Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

effect," he remarks,“ nothing is clearer than that dence of the prophet Elijah with a poor woman, all the persons introduced into the poem were during a famine in the land of Israel, 1 Kings Idumeans, dwelling in Idumea ; or, in other words, xvii. 9, 10. Edomite Arabs. These characters are, Job him- ZARETAN, a town in the land of Manasseh, on self, of the land of Uz; Eliphaz of Teman, a this side Jordan ; called Zartanah, in 1 Kings iv. district of as much repute as Uz; and, upon the 12. It is said to be near Beth Shen, which was joint testimony of Jeremiah (xlix. 7, 20), Ezekiel in the northern limits of Manasseh. From Adam (xxv. 13), Amos (i. 11, 12), and Obadiah (v. to Zaretan the waters dried up (Josh. iii. 16); 8, 9), a part, and principal part, of Idumea ; from Zaretan upwards, they stood on a heap. The Bildad of Shuah, always mentioned in conjunction brazen vessels for the temple were cast in the clay with Sheba and Dedan, the first of which was ground between Zaretan and Succoth, 1 Kings probably named after one of the brothers of Joktan vii. 46. or Kantan, and the two last from two of his sons, ZEBULUN, a city of Asher, and then of Zebulun, all of them being uniformly placed in the vicinity not far from Ptolemais. of Idumea ; Zophar of Naama, a city importing Zoan, a royal city of Egypt, and extremely pleasantness, which is also stated by Joshua (xv. ancient. Called in Greek Tanis (Judith i. 10), 21, 41), to have been situated in Idumea, and to and built, no doubt, by emigrants, Numb. xiii. 22; have lain in a southern direction, towards its coast, Ps. lxxviii. 12, 43; Isai. xix. 11, 13, xxx. 4; or the shores of the Red Sea ; and Elihu of Buz, Ezek. xxx. 14. which, as the name of a place, occurs only once in Zoar, a city of the Pentapolis, on the southem Sacred Writ, but is there mentioned in conjunc- extremity of the Dead Sea was destined, with the tion with Teman and Dedan (Jer. xxv. 23), and other five cities, to be consumed by fire from hence necessarily, like themselves, a border city heaven ; but at the intercession of Lot, it was upon Ausitis, Uz, or Idumea.

preserved, Gen. xiv. 2. It was originally called ZAREPHATH, a city of the Sidonians, between Bela; but after Lot entreated the angel's permis Tyre and Sidon, in Phænicia, on the coast of the sion to take refuge in it, and insisted on the smallMediterranean Sea, and afterwards called Sarepta. ness of this city, it had the name of Zoar, which It is between Tyre and Sidon, and was the resi- signifies small or little.

[ocr errors]

PART V.

BIBLICAL NATURAL HISTORY.

GEOLOGY.

BOTANY.

AQUATICS.

TERRESTRIALS.

1. The Holy Scriptures, though not professing 3. The Mosaic arrangement is simple, but systo communicate a knowledge of what are called tematic; rising from inert matter to vegetation, "the laws of nature,” which mean nothing more from this to animal life, and thence to intellectual nor less than the order which the Divine Being being ! has prescribed in the natural world; or to describe 4. Each branch of the division is further diswith any particularity the several properties of the posed into triads, thus :various objects, animate and inanimate, which constitute the world natural; do, in fact, comprise

Earth-Air-Water. a vast fund of information on both these branches of knowledge, and open up a wide field of obser

Grass Shrubs Trees. vation to the naturalist and the philosopher.

ZOOGRAPHY. 2. The opening chapter of Genesis at once in- Aquatics_Terrestrials-Rationals. troduces us to the various topics comprehended The two former being again divided thus : under the title of this chapter; and that, too, in an orderly and scientific manner: ASTROGRAPHY,

Animalculæ— Amphibia—Birds. METEOROLOGY, GEOLOGY, BOTANY, ZOOGRAPHY ;the heavens, the air, and the earth ; but as the latter is that in which we are more immediately

Domestic Animals— Wild Beasts—Reptiles. interested, the sacred historian has supplied a

5. What a beautiful gradation! Connecting larger measure of information relative to this than links are seen throughout the whole order and to either of the former. Confining himself to this class of being. Among a certain description of part of the Mosaic narrative, Mr. Charles Taylor, stones, some are fibrous, and have laminæ, or a to whom every subsequent writer on this branch kind of leaves ; as slate, talc, lythophytes, or stony of natural science has been greatly indebted, dis- marine plants, the amyanthus, or stony flower of tributes the objects of Scripture natural history mines. These lead us from the mineral to the into three classes, conformably with the threefold vegetable kingdom. The plant which appears to arrangement of Moses, in his philosophical and occupy the lowest part of vegetable gradation is beautiful narrative. Thus we have,

the truffle. Next come the numerous species of

mushrooms and mosses, between which mould 1. GEOLOGY. II. BOTANY.

and paste seem to form the connecting medium, Gen. i. 1–10.--ver. 11, 12.

