Imatges de pàgina
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spatched to the rich countries of the south and east. But, his own
subjects being totally ignorant of the arts of building and navigating
vessels, he again had recourse to the assistance of Hiram. The
king of Tyre, who was desirous of an opening to the oriental com-
merce, the articles of which his subjects were obliged to receive at
second hand from the Arabians, entered readily into the views of
the Hebrew monarch. