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BIRDS OF THE AIR.

ENGLISH BIBLE.

PROBABLE SPECIES,

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LAND BIRDS.

animals. The wilder animals, however, have certain kinds are forbidden, without a word conmostly disappeared. Hasselquist, a disciple of cerning those that are allowed. Those living on Linnæus, who visited the Holy Land in 1750, grain do not appear to be prohibited; and as these mentions, as the only animals he saw, the porcu- are the domesticated kinds, we might almost expine, the jackal, the fox, the rock-goat, and the press it in other words—that birds of prey, genefallow-deer. We know, however, that formerly rally, are rejected ; i. e., those with crooked beaks the antelope, the hart, and the hind were common and strong talons, whether they prey on fowls, in the country. Captain Mangles describes an on animals, or on fish; while those which eat animal of the goat species as large as the ass, with vegetables are admitted as lawful. So that the long, knotty, upright horns, some bearded, and same principle is admitted, to a certain degree, and their colour resembling that of the gazelle : among birds as among

beasts.

The excepted the Arabs call them meddu or neddu. The Syrian birds are divided into three classes, according goat has very long ears, which are more than once as they occupy the air, the land, or the water ; alluded to in the sacred writings; and the large thus :tail of the sheep is scarcely less remarkable. Burckhardt mentions wild boars and ounces as inhabiting the woody parts of Mount Tabor. The horse does not appear to have been generally Eagle

Eagle adopted till after the return of the Jews from Ossifrage

Vulture Babylon. Solomon was the first monarch who Ospray

Black Eagle collected a numerous stud of the finest horses that Vulture

Hawk Fgypt or Arabia could produce.* In the earlier Kite

Kite times, the wild ass was deemed worthy of being Raven

Raven. employed for the purposes of royal state as well as convenience. See Judg. v. 10, x. 3, 4, xi. 13, 14; 1 Kings iv. 24. The breed of cattle Owl

Ostrich reared in Bashan and Gilead were remarkable for Night Hawk

Night Owl their size, strength, and fatness.

Cuckoo

Saf Saf V.-1. The 'common name for a bird, in the Hawk

Ancient Ibis. Hebrew Scriptures, is tzephur, a rapid moder, or hurrier ; a name very expressive of that volatile creature. A more general and indefinite name is Little Owl

Sea-gull ouph, a flier ; but under this term is compre

Cormorant

- Cormorant hended every thing that flies, whether bird or Great Owl

Ibis Ardea insect. It is often translated forel in the English

Swan

Wild-goose Bible. A bird of prey is called oith, a rusher,

Pelican

Pelican from the impetuosity with which it rushes upon

Gier Eagle

Alcyone
Stork

Stork 2. It might naturally be supposed, that the He- Heron

Long Neck brew legislator, who had issued the strictest in- Lapwing

Hoopoe junctions relative to animals clean and unclean,

Bat

- Bat. would have given some directions equally strict respecting birds; a class of creatures as much These are the unclean birds, constituting the distinguished among themselves, by their qualities list of exceptions, so far as they have been identiand modes of living, as are the several species of fied; though it must not be concealed that there beasts. But here the characteristics derived from is some doubt as to certain ones amongst them. the feet failed; nor was it easy to fix upon marks

3. The eagle, the vulture, the cormorant, the which should, in every instance, guide the learned bittern, the stork, the owl, the pigeon, the swallow, and the unlearned, the country rustic and the the crane, and the dove, were familiar to the Hemore intelligent citizen. Hence there is not in brews, ancient and modern. Hasselquist enumethe Mosaic institutes any reference to the con

rates the following from his own observation : the formation, as the means of distinguishing birds vulture, two species, one seen near Jerusalem, the into clean and unclean, lawful and unlawful ; a

other near Cana in Galilee; the falcon, near NazaList of exceptions forms the sacred directory, and reth ; the jackdaw, in numbers, in the oak-woods

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WATER BIRDS.

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its prey.

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* See Michaëlis on the Laws of Moses, vol. ii., pp. 431-514.

+ Taylor's Expository Index to the Holy Bible, p. 56.

*

near Galilee, the green wood-spite, at the same mals; and as the sacred legislator had given direcplace; the bee-catcher, in the groves and plains tions for separating animals according to their between Acra and Nazareth ; the nightingale hoofs and claws, so he directs that fishes, which among the willows at Jordan and olive-trees of had no clear and distinct members adapted to Judea ; the field-lark, every where ; the gold- locomotion, should be unclean. Those which had finch, in the gardens near Nazareth ; the red par- fins were to be clean, provided they also had tridge, and two other species ; the quail, and the scales. quail of the Israelites; the turtle-dove, and the 3. Though fish was the usual food of the Egypring-dove. Game is abundant; partridges in par- tians, we learn from Herodotus, I and Chæremon, ticular being found in large coveys, so fat and as quoted by Porphyry,** that their priests abheavy that they may easily be knocked down with stained from fish of all sorts. Hence we may see a stick,* wild-ducks, widgeons, snipes, and water- how distressing was the infliction which turned fowl of every description, abound in some situ- the waters of the river into blood, and occasioned ations.t

the death of the fish (See Exod. vii. 18-21). VI.-1. There are but few references to the Their sacred stream became so polluted as to be subject of Ichthylogy in the sacred writings. The unfit for drink, for bathing, and for other uses of reasons are obvious: the Jews being an agricul- water to which they were superstitiously devoted tural people, fish formed no considerable part of (See Exod. ii. 4, vii. 15, viii. 20), and themtheir food; nor could they furnish any striking selves obliged to nauseate what was the usual objects of comparison or illustration to the sacred food of the common people, and held sacred by writers, as was the case with quadrupeds and birds. the priests.tt The well-known biblical appellations of fish are VII. Of reptiles we have not much informadag and taninim : the former being expressive of tion in the Scriptures; there are some general or their amazing fecundity; the latter, of their rapid incidental allusions, but too scanty to furnish any motion. In Gen. i. 21, the word taninim, ren- materials for extended disquisition. dered “great whales” by the English translators,

1. The Hebrew word nachash appears to be seems used to describe fish of the largest descrip- used by the Hebrew writers as a general term for tion, and not any particular species. From Neh. the whole serpentine genus. The primitive meaning xiii. 16, we learn that, during the administration of the word from which this appellation is derived of this zealous patriot, the Tyrians brought fish in signifies to vien, observe attentively, &c.; and so considerable quantities to Jerusalem, for purchas- remarkable are serpents for this quality, that “a ing which on the sabbath-day, Nehemiah re- serpent's eye” became a proverb among the Greeks proved the Jewish elders. As the people of Tyre and Romans, who applied it to those who vies were remarkable for their skill in maritime affairs, things sharply or acutely. An ingenious writer, it is impossible to say how far their fisheries might speaking of the supposed fascination of the rattleextend; but from Le Bruyn, we ascertain, that snake's eye, says, “ It is, perhaps, more universal fish in large numbers, and of excellent qualities, among the poisonous serpents than is supposed : were to be procured in the neighbourhood of their our common viper has it.”## The craft and subown city. Nor should we omit to notice, in justi- tlety of the serpent are noticed in Scripture fication of John xxi. 11, that the Sea of Tiberias qualities by which it is distinguished above every was well stocked with fish of a very large size. other beast of the field, Gen. iii. 1. Of its pruHasselquist,|| and Egmont, and Heyman, notice dence and cunning, many instances are adduced; the charmud or harmud, which is common to though it is but reasonable to suppose, that, in this lake and the hill, and which weighs nearly common with the rest of the animal creation, it thirty pounds.

has materially suffered in these respects from the 2. With regard to fish as an article of food, effects of the curse. Moses has a very simple law: “ All that have

2. Calmet enumerates eleven kinds of serpents, scales and fins are clean; all others unclean.” that were known to the Hebrews :Upon this distinction, Mr. Taylor observes, that

1. EPHE, the viper. fishes' fins are analogous to the feet of land ani- 2. CHEPHIR, a sort of aspic.

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* Ali Bey, vol. i., p. 210. † Modern Traveller, Palestine, p.

