and his songs were
1005; and he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon, to
the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and
of fowl, and of insects, and of fishes. And there came of all people to
hear the wisdom of Solomon from all kings of the earth which had heard
of his wisdom.’[38] Of his riches it is said, ‘Judah and Israel were
many as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking
and making merry. And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river
unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt; and they
brought presents, and served him all the days of his life. And Solomon’s
provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore
measures of meal, ten fat oxen and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and
a hundred sheep, besides harts, roebucks, and fallow deer, and fatted
fowl. And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and
under his figtree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.
And Solomon had 40,000 chariot horses, and 12,000 horsemen.’[39] And the
weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year, was six hundred
threescore and six talents of gold, besides that which he had of the
merchant-men, and of the traffic of the spice-merchants and the kings of
Arabia and the governors of the country.—He made a great throne of
ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold, there was not the like made
in any kingdom. All the drinking vessels were of gold, and all the
vessels in the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold, none
were of silver, it was accounted nothing of in the days of king Solomon.
‘He made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars as the sycamore
trees that are in the vale, for abundance.’[40]

Footnote 37:

  1 Kings iii. 5.

Footnote 38:

  1 Kings iv. 30.

Footnote 39:

  1 Kings iv. 20.

Footnote 40:

  2 Chron. ix. 27.

“When the queen of Sheba had visited him, she said, ‘It was a true
report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Yet,
I believed not the words until I came and mine eyes had seen it—behold
the half was not told me; thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame
which I heard. Happy are thy servants which stand continually before
thee and hear thy wisdom.’[41]

Footnote 41:

  1 Kings x.

“The temple was a monument both of his wisdom and his wealth.
Phœnicia excelled at that time all other nations of the earth in
skill in the arts, and Solomon made a bargain with Hiram, king of Tyre,
both for workmen and for cedar-wood from Lebanon. Solomon had 70,000 men
who carried burthens, and 80,000 carpenters, on the mountain, without
reckoning the superintendents of the works. Seven years was this
multitude employed upon the erection of the temple; the foundation was
laid in the fourth year of his reign, and it was completed in the
eleventh. When it was finished, he assembled the elders of Israel, and
the heads of tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel,
in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the
Lord out of the city of David. And the priests brought in the ark of the
covenant of the Lord into its place, into the oracle of the house, to
the most holy place, under the wings of the cherubim. And when Solomon
had offered his incomparable dedication-prayer, and blessed the people,
and had sacrificed 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep, he and all Israel held
a feast, a great assemblage, from the entering in of Hamath to the river
of Egypt, before the Lord for fourteen days. And he sent the people
away, and they blessed the king, and went away unto their tents joyful
and glad of heart for all the goodness that the Lord had done for David
his servant, and for Israel his people.[42]

Footnote 42:

  1 Kings viii.

“Thus was the second period of the history of our nation completed. In
the first they received the law; in the second they obtained a country,
a king, and a temple. Now every man in Judah and in Israel might dwell
securely under his own vine and his own figtree, from Dan to Beersheba,
and serve Jehovah. We have next to see whether they did so. But I will
break off here, that I may preserve unmingled the remembrance of those
glorious days.”

“Blessed be the Lord,” exclaimed Helon, “the King of the world, who
vouchsafed such a time to his people!”

“It is not to be denied,” said Myron, “that it must have been a joyful
time in Jerusalem, and the whole land of Judea under Solomon. And yet
your nation seems to me better fitted for a wandering life through the
wilderness, such as was yesterday described to us.”

“Why so?” asked Helon.

“Because you knew not how to improve your good fortune.”

Helon was astonished.

“I pity a people, so destitute of all taste and skill in the fine arts
as yours. They want to build a temple and a house of the forest of
Lebanon—gold and silver they have in abundance, but they are obliged to
send for artists from Tyre; they come, execute their works, and leave
these behind them, without having communicated to your nation the
smallest portion of their dexterity.”

“There have not been wanting amongst us in all ages,” said Helon,
“excellent artificers.”

“Single instances decide nothing,” said Myron, “but a nation which, in
its most flourishing period, is obliged to engage artists from foreign
kings, and can do nothing by its own ingenuity and dexterity, is surely
a poor and helpless race. How different from the great Hellenic people!
Poetry in abundance I have indeed heard from you, but this is the only
branch of art in which you have done any thing. No painting, no
statuary, no drama!”

“Thou speakest,” said Elisama, interposing angrily, “like a blind
heathen, and what I have so often intimated seems to have been lost upon
thee. Israel was not designed, nor ever aimed, to excel in such worldly
arts. It was to be a kingdom of priests and a holy people, to receive
and to preserve the law of Jehovah; and on this account he calls it his
people, his Jeshurun, his beloved Israel. The time which other nations
might devote to the culture of the elegant arts, Israel was to spend in
the observance of the law. You have omitted all mention too of our
music. This and our poetry are alone worthy to accompany the people
before the presence of Jehovah; his temple must be splendid, but it was
of no consequence that it was made so by foreign hands. Besides, the
present temple, which yields little if at all to the former, was built
by native artists; and supposing that in Solomon’s time architecture was
unknown among us, could this skill be reasonably expected in a nation,
which had struggled for five hundred years for the possession of the
soil, which even then had not been completely united for more than half
a century, and had passed a considerable portion even of that short time
in internal commotion!

“You are unjust, Myron, in another respect,” added Helon, “the state of
the arts among a people should be judged of from that department, in
which it has put forth its powers. Compare our poets with yours; we have
no need to fear the comparison.”

“Mention to me then your Homer and Sophocles,” said Myron.

“In those species of poetry our fathers have written nothing. But name
to me a Greek, who has surpassed the odes of David, the elegies of
Jeremiah, or the epigrams and scolia of Solomon.”

“I will read your poets,” said Myron, “when I return to Alexandria, but
it is impossible that a barbarian should rival the great masters of
Greece.”

“Compare, with a mind free from prejudice, as becomes a true critic of
art, and you will be astonished at the lyric flights of our psalms,
which leave Pindar behind; at the plaintive tenderness of Jeremiah, more
deep and touching than that of Simonides. Remember, too, that this
poetry of ours was never designed by its authors as a work of art, or a
display of poetic power, but was the effusion of a mind swelling with
the praise of Jehovah, lamenting its own, or its country’s sorrows, or
intent upon enforcing the precepts of the law. With us the artist is
more prominent and interesting than his work; you think you have
succeeded, when the artist is forgotten in the merit of his production.”

Sallu brought in the meal, and they ate and drank in peace, Elisama and
Helon ruminating on the glory of Solomon, Myron not less pleased with
his reflections on the preeminence of his own nation. They slept from
the heat of the noonday till the sun went down, and when evening came on
were still in a state between sleeping and waking, enjoying the coolness
of the breeze. The stars had begun to appear over the desert, when they
were roused by a blast of the trumpet, in its harshest tone. They
started up. “That,” said Elisama, “is not the signal of the march; it is
an alarm.” Sallu rushed in and informed them that a horde of Arabs was
in sight, and threatened an attack. The tumult was excessive. The men
mounted their horses and hastened to the side on which the danger
appeared. The guides vociferated and endeavoured to restore order. The
bows were strung; the slaves struck the tents, and were preparing to
drive the camels further into the rear. After all these preparations had
been made the enemy retired, feeling himself probably too weak to
encounter such a resistance.

While all were resuming their places, Myron seemed somewhat disappointed
at the loss of the adventure which he had promised himself, to season
the insipid sameness of the caravan’s march, Elisama turned himself in
the direction of Jerusalem, and in an attitude of prayer repeated,

       When I call my enemies turn back;
       This I know, for God is with me.
       In God have I put my trust, I will not fear;
       What can man do unto me?
       Thy vows are upon me, O God!
       I will pay my thank-offerings unto thee:
       For thou deliveredst my soul from death,
       My foot from falling,
       That I may walk before God in the land of the living?
                                                  Ps. lvi. 10-14.

The guide was not willing to remain till midnight in this place, and
gave the signal for departure. The alarm into which they had just been
thrown, the terrors of their fellow-travellers, and the tumult of
departure, were unable to turn the minds of Helon and Elisama from the
glories of the age of Solomon, and they rehearsed together the following
psalm, which, composed primarily in his honour, was supposed to carry
also a secret reference to one much greater than Solomon.

 The mountains shall declare peace to the people
 And the hills announce righteousness.
 They shall fear thee, as long as the sun and moon endure,
 Throughout all generations.
 He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass,
 As showers that water the earth.
 In his days shall the righteous flourish,
 And abundance of peace, so long as the moon endureth.
 He shall have dominion from sea to sea,
 From the river to the ends of the earth,
 They that dwell in the desert shall bow before him,
 And his enemies shall lick the dust.
 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents,
 The kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
 All kings shall fall down before him,
 All nations shall serve him—
 A handful of corn, scattered in the earth on the top of the mountains
 Shall wave its fruit like the trees of Lebanon.
 And the peopled cities shall flourish like grass of the earth.
 His name shall endure for ever;
 His name shall be continued as long as the sun.
 Men shall be blessed in him;
 All nations shall call him blessed!—Psl. lxxii.



                              CHAPTER VI.
                        THE HALT AT RHINOCORURA.


They arrived in safety, and at an early hour, at Rhinocorura, and
encamped where a copious stream from the mountains had produced verdure
and fertility upon its banks. Elisama, who from his advanced age was
easily exhausted by any unusual excitement, was compelled to lie down to
rest immediately on his arrival, and it was not till after the meal that
he was able to resume his narrative.

“I have,” said he, “a long and melancholy history to relate. The
vicissitudes of five hundred years were necessary, in order to impress
upon the mind of Israel the conviction, that the retributive Providence
of God watched over their observance of the law, and rewarded or
punished them according as they kept or broke it. Yesterday we left our
nation on the highest and most brilliant pinnacle of national
prosperity, possessed of the law, of the land of promise, and of a
temple in which all the outward rites of Jehovah’s worship might be
observed. One thing only was wanting to make Israel that blessed people,
by whom all other nations were to be blessed—willing obedience. But
something more was necessary to produce this obedience, than the
possession of the law and the means of keeping it. It must be regarded
as an extraordinary mark of the favour of Jehovah towards Israel, that
every thing was so combined, as to impress the doctrine of retribution
upon them, both by fact and precept. No people exhibits such a quick
succession and such a striking alternation of reward and punishment, so
that Jehovah may be said to have set it up as a monument to the nations
of his retributive justice. Its history, however, was not designed
merely for the instruction of others, but primarily to teach Israel
itself this great lesson; and for this purpose a succession of prophets
was raised up, to enforce by their instruction the moral which the
events of history were teaching.”

Myron was about to interpose, but Elisama made a sign to him and
continued,

“I guess what you are going to say.”

“Allow me, however, this once to interrupt you in your narrative, for
you seem to me to be going too far in your panegyrics. Has not every
nation and every religion its priests, its prophets, and its inspired
teachers?”

“You know,” said Elisama, “that I do not relish the Grecian mode of
interlocutory debate: let me, if you please, go quietly on, and I hope,
before I have done, to remove all your objections. Your own statement
shows the difference. Our prophets were not always priests. They were
sometimes shepherds, and were chosen by God from all the tribes without
distinction. They were chosen messengers of Jehovah; their office raised
them above both priest and people, and through them he made known his
judgments and his mercy. They remind the people of the law, they point
out in passing, or in future events, the operations of retributive
justice; they promise rewards to obedience and denounce punishments on
disobedience, and they disclose, in the distance, the future glories of
the days of the Messiah.

“Samuel had founded schools of the prophets, and we read of Nathan, the
prophet, in the history of David. But it is to the period which follows
the reign of Solomon, that they more appropriately belong. This period
begins with the separation of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Even in
the last years of his reign, his splendour may have been a source of
oppression to his people, who called upon Rehoboam his successor for
alleviation of their burthens. Young, and following the advice of
youthful counsellors, he threatened, instead of granting their request.
On this Jeroboam, who had come out of Egypt, where he had premeditated
his destructive plans against the house of David, was chosen king by ten
tribes, while Judah, Benjamin and Levi, adhered to Rehoboam, and formed
the kingdom of Judah; Jeroboam, now become the king of Israel, erected
his throne at Sichem, and fearing that by going up to the temple at
Jerusalem, the people might be tempted to reunite with the kingdom of
Judah, he set up the worship of the golden calves, at Bethel and at Dan.
He was the exact opposite of David, and the scripture designates him as
‘the man that caused Israel to sin.’[43] This fearful degeneracy could
not pass unpunished. Ahia, the prophet, predicted the extermination of
his house. His son Nadab, who walked in the way of his father, was
killed by Baasa, who succeeded him as king, and took up his abode in
Thirza, and who, walking in the way of Jeroboam, received from the
prophet Jehu, the son of Hanani, a fearful denunciation of divine
vengeance.[44] His son Elah fell, when in a state of intoxication, by
the sword of Zimri; and thus the prophetic word was a second time
fulfilled. Zimri, besieged in Thirza by Omri, whom the people in the
camp had chosen king, set fire to the palace and perished in the flames.
Omri built Samaria, and was succeeded by his son Ahab. Ahab was king of
Israel, at the same time as Jehoshaphat was king of Judah. Though they
were allied by the marriage of their children, they were directly
opposite in their characters. Ahab, wicked and devoted to idolatry,
added the worship of Baal to those which were already practised in
Israel, and thus brought upon himself the most awful threatenings of
Jehovah. Jehoshaphat, weak, but faithful to the law, sent Levites
through the country to teach and judge,[45] and obtained the mercy of
Jehovah.

Footnote 43:

  1 Kings xiv. 16.

Footnote 44:

  1 Kings xvi. 1-6.

Footnote 45:

  2. Chron. xvii. 7.

“In the days of these two kings, Elijah made his appearance; he may be
called by eminence _the prophet_. His native place was Thisbah, but he
traversed the whole country from side to side, clad in a skin, with a
leathern girdle about his loin, denouncing, in the boldest and most
glowing terms, the worship of Baal—a fearful and sublime phenomenon. Now
he appears boldly before the throne—now he wanders a fugitive in the
wilderness: at one time he denounces the wrath of Jehovah on backsliding
Israel; at another he slaughters, on Carmel, the idolatrous priests of
Baal: to-day he is the messenger of Jehovah to bring comfort to the
widow of Zarephath, to-morrow he appears before Ahab and his queen, and
predicts their dreadful fate. His name carries terror with it to the
hearts of the guilty, and inspires the righteous with courage.

“His disciple, Elisha, anointed Jehu, and predicted that the kingdom
should continue in his family to the fifth generation. These kings,
though not acceptable to God as David was, yet opposed the progress of
idolatry. Jehu put to death the worshippers of Baal, and made a pool of
his temple. In consequence this dynasty continued on the throne and
flourished till the fifth generation; and under the fourth, Jeroboam,
the son of Joash, the ancient limits were regained, and Israel extended
from Hamath to the sea of the plain, as Jonah, the son of Amittai, had
foretold to him.[46] Still, however, the calves remained in Dan and
Bethel, the relics of that idolatry which the people had learned in
Egypt. As a punishment for this, a terrible interregnum ensued, at the
close of which, Zechariah, the fifth from Jehu, came to the throne, but
was murdered by Shallum. This is the third fulfilment of the prophecy of
Jehovah respecting the royal houses of Israel.

Footnote 46:

  2 Kings xiv. 25.

“This is the time in which Jonah, Amos, Hosea, and the great Isaiah,
prophesied. Jonah was sent to Nineveh, the largest city then existing,
to preach the judgments of Jehovah. Amos, one of the shepherds of
Tekoah, prophesied to all the surrounding nations, and last of all to
Judah and Israel, the punishment of their sins, beginning with these
terrific words:

             The Lord will thunder from Zion,
             And utter his voice from Jerusalem.
             The habitations of the shepherds shall mourn,
             And the top of Carmel shall wither.

“And as he successively denounces to Damascus, to Gaza, to Tyre, and the
other neighbouring states, the punishments that awaited them, he begins
each prophecy with the alarming words,

                     Thus saith Jehovah;
                     Three sins I have passed by,
                     The fourth I cannot overlook.

“He beholds first the approach of a desolating flight of locusts, then a
terrible fire, and having interceded against both, he sees the Lord,
standing with a plummet in his hand beside the wall, and hears the
words:

 Behold I will set a plumb-line in the midst of my people Israel;
 I will not again pass by them any more.
 The high places of Isaac shall be desolate,
 And the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste,
 And I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.—Amos vii.
    7.

“Let me here subjoin, Myron, the history which follows, which will show
you clearly in what relation the prophet stood to the priests: ‘Then
Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to Jeroboam, king of Israel, saying,
Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel,
the land cannot remain tranquil for the words which he speaketh. For
thus Amos saith; Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall
surely be led away captive out of their own land. And Amaziah said unto
Amos, O thou seer, go flee away into the land of Judah, and there eat
bread and prophesy there: but prophesy no more at Bethel: for it is the
king’s sanctuary and royal palace. Then answered Amos and said to
Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son, but I was a
herdsman, and I lived on sycamore fruit. And the Lord took me, as I
followed my flock, and he said to me, Go prophesy unto my people Israel.
Now therefore hear thou the word of the Lord. Thou sayest

            Prophesy not against Israel
            And stream not forth against the house of Isaac!

“But the Lord saith,

        Thy wife shall be a harlot,
        And thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword.
        Thy land shall be divided by the line,
        And thou shalt die in a polluted land,
        And Israel shall be carried captive out of his land.[47]

Footnote 47:

  Amos viii. 10.

“Hosea, the son of Beeri, is first of all commanded to contract a
symbolical marriage, to indicate the infidelity of the congregation of
Israel against Jehovah. Then he breaks forth in the highest and boldest
strain of indignation.

     Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah,
     The trumpet in Ramah!
     Cry aloud at Bethaven
     ‘They are after thee, O Benjamin!’
     Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke,
     And upon the tribes of Israel
     I make known what shall surely be.
     The princes of Judah were like them that remove the landmark;
     Therefore will I pour out my wrath upon them like water.[48]

Footnote 48:

  Hos. v. 8.

“The prophetic words were soon accomplished, in the rapid downfal of the
kingdom of Israel. Assyria, which Jehovah calls the rod of his
indignation,[49] made Menahem, the next king after Zechariah, tributary;
and Tiglath-pilesar carried away many of the inhabitants of Israel.
Galilee, and the district beyond Jordan were lost. Hoseah, the last king
of Israel, contrary to the advice of Isaiah, made a league with So, the
king of Egypt, and was defeated by Salmanassar. Samaria was destroyed,
the inhabitants carried beyond the Tigris, to the neighbourhood of the
river Chebar, and the Lord put away Israel from before him, as he
threatened by his servants the prophets.

Footnote 49:

  Isaiah x. 5.

“Where once the tribes of Israel, the sons of Joseph, Ephraim, and
Manasseh had dwelt, strangers from the east had settled themselves, and
being infested with lions, they requested from the king that Israelitish
priests might be sent them; and so they polluted the land, the village
of Jacob, and many other sacred spots, by a mixture of the worship of
God with that of idols, which continues to defile it even to this day.

“Thus had Jehovah manifested, both by deed and precept, his retributory
judgments in the case of Israel. Would that Judah had been wise, and had
learned from the fate of her sister kingdom that lesson which they who
will not read must feel!

“Rehoboam sat upon the throne of David, but had no resemblance to him in
character. He built high places and pillars, and planted groves, and
committed the abominations of the heathens, whom the Lord had cast out
before the children of Israel, upon every hill and under every green
tree. Jehovah sent Sisak, king of Egypt, who conquered all the cities
and Jerusalem itself, and carried away both the royal treasure and that
of the temple into his own country. Jehovah had foretold this by the
prophet Shemaiah[50] and the king and the princes of Judah humbled
themselves. And when the Lord saw that they had humbled themselves, he
said, I will not destroy them, but I will grant them a little
deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out upon them by the hand
of Sisak. Nevertheless they shall be his servants, that they may know
what it is to serve me, and what to serve the kingdoms of the countries.

Footnote 50:

  2 Chron. xiii. 5.

“Abijah followed him. He trusted in Jehovah, and was successful in a
great battle against Israel, in which he defeated an enemy who was at
least twice as numerous.[51] He entered the battle with the words, ‘With
us is the Lord our God and we have not forsaken him, and the priests
which minister unto the Lord, the sons of Aaron and the Levites in their
occupations.’

Footnote 51:

  2 Chron. xiii.

“His successor Asa, by the same faith, smote again a mighty host of
invaders from Arabia and Ethiopia, as the prophet Azariah had foretold.
How greatly was the power of Jehoshaphat increased, by his zeal against
idolatry, and his obedience to God, and in how humbled a condition did
he return from a war in which the prophet Micaiah had warned him not to
engage! He unfortunately gave to his son, Jehoram, Athaliah, Ahab’s
daughter, to wife; and when the iniquity of Israel was thus communicated
to Judah, by this seed of Jezebel, punishment, oppression and distress
soon followed, till Joash, who had escaped her murderous hand, was
brought forth from the temple where he had been concealed by Jehoiada,
and placed upon the throne of David. Uzziah was prosperous against all
his enemies, as long as the prophet Zechariah lived; but a grievous
leprosy fell upon him when he daringly presumed to approach the Lord,
and offer him incense after the manner of the priests. To him succeeded
Ahaz, the worst and most infatuated of the sons of David, who being
given up to Syrian idolatry and superstition, closed the temple and
sought aid of Assyria. But how strikingly was his apostasy punished,
when he was compelled to give the treasures of the temple to these very
allies!

“Even down to this time, how triumphantly had the retributive providence
of God been manifested in the history of our people! What wonderful
accomplishment of the prophetic word, even in years, names, and
individual occurrences! But about this time Isaiah arose, towering with
an eagle’s flight, now encouraging king and people with the promise of
divine favour, now humbling them with denunciations against their sins,
and above all predicting, in clearer language than any preceding
prophet, HIM who was to be the consolation and the glory of Israel—the
Messiah! He who, when he received his prophetic commission, saw Jehovah
seated on a throne, high and lifted up, and the seraphim around him
crying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of Hosts[52]—whose lips were
touched with a live coal from the altar; and whom the Lord himself sent
to speak in his name, was well fitted either to denounce captivity and
punishment to the people, or to describe the glorious days of Emanuel,
the son of the virgin.

Footnote 52:

  Isaiah vi.

  Behold the Lord, the Lord of Hosts
  Shall lop the bough with a loud crash,
  And the high tops shall be hewn down
  And the lofty shall be made low.
  He fells the thickets of the forest with the axe,
  And Lebanon falls by a mighty hand.
  Yet there shall come forth a shoot from the stem of Jesse,
  And a scion shall grow out of his root;
  And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
  The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
  The spirit of counsel and strength,
  The spirit of the knowledge and fear of Jehovah.
  He shall be of quick discernment in the fear of Jehovah,
  And shall not judge according to appearances,
  Nor decide according to hearsay.
  But he shall judge the poor in righteousness,
  And speak for the right of the oppressed in the land.
  He shall smite the evil doer with his tongue,
  And slay the wicked with the breath of his lips.
  Righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins,
  And faithfulness the cincture of his reins.
  Then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb,
  And the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
  And the calf and the young lion, and the fatling shall be together,
  And a little child shall lead them.
  And the heifer and the she-bear shall feed together,
  Their young ones shall lie down together;
  And the lion shall eat straw like an ox;
  The suckling shall play upon the hole of the aspic,
  And the weaned child lay his hand upon the den of the basilisk:
  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain.
  For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah,
  As the waters cover the depths of the sea.—Is. x. 33.

“Contemporary with Isaiah, the sublimest of our prophets, was Micah, the
Morasthite, who uttered these words:

 The sun goeth down over the prophets
 And the day shall be dark over them.
 Then shall the seers be ashamed,
 And the diviners confounded.
 Yea, they shall all cover their faces
 Because no fulfilment cometh from Jehovah.
 But I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord,
 Full of truth, and of courage,
 To declare unto Jacob his transgression
 And unto Israel his sin.
 For this reason shall Zion be ploughed as a field,
 And Jerusalem shall become heaps,
 And the temple-hill as the high places of the forest.
 But in the last days it shall come to pass

 That the hill of the Lord’s temple shall be established on the top of
    the mountains,
 And it shall be exalted above the hills,
 And nations shall flow unto it;
 And many people shall come and say,
 Come and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah,
 And to the house of the God of Jacob,
 That he may teach us of his ways
 And we may walk in his paths.
 For the law shall go forth from Zion
 And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
 He shall judge among many people,
 And be arbiter of strong nations afar off.
 They shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
 And their spears into pruninghooks;
 Nation shall not lift up the sword against nation
 Neither shall they learn war any more.
 But they shall sit every man under his own vine and under his figtree
 And none shall make them afraid:
 For the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken it.
                                                       Micah iii. iv.

“Such prophets as these spoke in the days of Hezekiah, a weak but pious
man. When indeed could the word of prophecy be more seasonable or more
needed? The doctrine of retribution was now fully developed. Israel had
ceased to be; Judah still existed, through the piety of her kings. Had
the prophet to speak of judgment—he had only to point to the hills of
Ephraim, and to her sons on the banks of Chebar; was the faithfulness of
Jehovah—and his recompense of obedience, the theme;—the seed of David
still sat upon the throne of Judah, while so many dynasties had
successively occupied that of Israel. But there was another occasion for
a prophet: for danger threatened on all sides, and Sennacherib with his
immense host besieged Jerusalem. To-day the army of the conqueror stood
around the terrified city and its trembling king. He goes dejected to
the house of the Lord, spreads out before him the letters and demands of
the haughty invader, and prays to Jehovah. Isaiah, the prophet, declares
to him, ‘He shall not come into this city; for I will defend it to save
it, for mine own sake and for David my servant’s sake.’[53] And in the
morning Sennacherib flees before the angel of the Lord, who had smitten
his host during the night. But Jehovah, who was so benign towards those
that called upon him in humility, showed himself equally severe towards
the proud. When Hezekiah, thoughtless and vain, had shown his treasures
to the Babylonians, a nation then of little account in comparison with
the Assyrians, Isaiah appears before him, and says, ‘Behold the time
cometh, when all that is in thine house and all that thy fathers have
collected unto this day shall be carried away to Babylon, nothing shall
remain saith Jehovah.’[54]

Footnote 53:

  2 Kings xix. 33, 34.

Footnote 54:

  Isaiah xxxix.

“To Hezekiah succeeded his son Manasseh, a prince wholly unlike his
father, who, as a punishment of his offences, was carried away to
Babylon, and brought back when he repented and returned to Jehovah. His
reign is the picture of the history of the people in this period; sin
and punishment, repentance and favour!

“Some time after began the days of Josiah, who was pious and prosperous
under the guidance of Hilkiah, as Joash had been under that of Jehoiada,
and Uzziah under that of Zechariah. The lost volume of the law was
found, the temple purified, the passover kept, and the abominations of
the high places, of the valley of Tophet, and the horses of the sun,
were removed. The king stood by a pillar in the temple and made a
covenant with the Lord, and it is written, ‘There was no king before him
like unto him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all
his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses;
neither after him arose there any like him.’[55] For this he was
permitted to see the downfal of the hostile kingdom of Assyria, and he
and his people were happy.

Footnote 55:

  2 Kings xxiii. 25.

“But after the death of Josiah, Judah hastened with rapid strides to its
destruction under the government of wicked princes. The prophecy of
Isaiah to Hezekiah was fulfilled in the days of Jehoiakim. The vessels
of the temple and the sons of the chief men of the land were carried
away to Babylon. Jehoiakim, his son and successor, was deposed, after a
reign of three months, and all the men of valour or property were
removed to Babylon. Two prophets, who accompanied their exile, Ezekiel
and Jeremiah, were chosen by Jehovah, in these awful times, to make
known his word to his people.

“The last king that sat upon the throne of David was Zedekiah, another
son of Josiah. He was seduced, in the ninth year of his reign, to rebel
against Babylon and to league himself with Egypt. The Chaldeans invested
Jerusalem, and it fell, in the three hundred and seventeenth year of the
division of the kingdoms. The king was carried to Ribla, and his eyes
put out, after he had witnessed the slaughter of his sons. He was then
carried captive to Babylon, and awfully was the prophecy of Ezekiel
fulfilled: ‘I will bring him to Babel in the land of the Chaldeans, and
he shall die there; yet he shall not behold it.’[56]

Footnote 56:

  Ezek. xii. 13.

“The vessels of the house of God, small and great, the treasures of the
temple and of the palace, and of all the princes, were carried by
Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon. The youths were slaughtered in the sanctuary,
and neither age nor sex was spared; Jehovah gave every thing into his
hand. All that remained was carried away to Babylon. They burnt the
house of the Lord, and the house of the king and all the houses of
Jerusalem. And the army of the Chaldeans broke down the walls of
Jerusalem round about.

“Thus Jeshurun, the once beloved people of Jehovah, the once glorious
daughter of Zion, lay in desolation and misery. The glory of Solomon was
scarcely discernible in its ruins; the blessing of David had vanished
from his throne, and even that which Joshua and the Judges had earned
with toil and blood was lost. David, Solomon, Asa, Jehoshaphat,
Hezekiah, and Josiah, had called upon them to fear Jehovah, but the
superstitions of the neighbouring nations had more powerful attractions,
and the law was too heavy a yoke for their untamed necks. Hence this
awful punishment and unheard of retribution. Prophets were not wanting,
to point out and enforce the lesson. Hear how our Jeremiah pours forth
his heart-rending sorrows:

 How doth the city sit solitary that was full of people!
 How is she become as a widow—once great among the nations!
 The queen of the lands, how is she become a slave!
 She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks.
 Of all that loved her she hath none to comfort her,
 All her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her
    enemies.
 She dwelleth among the heathens, she findeth no rest,
 All her persecutors overtake her at the borders.
 The ways of Zion mourn because no man comes to the solemn feasts;
 All her gates are desolate, her priests sigh,
 Her virgins are afflicted and are in bitterness.
 Her adversaries are victorious, her enemies prosper;
 For the Lord hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions.
 Her children are gone into captivity before the enemy;
 From the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed.
 Her princes are become like deer, that find no pasture;
 They fall without strength before the pursuer.
 Jerusalem calls to mind in her misery the pleasures of the days of old.
 Now she falleth into the hand of the enemy, and none help her;
 Her adversaries see her and mock, because she must keep her sabbaths.
 —She seeth that the heathens enter into her sanctuary,
 Whom thou didst command that they should not enter into thy
    congregation.
 —See if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow,
 With which the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his anger.”

“Admirable!” exclaimed Myron, unable to resist the beauty of this
Lamentation.

Elisama continued: “It is the finest of all the songs of our prophets,
and its echo still lives in the hearts of the children of Israel. This
melancholy tone never ceases to predominate in their minds, no, not even
in the days of Hyrcanus. What must the prophet have felt when he wrote,

 All that pass by clap their hands at thee,
 They hiss and shake the head at the daughter of Jerusalem;
 Is this the city which men call the Perfection of Beauty, the joy of the
    whole earth?

“He had foreseen it all—he had taught them how the calamity might be
avoided, but they would not listen to his voice; they had persecuted
him, and despised the prophetic word. Now he had to endure the sight of
that which he had endeavoured to avert.

               I am the man that hath seen affliction
               Under the rod of his wrath.
               He hath led me and brought me
               Into darkness and not into light.
               He turneth his hand against me every day.

“Jeremiah did not forsake his people. He remained on the ruins of the
temple, sitting and lamenting with the inferior people, when
Nebuchadnezzar carried away the nobles and the princes. Gedaliah was
placed over those who remained. He dwelt in Mizpah, and received those
who had fled during the presence of the Chaldees. But scarcely had the
hapless people begun to recover from the miseries of war, and to gather
in the vintage and the summer fruits, when Ishmael, the son of
Nethaniah, of the royal blood, came and slew Gedaliah.[57] The people,
fearing the king of Babylon, implored Jeremiah to ask counsel at the
Lord on their behalf. After ten days the Lord answered by Jeremiah, that
they should remain in the land and not fear the king of Babylon; nor
venture, under severe penalties, to take refuge in Egypt. But they again
disobeyed, and betook themselves to Egypt—our ancestors, Helon, were
among the number; for what could individuals do against the stream which
hurried them away. By the command of Jehovah, Jeremiah accompanied them
thither, that by a symbolical action, before the door of Pharaoh’s
house, he might typify the defeat of the Egyptians and the punishment of
Israel. He dwelt in our house, and died there. On this pilgrimage we may
well call to mind the words which he spoke; ‘Yet a small number shall
return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah, and all the
remnant of Judah, that are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there,
shall know whose word shall stand, mine or theirs.’[58]

Footnote 57:

  Jer. xli.

Footnote 58:

  Jer. xliv. 28.

“In the midst of these sufferings Jehovah did not wholly forsake his
people. While, by the mouth of Jeremiah he spoke to those in Egypt,
Ezekiel, the son of Buzi, was his messenger to the captives on the banks
of Chebar. Nearly 40,000 men had been carried thither under Zedekiah;
one hundred and fifty-three years before, in the days of Pekah,
Israelites from Galilee and Gilead had been transferred to Assyria, and
Salmanassar, one hundred and thirty-five years before, had carried those
who remained into the cities of Media. In this manner they were
dispersed through the east. But the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel,
and in bold and lofty images he announced their return, and the glory of
their future days. He foretold too their union, at some future time,
after their present dispersion. The prophet was commanded to take two
rods, and write on one of them, ‘for Judah and for the sons of Israel,
his companions;’ and on the other, ‘for Joseph, the rod of Ephraim, and
for all the house of Israel, his companions,’ and then to join them
together as a symbol of their future union.[59]

Footnote 59:

  Ezek. xxxvii. 16.

“Thus Israel was not left wholly comfortless: but her sins had been
numerous and her punishment was grievous. Driven from their home, cut
off from the land of promise, without a temple, or a prince on the
throne of David, they were taught the power of Jehovah. He had punished
no other people so, for he had loved no other so well. As they sat by
the rivers of Babel and wept, when they thought of Zion, they felt that
he was their judge, as well as their lawgiver. What did it avail them,
that individuals of their nation rose to favour and distinction, Daniel,
Esther, and Tobias, when the nation itself lived in misery and
degradation? The seventy years of the captivity were tedious, mournful
years, and while a child of Abraham remains upon the earth, their
features will continue to bear the traces of that melancholy, which
these years impressed upon them. Every year we keep the mournful
anniversary of the destruction of the temple, though it has been
rebuilt, while, according to the words of Jeremiah, ‘we sit solitary and
are still.’”

Elisama ceased, and a grief, that could find no vent in words, hung
heavy about his heart and that of Helon. The last glow of the departing
light had fallen on Elisama’s countenance, as he related the destruction
of Jerusalem. Night succeeded; by the feeble glooming of the hearth
fire, he had described the ruin and misery of Israel; and now all was
darkness and silence. The blast of the trumpet, which gave the signal to
prepare for the march, at length broke in upon them and they arose.



                              CHAPTER VII.
                          THE HALT AT RAPHIA.


The caravan halted in the neighbourhood of the ruins of Raphia; their
day’s journies had been short, on account of the quantity of merchandise
which they carried. Raphia does not properly belong to Egypt, and was
reckoned as a part of Syria; a hundred years before, Antiochus the Great
lost here a great battle with the Egyptians. The space which lies
between Egypt and Syria had been for ages past the theatre of war
between the adjacent countries; a circumstance that, before the
captivity, had been the source of frequent calamity to Israel, which
could scarcely fail of being involved either in the war or its
consequences. This thought occurred to the minds both of Helon and
Elisama, as they crossed the field of battle—but they derived some
consolation from the thought, that Judea’s conqueror had in his turn
been conquered here. Jehovah had indeed visited his people with
calamity, but their enemies, the instruments in his hands, had always
been punished for their ambition. Antiochus after the battle fled into
his own kingdom, and left Palestine again free.

When they all awoke after the sleep at noon, Myron began, “Venerable
Elisama, will you not relate to us the remaining part of the history of
your nation? The journey to Gaza will be the last that we shall make
together. Let us then pass these hours in something more improving than
listening to the noise of camels and the Phœnicians’ talk of buying
and selling.” Elisama placing himself in a convenient posture for
narration, thus began:

“When Israel sat and wept by the rivers of Babel, and hung their harps
upon the willows, ‘the hand of the Lord was upon Ezekiel the
prophet,[60] and carried him out in the spirit of the Lord, and set him
down in the midst of a valley which was full of bones; and caused him to
pass among them: and there were very many on the surface of the valley,
and they were very dry. And he spoke to me and said, Son of man, can
these bones live? And I said, Thou Lord knowest. And he said to me, Son
of man prophesy concerning these bones, and say unto them, Ye dry bones,
hear the word of the Lord! Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones,
Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you and ye shall live! And I
prophesied, as I was commanded, and as I prophesied they moved
themselves, and the bones came together, bone to bone. And I beheld and
saw that the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered
them, but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy
unto the wind; prophesy, O Son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith
the Lord God, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these
slain, that they may live. So I prophesied, as I was commanded, and the
breath came unto them, and they lived and stood up upon their feet, an
exceedingly great multitude. And he said unto me, Son of man, these
bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, Our bones are
dried up and our hope is lost. Therefore prophesy and say unto them,
Thus saith the Lord; Behold I will open your graves, and cause you to
come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.’

Footnote 60:

  Ezek. xxxvii.

“Thus the prophet consoled Israel, on the banks of Chebar; but he lived
not to witness the deliverance which he announced. Not long however
after his death, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, the king of
Persia, (who had conquered Assyria and Babylonia) by the means of the
astonishment excited in him by the prophecies communicated to him by
Daniel. Cyrus caused proclamation to be made through all his dominions,
saying, 'Thus saith Cyrus, king of Persia; The Lord God of heaven hath
given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and has commanded me to build
him a house at Jerusalem in Judah. Who is there among you of all his
people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah,
and build the house of the Lord, the God of Israel. And whosoever
remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place
help him with silver and gold, and with goods and with cattle, of
freewill, for the house of God at Jerusalem.’

“Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the
priests and the Levites, with all those whose spirit God had stirred up,
to go and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. And all that were
about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver and vessels
of gold, with goods and with cattle, and with precious things, besides
all that was freely given. And king Cyrus brought forth the vessels of
the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken away from
Jerusalem, and had put them in the temple of his gods, to the number of
5400, both gold and silver.[61]

Footnote 61:

  Ezra i.

“The word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, respecting the seventy
years, was now fulfilled.[62] Forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty
men, with 7237 servants and maidens, 736 horses, 245 mules, 435 camels,
and 6720 asses went with Zerubbabel and Jeshua to the land of their
fathers out of captivity, full of thankfulness and praise. The
expression of their joy may still be heard in the 126th Psalm.

Footnote 62:

  Jer. xxv. 11. xxix. 10.

    When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion
    We were like them that dream.
    Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
    And our tongue with singing.
    Then said they among the heathen,
    “Jehovah hath done great things for them;”
    Yea, Jehovah hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.
    Bring back, O Lord, our captives,
    Like streams in a parched land.
    They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
    The sower goeth forth with weeping, bearing the seed;
    He cometh back with rejoicing, bringing the sheaves.

“Thus they returned to the Holy Land, Israel and Judah one rod,
according to the words of Ezekiel. They take possession of the country,
build villages, and even raise Jerusalem out of her ruins, but without
repairing her walls. In the next month, Tisri, the whole congregation
assembled at Jerusalem, as one man, to the feast of tabernacles. They
set up the altar upon its base, amidst the ruins of the temple, and
offered thereon burnt-offerings, morning and evening, according to
custom, as the duty of every day required; and afterwards the
burnt-offerings of the new moons, and all the feasts of the Lord that
were hallowed.[63]

Footnote 63:

  Ezra iii.

“In the second month of the second year of their return, they laid the
foundation of the temple of Jehovah, the expenses being supplied by
their voluntary contributions. All set their hands to the work, and the
Levites, from twenty years old and upwards, had the superintendence. The
foundation being laid, the priests stood in their apparel, and the
Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord with the
psalms of David, king of Israel, and they sung in responsive strains,
praising and giving thanks unto the Lord, because he is good and his
mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a
loud shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the
house was laid. But many of the aged priests, and Levites and chiefs,
that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was
laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice, and many shouted aloud
for joy; so that the people could not distinguish the shout of joy from
the noise of the weeping of the people.

“The prophets Haggai and Zechariah arose and encouraged the people to
persevere—but difficulties were thrown in their way by the Samaritans,
who, worshipping Jehovah along with their idols, had been desirous of
partaking in the building of the temple.[64] As their proposal was
rejected, they obtained an order from a king of Persia, a successor of
Cyrus, that the work should be stopped. But Jehovah aided his people:
the temple was at length completed; and Haggai prophesied: The glory of
this latter house shall be greater than the glory of the former, saith
Jehovah of hosts, and I will give peace in this place.[65] The new
temple was dedicated, and the passover kept with joy.

Footnote 64:

  Ezra iv. 2.

Footnote 65:

  Haggai ii. 9.

“Under that Xerxes, whose millions, you Greeks, Myron, boast to have
overcome, Ezra, the priest and scribe, a teacher of the word of the
Lord, came from Babylon to Jerusalem. An Israelitish maiden was Xerxes’
queen, a Jew his prime minister, and Ezra was sent as viceroy to
Jerusalem, commissioned to appoint judges, superior and inferior, to
correct abuses and enforce the observance of the law. He came with a
company of not more than 6,000 men.[66]

Footnote 66:

  Ezra vii.

“The work, however, proceeded slowly, and incessant wars interfered with
it. After thirty years Nehemiah came, as viceroy from the court of
Artaxerxes, and urged on the building and fortifying of Jerusalem, which
the Samaritans, Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem, had hindered in every
possible way. As Ezra had been the restorer of the worship of God,
Nehemiah was the restorer of the civil constitution of Israel. On his
arrival, he makes the circuit of the city in the stillness of the night;
then addressing the people, he encouraged them to labour. Half the young
men wrought at the fortifications, the other half kept watch in arms,
and the rulers stood behind. If danger threatened any where, the trumpet
was sounded and the people assembled from every part of the walls; for
even the builders wrought with a sword by their side. Neither Nehemiah
nor any other took off their clothes, except for the purpose of washing
them.[67]

Footnote 67:

  Nehem. ii. 12 iv. 13.

“Thus were the walls completed; but the space included between them was
much greater than was necessary for the actual population, and very few
houses had been built. The feast of tabernacles was approaching. The
people assembled on the open space before the Watergate, and Ezra read
the law there, from morning until evening.[68] And the people lifted up
their hands and wept when they heard the words of the law. And Nehemiah
and Ezra said, This day is holy unto the Lord, therefore weep not nor be
sad: for the joy of the Lord is your strength! Finding from the law that
the time of the feast of tabernacles was at hand, they went to the hills
and fetched olive branches and pine branches, and myrtle branches and
palm branches, to make booths; and they made them every one upon the
roof of his house and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of
God, and in the street of the Watergate, and in the street of the gate
of Ephraim. And the whole congregation of those who were come out of
captivity made booths, and dwelt therein. For since the days of Joshua,
the son of Nun, until that day, the children of Israel had not done so.
After this the people cast lots, to decide who of them should occupy
Jerusalem; and who take up their abode in the towns. A tenth part was
destined to the city, where the chiefs already dwelt.[69]

Footnote 68:

  Ibid. viii.

Footnote 69:

  Nehem. xi. 1.

“When all these arrangements were made, the walls were consecrated. The
Levites were sent for from all parts, to give solemnity to the
consecration. The priests and Levites purified themselves and the
people, the walls and the gates. The princes of Judah stood upon the
walls. Two choirs, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, went round the
walls, as far as the temple. On the same day great sacrifices were
offered, and the people rejoiced greatly, so that the joy of Jerusalem
was heard afar off.

“Nehemiah was compelled to return to court; but he revisited Jerusalem
after some years,[70] and laboured earnestly to induce the people to put
away their foreign wives, as Ezra had done at an earlier period.[71]
Their children spoke a mixed dialect, half Hebrew, half the language of
Ashdod, Ammon, or Moab. Malachi, the last of the prophets, enforced his
advice with the words of the Lord. Such support was necessary, for some
of the leading men were involved, and Manasseh, (the son of Joiada the
high priest) who had married the daughter of Sanballat, refused
compliance. Nehemiah expelled him from the city,[72] and as Sanballat
had just obtained from Darius Nothus permission to build a temple on
mount Garizim, Manasseh became high priest in it.

Footnote 70:

  Nehem. xiii. 6.

Footnote 71:

  Ezra ix. 10.

Footnote 72:

  Nehem. xiii. 28.

“Thus Israel had been restored to the possession of the land of their
fathers, had rebuilt the holy city, raised the temple from its ruins,
and ordered the worship of God, according to the law. So far was the law
from having been lost in their captivity, that in some parts it had
never been fully practised by the people till now. The visitation of
Jehovah had wrought the designed effect on the minds of the people.
Since the days of Moses, an interval now of 1000 years, they had never
manifested such zealous obedience to the law. They had learnt, by long
and bitter experience, that obedience and national prosperity were
inseparably connected together. In their captivity the better part of
the people had sought each other out, had formed little associations,
and had been strengthened by the words of the prophets, whom Jehovah
sent to them for this purpose. These formed the chief strength of the
nation which returned from the captivity. Their peculiar institutions,
especially that of circumcision and the prohibition of eating unclean
food, tended powerfully to keep them, even in the midst of strangers, a
separate people; and the glorious prophecies, whose fulfilment they
still expected, seemed to belong to them only so far as they were the
pure unmixed descendents of those to whom the promises were given. The
greater part of those who returned were besides of the tribes of Judah
and Benjamin, who had before been most faithful to Jehovah, and most
closely connected with the temple. The baser part of the people remained
behind in foreign lands, just as they do now in Egypt. From this time,
therefore, a new period begins in Israel, in which the fruits of the
discipline which the people had undergone in preceding periods are
displayed. The voice of prophecy is henceforth dumb: for they had learnt
that lesson, which prophets were sent to impress upon them.

“It is true, that those revolutions in the kingdoms of the earth, which
are preparatory to the coming of the Messiah, often interrupted the
internal peace of Israel. The Persians, from whose subjection Judea was
not entirely free, were engaged in wars, in which we were obliged to
take part. The expedition of Alexander brought him to Jerusalem, but the
conqueror of the world acknowledged the merits of Israel on the heights
of Sapha, while Tyre sunk beneath his sword. In the division of his
empire, Palestine fell to the share of Ptolemy, king of Egypt, who took
many Jews with him into Egypt, and many emigrated thither of their own
accord. Antigonus wrested our country from Ptolemy, and for more than a
century it was the theatre of war between Syria and Egypt. But these
wars were not so much punishments of Israel, as the ways by which
Jehovah had decreed to weaken the heathen, and prepare the way for the
complete emancipation of his people. This alone was still wanting to
their happiness. Israel was obedient and walked all in the ways of the
Lord.”

“Allow me, venerable Herodotus, for so I must call you,” said Myron, “to
make a remark here. I know how much you dislike interruption, but this
will not displease you. On the contrary, it will gratify you to find
your own account confirmed by the mouth of a heathen. Hecatæus (it is
true he was a native of Abdera) has written a book respecting your
nation, in which he gives them the highest praise for the firmness with
which they adhered to their law, when in the midst of foreign nations,
in military service, and on other occasions.”

Elisama was pleased, and proceeded with his narrative. “At this time too
a work was undertaken, which would never have been thought of at an
earlier period, the collection of the oral traditions respecting the
law. Antigonus Socho, president of the great council, collected them in
a volume. In earlier times the simple law had been found too heavy a
burthen; now the people eagerly adopted explanations and additions, by
which it was enlarged and made more precise. Such obedience was
occasionally rewarded by Jehovah’s disposing the hearts of neighbouring
princes very favourably towards them. Antiochus the Great was so much
pleased with the faithfulness of Israel, that he commanded victims,
wine, oil, frankincense, meal, wheat, and salt, to be furnished for the
sacrifices; gave them wood from Lebanon for the repairs of the temple;
recalled the Jews who had left their country, and freed the nation from
all tribute for three years.

“Still the yoke of foreign dominion pressed heavily, till at last
Jehovah hardened the heart of Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria, who
carried his cruelty to such a length, as to prepare the way for the
complete emancipation of Israel. This Antiochus, whom the surname of
Epimanes (_frantic_) would have better suited, bestowed on the wretched
Joshua, the brother of Onias the third, the office of high-priest, and
allowed him, in consideration of an enormous increase of tribute, to
open a Grecian gymnasium in Jerusalem, and grant to the Jews the
privileges of citizens of Antioch. A strange infatuation seized a part
of the people, to witness the contests of this gymnasium; even priests,
for this object, forsook their duties in the temple. His younger brother
Onias, (who as Joshua, in his passion for every thing Greek, had called
himself Jason, took the name of Menelaus) tempted Epiphanes by still
higher offers, abjured in Antioch the religion of his fathers, promised
an increase of three hundred talents of tribute, and by force of arms
installed himself high-priest. A report being spread, that Antiochus had
died in Egypt, Jason returned with 1000 men of the Ammonites, and
possessed himself of Jerusalem. Antiochus hastened back from Egypt, took
Jerusalem, plundered the city, cut to pieces 80,000 men, and sold as
slaves, or carried away captive, an equal number. He added impiety to
cruelty. Entering the temple with Menelaus, he reviled the God to whom
it was dedicated, directed all the gold and silver, the table of
shew-bread and the candlestick to be carried away, and then offered—I
can scarce relate the horrible atrocity, a swine upon the sacred altar,
and sprinkled the whole temple with the water in which a part of it had
been boiled. This was not all that Israel was doomed to bear from the
heathen. Some time after, being in Egypt, and being compelled to return
home by an embassy of the Romans, he vented his ill-humour upon
Jerusalem, sent thither 22,000 men, who marched in on the sabbath day,
plundered the houses, pulled down the walls of the city, turned the hill
of Zion into a fortification, and made the streets of Jerusalem flow
with the blood of its inhabitants. The daily sacrifice ceased. The
worship of the Grecian idols was commanded upon pain of death; the holy
scriptures were cut to pieces or taken away; the temple on Garizim
dedicated to Jupiter Xenius; that at Jerusalem to Jupiter Olympius. On
the altar of burnt-offering another was erected to these idols, and
groves and shrines of idolatrous worship were introduced into every
town. To practise circumcision, or to observe the sabbath, was forbidden
on pain of death. Two women were discovered to have circumcised their
children; the infants were bound on their breasts, they were led round
the whole city, and at last precipitated from the walls. Some had crept
into caverns near the city, in order to keep the sabbath—they were all
burnt alive. Every month, at the return of the day on which the king was
born, the Jews were forcibly driven to perform a sacrifice. On the
festival of Bacchus, they were made to appear in garlands of ivy in his
honour. Eleasar, an aged man and learned in the law, had his mouth
forced open, that he might swallow swine’s flesh; but in spite of force
or fraud, he preferred to die, rather than violate the law. A mother
with seven sons was taken, and scourging applied, to make them eat the
unclean food, but in vain. The executioners then took the eldest of the
sons, cut out his tongue, lopped off his hands and feet, and broiled him
in the fire, while he exhorted his mother and brethren, who were
standing by, to die undauntedly for the law. The other sons shared the
same fate, and last of all the mother, who had thus addressed her last
son, ‘My dearest child, whom I bore nine months beneath my heart, and
three years at my bosom, have pity upon me! Fear not the man of blood,
but die willingly, as thy brothers have done, that the God of mercy may
restore you with them living to my embrace!’ What miracles of
steadfastness under such torments! Israel was oppressed, as it had never
been before; but it stood the trial nobly, and deserved to obtain its
perfect freedom, which was at length accomplished in the following
manner.

“There lived in Modin a priest of the name of Mattathias, who had five
sons, and whose complaint it was that he had been born to behold the
oppression of his people and the desolation of the holy city, without
being able to give them aid. He rent his clothes, and he and his sons
put on sackcloth. When the captains of Antiochus came to Modin, and
seduced many of the people to apostasy from the law, and endeavoured by
promises of all kinds to persuade Mattathias, who was one of the most
considerable of the inhabitants, to offer sacrifice and burn incense, he
not only openly refused, but when a Jew, at the close of his speech,
went up to the altar and sacrificed to the idol, his zeal for the Lord
of Hosts was so kindled, that he ran up to him, slew both him who had
offered and the captain of Antiochus, and overturned the altar. This
done, he cried aloud through the whole city, ‘Whoso is zealous for the
law and will keep the covenant, let him go forth with me!’ This action
decided the emancipation of Israel.

“Many followed him into the desert, and a multitude of pious Jews soon
collected about him. They traversed the whole country, throwing down the
altars of the idols, circumcising the children on whom that rite had not
yet been performed, and attacking the ungodly. Mattathias succeeded in
maintaining the law against all the power of the heathens. He was
already far advanced in age, and having blessed his children, encouraged
them to vigorous resistance, reminded them of the deeds of their
fathers, and recommended his third son, Judas, for their leader; and the
second, the wise Simon, for their counsellor; he died and was buried
with his fathers at Modin.

“Judas, surnamed Maccabeus, or _the Hammer_, continued the good work
which his father had begun. After gaining several glorious victories
over the Syrians, he entered in triumph into Jerusalem. And when they
saw how the sanctuary was laid desolate, the altar defiled, the posts of
the gates burned, the space around grown over with grass and trees, and
the cells of the priests fallen to ruin; they rent their clothes and
made great lamentations, they strewed ashes upon their heads, fell down
on their faces, and blew the trumpet, and cried towards heaven. The
priests who were with them purified the temple. The desecrated altar was
pulled down and a new one built. The sacred vessels were renewed, a
golden lamp-stand, an altar of incense, and a table of shew-bread made.
They placed the incense on the altar, lighted the lamps, laid the
shew-bread on the table, hung up the curtains, and restored the temple
to its former state. On the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, they
arose early and offered again according to the law, on the altar of
burnt-offering, with song and pipe, harp and cymbal. This was the first
offering since the time when the heathen defiled the sanctuary. This
festival of the new altar was continued for nine days, and there was
great joy among the people, that their disgrace was taken away. It was
resolved that it should be annually observed, as a remembrance for ever.
They then built strong walls and towers around the sanctuary on the hill
of Zion. Judas proceeded from victory to victory, till at length he lost
his life in an unsuccessful battle, after he had made a league with the
Romans. His brother Jonathan followed him, and maintained himself and
upheld the law in very difficult circumstances. He was appointed
high-priest. The heroic defender of Judea was made prisoner by stratagem
and shamefully put to death. He was great in council, still greater in
the field, and those who saw him were compelled to confess that Jehovah
had raised him up to be the guardian of the people in their time of
need. I saw him in my youth at Ptolemais, at the espousals of king
Alexander Balas, of Syria, with the daughter of the king of Egypt. There
sat the hero, in a robe of purple, among kings at table, and surpassed
them all in royalty of mien.

“Simon, the last of the sons of Mattathias, now took the command of the
army. It was he whom his dying father had called the Wise, and commanded
his brethren to obey him. For four and twenty years he had served his
brethren with counsel, and, though older than Judas and Jonathan, had
filled a subordinate station with so much humility, as well to deserve
the honour of finally establishing the independence of Israel. He had
scarcely erected a monument at Modin, to his father and his valiant
brothers, renewed the covenant with the Romans, and sent an embassy to
Demetrius in Syria, when the Romans declared Israel free, and Demetrius
formally renounced all claims upon them. This happy consummation, by
which Israel has been placed securely on an eminence of prosperity
unknown before, became an era to us, and we are now in the thirty-fourth
year of freedom. The people dwell in the land, serve no foreign master,
possess the temple and the law, and fulfil it gladly. Would that this
same period had not also witnessed the erection of the Oneion at
Leontopolis!

“I cannot refrain from adding a few events of the latest times. Simon
retook Gaza; Jerusalem was purified. He besieged the garrison in the
castle, and when they surrendered and retired, he entered with branches
of palm and the sound of the harp, singing praises to God for having
delivered Israel from tyranny, and commanded that this day should be
kept as a perpetual festival. He built walls all around the temple-hill,
made the castle still stronger, and took up his own residence there. The
people, as an expression of their gratitude, chose him as their prince
and high-priest, till God should raise up the true Prophet. While Simon
lived, Judah had peace, every man cultivated his own field, the land was
productive, and there was fruit in the vine. The elders exercised
authority and preserved good order, and the condition of the citizens
was greatly improved.

“What shall I say of John Hyrcanus, his son and successor? Thou wilt see
him thyself, Helon, in all his majesty; and wert thou, Myron, to see
him, thou wouldest never jest again at Israel’s expense. While we were
enduring in Egypt the cruelty of the abandoned Ptolemy Physcon, and the
men of science and eminence in the arts were flying from the country,
Israel was happy under its wise and heroic prince. If the oppression of
the Syrians was felt for a short time, Hyrcanus soon shook off the yoke,
and himself conquered the Syrian cities, Madeba, Samega, and others. He
next humbled the Samaritans, and removed that offence of every Jew, the
temple on mount Garizim. He gave the Idumeans their choice, to
expatriate themselves, or to receive circumcision, and thus united the
seed of Esau with the posterity of Jacob. He has built the castle of
Baris in the holy city. He is distinguished, above all the princes and
fathers of Israel, by uniting in himself the threefold office which the
Messiah is to bear, king, leader, and high-priest. At this moment he has
just annihilated the power of the Samaritans by the conquest of their
capital.

“To such a pitch of glory and to such hopes has Jehovah exalted his
people; to him be the praise! He setteth us up on high. Since the days
of Abraham, no period has occurred, in which Israel was so free and so
pure. Great was indeed the splendour of the reign of Solomon; nor can we
now boast, that silver and gold are like the stones of the street—but in
his days neither sovereign nor people were strict in the observance of
the law. Now, what zeal, what earnestness for the law is manifested! Our
fathers in those days were little better in this respect than the
Hellenists in our own.

“I praise my God that he has permitted me to behold the glory of his
people, and to feast my thoughts with the contemplation of it, though I
am not permitted to dwell with my brethren in the Land of Promise, under
the sceptre of Hyrcanus. How important the present condition of Israel
is, may be judged from the long preparations by which it has been
brought about, and the difficulties which opposed and retarded it.

     Had not the Lord been on our side
     May Israel now say,
     Had not the Lord been on our side,
     When men rose up against us,
     Then they had swallowed us up alive,
     When their wrath was kindled against us;
     The waters had overwhelmed us,
     The stream had gone over our soul,
     The proud waters had gone over our soul.
     Blessed be the Lord!
     He hath not given us a prey to their teeth,
     Our soul is escaped, as a bird out of the snare of the fowler;
     The snare is broken, and we are escaped.
     Our help is in the name of Jehovah;
     He made heaven and earth.—Ps. cxxiv.

“I perceive, Myron, that your eyes are turned towards the west, and I
read your meaning. You think that the Romans, before whom already
Carthage and Corinth have fallen, and to whom so many nations have bowed
the neck, may threaten the liberty of Israel. But stern and implacable
as they are to all their enemies, they keep faith with their friends and
allies; and he whom they aid may think himself secure upon his throne.
Besides, Israel has still higher hopes. Let me only remind you of the
commencement of my narrative, in which I showed, that Israel was
destined to communicate the faith of Abraham to all nations, by means of
the law; and that the Messiah is to be the Patriarch of the human race.
To bring this to pass, Israel became a nation in Egypt, received the law
from Sinai, conquered the Holy Land under the judges, obtained a temple
under its kings, and was taught obedience by the vicissitudes of
calamity and prosperity in successive centuries. All now exists
together—Israel is a nation, has the law and obeys it willingly. The
time therefore cannot be remote, when all the nations of the earth shall
be blessed in the seed of Abraham and the son of David. The sins which
are still found in Israel alone prevent his immediate appearance. As
soon as they repent, and keep but one sabbath as they ought, the
expectation of Israel will come. For thus has Isaiah prophesied; ‘Thus
saith the Lord; my salvation is near and my righteousness is about to be
revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that
layeth hold on it, that keepeth the sabbath free from pollution, and
restraineth his hand from doing any evil.[73] He that is promised shall
come and that speedily. Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the
glory of the Lord is risen upon thee! The Gentiles shall come to thy
light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.’[74] In this hope I
conclude my narrative, which, long as it has been, is too short for the
subject, with that psalm, so full of thankfulness and hope:

     Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises to our God;
     For it is pleasant, and praise is comely.
     Jehovah doth build up Jerusalem,
     He gathereth together the outcasts of Israel;
     He healeth the broken in heart,
     And bindeth up their wounds.
     He telleth the number of the stars,
     He calleth them all by their names.
     Great is our Lord, and of great power,
     His understanding is infinite.
     The Lord lifteth up the oppressed.
     He casteth the wicked down to the ground.
     Sing unto Jehovah with thanksgiving!
     Sing praises upon the harp unto our God!
     He covereth the heaven with clouds,
     He giveth rain upon the earth,
     He maketh grass to grow upon the mountains,
     He giveth to the beast his food,
     And to the young ravens when they cry.
     He delighteth not in the strength of the horse,
     Nor takes pleasure in the swiftness of a man:
     The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him,
     In those that hope in his mercy.
     Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
     Praise thy God, O Zion!
     For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates,
     He hath blessed thy children within thee;
     He maketh peace in thy borders,
     He filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.
     He showeth his word unto Jacob,
     His statutes and his judgments unto Israel.
     He hath not done so with every nation,
     They have not known his judgments.
     Praise Jehovah!—Ps. cxlvii.

Footnote 73:

  Isaiah lvi. 2.

Footnote 74:

  Isaiah lx. 1.

“Amen!” exclaimed Helon. “Amen!” responded Elisama; and even Myron
repeated “Amen!”



                         END OF BOOK THE FIRST.



                                BOOK II.

                               CHAPTER I.
                           THE PROMISED LAND.


The way from Raphia to Gaza was travelled with very different feelings
by the several members of our party.

Helon, as he proceeded, was constantly looking to the right, towards the
hills of Judah, which rose black and dark in the starry night, to the
eastward of the road which they travelled along the coast. His feelings
grew more intense with every glance; passages from the Psalms and the
Prophets perpetually rose to his lips; and all the fatigues of the
journey over the stony and sandy soil were forgotten in the reflection,
that every step brought him nearer to the Promised Land. The history of
his people passed in review before his mind, and his imagination applied
every thing around him to cherish the illusion. Instead of a caravan of
Phœnician traders, he seemed to be in the pastoral encampments of
Abraham; with Moses and the children of Israel in the wilderness; in the
caravan of the queen of Sheba, when she came to visit Solomon; or
amongst the exiles returning with Zerubbabel, to rebuild the ruined
sanctuary.

Elisama was seated on his horse, his mind full of the glory of Israel
which was about to be revealed; in the midst of the bitterness against
the heathens, which was become a necessary excitement to his aged heart,
and the inward ill-will which he harboured against Myron, he rejoiced in
the triumph which he had gained over him by his narrative, which had
been so complete, as to force the Greek, at last, to assent to the
praises of Israel.

Myron’s feelings were of a very mixed kind, and some of them far from
being pleasant. He felt the Jewish pride in all its force, and was
perpetually tempted to keep it within bounds, by applying to it the keen
edge of Attic wit. Yet when he reflected on the other hand, that the
society of these Jews had enabled him to pass his time more pleasantly
and instructively, than he would have done among the Phœnicians, and
that the journey was now at an end, he thought it was not worth while to
offend them, and so held his peace. He had a further reason for not
wishing to come to a rupture with his fellow-travellers, that he might
not lose the invitation to Jerusalem upon which he reckoned. For,
notwithstanding all that was offensive to him, he could not but
acknowledge, that the Jews were a people in the highest degree
remarkable, and he had a great curiosity to see what they were in their
native land, where he had often been told they could alone be fairly
judged of.

With these feelings they came late at night to Gaza. Elisama, while the
tents were erecting, paid the conductor of the caravan the sum agreed
upon for the journey. As he intended, according to the ancient custom of
his people, to make the journey to the passover on foot, he had already
bargained with some one in the caravan for the purchase of the horses.
They reposed for some hours, and rose again before the dawn.

The caravan still lay buried in profound slumber. By the time that the
camels were loaded and themselves ready to depart, the morning began to
dawn, and a singular spectacle was unfolded by it. The camels were
crouching in a wide circle around the baggage, the horses, and the
merchandise; and their long necks and little heads rose like towers
above a wall. The men had encamped round fires or in tents. Most of the
fires had burnt out, only here and there dying embers occasionally shot
a flame, which feebly illuminated the singular groups around. Within the
great circle all was still, save that the watchmen with their long
staves were going their rounds, and calling their watchword in the
stillness of the hour. In the distance were heard the hoarse sounds of
the waves, breaking on the shore. On the other side of the camp was Gaza
with its towers and ruins; and the fiery glow of morning was lightening
up the scene of the fearful accomplishment of the word of prophecy.
Gaza, once so populous, magnificent, and strong, when she committed the
shameful outrage on Sampson, had no longer any gates at the spot where
the mighty hero once lifted them up, and placed them on the hill
opposite to Hebron.[75] Jeremiah had taken the wine-cup of fury from the
hand of Jehovah, to cause the nations to drink of it to whom the Lord
had sent him, and Gaza was amongst them, that they might reel and be mad
because of the sword that he sent amongst them.[76] The shepherd of
Tekoah had foretold this in yet plainer language.

Footnote 75:

  Judg. xvi. 1-3.

Footnote 76:

  Jer. xlvii.

         Thus saith Jehovah,
         Three transgressions of Gaza have I passed unnoticed,
         But the fourth I cannot overlook.
         And I will send a fire on the walls of Gaza,
         Which shall devour the palaces thereof.—Amos i. 6, 7.

Zephaniah[77] had said, “Gaza shall be forsaken;” and last of all
Zechariah[78] had declared,

                  Ashkelon shall see it and fear,
                  Gaza also shall see it and grieve,
                  The king shall perish from Gaza,
                  And Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.

Footnote 77:

  Zeph. ii. 4.

Footnote 78:

  Zech. ix. 5.

What the prophets foretold against Gaza, which was one of the five
principal cities of the south-west of Canaan, Alexander the Great had
fulfilled. Her ruins bore witness also to the prowess of the later
heroes of Israel, Jonathan and Simon. The city had been originally
allotted to the tribe of Judah, and the Philistines never prospered in
their unjust possession of it. It was the seat of the worship of Dagon,
a monstrous idol, whose lower half had the form of a fish, and the upper
of a woman. Helon regarded the city as a monument of Israel’s revenge,
placed on the very confines of the Promised Land. To-day he was to enter
that land, and it seemed as if this awful spectacle had been exhibited
to him, to impress indelibly upon his mind the transition from the land
of the heathen to the land of Jehovah.

Lost in these thoughts, he stood unconscious of what was going on around
him. Myron placed himself beside him, and, for a long time, watched him
with earnest curiosity. “In good truth,” he at last suddenly exclaimed,
“this is oriental contemplation! Helon, thou thinkest on Jerusalem!”
Helon, disagreeably startled from his sublime reflections, replied, “I
was not thinking on Jerusalem, but on that city of the heathens, on
which, as our prophet predicted, ‘baldness is come.’”

“It is indeed a revolting sight,” said Myron, “and your prophet’s
anticipation has proved correct. But you are about to depart to-day for
Jerusalem. How I wish I could accompany you, and enter this temple,
whose magnificence I have heard you describe, along with the train of
pilgrims to the passover!”

“You would find yourself,” said Helon, “in a more disagreeable
situation, than even on the journey from Pelusium to Gaza.”

