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COMMERCE.

xv. 8.

with

you, whom, perhaps, in your heart you wish common burial-ground (Jer. xxvi. 23), and burna great way off, for having troubled you so long ing their bones into lime, Amos ii. 1. already."* II. The common method in the East of doing

SECTION VII. honour to an inferior, seems to have been by presenting him with a change of raiment. Thus

Early Commerce-Caravans-Commerce of the PhæniciansBelshazzar promised Daniel that, if he could in

Arabjan Merchants-Commerce of the Hebrews–Exchange terpret the mysterious writing on the wall, he

or Barter—Money---Measures of Capacity and Length, menshould be clothed in scarlet, have a golden chain tioned in Scripture-Hebrew Weights. about his neck, and be third ruler in the empire, 1. COMMERCE is coeval with society. The diDan. v. 16. Alexander, the son of Antiochus vision of labour, which is one of the first things Epiphanes, when he appointed Jonathan Macca- that take place in a social state, necessarily gives bæus high-priest, and declared him the king's rise to the interchange of commodities, which friend, sent him a purple robe and a crown of increases with the progress of a people in civilizagold (1 Macc. x. 20); and he afterwards did him tion and refinement. In the East, merchandise, more signal honour, by sending him a buckle of in its various branches, was carried on at the gold, to wear on the shoulder, and to fasten his earliest period of which we have any account. purple robe; as the use was to be given to such as Frequent mention is made of public roads, fording were of the king's blood, ver. 89. See also chap. places, bridges, and beasts of burden; also of ships xi. 57, 58; 1 Esd. iii. 6. The princes of the East, for the transportation of property, of weights

, even at the present day, have many changes of measures, and coin, both in the oldest parts of the raiment ready, both as an article of wealth, and Bible, and in the most ancient profane histories. to suit the occasion. This accounts for the ease See Gen. x. 4, 5, xï. 5, xxiii. 16, xxxvii. 25, 26, with which Jehu's mandate was obeyed, when he xlii. 1–5; Judg. v. 17; Exod. xx. 23, xxv. 4; ordered 400 vestments for the priests of Baal, that Deut. ïï. 14, xix. 3 ; Josh. xiii. 2, xii. 5, xiii. 13; none might escape, 2 Kings x. 22. For a superior | 1 Sam. xxvii. 4-10; 2 Sam. ii. 3, xii. 37, to give his own garment to an inferior, was esteemed a high mark of regard. Hence Jonathan 2. Camels were formerly, as now, much used in gave his to David, 1 Sam. xviii. 4. And the fol- the East for the transportation of merchandise; lowing extract from Sir John Malcolm’s History and persons engaged in commerce usually travelled of Persia may serve to throw some light on Elisha's in large companies, called caravans, each of which request to have the mantle of Elijah, 2 Kings ii. consisted of a certain number of camels, officers, &c., 13:“When the Khalifa, or teacher of the Sooffees, marshalled under proper leaders, whose business, dies, he bequeaths his patched garment, which is under the direction of the chief, was to direct the all his worldly wealth, to the disciple whom he march, and every other thing pertaining to the esteems the most worthy to become his successor ; expedition.t See Gen. xxxvii. 25; Isai. Iri. and the moment the latter puts on the holy 13, &c. Sometimes these caravans lodge in cities; mantle, he is vested with the power of his pre- but when they do not, they pitch their tents so as decessor."

to form an encampment. In the cities there are III. The chief of the marks of disgrace noticed public inns, called khanes and caravansaries

, in in the Scriptures are, subjecting men to the em- which the caravans are lodged without expense. ployment of women (Lam. v. 13); cutting off the See Gen. xli. 17; Luke ü. 7, x. 34. beard, and plucking off the hair (2 Sam. x. 5; 3. The Phænicians, who possessed the knowIsai. I. 6); spitting in the face (Isai. 1. 6); clap- ledge of the Egyptians, free from the superping the hands, hissing, and making significant stitious reluctance of the latter to venture upon the gestures, Ezek. xxv. 6; Job xxvii. 23; Lam. ii. sea, and who had a most favourable local position 15; Isai. lvii. 4. But marks of disgrace were not along the coast of the Mediterranean, naturally confined to the living. They often extended to engaged in commercial enterprise. “The border the dead, by refusing them the rites of sepulture of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou goest (Rev. xi. 1–12); raising them after they had been to Gerar unto Gaza;” and though the Canaanites, interred (Jer. viii. l); forbidding them to be pub- properly speaking, and the Phænicians, were licly lamented; allowing them to become the prey of ravenous beasts (Jer. xvi. 5—7, xix. 7, xxii. 18, 19; 2 Macc. v. 10); casting them into the + The late editor of Calmet has very ingeniously and sat s.

factorily illustrated the account of the exode from Egypt, by a reference to the manners in which a caravan is arranged and

managed. See art. "Caravan,” in the 8vo. edition of Calmet's * Journey, March 13.

Dictionary.

parated from each other by Mount Carmel, they . Mediterranean, and the Atlantic, beyond the Straits may, in a general sense, be considered as one of Gibraltar, attest the extent of their early voypeople. The chief cities of the Phænicians, Tyre ages. This enterprising nation may, in like manner, and Sidon, had reached the highest degree of com- have occasionally reached India from the Red Sea. mercial opulence when the first dawn of social Phænicians piloted the ships of Solomon in their polity was only commencing in Greece. Their three years' voyages to Tarshish. The great length great superiority over the Hebrews, in the time of of time required for these voyages betrays the Moses, is clearly shown in the language of holy timid progress of early navigation, and may, perwrit. When Joshua and the other chiefs, who haps, have prevented their frequent repetition ; were sent by the prophet to observe and report on but the regular communication with India was the land of Canaan, returned, they said, “We certainly maintained through the Arabs, who, when came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and they saw strange nations circumnavigating their surely it floweth with milk and honey. Never- peninsula, were not slow to learn the advantages theless, the people be strong that dwell in the of their intermediate position. The fleets of the land, and the cities are walled and very great." Ptolemies sailed to the ports of Arabia Felix, where In fine, they conclude, “ We are not able to go they met the Arabian ships laden with the preup against this people, for they are very great." cious cargoes of the East. While the Canaanites inhabited walled and popu- 5. It is no wonder that the Arabian merchants, lous cities, the Hebrews dwelt in tents like the possessing the lucrative monopoly of the Indian brethren of Joseph, who declared to Pharaoh, trade, should be distinguished in antiquity by their " Thy servants are shepherds, both we and our fa- luxury and enormous wealth ; they are spoken of thers.” It is unfortunate that the Phænicians have by the Greek and Latin writers nearly in the lannot transmitted to us any historical records what guage applied by the prophet Isaiah to the inever. We know of their enterprises only from habitants of Tyre, “ whose merchants are princes, Scripture, and from the scattered notices of Greek and whose traffickers are the honourable of the and Latin authors. We have seen, in noticing the earth” (Isai. xxiii. 8). All the precious comgeographical knowledge of the Hebrews, that they modities, the gold, the gums, and the spices, imwere the pilots of Solomon's fleet; and as often as ported to the West from the southern parts of Egyptian ships are mentioned by ancient authors, Arabia, were once supposed to be the produce of we are sure to find them guided and manned by that country. The delusion, however, was beginPhænicians. This people were, in fact, the mer- ning to vanish in the time of Pliny, who questions chants of the Egyptians, whose laws and religion the right of Arabia Felix to bear that title. Caswere at all times unfavourable to maritime ad- sia and cinnamon were imported into Egypt and venture; they were the foreign merchants of Tyre in very early ages; they are distinctly and Egypt in the flourishing days of the hundred-gated repeatedly named by Moses, Exod. xxx. 23. In Thebes: and the astonishing monuments which the time of Ezekiel, “ the men of Dan and Javan remain to prove the ancient wealth and grandeur (the eastern Javan) going to and fro, brought of that kingdom, may render us less incredulous cassia (the pipe-cinnamon of modern commerce], with respect to the naval proficiency of a kindred calamus, and bright iron.” The merchants of people. The survey of Egypt made by Joseph, Sheba and Raameh were occupied with the chief the storing of corn in the several districts to meet of all spices, with gold and precious stones.” Thus the exigencies of impending famine, and the gene- we see that the productions of India were brought ral use of money in that country, all bespeak a to Tyre both by caravans from the Persian Gulf, degree of social order and economy, and a fami- and by Phænician vessels, probably from the ports liarity with the routine of commercial dealing, of Arabia Felix. These productions were imwhich is truly astonishing at so early an age. Seven ported by the Arabians from Malabar, whither hundred years later, at the siege of Troy, the some of them (and cinnamon among others) were Greeks were unacquainted with the use of money. probably brought from remoter countries by the

4. The Phænicians participated in the civiliza- Malays, or native navigators of the Indian seas. tion of the Egyptians; they profited by supply- 6. We have already had occasion to speak of ing that luxurious and wealthy nation with foreign the restrictions that were put upon the intercourse commodities; and, uniting to the knowledge which of the Hebrews with foreign nations. They were flourished in Thebes and Memphis a disposition to intended to be a peculiar people, the conservators naval enterprise, we may easily conceive that they of the true religion amidst idolatrous nations; and soon attained a considerable proficiency in all the it was therefore the direct tendency of their polity arts of navigation. The numerous colonies which they plantel on the shores of the Euxine, the * Maritime Discovery, vol. i., pp. 8, 9, 125, 126.

to discourage foreign commerce, and make them For example: one man, having a surplus quantity Jependant alone upon the productions of their of corn, might be compelled to convey it to a great own soil. They had, therefore, no commercial distance, in order to obtain in exchange for it such code ; their intercourse with each other was to be commodities as he wanted in its stead. And this regulated by the principles of kindness, and in might be the case, even if an immediate neighbuying and selling they were to exercise good bour possessed a surplus quantity of those rery faith and honesty towards each other. (See Lev. commodities, because his willingness to exchange xix. 36, 37; Deut. xxv. 13–16.) It was not till would, of course, depend upon the fact of his the reign of Solomon that the Hebrews engaged wanting corn.

If he wanted wool, and not corn, largely in foreign commerce. After his death, it he would keep his surplus commodities until he appears to have been in a great measure neglected; met with some one who, wanting these, could and the attempt made to restore it, by Jehosha- give wool in exchange for them; and when the phat, was frustrated by his ships being wrecked, two parties thus wanting each other's surplus com1 Kings xxii. 48, 49; 2 Chron. xx. 36. In the modities had been brought together, their respecage of Ezekiel, however, the commerce of Jeru- tive commodities might have to be transported to salem was so great, that it excited the envy even a great distance, at considerable expense and inof the Tyrians (Ezek. xxvi. 2); and after the cap- convenience to both parties. tivity, a great number of Jews became merchants, 8. The inconveniences attendant upon a system and travelled, for the purpose of traffic, into all of barter would neces

cessarily suggest the idea, that countries. About the year 150 B. C., Prince trade or commerce would be greatly facilitated by Surion rendered the port at Joppa more conve- the employment of some instrument of exchange ; nient than it had hitherto been ; and in the time that is, some material which, by common consent, of Pompey the Great, there were so many Jews should represent and pass current for the value of abroad upon the ocean, even in the character of the several articles to be exchanged. Having pirates, that king Antigonus was accused before made this discovery, traders would not be long in him of having sent them out on purpose. A new making another; namely, that any thing which port was built by Herod at Cæsarea.*

possessed a general and undoubted value in the 7. In the earliest stage of society, exchanges eyes of those who wanted to consume it, was a would be confined to cases in which each of the good payment, if offered at a proper rate; because, parties engaged in the transaction desired to ap- though the receiver might not want to consume it propriate to his own immediate use the commo- himself, the person could never be far off who dity he was to receive. For example: one man would be willing to obtain possession of it

, by might have an excess of a bushel of wheat, over giving something which the other did want to what he wanted for the consumption of his consume, in return for it. This substance, whatfamily ; but he wanted a table or some other ever it might be, would properly be denominated piece of household furniture, which none of his the instrument of exchange, and would introduce a family could produce. Under these circumstances, decided improvement upon the method of direct he would look around him for some one occupied barter. Inconveniences would still exist, horin the manufacture of the article he wanted, and, ever, until some very portable material came to be having found such a person, the two parties would adopted as the instrument of exchange. Metals mutually benefit each other by making an ex- were at length invested with these functions ; first, change of wheat for a piece of household furni- in rude pieces, the conventional or agreed value ture. The carpenter or artificer wanted the wheat, of which was ascertained by weighing them; and and the agriculturist wanted the piece of furni- subsequently in coins, the value of which was ture ; and the exchange, therefore, satisfied the authenticated by the external appearance. Such wants of both. What was done in this case, coins are properly called money. In the time of would be done in numberless other cases. Wher- Abraham, the ruder sort of money was in use, for ever one person had an excess of any commodity, “he weighed to Ephron the silver which he had he would exchange that excess with some other named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four person, who wanted the article, for another com- hundred shekels of silver, current with the mermodity of which he himself stood in need. This chant,” Gen. xxiii. 16. At a later period, as we is exchange, or barter. But as society extended its see from the book of Exodus, money was coined

. limits, and the wants of its members became mul- and passed current without the process of weightiplied and diversified, great inconvenience would ing. Of the various coins employed by the Hobe found to attach to such a system of exchange. brews we have already spoken.

* Jahn's Archæol., § ii.

+ See Part iv., chap. 4, sect. 4.

OF

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PACITY:

CHAR. IV.]

9. Commerce could no more be carried on The half hin was a little above 5 English
without a system of weights and measures, than pints.
it could be without some description of money. The betzah was the sixth part of the log, and
By the Hebrew law, measures and weights to therefore was very little above seven fiftieths of the
serve as models, both for form and contents, were English pint.
deposited in the Tabernacle; and all the duties
connected with a regulation of them devolved (2) The following were the MEASURES
upon the priests. When the temple was built, the LENGTH :-
standards were removed thither, and they perished
in the ruins of that splendid building. While in

The cubit extended from the elbow to the wrist, captivity, the Hebrews adopted the Chaldean or four palms, about the sixth part of the height weights and measures, and appear to have retained

of the human body. The Babylonian or new them after the restoration. The Hebrew weights from the elbow to the knuckles. See 2 Chron.

cubit, mentioned in Ezekiel, was five palms, or and measures, therefore, must be distinguished into

ii. 3. those before and those after the captivity. (1) The following were the MEASURES OF CA- end of the little finger, or three palms.

A span was from the end of the thumb to the The bath, or ephah, contained 60 English wine

A handbreadth, or palm, was four digits. pints, and almost a half.

A finger, or digit, was about the breadth of a The chomer, or cor, contained ten baths ; near

finger, or 0.912th of an English inch. 605 pints English measure.

A stadium, or furlong, was a Greek measure

It was 125 geometrical The lethech was half the chomer; 302 English adopted by the Jews. pints, and almost a half.

paces in extent, or the 600th part of a degree, The seah was a third part of the bath ; a little making 145 English paces, 4 feet, and 6 tenths. more than 20 English pints.

A sabbath-day's journey was 729 English paces The gomer, omer, or assaron, was the tenth and 3 feet. It was a Jewish invention founded part of the ephah; something more than 6 English on Exod. xvi. 29. pints.

Mihov, a Roman mile, was 8 furlongs, or 1000 The cab was the sixth part of the seah, or

geometrical paces. the eighteenth part of the ephah ; something above

(3) Of WEIGHTS we may notice the following :3 English pints, and nine twenty-fifths.

The log, or rebah, was a fourth part of the cab, The shekel was equal to 10 pennyweights or a little more than twenty-one twenty-fifths of English troy. an English pint.

The beka was half a shekel.
The nebel contained 3 baths, or almost 181 The gerah was one twentieth of a shekel.
English pints and a half.

The maneh was 60 shekels.
The hin was the half seah, and the sixth part The talent was 50 manehs, or 3000 shekels.
of the bath.

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CHAPTER IV.

CUSTOMS FOREIGN TO THE HEBREWS.

THE THEATRE AND TUE DRAMA.

SECTION I.

the universal custom among the Greeks and Romans; they seem to have been satisfied with

those grand and solemn festivals which the Holy 1. Theatrical Exhibitions not adopted by the Jews-2. Allo- Scriptures enjoined them to observe: and when

sions to the Drama—3. Allusions to combats in the Amphi- we duly consider the solemnity, the magnificence, theatres.

and the rejoicings which accompanied these festi1. We have no intimation in the Scriptures vals, the grandeur of the temple where they were that the Jews had any places of public amuse- celebrated, with the 32,000 Levites who officiated ment, for games and theatrical exhibitions, as was in the service, we need not feel surprise that they should prefer them to all other entertainments. / sonated, in whose joys or griefs, in whose domestic Indeed, the Talmud affirms that all kinds of games felicities and infelicities, in whose elevation or and spectacles were not only prohibited but ab- depression, the actor is not really and personally horred by all good Israelites, in consequence of interested, but only supports a character perhaps the mischiefs which had befallen those who ven- entirely foreign from his own, and represents pastured to be present at those of the neighbouring sions and affections in which his own heart has no nations; and R. Simeon Ben Paki comments thus share; how beautiful and expressive, when conon Ps. i. 1: “ Blessed is the man who hath not sidered in this light, is that passage of Scripture set his foot in a theatre,” &c. It was reserved for in which the apostle is inculcating a Christian Herod to introduce amusements of this descrip- indifference to this world, and exhorting us not tion among the Jewish people; which he did on a to suffer ourselves to be unduly affected either by most magnificent scale, and at a vast expense. the joys or sorrows of so fugitive and transitory a But notwithstanding the degeneracy of the nation scene : " But this I say, brethren, the time is at this time, they were so disgusted at the attempt, short. It remaineth that both they that have that they united to put them down by compass- wives, be as though they had none; and they that ing the death of their founder.* Such being the weep, as though they wept not; and they that redistaste of this people for theatrical exhibitions, joice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that we are hardly prepared to expect any allusions to buy, as though they possessed not; and they that the stage or its amusements in the sacred writings; use this world, as not abusing it. For the fashion and the consequence is, that we overlook the force of this world passeth away," 1 Cor. vii. 29–31. and beauty of several passages where such allu- The following illustration of this passage cannot sions exist.t

fail to gratify the reader : “If we keep in mind 2. In the writings of Paul, especially, we meet the supposed allusion in the text (the fashion with allusions to the drama, which has furnished of this world passeth aray), we shall discern a him with some of the most beautiful metaphors peculiar beauty and force in his language and that adorn his compositions. The drama was in- sentiment. For the actors in a play, whether it stituted for the purpose of exhibiting a striking be comedy or tragedy, do not act their own proper picture of human life; as in a faithful mirror, to and personal concerns, but only personate and hold up to the spectators' view that variety of mimic the characters and conditions of other men. character by which it is diversified, and those And so when they weep, in acting some tragical interchanges and reverses of fortune with which part, it is as though they wept not ; and there is it is chequered. It needs hardly be remarked, more show and appearance, than truth and reality, though the observation is proper for the purpose of grief and sorrow in the case. On the other of illustrating a very beautiful passage in one of hand, if they rejoice in acting some brighter scene, Paul's epistles, that a variety of scenes are painted, it is as though they rejoiced not; it is but a mere and, by means of the requisite machinery, are very semblance of joy, and forced air of mirth and frequently shifting, in order to show the charac- gaiety, which they exhibit to the spectators,—no ters in a variety of places and fortunes. To the real inward gladness of heart. If they seem to spectators, lively and affecting views are by turns contract marriages, or act the merchant, or perdisplayed—every thing, from the beginning to the senate a gentleman of fortune, still it is nothing but catastrophe, perpetually varying and changing ac- fiction. And so when the play is over, they have cording to the rules and conduct of the drama. no wires, no possessions or goods, no enjoyments of Agreeably to this, with what elegance and pro- the world, in consequence of such representations. priety does Paul represent the fashion of this woorld In like manner, by this apt comparison, I imagine as continually passing aray (1 Cor. vii. 31), and the apostle would teach us to moderate our desires all the scenes of this vain and visionary life as per- and affections towards every thing in this world; petually shifting! “The imagery,” says Grotius, and rather as it were to personate such things, as " is taken from the theatre, where the scenery is matters of a foreign nature, than to incorporate suddenly changed, and exhibits an appearance ourselves with them, as our own proper and pertotally different.” And as the transactions of the sonal concerns." I drama are not real, but fictitious and imaginary, The theatre is also furnished with dresses suitsuch and such characters being assumed and per- able to every age, and adapted to every circum

stance and change of fortune. The persons of

the drama, in one and the same representation * See Josephus, Antiq., b. xv., c. 8. + The remaining part of this section is derived from Dr. Harwood.

Brecknell's Discourses, p. 318.

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