Изображения страниц

their consent, without alarming Pharaoh too seem to have forced him. If the authority of the highly, as to the extent of his proposed excursion captain of the rest, or that of the captain of the with the people.

march, though now not on duty, supported the (3) The nature of the “mixed multitude” request of the people, how could Aaron, their which accompanied the caravan of Israel, clearly treasurer only, not as, afterwards, the high-priest, appears in this extract.

suppress it? Whence was he to get powers (4) The exact number of men, carriages, mules, against “a people set on mishief ?" Besides, if &c. This, we find, was the custom also, in the Aaron were concerned no further than by his office time of Moses, as the returns made and registered of treasurer, i. e., taking the money, the materials, in the book of Numbers sufficiently demon- and giving them to the workmen, some other strate.

principal officer might promote the making of the (5) The time necessary for the formation of a image, might direct and expedite it, and, in short, caravan justifies the inference that the Israelites might get it completed, before Aaron saw it

, as did not leave Egypt in that violent hurry which appears credible from the order of the narrative, has been sometimes supposed; they must have which stands thus (Exod. xxxii. 3, 4): He took had time to assemble; many, no doubt, from dis- the ear-rings, &c., bound them in a bag, or bags (or tant parts, which would require several days: valued, and placed them as purses, according to they might be expelled in haste from the royal the present Turkish phrase); then he made that city; but to collect them all together at the into a calf by fusion (comp. ver. 35, “THEY made place of rendezvous, must have been a work of the calf"); then “THEY said, These be thy gods ; time.

-and when Aaron saw it,” &c. Now had Aaron (6) Another consideration, not unimportant, made it himself, personally, he must have seen it arises from the nature, the departments, and the before the people saw it. It should seem, therepowers of these officers. It appears from various fore, that Aaron had given the gold, of which he passages of Scripture, that the Lord, or Jenovah, had the custody, to a workman appointed by the was considered as the chief guide, conductor, or people ; that he followed the people throughout commander of the Israelites, at the time of their this transaction; and that he endeavoured to exodus from Egypt. He therefore was under- guide (perhaps even to control) their opinion, in stood to be (1) Caravan Bachi to this people : varying and appointing to the honour of JEHOVAH, in his name Moses acted, being at the same time (2) what many, at least “ the mixed multitude," would Captain of the March; (3) Hur might be Captain refer to the honour of the gods they had seen in while resting ; (4) Joshua, Captain of the Distri- Egypt. In this view, his expression deserves bution ; and (5) Aaron, Treasurer or Paymaster. notice : “To-morrow is a solemnity to JEHOVAL;" This distribution of offices appears further pro- not to Apis, or to any other god, but to JEHOVAH. bable from Joshua being ordered (chap. xvii.) to Aaron then was less a principal in this crime than go and fight Amalek, who attacked Israel while has been supposed; consequently, in one sense encamped. Now fighting appears to be part of he was less unfit for the office of priest, afterthe duty of (4); and who fitter for this than wards conferred upon him. Moreover, if he Joshua ? That Hur should be captain of the were treasurer, then part of his duty was to keep resting seems likely, from his being left in au- accurate JOURNALS of all material incidents ; and thority in conjunction with Aaron (chap. xxiv. 14), it is not unlikely that he assisted his brother in while Moses and Joshua went up into the mount: writing some parts of the books now bearing the to what more proper person, or officer, could this name of Moses; or, at least, that as he also kept charge be intrusted? As Hur's office was sus- journals of public transactions, these were made pended while the people were fighting under use of by Moses in compiling his history. If this Joshua, he could be well spared, with Aaron, to be admissible, then we can account at once for hold up the hands of Moses. It remains, that what difference of style appears in these books, Aaron could only fill a secondary and subor- and for such smaller variations in different places, dinate, but equally important, office : he, like as would naturally arise from two persons recordothers while on the march, was under the au- ing the same facts. It accounts, also, for the third thority and orders of the captain of the march; person being sometimes used, especially in the while at rest, he was under the authority and early books, when speaking of Moses : perhaps, orders of the captain of the resting. If this too, for some of the praise and commendation be the fact, then we may fairly presume that bestowed upon Moses, which is most remarkable he acted but a subordinate part in the transac- where Aaron is most in fault. tions of the camp; and, by consequence, in that 7. The reader will observe other particulars for famous one of the golden calf, in which the people himself: those here suggested are offered but as

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

to open

hints to lead the inquiry. The remark, however, 1. The Hebrews regarded life as a journey, as is obvious, that the most intricate transactions a pilgrimage, on the face of the earth. The appear perfectly easy when set in their proper traveller, as they supposed, when he arrived at the light; and that what we now find obscure, is end of his journey, which happened when he died, evidently not from any real obscurity in the ori- was received into the company of his ancestors, ginal narration, but from our want of acquaintance who had gone before him. See Gen. xxv. 8, with proper accompaniments, which might con- Xxxv. 29, xxxviii. 35; Ps. xxxix. 12; comp. duct our judgments. How greatly this applies to Heb. xi. 13, 15; Eccles. xii. 7. Reception into establish the authenticity and authority of Scrip- the presence of God at death, is asserted in only ture, must be obvious to every reflecting mind.* two passages of the Old Testament, viz., Hag. ii.

5. We may not close this section without no- 23, and Eccles. xii. 7.5 ticing the preparations which were made for the 2. When the principle of life was extinguished, journeyings of eastern monarchs. Whenever and the eyes were closed in death, the first funeral they entered upon an expedition, or took a jour- office among the Jews was the ablution of the ney, especially through desert and unfrequented corpse, with a warm infusion of camomile-flowers countries, harbingers were sent before them, to and dried roses. See Acts ix. 37. After washing prepare all things for their passage; and pioneers the corpse they embalmed it, by laying all around


passes, to level the ways, and to re- it a large quantity of costly spices and aromatic move all impediments. In allusion to this prac- drugs, in order to imbibe and absorb the humours, tice, John Baptist is represented as “the voice and by their inherent virtues to preserve it as long of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the as possible from putrefaction and decay. Thus way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and about 100 pounds weight, to perform the cushill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be tomary office to the deceased Saviour. This emmade straight, and the rough places plain," Isai. balming was usually repeated for several days xl. 3, 4; Matt. iii. 3. The account which Dio- together (Gen. i. 2, 3), that the drugs and spices dorus has given of the march of Semiramis into thus applied might have all their efficacy in the India and Persia will give us a clear notion of the exsiccation of the moisture and the future conserpreparation of the way for a royal expedition : vation of the body. They then swathed the corpse " In her march to Ecbatana, she came to the in linen rolls or bandages, closely enfolding and Zarcean mountain; which, extending many fur- enwrapping it in that bed of aromatic drugs with longs, and being full of craggy precipices and which they had surrounded it. So Joseph of Arideep hollows, could not be passed without taking mathea and Nicodemus took the body of Jesus, a great compass about. Being, therefore, desirous and wrapt in linen clothes with the spices, as the of leaving an everlasting memorial of herself, as manner of the Jews is to bury, John xix. 40. well as of shortening the way, she ordered the Thus, when our Lord had cried with a loud voice, precipices to be dug down, and the hollows to be “ Lazarus, come forth !" it is said, the dead came filled up; and, at a great expense, she made a forth, bound hand and foot, in grave clothes ! John shorter and more expeditious road, which is still xi. 44. We learn also from this place, that about called the road of Semiramis. Afterwards, she the head and face of the corpse was folded a napkin, went into Persia and all the other countries of which was a separate thing, and did not commuAsia subject to her dominion; and wherever she nicate with the other bandages in which the went, she ordered the mountains and precipices to body was swathed; for the face of Lazarus was be levelled, raised causeways in the plain coun- bound about with a napkin ; and when our Lord try, and, at great expense, made the ways pass- was risen, Peter, who went into the sepulchre, able.”+

saw the linen clothes lie, and the napkin that had been folded round his head, not lying with the

linen clothes, but in a place by itself, and at some SECTION IV.

distance from them, John xx. 7. Josephus in

forms us of the method by which they preserved Jewish Notion of Death-Embalming-Public Mourning

bodies from putrefaction, till they could be buried Coffins or Biers-- Funeral Entertainments-Jewish Cemeteries in the family vaults to which they belonged ; -Jewish Notions of a Future State.

stating that the dead body of Aristobulus, who

had been poisoned by one of Pompey's party, lay * Calmets Bib. Ency., art. “Aaron,” and Fragments, No. 1.

+ Dr. A. Clarke on Matt. iii. 3; Critica Biblica, vol. i., pp. 460, 461 ; Pragments to Calmet, No. 171.

Jahn, Archæol., 9 203.


above ground, preserved in honey, till it was sent among the Moors. At all their principal enterto the Jews by Antony, in order to be buried in tainments, says Dr. Shaw, and to show mirth and the royal sepulchres.*

gladness on other occasions, the women welcome 3. It was usual among the Jews to make very the arrival of each guest by squalling out, for great and public lamentations for their departed several times together, Loo, Loo, Loo, a corruption, friends. This we see in the case of Sarah, and as it seems to be, of Hallelujah. Ahant, a word especially in that of Jacob, Gen. l. 7–13. On of the like sound, was used by an army, either the loss of near and dear relatives, and of amiable before they gave the onset, or when they had oband affectionate friends, the grief of this people tained the victory. The Turks, to this day, call was violent and frantic. Tearing their hair, rend-out Allah, Allah, Allah, upon like occasions. At ing their clothes, and uttering doleful shrieks and their funerals, also, and upon other melancholy piercing cries, were some of the expressions of it. occasions, they repeat the same noise (L00), only Suetonius marks this distinguished vehemence of they make it more deep and hollow, and end each the Jews in the expressions of their grief. In period with some ventriloquous sighs. The railthat great and public mourning, at the funeral of ing greatly, as our Version expresses it (Mark v. Julius Cæsar, a multitude of foreign nations, says 38), upon the death of Jairus' daughter, was prothe historian, expressed their sorrow according to bably performed in this manner; for there are their respective customs; but the mourning and several women hired to act upon these lugubrious lamentation of the Jewish people exceeded all occasions, who, like the profico, or mourning the rest—they continued about the funeral pile women of old, are skilful in lamentation (Amos whole nights together. It appears, also, that upon v. 16), and great mistresses of these melancholy the demise of their friends they hired persons expressions. It should be stated, that the ordiwhose profession it was to superintend and con- nary mourning for the dead was divided into two duct their public and private sorrows, who, in periods; the first, between the time of the death funeral odes, mournful songs, and doleful ejacu- and the burial, which was called The Mourning, lations, deplored the instability of human con- by way of eminence; and the second, for thirty dition, celebrated the virtues of the deceased, and days after the funeral, Numb. xx. 29; Deut. excited the grief and lamentations of the survivors. xxxiv. 8. || This we learn from the following passages of the 4. When the time of the burial arrived, which prophets : “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, consider was commonly within twenty-four hours after ye, and call for the MOURNING WOMEN, that they death, the relations and friends were the attendmay come ; and let them make haste, and take up ants; but if the person deceased had been a highly a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with beloved character, the company was very numertears, and our eyelids gush out with waters,” Jer. The widow of Nain had much people of ix. 17, 18. “ Both the great and the small shall the city at the funeral of her son, Luke vii. 12. die in this land : they shall not be buried, neither 5. Coffins were not in general use in Judea : shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor are they, at present, in the East. Dr. Hennor make themselves bald for them. Neither shall derson witnessed a funeral in the Crimea, and he men tear themselves for them in mourning, to observes, “ It [the body] had not been put in a comfort them for the dead, neither shall men give coffin, according to the manner of burials conthem the cup of consolation to drink for their ferred upon even the poorest person in Europe

, father or their mother,” chap. xvi. 6, 7. See also but was simply wrapped round with a white cloth, chap. xlviii. 36, 37; Ezek. xxiv. 16–18. In the laid upon a bier or board, and borne by four men time of our Saviour, these mournful songs had to the grave. This mode of performing the fumusical accompaniments. The soft and plaintive neral obsequies obtains equally among the Jews, melody of the flute was employed to heighten the Christians, and Mohammedans, in these parts, with doleful lamentations and dirges. Thus, on the the exception of the European families, who death of the daughter of Jairus, a company of naturally conform to the rites of their ancestors. mourners, with players on the flute, according to the Such appears to have been the manner in which Jewish custom, attended upon this sorrowful occa

Abner was interred (2 Sam. iii. 31); for it is said sion. When Jesus entered the governor's house, that David followed the bier, in Hebrew metteh, a he saw the minstrels and the people wailing bed or board,' and not arun, greatly, Matt. ix. 23.+ This custom still obtains such as that in which the body of Joseph was


an ark or coffin,

[blocks in formation]

Travels, p. 305, first edit., 1738.
|| Brown's Jewish Antiquities, vol. ii., part ix.,

8. 14.