-ver. 20, 26. All these plants are imperfect, and properly con

stitute only the limits of the vegetable kingdom. Here are the three kingdoms of nature—animal, The polypus seems to unite the vegetable and the vegetable, and mineral-opened up to our contem- animal kingdom. From its outward appearance, plation. How extended is the range ; how teem- this singular production might be taken for nothing ing with important instruction, and with the more than a mere plant, were it not seen to permaterials of devout meditation !

form real animal functions. Worms, which are

at the commencement of the animal kingdom, All nature is a glass reflecting God,

lead us to insects and shell-fish ; between which, As by the sea reflected is the sun,

or, rather, next to them, are found reptiles, which, Too glorious to be gazed on in his sphere ! by means of the water-snake, are united to fish,

III. ZOOGRAPHY.

The flying-fish leads us to fowls. The ostrich, poems, ancient or modern, the book of Job, proves whose feet much resemble those of the goat, and that the study of natural history, and especially which runs rather than flies, appears to connect the history of the animal kingdom, was cultivated birds with quadrupeds. Such is the harmony and at a very early period of the world, with a consigradation of nature in its varied and, at first sight, derable degree of minute attention, in regard to incongruous parts! There are no frightful chasms, various kinds and species; and the detailed referor violent and unnatural transitions ; a scale of ences to the habits and manners of other animals the nicest gradation regulates the operations of the that lie scattered through almost every part of the Almighty hand, and powerfully attests the wisdom Hebrew Scriptures, and especially through the by which it is directed.

books of Psalms and prophecies, with the distinct ALMIGHTY !-we cannot comprehend him ;

historical notice which is given of the scientific Excelling in power and in judgment !*

acquaintance of Solomon with this attractive study 6. That most sublime and magnificent of all tended to at a very early period, but that it was a

(1 Kings iv. 33), show, not only that it was at

very favourite and fashionable pursuit for many * Critica Biblica, vol. iii., pp. 19, 20.

ages throughout Egypt, Syria, and Arabia.

CHAPTER I.

ASTROGRAPHY AND METEOROLOG Y.

܀

I. ASTRONOMY :—Scantiness of Biblical Information-Know- et al. In Jude 13, there is an allusion to the

ledge of Astronomy possessed by the ancient Hebrews apparently irregular motion of the planets ; and Astrology.--II. METEOROLOGY:- Its Objects—The Seasons of the Hebrews.

when it is known that the Hebrews called their

teachers stars, the comparison of Jude seems to be 1.-1. We have already intimated the scanti- very appropriate. ness of the information furnished in the sacred 2. Whether the Hebrews understood the theory Scriptures relative to the solar system : it is men- of lunar eclipses is doubtful; it seems that they tioned but incidentally, or by the way, and as it did not, inasmuch as they always speak of these stands in immediate relation to our own planet or phenomena in terms which intimate a belief of globe. By employing the plural word s'po, their being effects of the extraordinary power and shemim, heavens, it is believed that Moses meant wrath of God. See Isa. xiii. 10; Ezek. xxiii. to include in his description of the creation the 17, 8; Joel ii. 10; iï. 15, et al. On the circumwhole of the solar system ; but this is by no means stances of the sun and moon standing still," at certain, from the mere use of the plural substan- the command of Joshua, as related in the book tive. In the Hebrew Scriptures, a great latitude bearing his name (ch. x. 12), and the shadow on of meaning is given to the word D'OU. In Job the sun-dial of Ahaz, mentioned in 2 Kings II., xxxv. 11, it is used to denote the air or atmo- and Isa. xxxv., we must refer to the commentators. sphere; in Psalm xxxii. 6, it expresses the atmo. Dr. A. Clarke has contributed much and satisfacsphere or planetary vortex; and in Dan. iv. 26, it torily towards explaining the relations in accorddenotes the Deity himself. The ancient Hebrews ance with natural science, and vindicating the believed that there were three heavens ; the aërial, sacred writers against the charge of ignorance that in which the birds, &c., fly; the firmament, or ex- has been often urged. In 2 Kings xxiii. 5, and panse; and “the heaven of heavens,” or “the Job xxxviii. 32, the planets, nobio, or constellathird heaven,” the peculiar dwelling-place of Je- tions, are mentioned; and in Job ix. 9, xxxviii. hovah and the blessed in eternity. By the word 31, and Amos v. 8, some of them are called by yup7, rekia, which the English translators have name; whence it is evident that the science of rendered, following the vulgate, firmament, the astronomy was not wholly uncultivated amongst the Hebrews described the whole atmosphere, or the ancient Hebrews, as is also, and indeed more clearly