“I should be able to stand my ground nevertheless,” said Myron: “I must
now however go to Sidon. But I have a plan to propose.” He then told him
what his own occupations were, and suggested, that as they would
probably be terminated about the time when Elisama and Helon would have
celebrated the two festivals, he should join them at Jerusalem, and
after visiting together some other parts of the Holy Land, they should
return to Egypt in company. With the address of a Greek he contrived to
make his proposal acceptable even to Elisama, who, offended as he was at
his sarcasms upon the Jewish people, cherished a hope that by knowing
them better he might be persuaded to become, if not a proselyte of
righteousness, at least a proselyte of the gate. Helon was convinced,
that no true peace was to be derived from all the boasted wisdom of the
Greeks, and ardently desired that the friend of his youth, who had
sought this peace with him in philosophy, might be brought to confess
with him, that it was only to be found in the law of Jehovah; and
Elisama had often observed that the scoffer is most easily converted
into a worshipper.

The zeal for making proselytes, by which Israel was distinguished, may
be easily accounted for. Accustomed, for nearly two thousand years, to
believe, and on no less authority than that of God himself, that
salvation should proceed from them, and in them all nations of the earth
be blessed, they could not for a moment relinquish the desire of
carrying this prediction into effect; at this time they were more
peculiarly urged to it by the openly expressed veneration or secret
acquiescence of the wisest men. Religious faith, although the most
deeply seated in the breast of any of our sentiments, is, singular as it
may appear, that which we are most eager in communicating to others.
Whatever too has been long suppressed, breaks forth with redoubled force
when the obstacle is removed. Besides, the religious sentiments of the
Jews were not, like those of the heathens, the speculations of human
reason, but _truths_, confirmed by the sanction of God; and their zeal
in making proselytes was not the vain desire to swell the numbers of a
sect, but to deliver those who were under the dominion of error.

Myron and our travellers took leave of each other, in the hope of
meeting after a few months. He went through the camp to seek for company
as far as Tyre, and they took the road to Hebron.

From Gaza two roads conduct to Jerusalem. One passes by Eleutheropolis
and the plain of Sephela; the other through the hills by Hebron.
Although the former was the easier and more customary, Elisama preferred
the latter. He had a friend in Hebron, whom he had not seen for many
years, and in whose company he wished to perform the pilgrimage; and he
was desirous of making Helon’s first entrance into the Land of Promise
as solemn and impressive as possible. By taking the easier road, they
must have gone a long way through the country of the Philistines, and
not have been joined by pilgrims, till they reached Morescheth, and then
only in small numbers. On the other road, they entered immediately on
the Jewish territory, and their way conducted them through scenes
adorned with many an historical remembrance. They had not proceeded far
inward from the sea, in the direction of the river Besor, when they
reached the confines of Judah; they stood at the foot of its hills, and
the land of the heathen lay behind them. Helon seemed to feel for the
first time what home and native country mean. In Egypt, where he had
been born and bred, he had been conscious of no such feeling; for he had
been taught to regard himself as only a sojourner there. Into this
unknown, untrodden native country he was about to enter, and before he
set his foot upon it, at the first sight of it, the breeze seemed to
waft from its hills a welcome to his home. “Land of my fathers,” he
exclaimed, “Land of Promise, promised to me also from my earliest
years!” and quickened his steps to reach it. He felt the truth of the
saying, that Israel is Israel only in the Holy Land. “Here,” said
Elisama, “is the boundary of Judah.” Helon, unable to speak, threw
himself on the sacred earth, kissed it and watered it with his tears,
and Sallu, letting go the bridles of the camels, did the same. Elisama
stood beside them, and as he stretched his arms over them, and in the
name of the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, blessed their going
out and their coming in, his eyes too overflowed with tears, and his
heart seemed to warm again, as with the renewal of a youthful love. See,
he exclaimed,

      The winter is past, the rain is over and gone,
      The flowers appear on the earth;
      The time of the singing of birds is come,
      The voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
      The figtree putteth forth her green figs,
      The vines give fragrance from their blossoms.—Cant. ii. 10.

They proceeded slowly on their way; Helon gazed around him on every
side, and thought he had never seen so lovely a spring. The latter rains
had ceased, and had given a quickening freshness to the breezes from the
hills, such as he had never known in the Delta. The narcissus and the
hyacinth, the blossoms of the apricot and peach, shed their last
fragrance around. The groves of terebinth, the oliveyards and vineyards
stood before them in their living green: the corn, swollen by the rain,
was ripening fast for the harvest, and the fields of barley were already
yellow. The wide meadows, covered with grass for the cattle, the
alternation of hill and valley, the rocks hewn out in terraces, and
filled with earth and planted, offered a constant variety of delightful
views. You might see that this was a land, the dew of which Jehovah had
blessed, in which the prayer of Isaac over Jacob had been fulfilled,
when the patriarch said, “God give thee of the dew of heaven, and of the
fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine.”[79] Helon drank of
the pure, clear mountain stream, whose sparkling reflection seemed to
him like a smile from a parent’s eyes on a returning wanderer, and
thought the sweet water of the Nile, so praised by the Egyptians, could
bear no comparison with it. Elisama reminded him of the words of the
psalm:

     “Thou lookest down upon our land and waterest it,
     And makest it full of sheaves.
     The river of God is full of water.
     Thou preparest corn and tillest the land,
     Thou waterest its furrows and softenest its clods;
     Thou moistenest it with showers, thou blessest its springing,
     Thou crownest the year with thy blessing,
     And thy footsteps drop fatness.
     They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness,
     And the hills are encompassed with rejoicing:
     The pastures are clothed with flocks,
     And the fields are covered with corn:
     All shout for joy and sing.”—Ps. lxv.

Footnote 79:

  Gen. xxvii. 28.

Helon replied to him from another psalm:

              The springs arise among the valleys,
              They run among the hills.
              Here the thirsty wild beast cools itself,
              The wild ass quenches his thirst.
              The fowls of heaven dwell beside them,
              And sing among the branches.
              He watereth the hills from his clouds above;
              The fruit of his works satisfieth the earth.
              He maketh grass to grow for cattle,
              And herb for the service of man,
              Preparing bread from the earth
              And wine that maketh glad man’s heart;
              The fragrance of the oil for ointment,
              And bread that giveth strength.
              The cedars of Lebanon, tall as heaven,
              He has planted, he watereth them!—Ps. civ.

“This,” exclaimed both together, “is indeed the Land of Promise;” and
Helon called to mind the words of the prophet Ezekiel, “Thus saith the
Lord Jehovah, I lifted up my hand to bring them out of Egypt into a land
which I had promised for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, a
land that is the glory of all lands.”[80]

Footnote 80:

  Ezek. xx. 6.

These words Helon repeated incessantly as he proceeded. The pure
mountain air, which he had never drawn before, inspired the body, as the
feeling of home refreshed the mind. This moment, and that in which he
had returned to the law, moments of deep and indelible interest, seemed
to rise like lofty summits, far above the ordinary level of the events
of life. When he thought on the narrative of his uncle, he was inclined
to compare the former of these events with the terrific annunciation of
the law from Sinai—the latter, with the joy of Israel, when, under the
command of Joshua, they crossed the Jordan, and first set their feet on
the Promised Land.

During the whole of this journey to Hebron, external impressions seemed
to have no other power over him, than to awaken trains of thought,
connected with the subject by which his whole soul was occupied. When
Elisama pointed out to him Minois and Gerar, which lay far to the south;
and reminded him that Gerar was the place where Abraham had involved
himself in difficulties by the concealment of the truth from
Abimelech;[81] and where the pious Asa had defeated the Ethiopians;[82]
these hints were sufficient for his imagination to cover the plains with
the flocks of the patriarch, and the hosts of the virtuous king of
Judah.

Footnote 81:

  Gen. xxvi.

Footnote 82:

  2 Chron. xiv. 13.

They passed near Beersheba, which had given rise to the expression so
common in scripture history, “from Dan to Beersheba,” to denote the
whole extent of the Holy Land, from north to south. Beersheba was the
frontier town on the south, distant from Dan a hundred and sixty
sabbath-days’ journies, or fifty-three leagues. Elisama related how
Abraham and Isaac had dug a well here, and called it Beersheba, in
memory of the oaths exchanged between them and Abimelech;[83] how
Jehovah had here appeared to Jacob, and permitted him to go down to
Egypt to his beloved Joseph;[84] how Elias the Tishbite had fled hither
from the face of Ahab and Jezebel;[85] how Samuel’s sons had judged the
people here;[86] and how, in latter times, it had become a seat of
idolatrous worship under Uzziah; in consequence of which, Amos had given
the warning, “Pass not to Beersheba,”[87] and had denounced calamity on
those who say, “The worship of Beersheba liveth.”[88] At the return from
the captivity this was one of the first cities which the exiles
repeopled. Notwithstanding the length of the journey, which they
performed on foot, Elisama seemed to feel no fatigue; and every hill or
valley, every town or village, which they passed, gave him fresh
occasion to produce his inexhaustible store of historical recollections.
Their road lay by Debir, called also sometimes Kiriath Sanna, sometimes
Kiriath Sepher; and it reminded him of the heroic prize, the hand of his
own daughter Achsa, which Caleb had proposed to the man who should
conquer it.[89]

Footnote 83:

  Gen. xxi. 3.; xxvi. 33.

Footnote 84:

  Gen. xlvi. 1.

Footnote 85:

  1 Kings xix. 3.

Footnote 86:

  1 Sam. viii. 2.

Footnote 87:

  Amos v. 5.

Footnote 88:

  Amos viii. 14.

Footnote 89:

  Judges i. 12.

At length Hebron rose before them, and each approached it with
characteristic feelings. Helon viewed it only as having been for seven
years the city of David’s residence;[90] and could have imagined, that
the tones of the sweet singer’s harp still lingered about its walls.
Elisama longed to see the friend of his youth, and to repose under his
hospitable roof. There was an unusual commotion beneath the towering
palms at the gate and in all the streets. It was evident that they were
preparing to depart for Jerusalem on the morrow.

Footnote 90:

  2 Sam. ii. 11.

They were received with the cordial welcome of early but long separated
friends. Elisama had scarcely laid himself down, to have his feet
washed, when the discourse between him and his host flowed as freely as
if the old man had only walked a sabbath-day’s journey. Helon observed,
that here the ancient custom was preserved of crouching upon the carpet
at meals; while in Alexandria they reclined on Grecian cushions. He fell
asleep, and night prolonged the dreams of day.



                              CHAPTER II.
                            THE PILGRIMAGE.


At the first crowing of the cock, all was in motion; their host was
making the last arrangements for his departure, the neighbours entered
to announce that the march was about to begin. Refreshments were offered
to the travellers, and especially to Elisama; but he declared with
earnestness, that, even amidst the idolaters of Egypt, he had scarcely
ever allowed himself to taste food early in a morning, and much less
would he do so in Israel, and in the city of David, and on a pilgrimage
to Jerusalem. The commotion in the street became greater and greater,
and it was scarcely dawn, when they set forth. All the doors of the
houses were open, all the roofs were covered with persons watching their
departure. Helon, as he passed through the streets of Hebron in the
ruddy light of the dawn, and by the palm trees at the gate, was reminded
that Hebron was one of the oldest cities in the world, even older than
Zoan in Egypt;[91] that it had been conquered by Joshua, and given as a
portion to Caleb, the bravest and most faithful of the explorers of the
land;[92] that it had afterwards become a city of the priests, and had
been for seven years the residence of David; that it had been taken by
the Idumeans, and reconquered by the Maccabees,[93] and once more
incorporated with Judah. But when he had passed the gate, and gained a
view of the lovely valley full of vine-yards and corn-fields, and looked
around on the region where patriarchs had tended their flocks and
pitched their tents, and lived in friendly communion with Jehovah, all
the high and enthusiastic feelings of the preceding day were renewed in
his mind. From all the cross-roads, men, women, and children were
streaming towards the highway to Jerusalem. They had scarcely proceeded
a sabbath-day’s journey, when they saw the grove of terebinths; cymbals,
flutes, and psalms resounded from the midst of it, and hundreds were
standing under the turpentine-tree of Abraham, a tree of immense size
and wide-spreading branches. Helon entered the grove of Mamre with
feelings of religious veneration. Here Abraham had dwelt, here the
angels had appeared to him; beneath these trees Isaac had been promised,
and the rite of circumcision instituted; here Ishmael had been born, and
driven from his father’s tent; and not far off was the cave of
Machpelah, where Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah
were buried.[94] And on this spot, consecrated by so many recollections,
the children of these patriarchs were now preparing to depart, on their
festal pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The occasion and the place seemed to
banish from all hearts every other feeling but piety and good-will;
mutual greetings were exchanged; friends and relations sought each other
out, and associated themselves for the journey, and all faces beamed
with joy. “It is time to set out,” said some of the elders to the judge
of Hebron: “already has the priest asked the watchman on the temple,
Does it begin to be light towards Hebron?” The priests and elders led
the procession; the people followed, and the slaves with the camels were
placed in the midst of them, the Levites had distributed themselves with
their instruments among the multitude, and as they set forward they sung
this psalm:

         How am I glad when they say unto me,
         I will go up to the house of Jehovah!
         My foot hath stood already in thy gates, O Jerusalem!
         Jerusalem, thou beautifully built;
         Chief city, where all unite together!
         Thither do the tribes go up,
         The tribes of Jehovah to the festival of remembrance,
         To praise the name of Jehovah.
         There are the thrones of judgment,
         The thrones of the house of David.
         Pray for the peace of Jerusalem;
         May they prosper that love thee!
         Peace be in thy walls,
         Prosperity in thy palaces!
         For my brethren and companions’ sake,
         I wish thee peace!
         For the sake of the temple of our God,
         I bless thee with good.—Ps. cxxii.

Footnote 91:

  Numb. xiii. 22.

Footnote 92:

  Josh. xiv. 14.

Footnote 93:

  1 Mac. v. 65.

Footnote 94:

  Gen. xiii. 18.; xviii. 1.; xxiii. 17.

It is impossible to conceive of the soul-felt exultation with which this
psalm was sung, and of its effect on old and young. Now the voices rose,
like the notes of the mounting lark, on the summit of the hills, now
sunk again in the depths of the valleys. How differently did it operate
now upon the heart of Helon, and when he sung it before to his solitary
harp on his roof in Alexandria! How did he bless the memory of Samuel,
who had given his schools of the prophets the harp and the flute;[95]
and of David, who, bred up among them, did not forget them even when
seated on his throne,[96] but appointed Levites for the cultivation of
music; and himself often laid down his sceptre, to assume the harp. It
was on such a pilgrimage, with such accompaniments, that the sublimity
and force of the psalms, and the superiority of Jewish poetry, made
itself fully felt.

Footnote 95:

  1 Sam. x. 5.; xix. 20.

Footnote 96:

  2 Chron. vii. 6.

Helon was astonished at the effect which they had upon himself and all
around him. The youths and maidens bounded for joy, and tears of
pleasure stood in the eyes of the aged. Those who were going up for the
first time to the festival looked and listened to those who had already
been there, as if to hear from them an explanation of the full meaning
of what they sung. The old heard in these festive acclamations the echo
of their own youthful joys, and while their hearts swelled with the
remembrance of the feelings of their earliest pilgrimage, they beat yet
higher with gratitude to Jehovah, who had permitted them, in their grey
hairs, to behold such glorious days for Israel, the Syrian tyranny
overthrown, and Hyrcanus seated on the throne.

Sublime are the acclamations of a people freed from a foreign yoke! But
here was more. It was the fraternal union of a whole people, in the
holiest bond of a common faith, going up to appear before the altar of
Jehovah, and to commemorate the wonders of love and mercy which he had
manifested towards their forefathers. They seemed a band of brothers.
“In Alexandria,” said Helon, “Jew is against Jew, and family against
family—but here is one holy people, loving each other as the children of
one Israel, joint heirs of one great and blessed name.” Every one had
bidden adieu to the occupations and the anxieties of ordinary life. They
had come to give thanks and to pray, and no sounds but those of
thankfulness and prayer were heard among them. The hostilities and
alienations produced by self-love and the collision of interests
appeared to have been left at home, and the general joy dispersed every
melancholy feeling which an individual might have been disposed to
indulge. On these pilgrimages they seemed as free from care as the
people of old, when, rescued from Egyptian bondage, they were fed by
manna from heaven, on their way to the land that flowed with milk and
honey. Jehovah had promised to protect the whole country, so that no
enemy should invade its borders, while the people went up, thrice in
every year, to appear before him[97]—how much more confidently might
each father of a family intrust his own household to his protection!
Nothing was more remarkable than that the aged and the weakly were able
to bear this journey of thirty-six sabbath-days’ journies, over hill and
dale, without complaining of fatigue. It seemed as if the strong had
given to the weaker a portion of their own vigour; or rather, as if
Jehovah himself had strengthened the feeble knees for this journey. They
expressed these sentiments, by singing, immediately after the former,
the following psalm:

        I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills
        From which my help cometh.
        My help cometh from Jehovah,
        The Maker of heaven and earth.
        He will not suffer thy foot to be moved;
        He that keepeth thee will not slumber,
        He that keepeth Israel neither slumbereth nor sleepeth.
        Jehovah is thy guardian,
        Thy shade upon thy right hand:
        The sun shall not smite thee by day,
        Nor the moon by night.
        Jehovah shall preserve thee from all evil,
        He shall preserve thy soul.
        Jehovah preserveth thy going out and thy coming in,
        From this time forth and for evermore.—Ps. cxxi.

Footnote 97:

  Exod. xxxiv. 23.

It was a beautiful sight, when the procession came from the plain among
the hills. The rocky walls, between which their path sometimes lay,
re-echoed with their songs. Helon withdrew a little from the line, to an
eminence which commanded a view in both directions, and could see the
train, covering both the ascent and the descent of the hill, spreading
over the plain, and winding like a wreath around the hill beyond.

In every town and village to which they came, they were received with
shouts of joy. Before the doors of the houses stood tables with dates,
honey, and bread. New crowds of persons, dressed in their holyday
attire, were waiting at the junction of the roads, in the fields, and at
the entrance of the towns, and joined themselves to the long procession.
Here and there before the houses, in the fields or in the vineyards,
stood an unclean person, or a woman, or a child, who had been compelled
to remain at home, and who replied with tears to the salutation of the
passing multitude. It seemed as if the people carried all joy with them
from the country to Jerusalem, and only sorrow was left for those who
remained behind. Before a house in Bethshur, stood a fine boy of ten
years old. Tears streamed from his large dark eyes, and the open
features of his noble countenance had an expression of profound grief.
His mother was endeavouring to comfort him, and to lead him back into
the court, assuring him that his father would take him the next time.
But the boy listened neither to her consolations nor her promises, and
continued to exclaim, “O father, father, let me go to the temple! I know
all the psalms by heart.” He stretched out his arms to the passers-by in
earnest entreaty, and happening to see among them a man of the
neighbourhood whom he knew, he flew to him, and clinging to his girdle
and his upper garment, besought him with tears to take him with him,
till the man, moved by his earnestness, asked his mother to allow him to
go, promising to take care of him till he should find out his father.

“And this,” said Helon, “is the object of children’s longing in Israel;
so early does the desire of keeping the festival display itself! Brought
up in Palestine, he felt it would have been with him exactly as with the
child.”

They now passed through a wood and then descended a lofty hill whose
slope was wholly covered with vines. In the valley before them lay the
pools of Solomon. They slackened their pace, and the following psalm was
sung:

     How lovely are thy tabernacles, Lord of hosts!
     My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord,
     My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
     As the bird that findeth her house,
     As the swallow, a nest for her young,
     So I thine altars, O Lord of hosts,
     My king and my God!
     Blessed are they that dwell in thy house;
     They are still praising Thee;
     Blessed is the man who placeth his confidence in Thee
     And thinketh of the way to Jerusalem!
     Should they pass through the valley of sorrow
     They find it full of springs.
     Blessings be on him who goeth before them,
     They increase in strength as they go on,
     Till they appear before God in Zion.
     O Lord of hosts, hear my prayer!
     Give ear, O God of Jacob!
     O God, our shield, look down,
     Behold the face of thine anointed!
     A day in thy courts is better than a thousand.
     I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God
     Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
     For Jehovah our God is a sun and shield;
     Jehovah giveth grace and glory,
     No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
     O Lord of hosts,
     Blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee!—Ps. lxxxiv.

They were now arrived at the pools of Solomon, into which the brook
Etham was received, and which had formerly supplied Jerusalem with
water, by means of a costly aqueduct. The three pools lay on different
levels, one below another, on a sloping ground. Around each was a double
row of noble palms, in which the whole of this spot abounded. Here,
beside the springs and in the refreshing shade of the trees, the
pilgrims encamped to rest at noon. They had accomplished twenty-six
sabbath-days’ journies of their march and ten yet remained.

This aqueduct of Solomon’s was a stupendous work. The fountain of Etham,
whose waters the pools received, was about one hundred and fifty paces
above them. The pools were of an oblong form, the highest one hundred
and sixty, the second two hundred, the lowest two hundred and twenty
paces in length, and all ninety paces in breadth. The celebrated gardens
of Solomon lay beneath these reservoirs, and were a work equally
admirable in their kind. They lay in a rocky valley, enclosed by high
hills, and were five hundred paces long and two hundred broad. A
solitude, which had nothing in it wild or savage, made them a delightful
retreat. In the stillness of this glen, amidst fruit-trees of every
variety, the king might find a noble recreation from the cares of
royalty. From these extraordinary gardens Solomon derived his imagery,
when he said, “A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse;”[98] and when
he speaks in the same passage of a spring shut up, and a fountain
sealed, we are reminded of the fountain of Etham, which Solomon is said
to have sealed with his own signet ring. Both may serve to explain the
words of the Preacher. “I made me great works, I builded me houses, I
planted me vineyards; I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted
trees in them of all kind of fruits; I made me pools of water to water
therewith the wood of green trees.”[99] Both the reservoirs and the
aqueduct appeared, by the solidity of their construction, to have been
designed to last for ever, and were worthy of the king by whom they were
made, and of his times, of which the Book of Chronicles declares, that
“Silver was in Jerusalem like stones.”[100] Our travellers blessed his
memory, as they drank, beneath the shade of the palms, the refreshing
draught of the cool rock water. It was just mid-day, the heat of the sun
was intense, and all longed for repose and coolness.

Footnote 98:

  Canticles iv. 12.

Footnote 99:

  Eccl. ii. 4.

Footnote 100:

  2 Chron. ix. 27.

After a short rest the sacks and wine-skins were unpacked from the
camels, while others produced their humble stores from their mantles or
their bosoms. The upper garments were spread for carpets, on which they
lay for rest, or crouched to eat. Now you might see that these pilgrims
were a band of brothers. It is true, the very poorest had brought
something with him. For weeks before, ever since the feast of
tabernacles, they had denied themselves, in order to save something for
this festival; and on this day at least the command of Moses might
appear to have been literally fulfilled, “There shall be no beggar among
you.” But besides this the rich had provided for the poor a supply of
those things which on ordinary occasions they were not able to procure
themselves. Some sent to the old men a cup of generous wine, or regaled
the children with confectionary and fruits. From Tekoah, the birthplace
of the prophet Amos, which was not far off, came asses loaded with the
celebrated honey of Tekoah; and from Beth-Cherem, celebrated for its
wines, others with large and sweet raisins. From the cheerful mirth
which pervaded the whole assembly, and the delightful coolness of the
water and the trees, they seemed more like a company celebrating, in a
fine evening, the festival of the new moon, than a caravan halting at
mid-day. No one felt the heat or complained of weariness, except a few
aged and weakly persons, who indulged themselves in a short rest.

Behind a hill the walls of Tekoah were discerned in the distance, and
beyond it the desert of Tekoah, the free pasture of the bees, for whose
honey the town was celebrated. “Does not this scene remind thee of the
prophet-herdsman of Tekoah?” said Elisama to Helon. “How should it not,”
replied Helon, “when I see his prophecy almost fulfilled before my
eyes?”[101]

Footnote 101:

  Amos ix. 11.

 In that day will I raise up the fallen tabernacle of David,
 And close up its breaches, and raise up its ruins,
 And build it afresh as in the days of old,
 That they may conquer the remnant of Edom,
 And of all nations whom I will consecrate to myself,
 Saith Jehovah who doeth this.
 Behold the day cometh, saith Jehovah,
 When the plowman shall overtake the reaper,
 And the treader of grapes him that soweth seed.
 And the mountains shall drop sweet wine,
 And all the hills shall stream.

 I will bring back the captivity of my people Israel
 And they shall build the desolate cities,
 And plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof,
 They shall make gardens and eat the fruit of them,
 And I will plant them firmly in their land,
 And they shall no more be plucked out of their land which I have given
    them,
 Saith the Lord thy God.

They waited another hour in this pleasant valley, till the great heat of
noon was moderated. During this time some youths came to Helon, and said
to him, “Though you speak our language you are not a youth of Judah,
your turban betrays you.” Helon informed them that he was an Aramæan
Jew, a native of Alexandria indeed, but one who had chosen Jerusalem, in
preference to Leontopolis. They acknowledged him with joy as one of
themselves, and invited him to accompany them in a walk around the
encampment. Helon gladly accepted the offer.

What a multitude of interesting groups presented themselves on every
side, as they wandered from one palm tree to another! Every party as
they passed offered them wine, mead, honey, dates and the like, and
greeted them with friendly words. Boys had insinuated themselves among
the circles of the men, and listened, with fixed eyes and open mouth, to
every word which they uttered respecting Jerusalem and the festival. The
boy whom Helon had seen weeping so bitterly before the solitary house
had found out his father, was lying in his lap and repeating to him the
psalms which he had learnt. A group of maidens were listening to a
description of the magnificent vestments of the high-priest. They past
by a company of men, who were speaking of the heroic deeds of Hyrcanus
and the Maccabees, and rejoicing that Edom and Samaria had been made
subject by him to Israel. One feeling of joy pervaded all bosoms, but it
expressed itself in various ways, according to the age or sex of each.

One group rivetted the attention of Helon so long, that he did not leave
them till it was near the time of departure. Under almost the furthest
palm trees sat seven robust young men, with an equal number of women and
several children. “This is Mardochai of Ziph, with his children and
children’s children,” said one of the youths who accompanied Helon. They
approached him, took him by the hand, and congratulated him upon being
able to go up to the feast, with such a train of his descendents. “Yes,”
exclaimed the old man, while tears trembled in his dark eyes, “Jehovah
hath abundantly blessed me. I see my offspring, like the sand on the
seashore—children and children’s children, to the number of fifty
souls!”

This aged pair had not for several years gone up to the festival: but
their children had now persuaded them to appear once more before
Jehovah. They had been the last in the procession, and their sons and
daughters had been obliged almost to carry them in their arms—a burthen
which they had joyfully sustained—for they had refused either to ride or
be conveyed in a carriage. “Where could a psalm of degrees be more in
its place?” said a lively youth of the company. At the word several of
them ran to fetch their musical instruments, and standing around the
deeply moved old man, they sung the following psalm:

   Blessed is every one that feareth Jehovah,
   That walketh in his ways.
   For thou shalt eat of the labour of thy hands:
   Happy art thou, and it is well with thee!
   Thy wife is a fruitful vine, by the walls of thine house,
   Thy children, like olive plants around thy table.
   Behold, thus shall the man be blessed that feareth Jehovah:
   Jehovah will bless thee out of Zion.
   Thou shalt see the prosperity of Jerusalem thine whole life long,
   Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children.
   Peace be upon Israel!—Ps. cxxviii.

During this time others had come up, and soon the news was spread
through the whole assemblage, that Mardochai of Ziph was once more among
them; and nearly all the pilgrims came and formed a circle about him.
The judges and elders of Hebron were among them, and all greeted the
venerable pair and wished them peace.

“Ye shall lead the procession!” said an elder of Hebron! “The place of
honour belongs to you. The pilgrims of Hebron cannot advance with any
blessing better or more rare.”

The sons took their father, the daughters their mother, in their arms,
the priests and elders followed, and the march began again to complete
the ten sabbath-days’ journies which they were still distant from
Jerusalem.

Far from the expressions of joy being exhausted by all the songs and
acclamations of the morning, they seemed only to be beginning, when they
set forward again. From the pools of Solomon they took their way through
the hills to Bethlehem. The cymbals, cornets, and timbrels of the
Levites struck up their music again, and many a soul-inspiring psalm was
heard from the lips of an assemblage now swollen to several thousand
persons. In a pilgrimage to the temple, could _he_ be forgotten, whose
pious heart first conceived the wish to build a house for Jehovah? The
warrior-bard was commemorated in the following psalm:

              Lord remember David!
              All his afflictions.
              How he sware unto the Lord
              And vowed unto the Mighty One of Jacob;
              Surely I will not go into mine house,
              Nor go up into my bed;
              I will not give sleep to mine eyes,
              Nor slumber to mine eyelids,
              Until I find out a place for the Lord,
              A habitation for the Mighty One of Jacob.
              Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah,
              We found it in the fields of Jaar:
              Let us go into his tabernacle,
              Let us worship at his footstool!—Ps. cxxxii.

It seemed as if the multitude could not leave the last strophe, which
they repeated over and over again. They then went on to the second part
of the psalm, which was probably sung at the dedication of the temple,
and repeated in the same way the elevating words with which it
concludes,

                 Jehovah hath chosen Zion,
                 He hath desired it for his habitation.

The instruments now struck in with a louder tone, and the multitude
lifted up its voice, as the words of Jehovah were repeated.

               This is my rest for ever;
               Here will I dwell: for I have chosen it.
               I will abundantly bless her provision,
               I will satisfy her poor with bread;
               I will clothe her priests with salvation,
               Her holy ones shall shout aloud for joy.
               There will I exalt the might of David
               And prepare a lamp for mine anointed.
               His enemies will I clothe with shame,
               But on his head shall the crown flourish.

Proceeding in this way they reached Bethlehem Ephratah, “little among
the thousands of Judah,” and yet so highly honoured. Both its names
allude to the fertility of the country in which it stands. Bethlehem
signifies _the place of bread_; and Ephratah, _fruitful_. In its
luxuriant pastures Jacob fed his flocks; in its fertile fields Boaz was
reaping when he found his kinswoman Ruth. Here his seven sons were born
to Jesse, and here the man after God’s own heart grew up, till the day
when he came forth to avenge the honour of his people on the boastful
heathen.

Bethlehem is a small town, six sabbath-days’ journies from the holy
city. It is situated upon a narrow, rocky ridge, surrounded by vallies
and hills, having an extensive view over the diversified country in its
neighbourhood, the region around Jericho, the Dead Sea, and the Arabian
mountains. Before its gates you look to the plain of the valley of
Rephaim, and all around is the garden of God. The Kedron flows through
its fruitful fields, which are thickly set with olives and figtrees,
with vines and corn. But its greatest glory is that of which Micah
prophetically speaks, “And thou Bethlehem Ephratah, who art little among
the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall he come forth that is to be
Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from
everlasting.”[102]

Footnote 102:

  Micah v. 2.

In Bethlehem they met with another company of pilgrims, coming from
Lachish, Adullam, and Libna, which lie westward of Bethlehem. All who
could, endeavoured to make Bethlehem in their way to Jerusalem on these
occasions. It was the city of David, the road passed by the grave of
Rachel, and it was dear to many, as the city to which the greatest of
all the promises had been given.

The elders of the different cities had soon agreed about the order of
the march from Bethlehem to Jerusalem. The venerable pair, Mardochai of
Ziph and his wife, were borne before, the elders followed, but without
any distinctive badge, and the people arranged themselves as they chose.
Some time, however, elapsed before they set out. There were greetings of
friends and acquaintance, who met after a long interval; those who had
travelled furthest needed refreshment. At length the Levites began their
music and their songs, and the people set forward. They had soon
descended from the heights of Bethlehem into the valley of Rephaim. As
the living stream poured down from the hills, among the corn-fields and
mulberry-groves of the vale, this was the praise of Jerusalem which
ascended in a mingled strain of voices and instruments.

 They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion,
 Which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.
 As the mountains are around Jerusalem,
 So the Lord is round about his people,
 From henceforth and for evermore:
 For the sceptre of the wicked shall not remain on the lot of the
    righteous.
 Do good, O Lord, unto those that are good,
 To them that are upright in their hearts!
 As for those that turn aside into crooked ways,
 Jehovah shall destroy them, with all the workers of iniquity.
 Peace be upon Israel!—Ps. cxxv.

When they had proceeded about two sabbath-days’ journies, or a little
more, from Bethlehem, they approached the grave of Rachel.[103] At
another time this place of the rest of Jacob’s beloved wife, the hardly
earned recompense of his labours, might have produced some melancholy
emotions, but now such thoughts were banished by the universal joy.
Helon remarked to Elisama, that this was not the time of which their
prophet had spoken: “In Rama was heard a voice, lamentation and bitter
weeping; Rachel weeping for her children.”[104] “May it be always so
with the children of Israel,” replied Elisama.

Footnote 103:

  Gen. xxxv. 16.

Footnote 104:

  Jer. xxxi. 15.

The eager haste of the multitudes now increased with every step, and
their impatience for the first sight of Jerusalem was expressed in the
following psalm:

     Great is the Lord; and greatly to be praised
     The mountain of his holiness in the city of our God.
     Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole land
     Is mount Zion, on the north of the city of the great King.
     God is known in her palaces for a refuge,
     We think of thy loving-kindness, O God,
     In the midst of thy temple.
     As thy name, so thy praise reacheth to the ends of the earth.
     Thy right hand is full of righteousness.
     Let the hill of Zion rejoice,
     Let the daughters of Judah be glad
     Because of thy judgments!
     Walk about Zion, go round about her!
     Tell her towers!
     Mark well her bulwarks!
     Consider her palaces!
     That ye may tell it to the generation following.
     For this God is our God, for ever and ever.
     He will be our guide, as in our youth.—Ps. xlviii.

Expectation had reached the highest pitch. The last strophes were not
completely sung; many were already silent, eagerly watching for the
first sight of Jerusalem. All eyes were turned towards the north; a
faint murmur spread from rank to rank among the people, only those who
had been at the festival before continued the psalm, and these solitary
scattered voices formed a solemn contrast with the silence of the rest
of the multitude. Helon’s heart was in his eye, and he could scarcely
draw his breath. When the psalm was concluded, the instruments prolonged
the sound for a moment, and then all that mighty multitude, so lately
jubilant, was still as death.

All at once the foremost ranks exclaimed, Jerusalem, Jerusalem!
Jerusalem, Jerusalem! resounded through the valley of Rephaim.
“Jerusalem, thou city built on high, we wish thee peace!” The children
dragged their parents forward with them, and all hands were lifted up to
bless.

The high white walls of the Holy City cast a gleam along the valley:
Zion arose with its palaces, and from Moriah the smoke of the offering
was ascending to heaven. It was the hour of the evening sacrifice.
Scarcely had the multitude recovered a little, when they began to greet
the temple and the priests:

            Bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord,
            Who stand by night in the house of the Lord!
            Lift up your hands towards the sanctuary,
            And bless the Lord.
            So will Jehovah bless thee out of Zion;
            He who made heaven and earth.—Ps. cxxxiv.

They had now reached the termination of their march. The day of
preparation was beginning; the following evening was the Passover. From
the gates of Jerusalem came forth, in every direction, the pilgrims who
had already arrived and the inhabitants of the city, to welcome the new
comers from Hebron and from Libna. The venerable pair, Mardochai of Ziph
and his wife, who were still borne in front, received the blessings of
all who met them.

Close by the gate, some one from behind laid hold of Elisama; “Art thou
Elisama of Alexandria?” Elisama turned round and recognised Iddo, an old
and faithful friend of his family. The old men met with inexpressible
delight, and Elisama presented Helon to Iddo. The pilgrims had now
reached the city, and were dispersing in different directions to their
respective quarters. Iddo conducted the strangers through the Water-gate
to his house on the open place.



                              CHAPTER III.
                THE DAY OF PREPARATION FOR THE PASSOVER.


Their reception in the house of Iddo surpassed all Helon’s expectations.
At the seasons of the festivals, no inhabitant of Jerusalem considered
his house as his own. Their city was the city of the whole people, not
of the inhabitants alone; and when Israel came up to appear before
Jehovah, every citizen regarded his dwelling as belonging to his
brethren as much as to himself. Jerusalem lies on the confines of Judah
and Benjamin. Its names, the Holy City, the City of the Congregation of
Israel, the Gate of the People, point out its destination. No other city
was ever in the same sense the capital and centre of a country.

“You are at home,” said their host, as he led them into his house; “and
at this time, I am not more so than you. The citizen of Jerusalem
considers himself, equally with his brethren, as a pilgrim at the
festival.”

In fact the whole house was filled with strangers. Elisama found among
them many old acquaintances—but great was his joy when he discovered, in
the number, Selumiel of Jericho, the brother of Iddo. His emotion
overpowered his utterance, and he could only press him silently, and
with tears in his eyes, to his breast. Selumiel had been the dearest
friend of his youth; he had lived long in Alexandria, and they had spent
the earliest days of manhood there together; they had imparted each to
the other all their youthful plans. At a later period they had been
separated, and had not met for more than thirty years: but their hearts
had remained united, and their joy at meeting was mutual. Elisama seemed
to be changed by the sight of him, as if youth itself had returned with
the friend of his youth.

While the feet of the guests were washing, which is the first duty of
hospitality in the East, and indeed properly their welcome, Elisama and
Selumiel were engaged in uninterrupted discourse, as if they had been
sitting alone in the court, and rapidly ran over earlier and later
times, Alexandria and Jericho. In the mean time Iddo and some of the
guests had joined Helon, and were congratulating him upon his first
pilgrimage. Selumiel and Iddo had in common a hearty and straight
forward character, by which they might have been known as brothers. But,
besides that they were attached to different parties in religion, Iddo
had more liveliness and cheerfulness. “My son out of Egypt,” he
addressed Helon, “to-morrow at this time, when the Passover begins, thou
wilt see what thou hast never seen before. Already, on the tenth of the
month, I chose a lamb without blemish for the occasion. Before sunset
this evening, I fetched the water into the house, with which the
unleavened bread is to be made. If you please you shall go with me after
supper and seek the leaven in the house. A young Israelite, who has come
for the first time to the Passover, should leave nothing unseen, but
learn all the practices of Israel in the most complete manner possible.
But I forgot, you are come from Hebron to-day, and must be weary.”

Helon seemed almost offended to be suspected of weariness, after a march
made under such circumstances. With glowing cheek he repelled the
imputation, and begged that Iddo would not spare him.

“Just like his father,” exclaimed his host, “jealous of nothing so much
as of being thought a genuine Aramæan Jew. To-morrow, I will conduct
thee to his grave in the valley of Jehoshaphat. In truth he was a
noble-minded man, an Israelite without guile. He died in this house, and
it was of thee, Helon, that he spoke to me in his last moments.” He then
related the circumstances of his death, and many anecdotes of his
intercourse with him. Their connection had been much the same as that of
Selumiel with Elisama. Helon listened to him, as if his father’s spirit
spoke from his lips, so intimate had been their friendship, so similar
their characters.

In such discourse the time passed rapidly, and a servant came to call
the guests from the cooling fountain of the inner court to the roof,
where they were to sup. Here Iddo was accustomed to entertain his guests
at the festival, when there was any one among them, on whom the
spectacle, beheld for the first time, was likely to make an indelible
impression. It was a fine, clear, cloudless night. The moon shone
sweetly upon Jerusalem and changed the night to a softer and cooler day
than that which had been twelve hours before. A breeze from the Mount of
Olives cooled the heated air. The neighbours had in like manner brought
their guests to sup on the roofs of their houses, and as far as the eye
could reach on every side, feasting and illumination were seen. A busy
hum ascended from the streets beneath, and the white tents glistened in
the valley of Kedron.

What a scene! The whole environs of Jerusalem were turned into an
encampment, all the hills and vallies, all the streets and open places
were covered with tents. It was impossible that the houses should
contain all the strangers, notwithstanding the unbounded hospitality
which was practised on these occasions, and hence it was necessary that
a large proportion of them should remain in tents during the festival.
In the pleasant season of the year, at which the Passover was held, this
had nothing inconvenient or disagreeable in it; it was the universal
custom at the feast of tabernacles, and it reminded them of the
patriarchal life, and the wandering in the desert. This gave to
Jerusalem a singular but very interesting appearance. All was motion,
life and animation, and the thought of the purpose for which these
myriads of men had come up from near or distant regions, filled the mind
with solemn and elevated feeling. A million of human beings have
frequently been assembled here on such an occasion, all for the purpose
of appearing with prayer and praise before Jehovah.

Carried away by the sight, Helon involuntarily exclaimed,

        Behold how good and how pleasant it is
        For brethren to dwell together in unity!
        It is like the precious ointment upon the head of Aaron,
        That ran down upon his beard,
        That went down to the skirts of his garments.
        So the dew of Hermon descends
        Upon the hills of Zion:
        For there hath Jehovah commanded his blessing,
        Prosperity for ever more!—Ps. cxxxiii.

The guests gazed on him with surprise. “Why,” continued Helon, “do you
not see before your eyes the application of the psalm? On such an
evening as this, or at least in the view of such a spectacle as this,
must it have been composed. Is it not the dew of Hermon,—are not these
the sons of Israel from the Tyrian Climax and the plain of Jesreel,
which fall here on the hills of Zion?”

“Listen!” said Iddo. Through the uproar of the streets they could
discern a distant sound of cymbals, trumpets, and song, which came in
the direction of the New City. “The Galileans are entering by the gate
of Ephraim; they are late; and yet they cannot this time have been
obstructed by the Samaritans; Hyrcanus has removed that obstacle from
their way.” The distant sound of music and song, heard in this calm,
soft night, seemed to Helon even more beautiful than the jubilation with
which the march from Bethlehem had been attended. Penetrating through
all the tumult of the city, which he heard not as he drank them in, the
spiritual and ethereal tones seemed to him almost like the heavenly
host, when they ascend from earth, to keep an eternal festival before
the presence of Jehovah. On such an evening, what flight of imagination
could be too bold for a youth of such enthusiastic temperament?

The guests had laid themselves down upon the carpets, when Iddo took
Helon by the arm. Elisama had been compelled to occupy the place of
honour, and Selumiel and he were inseparable. “You will stay by me,”
said his host to Helon, “and we will occupy as is becoming, the lowest
place. Look down below on the square; there it was that Ezra once stood,
when the people returned from the captivity, and read the law to them.”

“I remember it,” said Helon; “it is written, Ezra read upon the open
place before the Water-gate, from the morning until mid-day, and praised
the Lord the great God; and the people answered Amen, Amen, with lifting
up their hands, and bowed their heads and worshipped the Lord with their
faces to the ground.”[105]

Footnote 105:

  Neh. viii. 3.

“Often have I stood here,” said Iddo, “contemplating that spot, with
this history in my mind, and have thought, with gratitude to Jehovah who
has delivered his people, on that AMEN, sent up by the assembled
multitude, lifting their hands to heaven. But let us eat and be merry.”

Their mirth was such as suited the age and the piety of the company, and
their enjoyment was heightened by the expressions of joy which they
heard all around them. The old men discoursed of the felicity of the
times, and the glorious reign of Hyrcanus; above all, of the victory
which his sons had obtained over the Samaritans, and the destruction of
the abomination of Gerizim.

In the mean time the master of the house called upon his younger guests
to assist him in purifying his house from the leaven. This was the
evening of the fourteenth day of the month Nisan, the preparation day
for the Passover. Lest the command of Jehovah, to eat unleavened bread
for seven days, and to allow no leaven to be seen any where, should
chance to be violated, they performed the ceremony of putting away the
leaven on this evening. The master of the family gave each of his guests
a torch, and led them in a solemn procession through the house. He had
himself a dish and a brush in his hand, and he said “Praised be thou, O
Lord our God, king of the world, who hast sanctified us by thy precepts,
and hast enjoined upon us to put away the leaven.” All present said
Amen. They then proceeded to examine every corner of the house, opening
every drawer, chest, and cupboard. Here and there lay a piece of
leavened bread, purposely left in the way; the master took it up, laid
it in his dish, and carefully swept the place. When the company had gone
round the house, to the outer door, he said, “Whatsoever leavened thing
there is in my house, which I have not seen nor put away, may it be
scattered in pieces and accounted as the dust of the earth.” The search
had lasted two hours; the dish was locked up, and the guests retired to
sleep.

Unable, however, to obtain sleep, from the crowd of feelings which
coursed each other through his mind, when he thought that he was at
length in Jerusalem, in the Holy City, Helon was one of the first who
arose. He went immediately to the roof of the house—the Alijah was open;
he entered it and performed his morning devotions, with a fervour which
he had never felt before, put the Tallith on his head, bound the
Tephillim on his brow and his hand, and recited the Kri-schma. His whole
body was in agitation; now he lifted his hand towards heaven, now threw
himself on his face on the ground, now bent his head to the middle of
his body. In the earnestness of his prayer he seemed to wrestle with
God. Here in the Holy City, how much had he to ask from the God of his
fathers!

When his prayer was ended, and he came out upon the roof, he looked down
upon Jerusalem, which now lay before him in all the brightness of
daylight. As yet all was still; even from the temple, which rose in
elevated majesty above the towers and palaces of the city, no sound was
to be heard. The loud tumult of the strangers on the preceding evening
was hushed, and it seemed as if the repose which announced the vicinity
of the sanctuary, had diffused itself around and reduced all to silence.
All the lofty emotions of his heart returned with equal strength, but
not the same impetuosity as on the preceding evening. His inward delight
was even greater, but it was calm and holy. He felt that near the
presence of Jehovah, in the solemn assembly of his people, on the spot
where the noblest and wisest of his countrymen had met together for such
high purposes, his joy ought to be tranquil and sober, and the emotion,
thus driven back upon the heart, only became the deeper and more vivid.

Helon felt that this was his initiation into a new life. When the day
dawns, on which all the visions of childhood and the dreams of youth are
about to be fulfilled—to which the man awakes, in the firm belief that
it will realize every thing for which his heart has longed, there is a
stillness, an earnest expectation, a humble confidence which take
possession of such a youthful bosom, from which it is easily
anticipated, that a period decisive for the formation of the character
has arrived, and that what is now felt and done will have a
predominating influence over all the future life.

Sallu came to him, to ask his commands. When he had received them, he
remained standing a little while and said, “Master, I am only a servant
in Israel, but I too am of the seed of Abraham, and I feel that this is
the land of our fathers and of their God. Let us not return into Egypt!”

When Elisama arose, his first occupation was to open the baggage and
take out thence the presents destined for his host. It was his rule
never to come empty-handed, and on this occasion he had indeed come with
his hands full. To the mistress of the house he sent all that remained,
and it was no trifling store, of the provisions for the journey, some
skins of delicious Chian wine, which he had purchased in the caravan,
and a quantity of the finest Egyptian linen. To Iddo he gave a turban
curiously wrought, of a costly stuff, and an Alexandrian robe of
ceremony, informing him that it had been his brother-in-law's, and that
his sister had destined it for him.

To Selumiel he carried a book. It consisted of several pieces of
papyrus, the stalk of which is divided with a needle into thin leaves,
which are then laid together and fastened with the water of the Nile.
Several of them were then laid upon each other and fitted together, and
on these oblong leaves the book was written. It was an Egyptian
invention and very highly prized. “I have brought you,” said he to
Selumiel, “the Hebrew work of Jesus Sirach, the same which his grandson
has translated into Greek. It is highly esteemed in Egypt both by Jews
and heathens. I could easily have procured a transcript of the Greek
version, from one of our literati in the Bruchion; but that would not
have answered my purpose; it was with difficulty that I could obtain
this copy of the Hebrew. I give it thee for the sake of the passage on
friendship. Read here; ‘A faithful friend is the medicine of life, and
they who fear the Lord shall find him. For he who feareth the Lord shall
be happy in his friendship, and as he is, such shall his friend be
also.’[106] And here too, ‘Forsake not an old friend.’” Selumiel smiled,
a thing which he rarely did, and said, “I accept the present, on the
condition that you come to Jericho with me, in order that I may be able
to return it.” “We shall see,” said Elisama, “but in so doing I should
be giving little, to receive much in return.” “Friendship,” said
Selumiel, “has all things in common.”

Footnote 106:

  Eccles. vi. 16.

As our travellers came from a heathen land, it was necessary they should
be purified before they could go into the temple. This would have
prevented Helon from attending at the morning sacrifice, and besides he
wished first to discharge a duty of filial piety, and to visit the grave
of his father, before he appeared in the presence of Jehovah, whom his
father had taught him to honour.

When the ceremonies of bathing, cutting off the hair, and others in
which purification consisted, were over, he went forth to the valley of
Jehoshaphat, to his father’s tomb. It was by his own dying request that
he had been interred there; for Iddo would fain have given him a place
in the sepulchre of his own family. From the words of the prophet Joel,
“I will gather all nations, and will bring them down to the valley of
Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people,”[107] it had
become a prevalent opinion, that this would be the scene of the general
resurrection and of the judgment of Jehovah, and therefore many of the
Jews wished to be buried there. It took its name from the king
Jehoshaphat, who was said to have been interred in that place.

Footnote 107:

  Joel iii. 2.

Iddo, Elisama, and Selumiel accompanied Helon. Leaving the city by the
Water-gate, they turned to the south-east and kept along the brook
Kedron. Willows and tall cedars threw their shadows upon the graves.
They wandered silently along the Kedron, till they saw a large stone,
such as the Jews are accustomed to place upon every grave, as a warning
rather than a monument, to prevent the passers-by from defiling
themselves unawares. To-day especially, it was necessary for them to
keep at a distance of several paces from it, if they would not render
themselves so far unclean, as to incapacitate them for taking any part
in the religious rites of the day. Helon felt an irresistible impulse to
throw himself upon the grave, but the others forcibly held him back.
Tears streamed from his eyes as he incessantly exclaimed, “My father! my
father!” With head and breast inclined forward he was supported by his
companions, scarcely conscious what he did, to the Horse-gate, where
they set him down. They spoke to him of the virtues of his father, of
his surviving parent at Alexandria, of the happiness of being buried in
the valley of Jehoshaphat. By degrees he became more calm; his tears
continued to flow, but they were rather the effusion of tenderness than
of sorrow, and he seemed to have found his father, rather than to have
lost him. Iddo, whose manner was somewhat abrupt, reminded him of his
obligations to them for having prevented him from making himself unclean
by throwing himself on the grave, which would have compelled him to keep
the feast, with the rest of those who were unclean, in the following
month. “Bethink thee, too, that Jehovah himself has commanded that we
should be cheerful on this day. Thou shalt rejoice before Jehovah thy
God, at the place which the Lord thy God has chosen that his name should
dwell there.”[108]

Footnote 108:

  Deut. xii. 18.

They now made a circuit round the city, from the Horse-gate, which lies
northward from the Water-gate, till they came to the Water-gate again.
The whole circuit might be as much as five sabbath-days’ journies. Their
object in making it was rather to give Helon a general view of the
different quarters of the city, and divert his thoughts by variety of
scene, than to examine any part minutely, which indeed would now have
been impracticable, the whole ground being covered with tents.

Jerusalemforms something of an irregular oblong. In the middle of the
eastern side, which was one of the longest, rose the temple on mount
Moriah. Around the temple lay the city, divided into three parts, built
on three hills. Directly behind the temple, in the middle, and due west
from it, was the Lower City, on the hill Acra. On the other side
south-west from the temple, the Upper City crowned the hill of Zion;
north-west lay the New City, on the hill Bezetha; and a small hill,
Ophel, lay southward from the temple. Thus it might be said that the
city, though of an oblong shape, lay in a crescent round about the
temple.

Jerusalem stood on a very elevated range of hills; the last eighteen
sabbath-days’ journies in approaching it were almost a continued ascent.
Only towards the north, joining the New City, there was some level
ground, on the other three sides it was surrounded with vallies. On the
eastern side, where the temple stood, was the valley, which, from the
winter torrent which flowed through it, was called the valley of Kedron.
The Upper City was skirted on the south side by the valley Ben-hinnom,
where, under some of the last of the kings, children had been burnt to
Moloch, at a place called Tophet. On the western side, the valley of
Gihon bordered the Upper City, the Lower City, and the New City.

Two walls surrounded Jerusalem: one enclosed the Upper City and with it
the southern part of the temple; the other began from this, and
fortified the Lower City, joining the castle of Baris, which lay above,
to the north, near the temple. The New City had at this time no wall. On
the first wall were sixty towers, on the second fourteen, each twenty
cubits high.

The city had twelve gates, the number which Ezekiel had prophesied on
the banks of Chebar. But in regard to the position and names of the
gates, the instructions of Jehovah by his prophet had been as little
attended to as those which he had given in the same passage for the form
of the city (which was to have been a regular square) or for the
division of the country.[109] Every side was to have had three gates,
and each gate the name of one of the twelve tribes, but in rebuilding
the city they adopted the names and sites of those which the Chaldeans
had destroyed.

Footnote 109:

  Ezek. xlviii. 30.; xlv.

In the middle of the eastern side was the Sheep-gate, which led from the
valley of Kedron to the temple. At the building of the walls under
Nehemiah,[110] the superintendence of it was on this account given to
the priests, and when it was ended, they consecrated it with
thank-offerings and prayer. Higher up towards the north, but on the same
side, was the Fish-gate, leading from the valley of Kedron into the New
City, and not far from it the Old-gate, leading from and to the same
places. It had its name from the circumstance of its not being
destroyed, when the others were razed by the Chaldeans.

Footnote 110:

  Nehem. iii. 1.

On the north side was the gate of Ephraim, and quite towards the west,
the Corner-gate, both leading into the New City. On the west side the
Valley-gate led from the valley of Gihon and Siloam, into the Lower
City, and the Dung-gate and the Well-gate into the Upper City.

On the eastern side you entered from the vale of Kedron, by the
Water-gate, close to which was the open square, on which Iddo’s house
stood; and further up, by the Horse-gate and the Eastern-gate, into the
Upper City. Lastly, the gate Miphkad, or the gate of Judgment, so called
from justice having been long administered there, gave entrance into the
precincts of the temple. It was near the Sheep-gate from which our
survey began. In the space now described about 120,000 inhabitants
commonly dwelt, but at the time of the Passover not fewer than a million
have been assembled here.

The arrangement of the city bore some analogy to that of the camp in the
wilderness. There the tabernacle was placed in the middle, and called
the camp of the Majesty of Jehovah; around it were encamped the 22,000
priests and Levites, and round them, in a still wider circle, was the
encampment of the twelve tribes, called the camp of Israel. So here at
Jerusalem, the temple was called the camp of the Majesty of Jehovah, the
exterior courts, the camp of the Levites, and the city, the camp of
Israel. Thus the stranger, when he came from foreign parts, to celebrate
the festival of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, found here the names
and divisions which had been in use among his ancestors in the desert,
and the whole city became as it were a permanent encampment, a standing
memorial of that wonderful event, which is incomprehensible to those who
consider Israel as only under human guidance. By remarks of this kind
Elisama endeavoured to divert Helon’s thoughts from himself, to what
concerned his nation. The names of the different parts and public
buildings of Jerusalem had recalled many historical events to his mind;
its glory under David and Solomon; its forlorn and ruined state when
Jeremiah poured forth his lamentations over its smoking ashes, its new
splendour when, under Nehemiah, it arose from its ruins.

On the day of preparation it was customary in Jerusalem to take an early
meal, in order to have time for the arrangements necessary before the
evening. The time of this meal, however, had been long past, when they
returned to the house; the unleavened bread had been already baked and
lay on the tables in the women’s saloon, and the cakes designed for the
festival had been taken from the oven in the adjacent room. That which
was the portion of the priest, was of greater size than the rest; it was
baked the first, and lay on a separate table, adorned with flowers. The
father of the family was to carry it to the temple in the afternoon.
“The first and best of every thing,” said he, “belongs to Jehovah; in
honouring his servants we think we honour him, and we set apart the
first portion for the priest who lives by the law.”

A short meal, at noon, was taken under the palm-trees in the inner
court, beside the fountain. The greatest neatness reigned in the whole
house—all the furniture and vessels, all the floors had been washed.
Only the white unleavened bread was seen at table. The pilgrims had
eaten it on their journey, but this was the day on which it began to be
exclusively used. It consisted of thin flat crumbling cakes, made of
water and meal, full of little holes, that not the smallest tendency to
acidity might be occasioned. It was the food of haste and sorrow, and
they had been commanded to eat it, as a memorial of their being thrust
out of Egypt, without time for the preparation of their food.

Immediately after the removal of the dishes and carpets, a fire was made
behind the women’s saloon, in a small garden belonging to the house.
When it blazed up, the guests and members of the family came and placed
themselves around it, and Iddo, bringing the dish which contained the
leaven, threw it into the fire, saying at the same time, “May all the
leaven which I have seen or not seen, which I have brought out or not
brought out, be scattered and destroyed, and accounted as the dust of
the earth!”

This ceremony had just been ended, and some other trifling preparations
for the festival been made, when the trumpets from mount Moriah
announced the commencement of the Passover, and a thousand horns, in the
streets, from the houses and the tents, replied to the signal. The walls
of the front court were hung with tapestry, which had before been
suspended between the holy and most holy place. Our pilgrims went up to
the temple to complete their purifications, and to show the impatient
Helon at least its general arrangement. It was now about the eighth
hour.

The ground-plan of the temple had been familiar to him from his youth.
The mountain Moriah had an average length and breadth of five hundred
cubits; its lowest part was towards the east. As it could not contain
all the buildings of the temple, Solomon had carried up a wall of great
height and strength from the valley of the Kedron, and filled the
intermediate space with earth, thus extending the mountain into the
valley. After the return from the captivity, the people are said to have
erected huge masses of masonry, composed of squared stones, from the
valley, on the eastern, southern, and northern sides, between three
hundred and four hundred cubits high.

Iddo led his friend through the Water-gate into the valley of Kedron,
that they might receive an impression of the magnificent exterior of
this wonderful work, before they explored the interior. They ascended a
flight of steps in the outer wall, and by the Beautiful-gate, called
also the gate Susan, entered the court of the Gentiles. This court, a
square of five hundred paces, had porticoes on all four sides, three on
the south and two on the others. The double row of pillars on the
eastern side was called the porch of Solomon. At its western end, but
more to the north, stood the sanctuary or temple, properly so called,
with its courts. Strangers from heathen countries and uncircumcised
persons were admitted into the court of the Gentiles, but were warned by
an inscription, in Hebrew and Greek, on the railing at the north-western
end, not to proceed any further. Behind this railing you ascended
fourteen steps and reached a level court, called _Chel_, ten cubits in
breadth, in which was the house of the exposition of the law. It ended
with five steps, leading to a second wall, which on the outside was
forty and on the inside twenty-five cubits high. In it was the
Lower-gate. Here began a court, called the court of the Women, or the
Outer court, one hundred and thirty-five cubits long and of equal
breadth. It was divided by a wall from the next court, the court of
Israel, which had also one hundred and thirty-five cubits of length from
north to south, and eleven of breadth from east to west. To go from the
court of the Women to the court of Israel, you ascended fifteen steps,
and passed through the gate of Nicanor. Next was the court of the
Priests, of the same dimensions as the court of Israel. At its
termination stood the altar of burnt-offering, fifteen cubits high and
fifty in length and breadth. Beside it was the bath which supplied the
place of the brazen sea in Solomon’s temple.[111] At the distance of
twenty-two cubits the sanctuary with its triple division arose; being
besides twenty-two cubits higher than the court of the Gentiles. Along
the sides of these courts were porticoes, and a multitude of
considerable buildings; the floor was throughout of marble.

Footnote 111:

  1 Kings vii. 23.

When Helon reached the Beautiful-gate, it was scarcely possible to pass,
so great was the crowd of men and lambs. The children of Israel, out of
all the tribes from Dan to Beersheba, from the extreme point of Galilee
to the desert of Arabia, strangers from Egypt, Cyprus, Syria,
Cappadocia, and Babylon, were here assembled in their festive attire.
Every master of a house carried his lamb upon his shoulder, or had it
driven before him by his servants. In the spacious court of the Gentiles
stood vast flocks of lambs and kids, the dealers in which carried on a
very extensive traffic at the time of the Passover. The bleatings of the
sheep and the exclamations of their drivers resounded between the shouts
of joy and the hymns of praise.

Helon passed through the court of the Gentiles, scarcely noticing what
was going on there, to the enclosure behind the railing, keeping his eye
fixed upon the altar of burnt-offerings. He looked up the fifteen steps,
on which the Levites were already standing with their instruments,
through the gate of Nicanor, and gained a view of the interior of the
sanctuary. It was like a glimpse of heaven to him. He saw not the riches
and splendour of the gold; he felt not the pressure of the crowds around
him. A feeling of intense devotion wrapt his soul, and for a time
suppressed every other emotion.

His companions roused him, by directing his attention to the court of
the Priests. The evening sacrifice, which this evening was killed an
hour earlier than usual, was already brought to the altar, the holy
place was illuminated, and they were burning incense in it. Helon gazed
around him, on the sanctuary, the altar, the courts, and the multitude
which filled them, bewildered and overpowered, and incapable of fixing
his attention upon any single object in the scene. He did not even
notice the absence of the high-priest, whom in his imagination he had
always pictured as ministering at the altar, or in the holy of holies;
at this moment he was engaged in some of the adjacent buildings, making
preparations for the festival.

The paschal lamb must be killed between the two evenings, the greater,
which lasted from the middle of the seventh hour to the middle of the
tenth, (half past twelve to half past four) and the lesser, which lasted
till sunset, or about six o’clock. Iddo conducted Helon about this time
into the court of the Gentiles, where the slaves with Sallu were
waiting. The lamb must be without blemish, more than eight days and less
than a year old. The people had divided themselves into three great
bodies in the court of Israel. When the evening sacrifice was over, a
priest opened all the folding-doors of the court of the Priests, and
allowed one division to enter. The priests stood in a row, reaching from
the place where the lambs were killed to the altar, each holding in his
hand a basin, pointed at the bottom. Iddo was among the first. He
presented his lamb and mentioned the number of the company who were to
partake of it. They must not be fewer than ten, nor more than nineteen.
He then drew his knife through its throat, the priest who was nearest to
him received the blood in his basin, and handing it to his neighbour, it
was passed from one to the other, till it reached the priest who was
next to the altar, and who poured the blood upon it. Each as he handed
the full basin to his neighbour received an empty one from him with the
other hand; thus all was done with incredible despatch.

The father of each family killed the paschal lamb himself. In ordinary
cases the priests were the sacrificers, but once in the year the master
of the house was himself a priest, as a memorial that Israel was a
nation of priests. The Levites in the mean time sung on the fifteen
steps the great Hallelujah, and at each psalm the priests on the pillar
which stands by the altar blew the trumpet three times. Iddo carried the
lamb to the pillars, hung it to one of the hooks, and taking off the
skin and the fat, gave the fat to the priest, who salted it and laid it
upon the altar. He then carried the lamb home. So did every one of the
body who had been first admitted; and when they had all finished, the
folding-door opened again, and a second body was admitted. Without the
greatest regularity, it would have been impossible in so short a time
that such a multitude of lambs should have been killed. Helon descended
the steps with Iddo, who had also offered a thank-offering; and as he
paused at the gate and looked back, he mentally exclaimed, “Better is a
day in thy courts than a thousand elsewhere!”



                              CHAPTER IV.
                           THE PASCHAL LAMB.


The Passover was now begun. The day of preparation was past; every
master of a house had killed his paschal lamb on Moriah, attaining for
this day an equal dignity with the highest order in the state, and
exercising a sacerdotal function. The festival was called in Hebrew
_Pesach_, or according to the Chaldee pronunciation, which was then
become universal, _Pascha_, the deliverance, or the passing through. The
companies who were to eat the paschal lamb were already assembled, and
the lambs were roasting in the deep ovens in the women’s apartments.

These ovens were excavations in the ground, about two feet and a half
broad, and five to six feet deep. The sides were covered with stones,
which were heated by a fire kindled at the bottom, and then the lamb was
suspended within, on a piece of wood running lengthwise, and crossed by
another between the forefeet. It was expressly commanded by Jehovah, “Ye
shall not eat of it raw, nor sodden with water, but roast it with
fire.”[112] The fifteenth day of the month Nisan, or Abib (our April)
the first of the sacred year, was now arrived. The Jewish day began with
sunset, an emblem that primeval darkness had preceded the birth of
light, and that all life has its origin in a period of darkness.

Footnote 112:

  Exod. xii. 9.

When all the preparations were ended, and the Passover just about to
begin, Helon hastened to the roof of the house. He looked down on the
open place and up to Moriah and Zion, to the mount of Olives, and on the
vallies of Gihon and Kedron. “Wherever I look,” thought he, “hundreds of
thousands of the children of Israel and the seed of Abraham reassembled
to commemorate their deliverance from Egypt. They have come up to the
hill where Jehovah hath made his name to dwell, and their minds are
filled with the thought of their fathers, and the mighty works which the
God of their fathers had done in their behalf. Well is it said, Israel
is Israel only in the Holy Land.” He entered the Alijah, and remained
long in fervent prayer. When he came again upon the roof, the last glow
of evening over Zion was illuminating the city, and the lamps which were
kindled in every house and tent shone through the thin veil of vapour
which was spread over the prospect. He lingered on the roof till the
golden margin of the western clouds had disappeared and the stars had
begun to twinkle in the firmament.

When he went down and entered the inner court, he saw within the
porticoes three rooms brilliantly illuminated. It was not possible for
all the guests to eat the Passover with the master of the house, because
each company was not to exceed twenty. Two other apartments had
therefore been prepared for other parties. On such occasions, we have
before observed, no citizen of Jerusalem considered his house as his
own, but cheerfully resigned it for the use of strangers, who, according
to ancient custom, acknowledged his courtesy, by the gift of the skin of
the paschal lamb. The light was streaming through the lattices of all
the rooms, and Helon entered, with a beating heart, that which was
appropriated to the use of Iddo and his peculiar guests. A multitude of
smaller lamps were suspended from the walls, and one of great size stood
in the middle. Costly carpets were spread on the floor, tapestry was
hung on the sides, and gold and silver glittered on the divan, though it
was not used on this evening; for the paschal lamb was to be eaten
standing. The air was filled with the fragrance of Arabian frankincense
and the most exquisite perfumes. The women were all richly clad,
especially the mistress of the house, who appeared this evening in all
her choicest ornaments, a mother in Israel in the city of God. It was
only on this day that the women ate with the men; even the men servants
and maid servants were not excluded. The whole household of every rank
and age, even the children, if they had begun to taste flesh-meat, must
be assembled, and all must be Levitically clean. Of the inhabitants not
disqualified by uncleanness none were to be absent, but strangers of the
gate, hirelings, and all uncircumcised persons: for such had been the
command of Jehovah, “There shall no stranger eat thereof.”[113] All the
rest were on this night brethren, for all had been delivered by Jehovah
from the house of bondage. The bondsman was as the freeman, the woman as
the man; and all partook alike of the festivity; all were the people of
Jehovah, and equal in his sight.

Footnote 113:

  Exod. xii. 43.

In the middle of the room stood the table, which in the east is always
low, because the guests either lie around it on sofas, or sit on
carpets. On this occasion, however, there was neither sofa nor carpet
near the table, which stood apart, as if the preparations were but half
finished. It was about the middle of the second hour of evening (half
past seven) when the company, consisting of nineteen persons, assembled
around the table. Every one, though splendidly clad, appeared prepared
for a journey. With sandals on their feet, which at other times were not
worn in a room, but given to the slaves to be placed at the door, with
their garments girt, and a staff in their hands, they surrounded the
table. A large vessel filled with wine immediately from the cask, stood
upon it, and the meal began by the master of the house blessing it. He
laid hold of it with both hands, lifted it up with the right, and said,
“Blessed be thou, O Lord our God, thou king of the world, who hast given
us the fruit of the vine;” and the whole assembly said, “Amen.” Next he
blessed the day, and thanked God for having given them the Passover: and
then, drinking first himself from the cup, sent it round to the rest.
When this was over, he began again; “Blessed be thou, O Lord our God,
thou king of the world, who hast sanctified us by thy precepts, and
commanded us to wash our hands.” He and the whole company then washed
their hands in a silver basin, with water poured from an ewer of the
same metal. This was the emblem of purification, and implied, that every
one should come with a pure heart, as well as clean hands, to partake of
the paschal meal. The unleavened bread, (flat cakes with many small
holes in them,) the bitter herbs, a vessel with vinegar, the paschal
lamb, were placed upon the table, and last of all the _charoseth_, a
thick pottage of apples, nuts, figs, almonds, and honey, boiled in wine
and vinegar, and not unfrequently made in the form of a brick or tile,
to remind the Israelites of their Egyptian slavery, and strewed with
cinnamon, in imitation of the straw which was mixed with the clay. The
master of the house then spoke again; “Blessed be thou, O Lord our God,
who hast given us of the fruits of the earth.” He dipped some of the
herbs in vinegar, and the whole company did the same. At this moment,
the mistress touched her little grandson, a child of ten years old.
Children were always present at this festival, and one design of its
establishment was, that the son should learn from the lips of his father
the event to which it referred, and the remembrance of it might thus be
propagated to the most distant posterity.[114] The child understood the
hint, and asked his grandfather, why on this night alone the guests
stood around the table, instead of sitting or lying. With dignity and
solemnity, the grandfather, turning to the child, related to him how
their forefathers had been oppressed in Egypt, and how the Lord had
brought them out thence with a mighty arm. He described to him the
evening which preceded their flight from Goshen, their busy preparation,
and their anxiety to conceal it from the Egyptians. The lamb was slain
and the blood sprinkled on the door-posts, that the destroying angel of
the Lord might pass by their houses when he slew the first-born of the
Egyptians. It was to be roasted, not boiled, that it might be sooner
ready, and strengthen more those who partook of it; it was to be eaten
in a standing posture, as by men prepared for instant departure; it was
to be consumed entire, for the whole people were to quit their dwellings
and never to return to them; and no bone of it was to be broken, for
this is the act of men who have time and leisure for their meal. The
bitter herbs were then eaten, and the 113th and 114th psalms sung. This
formed the first half of the great song of praise, which was called
emphatically the Hallel, consisting of six psalms, from the 113th to the
118th, sung on all great festivities. A second washing of the hands
followed, the cup was a second time blessed and sent round. The master
broke off a piece of the unleavened bread, wrapped it in the bitter
herbs, and, having dipped it in the charoseth, ate it, and then
distributed a portion to each of the company, who did the same; and now
the eating of the lamb began, in which the paschal feast properly
consisted. Along with the lamb the boiled flesh of the thank-offering,
which Iddo had made in the temple, was placed upon the table, and
blessed by the master of the house. The lamb was wholly consumed, it
being forbidden by the law that any part of it should remain till the
next day. If any part were not eaten, it was to be burnt. The bones were
not to be broken, for every thing was to remind them of their hasty
flight from Egypt.

Footnote 114:

  Exod. xii. 26.

Festivity and cheerful conversation now reigned among the whole
assemblage. Whether it be that a people, which had suffered so much
calamity and oppression, naturally enjoys the more keenly a temporary
interval of pleasure, or that every approach to God is to the pure mind
a source of joy and peace, certain it is, that no nation has ever more
carefully studied to remove all trace of sorrow from religious services
than the Jews. If the service of the law was a heavy burthen, the
service of God was freedom and happiness. All the regulations enjoin
this, all the customs of Israel proceed from this principle, that the
marks of mourning should be carefully removed from their worship. To
praise, to give thanks and sing, to make a joyful noise unto the Lord,
to be glad on the day which he had made, to rejoice in him, are all
expressions by which their religious services are described. The same
principle was kept in view in the purifications which preceded the
Passover. He who had touched a dead body was held to be unclean, and
excluded from the feast. It was a sin for the high-priest to make
himself unclean, even by the body of his nearest relative: for he was to
exhibit the divine life in all its purity before the people. How
earnestly do Ezra and Nehemiah exhort the people to lay aside their
mourning, when the law was read at the feast of tabernacles, and the
curse on its violation made known! “This day is holy unto the Lord your
God; mourn not nor weep; neither be ye sorry, for the joy of the Lord is
your strength. Go your way, eat the fat and drink the sweet; for this
day is holy unto the Lord.”[115]

Footnote 115:

  Neh. viii. 9.

The company in Iddo’s house were not unmindful of these precepts, and
the time passed on rapidly in animated discourse. The servants were not
excluded from their share; the innocent playfulness of the children was
not repressed, and the gaiety of the females lent wings to the
conversation. Iddo was the most animated of all, and Helon thought he
had never seen an old man so full of vivacity. “See, thou mother in
Israel,” said he to his wife, “the Lord has blessed us and permitted us
to keep one Passover more, before we are gathered to our fathers. Let us
thank him for his mercy, by the cheerfulness with which we celebrate it.
Who knows but this may be our last? seldom does a year elapse, but some
one dies of those who kept the Passover together at the beginning of it,
and our turn, though long delayed, must come at last. We were blithe in
our youthful days, half a century since, what prevents our being so
still? Thou hast seen thy children and children’s children. Join with me
in her praise, my friends.—The Lord has given her store of children and
of guests; and she has received them both as the gift of God, and tended
them faithfully!”

All present congratulated the venerable pair, and Iddo continued, “Why
didst not thou, Selumiel, bring thy wife and Sulamith, who is lovelier
than the fairest rose of Jericho? A prize for some fortunate youth, for
as Solomon has said, ‘A virtuous wife is more precious than pearls.’”

“What would Israel be,” said Elisama, as the sounds of festivity from
the adjacent apartments penetrated into theirs, “what would Israel be
without the festivals of Jehovah? Here we are all assembled before the
Lord, to praise his faithfulness which is great, and his mercy which is
renewed every morning. What compared with these are the Grecian games at
Olympia and Nemea? Would that Myron were here! We children of Israel are
_one_ people; we have _one_ God, and _one_ city of the Lord; and every
Jew in Egypt, Asia, Syria, and Chaldea, always turns his eyes in his
prayers towards this one place. Think, my friends, that while so many
hundreds of thousands are assembled in Jerusalem, millions in the
remotest countries, into which our people has been scattered, cast
longing looks this evening towards us, envying us our joy, and desiring
nothing more, than to to be in the Holy City and in the courts of
Jehovah! I only regret that Gerizim and Leontopolis——”

“Hush,” interposed Iddo, “to-day speak only of pleasing subjects. Our
prince has subdued the rebellious daughter Gerizim. Jehovah ceases not
to concern himself with the injuries of Joseph.”

“The prophet,” replied Elisama, “has declared that all the nations of
the earth shall be united in the valley of Jehoshaphat, and when the
Messiah comes the sceptre of Judah shall be extended over the whole
earth.”

“Hyrcanus stands beside the altar,” said another of the company, “and
the family of the Maccabees is flourishing. Who knows whether the
Messiah will not speedily appear from among them?”

“No,” said Elisama, “the Messiah must come from the family of David, and
the Maccabees are Levites of the family of Jojarib. The Jewish people
and the priests consented that Simon should be their prince and
high-priest, till God raise up the true prophet unto them. The Messiah,
therefore, will not be a Maccabee though Hyrcanus unites in himself the
three offices to which he will be anointed. But would that he who is
promised were come! His way is prepared; Israel is once more free, and a
people. What would I give, if in my grey hairs I might yet be permitted
to behold him! What a glorious passover will that be, when He keeps it
with us, in Baris or on Zion, and his people accompany him with palm
branches and Hosannas! I envy you, Helon, for you may live to see that
day.”

“It will be a happy day,” said Helon, “but not more happy than this.”
The old men smiled at his enthusiasm, and rejoiced that among the youth
of Israel there should be such joy in keeping the festivals of Jehovah.

It was now become late. The hired servant, stationed by the waterclock
in the court, called the fifth hour of night, and the paschal meal was
not permitted to last longer than to the end of the first watch of the
night, which terminated somewhere about an hour before midnight. There
were two other watches between this and daylight, divided by the two
cock-crowings. They heard the guests in the other apartments reciting
the song of praise, and hastened to conclude. With the same prayer as
before, they washed their hands again from the silver basin, and Iddo
having again blessed the cup, they drank once more from it. This was
called the cup of thanksgiving. The second part of the Hallel was now
sung, consisting of the 115th, 116th, 117th, and 118th psalms. Helon
thought of the words of Isaiah, “Ye shall sing as on the night of a holy
feast, and rejoice in your hearts as when they go with a pipe to the
mountain of the Lord, to the refuge of Israel.”[116] When the Hallel was
finished, hands were again washed, and the cup was blessed and sent
round for the fourth and last time. Helon would gladly have joined in
praying the great Hallel, as they call the series of psalms from the
120th to the 137th, after which it was customary to send round the cup a
fifth time, but midnight was already too near. The company broke up, and
all retired to rest, designing to be early in the temple on the
following day.

Footnote 116:

  Isaiah xxx. 29.



                               CHAPTER V.
                      THE DAY AFTER THE PASSOVER.


While the paschal lamb was eaten by the people, the priests in the
temple were cleansing the altar of burnt-offering. This was commonly
done in the last watch of the night, towards the cock-crowing, but on
this occasion during the first. Next they themselves partook of the
paschal lamb, and soon after midnight the gates were opened, for the
ingress of the children of Israel, many of whom were there, even at this
early hour, in order to see the splendour of the illuminated temple. As
soon as the watchman had answered in the affirmative the customary
question of the priest, “Does it begin to be light as far as Hebron?”
all the streets leading to the temple were filled with men, dressed in
their gayest clothes. On no other occasion of the year was the temple so
crowded as on the morning after the Passover.

The usual morning sacrifice was first of all offered. The lamps were
extinguished, incense was burnt upon the altar, and the lamb was
sacrificed to Jehovah, with the usual meat and drink offering. Then
followed the special offering for the feast, two young bullocks, a ram,
seven yearling lambs with meat and drink offerings. Next, a goat was
offered as a sin-offering; the Hallel was sung, and the blessing
pronounced. The whole body of the priests was assembled; on ordinary
days, only some families of the fathers were present; on the sabbath the
whole course; but on high festivals the whole twenty-four courses, the
collective body of the priesthood.

Helon had been among the first who had come up to the temple of Jehovah,
at the crowing of the cock. He beheld all with deep interest and
profound devotion, and as he gazed on the temple and the splendid ritual
performed in it, the fond wish of his early childhood awoke in his
heart, that he too might be thought worthy to become a priest of
Jehovah, and to minister at his altar. With increasing eagerness he
looked for the appearance of the high-priest, the head and crown of the
tribe of Levi and of all Israel. He had expected him to appear
yesterday, and during the morning sacrifice, but he had not shown
himself. Helon felt an enthusiastic admiration for the heroic family of
the Maccabees, and none of them all had risen to such an eminence as
John Hyrcanus. In Egypt, in Hebron, on the pilgrimage, and through the
whole preceding day, he had been hearing the praises of the man whom he
was now about to see.

He was standing upon the lowest of the fifteen steps, which led from the
court of Israel to that of the women, when there arose a cry among the
thousands who surrounded him, “The high-priest is coming!” He came from
an adjoining building and walked towards the altar. The breastplate with
its precious stones beamed from his breast. Over the ordinary white robe
of the priests, which descended in folds to his feet, he wore a
magnificent upper robe of a blue purple. The bells between the
pomegranates, on the borders of his robe, gave a clear sound as he
walked. Over this upper garment he had a third, which was shorter,
called the ephod, splendidly embroidered with purple, dark blue, crimson
and thread of gold, on a white ground. On his head was a white turban,
and over this a second, striped with dark blue. On his forehead he wore
a plate of gold, on which the name of Jehovah was inscribed; and being
at once high-priest and prince, this was connected with a triple crown
on the temples and back part of the head.

The priests made way for him, as he entered in his glory, and stepped in
majesty along. Arrived at the altar, he looked round on the innumerable
multitude that were assembled, while silent congratulations were
addressed to him by every heart. Helon thought on the splendid
description of the high-priest Simon, the son of Onias, in the book of
Jesus the son of Sirach.

“When he came from behind the veil, he was as the morning star in the
midst of a cloud; and as the moon at the full. As the sun shines on the
temple of the Most High; as the rainbow with its beautiful colours; as
the beautiful rose in spring; as the lily by the rivers of waters; as
the branches of the frankincense tree in time of summer; as fire and
incense in the censer; as a vessel of beaten gold, set with all manner
of ornaments of precious stones; as a fair olive-tree, budding forth
fruit; as a cypress tree growing up to the clouds! When he put on the
robe of honour, and was clothed with all his glory, and when he went up
to the holy altar, he adorned the sanctuary all around. When he took the
portions out of the hands of the priests, and stood by the hearth of the
altar, and his brethren stood around him, he was as a young cedar in
Lebanon, and they surrounded him like palm-trees. All the sons of Aaron
in their glory had the oblations of the Lord in their hands before all
the congregation of Israel. And he fulfilled the service at the altar,
and offered up a pious oblation unto the Most High. He stretched out his
hand to the cup and poured out the blood of the grape, he poured it at
the foot of the altar, a sweet smell to the Most High, King of all. Then
shouted the sons of Aaron and blew the curved trumpets and made a great
noise to be heard, for a remembrance before the Most High. Then all the
people straightway fell down upon the earth upon their faces, and
worshipped the Lord God Almighty, the Most High: the singers also sang
praises with their voices, there was made sweet melody with great
variety of sounds. And the people besought the Lord, the Most High, by
prayer, that he would be merciful, till the worship of the Lord was
ended and they had finished the service. Then he went down and lifted up
his hands over the whole congregation of the children of Israel, and
gave them the blessing of the Lord with his lips, and wished them peace
in his name. And they bowed themselves down to worship a second time,
that they might receive a blessing from the Most High; and said, ‘Now
therefore bless ye the God of all, who alone doeth wondrous things every
where, who keeps us alive from the mother’s womb and deals with us
according to his mercy: may he grant us joyfulness of heart, and that
there may be peace in our days in Israel for ever, and that his mercy
may abide with us, and that he may deliver us at his time.’”[117]

Footnote 117:

  Eccles. i.

This description had often awakened the enthusiasm of Helon, but now he
saw it realized, in the most impressive service ever performed in
Israel—that of the morning after the Passover. There stood the
high-priest, spiritual and temporal sovereign of the people, on the
mountain of Jehovah, in sight of his sanctuary, and looked through the
lofty portico, full upon the curtain of the most holy place. On the
other side, through all the courts even to the foot of mount Moriah, was
a countless multitude, all occupied with prayer and praise, all waiting
anxiously for his blessing, and expecting to be purified by his
offering. Around him were all the priests of Israel, obedient to his
nod, ministering to him in the most sacred employment of the people,
their appearance before Jehovah. He himself, the man who bore the name
of Jehovah on his brow, with every thing that oriental splendour could
accumulate, lavished on him, in honour of that name, surrounded by the
flames of the altar of burnt-offering, which flashed up to heaven! It
was a sight to awaken every sublime religious feeling of such a mind as
Helon’s.

The Hallel was sung. The priests, stationed on the pillars near the
laver, accompanied the song with the sound of their trumpets and the
Levites on the fifteen steps sung it, with their cymbals, cornets and
flutes. David had appointed four thousand Levites for musicians and
singers, and their number was probably not much smaller now.[118] The
multitude responded, with its hundred thousand voices, to the song of
the choir; and when the Hallelujah, with which the psalms begin and end,
was thrice repeated with the united volume of vocal and instrumental
sound poured forth at once, a less lively imagination than Helon’s might
have fancied that Jehovah himself appeared in the flames of the altar,
to receive the homage of his people. It was here only that one of these
psalms, so full of the boldest flights and of the deepest emotion, must
be heard, to be fully felt. Such a moment had inspired them; such a
moment alone could revive that intensity of feeling, which is necessary
fully to comprehend them.

Footnote 118:

  1 Chron. xxiii. 5.

Helon was so absorbed, that the wave of the people had forced him,
unconscious of it, far down to the extremity of the court. He could only
see from a distance the movements of the high-priest about the altar.
His majestic figure, as he passed to and fro before the flames which
arose in the back ground, received from them a strong illumination,
which to Helon’s fancy gave something solemn and unearthly to the form.
When the sacrifice and the Hallel were ended, the people fell on their
knees, and bowed their faces to the earth to receive the high-priest’s
blessing. He washed his hands with the usual solemnities, and advanced
to the steps of the Levites, praying thus; “Praised be thou, O Lord our
God, thou king of the world, who hast sanctified us with the
consecration of Aaron, and commanded us to bless thy people Israel in
love.” He then turned first to the sanctuary and afterwards to the
people; then lifting his arms to the height of his shoulder, and joining
his hands together, so as to leave five intervals between the fingers,
with eyes cast down on the ground, he laid the name of Jehovah on the
people and said,

 The Lord bless thee and keep thee,
 The Lord make his face to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee,
 The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon thee and give thee
    peace!—Num. vi. 24.

At every repetition of the word _thee_, he turned to the north and the
south. The people replied; “Praised be the name of his kingdom for
ever!” They continued a while when the benediction was concluded, each
praying to himself, while the high-priest, turning to the sanctuary,
said, “O Lord of the whole world, we have done what thou hast commanded
us, and thou wilt do what thou hast promised. Thou wilt behold us from
the habitation of thy holiness; thou wilt look down from heaven and
bless thy people Israel!”

The offerings which were now concluded had a reference to the whole
people; it remained that individuals should offer for themselves, both
thank-offerings and burnt-offerings, in order not to appear empty-handed
before Jehovah. The thank-offerings might only be offered on this day,
the burnt-offerings on the following day also. Elisama had bought a goat
without blemish, for a thank-offering, in the court of the Gentiles. The
choicest parts, the breast and the shoulder, belonged to the priest, the
fat to Jehovah; all the rest was cooked in some of the out-buildings of
the temple: for Iddo had made engagements for their feasting there. On
this day no other flesh might be eaten, than that of thank-offerings;
the majority of those who sacrificed carried the portions which they
retained for themselves, to consume them in their houses or their tents.
Elisama had invited to his feast, his host, his host’s family, and some
Levites; bearing in mind the precept, “Thou shalt not neglect the
Levites as long as thou livest upon the earth.”[119] They assembled in a
saloon allotted for this purpose, in one of the courts on the south.
Elisama, as the offerer of the sacrifice, blessed the bread and the
wine, and they were all merry and thanked the Lord. Helon, to whom this
meal, eaten within the precincts of the temple, seemed like an
anticipation of his future priestly functions, thought of the passage of
Isaiah, “They that have gathered corn shall consume it and praise
Jehovah, and they that bring in their wine shall drink it in the courts
of the sanctuary.”[120]

Footnote 119:

  Deut. xiv. 27.

Footnote 120:

  Isaiah lxii. 9.

They remained together till the evening sacrifice, and Helon did not
leave the temple till after it, in order that he might witness the
ceremony of the wave-sheaf. This is the commencement of harvest, which
begins at the time of the Passover, with the barley (in the warm valley
of the Jordan still earlier) and is finished about Pentecost, with the
wheat. Every thing which concerned the people of Israel, the harvest
especially, must begin and end with religious solemnity.

At sunset, the citizens who had been appointed to cut the wave-sheaf by
the Sanhedrim came down through the courts, accompanied by a great
concourse of people, and Helon joined in the procession. They went to
the nearest field of barley before the city: the sixteenth of Nisan was
begun, and the evening star was already visible in the sky. The person
who was appointed to reap asked aloud, “Is the sun gone down?” The
people who stood around answered, Yes.—“Shall I cut.” “Yes.”—“With this
sickle?” “Yes.”—“In this basket?” “Yes.” The questions, thrice repeated,
being thrice answered in the affirmative, he cut as much as would
furnish an omer, and binding the sheaves together, carried them to the
temple. The barley was there roasted by the fire, cleared from the husk,
ground into meal, bolted thirteen times, and the omer (a measure
containing about forty-three eggshells) of the finest meal was kept till
the following day.

Helon, having witnessed this ceremony, reluctantly left the temple, and
in his dreams seemed to live over again the events of this interesting
day. The stately form of the high-priest seemed to be before him, and
the sacred name upon his brow to shine with a lustre too dazzling for
him to behold. Then he appeared to be in the crowd, urged by some
irresistible but inexplicable impulse, to force his way amidst the waves
of people, seeking something which he could not find, and examining
every face, but without finding that of which he was in search. Again,
he seemed to be beside the high-priest, and a feeling of unutterable joy
spread through all his frame. His uncle appeared to him pale and sad,
and beckoned him from the temple to the valley of Jehoshaphat, where he
sat by his father’s tomb and wept. A graceful and lovely form stood by
his side, and pointed towards the west; he followed her, and as they
went she too turned pale and sighed. A murky, sultry atmosphere gathered
around him; the lightning struck a lofty cedar, the deadly vapour almost
choked his breath, and he ran forward, a long and dreary way, without
finding any resting place. At length a star appeared, and twinkled on
him with so mild a ray that his oppression was relieved and his
cheerfulness returned. He looked around him, and found himself on the
north-west side of the city, on a plain which he darkly remembered that
Iddo had called Golgotha. In his astonishment he awoke.



                              CHAPTER VI.
                THE REMAINING DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD.


It was the morning of the second day after the Passover. Helon was lying
by Elisama on the divan. Glad to be delivered from his dream, he started
up, performed his morning devotions in the Alijah, saluted Moriah and
Zion from the roof, and endeavoured to shake off the disagreeable
impressions of the night, which returned upon him with something of an
ominous import. When he came down into the court, he found Iddo sitting
under the palm-trees. He endeavoured to think only of his present
happiness, and he felt, that as man is never more purely and vividly
happy than in the morning of childhood, so the morning of each day is
the time, when he has the most lively consciousness of every thing that
is agreeable in his condition.

They all went together to the temple to pray. After the usual morning
sacrifice of a lamb, followed, as the day before, an offering
appropriate to the festival, of two young bullocks, a ram, and seven
yearling lambs, as a burnt-offering; and a goat, as a sin-offering. The
high-priest ministered as before at the altar, and the priests around
him. The crowd was scarcely less than yesterday, and nearly the same
ceremonies were repeated.

Next followed the offering of the first-fruits, the omer of barley-meal
which had been prepared from the sheaves, cut the preceding evening. A
priest fetched the meal, in a golden dish, from an apartment in one of
the buildings, mixed it in the presence of all the people with a _log_
(six eggshells) of the finest oil, and scattered upon it a handful of
incense. He brought it to the high-priest, who stood beside the altar,
and he waved it towards all the four winds, from east to west and from
south to north, and then ascended the altar. On the southern side lay
salt, with which he salted the meal and threw a handful of it, with
another of incense, upon the flame. Immediately after, a special
sacrifice, a lamb with the meat and drink offering that belonged to it,
was offered; and the high-priest concluded by giving his benediction.
The harvest was now solemnly begun, and Israel might pursue its joyful
labours. The spectators dispersed themselves in different directions;
and many of the pilgrims, who had neither time nor means to spend the
whole week of the festival in Jerusalem, returned home on this day.

Only those remained behind, who purposed to offer the burnt-offerings of
the appearance before Jehovah, and these were the wealthier part of the
worshippers. Elisama, Helon, and Sallu went down into the neighbourhood
of the porch of Solomon, to purchase a victim for this purpose. A dealer
in cattle, from Capernaum in Galilee, furnished them with a calf of
extraordinary beauty, which they drove to the gate on the northern side,
at which the sacrifices were admitted. Here they were compelled to wait
a considerable time, as a large number had been admitted just before
their arrival. At length they entered: the animal was examined and
killed on the north side of the altar, the offerers having first washed
their hands, and laid them upon it. The priests received the blood and
sprinkled it on the altar. The sacrificers then took off the skin, took
out the fat and the entrails, and divided the flesh. The whole was given
to the priest, along with the meat and drink offering; he salted it and
threw it into the fire. A burnt-offering was to be wholly consumed,
except the skin, which belonged to the priest. While the priest was
sacrificing at the altar, Elisama, Helon, and Sallu were praying that
Jehovah would graciously accept their offering; and when it was ended,
they and the rest of those who had been admitted with them, went out at
the southern gate. Helon, while he had witnessed the solemn ceremonial
and the deep and reverent silence of the spectators, had felt the
dignity of the priestly office, and as he prayed, had said with David,

     One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after;
     To dwell in the house of the Lord, as long as I live,
     To behold the glorious worship of the Lord,
     And to wait in his temple!—Ps. xxvii. 4.

In the afternoon Iddo conducted him to one of the places of public
instruction, called by the Greek name of Synagogue. Such buildings had
come into use only since the captivity, but there were already a
considerable number of them in Jerusalem. In the days of David and
Solomon we find no trace of them. It is true, we find very early mention
of the schools of the prophets, from which they may be considered to
have taken their rise. In the days of Elisha it was customary to visit
the prophets on the day of the new moon and on the sabbath.[121] In the
captivity the people must have felt the necessity much more of
assembling on solemn days, to obtain consolation and hope from the
discourses of some man learned in the scriptures. On the fifth day of
the sixth month, it happened, we are told in the book of the Prophet,
that Ezekiel “was sitting in his house and the elders of Judah were
sitting before him.”[122] After the return from the captivity this
custom was kept up, from the experience of its utility; and these
assemblages were held at first in the porticoes of the temple,
afterwards in buildings appropriated to the purpose. Sacrifices could be
offered only in one place, the temple, but prayer might be offered, and
instruction communicated, any where.

Footnote 121:

  2 Kings iv. 23.

Footnote 122:

  Ezek. viii. 1.

They went into a synagogue in the Lower City, where an eloquent
expounder of the law was accustomed to teach. The arrangement of the
building had a good deal of resemblance to that of the temple. A large
quadrangular space was surrounded on all sides with covered walks or
porticoes, resting upon a double row of columns. In the middle, a
circular roof rested upon four pillars, and beneath it, on a raised
place, lay the rolls of the law. The people stood upon the open space,
which was covered with an awning, and in rainy weather took shelter in
the porticoes, one of which was set apart exclusively for the women.
Before the rolls of the law stood the reader and expounder, who was also
called the apostle or ambassador of the assembly. He read the law and
the letters of other congregations; he delivered the prayer, and thus,
as it were, was the messenger of the people to God, and the interpreter
of their desires. Besides him there was also a ruler of the synagogue,
or superintendent of the school, who maintained order, several elders of
the congregation who assisted him in his functions, a gatherer of alms,
and a servant. Any one who chose, not excepting strangers, might stand
up and teach.

The synagogue was already full when Helon and his friends entered it,
and after the usual salutation, the service began by praising God. The
reader then going up to the rolls, which lay under the circular roof,
read a passage from the law, which he at the same time interpreted to
the people. After a second ascription of praise, he read the following
passage from the prophet Jeremiah: “Ah Lord God; behold thou hast made
the heavens and the earth, by thy great power and thy stretched-out arm,
and there is nothing too hard for thee: thou showest loving-kindness
unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquities of the fathers into the
bosom of the children after them. The great the mighty God, the Lord of
Hosts, is thy name: great in counsel and mighty in work art thou, whose
eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men, to give to every one
according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings; who
hast shown signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even to this day, and
in Israel, and among other men, and hast made thee a name, as it is at
this day, and hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of
Egypt, with signs and with wonders, and with a strong hand and with a
stretched-out arm, and with great terror; and hast given to them this
land, which thou didst swear to their fathers to give them, a land
flowing with milk and honey.”[123] When he had read this passage, and
translated it into the common dialect of the country, the celebrated
teacher of the law, whom we have mentioned, rose up, and proposed to
deliver a discourse.

Footnote 123:

  Jer. xxxii. 17-22.

Myron had objected to his friend Helon, that the people of Israel were
destitute of skill in all the fine arts; and in respect to eloquence,
resembled their lawgiver, who was “slow of speech and of a slow
tongue.”[124] To the former part of the imputation Helon had already
replied; to the latter he might have answered, that although his nation
never possessed an Isocrates or a Demosthenes, no people ever had
orators, whose eloquence was more vigorous, animated, or spirit-stirring
than the prophets in Israel. What artificial rhetorician, of the schools
or the Agora, ever graved his words so deep in the hearts of his hearers
as they did? They spoke the word of Jehovah, by the command and
inspiration of Jehovah; the Greeks, the words of human wisdom, at the
suggestion of vanity, or to promote the purposes of ambition. How
different is the effect of a discourse, in which a divine power dwells,
from those which have been composed with the strictest adherence to the
rules of art!

Footnote 124:

  Exod. iv. 10.

Such might have been Helon’s answer to his friend; for such was his own
experience, in listening to the orator in the synagogue. His language
was simple and unartificial, but for this very reason the energy of the
prophet’s words, which he expounded, was the more strongly felt. First
of all he went through the passage which had been read, and explained
the contents of the prayer, which, sublime in itself, was still more so
from the circumstances in which it was spoken. He painted the forlorn
condition of the people when the land fell into the hands of the
Chaldeans, and the prophecy which was involved in the purchase of the
field of Anathoth. When he came to speak of the signs and wonders which
Jehovah had shown in Egypt, and of his having brought out his people
with an out-stretched arm, he pointed out to the audience, that this
great deliverance was to be regarded as an everlasting pledge of his
redeeming mercy. For a thousand years past it had served this purpose,
and every Passover revived and strengthened the impression. He painted
to them the condition of Israel in Goshen, their inhuman oppressions,
the evening of the first Passover, their wanderings in the wilderness,
their rebellions against God, and the firmness of their lawgiver. Thence
he past rapidly to the glorious days of the first temple, and described
the magnificence of Solomon and the prosperity of Israel, while the eyes
of all his audience glistened with sympathetic delight. Next he spoke of
the captivity in Babylon, of the silent tears of the people as they sat
by the streams of the Tigris and Euphrates, and of the evening of the
Passover, when the fourteenth day of Nisan came and no paschal lamb
could be eaten, but only the unleavened bread. No one drew his breath
while he delineated the picture of this misery. “Unhappy, forsaken
people!” he exclaimed; “ye had sinned and Jehovah visiteth the
iniquities of the fathers upon their children. O thou almighty and
jealous God, thine eyes are open on all the ways of the children of
men!” He paused for a moment, as if overpowered by the contemplation of
the might and justice of Jehovah. Every bosom was agitated. “Woe, woe to
me and to my children!” exclaimed at once a woman, so carried away by
the words of the speaker, that she forgot herself and the presence of
the multitude. “Woe to us all,” resumed he, “if we forsake Jehovah, the
living fountain, and hew out to ourselves broken fountains which hold no
water.” In conclusion he praised the restoration of the worship of God,
and the happy times in which they lived; and earnestly exhorted them to
celebrate the feast of unleavened bread and of the appearance before
Jehovah, with becoming gratitude, and faithfully to observe the law, in
the land flowing with milk and honey into which he had brought them.

When the discourse was ended, praise was again ascribed to God, and the
prayer called Kri-schma repeated. This was a feast-day; but
independently of this, it was the duty of every adult Jew, on the second
and the fifth day of the week, as well as on the sabbath, to pray, with
the Tallith on his head, and the Tephillim on his brow and on his hand.
The benediction was given, to which the assembly replied Amen! and at
the close of all, alms were collected for the poor.

As they left the assembly, Helon remarked to Elisama, how much superior,
in regard both to sacrifice and instruction, was the condition of Israel
to that of the heathens. They offer sacrifice to their gods—but they are
ignorant of the law; they have temples and altars, but no houses of
religious instructions; they have priests, but none to explain their
duty to them. On the following day, the third after the Passover, the
same offerings were made as before; but the evening increased the
solemnity, by the approach of the sabbath. It was announced as usual by
six blasts of the trumpet, blown by a priest out of the chamber which
was situated on the southern side of the temple, at the extremity of the
court of Israel, and which served at the same time for the watch-room of
the priests and Levites. In the country towns the annunciation was made
by blasts of the horn. At the ninth hour (three in the afternoon) the
first blast was sounded, as a signal for the cessation of all labour in
the field. Troops of reapers and other labourers were immediately after
seen coming from all the adjacent country into Jerusalem. At the tenth
hour, the second blast was sounded, to announce the time of closing the
shops and manufactories, completing the domestic preparations for the
sabbath, and putting on their best attire. In every house, two loaves
were placed upon the table, as a memorial of the double measure of
manna, gathered in the wilderness on the day before the sabbath. At the
third blast, the mother of the family lighted the two lamps, which were
to burn through the whole of the sabbath. Light, being the symbol of joy
and of knowledge, was appropriate to such a solemnity; hence the altar
blazed, and the household lamp was kindled. The mother, assuming the
priestly office, spread out her hands towards the lamp when she had
lighted it, and said “Blessed be thou, O Lord our God, King of the
world, who hast sanctified us by thy precepts, and commanded us to light
the sabbath-lamp.” The fourth, fifth, and sixth blasts followed each
other rapidly, as soon as the sun was set; and the sabbath was now
begun.

To take a family meal was the first thing done. The master of the house
filled the cup, when all were assembled around the table, and blessed
it, and said, “On the sixth day were the earth and the heavens and all
their glory completed. For God finished by the seventh day all the work
which he had done, and rested on the seventh day from all his labour,
and hallowed it, because on it he rested from all the work which he had
created and made.”

After a short pause, he proceeded, “Blessed be thou, O Lord our God, who
hast created the fruit of the vine, King of the world, who hast
sanctified us by thy precepts, and commanded us to keep thy sabbaths,
and hast appointed them to us of thy good pleasure, as a memorial of the
work of creation. It is also the beginning of the assembling of thy
saints, and of the going out of Egypt: for thou hast chosen us out from
among all nations, and hast sanctified us and hast appointed to us the
holy sabbath. We praise thee, O Lord, that thou hast made the
sabbath-day holy.” The cup was emptied, the master of the house blessed
the bread also in the usual form of words, and the meal began.

In the mean time the course of priests had been changed in the temple,
that which had been on duty in the preceding week, giving place to that
whose turn of service it was for the week following. The shew-bread was
changed, twelve of the priests bringing each one of the new loaves in a
golden dish, and two others censers with incense. Then all the children
of Israel laid themselves down to rest, in their own houses or in the
temple, in joyful expectation of the sabbath-dawn.

The sabbath was so solemnly and strictly kept, that it was not allowed
to be broken even by the greatest of the festivals; it may indeed be
said, that as being the oldest, it was the root and parent of all the
rest. It was not merely a day of cessation from labour; its celebration
was a weekly acknowledgment, that the One God was worshipped as the
creator of heaven and earth; and thus it stood in the closest connection
with the first of the ten commandments which God had given upon mount
Sinai. The command for its observance, however, is as ancient as the
first revelation made by God to man, forming a part of the narrative of
the creation. At the giving of the law, the precept for its observance
was renewed and enforced, “Remember the sabbath-day to keep it holy;”
and its high import was expressed by the words, “Verily my sabbaths
shall ye keep, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your
generations, that ye may know that I am the Lord that sanctifieth you.
Six days shall ye work, but the seventh is the sabbath, a holy rest unto
the Lord.”[125] And in the renewal of the law it is said, “Thou shalt
remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the
Lord thy God brought thee out thence with a mighty and an outstretched
arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the
sabbath-day.”[126] So the prophets call the sabbath the sign of the
covenant between Jehovah and his people.[127] It was besides a day of
remembrance of the deliverance from Egypt, a weekly passover. The
violation of the sabbath was punished with the severest penalties.
“Whosoever maketh the sabbath unholy shall surely be put to death;” and
when it is added, as an explanation, “whosoever _doeth any work_ on the
sabbath-day, he shall surely be put to death,” this deeper meaning is
conveyed, that there is a rest, which is more holy than labour. Outward
rest, consisting in the cessation of motion and exertion, was the sign
of that holy and inward rest. While in the desert Moses commanded the
children of Israel, saying, “Behold the Lord hath given you the sabbath;
therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days. Let
every man therefore remain in his own place, and let no man go out on
the seventh day.”[128] What a picture do these words convey, of so many
millions of human beings, by whose activity the surrounding desert was
enlivened on every other day, but of whose existence every trace seemed
to vanish, as the sun went down on the evening when the seventh began!
In pious fear of transgressing this law, the Jews, in later times, never
went further than two thousand cubits; because they reckoned that the
remotest tent in the camp would be one thousand cubits distant from the
tabernacle, and that their forefathers must have gone and returned this
distance, in order to appear before Jehovah.[129]

Footnote 125:

  Exod. xxxi. 13.

Footnote 126:

  Deut. v. 15.

Footnote 127:

  Ezek. xx. 12.

Footnote 128:

  Exod. xvi. 29.

Footnote 129:

  This is the foundation of the reckoning by a sabbath-day’s journey,
  which was between six and seven stadia of the Greek measure, and
  somewhat less than a mile of our own.

But if the sabbath was a mark of the covenant between Jehovah and his
people, and also a day of rest, it could not be otherwise than a day of
joy; and so it was always considered in Israel. In the burning east,
rest is of itself a pleasure; and as every thing else connected with the
service of Jehovah bore the character of cheerful enjoyment, so also did
the sabbath. “If,” says Isaiah, “thou turn away thy foot from the
sabbath, and do not thy pleasure on my holy day, and callest the sabbath
a delight, a solemnity of Jehovah, a day of honour; then shalt thou
delight thyself in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride over the high
places of the earth, and will feed thee with the inheritance of Jacob
thy father—the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”[130]

Footnote 130:

  Isaiah lviii. 13, 14.

If, however, the sabbath could not be suspended by the festivities of
the Passover, they might receive additional solemnity from the sabbath.
Helon felt its sanctity with double force, in this combination. He had
risen early in the morning, and could scarcely wait till the hour
arrived, for his going up with the old men to the temple, for the first
time in his life, to spend a sabbath there. The morning sacrifice
consisted on this day of the usual offering of a lamb; then followed the
special offering of the sabbath, two lambs of a year old, with the meat
and drink offering that belonged to them. Last of all, the
festival-offering, which consisted of two young bullocks, a ram, seven
yearling lambs as a burnt-offering, and a goat as a sin-offering. In the
mean time the sabbath psalm was sung by the Levites from the fifteen
steps.

 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord,
 And to sing praises unto thy name, O most High!
 To show forth thy loving-kindness in the morning,
 And thy faithfulness every night,
 Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery,
 Upon the harp with a solemn sound.
 For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work,
 I will triumph because of the works of thy hands.
 O Lord! how great are thy works;
 Thy thoughts are very deep!
 A brutish man knoweth not this,
 Nor doth a fool understand it.
 When the wicked spring as the grass,
 And when all the workers of iniquity flourish,
 It is that they may be destroyed for ever:
 But thou, Lord, art most high for evermore.
 For lo! thine enemies, O Lord,
 For lo! thine enemies shall perish!
 All the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.

 But thou exaltest my horn like the unicorn’s;
 I am anointed with fresh oil;
 And mine eye shall see my desire on mine enemies,
 And mine ear shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me.
 The righteous flourisheth like the palm-tree,
 He groweth like a cedar in Lebanon.
 They that are planted in the house of the Lord
 Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
 They shall still bring forth in old age,
 They shall be full of sap and flourishing,
 To show that Jehovah is just,
 He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.—Ps. xcii.

Helon remained the whole day in the temple, witnessed the
evening-sacrifice, and heard the sound of the trumpet which proclaimed
that the sabbath was at an end. The old men retired soon after the
morning-sacrifices leaving him to his own reflections, and rejoicing
that one was found among the youth of Israel, so full of enthusiasm for
the service of Jehovah. Helon, as he wandered about the courts of the
temple, was revolving a design, which had long been forming in his
bosom, and which had been rapidly matured by the feelings of the last
few days.



                              CHAPTER VII.
                THE CLOSE OF THE FEAST OF THE PASSOVER.


Although the greater part of the people had already returned to their
homes, to begin the harvest, and large companies had taken their
departure every morning with the music of cymbals and psalms, all the
priests and Levites still remained, and a great multitude of the people.
Not fewer than 100,000 men were still to be seen assembled in the courts
of the temple.

One day Helon was present at the evening-sacrifice, and was witness of a
novel scene. He was standing beside the thirteen chests, which were
placed in the court of the Women. Each of these chests was inscribed
with the name of the gift which was to be deposited in it. Some were for
the capitation tax, others, for the money which remained over and above
of the destined sum when the victim had been purchased; others, for
voluntary gifts for the benefit of the temple. A Jew of Cyrene came to
bring the capitation tax of his countrymen. The law had enacted as
follows: “The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, when thou takest the sum of
the children of Israel, they shall give every man a ransom for his soul
unto the Lord, when thou numberest them, that there may be no plague
among them when thou numberest them: this shall they give, every one
that is numbered a half-shekel, according to the shekel of the
sanctuary: a half-shekel shall be the offering of the Lord. Every one,
from twenty years and upwards, shall give an offering to the Lord; the
rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than a
half-shekel, that it may be for a memorial unto the children of Israel
before the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls.”[131] The shekel
is a coin which contains twenty gerahs,[132] and has at different times
been of different values, but since the time of the high-priest Simon,
has been equal to a Grecian stater. The coin, as struck by him, has a
beautiful stamp: on the one side is seen, in the centre, the budding rod
of Aaron, with the legend around it, “The holy Jerusalem:” on the other
side is a pot of manna, and the words “Shekel of Israel.” Whole and half
shekels were coined. It was such a half-shekel that every Jew of twenty
years and upwards was bound to give, as an acknowledgment of his
belonging to the people of Jehovah. It might be considered as a
capitation tax levied in the last month of the ecclesiastical year. On
the first day of this month, Adar, the Sanhedrim sent messengers through
the whole country, who demanded the half-shekel, and fifteen days were
given for the payment. On the fifteenth day of Adar, the receivers of
the half-shekel took their seats beside the chests, in the court of the
Women, and all who were twenty years and upwards brought their
contribution. If any one neglected to do so, compulsory measures were
resorted to, in order to obtain it. To the very poorest persons a
further respite of a year was granted, and for this reason a chest for
the past year was placed by that which received the contributions of the
present. At this time a multitude of the poorer class were seen
soliciting alms from the rich, to enable them to discharge their debt.
This was the only kind of begging which the law allowed in Israel.
Strangers, who came to Jerusalem chiefly at the festivals, were
accustomed to take these opportunities of discharging the debt,
especially at the Passover, which was some weeks later than the day of
the month Adar, on which it became due.

Footnote 131:

  Exod. xxx. 11.

Footnote 132:

  Numb. iii. 47.

The Cyrenian had brought the sum which was due from his Jewish brethren
in Cyrene, and was about to deposit it in the chest. But it was
necessary that it should be paid in shekels, and he had only foreign
coin. As this was a case of frequent occurrence, the receivers of the
shekel were also money-changers, and had their tables beside the chests.
For a certain premium they gave Jewish shekels for the Cyrenian coins.
Helon witnessed the proceeding with no small dissatisfaction.

He had the true Mosaic dislike of commerce and trade, of which, in the
whole law, no single instance of encouragement is found. Though Canaan
lay on the shore of the Mediterranean, and the example of their nearest
neighbours, the Phœnicians, encouraged the Israelites to commerce, it
was not the will of Jehovah that his people should devote themselves to
traffic; agriculture, on the contrary, was consecrated by its union with
religion, and all the great national festivals were as much agricultural
as historical. In this respect Israel resembled the Greeks more than the
Orientals, among whom commerce is usually held in high estimation,
constitutes an order of nobility, and engages even the prime ministers
of the state. The Greek, on the contrary, at least in the earliest and
purest times, considered such occupations as a surrender of his dignity,
and inconsistent with the magnanimity of a free man. Helon would fain
have seen the same spirit continuing to animate the Israelites, though
for a different reason. The constant intercourse with foreigners,
necessarily produced compromises and conformity, which diminished their
attachment to the law and usages of their forefathers. He disliked the
mercantile character of the Hellenists of Alexandria, as much as their
love of allegories, and deduced indeed from the former their neglect of
the law, their indifference to the temple on Moriah, and their endeavour
to pacify their conscience by allegorizing those precepts, which in
their literal acceptation too obviously rebuked their practices. If the
children of the captivity, he thought, had not taken up the pursuit of
commerce on the banks of the Euphrates and the Tigris, they would have
returned in much greater numbers, and so many of them would not have
been induced to prefer gain in a foreign land to the recovery of their
own. “And had they returned in greater numbers,” he exclaimed, “how soon
would the Samaritans have been expelled, Galilee purified, and the
Philistines been forced to bow their necks! Jerusalem would have been
inhabited by a totally different race of men, and the days of Solomon
might have returned!”

With such feelings, it was natural that he should turn away in disgust
from all that seemed to change the proper character of the festival.
This mixture of commerce with the religious solemnity was indeed not
new: it seemed almost to arise necessarily out of the circumstances of
the case. The festivals were not merely occasions of appearing before
Jehovah, for pious services, nor merely anniversary assemblages of the
people; they were also the great national fairs. One end of the court of
the Gentiles served as a market-place; the most extensive dealings
carried on in it were in cattle. Vast droves of sheep, goats, and
bullocks preceded the pilgrims on their way to the city, to supply the
sacrifices which were to be offered there. As the animals so offered
must all be clean, it was necessary that this branch of trade should be
wholly in the hands of Jews. The sheep came from the wilderness of
Judah; the bullocks from Galilee; Tekoah and Hermon furnished honey, and
Gilead its precious balm. Phœnicians also came to the festival, and
brought with them foreign merchandise, purple, Egyptian linen, &c.

Elisama was frequently among the merchants, and judged of their wares
with the eyes of one experienced in such matters, for he had himself
been a merchant. But Helon could never be persuaded to follow his
uncle’s occupation, and had been accustomed at Alexandria to take refuge
in the Bruchion, when exhorted to engage in commerce. “O! that a prophet
would appear,” he exclaimed one day in the temple, when his zeal was
more than ordinarily kindled, “who should overturn the tables of the
money-changers, and drive those who buy and sell from the courts of
Jehovah!”

These things however were only trivial diminutions of his pleasure,
small specks in the bright glory which invested the temple and its
services to his imagination. When he went up, morning or evening, and
entered by the Beautiful-gate, he hastened as speedily as possible from
the objects the sight of which displeased him, to reach a scene more
congenial to his feelings, to ascend the flight of steps which conducted
to the altar of burnt-offering, to wander in the spacious porticoes, to
follow with the eye the majestic steps of the high-priest, or listen to
the psalms of the Levites. He had not words to describe the delight in
which he thus passed his hours away. He inwardly resolved to become as
it was then called, a Chasidean, i. e. a perfectly righteous man. He
thanked Jehovah that he had so happily escaped from the meshes of the
Greek philosophy, and had so pure and ardent a love for the law of his
fathers. He prayed to the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, to be
enabled to fulfil the law in all its rigour, and he was conscious of a
warmth of attachment to it, and an energy of purpose, which left him no
doubt of succeeding.

The close of the festival was at hand; Helon could scarce refrain from
tears when, on the evening of the seventh day, the sound of the trumpets
announced that it was over. The last day, the twenty-first of the month
Nisan, was as holy as the first, and no work could lawfully be done on
either of them. The festival-offering was presented on this as on every
other of the seven days: the ashes from such a multitude of sacrifices,
never having been cleared away, had accumulated to a lofty heap upon the
altar. All those who had remained in Jerusalem had assembled in the
temple; in the afternoon they went to the synagogue, and with sunset the
feast of unleavened bread was over.

Helon went down from the temple, with slow and melancholy steps. The
pilgrims were preparing for their departure, and the citizens returning
to their ordinary occupations. On the following morning they were
present at the sacrifice, and returned thanks to Jehovah for permitting
them to join in the celebration of his Passover. The tents were then
struck; the different companies arranged themselves, and with the sound
of cymbals poured out from the different gates, after having taken a
hearty farewell of their respective friends.

Helon stood upon the roof, and saw the commotion in the streets and at
the gates. The city gradually became more empty and silent. He listened,
as the songs of the pilgrims died away in the distance, and when he
heard from the road to Bethlehem, where he had himself joined in the
chorus, the psalm which they were singing on their return, the sound
fell on his heart, like the knell of departed joy.



                        NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS.

[Illustration]

                                BOOK I.

Page 4.—_Emancipation of servants._] The Mosaic law did not prohibit
domestic slavery, which, being universal in the ancient world, it would
have been impossible to banish from among any single people;—it only
endeavoured to mitigate those evils which slavery must bring with it,
especially among a people little softened by civilisation. In
particular, its regulations were directed to prevent the mischiefs which
resulted in other countries from the hostility against their master,
which is engendered in the minds of slaves, who see no prospect of any
termination to their miseries but that of their lives. Foreign slaves
might be purchased and retained during their whole lifetime in slavery;
(Lev. xxv. 45, 46.) but if a native Israelite had been reduced to
servitude by poverty, Josephus (Ant. iii. 12. xvi. 1.) adds, by crime,
he was to be set free at the end of seven years, or in the year of
Jubilee, if this occurred before his seven years of service had expired.
(Exod. xxi. 2-6. Lev. xxv. 39. Deut. xv. 12-18.) It would, however,
frequently happen that a servant would have formed an attachment to his
master’s house, which would make him unwilling to leave it, especially
as the children, who might have been born to him by a female slave in
the family, continued the property of his master. (Exod. xxi. 4.) In
this case he was allowed to bind himself to his service for ever: the
compact, to prevent false claims on the master’s part, taking place in
the presence of witnesses, with the ceremonies described in the text.
Josephus (Ant. iv. 8. 28.) appears to suppose, that even then he was
released in the fiftieth year. The time immediately preceding the
Passover is said to have been usually chosen for the manumission of
those who were to receive their freedom. (Reland, Ant. Sacr. Heb. 452.
Michaelis, Mos. Law, § 122-127.)

Page 6.—_Thavech._] היך (τὸ μεσὸν, Luke v. 19.) is a Hebrew word
denoting _the midst_, and applied to the court which formed the centre
of the buildings of the house. See Shaw’s Travels, p. 208.

Page 6.—_Presents for the host._] “It is counted uncivil to visit in
this country without a gift in the hand. All great men expect it, as a
kind of tribute due to their character and authority, and look upon
themselves as affronted, and indeed defrauded, when this compliment is
omitted. Even in familiar visits amongst inferior people you shall
seldom have them come, without bringing a flower, or an orange, or some
other such token of their respect to the person visited: the Turks in
this respect keeping up the ancient oriental custom hinted at, (1 Sam.
ix. 7.) ‘If we go, what shall we bring the man of God? there is not a
present to bring to the man of God—what have we?’ which words are
questionless to be understood as relating to a token of respect, and not
a price of divination,”—Maundrell’s Travels, p. 26.

Page 7.—Respecting the construction of the better kind of houses in the
east, the variegated marble pavements, the fountain with its cypress or
palm-trees, the awning stretched over it, &c. see Harmer’s Observations
on Scripture, i. 195. Ed. 1776. Russell’s Aleppo, i. 29. Shaw’s Travels,
207.

Page 8.—_Nard._] The costly liquid perfume, called _nardus_ by the
ancients, was obtained from the flowers of the Indian plant _Valeriana
Jatamensi_. (Roxburgh, As. Res. iv. No. 33.) From the resemblance of the
grains, with which the lower part of the stem is covered, to an ear of
corn, it obtained the name of νάρδου στάχυς, _spikenard_. (Mark xiv. 3.
John xii. 3.) When pure, a small quantity of it, such as could be
enclosed in a vase of onyx, was esteemed of great value.—Hor. Od. iv.
12.

                 Sed pressum Calibus ducere Liberum,
                 Si gestis, juvenum nobilium cliens,
                     Nardo vina merebere,
                 Nardi parvus onyx eliciet cadum; caet.

Page 8.—_Fish of the Nile._] Athen. vii. 312. φέρει δὲ ὁ Νεῖλος γένη
πολλὰ ἰχθύων καὶ πάντα ἤδιστα.—Diod. i. 36. The fish of Egypt are
regretted, along with its vegetables, by the murmuring Israelites.
(Numb. xi. 5.) In the hot weather the languid appetite relishes scarcely
any food but this.—Harmer, ii. 327.

Page 8.—_Posture at table._] “Cœnantes ita decumbebant, ut capite
leviter erecto, dorsoque pulvinis suffulto, lævo cubito inniterentur.
Singulos lectos terni solebant occupare; primus pedes dorso secundi,
secundus tertii dorso proximos habebat. Primus dicebatur summus, qui ad
hujus pedes tertius imus erat, qui medius inter illos accumbebat
dignissimus habebatur.”—Quistorpius de Terra Sancta; Fascic. Opusc. ix.
542.

Page 8.—_Blessing the bread._] The prayers of the Jews before their
meals beginning with the words ברוך אהה יהוה the word _to bless_,
(εὐλογεῖν) came to be used, as we find it F.pn +1 in the New Testament,
for giving of thanks before a meal, and was applied to the food itself,
though properly referring to God. (Kuinöel on Luke ix. 16.) What is here
said respecting the ceremonies with which the meal was accompanied must
be understood to rest on Rabbinical authority, or the practice of the
later Jews. See Calmet Dict. _Prayer_; Diss. sur le Manger des Hébreux,
i. p. 350. Buxtorf. Synagoga Judaica, 7.

Page 10.—“_Happy the people_,” &c.] These words will not be found in our
version of Psalm lxxxix. 15., but “Blessed is the people that know the
joyful sound.” The author has followed the version of Dathe and others.
“O beatum populum, qui novit clangorem tubæ.” “Israelitis dies solemnes
et festivi clangore tubæ annunciabantur, Lev. xxiii. 24. qui deinde ad
eos peragendos in loco sacro conveniebant. Laudat igitur poeta
felicitatem populi ex eo, quod hæc sacra ex præscripto Deo peragere
possit.” Dathe. The modern Jews repeat this verse, when the trumpet is
blown in the synagogue at the Feast of Trumpets.—Jenning’s Jewish Ant.
ii. 253.

Page 11.—_History of the Jews in Egypt._] According to the account of
Aristeas, to whom we owe the fable of the origin of the Greek version of
the Old Testament, the Jews had settled in Egypt as early as the time of
Psammetichus, 670 B. C. This, however, is not confirmed by ֖more
credible authors. Herodotus mentions only Ionian and Carian mercenaries,
(ii. 152.) as having served Psammetichus; Diodorus (i. 66.) does indeed
add Arabians, under whom Jews may have been included; but there is
nothing in the sacred volume to countenance the supposition. After the
capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, Gedaliah, whom the Babylonians
had left in command over the remnant of the people, was murdered by
Ishmael, a prince of the house of Judah, who had taken refuge with the
king of Ammon. The people, fearing the vengeance of Nebuchadnezzar,
determined to take refuge in Egypt. Jeremiah, who endeavoured to
dissuade them from it, was compelled to accompany them in their flight,
and probably died in Egypt. (Jer. xli. xlii. xliii.) The fugitives took
up their abode in the country adjacent to Pelusium, (Jer. xliv.) at
Memphis and Thebes. It was predicted by Jeremiah that they should be cut
off, but we know not in what manner the prophecy was fulfilled: probably
from this time to that of Alexander the Great, a considerable number of
Jews remained in the principal cities of Egypt. Alexander, when he
founded the city which bore his name, brought a great number of Jews to
settle there, (Jos. Bell. Jud. ii. 18. 7. cont. Apion. ii. 4.) allowed
them to be called Macedonians, and gave them a quarter of the city,
adjoining the palace, for their peculiar residence, that they might
observe their national customs without molestation. Ptolemy Lagi, the
founder of the kingdom of Egypt, endeavoured to possess himself of
Palestine, but was driven out by Antigonus, and in his retreat carried
with him a great number of Jewish families; (B. C. 312) some of whom he
placed in his garrisons, others he sent to Cyrene, (Jos. Apion. ii. 4.)
but the greater part he settled at Alexandria, continuing to them the
privileges which had been granted to them by Alexander. After the battle
of Ipsus, (301) Judæa remained in the hands of Ptolemy, and many more of
the Jews were attracted to the new capital of Egypt. (Jos. Ant. xii. 1.)
Their number must have been very great, if we could rely on the account
given by Josephus, that 120,000 of them were ransomed from slavery by
Ptolemy Philadelphus, (B. C. 277, Ant. xii. 2. 1.) when he caused the
Jewish law to be translated into Greek. The succeeding princes of this
family treated the Jews with great kindness, desirous probably of
attaching their countrymen in Palestine, and thus securing their
possession of that region, so eagerly contested between them and the
kings of Syria.[133] In the reign of Ptolemy Philometor, Onias, whose
father, the third high-priest of that name, had been murdered, fled into
Egypt, and rose into high favour with the king and Cleopatra, his queen.
The high-priesthood of the temple of Jerusalem, which belonged of right
to his family, having passed from it to the family of the Maccabees, by
the nomination of Jonathan to this office, (B. C. 153) Onias used his
influence with the court to procure the establishment of a temple and
ritual in Egypt, which should entirely detach the Jews who lived there
from their connection with the temple at Jerusalem. The king readily
complied with the request, hoping thus to assimilate the Jews more
completely with his subjects, and to retain at home the gifts and
tributes which they sent to the temple at Jerusalem. It was a bold
innovation on the Jewish law, which had prescribed that sacrifices
should be offered at one place only, for which purpose Jerusalem had
long been appropriated. But on the other hand it might be urged that
this law was given only in the contemplation of the Israelites living
altogether in their own land, and that the case of a large number of
Jews dwelling in a foreign country, not having been in the view of the
lawgiver, was to be provided for when it arose. To reconcile the
Egyptian Jews to a second temple, Onias is said to have alleged a
passage in Isaiah, (xix. 18, 19.) of which we shall have occasion to
speak hereafter. The place which he chose for the purpose was a ruined
temple of Bubastis, at Leontopolis, in the Heliopolitan nome, one
hundred and eighty stadia from Memphis; and the king having granted it
to him, he repaired it, built a city resembling Jerusalem in miniature,
(Jos. Bel. Jud. i. 1.) and erected an altar in imitation of that in the
temple, constituted himself high-priest, and appointed priests and
Levites from among the Jewish settlers. The king granted a tract of land
around the temple for the maintenance of the worship, and it remained in
existence till destroyed by Vespasian. (Jos. Ant. xiii. 3. xx. 9. Bell.
Jud. vii. 11.) The chief seat of the Jews in Egypt, after Alexandria,
appears to have been the district in which this temple stood, and which
was called, from the founder, Ὀνίου Χώρα. (Jos. Ant. xiv. 8.) Onias was
also a great warrior, and jointly with another Jew, Dositheus, was
intrusted by Ptolemy with the management of all his civil and military
affairs. When, after the death of Philometor, a dispute arose between
Cleopatra and Ptolemy Physcon about the succession, Onias raised an army
of Jews, and came to her assistance. During the reign of this voluptuous
and cruel prince, (145-117 B. C.) the Jews in Egypt probably suffered in
common with the other inhabitants of Alexandria, who were more than once
in open rebellion against him; but nothing particular is related
respecting them, if we except the circumstance mentioned in the
preceding note, which the Latin translation of Josephus contra Apionem
refers to the reign of Ptolemy Physcon. His queen Cleopatra associated
with herself in the kingdom her eldest son, Ptolemy Lathyrus, and they
were jointly sovereigns of Egypt at the time when the pilgrimage of
Helon is supposed to take place. Cleopatra, jealous of Lathyrus, whom
she had been compelled to take as her partner in the regal power,
instead of his younger brother Alexander, (Jos. Ant. xiii. 10. 4.) gave
her whole confidence to Hilkias and Ananias, sons of that Onias, by whom
the temple of Leontopolis was built, gave them the command of the army,
and was guided in every thing by their advice. The attachment of the
Jews appears to have been the great support of Cleopatra’s power, almost
all the other persons whom she employed going over to the side of
Ptolemy. Thus favoured by the ruling powers, the Jews seem to have
increased in population and wealth, so as to form no inconsiderable
proportion of the inhabitants of Alexandria. Τῆς τῶν Αλεξανδρέων πόλεως
ἁφώριστο μέγα μέρος τῷ ἔθνει τουτῷ. Strabo ap. Jos. Ant. xiv. 7. 2.
Philo, Leg. ad Caium, says they were μυριάδες πόλλαι. Besides the
enjoyment of their own religion, they had their own Ethnarch, who
administered justice among them, according to their own law; so that,
according to Strabo, they formed a sort of independent community in the
bosom of the state. (Jos. Ant. xix. 5. 2.) It seemed desirable to
present the reader with this connected view of the origin and state of
the Jews in Egypt, as it is disclosed only gradually, and by allusion,
in the work itself.

Footnote 133:

  A tale, not very credible, is related by the author of what is called
  the Third Book of the Maccabees, of Ptolemy Philopater’s attempting to
  compel the Jews in Egypt to forsake their religion. Josephus takes no
  notice of it in his Antiquities; it is found in the Latin translation
  of the Treatise against Apion. It may have had its foundation in some
  persecution raised against them by that king. See Prideaux’s
  Connection, under the year 216 B. C.

Page 14.—_Irhaheres, Leontopolis._] Isaiah xix. 18. This is the passage
which Onias is said to have alleged, in order to induce the Jews to
acquiesce in the erection of the temple at Leontopolis. The words which
stand in our common Hebrew Bibles are these, עִיר ההרס יאמר לאחת
rendered in our translation “One shall be called, the City of
Destruction.” Those who impute a misapplication of the passage to Onias,
suppose that he read it ציר החרס, which, according to the meaning which
the word bears, (Job ix. 7.) would signify _City of the Sun_, i. e.
Heliopolis; and some modern interpreters consider this as the more
probable reading. See Vitringa in loc. It is supported by Symmachus, who
renders it πόλις ἡλίου· and Jerome “_Civitas Solis_ vocabitur una.” The
rendering of the Seventy is different from either, πόλις Ασεδὲκ
κληθήσεται ἡ μία πόλις, as if they had read הצדק, whence Prideaux (Conn.
Book iv. p. 377. Ann. 149.) infers that the translation of this prophet
was made by the Jews who worshipped at Leontopolis, and that they
corrupted the text to pay a compliment to the temple there. Our author
has followed an interpretation different from any of the above, which is
thus given by Dathe, who has adopted it in his translation: “Quæ sit עיר
ההרם incertum non est, postquam Ikenius in Diss. Philol. Diss. xvi. p.
258, plane demonstravit eam esse _Leontopolim_; origo nominis superest
in lingua Arabica, in qua דרם _leonem_ significat. Templum vero illud
Oniæ IV. de quo sine dubio propheta loquitur, in nomo Heliopolitano ad
urbem Leontopolim extructum esse Josephus diserte testatur Antiq. xiii.
3.”

It may be observed that the prophecy of Isaiah might naturally be
considered as a justification of the erection of a temple in Egypt,
without either corruption or mistranslation, as it certainly speaks of
an altar to Jehovah there.

Page 20.—_The Alijah._] See Shaw’s Travels, p. 214.; Taylor’s Heb.
Concord. sub voce (עליה). It appears to have been the chamber over the
gate, to which David (2 Sam. xviii. 33.) retired to weep for Absalom,
and the ὑπερῶον (Acts ix. 37.) in which the corpse of Tabitha was laid.

Page 21.—_The Panium._] Ἔστι δὲ καὶ Πάνειον, ὕψος τὶ χειροποίητον,
στροβιλοειδὲς, ἐμφερὲς οχθῳ πετρώδει, δια κοχλίου τὴν ἀνάβασιν ἔχον ἀπὸ
δὲ τῆς κορυφῆς ἔστιν ἀπιδεῖν ὅλην τὴν πόλιν ὑποκειμὲνην ἀυτῷ πανταχόθεν·
Strabo, xvii. p. 795. The Bruchium (a corruption of πυρουχεῖον, granary)
was situated at the north-eastern angle of the city. See the plan of
Alexandria, ancient and modern, in St. Croix Examen des Historiens
d’Alexandre, ed. 2. p. 288. Alexandria had two principal harbours, the
Great Harbour to the east, on which the Bruchium stood, and the Port of
Eunostus to the west. The separation between them was made by the
shallows between the Pharos and the land, afterwards covered by the mole
of the Heptastadium. The modern city of Alexandria stands on the ground
which has accumulated about the Heptastadium.

The Museum, where men of letters lived in common and at the royal
charge, (Strabo, xviii. 794. Gillies’ Hist. of the World, i. 496.) was
founded by Ptolemy Lagi, and the library enlarged by Philadelphus and
succeeding kings, till it amounted to 400,000 volumes. The Serapeum
contained 300,000 more. The library in the Bruchium was burnt in the
wars of Cæsar; that in the Serapeum suffered much in the religious
dissensions, and what remained was destroyed by the Saracens.

That the population of Alexandria has not been overrated by the author,
at 600,000 souls, may be inferred from what Diodorus says, that when he
was in Egypt, (60 B. C.) it appeared from the registers that there were
300,000 free men in Alexandria. Now in ancient cities the slaves were
commonly at least double the number of the free inhabitants. Hume Ess.
i. p. 442. It was the second city of the Roman world after Rome itself.
Diod. xvii. 52.

Page 23.—_Aramæan Jews._] _Aram_, in its largest sense, comprehended
Syria, Mesopotamia, and Palestine, all whose languages are closely
allied. (Deut. xxvi. 5. Ezra iv. 7.) Though politically distinguished
from Syria, Palestine has no geographical demarcation, and hence was
often reckoned to belong to it. (Reland, Pal. p. 42.) Of the hatred
which the Jews of Palestine bore to those of Egypt, who had attached
themselves to the temple, see Maimonides de Reg. Hebr. c. 5. and the
commentary in the Fascic. Hist. and Phil. Sacr. ix. p. 63. seq. The
Greek learning was as odious to the zealous Aramæans, as to Cato
himself. Ernesti op. Phil. xxiii. “Ut gliscenti malo, quod genuisse
Ægyptiacas synagogas querebantur, obicem ponerent, sanxere _Maledictus
esto quisquis filium suum sapientiam Græcanicam edoceat_.” (Brucker, ii.
705.) The inveteracy of the two sects against each other appeared
immediately in the Christian church. Acts vi. 1. Wetstein in loc.

Page 23.—Of the origin of the love of allegory among the Jews of
Alexandria, from their acquaintance with a corrupted form of the
Platonic and Pythagorean philosophy, see Brucker, Hist. Phil. ii. 690.
“Cum reliquæ Græcorum sectæ a Judaica theologia nimis distare
crederentur, et nec Peripatetica mundi æternitas, nec Stoica mundi anima
cum placitis Mosaicis, etiam allegoriarum ope satis conciliari posse
videretur, sola Pythagorico-Platonica doctrina saniora et digniora
Mosaicis præceptis afferre existimata est, eo quod sublimius de Deo
divinisque et spiritualibus substantiis philosophari putabatur. Ast
magnum cum esset inter Pythagorico-Platonica dogmata et legem Mosaicam
discrimen, adhibita est regionis docendi methodus, et allegoriæ
beneficio in concordiam ire jussa sunt præcepta longe diversissima.”
Eichhorn Allge. Bibl. v. 233.

Page 26.—_Doctrine of reminiscences._] Plato’s doctrine, that the soul’s
present knowledge is only a remembrance of a former state, is the basis
of much of his reasoning in favour of the immortality of the soul in his
Phædo, sect. xviii. ed. Forster. Τὸ ὄν, that which is, is the real
nature of things, the knowledge of which it is the highest flight of
philosophy to attain.

Page 26.—_A wise Jew who was also a Platonist._] In this description,
the author evidently refers to Philo, (Brucker, ii. 193.) who lived a
little after the time of our Saviour, but may be fairly presumed not to
have been the founder of this system of Platonico-Mosaic allegory, since
he speaks of it himself as _old_; Op. p. 1190, Ed. Par. although he was
so eminent in it, that Photius, ciii. says of him, ἑξ οὖ οἶμαι καὶ πᾶς ὁ
ἀλληγορικὸς τῆς γραφῆς ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ λόγος ἔσχεν ἀρχὴν. The author
supposes Philo to have conceived of the Λόγος as a being distinct from
the mind of God—yet strongly as many passages in his works favour this
opinion, all seems at other times to resolve itself into a
personification of a divine attribute and energy. See Mosheim ad Cudw.
Syst. Int. i. 835. “Vocabulorum et nominum quibus hunc λόγον Judæus
noster multis in locis ornat ea vis et ratio est, ut si ex usû et
recepta loquendi consuetudine æstimantur, notionem _personæ_, summo
licet Numine inferioris, in animis pariant—Ego vero vehementer metuo, ne
si umbræ dissipantur quibus dictionem suam obscuravit Philo, idem nobis
de hoc verbo dicendum sit, quod de binis potentiis ejus de quibus antea
egimus.—Qui de hominum cogitationibus tam argute ac figurate
philosophatur, is si Dei sapientiam et rationem aut divina decreta et
cogitata _primogenitum Dei filium_ vocat, nihil ab institutis suis
alienum admittat.” On the other side of the question may be consulted,
Kidder’s Demonstration of the Messiah, P. iii. ch. 5, 6.; Bull, Def.
Fid. Nic. i. 1. 16.

Page 28.—_God only can be our instructor in things relating to
himself._] See Plato, Rep. vii. init. Leland’s Necessity of Revelation,
i. 270.

Page 34.—_An Egyptian Jew._] The book of Tobit was probably composed
before the time of our Saviour, but when, or where, is very uncertain.
(Eichhorn, Einl. ins A. T. 4. 410.) Alexandria, however, was the great
workshop of the Jewish apocryphal writings, and probably produced this.

Page 36.—_A righteous man._] See Godwin’s Moses and Aaron, lib. i. c. 9.
respecting the distinction between the חסידים, who to the obedience of
the law added many other observances, designed to show their zeal for
it; and the צדיקים, who contented themselves with keeping the written
law. From the books of the Maccabees (1 Mac. ii. 42. vii. 13.) where the
Ἀσσιδαῖοι are mentioned, it is clear that this name was given to those
who were zealous for the law; the existence of the others as a distinct
class is more doubtful. Prideaux supposes that as the Chasidim gave rise
to the Pharisees, so did the Tsadikim to the Karaites, who reject all
tradition. Conn. vol. iii. An. 107.

Page 37.—_The Tallith._] See Calmet’s Dictionary, Art. _Taled._ The
fringes were designed to be worn on the ordinary garments, but the Jews
in later times affixed them to this mantle, which they wore only in
prayer.

Page 38.—_Ceremonies of Prayer._] See Calmet’s Dict. Art. _Phylactery._
Surenh. Mishna i. 9. The use of them was at least as old as the time of
our Saviour; but in describing the particular mode of making and wearing
them, our author has followed Leo of Modena’s account of the modern
Jews. _Kri Schma_, or _Kiriath Shema_, is derived from the word שמע
(“_Hear, O Israel_,”) with which the passage in Deuteronomy begins. See
Vitringa, Synagoga i. 279; Cérémonies des Juifs traduites de l'ltalien
de Leo de Modene, par Simonville, p. 30.; Prid. Connect. P. i. B. i. 6.
vol. ii. 545. Some have supposed that when Christ asked the lawyer (Luke
x. 26.) “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” he pointed to
the phylactery on which Deut. vi. 4. seq. was written. See Kuinöel ad
locum.

Page 40.—_Taking food early in the morning._] “Woe unto thee, O land,
when thy princes eat in the morning.” (Eccles. x. 16.) The Talmud
prescribes eleven o’clock in the forenoon, as the time when it is proper
to take the first meal. See Calmet’s Dict. Art. _Eating._ On the
sabbath, and all festival days, it was usual to fast till noon. See
Hammond on Acts ii. 15.

Page 41.—_And thinks of the way to Jerusalem._] There is no mention of
Jerusalem in the text of this passage. (Ps. lxxxiv. 5.) Our author
follows Dathe, who renders

            O beatum hominem! qui spem suam in te collocat;
            Qui perpetuo de viis _ad ædem tuam_ cogitat.

Page 42.—_Egypt abounds with horses._] The horse appears to have been
used by the Egyptians long before it was common among the Jews, or even
the Arabians, though Arabia has been supposed to be the native country
of this animal. Horses formed no part of the riches of the patriarchs:
it is only in connection with Egypt that we find them mentioned in early
Scripture history. See Mich. Mos. Law § 166, and Appendix. It was
forbidden the Israelites to breed many horses, (Deut. xvii. 16.) a
mountainous country being indeed ill adapted for this purpose. Solomon,
when he married the daughter of Pharaoh, in violation of this law,
procured horses from Egypt, (1 Kings x. 28, 29. 2 Chron. i. 16, 17.) and
even carried on a traffic in them. And when Zedekiah (Ezek. xvii. 15.)
is about to rebel, he sends to Egypt for cavalry. It is true that the
Egyptian horses do not appear to have been highly valued for their
qualities by the Greeks and Romans; and that Egypt is never mentioned by
those who have treated of the places in which this animal is found in
the greatest perfection. See Bochart Hierozoicön, ii. 9. Yet, even in
later times, when the great increase of canals had both lessened the
necessity for the employment of horses, and had made the use of them
difficult, (Herod. ii.) we find from Appian that the Ptolemies kept on
foot 40,000 cavalry, Rom. Hist. Præf. 10.

Page 43.—_Sabbath-day’s journey._] In the remainder of his work the
author generally uses the sabbath-day’s journey as equivalent to
somewhere about three quarters of an English mile.

Page 43.—_Branches of the Nile._] Alexandria lying beyond the Canopic,
the westernmost mouth of the Nile, all the seven branches of the river
would, of course, be crossed by our travellers, in order to reach
Pelusium, which was situated beyond the easternmost. The _greater_ Delta
is the whole country lying between these two branches; the _lesser_,
that which is included between the Bubastic (or Pelusiac) and the
Busiritic (or Phatnitic) channel, itself a branch of the Bubastic.
Champollion, ii. 13. The distance from Alexandria to Pelusium, according
to the Itinerary of Antoninus, was two hundred and thirteen miles.
Naucratis stood on the eastern bank of the Canopic branch: it was for a
long time the only place to which the jealousy of the Pharaohs allowed
foreign merchants to resort; and under Amasis the Greeks were permitted
to establish themselves there. (Herod. ii. 178.) Sais, one of the most
celebrated cities of the Delta, stood about two leagues eastward from
the Canopic branch: the goddess Naet, (or Neitha) who was worshipped
there, was identified by the Greeks with their own Athene. See Jablonski
Panth. Æg. lib. i. c. 3. Busiris was near the centre of the Delta, and
on the western bank of the Phatnitic branch, distant twenty leagues from
the apex of the Delta, and an equal number from the sea. Tanis, the Zoan
of Scripture, was situated on the eastern bank of a subordinate branch
of the Pelusiac, which from it took the name of Tanitic. Josephus
describes it as having dwindled into an insignificant place, but the
remains of several obelisks attest its ancient magnificence.
Champollion, ii. 101.

Page 45.—_Little wine was produced in Egypt._] Herodotus, iii. 16. says
that wine was brought from Greece and Phœnicia into Egypt.
Phœnicia was celebrated for its wines:

       Vina mihi non sunt Gazetica, Chia, Falerna,
       Quæque Sareptano palmite missa bibas.—Sidonius, xvii. 15.

Herodotus (ii. 77.) says that Egypt produced no wine, and his testimony
is confirmed by Plutarch, who says (De Iside et Osir. 6.) that before
the time of Psammetichus no wine was drunk in Egypt nor offered to the
gods. The mention of vines in Egypt in the book of Genesis (xl. 10.)
shows that the assertion of Herodotus is to be taken with some
limitation, but there can be no doubt that it was generally true. The
level plains of Egypt are not suited to the cultivation of the
vine—_apertos Bacchus amat colles_—and are besides overflowed precisely
at that time when the vintage should ripen and be gathered. What wine
therefore is grown in Egypt is beyond the inundations, in Fayoum, or on
the border of the lake Mareotis; and perhaps Herodotus only meant to
apply his remark to what he calls ἡ σπειρομένη Ἄιγυπτος, i. e. the
country which was annually overflowed.

Page 46.—_Marshes around Pelusium._] This was the last town of Egypt on
the side of Asia, and from its strength (for which reason it is called
by Ezekiel, xxx. 15. _Sin_, the strength of Egypt) was the key of the
whole country. The Greek name, Πηλούσιον, (Strabo, xvii. 802.) the
Hebrew סין (Boch. Geogr. Sac. iv. 27.) the Arabic _Thineh_, and the
Coptic _Feromi_, (Champollion, ii. 86.) all denote the marshy soil in
which it stood.

Page 47.—_Order of the caravan._] The principal circumstances mentioned
in the text are derived from Pitt’s account of the Mecca Caravan. See
Harmer, i. 465.

Page 49.—_Gerrha._] According to the Tabula Peutingerana, distant eight
miles from Pelusium. Cellarius Geogr. ii. Africa, p. 26. Josephus who
(Bell. Jud. iv. 11.) describes the route of Titus from Pelusium to Gaza,
makes his first day’s march to have been as far as the temple of the
Casian Jupiter. But the speed of a Roman army and a caravan are very
different. Philo, Vit. Mos. p. 627, represents Canaan as two days’
journey from Egypt.

Page 50.—_A round piece of leather._] This is still the common
substitute for a table in travelling in these countries. Volney, Voyage
en Syrie, ii. 244.

Page 51.—The laws respecting clean and unclean animals are found in Lev.
xi. and Deut. xiv. Michaelis, in his Commentaries on the Laws of Moses,
§ 200 et seq. has shown that the foundation of the distinction was the
practice already established by the usage of centuries among the
Israelites, and in most points also among the kindred nations in their
neighbourhood, of using certain animals for food to the exclusion of
others. It has been doubted whether the hare ruminates or not; it was
the opinion of ancient naturalists that it did not; Arist. Hist. Anim.
iii. 16. ed. Schneid. Blumenbach, Comp. of Nat. Hist. _Lepus_, inclines
to the opinion that both the hare and the rabbit ruminate. The poet
Cowper, who had the best opportunities of observing, also pronounces the
hare to ruminate; and Dr. Shaw confirms it from dissection of the
animal. See Wellbeloved’s Notes on Lev. xi. 6.

Page 53.—_Moriah._] Josephus (Ant. vii. 10.) observes, that the
threshing-floor of Araunah, where David determined to build his temple,
was the place where Abraham was about to offer Isaac, 2 Chron. iii. 1.

Page 60.—_Use made by the philosophers of the Mosaic history._] See
Huet. Dem. Evang. Prop. iv. Many of the statements on which he relies
are very questionable; but they show what was the opinion of the Jews,
from whom the Christian fathers also derived it.

Page 67.—_The Magi of Persia._] Kleuker, in his edition of the
Zend-Avesta, Append. vol. ii. P. i. p. 39, observes, that the name of
Abraham is well known to the Ghebers, from their intercourse with the
Mahometans, but is unknown to the Parsees, the fire-worshippers of
Guzerat. This correction must be applied to the accounts given by
Prideaux, Conn. P. i. Book iv. An. 486, and others, (see Calmet’s Dict.
_Abraham_) of the veneration in which Abraham is held by the followers
of Zoroaster. There can be no doubt however, that the tradition of his
power, wisdom, and virtue, has been handed down from the earliest times,
among those nations which Scripture represents to have sprung from him.
See D'Herbelot Bibl. Orient. i. 65.

Even the profane historians speak of him. Justin, xxxvi. 2.

Page 70.—_Casium._] Ἔστι τὸ Κάσιον θινωδης τις λοφος ἀκρωτηριάξων,
ἄνυδρος, ὅπου τοῦ Πομπηι΅ου τοῦ Μάγνου σῶμα κεῖται, καὶ Δίος ἔστιν ἱερον
Κασίου. Strabo, xvi. p. 760. There was another Mons Casius, which must
not be confounded with this, near Seleucia in Syria, and to the latter
belong the medals inscribed Ζεύς Κάσιος. The ancients fabled that Typhon
had been buried under the Casian mount, or in the lake Sirbonis, which
is near it. (Herod. ii. 6.) According to Herodotus, this mountain was
the eastern boundary of Egypt.

Page 72.—_A stranger of the gate._] The Jewish writers (not however
those of the New Testament) speak of two kinds of proselytes, the גדי
צדק Proselytes of Righteousness, and גרי שער Proselytes of the Gate. The
former were those who submitted to circumcision, and in every respect
conformed to the Mosaic law. (Exod. xii. 48.) The proselyte of the gate,
so called from the expression “the stranger who is within thy gates,”
frequent in the Mosaic law, was one who lived among the Jews; generally
it should seem in a servile or menial capacity, only so far conforming
to the law, as not to offend against any of its sacred and fundamental
principles—not sacrificing to any false God, perhaps not working on the
sabbath-day. Jennings’s Jew. Ant. i. 144. Others suppose that the
proselytes of the gate were bound to observe the seven precepts imposed
on the descendents of Noah. See Calmet’s Dict. Art. _Noachidæ_, and the
commentators on Acts xv. 20. In the earlier times of Jewish history,
none would embrace their religion but those who were domiciliated among
them; but when they became dispersed over the world, and their doctrines
more generally known, many appear to have attached themselves to the
worship of the one God, without further conformity to the Mosaic
institutions. Many learned men, however, suppose that only one kind of
proselytes was known among the Jews, namely, those who had received
circumcision. See Lardner, Works, vi. 523.

Page 72.—_Goshen._] Respecting its situation see Jablonski, Diss. de
Terra Gosen; Opusc. ii. 77. seq. According to him it was the Heracleotic
name, an island in the Nile, above Memphis, and answering to the modern
Fayoum. His reasons, however, seem insufficient to counterbalance the
strong presumption (arising from the absence of all mention in the
Exodus of crossing any branch of the river) that the abode of the
Israelites must have been in Lower Egypt and _beyond_ the Nile. Such is
the general opinion of commentators.

Page 73.—The martyr Stephen (Acts vii. 6.) appears to speak of the
captivity of Israel in Egypt as lasting four hundred years. So Jos. Ant.
i. 10. 3. ii. 9. 1. In Exod. xii. 40. their sojourning is said to have
been four hundred and thirty years; Gen. xv. 13. it is foretold by God
to Abraham, that his seed should be afflicted in a foreign land four
hundred years, to which it is soon after subjoined, (ver. 16) “and in
_the fourth generation_ they shall come hither again.” It is, however,
generally supposed, that the sojourning of Abraham and his descendents
in Canaan, where they were strangers, is included in the four hundred,
or four hundred and thirty years. Accordingly Usher reckons the first
period at two hundred and fifteen years, and the Egyptian bondage at
about the same number. The difficulty remains that only four
generations, inclusive, elapsed from the going down into Egypt to the
Exodus; for Moses and Aaron were sons of Amram, the son of Kohath, the
son of Levi; this the author solves, by reference to the prolonged term
of human life in those ages.

Page 74.—_Egyptian horror of pastoral tribes._] Gen. xlvi. 34.
Ἀιγυπτίοις ἀπειρημένον ἤν περὶ νομὰς αναστρέφεσθαι. Jos. Ant. ii. 7. 5.
It is generally supposed that this horror arose from the shepherds
killing the sacred animals of the Egyptians; others regard it as a piece
of policy on the part of the Egyptian priests to keep up a horror of the
nomadic tribes, in order to confine the people to agriculture; others,
as the effect of what the country had suffered from the irruptions of
these tribes, especially that of the _Hycsos_ or Shepherd kings. Jos. c.
Apion. i. 15.

Page 88.—_Mosaic imitation of the Egyptian polity._] Whether any part of
the Jewish laws and institutions were borrowed by Moses from the
Egyptians, is a question of which the affirmative side has been
maintained, with great learning, by Spencer, in his treatise _De Legibus
Hebræorum_; and the negative by Witsius in his _Ægyptiaca_. Witsius, not
denying many of the coincidences, alleges, that many things in which the
Egyptians and the Jews agreed, may have been borrowed by the former from
the latter. Considering that Egypt was a civilized, populous, and
wealthy country, when Israel had not even become a people, this seems
not probable. Some of those customs and rites which were observed by
both nations, do not appear to have exclusively belonged to either, e.
g. the remarkable custom of circumcision, the hereditary succession of
the priesthood, the dress of the priests, the multiplicity of
purifications, &c. Customs either exactly corresponding or nearly
analogous to these, may be found in other nations; they had their origin
from wants and feelings common to all, or had been handed down from
primeval times. In regard to the coincidence between the civil laws of
the Egyptians and the Jews, Michaelis well observes, “Without in the
least degree derogating from his divine mission, I may be allowed to
conjecture, that he may have adopted from other nations what he found
among them deserving of imitation. If it be no presumption against his
prophetic character, that he changed the traditionary usages of the
nomadic Israelites into laws; neither is it any that he incorporated
with his code the wisest civil regulations of the most civilized
people.” Mos. Law, § 4. The grand peculiarity of the system of Moses,
the unity, spirituality, and providence of God, he could have learnt
neither from the wisdom of the Egyptians, nor that of any other nation;
and on this argument may we safely rest the proof that he was really a
prophet of the Most High. Compare Prichard’s Analysis of Egyptian
Mythology, ch. iv.

Page 90.—_Only in the state of divine inspiration._] Plato quoted by
Leland, Necess. of Rev. i. 258.

Page 94.—_Drifted sand._] “The lake Sirbonis is bordered on each side
with hills of sand, which, borne into the water by the wind so thicken
the same, as not by the eye to be distinguished from part of the
continent, by means whereof whole armies have been devoured.” Sandys’
Travels, p. 107.

Page 94.—_Larish._] So Baumgarten writes the word commonly and more
correctly spelt El-Arish, Churchill, i. 411.

Page 94.—_Ostracine._] It was distant, according to the Itinerary,
sixty-six miles from Pelusium. Cell. Geogr. Afr. ii. 28. The lake
Sirbonis was parallel to the sea, a space of not more than fifty stadia
lying between them, where the interval was the broadest. It was
connected with the sea by a narrow channel, called Ἔκρηγμα, (Strabo,
lib. xvi. 760.) now choked up. Sandys, p. 107. Ostracine was so
remarkably destitute of water, that to ask water from an inhabitant of
Ostracine was a proverb for a vain request. Rel. Pal. p. 60. The ancient
route passed between the lake Sirbonis and the sea; the modern keeps on
the southern side of the lake; hence the exact position of Ostracine has
not been ascertained.

Page 95.—_The river of Egypt._] This appears to have been between
Rhinocolura and Pelusium; whence the Septuagint (Isa. xxvii. 12.)
renders ἕως Ρινοκορόυρων. Our author follows D’Anville, who says that
the entrance of a ravine into the Sirbonian pool, receiving the waters
of many torrents from the Arabian desert, is the _Torrens Egypti_ of the
Scriptures. Shaw, Travels, p. 181, contends that it was the Nile. The
name of El-Arish (celebrated in the history of the late war) appears to
be Arabic and modern. El-Arish and Casium (Katieh) are the only places
between Raphia and the eastern branch of the Nile which produce any
vegetation useful for man. The rest is moving sand or a desert strongly
impregnated with salt. Pref. to Burckhardt’s Travels in Syria, p. viii.
note. The deserts of Asia, however, are much less dreary and destitute
of vegetable life than those of Africa. See Irby and Mangles’ account of
their journey from Egypt to Palestine, Travels, p. 169.

Page 99.—_The Nethinim._] These, so called from the Hebrew נתן (_to
give_) were the menial servants of the sanctuary, who fetched the water
and hewed the wood for the service of the temple. In the history of the
conquest of Canaan by Joshua, (ix. 23.) the Gibeonites are said to be
made hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of God; but the
name of Nethinim is never given to them; and Ezra (viii. 20.) says that
David and the princes had appointed the Nethinim for the service of the
Levites. It is probable that when the service of God was renewed, and
its rites performed with more order and magnificence under David, the
Gibeonites, who had become mingled with the body of the people, were
found insufficient, and the Nethinim were appointed; perhaps from among
the captives made in the wars of David.

Page 104.—_Translation of the Books of Kings._] The first translation of
the Hebrew Scriptures made by the Greeks of Alexandria included only the
Pentateuch; (Jos. Ant. Proœm. 3.) the other historical books were
translated at various times; (see Hody, Vers. Græc. ii. 9.) the prophets
probably soon after the time when the Jews of Palestine began to read
them in their Synagogue, as a substitute for the reading of the law,
forbidden by Antiochus Epiphanes. Eichhorn Einl. i. d. A. T. i. 342. ed.
3.

Page 117.—_Rhinocorura._] This place, sometimes spelt Rhinocolura, as
observed before, is El-Arish. It is said to have taken its Greek name
from the mutilation of the nose which a king of Ethiopia, when master of
Egypt, inflicted on those whom he sent to reside here, Strabo, xvi. p.
759. It was twenty-six miles from Ostracine.

Page 125.—“_Three sins have I passed by._”] The words with which Amos
prefaces his denunciations have been variously explained. Literally they
are, “For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four will I not
avert it.” Our author supposes an ellipsis, “For three transgressions _I
did avert the punishment_, but for four I will not avert it.” Others
with more probability suppose, that three and four are used here for an
indefinite number, as six and seven, Job v. 19.

Page 145.—_Traces of melancholy._] The author has applied to the first
destruction of Jerusalem, what the modern Jews say of themselves with
reference to the second. Buxtorf. Syn. Jud. 124. 479.

Page 147.—_Raphia._] “The name is still retained in Rafa, six hours’
march to the south of Gaza, where there are many remains of ancient
buildings, and among them two columns of granite, which are supposed by
the natives to mark the boundary of Asia and Africa.” Pref. to Burckh.
p. viii. note. It was distant, according to the Antonine Itinerary,
twenty-two miles from Rhinocolura, Cellar. Book iii. cap. 13. p. 372.
The battle of Raphia was fought between Ptolemy Philopater and
Antiochus, B. C. 217, and the result was that Antiochus, being totally
defeated, was obliged to yield Cœle-Syria and Palestine to Ptolemy.

Page 155.—_An Israelitish maiden was Xerxes’ queen._] That Xerxes was
the Ahasuerus of Scripture was the opinion of Scaliger. It is examined
and opposed by Prideaux, Conn. P. i. Book iv. An. 465. Usher thought
that he was Darius Hystaspis; Prideaux himself, Artaxerxes Longimanus.
The subject is embarrassed with difficulties apparently inextricable,
though there can be little doubt that the author of the Book of Esther
intended some Artaxerxes by the name of Ahasuerus. Jos. Ant. xi. 6.

Page 159.—_Manasseh became high-priest._] It must be observed that
Nehemiah only says that one of the sons of Joiada the high-priest was
son-in-law to Sanballat, but does not call him Manasseh. Josephus, under
the reign of Darius Codomannus, (Ant. xi. 7, 8.) relates the marriage of
Manasseh, grandson of Joiada, with the daughter of Sanballat, and his
being appointed high-priest of the newly-built temple in Gerizim. As
there is a difference of between seventy and eighty years between the
date of Scripture and that of Josephus, some (see Hudson’s note on
Josephus, Ant. xi. 7.) suppose two Sanballats, having daughters married
to sons of the Jewish high-priests. This cheap but dangerous expedient
of multiplying historical personages is justly rejected by Prideaux,
Conn. An. 409.

Page 161.—_Alexander acknowledged the merits of Israel._] The narrative
of Alexander’s expedition to Jerusalem is contained in Jos. Ant. xi. 8.
According to him, Alexander, while occupied in the siege of Tyre,
ordered Jaddua the high-priest to send him supplies, and as he refused
on the ground of having sworn allegiance to Darius, Alexander, incensed
at the refusal, set out as soon as he had finished the sieges of Tyre
and Gaza to punish the Jews. He had advanced as far as Sapha, on his way
to Jerusalem, when he was met by the high-priest and the whole
sacerdotal order. On seeing the name of Jehovah, which was inscribed on
the high-priest’s tiara, Alexander prostrated himself before him; and
when Parmenio asked him how he, whom the rest of mankind adored, should
prostrate himself before the Jewish pontiff, he replied that he
recognised in his figure and vestments the person who had appeared to
him in a dream before he left Macedonia, and had encouraged him to
undertake the expedition, by assuring him that he should overturn the
throne of Darius. Accompanying the high-priest to Jerusalem, he was
shown by him the prophecy of Daniel, in which it was clearly marked that
he should overthrow the Persian monarchy. Before he left the city, he
promised to the Jews that they should be governed by their own laws and
exempted from tribute every seventh year.

The truth of this narrative has been severely attacked by Moyle, Works,
ii. 26. and others, see Hudson’s note, p. 503; and defended by Chandler
on Daniel, and Prideaux, An. 332, St. Croix, Examen Critique, ed. 2. p.
547. Besides the suspicion which is thrown upon it, by its being
unnoticed by the historians of Alexander, it contains circumstances both
improbable and contradictory. The high-priest, who shows to Alexander
the prophecy of Daniel, in which he is foretold as the conqueror of
Persia, refuses submission to him, because he had sworn allegiance to
Darius. But can it be believed that if he had known that Alexander was
the person predicted long before by Jehovah, as his instrument for
overthrowing the dominion of Persia, he would have been withheld by an
oath of allegiance to the sovereign, whose reign the prophetic word
declared to be ended? So little scruple was there on this subject, that,
according to Josephus, many Jews enrolled themselves in his army to
fight against Darius. Alexander too is made to know at once, that the
characters inscribed on the tiara of a high-priest were the names of
Jehovah; and Parmenio asks him why he, who was adored by all,
(προσκυνόυντων αὐτον ἁπάντων) adored the Jewish high-priest; though
Alexander never received these honours till his overthrow of Darius at
Arbela had intoxicated his mind. The circumstance of the dream certainly
_may_ be true; but it has much the air of a romantic fiction. On the
whole it appears most probable that the Jews made their submissions to
Alexander as Justin says the princes of Syria generally did, (x. 10.)
either during the siege of Tyre, or afterwards, when Curtius tells us
that he reduced the neighbouring cities which refused his yoke, iv. 5.

Page 162.—_Hecatæus of Abdera._] According to Josephus (Cont. Ap. i.
22.) he was a contemporary of Alexander the Great, and a friend of
Ptolemy Lagi. He wrote a treatise expressly relating to the Jews, and
mentioned especially the firmness with which they adhered to their laws
in the midst of persecution. He shows so much more knowledge of Judaism,
and speaks of it so much more respectfully, than the heathens commonly
did, that the work has been suspected to have been the forgery of some
Hellenistic Jew. See Origen, cont. Cels. lib. i. p. 13, ed. Spencer.
This was the opinion of Scaliger. Spencer, in his note on the passage in
Origen, defends its authenticity. The reader will observe the sarcasm,
in Myron’s mention of Hecatæus as a native of Abdera, a town proverbial
for the dulness of its inhabitants; _Abderitanæ pectora plebis habes_.

Page 162.—_Antigonus of Socho._] See Prideaux, Conn. An. 263. He was the
first of the Mishnical school of Jewish doctors, who taught that the law
and the traditions were of equal obligation. The founder of the sect of
Sadducees was his son. Socho, from which he took his name, was a small
town half way between Jerusalem and Eleutheropolis. Reland, Palæst.
1018. 2 Chron. xi. 5.

Page 163.—_Favour shown by Antiochus the Great to the Jews._] See Jos.
Ant. xii. 3. 3.

Page 163.—_Antiochus Epimanes._] Τὸν Ἐπιφανῆ Ἀντίοχον, ὅν διὰ τὰς
πράξεις Πολύβιος Ἐπιμανῆ καλεῖ. Athen. ii. 23. The history of the
persecution of the Jews by Antiochus will be found in Joseph. Ant. Jud.
xii. 5. seq. xiii. 1-9. The first book of the Maccabees, after a brief
notice of the empire of Alexander the Great, takes up the Jewish history
(i. 10.) at the accession of Antiochus Epiphanes, and continues it to
the death of Simon, a period of about forty years.

Page 167.—_Modin._] The site of the birthplace of the Maccabees is not
exactly known: it must have been near the sea, since their monument was
a mark to sailors, 1 Macc. xiii. 30. Eusebius places it near Diospolis
or Lydda. Reland, p. 901. Maundrell says he passed near it in an
excursion from Bethlehem to the convent of St. John; but this is
probably a mistake.

Page 168.—_Judas surnamed Maccabeus._] Different etymologies of the name
_Maccabee_ are assigned. That which derives it from מקבת a hammer, (q.
d. _Martel_) seems more probable than the common one; (according to
which it originated in their inscribing on their standards the initial
letters of Exod. xv. 11.) because it appears to have been the surname of
Judas before the war began. See 1 Macc. ii. 4.

Page 170.—_Festival of the new altar._] Jos. Ant. xii. 11. 7. It is this
which the Jews of Jerusalem exhort the Jews of Egypt to observe, in the
epistles which begin the second book of the Maccabees. But this book is
of little authority, and the epistles in particular manifest forgeries.
See Prideaux, An. 166.

Page 170.—_Alexander Balas._] He claimed the throne of Syria, as a son
of Antiochus Epiphanes, and had been supported by Jonathan, the Jewish
high-priest. When he had defeated Demetrius and seated himself on the
throne, he married Cleopatra, sister of Ptolemy Philometor, king of
Egypt. It was at the celebration of these nuptials (B.C. 150) that
Jonathan was distinguished in the manner related in the text. 1 Macc. x.
60. Jos. Ant. xiii. 4. 2.

Page 171.—_Era of freedom._] The Jews were long without any proper era
for the computation of time, though we find traces of the departure from
Egypt, Num. i. 1. 1 Kings vi. 1., the building of Solomon’s temple, 2
Chron. viii. 1., the commencement of the captivity, Ezek. xxxiii. 21.,
being used as points from which to reckon; but without that uniformity
of use which could make any of them properly an era. When they came
under the dominion of Syria, they made use of what is called the era of
the Contracts, A. M. 3692, B. C. 312, beginning with the establishment
of the dynasty of the Seleucidæ in Syria. When Demetrius granted the
privileges of an independent sovereign to Simon, the Jewish people
“began to write in their instruments and contracts, ‘In the first year
of Simon the high-priest, the governor and leader of the Jews.’” Jos.
Ant xiii. 6, 7. Mac. xiii. 41. This is remarkably confirmed by the
inscription of the coins of Simon. See Eckhel Doct. N. Vet. iii. 468.
This era begins in the year B. C. 143, and is called the Asmonean; the
era of the Seleucidæ however still continued in use. Wähneri Ant. Hebr.
ii. 47. The modern Jews reckon from the creation; the present year 1824
is 5584 of their reckoning. Reland Ant. 428.

Page 173.—_Ptolemy Physcon._] He was the seventh king of Egypt, named by
his subjects Κακεργέτης. By his cruelties he drove nearly all the men of
letters and science from Alexandria, and by that means very much revived
literature in Greece and the Grecian islands, (Athen. iv. 83.) in which
they took refuge.

Page 175.—_The Romans._] The connection between the Jews and the Romans
appears to have begun by an embassy from Judas Maccabeus (B. C. 161) to
Rome. Nothing could be more acceptable to the Romans than to raise up an
independent power within the dominions of the kings of Syria; and they
readily granted the Jews their friendship, and commanded Demetrius to
abstain from hostilities against them. As they extended their power in
the east, they continued carefully to cultivate this alliance, and
renewed their treaties with Simon, (B. C. 139) with John Hyrcanus, (B.
C. 128.) The weakness of the Syrian monarchy, and the protection of the
Romans, are the real causes of the independence which Judæa enjoyed till
the year B. C. 63; when Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, sons of Alexander
Jannæus, disputing about the succession, appealed to Pompey, who placed
Hyrcanus on the throne, but in a state of complete dependence on Rome.

                                BOOK II.

Page 181.—_Gaza._] From Raphia to Gaza was a distance of twenty-two
miles. Gaza had been taken, after a siege of two months, by Alexander,
(B. C. 332) the inhabitants reduced to slavery, and the city repeopled
by a colony from the adjacent country. Arr. ii. 27. Strabo (xvi. p. 522)
speaks of it as entirely abandoned; but it is evident from the history
of the Maccabees (1 Macc. xi. 61. xiii. 43.) that it was still a place
of strength. In Strabo’s own time indeed it was as he describes it,
having been totally destroyed (B. C. 96) by Alexander Zerbina. Reland,
p. 787. St. Croix, 285.

Page 184.—_Dagon._] See 1 Sam. v. 4. the last clause of which should be
rendered, “only the _fish-part_ was left.” Dagon was the same divinity
with Atargatis, Derceto, the Syrian Venus. See Selden de Dis Syris Synt.
3. c. 3.

Page 188.—_The stream of Besor._] 1 Sam. xxx. 10. Sephela, signifying in
Hebrew hollow or level ground, was applied as a proper name to the level
country along the shore from Gaza to Joppa, in which Eleutheropolis
stood. It was bordered on the east by the hills of Judah. The easier
road by the plain of Sephela has been so generally preferred by
travellers, that, with the exception of Baumgarten, I hardly remember
one who has gone by Hebron to Jerusalem. They commonly go to the north,
as far as Jaffa, before they turn off.

Page 190.—_Latter rains._] The early and latter rains are frequently
spoken of in Scripture. After the dry months of summer it begins to rain
in Palestine in October. These are the _early_ rains (יורה). Again a
considerable quantity falls in the month of March and the beginning of
April; this is the מלקרש or latter rain. Buhle’s Calend. Œcon.
Palestinæ. Without the former the grain would not spring, without the
latter it would not swell and ripen.

Page 191.—_The sweet water of the Nile._] It was as celebrated in
ancient as in modern times. “Hic quum apud Ægyptum milites vinum
peterent respondit _Nilum habetis et vinum quæritis_? Si quidem tanta
illius fluminis dulcedo, ut accolæ vina non quærant.” Spartianus Pesc.
Niger. Hist. Aug. i. 663. with Casaubon’s note. Βυβλίνων ὀρῶν ἄπο Ἴησι
σέπτον Νεῖλος εὔποτον ῥέος. Æsch. Prom. v. 837. Athenæus (ii. 67.)
mentions that it used to be sent to the kings of Persia for their
drinking, though their own “Choaspes’ amber stream” was so highly
prized; and (ii. 45.) that Ptolemy Philadelphus, whose daughter was
married to Antiochus, king of Syria, used to send her the water of the
Nile. Of the estimation in which the modern Egyptians hold it, see
Harmer, vol. ii. chap. ix. “It is a common saying among the Turks, that
if Mahommed had drunk of it, he would have begged of God not to have
died that he might always have done it.” According to Dr. Clarke (v.
283.) it is remarkably pure, and better adapted for chymical purposes
than any other.

Page 196.—Sitting cross-legged, or on the hams or heels, on mats or
carpets, is now the general practice at meals in the east. Harmer (ii.
66. iii. 338.) gives some reasons for supposing that it was not
universal in ancient times, among the Orientals. In the older books of
Scripture, as in Homer, guests are described as _sitting_ at table; Amos
ii. 8. is the first passage in which mention is made of reclining.
Brüning’s Antiq. p. 299. In our Saviour’s time the recumbent posture was
very common, a couch or divan being used for this purpose, or cushions
laid upon the floor.

Page 190.—Sandys (p. 117) thus describes this country. “We passed this
day through the most fragrant and pleasant valley that ever I beheld. On
the right, a ridge of high mountains, whereon stands Hebron; on the left
the Mediterranean sea, bordered with continued hills, beset with variety
of fruits. The champaign between them (the plain of Sephela) full of
flowery hills ascending leisurely and not much surmounting their
vallies, with groves of olives and other fruits dispersedly adorned.”

Page 198.—_Hebron._] See in Josephus, Ant. xii. 12. 1 Macc. vi. 65. 2
Macc. x. the account of the capture of Hebron by the Maccabees. Eusebius
makes its distance from Jerusalem twenty-two miles; an Itinerary, quoted
by Reland, thirty-one. Christian travellers have scarcely ever proceeded
to the south of Bethlehem; and Captains Irby and Mangles and Mr. Bankes,
appear to have been the first Englishmen who had visited Hebron for a
long series of years. Travels, 342. It is held in high veneration by the
Mahometans, as the burying-place of Abraham, and called El Khalil, _the
holy_.

Page 199.—_Terebinth of Mamre._] Reland, p. 711, seq. has made an ample
collection of passages from Josephus (Jos. B. J. iv. 9.) and other
authors relative to this celebrated tree. It was alleged by some to have
stood there since the creation, by others to have shot up from the staff
of one of the angels entertained by Abraham. So great was the veneration
paid to it that an altar stood beneath its shade, on which sacrifices
used to be offered, till Constantine ordered an oratory to be erected
instead of the altar. There can be no doubt that it was a tree of most
venerable antiquity, the terebinth being from its longevity as much an
object of reverence where it prevails, as the oak formerly in Gaul and
Britain. See Harris’s Nat. Hist. of the Bible, p. 309.

Page 200.—_Does it begin to be light towards Hebron?_] “Judæi in Talmud
Joma, cap. 3. et Maimonides in eum locum referunt, missum quolibet mane
fuisse, qui ex summo templo ortum diei pro sacrificio offerendo
observaret; cui acclamarint, ‘_Num lux usque Hebronem sit_;’ hoc est num
ita lux fugaverit tenebras, ut qui ortum spectet etiam Hebronem videre
possit.” Cellar. lib. iii. c. 13. p. 345. Lightfoot, i. 943. The reader
must not expect to find that every trait in this account of the going up
to the Passover can be warranted by quotation from Jewish authors. That
it was the custom to go up in large companies on this occasion,
accompanied with song and music, (Is. xxx. 29. Harmer iii. No. lxxx.)
there can be no doubt. See Luke ii. 14. John vi. 4.[134] In the
description of the psalms which were sung, and other circumstances by
which the picture is filled up, the author has allowably indulged his
imagination.

Footnote 134:

  This explains the connection between the fourth and fifth verses, and
  may remove the suspicion of a corruption or interpolation of the
  fifth, alleged by Pearce, Mann, and Priestley.

Page 206.—_Bethshur_ (Josh. xv. 58.) was on the road from Jerusalem to
Hebron, at the distance of twenty miles from the former. It is
frequently mentioned in the books of the Maccabees and in Josephus as a
fortress of great strength. Jos. Ant. xiii. 9. 1 Macc. vi. 7. In the
second book of Maccabees, xi. 5. it is said to be only five stadia from
Jerusalem, but this is evidently a false reading. See Reland, p. 658.
Cell. iii. 13. 344.

Page 208.—_Etham._] Ἡν δὲ χωρίον τι ἄπο δύο σχόινων Ἱεροπολύμων, ὁ
καλεῖται μὲν Ἠθαμ, παραδείσοις δὲ καὶ ναμάτων ἐπιῤῥοίαις ἐπιτερπὲς ὁμοῦ
καὶ πλόυσιον· εις τοῦτο τὰς ἐξόδους ἀιωρούμενος ἐποιεῖτο. Jos. Ant.
viii. 7. 3. speaking of Solomon. An account of the modern state of these
reservoirs may be seen in Maundrell, p. 88. Pococke, ii. 42. Buckingham,
224.

Page 211.—_No beggar among you._] The reader will not suppose that these
words occur in the law of Moses, in whose writings, as Michaelis
observes, (Mos. Law, § 142.) the name of _beggar_ is not found, or any
allusion to such a class of society: but that the spirit of his
institutions excluded beggary. The laws respecting the treatment of the
poor are found, Deut. xiv. 28, 29. xv. 1-11. xxiv. 19-22. xxvi. 11-15.
Lev. xix. 9, 10. xxiii. 22.

Page 211.—_Tekoah._] This town, the birthplace of Amos, lay six miles to
the south of Bethlehem, (Maundrell, p. 88, says nine) and on the very
edge of the desert. 1 Macc. ix. 33. “Ultra nullus est viculus, ne
agrestes quidem casæ, et furnorum similes, quas Afri appellant mapalia.
Et quia humi arido et arenoso nihil omnino frugum gignitur, cuncta sunt
plena pastoribus, ut sterilitatem terræ compensent pecorum multitudine.”
Hieron. Prolog. ad Amos. Op. v. 208. “The mountains of Palestine,”
observes Shaw, (p. 338) “abound with thyme, rosemary, sage, and aromatic
plants of the like nature, which the bee chiefly looks after.”
Bethcherem, the name of which (_villa vineæ_) implies its productiveness
of grapes, is mentioned by Jeremiah, (vi. 1.) as in the vicinity of
Tekoah. Hieron. in loc. Op. iv. 533.

Page 214.—_Ziph._] It lay eight miles eastward from Hebron. Josh. xv.
24. Reland, 1064.

Page 219.—_Valley of Rephaim._] The Rephaim, from whom this valley took
its appellation, were the supposed gigantic inhabitants of Canaan,
whence the valley is called by the Seventy κοιλὰς Τιτάνων, Josh. xv. 13.
It stretched from mount Moriah to Bethlehem, and the road now goes
through it, Maund. 87. Bethlehem itself has been so frequently described
by travellers, that it is unnecessary to quote any thing from their
works. Josephus gives thirty stadia for its distance from Jerusalem,
somewhat less than four miles, or six sabbath-days’ journies; Eusebius
and Jerome six miles, Reland, 445. 645. The course of the Kedron to the
Dead Sea appears from Pococke’s description to be considerably
north-east of Bethlehem, ii. 34.

Page 222.—See Maundrell, p. 87. Clarke, 4. 419. The building now called
Rachel’s tomb is evidently very modern.

Page 226.—Respecting the hospitality exercised at Jerusalem at the time
of the Passover, see the commentators on Matt. xxvi. 18. Surenhusius
Mishna. 4. 467. “Mercede non elocabant incolæ Hierosolymis domos ad
festa accedentibus, sed gratis concedebant.” Lightfoot. Among the ten
wonders, the Rabbins reckon that “no man did ever say to his fellow, I
have not found a bed in Jerusalem to lie in.” Lightfoot’s Works, i. 951.
Hasselquist, p. 103, mentions with surprise the little inconvenience
produced in Cairo by the entrance of the caravan of Mecca, containing
100,000 persons.

Page 228.—_On the tenth of the month._] Exod. xii. 3. it is commanded
that the lamb should be taken on the tenth of the month, and kept till
the fourteenth; but the Jewish authors are not agreed whether this
referred to that Passover exclusively, or was to be a perpetual rule.
See Lightfoot’s Works, i. 952.

Page 232.—_The Galileans obstructed by the Samaritans._] Josephus (Ant.
xx. 5. Bell. Jud. ii. 12. 3.) relates an instance in which the
Galileans, passing through Samaria, were attacked by them and several
persons killed. Comp. Luke ix. 52. Samaria was the shortest way from
Galilee to Jerusalem; the journey required three days, Jos. Vit. 52.

Page 234.—_Searching for leaven._] This part of the paschal ceremonies
was not ordained by the Mosaic law. See the Rabbinical authorities
collected by Lightfoot, Works, i. 963.

Page 237.—_The temple rose above the rest of the city._] The hill of
Acra had been reduced in height by Simon, (Ant. Jud. xiii. 6. 6.) that
the temple might be higher than all the surrounding buildings. This and
the solidity of its construction made it an almost impregnable fortress
in the war with the Romans.

Page 231.—Josephus (Bell. Jud. vi. 9.) makes a calculation of the number
of persons present at the Passover from the number of lambs killed. They
were 256,000; and as each was to be eaten (Exod. xii.) by not fewer than
ten persons, and usually was so by more, he reckons that 2,700,000
persons must have been in Jerusalem. In Bell. Jud. ii. 14. he reckons
all the inhabitants at the time of the Passover at 3,000,000.

Page 239.—_Papyrus._] The process of preparing the papyrus is here
described after Pliny, N. H. xxx. 12. A drawing of the plant, on a large
scale, may be seen in Hayter’s Report on the Herculaneum MSS. The book
of Jesus the son of Sirach was evidently written by a Jew of Palestine,
(xxiv. 10. l 25.) who had seen the high-priest Simon, son of Onias, (ch.
l.) probably the second; the author may have lived a short time before
the commencement of the cruelties of Epiphanes, or about 180 B. C.
(Eichh. Einl. 4. 36. seq.) According to the same author, the translation
was made by his grandson a little more than a century before Christ. Ib.
p. 41.

Page 240.—_Travellers coming from a heathen land._] John xviii. 28. The
law imposes no such purification; but it was agreeable to the spirit of
the times to require it. (Acts x. 28.) Perhaps the purifications of Paul
(Acts xxi. 24.) may have reference to this. The Rabbins speak of
intercourse with idolaters as equal to Levitical uncleanness, from which
every one must be purified before the Passover. John xi. 55.

Page 241.—The word Jehoshaphat signifies _Jehovah judgeth_; and it is
very doubtful whether in this passage any place so denominated was
intended, and not rather some spot, which, by being the scene of
Jehovah’s judgment, would deserve this name. “Judæi arbitrantur ultimo
tempore quando Hierusalem fuerit instaurata, sævissimas gentes Gog and
Magog contra Dei populum esse venturas et in valle Josaphat quæ ad
orientalem portam templi sita est, esse sævituras.” Hieron. in Joel.
iii. 12. There is in the valley, through which the Kedron runs, a
sepulchre, which is now shown to travellers as that of Jehoshaphat,
(Maund. p. 103) but without any warrant from antiquity. It appears,
however, that a great many sepulchres were excavated in the rocks which
form the eastern side of this valley. See Clarke, 4. 333. 349. It is
still the most earnest desire of the Jews to be buried in the valley of
Jehoshaphat.

Page 243.—_Five sabbath-days’ journies._] Pococke (ii. 7.) says, the
ancient Jerusalem was four miles in circumference, the modern only two
and a half. Hecatæus of Abdera says, the circuit of the ancient city was
fifty stadia; about six miles, Jos. c. Ap. ii. 4. Various other
estimates may be seen in the Essay on the Topography of Jerusalem, by
D’Anville, appended to the second volume of Chateaubriand’s Travels.

Page 244.—_Topography of Jerusalem._] The reader is requested to refer
to the map of D’Anville, as the best elucidation of this description of
Jerusalem. The valley of Gihon, which our author describes as bordering
the whole city on the western side, is not there laid down. The fountain
of Gihon is said to have been the same as Siloah; (Reland, 859.
Lightfoot on John, v. 2.) this fountain, which was situated near the
_eastern_ end of the valley which separates the Upper from the Lower
City, (the φάραγξ Τυροποῖων of Josephus) can hardly have given its name
to the valley which skirted the city on the western side. According to
Maundrell (p. 108) and other travellers, the name of _Mount Gihon_ is
given to a place where is a reservoir, on the western side of the city:
I suspect that גיחון from גחן _alveus_, may have been a generic name for
a stream, which will account for its being applied to Siloah as well as
to the proper Gihon on the opposite side of the city. The chief
authority for the topography of Jerusalem is Joseph. Bell. Jud. v. 4.
combined with various passages in the narrative of the war. Tacit. Hist.
v. 11, 12. Reland, 832. seq. Cellarius, lib. iii. 13. p. 329. seq.

Page 245.—_Bezetha_] בית חדתה, Καινόπολις, or the New City, was without
walls till the time of Agrippa, who began to fortify it, but desisted,
fearful of exciting the jealousy of Claudius; the building was
afterwards resumed and carried up to the height of twenty cubits, Jos.
Bell. Jud. v. 4. 2.

Page 245.—_The city had twelve gates._] The gate of Ephraim and the
Corner-gate are not mentioned, Neh. iii. Godwin (Moses and Aaron, p. 73)
reckons only nine. The whole subject is involved in great obscurity.
Jennings’s Jewish Antiquities, ii. 76. Lightfoot’s Harmony John v. 2.
Anc. Universal History, vol. iv. 234. The ordinary population of
Jerusalem is estimated by Hecatæus, Jos. c. Apion. ii. 4., at 120,000.

Page 248.—_Analogy of the city to the camp._] “Ad rationem castrorum in
deserto, quod a porta Hierosolymæ ad montem ædis intercedebat spatium,
id respondebat castris Israelitarum. Quod autem a porta montis ad portam
Nicanoris id Levitarum respondebat castris. Et quod spatium erat citra
portam atrii castra Dei representabat.” Maimonides de Ædif. Templ. xi.

Page 251.—The description of the temple, as it existed just before its
destruction, will be found in Jos. Bell. Jud. v. 5. c. Ap. ii. 7. The
author appears to have most nearly followed Prideaux’s account, Conn. i.
200. See also Calmet, _Temple_. Lightfoot’s Works, i. 1049. seq.

Page 252.—The sanctuary, comprising the holy and holy of holies, was
called emphatically the _house_, Luke xi. 51. by Josephus ναὸς. Ern. Op.
Phil. et Crit. p. 350.

Page 253.—_Chel._] The enclosure ֫חל which is here spoken of is
mentioned by the Rabbinical writers, and from them introduced by
Prideaux into his ichnography of the temple. See too Lightfoot, i. 1089.

Page 254.—Of the multitude of persons from all countries of the
dispersion who came up to Jerusalem at the Passover, see Acts ii. 9. Ἡν
τῶν Ιουδαίων φύλη ἐις πᾶσαν πόλιν ἤδη παρεληλύθει, καὶ τόπον ὀυκ ἔστι
ραδίως εὑρεῖν τῆς οἰκουμένης, ὁς ὁυ παραδεδεκται τοῦτο τὸ φῦλον, μηδ’
ἐπικρατεῖται ὑπ’ ἀυτοῦ. Strabo ap. Jos. Ant. xiv. 7.

Page 256.—The law enjoins that the Passover shall be killed, בין הערבים
Exod. xii. 6. _between the evenings_, an expression which by comparison
with Num. xxviii. 4. where the same phrase is used of the time of the
evening sacrifice, (three P. M. according to Josephus, Ant. xiv. 4. 3.)
appears clearly to have meant generally the latter part of the day. It
has been much disputed what the _evenings_ here mentioned are. The
Greeks divided the decline of day into two evenings, one answering to
what we call afternoon; the other, the time about sunset. The Jewish
writers also distinguish between מנחה גדולה, _the great evening_,
beginning half an hour after mid-day; and קטנה _the lesser evening_,
beginning in the middle of the tenth hour or half past three P. M.
Fascic. Hist. and Phil. Sacr. vi. 426. It appears from Josephus, (Bell.
Jud. vi. 9.) that the paschal lambs were killed between the ninth and
the eleventh hour, i. e. from three o’clock till five. In Deut. xvi. 6.
the command is to sacrifice the passover at sunset; and hence the
Karaite Jews, who reject all Rabbinical traditions, kill it at twilight,
and eat it after dark. See Jennings’s Jew. Ant. ii. 181. Lightfoot’s
Works, i. 955. Ikenii. Diss. ix-xii. Of the ceremonies used in killing
the paschal lamb, see Lightfoot, i. 957. and the Tract _Pesachim_, in
Surenhus. Mischn. T. ii. 134. seq.

Page 257.—_The father of the family killed the paschal lamb._] Ἐν τῇ
ἑορτη οὐχ οἱ μὲν ἰδίωται προσάγουσι τῷ βωμῷ τὰ ἱερεῖα, θύουσι δε οἱ
ἱερεῖς, ἄλλα νομοῦ προστάξει συμπᾶν τὸ ἔθνος ἱερᾶται κατὰ μέρος ἑκάστου
τὰς ὑπὲρ ἀυτοῦ θυσίας ἀναγόντος τότε καὶ χειρουργοῦντος. Philo. Vit.
Mos. p. 686. So the Mishna; “Mactat Israelita, excipit sanguinem
sacerdos.” Surenh. ii. 153.

Page 258.—_The priests blew the trumpet._] The trumpet here spoken of,
and elsewhere, was the חצוצר (_tuba_.) Joseph. Ant. xiii. 12. 6.
straight and of metal, opposed to the שופר (_cornu._) Vitringa, Syn. i.
203. The trumpets are represented on the Jewish coins, and on the
triumphal arch of Titus.

Page 259.—_Roasting in deep ovens._] See Pococke’s description of the
ovens now used in Palestine, ii. 40.

Page 260.—_Fifteenth of the month Nisan._] The Jewish ecclesiastical
year began with the month Nisan or Abib, (the month of the ears of
corn.) Exod. xii. 2. As the Jews reckoned by lunar years, Nisan,
beginning with the first new moon after the vernal equinox, would
sometimes fall in the end of March, sometimes in April; and hence it is
impossible to assign any of the Jewish months exactly to corresponding
months of the Roman calendar. The Passover was always to be accompanied
by the offering of the first-fruits, or the new barley; and as this
would not, ordinarily, be ripe before the middle of April, (Shaw p. 335)
an additional month was intercalated, whenever the difference between
the solar and lunar year had become so great, that this part of the law
could not be complied with. See Michaelis Mos. Law, § 199. De mensibus
Hebræorum. Comm. xi.

The Jewish months followed in this order; the times assigned to them in
our calendar must be understood with the limitation above-mentioned.

  1.  Nisan, or Abib                 30 days, March and April.
  2.  Jiar, or Siv                   29       April and May.
  3.  Sivan                          30       May and June.
  4.  Tammus                         29       June and July.
  5.  Abh                            30       July and August.
  6.  Elul                           29       August and September.
  7.  Tisri, or Ethanim              30       September and October.
  8.  Marchesvan (or Bul)     30 and 29       October and November.
  9.  Kisleu                  29 and 30       November and December.
  10. Tebheth                        29       December and January.
  11. Shebat                         30       January and February.
  12. Adar                    29 and 30       February and March.

When an intercalary month was necessary, it was added after Adar, and
called _Veadar_. Only four of the months, Abib, Exod. xiii. 4. Siv, 1
Kings vi. 37. Ethanim, 1 Kings viii. 2. Bul, 1 Kings viii. 38., are
mentioned by name before the captivity. The civil year began with Tisri,
at the autumnal equinox. Wähner, Ant. Heb. ii. 15.

Page 261.—_Ceremonies of eating the Passover._] The laws of Moses
respecting this rite are found Exod. xii. 1-20. 43-49. Deut. xvi. 1-8.
Exod. xxxiv. 25. Lightfoot (Works, i. 959. seq.) has collected the
passages from the Rabbinical writings, which describe the manner of
eating it so fully, that it is unnecessary to do more than refer to him
for all that is here related. See also Maimonides de Sol. Pasch. Fasc.
Hist. Sacr. vii. 837. What our author says of their standing around the
table, appears doubtful: the Israelites ate their first Passover,
undoubtedly, in this way; but in our Saviour’s time they appear to have
used the ordinary recumbent posture, and this is agreeable to the
accounts of the Rabbins.

Page 262.—_The divan._] This is a raised platform, about four feet wide
and six inches high, from the floor in the houses of Aleppo, according
to Russel, (p. 27) running round the head and sides of the room, close
to the wall, on which mats and cushions are spread. It serves as the
ordinary seat of the Orientals, instead of our chairs.

Page 263.—_The table in the east is low._] Mariti (ii. 144.) describes a
table at which he dined, as raised about a hand’s breadth from the
floor, and two feet broad.

Page 272.—_Hyrcanus unites in himself the three offices_ _of the
Messiah, prophet, prince, and priest._] Josephus (Bell. J. i. 2. 8. &c.)
gives several instances of the prophetic inspiration of Hyrcanus, Ant.
xiii. 10. 7. 12. 1.

Page 273.—_First watch of the night._] According to the original
division of time among the Jews, there were only three watches in the
night. See Judges vii. 19. They afterwards borrowed from the Romans the
division into four watches. Matth. xiv. 25. Mark xiii. 35. See Lewis,
Hebrew Republic, Book vii. chap. 2. The water-clock, or clepsydra, was
invented by Ctesibius, (Vitruv. ix. 9. Athen. lib. iv, p. 174) a native
of Alexandria, in the reign of Ptolemy Physcon. In earlier times the
dial appears to have been the only measurer of time among the Hebrews.

Page 274.—_Great Hallel._] “Quarto epoto poculo, nihil amplius tota
nocte libare præter nisi aquam licebat, nisi quis vellet super quintum
poculum cantare ilium eximium hymnum qui incipit _confitemini dominum_
(Psalm cxxxvi.) et pertinet ad usque _super flumina Babylonis_.” (Psalm
cxxxvii.) Maim. de Sol. Pasch. Fascic. Hist. et Phil. Sacr. vii. 897.

Page 275.—_Soon after midnight._] Τῶν ἀζύμων τῆς εορτῆς ἀγομένης, ἐκ
μέσης νυκτὸς ἐν ἔθει ἤν τοῖς ἱερεῦσι ἀνοιγνύναι τοῦ ἱερου τοὺς πυλῶνας.
Jos. Ant. xviii. 2.

Page 276.—_Usual morning sacrifice._] Exod. xxx. 7. 9. xxix. 38-46.
Numb. xxviii. 1-8. The special offering for the Passover, Numb. xxviii.
16-25.

Page 277.—_Garments of the high-priest._] See Exod. xxviii. xxxix. 1.
39. Jos. Bell. Jud. v. 57.

Page 282.—_Music of the Levites._] According to Josephus, Ant. vii. 12.
3. the instruments of the Levites were a ten-stringed instrument, called
_Cinyra_, struck with the plectrum; a twelve-stringed, _Nabla_, played
with the fingers; and cymbals. The Rabbins say (Lightfoot, i. 921.) that
a flute, or hautboy, was used on particular days, of which the Passover
was one.

Page 284.—_Gesture of the high-priest in blessing._] See Vitringa, Lib.
de Syn. iii. 2. 20. p. 1119. Lightfoot, i. 947.

Page 285.—_A thank-offering._] Thank-offerings, freewill-offerings, and
offerings for vows, went under the general denomination of
peace-offerings. The laws respecting them are found Lev. iii. vii.
11-34. xix. 5-8. xxii. 17-33. The thank-offering was to be wholly
consumed on the same day; the freewill-offering on the same or the
following day.

Page 286.—_Ceremonies with which the first sheaf was cut._] See
Lightfoot, i. 969. Reland, Ant. Heb. 466. The climate of the valley of
the Jordan is much warmer than that of Jerusalem. Justin, xxxvi. 3.
Shaw, 335. Jos. B. Jud. iv. 8, 3. The law for the offering of the
first-fruits is found Lev. xxiii. 9-14.

Page 292.—_The offering of the appearance before Jehovah._] It was
grounded on Exod. xxiii. 15. “None shall appear before me empty-handed.”
It was called _Corban Raajah_. ראיה. See Lightfoot, i. 968. It was a
voluntary offering, no penalty being annexed to the omission. The
general law of burnt-offerings is found Lev. i. 1-13. vi. 8-13. vii. 8.

Page 294.-_-Schools of the prophets._] See Vitringa Syn. lib. i. p. 2.
chap. 6, 7.

Page 295.—_Synagogue._] See Calmet, sub. voc. Vitringa, i. 1. 8.
Lightfoot’s Works, i. 610.

Page 296.— _Any one who chose might teach._] Lightfoot (i. 612.) denies
this liberty of teaching; and supposes that our Saviour, though not an
appointed preacher, was allowed to speak from the fame of his miracles:
but throughout this author’s account of the synagogue, he seems to have
had in view the controversies on church discipline of his own time, and
to have leant to a rigorous exclusion of all but ordained teachers. But
the invitation to Paul and Barnabas at Antioch, in Pisidia, (Acts iii.
15.) where they were strangers, proves that the account given in the
text is correct.

Page 302.—_Approach of the sabbath._] The interval time between three
o’clock on Friday afternoon and six, when the sabbath began, was called
the _Parasceue_ of the sabbath. Augustus exempted the Jews from
appearing in a court of justice after three o’clock P. M. on Friday.
Lewis, iv. c. 16. Of the six blasts of the trumpet, see Reland, Ant.
Heb. 520.

Page 303.—The custom of the Jews to celebrate their sabbath by the
lighting of lamps, was remarked in ancient times by the heathens. See
the Scholiast on Pers. v. 180. Respecting the lighting of the
sabbath-lamp by the mother of the family, see Vitringa, Syn. i. 195. Of
the sabbath-psalm, see Lightfoot, i. 923.

Page 304.—_To take a family meal was the first thing done._] The Romans
very falsely supposed that the Jews fasted on their sabbath. Sueton.
Oct. 76. Justin, 36. 2.

Page 310.—_Additional sacrifice for the sabbath._] See Numb. xxviii. 9,
10.

Page 312.—_Not fewer than 100,000 men._] Some idea may be formed of the
vast multitudes assembled in the temple at the great solemnities, by
what Josephus says, Ant. xx. 4. 3. Bell. Jud. ii. 12. 1. that on one
occasion 10,000, on another 20,000 men were trodden to death in the
gates, when they were endeavouring to escape from an apprehended attack
of the Romans.

Page 312.—_The thirteen chests._] Respecting the Gazophylacia, or
treasure chests in the temple, see Lightfoot, i. 1095. This was the tax
demanded of our Lord, Matth. xvii. 24. The law of Moses does not appear
to have contemplated an annual capitation tax; this meaning was given to
it after the captivity. Mich Mos. Law, § 173.

Cyrene abounded with Jews, who had been settled there by Ptolemy Lagi.
Jos. Ant. xii. 1. Ap. ii. 4. Prid. An. 307. Wetstein on Matth. xxvii.
31. In the reign of Trajan, they massacred above 200,000 of the
inhabitants of Cyrene, and possessed themselves for a time of the
country.

Page 314.—_Jewish shekel._] When Antiochus, the son of Demetrius,
granted to Simon the principality of Judea, (b. c. 140) he conceded to
him the right of coining money, a prerogative of sovereignty most
jealously guarded. 1 Macc. xv. 6. Καὶ ἐπέτρεψά σοι ποιῆσαι κόμμα ἴδιον,
νόμισμα τῇ χώρᾳ σου. Simon availed himself of this permission; and many
coins have come down to our time, bearing his name, with the device and
inscription mentioned in the text. As the legends of all these coins are
in the old Hebrew character, which, from being used in the Samaritan
Pentateuch, was called Samaritan, many learned men were disposed to deny
their genuineness; as Basnage, History of the Jews, vi. 24. Reland, and
Wise, in his Catalogue of the Medals of the Bodleian. Within the last
fifty years, a severe attack was made upon them by the celebrated
Orientalist, O. G. Tychsen.[135] They were defended by Bayer, archdeacon
of Valencia;[136] and the result of the controversy has completely
established their genuineness. See Rasche, Lexicon Rei Numariæ, T. iv.
P. 2, p. 1720; Eckhel. Doctr. Num. Vet. iii. 455. Hence the important
fact is established, that the Jews continued to use the old Hebrew
character, till within a century of our Saviour’s birth.[137]

Footnote 135:

  Unächtheit der Jüdischen Münzen, Rostock, 1779.

Footnote 136:

  De Numis Hebræo-Samaritanis, Valentiæ, 1781.

Footnote 137:

  Possibly much later; for in the rebellion of the Jews under Trajan,
  they placed their own Maccabæan stamp over the imperial coin; so that
  the two impressions are still visible, mixed together. These
  inscriptions are also in the Samaritan character. Eckhel, iii. 472.

Josephus (Ant. iii. 8. 2.) says, that the Hebrew shekel was equal to the
Attic tetradrachm; and Philo indirectly agrees with him: but he has
reckoned it too high; for, according to the accurate experiments of
Barthelemy, (Eckhel, Proleg. cap. ix.) the greatest weight of a shekel
is 271¾ grains; the average of the Attic tetradrachms, 320 grains.
Jerome has more accurately stated the value of the shekel at twenty
oboli: as the Attic drachma contains six oboli, the shekel will be equal
to 3⅓ drachmas. Eckhel, iii. 464. The Attic drachma and Roman denarius
were worth about seven pence. Besides the rod of Aaron, the Hebrew
shekels exhibit a palm or vine branch, a view of the temple, a citron
and a bundle of boughs, and two trumpets. (Num. x. 2.) It may be
observed, that the coins with inscriptions in what is now called the
Hebrew, or Chaldee character, are recent forgeries.

Page 316.—Of the discouragement of foreign commerce by Moses, (Jos. c.
Ap. i. 12.) see Michaelis, Mos. Law, § 39. He has, at the same time,
shown how much the Jewish festivals tended to encourage internal
commerce, § 198. The caravan of Mecca is always accompanied by a large
body of merchants. Hasselquist, p. 82. What is said in the text of the
dislike of the Greeks to commerce, must be restricted to the heroic
times, or to nations which, like Sparta, retained the manners and
notions of those times. Ionia, Corinth, Athens, and other Grecian
states, were active in commercial pursuits.



                             END OF VOL. I.



       ---------------------------------------------------------

           London: Printed by A. Applegath, Stamford-street.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

                               Footnotes

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

                           Transcriber’s Note

There a number of minor errors in the ‘Notes and Illustrations’ at the
end of the text.

  On p. 344, the phrase noted on p. 90 actually occurs on the following
  page.

  On p. 354, the endnote referencing p. 190 seems misplaced in the list,
  occurring between references to p. 196 and p. 198. The locale being
  described on p. 190 is not mentioned by name, but the description from
  Sandys (p. 117), which describes an area below Hebron, would seem to
  agree. There seems to be no reasonable referent on pp. 196-198.

  Likewise, on p. 359, the reference to p. 231 correct, but is
  misplaced.

  These notes remain in their printed positions.

The brief Hebrew phrases cannot always be exactly confirmed by modern
sources. They have been retained as printed, using those sources only to
confirm those characters which seem ambiguous.

The printer frequently misplaced the circumflex in words containing the
εῖ diphthong, using it on the epsilon rather than the iota. The
circumflex is used only on the second letter, and has been corrected
here, with no further comment.

Errors deemed most likely to be the printer’s have been corrected, and
are noted here. The references are to the page and line in the original.
The following issues should be noted, along with the resolutions.

  61.19    Abram the son of[ ]Terah                       Inserted.

  113.4    the epigrams and scolia of Solomon.[”]         Added.

  128.2    to the neighbour[bour]hood of the river Chebar Redundant.

  130.4    and the Levites in their occupations.[”/’]     Replaced.

  140.33   in the day of his anger.[”]                    Added.

  151.7    for the house of God at Jerusalem.[’]          Added.

  151.21   both gold and silver.[’”]                      Removed.

  167.23   and sacrifi[c]ed to the idol                   Inserted.

  178.16   “Amen!” exclaimed Helon.[”]                    Removed.

  191.14   [“]Thou lookest down upon our land             Added,

  207.7    exactly as with the child.[”]                  Added.

  209.19   “A garden enclosed is my sister, my            Replaced.
           spouse[:/;]”

  214.11   They [past] by a company of men                _sic_

  273.10   “It will be a happy day,” said Helon,[”]       Removed.

  289.2    without finding any resting[ ]place.           Inserted.

  348.12   inscribed on the high-priest[’]s tiara         Inserted.

  358.4    from whom this valley took it[s] appellation   Added.





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Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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