laid, Gen. 1. 26. It has been supposed that what the bodies of Jehoiada the high-priest, and of Hulwas done to Joseph was designed as a mark of dah the prophetess, were laid, 2 Chron. xxiv. 16. distinction by the Egyptians; but there is no proof The sepulchres were in gardens, in fields, and in from the text of Scripture, that the rite was per- the sides of mountains ; and they were generally formed by the Egyptians at all; and it seems more in solitary and unfrequented places. Thus the natural to conclude that his body was thus de- demoniac of Gadara wore no clothes, and abode posited in order to its being preserved till such not in any house, but had his dwelling among the time as it could be conveyed to the land of tombs (Mark v. 2,3,5), delighting in these gloomy Canaan. The soros, or bier, on which the widow and melancholy recesses, as most friendly and of Nain's son was carried, and which commenta- congenial to the wretched state of his mind. tors general interpret arca retecta et aperia, was Josephus also informs us that these sepulchres most probably nothing more than what we saw in were the haunts and lurking-places of those nuthe Crimea."*

merous and desperate bands of robbers with which 6. At the burial of a Rabbi, some books were Judæa was at that time infested. || commonly laid upon the bier; and it was reck- 9. Sometimes they buried their dead in the oned honourable for a warrior to be buried in open fields, over whom the opulent and families armour (Ezek. xxxii. 27); but a person dying of distinction raised superb and ostentatious monuunder the sentence of excommunication had, a ments, which they religiously maintained from stone upon the bier, or a stone thrown into the time to time in their pristine splendour and maggrave, to show that he was worthy of death, be- nificence.§ To this custom our Saviour alludes in cause he applied not to have the sentence removed. his address to the Pharisees,

“ Woe unto you, When arrived at the sepulchre, they addressed a Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like short prayer to God, as the giver and restorer of unto whited sepulchres, which indeed


beaulife, placed the bier on the ground, walked round tifül outward, but are within full of dead men's it seven times, repeated another prayer; after bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also which the relations threw a handful of earth on outreardly appear righteous unto men, but within it, and then filled


ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity,” Matt. xxiii. 7. The entertainment of the company invited to 27. The following extract from Dr. Shaw forcibly a funeral, did not precede, but followed the so

illustrates these passages. “ If we except a few lemnity. Among the heathen, it was either over persons, who are buried within the precincts of the or around the grave (Ecclus. xxx. 18 ; Tobit iv. sanctuaries of their Marabutts, the rest are carried 17; Jer. xvi. 7+); but the Jews had it at home. out to a small distance from their cities and vilThis entertainment was commonly liberal : they lages, where a great extent of ground is allotted drank two cups of wine before it, five while eating, for the purpose. Each family has a particular part and three afterwards; at least, they had the offer of it walled in, like a garden, where the bones of of so many. But as this implied greater abun- their ancestors have remained for many generadance than was in the power of many to give, the tions. For in these inclosures the graves are all want was supplied by the liberality of their neigh- distinct and separate, each of them having a stone bours, both as a mark of sympathy, and in the placed upright, both at the head and feet, inscribed expectation that they would return the compli- with the name and title (2 Kings xxiii. 17) of the ment, when themselves should be visited with a

deceased, whilst the intermediate space is either similar affliction, Jer. xvi. 7, 8; Ezek. xxiv. planted with flowers, bordered round with stones, 17, 20.

or paved with tiles. The graves of the principal 8. The Jewish cemeteries were without the citizens are further distinguished by having cuwalls of the cities ; at least, the only exception polas or vaulted chambers, of three, four, or more was in favour of the city of Jerusalem, within square yards, built over them; and as these very whose walls the kings of the house of David, and frequently lie open, and occasionally shelter us

from the inclemency of the weather, the demoniac

might with propriety enough have had his dwell• Biblical Researches and Travels in Russia, p. 304.

ing among the tombs: and others are said to † Mr. Roberts, speaking of the Hindoo customs, says, the corpse has been consumed on the funeral pile, or buried, the



graves, and to lodge in the relations of the deceased prepare and send a fine kind of gruel monuments,

' Isa. Ix. 4. And as all these different i made of the Palmirah killanga) to the funeral house. At the sorts of tombs and sepulchres, with the very walls anniversary of a funeral, the relations of the deceased meet to eat together, and give food to the poor. Hence great numbers on these occasions get plenty of provisions." -Oriental Illustra

|| See Macknight on Mark v. 3. tions, p 475.

For a description of the various kinds of tombs among the Lightfoot, Hor. Heb., Matt ix 23.

Jews, see Fragments to Calmet, Nos. 210, 575, &c.


likewise of their respective cupolas and inclosures, the resurrection. But in what particular place that are constantly kept clean, whitewashed and beauti- state was, has been differently explained: some fied, they continue to illustrate those expressions making it an immense cavern in the centre of the of our Saviour, where he mentions the garnishing earth ; some, the state of the dead in general ; of sepulchres, and compares the Scribes, Pharisees, and some, an intermediate state, rather than an and hypocrites, to whited sepulchres, which in- intermediate place, where the saints, though in deed appear beautiful outward, but within were heaven, are less happy; and the wicked. although full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.'"* in hell, are less wretched, than they will respectThe Jews call a cemetery “the house of the ively be after the resurrection. This last seems living," to show their belief in the immortality of to have been the belief of the best informed among the soul, and of the resurrection of the body; and the Jews. Accordingly, it was a saying of theirs, when they come thither bearing a corpse, they that “ Abraham and Moses, and all the righteous address themselves to those who lie there, saying, when they die, are laid up under the very throne “ Blessed be the Lord, who hath created you, fed of God :” || implying, that those who are lying you, brought you up, and at last, in his justice, under the throne, between death and the resurtaken you out of the world. He knows the rection, will, after that, stand before the throne, number of you all, and will in time revive you. more exalted and more happy. Towards the end Blessed be the Lord, who causeth death and re- of the Mosaic economy, when the Jews became storeth life." They hold that it is not lawful to acquainted with the philosophical opinions of the demolish tombs, nor to disturb the repose of the Greeks and Romans, they began to describe the dead by burying another corpse in the same grave, intermediate state, by expressions somewhat coreven after a long time; nor to carry an aqueduct responding to the infernus of their heathen neighacross the common place of burial ; or a highway; bours, with its Elysium, Tartarus, and intersectnor to go and gather wood, or suffer cattle to feeding rivers. For they supposed it to have had a there.t

place which contained the good, called Paradise, 10. The Jewish idea of a future state seems to and Abraham’s bosom (Luke xxii. 43; Rer. have been as follows :-(1) They believed in the ii. 7; Luke xvi. 23); a place which contained the existence of heaven, or the heaven of heavens, the wicked, called Tartarus (2 Pet. ii. 4); and a great place of God's peculiar residence, the dwelling of gulf which divided between them, Luke xvi. 26. good angels, and the everlasting abode of the 11. From the representation of Josephus, f Dr. blessed, after the resurrection. (2) They believed Campbell is inclined to conclude, that in the time in the existence of hell, which they metaphorically of that writer a resurrection and a future judgstyled “Gehenna,” from the fires which were kept ment (in the sense in which they were underconstantly burning in the valley of Hinnom (Gia- stood by the primitive Christians) were not unihenem); and“ Tophet,” from the tophs, or drums, versally the doctrines even of the Pharisees ; but which were there employed to drown the cries of that the prevalent and distinguishing opinion was, the children who were sacrificed to Moloch. This that the soul survived the body; that vicious souls they considered as the residence of the devil and would suffer an everlasting imprisonment in Hades, his angels, and the destined abode of the wicked, and that the souls of the virtuous would not only after the general judgment. (3) They believed in be happy there, but in process of time would an intermediate state, where the souls of all who obtain the privilege of transmigrating into other died had their residence till the resurrection, in a bodies : in other words, that the immortality of state of comparative happiness, or misery, accord- human souls, and the transmigration of the good, ing to their previous characters, Isa. xiv. 8-20; were all that they comprehended in the resurrecEzek. xxxii. 23_30. This was named Shaul in tion of the dead. Several allusions to this docthe Old Testament; and Hades in the New Tes- trine of transmigration, however ridiculous it may tament, in the LXX., and in Josephus. Ac- appear to us, seem to be made in the New Testacordingly, while the body was committed to the ment; for the question put by the disciples to our grave, the soul went to Shaul, to be rewarded or Lord, “Who sinned, this man, or his parents, that punished, in an inferior degree, between death and he was born blind ?" and some popular notions

concerning Jesus, whom they knew to have been * Travels, p. 315, first edit. 1738. + Harwood's Introduction, vol. ii., pp. 126—142; and Calmet Bib. Ency., art.“ Burial."

|| Lightfoot, Sermon on Luke xxij. 42, 43. # In the common English Version of the Scriptures, the ☆ See, particularly, an extract from Josephus's Discourse to words are translated, hell, the pit, and the grave; but the the Greeks concerning Hades, in Whiston's translation, vol. iv, Jews, and many of the Christian commentators, explain them

p. 353, &c. uniformly of the intermediate state.

1 Jewish Wars, b. ii., c. 12.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »