Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 On the method of ploughing in the...
 The Egyptian wheat
 On the manner of threshing in the...
 Eastern method of watering the...
 Chinese method of watering the...
 Arabs raising water from the...
 On the houses of the East
 Ancient attitude at table
 On the mode of sitting in...
 View of Bethlehem
 On the Eastern bottles
 On the forms of ancient books and...
 On the tents mentioned in...
 Mount Tabor, as seen from the great...
 The caravansera
 The tabernacle in the wilderne...
 The tabernacle
 The ark of the covenant
 The brazen laver
 The altar of burnt offering
 The altar of incense
 On the horns of the altar
 On the cherubim covering the mercy...
 The harp
 Back Cover

Group Title: Scripture illustrations : explanatory of numerous texts, and of various customs mentioned in the Bible ; with twenty-eight cuts.
Title: Scripture illustrations
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00020311/00001
 Material Information
Title: Scripture illustrations explanatory of numerous texts, and of various customs mentioned in the Bible ; with twenty-eight cuts
Physical Description: 126 p. : ill. ; 15 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Gilbert, Reuben S ( Engraver )
American Sunday-School Union ( Publisher )
Publisher: American Sunday School Union
Place of Publication: Philadelphia (no. 146 Chesnut Street)
Publication Date: [between 1827 and 1835]
Subject: Bldn -- 1831
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
General Note: Some wood engravings signed: Gilbert.
General Note: American Sunday-School Union of Philadelphia Headquarter was at 146 Chesnut Street from 1827 to 1835.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00020311
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002237225
oclc - 45785818
notis - ALH7709

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    On the method of ploughing in the East
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    The Egyptian wheat
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    On the manner of threshing in the East
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Eastern method of watering the land
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Chinese method of watering the land
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    Arabs raising water from the Nile
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    On the houses of the East
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Ancient attitude at table
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    On the mode of sitting in the East
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
    View of Bethlehem
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
    On the Eastern bottles
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
    On the forms of ancient books and scrolls
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
    On the tents mentioned in scripture
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
    Mount Tabor, as seen from the great plain of Esdraelon
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
    The caravansera
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
    The tabernacle in the wilderness
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
    The tabernacle
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
    The ark of the covenant
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
    The brazen laver
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
    The altar of burnt offering
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112-113
    The altar of incense
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
    On the horns of the altar
        Page 118
        Page 119
    On the cherubim covering the mercy seat
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
    The harp
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

Th Baldwin Library





Ntumerouus ata,







io. lal p1C a:

Ploughing in the East.




THE machines used by the eastern nations
for ploughing, are constructed upon the same
general principle, though with considerable
variation. The whole power of these instru-
ments, however, seems only adapted for what
an English farmer would call scratching, ra-
ther than ploughing the earth. It is evident
from the annexed sketch of the eastern plough
while at work, that it can only operate upon
the surface of the ground; and is not like the
English machine, intended to turn up fresh
eaith, and subject it to the influences of the
atmosphere. The plough-share of the latter,
is a mass of iron of great strength and magni-
tude. Our swords are ot a length and form


so ill adapted to be converted into English
plough-shares, and applied to peaceful pur-
poses, that we do not feel the full force of the
delightful idea conveyed in the prophet's pre-
diction, "they shall beat their swords into
plough-shares," until we observe the plough-
share employed by the oriental nations. It is
a broad but not a large piece of iron, which
tips the end of the shaft; and the swords of
the ancient warriors were short and thick, so
that a very little trouble indeed would convert
them into plough-shares.
The oxen at plough will naturally remind
the reader of several passages of Scripture,
wherein this labour is referred to as perform-
ed by oxen: so we read in the 1 Kings xix.
ver. 19, that Elisha "was ploughing with
twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with
the twelfth." This great number of oxen sug-
gests the idea of great riches in their owner;
and as they appear to have been the property
of Elisha himself, or at least of his family,
they lead us to suppose that he would not have
quitted so much wealth, nor have offered a
yoke of his oxen as a farewell feast to his peo


pie, as related in the two last verses of the
chapter above quoted, previously to his de-
parture to follow after Elijah, had he not been
conscious of a divine power influencing his
mind and directing his actions.
Ploughing in the East was not always per-
formed at once going over the land; the first
time it was done chiefly for the purpose of
preparing it; after this the seed was sown,
and a second ploughing answered the purpose
of our harrowing, by covering the seeds pre-
viously committed to the ground. It was in
short harrowing and ploughing combined in
one operation. That the first ploughing was
a work requiring attention, seems to be im-
plied in the form of the phrase in Isaiah, xxviii.
24. Doth the ploughman plough all day to
sow?" literally, does he all day plough plough?
The repetition of the last word signifying that
second and lighter ploughing, which takes
place after the seed is sown, and reduces to
dust, those clods which could only be broken
by the first operation.
In Genesis xlv. ver. 6, Joseph says to his
brethren and yet there are five years in the


which there shall neither be hearing nor har-
vest;" here the youthful reader is in danger of
confounding the sense in which the word ear-
ing was used, by the pious translators of our
English Bible, and the modern meaning of
the term. It was formerly employed by a
figure of speech, to express cultivation of any
kind, but is now literally restricted to the
gathering of ripe ears of corn, and if taken in
this sense, would mean the same thing as har-
vest, which certainly was never intended by
the wise and learned translators above men-
tioned. They intended to express that Jo-
seph said there shall be neither ploughing
nor harvest. The same interpretation must
be given to 1 Sam. viii. 12, where Samuel
told the Israelites that the king whom they so
much desired, would take their sons and set
them to ear his ground, and to reap his har-
vest, that is to cultivate or plough his ground.
Again in Exod. xxxiv. 21, "in hearing time,"
that is, in-ploughing time, "and in harvest
thou shalt rest." In Deut. xxi. 4, a rough
valley which is neither eared nor sown," or
neither ploughed nor sown.


Our blessed Lord says, Luke ix. verse 62,
SNo man having put his hand to the plough
and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of
God." The ancient ploughs were so light
that if the ploughman did not pay the greatest
attention, and lean upon, and as it were, load
it with the weight of his body, it would glide
over the ground without making any furrows,
and, of course, leave no impression behind.
This beautiful allusion of the Redeemer, may
not only be applied to the ministers of his gos-
pel, but to all the members of his church on
earth, and even to those who pursue things
which are merely temporal. Without a fixed
attention on the part of those who hear as well
as those who preach, on the part of the ingen-
uous youth seeking after religious instruction
and useful knowledge, as well as on the part
of those who endeavour to assist him in the
search, no trace can be left in the memory,
and no impression remain upon the mind.
Those who have been eminently pious or
learned, and especially those who have united
both these excellences, have invariably been
remarkable for attentive, serious, and thought


ful habits. They have not only put their
hands to the plough in religion and science,
but pressed upon it with the whole weight of
their undistracted attention, never looking
In addition to the ploughman at his labour,
our sketch presents a view of part of a culti-
vated field, the corn of which is nearly ripe:
near this corn is a kind of stage, of more than
one story in height, whereon sits a man to
guard the corn from depredators Af every
kind, and especially from the birds


1xv,j, Il/





IN reading the delightful history of Joseph,
so interestingly detailed by the inspired wri-
ter, those who think while they read, may
probably have supposed, that the wheat men-
tioned, Gen. xli. 5, in Pharaoh's dream, and
which is said to have had seven ears full and
good upon a single stalk, had no existence iq
nature, but was merely such a symbol as it
pleased God to employ to forewarn the Egyp-
tian king, of the coming years of plenty which
were appointed to precede those of famine.
This, however, was not the case, for there is
a species of wheat still growing in Egypt,
which actually bears seven ears upon a single
stalk; and of this wheat this is an accurate
sketch. The ear from which the original
drawing was taken, not being grown in its
native soil, had degenerated from its proper
fulness, although, as our readers will see, it
had spread enough to determine that it bore


seven ears of corn, and to demonstrate, that
when full it must present a most expressive
emblem of the greatest plenty. Those parts
of this specimen which were perfect, are
strongly shaded on the cut, while the rest are
lighter. This wheat differs from our own, by
having a solid stem, or at least a stem full of
pith, in order to yield sufficient nourish-
ment, and afford proper support to so great a
weight as the ears which it bears, and which
demand a proportionate quantity of nutritive
juices: whereas the stem of our own wheat
is a mere hollow straw. Our pious young
friends will, no doubt, at once remark, that
the exact agreement of this veif peculiar kind
of wheat, with that mentioned In the sacred
volume, and of which Moses wrote more than
3500 years ago, found too in the very land
where he was born, and so long sojourned,
and growing to perfection no where else, is
a most impressive natural evidence of the
minute accuracy of the Bible. It has been
cultivated by some of our ablest agricultu-
ralists, who find that it produces more than
any other kind of wheat, but though the grain


is fine of its sort, it does not suit our mar-
kets, principally because, as already intima-
ted, it soon degenerates here, as our country
is not the soil and climate for which Provi-
dence has adapted it; for it is a well known
agricultural maxim, that every plant thrives
best, and will only bear to perfection in its
native country, or in such other climates as
most resemble that from which it was first


Method of Threshing in the East.


To introduce the information furnished by
this sketch, we shall first notice the threshing
floor; which is a level, smooth area, enclosed
by mud-brick walls, having a proper opening
for entrance, and on one side of it the barn or
garner, the door of which is seen in the wall.
The area enclosed by these walls is either pre-
pared, according to the account of Dr. Shaw,
or naturally smooth, hard, and bound, so as
to be fit for using without preparation. The
figures at the lower corner of the plate, repre-
sent the wain, car, cart, drag, or threshing
instrument, so called by different translators
of the Sacred Scriptures. In the left hand
figure, it is supposed to be set upright on one
of its sides, and appears to consist of a strong
square frame, well secured with iron pins to
keep it tight and steady: within this are three
rollers, whose pins at each end are inserted
into the frame, and pass through it; on each
of these rollers are circular iron cutters, with
]a -2


sharp edges, the track of which lies between
that of the other cutters which compose the
instrument, and it is these cutters that are
furnished with teeth, which are alluded to in
the forty-first chapter and fifteenth verse of
the prophet Isaiah.
The right hand figure is an elevation, or
side view of the same instrument, which shows
that the external square frame turns upward
in front, that it may more readily pass over
the straw that lies before it. The pins which
mark the insertion of the rollers are also seen:
and from this frame rises a seat, or kind of
chair, for the convenience of the river. The
yoke is represented in connexion with the
left hand figure, to which it joins by rings
and a hook which allow of free motion: and
the other end, which is borne by the oxen, is
equally constructed for securing the same ad.
The principal subject of this draught, shows
the manner of using this machine, and pre-
sents, what it proposes to illustrate, in a more
lively manner to the eye than it is possible for
the best written account to describe.


Beyond the circle of corn strewed fox
threshing, a man is engaged in winnowing a
quantity of corn, which is already threshed by
throwing it up against the wind, which blows
away the chaff, but leaves the grains of corn;
the weight of which ensures their falling
down. Observe the form of the fan used by
this figure: it resembles a small shovel, with
a long handle; unlike any kind of corn fan,
or winnowing machine, used in England: the
representation of it, therefore, is well adapted
to correct whatever erroneous conceptions of
the instrument, the reader might heretofore
have entertained.
The number of passages in Scripture which
may be explained or illustrated by means of
these delineations, is too great to be enume-
rated here; and the youthful reader will find
it a delightful task to search his Bible for
and compare them with this account. We
shall, however, refer him to the seventh verse
of the fifteenth chapter of Jeremiah, and espe-
cially to the twelfth verse of the third chap-
ter of St. Matthew, where the process of win
knowing with the fan is alluded to.


.We remark in conclusion, that we here see
the import of the phrase thou shalt not muz-
zle the ox when he treadeth out the corn," as
applied by the apostle to ministers-that is,
" it is not fit that he who contributes to pre.
pare food for others should be denied a suita-
ble portion of sustenance for himself." And
it is a remarkable fact, that among all the na-
tions of the East, the oxen which tread out
the corn never were, and to this day are not
muzzled, although they always were and still
are muzzled when employed in any other
Kind of labour.


Eastern Method of Watering the Land.

THE annexed is a representation of the Per
sian Wheel, given upon the authority of Dr.
Shaw, in order to elucidate several passages
of Scripture. While one division of the buck-
ets descends empty, the rotation of the wheel
brings the other up full of water. The ma.
chinery worked by cattle, is easily understood.
Engines and contrivances of this kind, are
placed all along the banks of the river Nile,
from the sea to the cataracts; their respective
situations being higher, and consequently, the
difficulty of raising water greater, the farther
we advance up that river.
This method of conveying moisture, and
nourishment to a land that is rarely refrebhed
with rain, is often alluded to in the Holy
Scriptures, where also it is made the distin-
guishing quality betwixt Egypt and the Pro-
mised Land, or Canaan. "The land," says
'Moses to the children of Israel, Deut. xi 10,
11--" whither thou goest in to possess it, s
not as the land of Egypt from whence ye came


out; where thou sowedst thy seed, and water.
edst it with thy foot, like as a garden of herbs:
-But the land whither ye go to possess it, is
a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh wa-
ter of the rain of heaven."
The meaning of the remarkable expression
" wateredst it with thy foot," we shall endea-
vour to explain in our next subject; but for
the present, shall confine ourselves to the Per-
sian Wheel here depicted.
The simile used by Balaam, Numb. xxiv. 7,
-" He (meaning Israel) shall pour the water
out of his buckets," refers to this agricultural
custom, as do the words of the prophet Isaiah
xl. 15,-" Behold, the nations are as a drop
of a bucket."
The original word in the 3d verse of the
cxli. Psalm, which our translators have ren-
dered door, Set a watch, 0 Lord, before my
mouth, keep the door of my lips," appears to
have been mistaken for the drop of my lips,
in allusion, like the passage just quoted from
the prophet Isaiah, to the dropping from the
buckets of the machines, employed in watering
lands. Job xxix. 22,-says, "My speech


dropped upon them." And the allusion of the
Psalmist, implies that not only his set speeches,
his open and admitted discourse, required
to be guarded, but also his accidental remarks,
his by-words, his hints, and the smallest par-
ticles of speech which dropped from his lips.
Whoever pays attention to what passes in
his own heart, and in the world, will find am-
ple reason to pray God for a watch and a strict
watch too, over the door of his lips. Job
xxxviii. 37,-compares the clouds to the
buckets in the wheels of the machine, which
do not discharge their contents till they arrive
at the top of the wheel, where they are gradu-
ally laid along, and their mouths inclined
downwards. By the words, "Who can num-
ber the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay
the bottles of heaven," Job certainly alludes
to such buckets which come up full, but are
emptied only at the proper time, neither soon-
er nor later; but when wisdom and power
combine to lay them along; and this in the
instance of the clouds, as he beautifully inti-
mates, requires Divine appointment and sui

Chinese Method of Watering the Land.


THIS machine consists of a box, divided
into two parts, -the under part wholly enclo-
sed; one end of this box is laid on the lower
water, the other end is raised to a proper level;
a number of boards adapted to the size of this
enclosure, are drawn up it by the power of the
wheel, and with these boards the water rises
also: for it cannot flow out on the side, nor
at the top, nor at the bottom, since these are
enclosed; neither can it flow out behind, since
there the rising board stops it: it must there-
fore rise before the board which impels it, till
it arrives at the orifice for its discharge into
the upper level.
When the board has thus discharged its
lading, it is continued in its course over the
wheel, is carried back again, down the upper
groove of the box, and, when arrived at the
lower water, is ready to resume its former ap-
plication, of closing the lower division of the


box, and forcing the water it finds there to
A succession of these boards maintains a
constant stream, and thus furnishes water
from the lower grounds to the higher, even
enough to assist in the cultivation of rice,
which is always when young, overflowed with
water. We ought to observe, that Moses, in
Deuteronomy xi. 10. (see the preceding arti-
cle) is speaking of an extensive cultivation,
such as of corn lands; for he evidently dis-
tinguishes it from a garden, or plantation, by
making such cultivation the object of his com-
parison; where thou sowedst thy seed and
wateredst it with thy foot; like as a garden
of herbs, that is, in the same manner.
This ingenious mode of watering has been
resorted to in Palestine, and also in Egypt;
indeed, from certain passages in Philo, an'an-
cient Greek writer, who flourished at Alexan-
dria in the first century, it appears there is
strong reason to conclude that the Chinese
borrowed this invention from the Egyptians;
for Philo describes a machine for watering
lands so strongly resembling this, which was


taken from Sir George Staunton's account of
Lord Macartney's Embassy to China, that it
appears to be the very same. This, together
with the similarity which long subsisted be-
tween the Egyptians and Chinese seems to
suggest that they either were formerly one
people, or, being immediately derived from
one common stock, had naturally communi.
cated their manners, customs, principles,
knowledge, and inventions to each other.



Raising Tater from the Nile.


IN Egypt, the rice grounds are inundated
from the time of sowing nearly to harvest: the
seed is commonly cast upon the water, a prac-
tice twice alluded to in Scripture. Balaam,
prophesying of Israel, Numbers xxiv. 7, says
" His seed shall be in many waters;" and
Solomon, when speaking of acts of charity, in
his beautiful exhortations, Eccl. xi. 1, "' Cast
thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find
it after many days," finely intimates, that as
he who commits the seed to the waters, which
is the mode of sowing in that country, always
reaps, after a certain interval, the abundant
recompense of his labour, so they that regard
the sufferings of the distressed, and cast their
bread upon the waters, by feeding the hungry,
or clothing the naked, shall in no wise lose
their reward, but find it after many days.
This custom completely elucidates the mean-
ing of the preacher, which has been greatly
mistaken by many, who suppose that his al.


lusion was to bread cast into the rivers, or
upon the waters of the ocean: it is obvious
this could seldom, if ever, be found again, for
substances of that kind would soon sink or be
disposed of by birds or fishes.
In order to cover the lands with the water
upon which they cast their seed, various me-
thods are employed by the Egyptians. To
raise the waters of the Nile into the high
ground near the river, they use buckets fas-
tened to a wheel, something like those used to
some of our deep wells; but where the land is
not much elevated above the surface of the
river, they employ the simple and probably
very ancient contrivance of lifting it in a bas-
ket apparently lined with close matting, or
leather. This is the mode represented: two
men holding the basket between them, by a
cord in each hand, fastened to the edge of it,
lower it into the Nile, and then swing it be-
tween them, until it acquires a velocity suf-
ficient to enable them to throw the water over
a bank, into a canal near the river. The re-
gular continuance of their motion, gives them
at a distance, the appearance of automaton


figures, rather than of living beings. They
work with only a coarse sort of cotton shirt
girded round their loins, and sometimes en-
tirely naked, exposed to the sun's most power-
ful rays during the whole day, repeating one
of the Arabian songs; for they seem to have
a peculiar air adapted to every hakd of labour.


OXr o
a 0
"J"io 0
C/wn Un

THE annexed sketch represents the inter-
nal elevation, ground plan, and section of the
terrace, of one of the houses of the east, which,
like those of the cities upon the coast of Bar-
bary, are known to have been built in nearly
the same form for many ages. They are re-
markable for enclosed courts and spacious
chambers, so that a single house often accom-
modates several families; as when parents in-
dulge their married children with a share of
their habitation; or when several persons con-
tribute towards the rent, to this our Lord
seems to allude, where he says, in my fa-
ther's house are many mansions." Hence it
is that the cities of the Levant, though they
generally occupy less ground than those of
Europe, are so exceedingly crowded and po-
pulous, that many persons fall victims to the
plague, and other contagious maladies.
The streets of these cities, the better to
shade them from the sun, are usually narrow,
with sometimes a range of shops on each side.
The door of the porch, and one latticed win-
dow, or balcony, only, open into the street, all
the rest of the windows, as above, look into the
court. This external balcony is seldom used


except during public festivals-at one of these,
probably, Jezebel showed herself to Jehu, 2
Kings ix. 30, when "she painted her face,
tired her head, and looked out at a window."
The court is usually surrounded with galle-
ries, not unlike those which may be remarked
in old inns. Into these galleries the spacious
chambers of each floor open, having no com-
munication with each other but what the gal-
leries afford. The stairs sometimes begin in
the porch (see the ground plan) and are after-
wards continued through some one corner of
each gallery to the top of the house, upon
which they terminate in a door; but they are
generally carried up on the outside of the
house; This may elucidate the injunction,
Matt. xxiv. 17, "Let him which is upon the
house top not come down to take any thing
out of his house," for he might directly de-
scend the stairs, and pass into the street, with-
out entering into any apartment of the house;
or could escape to the city gates by passing
along the house tops, as we shall presently
proceed to show.
The house top which is invariably flat and
covered with a strong plaster of terrace, or
cement, is on that account often called, The


Terrace. It is generally enclosed by two
walls, the highest towards the street; the
their which is always breast high, in scrip-
ture called the battlements, Deut. xxii. 8, an-
swering to our parapet, overhangs the court
Balustrades and lattice work are sometimes
used in its stead; and upon such a slight sup-
port, Ahaziah, 2 Kings i. 2, might be thought-
lessly leaning when he fell down into the
court. Upon these terraces or house tops, the
inhabitantss dry linen and flax, Josh. ii. 6, and
as a late traveller has observed, figs and rai-
sins. Here also the families assemble to en-
joy the cool refreshing breezes of the even-
ing; and converse with one another; to which
those words of our Lord, Matthew x. 27, and
Luke xii. 3, refer: what ye hear in the ear,.
that preach ye upon the house tops." And
that which ye have spoken in the ear in clo-
sets, shall be proclaimed upon the house
tops:" on the terrace they frequently offer up
their devotions; here Peter prayed, Acts x. 9,
and afterwards "fell into a trance." In the
feast of tabernacles, booths were erected,
Neh. viii. 16, upon the roofs, along which, (as
we have already hinted) when the cities are
built upon level ground, there is a passage


from the city gate at one end of the place, to
a similar gate at the other, without any ne-
cessary communication with the street. The
inhabitants sometimes sleep upon the roof.
Here also the idolatrous kings and people of
Judah, (see Jeremiah xix. 13, and xxxii. 29,)
worshipped "the Host of Heaven," and "of-
fered incense unto Baal, and poured out drink-
offerings unto other gods."
Sometimes a small room is built over the
porch and set apart for strangers; or for oc-
casional privacy and retirement; such seems
to have been the little chamber built by the
Shunamite for Elisha, 2 Kings iv. 10, and the
summer chamber of Eglon, through which
Ehud escaped, Judges iii. 23, 24, after he had
killed the Moabitish king,-and the chamber
over the gate where David retired to weep
for Absalom, 2 Sam. xviii. 93, from the roof
of which his watchman, verse 24, described
the man running alone: such also might be
the chamber where Tabitha was laid after
death, Acts ix. 37, and particularly that in
the third loft, (or gallery) from the window
of which Eutychus fell down, Acts, xx. 9.
The eastern mode of building, helps us to
account for the particular structure of the


house of Dagon, Judges xvi. 25, and the great
number that were slain when Samson pulled
down the pillars, by which the galleries and
part of the roof were supported. In the Dey
of Algiers' palace, which is a structure en-
closing an open court, like that we have here
depicted, such entertainments as the lords of
the Philistines gave in the house of Dagon, are
frequently given; at which times the galleries
and roof are crowded with spectators pressing
upon each other to look down into the court,
where persons are placed, like Samson, "to
make them sport:" and hence the destruction
that ensued when he pulled the pillars from
beneath the Philistines, which must have pre-
cipitated them headlong into the court.
We shall now request the attention of our
readers to the open court itself, to inform them
that as the heat is excessive in those coun-
tries, a curtain or awning is spread over it
from battlement to battlement, to exclude the
rays of the sun, and is, therefore, called the
court veil, or curtain. To this David beauti-
fully alludes, Psalm civ. 2, "who stretches
out the heavens like a curtain." This court
is strewed with mats and carpets for the re-
ception of large companies, which are seldom


admitted into any apartment of the house it-
self. This strengthens many other obvious
reasons for concluding that our blessed Re-
deemer and his apostles, frequently taught in
these open areas, or courts; and that at least
he was preaching in one of them at the heal-
ing of the paralytic: so that the uncovering
and breaking up of the roof, Mark ii. 4, and
letting the paralytic down through the tiling,
as it has been translated, in conformity with
our ideas of houses, means nothing more than
the removing or taking up of the curtain,
court veil, or awning, and letting the sick per-
son down upon his bed into the court beneath.
Itis probable, therefore, that those words,
Luke v. 19, "into the midst," refer to the
centre of such a court, area, or quadrangle. It
appears from the same verse, that the bearers
could not directly approach our Lord for the
press," but if the paralytic could not be car-
ried up the stairs through the crowd, he might
easily be taken to the house top from the ad
joining terraces, and from thence be let down
over the battlements, i. to the midst (of the
court) before Jesus."

.Yncient Jltitude at Table.


THE reclining attitude here represented, as
having been anciently used at table, appears
to us to be extremely inconvenient, and yet
we have abundant evidence that it actually
was adopted by both Greeks and Romans, and
we also find it often alluded to by the four
The reader is desired to notice first, the
construction of the table, which consists of
three tables, so set together as to form but one.
Secondly, around these tables are placed no
seats, but as it were couches or beds, one to
each table; each of these beds being united to
surround the three tables; at the end of each
was a foot-stool for the conveniency of mount-
ing up to it; these beds were formed of mat.
tresses stuffed, and were supported upon
frames of wood, which were often highly or-
namented. Thirdly, observe the attitude of
the guests, each reclines on his left elbow, and
therefore chiefly uses his right hand, that only


being free for use: observe also, that the feet
of the person reclining being towards the ex-
ternal edge of the bed, they were much more
readily reached by any body passing, than any
other part of the person so reclining. The
way for the service of the tables appears left
open in the front, the table being enclosed at
one end, and it is worthy of remark, that when
the tables were withdrawn, the couches might
For want of proper discrimination and des-
cription, in respect to the attitude at table,
several passages of the gospel are not merely
injured as to their true sense, but appear to be
absolute nonsense; in the thirty-seventh and
thirty-eighth verses of the seventh chapter of
St Luke, a woman in the city, which was a
sinner, when she knew that Jesus SAT at meat
in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster
box of ointment, and stood at his feet BEHIND
HIM weeping; and began to wash hs feet with
tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her
head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them
with the ointment." Now, when a person sits
at meat, according to those ideas, which natu.


rally suggest themselves to an English reader
of the passage, his feet, beside being on the
floor under the table, are BEFORE him and not
behind him; and the impossibility of a person
standing at his feet behind him, standing too,
to kiss his feet and to wipe them, is glaring.
However, by inspecting our print, the narra-
tion becomes intelligible, for the feet of a re-
cumbent person being outermost, must of
course, be easily accessible to any person stand-
ing behind them. The same observations apply
to the second and third verses of the twelfth
chapter of St. John, "Lazarus was one who
sat, that is reclined at table with Jesus, and
Mary anointed the feet of Jesus."
Assisted by these ideas, we may better un-
derstand the history of our Lord's washing
his disciples' feet, John xiii. verse 5; "he pour-
eth water into a basin, and going round the
beds whereon the disciples reclined, he began
to wash the disciples' feet, which lay on the
external edge of the couch, and to wipe them
with the towel wherewith he was girded;"
again at the twelfth verse, after he had taken
his garments and was reclined again, he said,


&c." It would perhaps be overstraining our
remarks, to apply them to any of those slighter
incidents recorded in sacred history, which
we therefore leave as an exercise for our young
readers; but it is, nevertheless, proper to no-
tice, how justly the beloved disciple John
might be said to lie in Jesus' bosom" at the
supper table, since this will clearly appear by
inspecting the position of the guests in our


Mode of Sitting in the East.

IN the last account we endeavoured to illus.
trate the ancient mode of sitting at table; and
to complete the subject, we here present our
readers with a sketch and description of the
common mode of sitting in the east.
The expression sitting in our translation of
the Sacred Scriptures, is applied to different
attitudes; and we here propose to show what
that kind of sitting is, which ordinarily pre-
vails among oriental nations.
The place for sitting is a kind of raised set-
tle, bench, or elevated floor, about two feet
high, running along one or more sides of a
room, extending about three feet from the
wall, and covered with a carpet or scarlet
cloth. This raised floor is called the Duan
or Divan. The cushions, which are set up-
right along the wall, reach in that position to
the arms of the person sitting, as in the pre-
ceding representation. They are ornamented
with flowers, embroidery, or brocade; and
are made of such sizes as can be conveniently
removed; hence one cushion will not serve the
whole side of a room: so that several are
joined together for that purpose.


The figure here represented, occupies the
corner, which is the place of honour in the
east, probably, because the best adapted for
ease in leaning, by the opportunity it presents
of reclining upon two cushions at once. The
attitude of the person sitting, is usually by
crossing the legs, and folding them under the
body: sometimes varying the posture by fold-
ing one leg only, or principally, and sitting
upon the heel of it, leaning upon the cushion
behind. The celebrated traveller Niebuhr
says, "As the floors are spread with carpets,
and cushions are laid round the walls, one
cannot sit down without -inconvenience on
the ground; and the use of chairs is unknown
in the east.
"The Arabians practice several different
modes of sitting. When they wish to be very
much at their ease, they cross their legs under
the body. I found, indeed, by experience, that
this mode of sitting is the most commodious
for people who wear long clothes and wide
lower garments without any confining liga.
tures, and appears to afford better rest after
fatigue, than our posture of sitting upon chairs.
In the presence of superiors, (see 1 Chron


xvii. 16, where David is said to have sat be-
fore the Lord,') an Arab sits with his twc
knees touching each other, with the weight of
his body resting upon his heels: and as in this
position a person occupies less room than in
any other, this is their usual posture at table:
I often tried it; but found it so extremely un-
easy, that I could never acquire the habit."
As it is our particular wish to illustrate, as
far as we are able, those scripture phrases which
relate to customs that are unusual to our young
readers, and which they cannot, therefore, pro-
perly understand, we shall now observe how
easily the cushion and carpet which form this
kind of seat are carried, so that even in a tent
it may be instantly prepared. It appears that
the cushion is not sat upon but against, so that
to prepare a seat, as mentioned in the seventh
verse of the twenty-ninth chapter of Job, may
be well understood of laying a carpet and
placing a cushion upon it. And it explains
also the sixth verse of the fourth chapter of St.
John, where "Jesus being weary with his
journey, sat thus ON the well;" that is, he
leaned accordingly like a weary person
against the side of the well.


Perhaps the youthful reader never yet has
understood the true attitude assumed by the
dying Jacob, when the sons of Joseph were
brought to receive his blessing; "he strength-
ened himself, and satupon thebed"-the duan;
and, after blessing his grandsons-- gathered
up his feet," not into the bed, but drew them
upon the duan. This also explains the atti-
tude of Ahaz, (1 Kings xxi. 4,) He laid
him down upon his bed and turned away his
face." Also, how Hezekiah (2 Kings xx. 2,)
"turned his face to the wall and prayed."
Also, how Haman, (Esther vii. 8,) not only
"stood up to make request for his life," but
was fallen on the bed-the duan-whereon
Esther was." Finally, the above explanation
completely illustrates the nature of Saul's or-
der to bring up David to him on the bed, that
he might kill him, 1 Sam. xix. 15.
Further citations can not here be introduced:
but he that follows up this interesting subject
for himself, will reap great satisfaction in the
light which it tends to throw upon many other
parts of the Sacred Scriptures.


Vim qf Behlehem.


BETHLEHEM, or the House of Bread, so
often mentioned in the Word of God, is prin-
cipally remarkable for the nativity of our
Blessed Lord, Matt. ii. 5, 6, John vii. 42; it
is six miles south from Jerusalem. The town
covers the summit of a long and lofty hill, on
the southern side of a deep and extensive val-
ley, in which valley the celebrated traveller,
Dr. E. D. Clark, believes he found that re-
markable well, for the water of which David
longed, when he said, 1 Chron. xi. 17, "Oh!
that one would give me drink of the water of
the well of Bethlehem that is at the gate."
The well appears to retain its original re-
nown, and many an expatriated Bethlehemite
has since made it the theme of his longing and
regret To the left, on the neighboring hill,
a monastery, resembling a vast fortress, co-
vers the spot which is shown as the cave of
the Nativity. It is remarkable, that as the

vanquisher of Goliath was a native of Bethle-
hem, so Elhanan, who slew the brother of that
Philistine, was likewise a Bethlehemite.
Near Bethlehem, Rachel was buried, Gen
xlviii. 7, and lbzan, one of the Judges of Is-
rael, Judges xii. 10,-Naomi and her two
sons, Ruth i. 1, and David the great king of
Israel, were all natives of this place, which
was, therefore, of considerable note, before it
became so universally celebrated for the in-
carnation of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Eastern Bottles.

THIS is a representation of the bottles men-
tioned in the wod of God; which among the
ancient Jews, were made of goats' or wild
beasts' skins, with the hair on the inside, well
sewed and pitched together; an aperture in
one of the animal's paws serving for the mouth
of the vessel. Bottles of this kind are still
used for carrying water through the deserts
of Arabia and other countries, where springs
and streams are scarce, and have been in com-
mon use both in ancient and modern times.
The vessels, however, which are called bot-
tles in our translation of the old Testament,
are signified by different terms in the original,
and were of various and different materials.
Thus in Gen. xxi. 14, the "bottles" of water
given by Abraham to Hagar, is in the original
called, Chemeth, which denotes an earthen
pitcher, although Sir John Chardin supposes
it to have been a leather vessel: and from
Habakkuk ii. 15, it appears that the Hebrews


were accustomed to drink out of these che-
meths. The bottle of wine which Samuel's
mother brought to Eli, (1 Sam. i. 24,) is call-
ed nubel, and was probably an earthen jar or
jug. The same word is also used in 1 Sam.
x. 3, and 2 Sam. xvi. 1; but the term trans-
lated earthen bottles in Jer. xix. 1, is bakbek.
A very different word is used in Judges iv
19, to signify the vessel out of which Jael gave
milk to Sisera; it is called naud; which hav-
ing some reference to moist or oozing, was
probably made of goat skin, or the skin of
some animal; and being constantly kept full
of milk, was preserved in a pliant state. The
same word is also used to denote the bottle in
which Jesse sent wine by David to Saul, 1
Sam. xvi. 20. Naud signifies also the bottle
into which the Psalmist (Psalm Ivi. 8,) de.
sires that his tears might be collected, and
that to which he compares himself, Psalm
cxix. 83; he says, "I am become like a bot-
tle in the smoke," that is, like a bottle kept
in the tents of the Arabs, blackened with
smoke. To the meanness of such a drinking
vessel as a goat's skin bottle, as well as to the


blackness contracted in the Arab tent, the
Psalmist probably refers, and it was a most
natural image for him to use: driven from
among the vessels of silver and gold in the
palace of Israel, to live as the Arabs did, and
consequently to be obliged frequently to drink
cut of a smoked leather bottle. The word
-sed by Job, chap. xxxii. 19, is abuth, the
plural of aub, which signifies, in general, to
swell or distend, and properly expresses a
skin bottle, which would be apt to swell by
pouring liquor into it; and would be distend-
ed, and burst at last, if it had no vent, and
the liquor happened to be in a state of fer-
mentation.-From which we perceive the pro-
priety of putting new wine into new bottles,
according to the appropriate allusion iitMatt.
ix. 17. Mark ii. 22. Luke v. S7, 38, which
being moist and strong, would resist the fer-
mentation and preserve the wine; whereas
old bottles of this kind, being more dry and
brittle, would be in danger of bursting, and
were best adapted to receive old wine which
had ceased to ferment. The sacred historian,
Joshua ix. 4, not only supposes these bottles


to be frequently rent, when grown old and
much used, but to admit of being repaired.
They are mentioned by Homer, Virgil, Sal-
lust, and Horace; nor have they escaped the
observation of modern travellers. The Arabs,
says Sir John Chardin, and all those who lead
a wandering life, keep their water, milk, and
other liquors in these bottles, which will pre
serve their contents fresher than any other
kind of vessel. They are made, he says, of
goat skins; when the animal is killed, they
cut off its feet and its head, and so draw off
the skin without opening the belly. The
places where the legs and tail were cut off,
are afterwards sewn up, and when it is filled,
they tie it about the neck. These nations,
and the country people of Persia, never go a
journey without a small leather bottle of
water, hanging by their side like a scrip. The
great leather bottles are made of the skin of
a she goat, and the small ones that serve to
hold water on the road, of a kid skin. The
same traveller says, that the Persians find lea-
ther bottles useful in keeping water fresh,
especially if they take care to moisten them,


when travelling, wherever they can find wa-
ter; the evaporation serving to keep the wa-
ter cool. He adds, that the disagreeable taste
of the leather is taken off, by causing it to
imbibe rose water, when it is new, and be-
fore it is applied to use. The Persians are
said formerly to have perfumed these leather
vessels with mastic or with incense. From
him also we learn, that they put into these
goat skin and kid skin vessels, every thing
which they have to carry to any distance, whe-
ther dry goods or liquids, which are thus pre-
served from insects and dust, besides being
kept very fresh; and therefore butter, honey,
cheese, and similar articles are enclosed in
vessels made of the skins of these animals.
The presents which Jacob's sons carried to
their brother Joseph, Gen. xliii. 11, particu-
larly the balm and honey, were, therefore, pro-
bably forwarded in little vessels made of kid
skins: to which mode of transporting provi-
sions, Homer somewhere refers.
The bottles made of skin, resemble the
"Girba" 'described by Mr. Bruce in his tra-
vels through Abyssinia, vol. iv. p. 334.-

" This," he says, "is an ox's skin square,
and the edges sewed together very artificially
by a double seam, which does not let out water,
much resembling that upon the best English
cricket balls. An opening is left at the top,
like the bung of a cask: around this hole the
skin is gathered to the size of a large hand-
ful, which is tied round with whipcord when
the vessel is filled. These girbas contain
about sixty gallons each, and two of them are
the load of a camel. They are all besmeared
on the outside with grease, as well to hinder
the water from oozing through, as to prevent
its being evaporated by the action of the sun
upon the skin, which, in fact, happened to us
twice, so as to put us in imminent danger of
perishing with thirst."


Ancient Books and Scrolls.

111 -

Particularly those mentioned in the Scriptures.
WE here present our youthful readers with
the form of an ancient book, as held with both
hands by a young man, who is supposed to be
reading it with great earnestness. It is pro-
bably meant for some serious treatise. The
form of the page, and the direction of the
separating column are distinctly marked, and
clearly show that it was read down the narrow
way of the roll, one end of the book being
rolled inward, and the other outward. It is
evident that these books might be very small,
so that when the prophet Ezekiel and St. John
were directed to eat a book, it was by no means
a folio that was presented to them, for that
mentioned in the Revelations is expressly call-
ed a little book, and might be much less than
the one here represented. Books are often,
but not always, spoken of as rolls in Scrip-
ture The action of unrolling and rolling up


again a book, is evidently attributed to our
Lord in the fourth chapter of St. Luke, where
it is said, at the seventeenth verse: "and when
lie had opened the book, he found the place
where it was written," or literally, and un-
rolling the book he found the passage, from
whence it should seem that he might not open
it at that very passage, but might have un-
rolled the book till he came to that part of
Isaiah's prophecy, there quoted. This is con-
firmed by what is afterwards said at the
twentieth verse: "And he closed the book,
and he gave it to the minister;" or, so rolling
up the book, he gave it to the servant of the
Several sorts of materials were anciently
used in making books; plates of lead and cop
per, the barks of trees, bricks, stone, and even
wood, were the first materials employed to
engrave those things upon, which men desired
to transmit to posterity. Josephus the Jewish
historian, speaks of two columns, one of brick,
on which the children of Seth wrote, or en-
graved their inventions and astronomical dis-
coveries. Porphyry mentions some pillars


preserved in Crete, on which the sacrifices of
the Corybantes were recorded. Hesiod's works
were originally written upon tables of lead;
the laws of Solon upon wooden planks; and
the Ten Commandments delivered to Moses,
upon stone.
Tables of boxwood and ivory were common
among the ancients; and their wooden tablets
were frequently covered with wax, that they
might easily write, and if they pleased, after-
wards erase what they had written. The
leaves of the palm-tree were afterwards used
instead of wooden tablets, together with the
finest and thinest part of the bark of trees,
such as the lime, the ash, the maple, and the
elm; and as these barks were rolled up in or-
der to be removed with greater ease, the rolls
were called volumina, or volumes, a name
afterwards generally applied to rolls of paper
or parchment
The other two figures represent an ancient
inkstand and pen. The inkstand consists of
two parts, one for red, and the other for black
ink, one of which is shut, and the other open


The pen is a reed of considerable length and
magnitude. Whether the bands round it are
merely joints of the reed, or something added
to strengthen it, is not certain, but probably
the latter, and the reader should be informed,
that these representations are copied from
some ancient pictures dug out of the ruins of
Herculaneum, a once famous city of Italy,
which was destroyed by an eruption of Mount
Vesuvius, A. D. 79.
We cannot close this brief illustration with-
out calling the attention of our young friends
to an important fact. The books of the an-
cients were, of course, all manuscript, and
were therefore scarce and dear. The current
of knowledge was consequently confined to a
very narrow channel, and until the invention
of printing, in the latter end of the fifteenth
century, books could only be procured by a
few wealthy persons; a Bible could scarcely
be obtained forless than thirty pounds sterling;
but, since that providential invention, books
have gradually become more plentiful, and
consequently cheaper, until at length the Sa-


cred Scriptures may be obtained for a very
small sum, and useful information of every
kind at a moderate expense.
How then ought we to prize the inestimable
advantages we enjoy; how sedulously improve
our opportunities of becoming wise unto salva-
tion, and performing our respective duties in
the present life? Reader, be diligent in busi-
ness, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, since
for all these things, he will bring thee into

Tents mentioned in Scripture.


THE Patriarchs lived in temporary dwell-
ings of various kinds. These dwellings were
slightly constructed for temporary residence,
so as to be put up and taken down with great
despatch. Such were their tents of various
forms and sizes. Some of them were large
and commodious; others small and inconve-
nient; some mean and some magnificent.
That tents were set apart for the different
sexes, appears from Gen. xxiv. 67, where it is
said Isaac brought Rebecca into his mother
Sarah's tent; and from Gen. xxxi. 53, where
we learn that Laban went into Jacob's,
Leah's, and into the maid-servant's tent.
A tent may be made more capacious by
raising and further opening or extending it;
and strengthened by driving the stakes deeper
into the ground. Hence Isaiah, liv. 2, says
" Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them
stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations:
spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen


thy stakes." One of these stakes, nails, or
tent-pins Jael drove through Sisera's temples
until she fixed it in the earth, Judges iv. 21. A
wooden pin could scarcely have been hard
enough for this cruel purpose, or for penetrat-
ing hard earth, gravel, &c. and hence there
is little doubt that these stakes were of brass,
or of iron.
The dream of the Midianite, who thought
he saw a loaf of barley bread overturn a tent,
either tends to prove that they were very
slightly held by their cords and pins, or. that
the loaf which overturned it, was impelled by
an irresistible force, see Judges vii. 13.-He-
zekiah, in Isaiah xxxviii. 12, exclaims, Mine
age is departed, and is removed from me as a
shepherd's tent." This strongly intimates the
wandering lives they led, and the shortness of
their stay in any place.
Tents are to this day used in travelling
through the deserts of Asia, see the view of
Mount Tabor, page 91. They vary in their
colours; for the coverings were sometimes
formed of rams' or goats' skins, and of goats'
nair, aln were sometimes quite black, as are


those of the Arabians, to which the Spouse,
Cant. i. 5, alludes, where she says, I am
black as the tents of Kedar; that is, Arabia.
Such, in all probability, was the tent spread by
Jacob,, Gen. xxxiii. 18-19, in the field he
bought of Shechem's father.
The words every man to his tents, 0 Is
rael," (see 2 Samuel xx. 1, and 1 Kings xii.
16,) were invitations to the Israelites to leave
their cities, and take the field in war. It was
the ancient way of summoning the people to
arms, and hence we plainly see that at that
time, tents had ceased to be the only kind of
dwelling in use, though Acts xviii. 3, shows
that down to the time of the apostles, tents,
at least that portable sort suitable for travel-
lers, were still used.
There is strong reason to suppose that the
occupation, at which Paul and Aquila wrought,
means either tent-making literally, as we have
translated it; or something similar to the trade
of a house carpenter among us, which would
very probably also include the business of
tent-making among the nations of the east.
The prophet Isaiah xiii. 20, seems to lay

great stress on one token of the total ruin of
Babylon, by'saying, neither shall the Ara-
bian pitch tent there; neither shall shepherd
dwell there;" as if he had exclaimed, not even
a solitary shepherd, a wandering Arab, the
transitory resident of an hour! The same in-
spired writer, xl. 22, says, he stretched out
the Heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them
out as a tent to dwell in." This idea strik-
ingly applies to a circular tent like that here
presented to our readers. It is equally ex-
panded all round. It can be opened or folded
up, spread out, or rolled together like a
scroll; and in this state, spanned by the
hand." Isaiah xlviii. 13.
The shaking of the pillars or supporters of
a tent, is alluded to by Job xxvi. 11, where
he speaks of the trembling of the pillars of
Heaven at the reproof of the Almighty. This
explanation may serve also to illustrate many
similar figures that were never intended to be
literally understood.


Mount Tabor

THE celebrated traveller from whose works
we have taken this view of Mount Tabor, *as
prevented from visiting it by the fear of being
plundered by the Arab banditti, who at that
time particularly infested the great plain of
.Esdraelon, upon one side of which, Mount
Tabor stands. It is entirely detached from
any other mountain, and appears of a conical
form, strongly resembling an island environed
by the sea. The top consists of a spacious
and well cultivated level surface, inhabited by
numerous Arab families, who subsist by pil-
lage and robbery, and are the terror of the
surrounding country.
This singular eminence is often mentioned
in Holy Writ. Upon it the Midianitish kings
slew the brethren of Gideon, by whom those
kings were afterwards slain: Judges viii. 18


-21. David, (see Psalm lxxxix. 12) speaks
of Mount Tabor in such terms as intimate that
it was a remarkable station in his day, and
the same idea is further confirmed by the pro-
phet Jeremiah, xlvi. 18; and by Hosea, v. 1,
who accuses the priests, king, and people of
Israel of being like a net spread upon Mount
Tabor; where nets were employed to ensnale
such birds as were fit for the table, which wei a
found in great numbers in this delightful part
of the Holy Land.
On the great plain of Esdraelon, the most
fertile part of all the land of Canaan, the tribe
of Issachar rejoiced in their tents: Deut. xxxiii.
18. Here the second of Samuel's three pre-
dictions was verified by Saul: 1 Samuel x. S.
In the first ages of Jewish history, as well as
during the Roman Empire, and in the Cru-
sades, Holy Wars or Wars of the Cross, as they
were impiously called; which were carried on
by the monarchs of Europe many hundred
years ago, under pretence of recovering the
Holy Land from the Turks or Saracens; and
even in still later times, it has been the scene
of many a memorable contest. Here it was


that Barak descending with his ten thousand
from Mount Tabor, Judges iv. 6-13, discom-
fited Sisera and "all his chariots, even nine
hundred chariots of iron, and all the people
that were with him," when all the host of
Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword, and
there was not a man left:" Judges iv. 13, 15,
16. Here also it was that Josiah, king of Judah,
fought in disguise against Necho king of Egypt
and fell by the arrows of his antagonist; 2
Chron. xxxv. 20-25, when so great were the
lamentations for his death, that the mourning
for Josiah became an ordinance in Israel. The
great mourning in Jerusalem, foretold by Ze-
chariah, xii. 11, is said to be as the lamenta-
tion in the plain of Esdraelon; or, according
to the language of the prophet, "as the mourn-
ing of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megid-
don." Warriors belonging to almost every
country under heaven, have pitched their
tents upon the great plain of Esdraelon, and
beheld the various banners of their nations
wet with the dews of Tabor and of Hermon.
Josephus, the renowned Jewish historian,
often mentions this very remarkable part of


the Holy Land, and always under the appel-
lation of the great plain. It has been a chosen
place for encampment in every contest car-
ried on in this country, from the days of
Nebuchodonosor king of the Assyrians, in the
history of whose war with Arphaxad, it is
mentioned as the great plain of Esdrelom, see
Apocrypha, Judith i. 8, down to the disastrous
march of the French army from Egypt into
Like every other part of the Holy Land, this
great plain and celebrated mountain afford in-
disputable evidence of the truth of the Bible,
for they still retain every mark of identity,
and are possessed by various unbelieving Gen-
tile nations: while the Jews who once inherit-
ed them, are scattered all over the habitable
globe, according to those awful predictions
of their own prophets, with which the Sacred
Scriptures abound



The Caravansera.


EASTERN inns, or Caravanseras, which is
their Asiatic name, are of different kinds.
Some are small buildings, placed generally
by the side of a fountain, at proper distances
on the public roads, to afford refreshments
and a temporary shelter from the rain, or dur-
ing the night. Such probably, was that men-
tioned, Gen. xlii. 27, and xliii. 21, where one
of Jacob's sons, on their return from Egypt,
stopped to give provender to his ass, and
there discovered Joseph's cup in his sack.
And the same kind of way-side inn is proba-
bly intended in Luke x. 34, to which the good
Samaritan conveyed the poor object of his pi-
ous compassion.
Other caravanseras especially those in
towns, like that above represented, are usu-
ally large square buildings, with a court in the
middle of them, encompassed with galleries,
and having arches, or chambers, all round,
where travellers rest themselves, or make


their lodging as well as they can. To this
kind the evangelist, Luke ii. 7, apparently re-
fers, where he records that-" there was no
room for Joseph and Mary in the inn," that
is, that every chamber was pre-occupied.
These chambers are generally let at a high
rate by the keeper of the caravansera, although
they contain no furniture whatever, and this
circumstance alone will go far to show what
poor accommodation those places must have
afforded to the mother of our blessed Lord,
and in what degrading circumstances the
Prince of Life and Glory descended to appear
among men. It has long been customary in
the east, for travellers to carry their own
bedding, kitchen utensils, &c. and the custom
probably prevailed as far back as the incarna-
tion of our blessed Saviour; but as all the
chambers were then engaged, Joseph and
Mary were obliged to accept of shelter in that
part of the building allotted to the beasts, so
that, in the words of the inspired writer-
" She brought forth her first born son and
laid him in a manger." So low did the Re-
deemer stoop to manifest his love to us, and

to effect the grand purpose of man's redemp-
tion. An elegant writer has truly said,
" that pride is not made for man," for surely,
if every human being were to consider the
cause of this amazing abasement on the part
of him, who is God over all, blessed for ever,
it would not only eradicate every particle of
pride, but humble him in the dust during the
remainder of his life.



The Tabernacle in the Wildernes.

1 0
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THE preceding is a general view of the
Court of the Tabernacle, and of the situation
of the various utensils it contained-see
Exod. xxv. We observe first of all the pil-
lars marking an enclosure. These pillars
were seven feet and a half high, the enclosure
they formed was about 150 feet long, and 75
feet broad. In the centre of the front appears
a kind of entrance, formed by hanging tapes-
try which could be drawn up occasionally,
like the entrance curtain to a tent The in-
tervals between the other pillars are closed
by a strong kind of net-work, as some render
the original word, which in our translation,
Exod. xxvi. 1, is called fine-twined linen, but
this was so loosely twined or combined, that
what was transacted in the Court was visible
in a considerable degree, though veiled, to the
people without. Advancing to the centre of
the Court, we find first the altar of burnt-of-
ferings, Exod. xxvii. 1, and next the laver for


the ablutions, Exod. xxx. 17,18, and thirdly,
the tabernacle itself, or a kind of tent, to the
honour ot which, as the residence of glory and
holiness, the whole service is referred. On
the right hand of the Court are the pillars,
blocks, &c. necessary to secure and slaughter
the victims brought to be offered on the altar
We intend hereafter to call the attention
of our readers more particularly to the Taber-
nacle itself, and having introduced the above
sketch, to give them a general idea of its ex-
ternal appearance, we shall conclude by call-
ing to their minds the intention of Almighty
God in commanding the Israelites to bring so
many different kinds of offerings in order to
build the Tabernacle, and prepare the various
utensils necessary for the service thereof-
see Exod. xxvi. and xxvii.
"God," says Dr. Clarke, "requires that
they (the Israelites) should build him a tent,
suited in some sort to his dignity and emi-
nence: because he was to act as their king,
and to dwell among them; and they were to
consider themselves as his subjects, and in this
character to bring him presents, which was

considered to be the duty of every subject ap-
pearing before his prince,"-see Exod. xxiii.
15, the last clause of which verse refers to the
universal practice of eastern nations in bring-
ing presents as a token of submission and fi-
delity to their governors, in the words, and
none shall appear before me empty."

The Tabernace.


[N the preceding a general view of the Ta
bernacle, and of the surrounding court, with
the various implements of the Mosaic rites and
ceremonies, is introduced. The present sub-
ject is the Tabernacle itself. It was about
fifty-five feet long, eighteen feet wide, and
eighteen feet high, being divided into two
parts. The first part was called the Holy
Place, which was about thirty-seven feet long
by eighteen wide. In this part were placed
the table of shew-bread, the golden candle-
stick, and the golden altar of incense. The
second part was called the Holiest of Holies;
this was eighteen feet long and as many broad,
and contained the ark of the covenant. The
second part, called the Sanctuary, or Holiest
of Holies, was divided from the holy place by
a curtain or veil, of very rich cloth, which
hung on four pillars of shittim wood overlaid
with plates of gold, their bases being of brass.
On the west, north, and south sides, the
Tabernacle was enclosed by boards or planks


of the same wood as the pillars, overlaid with
plates of gold, having also bases of brass.
These boards were eight in number on the
west side, but twenty on the north and south
sides. They were all about eighteen feet
high, and two feet and a half wide, and were
let into each other by two tenons above and
below. As the whole of the Tabernacle was
moveable, and might be taken down, these
boards were carried by two bases, wherein
were two mortice holes, by which they were
joined together. To support them, each had
five golden rings at convenient distances;
through which were passed five poles of
shittim wood, covered with plates of gold,
which supported the whole.
The Tabernacle had no window, but was
covered by several curtains, which the sketch
represents the workmen about to fix in their
proper places. The curtain first on the inside
was of a hyacinth colour, striped with purple,
scarlet, and crimson. Over this were other
curtains or coverings of goat's hair, which
defended the rich curtain before described
from the sun and the rain. There was no cur.


tan in front, but only on the sides, and be-
hind; so that at the entrance of the Taber-
nacle, the first rich curtain afore-mentioned
might be seen, which enclosed the whole front.
Over these coverings of goat's hair were two
others; one of sheep skins dyed red, the other
of sheep skins dyed azure blue.
The priests entered the Holy place every
morning to offer incense, and to put out the
lamps; and went in every evening to re-light
them. The High Priests alone could enter
into the Hoiest of Holies; and even he, only
once a year, upon the great day of atonement;
except in extraordinary cases, in order to con-
sult the Lord: but he never entered without
the deepest reverence and due preparation.
The entrance of the Tabernacle looked east,
the sanctuary west, and the two sides north and
south.. This tent was, as it were, the dwelling
of the God of Israel, who was considered as
residing in the midst of the camp. Round
about it were encamped the twelve tribes:
Judah, Zebulon, and Issachar, on the east;
Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, to the
west: Dan, Asher, and Napthali to the north;


and Reuben, Simeon, and Gad, to the south.
The tribe of Levi being entirely employed in
the sacred offices of the priesthood, were
placed all round nearer the Tabernacle; Moses
and Aaron on the east, the family of Gershom,
west, that of Merari north, and that of Kohath
The Tabernacle, or Tent of the Covenant,
must always be distinguished from the Taber.
nacle or Tent of the Congregation, wherein
the people of Israel assembled to transact
their ordinary temporal affairs. The former
is also called the Tabernacle of the Testimo-
ny, and the Tabernacle of the Lord. It was
constructed by Moses, from the pattern shown
to him by God himself in Mount Sinai, and
was first set up and consecrated at the foot of
that celebrated mountain, on the first day of
the second year after the Israelites were de-
livered from their Egyptian oppressors, about
2514 years after the creation of the world, and
1490 years before the incarnation of that
Great High Priest, our Lord and Saviour Jesus
Christ, to whom and to whose coming these
rites and ceremonies expressly referred.


This Tabernacle was the place of prayer,
and of the public service of God, Lev. xvii.
3-6, Matt. xxi. 13. It signified the church,
which is the habitation of God through the
Spirit, 2 Cor. vi. 16. Eph. ii. 19-22. Rev.
xxi. 2, 3, and was a visible sign of God's
presence and protection, Lev. xxvi. 11, 12.
Ezek. xxxvii. 27, 28. 1 Kings vi. 12, 13;
and of his leading them to his heavenly glory:
for as the high priest entered into the taber.
nacle, and through the veil into the most Holy
Place, where God dwelt; so Christ entered
into the Holy of Holies, and we also enter
through the veil, that is to say his flesh. Thus
the sanctuary is to be applied as a type to the
person of Jesus Christ, John ii. 19-21. Heb.
viii. 2. ix. 11, 12; also to every Christian, 1
Cor. vi. 19: and to the church of God, 1 Tim.
iii. 15. Heb. iii. 6. Heb. x. 21; hence it was
because of the very extensive signification of
this building, that the different things belong-
ing to it, are so particularly set down by
Moses, and so variously applied by the pro-
phets and by the apostles. As the dwelling
of the Almighty in thip Tabernacle was the


highest proof of his grace and mercy towards
the Israelites, so it signified Christ's dwelling
by faith in the hearts of believers, by which
they receive the highest proof of their recon
ciliation to God, and of his love and favour
to them.
It is extremely remarkable that the hea-
thens borrowed their best things from divine
revelation. A striking instance here presents
itself. In the idolatrous temples of Greece
and Rome, there were a Holy and a Most Holy
Place, corresponding to, and evidently copied
from those of the Tabernacle in the Wilder-
ness, and of the Temple at Jerusalem. They
even had portable temples, to imitate the
moveable Tabernacle, as the shrines of Diana,
mentioned, Acts xix. 24, were something of
this kind.

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