, whole of the planetary vortex, in which the '9010, demonstrable from the construction of their calenthe wow, and the ni', the whole of the heavenly dars, and the regulation of their fasts, festivals, &c. bodies exist : the stars are spoken of in the 3. Astrology, or the science of reading the stars, Scriptures as being infinite in number ; and there was sedulously cultivated in the East, and espeare several beautiful allusions to them in Isa. xl. cially in Chaldea (Isa. xlvii. 13; Jer. 1. 35 ; Dan. 26; Numb. xxiv. 17; Job xxv. 5; Ps. cxlviii. 3, i. 20; ii. 2, 12, &c.); so that at length “ a C'hal

dean” became synonymous with “ an astrologer.” , frost like ashes; he casteth forth his ice like morThis superstition was prohibited by the law (Lev. sels; who can stand before his cold ?" Ps. cxlvii. IX. 27; Deut. xviii. 10), although the Hebrews 16, 17. And yet there are intervals when the sky did not preserve themselves free from its guilt, as is clear, and it is so hot that travellers with diffiis evident from various passages in the writings of culty prosecute their journey. De la Roque rethe prophets.

lates, that he was greatly affected by the heat of II.-1. The science of meteorology, which treats the sun, when travelling near Tyre, on the 29th of the atmosphere and the various phenomena with of January || During this season the inhabitants which it is connected, will, of course, bear some of Palestine, and the adjoining countries, continue proportion in the estimation of a people to their to sow their corn and pulse. attainments in astronomical science. If the one is (3) Kur, the cold season, embraced February neglected, the other will not be very sedulously and March. During the early part of this season cultivated ; and we have no reason to believe that there are some intense colds; and Shaw states, , either of them formed very prominent objects of that it is the usual time at Jerusalem for the fallstudy amongst the ancient Hebrews. As a pas- ing of snow. As the season advances, however, toral people, they were, of course, obliged to pay the atmosphere grows warm, and at length exconsiderable attention to the state of the atmo- cessively hot, though the rains, accompanied with sphere, the weather, and the seasons; but it is very thunder and hail, are not yet over.§ The fields, questionable whether they understood enough of which were pretty green before, become, by the the science of meteorology to be able to explain springing up of the latter grain, entirely covered the principles by which these were regulated or with pleasing verdure, and towards the end of modified.

March every tree is in full leaf. I 2. The seasons of the natural year are indicated (4) Ketsur, the harrest, included April and by a very ancient portion of the sacred history: May, when the latter rains fell ;** called harrest "While the earth remaineth, seed-time and harrest, rains (Deut. xi. 14, Heb.), because they helped to and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and fill and ripen the corn for cutting. Thus the forday and night, shall not cease,” Gen. viii. 22. mer rains fell after the autumnal equinox, at their We shall notice these divisions in order.

seed-time, to quicken the grain ; and the latter (1) Zero, or seed-time, which comprehended, rains, after the vernal equinox, to ensure a plentiaccording to our computation of time, from the ful crop. It was owing to these rains that Jordan beginning of October to the end of November, * used to overflow its banks, at the time of the was the period during which the former rains barley-harvest

, Josh. ii. 15. When they are past, fell.+ It seems that about the autumnal equinox the weather is variable till May, by cold winds these rains commenced, falling for two or three from Libanus ; tt from the end of which month days in heavy showers, after which there was an till the middle of September, there are few or no interval of two or three weeks, when the real showers. In the Plain of Jericho, the heat is exformer rain set in. It was during this interval of cessive at this time; but in other parts of the time that the Hebrews ploughed their land, and country the spring is delightful. After the rains sowed their wheat and barley. I

cease, the corn soon arrives at maturity, and the (2) Koreph, the stripping season, or winter, harvest commences, and continues till about the extended from the beginning of December to the middle of June. It is impossible to describe the end of January. During this period the westerly rich fragrance of an eastern climate, at this season winds generally blow, which bring heavy rains, of the year, and before the excessive heat comes especially during the night. The cold is piercing on. The air is filled with odours of plants, and on the elevated parts of the land, and sometimes flowers, and trees, which the breeze wafts about fatal to those not inured to the climate. David in most delicious freshness. Solomon says, “ The has finely described this season of the year, where, winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the in speaking of the Divine Majesty, he says, “he flowers appear on the earth ; the time of the singgiveth snow like wool ; he scattereth the hoar ing of birds is come; and the voice of the turtle

is heard in our land; the fig-tree putteth forth her

green figs, and the vines, with the tender grape, For an account of the computation of time adopted in Judæa, the reader is referred to Part IV., ch. i., ante. + Lightfoot, Hor. Heb., Matt. xi. 1.