11.
Tom. i., p. 564.

|| Page 158.
Vol. ii., pp. 33, 220.

Lib. ii., c. 37.

** De Abstinentia , lib. iv. # Harris' Nat. Hist., p. 123; Carpenter's Scripture Nats ral History, p. 417, fifth edition.

11 Watson's Animal World Displayed, p. 284, cited by Parkhurste

3. ACTHUB, the aspic.

of asps; the viper's tongue shall slay him, Job xx. 4. PETHEN, a similar reptile.

14. The venom of asps

is the most subtle of all; 5. TZEBOA, a speckled serpent.

it is incurable, and if the wounded part be not 6. TZIMMAON.

instantly amputated, it speedily terminates the 7. TZEPHO or TZEPHONI, a basilisk. existence of the sufferer. To these circumstances 8. KIPPOS, the acontias.

Moses evidently alludes, in his character of the 9. SHEPPIPHON, the cerastes.

heathen : “ Their wine is the poison of dragons, 10. SHACKAL, the black serpent.

and the cruel venom of asps," Deut. xxxiii. 33. 11. SARAPH, a flying serpent.

See also Rom. ii. 13. To tread

upon
the asp

is 3. The prophet Isaiah mentions the viper among attended with extreme danger; and to express in the venomous reptiles which, in extraordinary the strongest manner the safety which a godly man numbers, infested the land of Egypt, ch. xxx. 6. enjoys under the protection of his heavenly Father, In illustrating the mischievous character of wicked it is promised that he shall tread with impunity men, and the ruinous nature of sin, he thus alludes upon the adder and the dragon, Ps. xci. 13. No to this dangerous creature again : “ They hatch person of his own accord approaches the hole of cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web : he these deadly reptiles, for he who gives them the that eateth of their eggs dieth ; and that which is smallest disturbance is in extreme danger of paycrushed breaketh out into a viper.” The cocka- ing the forfeit of his rashness with his life. IIence trice here, says Paxton, undoubtedly means the the prophet Isaiah, predicting the conversion of viper ; for the egg of one creature never produces, the Gentiles to the faith of Christ, and the globy any management, one of a different species. rious reign of peace and truth in those regions, When the egg is crushed, the young viper is dis- which, prior to that period, were full of horrid engaged, and leaps out prepared for mischief. It cruelty, declares, “ The sucking child shall play may be objected, that the viper is not an ovi- on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall parous, but a viviparous animal; and that, con- put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall sequently, the prophet must refer to some other not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain ;

for creature. But it is to be remembered, that al- the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the though the viper brings forth its young alive, they Lord, as the waters cover the sea,” Isaiah xi. 6—9. are hatched from eggs perfectly formed in the belly in the glowing descriptions of the golden age, of the mother. Hence Pliny says of it, “The with which the oriental writers, and the rapturous viper alone, of all terrestrial animals, produces bards of Greece and Rome, entertained their conwithin itself an egg of an uniform colour, and soft temporaries, the wild beasts grow tame, serpents like the eggs or roe of fishes." This curious na- resign their poison, and noxious herbs their deletural fact reconciles the statement of the sacred terious qualities : all is peace and harmony, plenty writer with the truth of natural history. If by and happiness.t any means the egg of the viper be separated from 5. The incantation of serpents is one of the the body, the phenomenon which the prophetmost curious and interesting facts in natural hismentions, may certainly take place.* Father tory. This wonderful art, which soothes the Labat took a serpent of the viper kind, and or- wrath and disarms the fury of the deadliest dered it to be opened in his presence. In its snake, and renders it obedient to the charmer's womb were found six eggs, each the size of a voice, is not an invention of modern times, for goose's egg, and containing from thirteen to fifteen we discover manifest traces of it in the remotest young ones, about six inches long, and as thick as antiquity. It is asserted that Orpheus, who pro

goose quill. They were no sooner liberated from bably flourished soon after letters were introduced their prison-house, than they crept about, and put into Greece, knew how to still the hissing of the themselves into a threatening posture, coiling approaching snake, and to extinguish the poison themselves up, and biting the stick with which of the creeping serpent. The Argonauts are said he was destroying them.

to have subdued by the power of song the terrible 4. The Hebrew Pehen is variously translated in dragon that guarded the golden fleece; and Ovid our version ; but interpreters generally consider it ascribes the same effect to the soporific influence as referring to the asp. Zophar alludes to it more of certain herbs and magic sentences. than once in his description of a wicked man: the custom of others to fascinate the serpent by " Yet his meat in his bowels is turned; it is the touching it with the hand. Of this method Virgall of asps within him : he shall suck the poison gil takes notice, in the seventh book of the Æneid.

a

It was

* Illustrations of Scripture, vol. i., p.

336.

+ Louth, in loco.

But it seems to have been the general persuasion, sense of hearing is much more acute than the of the ancients, that the principal power of the sense of vision. Unable to resist the force of charmer lay in the sweetness of the music. Pliny truth, others maintain that the adder is deaf, not says, accordingly, that serpents were drawn from by nature, but by design ; for the Psalmist says, their lurking-places by the power of music; Seneca she shutteth her ear, and will not hear the voice held the same opinion. The wonderful effect of the charmer. But the phrase, perhaps, means which music produces on the serpent tribes, is no more than this, that some adders are of a confirmed by the testimony of several respectable temper so stubborn, that the various arts of the moderns. Adders swell at the sound of a flute, charmer make no impression; they are like crearaising themselves up on the one half of their tures destitute of hearing, or whose ears are so body, turning themselves round, beating proper completely obstructed that no sounds can enter. time, and following the instrument. Their head, The same phrase is used in other parts of Scripnaturally round and long like an eel, becomes ture to signify a hard and obdurate heart : “Whoso broad and flat like a fan.* The tame serpents, stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor,

he also many of which the Orientals keep in their houses, shall cry himself, but shall not be heard,” Prov. are known to leave their holes in hot weather, at xxi. 13. It is used in the same sense of the the sound of a musical instrument, and to run righteous by the prophet: “That stoppeth his upon the performer. Dr. Shaw had an oppor- ears from the hearing of blood, and shutteth his tunity of seeing a number of serpents keep exact eyes from seeing evil,” Isai. xxxiii. 15. He retime with the dervises in their circulatory dances, mains as unmoved by the cruel and sanguinary running over their heads and arms, turning when counsels of the wicked as if he had stopped his they turned, and stopping when they stopped ; ears. || and Chateaubriand relates a very extraordinary VIII. Of the insect tribes mentioned in the instance of the power of the flute over a rattle- Bible, we may notice, amongst the wingless ones, snake that entered their encampment. But on the scorpion, the spider, the flea, and the lousesome serpents, these charms seem to have no all hideous and revolting in their appearance

and power; and it appears from Scripture that the habits; amongst the winged classes, the zimb, or adder sometimes takes precautions to prevent the dog-fly, the hornet, the gnat, the moth, the bee, the fascination which he sees preparing for him; “for ant, and the locust are the most prominent. Insects, the deaf adder shuts her ear, and will not hear the as well as reptiles, were prohibited generally by voice of the most skilful charmer," Ps. lviii. 5, 6. the inspired lawgiver of the Hebrews, Lev. xi. 20. The same allusion is involved in the words of The only exception was in favour of those winged Solomon : “Surely the serpent will bite without insects which, in addition to four walking legs

, enchantment, and a babbler is no better," Eccles. have also two longer springing legs, for the purx. 11. The threatening of the prophet Jeremiah pose of leaping from off the earth. This provision proceeds upon the same fact : “ I will send ser- embraces locusts, which are declared to be clean pents (cockatrices) among you, which will not be in all the four stages of their existence, and are a charmed; and they shall bite you,” Jer. viii. 17. common article of food in the East to this day, as In all these quotations, the sacred writers, while they were in the time of John the Baptist. See they take it for granted that many serpents are Matt. iii. 4, &c. The immense numbers in which disarmed by charming, plainly admit that the these insects collect, and migrate from one place powers of the charmer are in vain exerted upon to another, are referred to in the Seriptures, espeothers. To account for this exception, it has been cially in Judg. vi. 5, vü. 12; Ps. cv. 34; Jer. alleged, that in some serpents the sense of hearing xlvi. 23; Nah. iii. 15; Joel ii. 3–10; and vais very imperfect, while the power of vision is rious travellers have authenticated the fact.g exceedingly acute; but the most intelligent natural historians maintain that the reverse is true. The

|| Harris' Natural Hist. of the Bible.

See Shaw's Travels, p. 256, olio; Volney's Travels, vol.in, * Chardin, + Greaves' Travels.

chap. i., s. 5, p. 188. See also Harris' Nat. Hist. of the Bible, Beauties of Christianity, quoted in Scripture Natural p. 251, &c.; Carpenter's Script. Nat. Hist., p. 485, &c.; and History.

Fragments to Calmet, No. xliv.

PART

VI.

ARTS, SCIENCES, AND DOMESTIC USAGES.

THERE are several topics pertaining to biblical | be arranged under any of the preceding chapters archæology, or what are usually termed historical of this work, but which are of too much concircumstances, immediately connected with the sequence to be wholly omitted. To these we shall art of interpretation, that could not with propriety devote the following chapters.

CHAPTER I.

ARTS.

State of the Arts amongst the Antediluvians ; under Moses; , Cain was a husbandman, as was also Noah, who, and in the later periods of the Hebrew Commonwealth.

besides, understood the planting of vineyards (Gen. 1. We know but little of the state of the ix. 20), and the method of fermenting the juice of arts amongst the ancient Hebrews, and still less of the grape, for it is said that “he drank of the them as they existed amongst their ancestors before vine,” which produced inebriation, ver. 21. Pasthe flood. There are but few direct intimations turage is an occupation coeval with the birth of upon the subject in the sacred writings; and what man. Adam had dominion over cattle (Gen. i. are there, are for the most part so general or so seq.); Cain and Noah, in their agricultural purvague, as to lead us but little beyond ihe bare fact suits, must have included pasturage; and Abel itself.

seems to have been exclusively occupied as “a 2. Man, by his sin, having caused alienation keeper of sheep.” From the circumstance of the and consequent absence from God, and being early postdiluvian patriarchs constantly migrating driven out of Eden, became the subject of want. from place to place, there is good reason to think Hence the invention of arts, his ingenuity and that pasturage occupied so much of their attention labour being necessary to supply his wants, and as to form their almost exclusive employment. render his degraded condition tolerable. A careful The “golden age” of the heathen world was said reader of the Mosaic account of the antediluvian to be under the government of “ shepherd-kings ;" world will be disposed to think that mankind had, and it may be reasonably supposed, that in the at that period, made nearer approaches towards world before the flood the same occupation ranked civilization—which consists in an appropriation of high. In fact we find this intimated in Gen. iv. the arts and sciences to the conveniences, comforts, 20, where it is said, that “Jabal was the father of and enjoyments of life-than is generally sup- such as have cattle,” or whose occupation was pasposed. There is no doubt that the inhabitants of turage, which would include all its branches, as the old world possessed a knowledge of agriculture, shepherd, swine-herd, cow-herd, &c. In proof of architecture, metallurgy, music, engraving, writing, the fact, that the antediluvians had made some and probably of weaving. They were governed advancement in architecture, we may refer to the by laws, both civil and religious; such as right of building of a city by Cain (Gen. iv. 17); and to property and relationship, freedom of person, the the construction of that extraordinary and stuobservance of the sabbath, marriage, &c. With pendous vessel in which the world was saved regard to agriculture, the fact is certain. Man during the deluge, by Noah. Nor can we look at was made to dress and till the earth (Gen. ii. 15); the circumstances connected with the building of

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