|| Voyage de Syrie, &c., tom. i., p. 17. # For a detailed account of the weather and productions of

& Maundrell, pp. 13, 20, 57, &c.; Pococke, vol. ii,, p. 11. Judæa, and of the agricultural operations of its inhabitants during

Russell, p. 10. these seasons, the reader is referred to Carpenter's Calendarium

** Lightfoot, Hor. Heb , Luke iv. 25.

# De La Valle, pp. 121, 122.

Palestinæ, pp. 1-13.

give a good smell,” Cant. ii. 11–13. Before the mate during the summer season, and it seldom or middle of May, however, the verdure begins to never rains. When it does rain, it is usually fade, and by the end of the month all becomes preceded by a whirlwind, with clouds of dust ; it parched and barren. To the extreme heat which is “ with a stormy whirlwind, or an overflowing now prevails, there are many beautiful allusions shower, or great hail,” Ezek. xii. 12, 13. What in the sacred writings. As when Isaiah is de- has been said of the heat which prevails at this scribing the peaceful and happy reign of the Mes- season of the year, is chiefly applicable to the siah, he

says,

“ And there shall be a tabernacle for lower parts of the country; for, even in the bota shadow in the day-time, from the heat, and for test months, the regions of Libanus are so cold at a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and times, during the night, as to render the use of from rain," chap. iv. 6. He uses the same lan- fires indispensable. # guage in describing God's care over the poor: (6) Chum, the heat, comprehended August and “Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as September. During this season the heat increases, the heat in a dry place ; even the heat with the and “the drought of summer” is experienced, Ps. shadow of a cloud; the branch of the terrible ones xxxii. 4. The sky is serene and fair during the shall be brought low," chap. xxv. 5.

day; but in the night a copious dew falls, which (5) Kiitz, summer, comprised the months of either saturates the earth, or appears as hoar-frost : June and July, during which the sky is clear, on the appearance of the sun it ascends as smoke and the sun's rays so intense, that the streams from an oven, and becomes invisible. Lightning which in winter rushed with the impetuosity of is also frequent in the night-time; and, if seen in torrents, either dwindle into brooks, or become the western hemisphere, it portends rain, often entirely dry. The winds generally blowing from accompanied with thunder. During the heat, at the west, refresh the air in the latter part of the noon, it is usual for persons to retire to rest. || See day, and the dews being very moderate, the in- Judg. iii. 24; 2 Sam. iv. 5. habitants pass the night on the roofs of their houses.* Thunder is very uncommon in this cli

+ Volney, Voyage, tom. i., p. 321 ; Josepbus, Wars, book iii., chap. 7.

D'Arvieux, Mem., tom. iï., p. 432. * Russell, p. 152.

|| Niebuhr, Descript. de l'Arabie, p. 6.

CHAPTER II

GEOLOGY.

Importance of the Science of Geology, and its Relation to the historian describes briefly, but particularly and

Modern Philosophy with the Hebrew Cosmogony- The De- systematically, the order and process of the work luge attested by Modern Discoveries — The Age of the Earth of creation ; beginning with the heavens, or solar - Flebrew Geological Terms.

system generally, and thence descending to the

pox, earth-or, as the word implies, every thing The intimate connexion of the science which relating to the terr-aque-aërial globe ; that is, all treats of the substance of the earth, of the causes that belongs to the solid and fluid parts of our by which its several parts have been either ar- world, and its surrounding atmosphere.* The ranged or disorganized, of the operations in which narrative of Moses furnishes a fair subject of inthe stratification of its materials have originated, vestigation for the philosopher and the natural hisof the inequalities of its surface, and of the torian; and it is gratifying to know that the disnumerous bodies that enter into its composition, coveries of modern science have all tended to with various portions of Scripture, and especially illustrate and confirm the particulars included in with the Mosaic account of the creation and the that narrative. deluge, gives it a strong claim to rank amongst 3. From the surveys that have been made of the necessary studies of the interpreter and the theologian. 2. In the first chapter of Genesis, the Hebrew

* See Dr. Clarke, Annot. in loco.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »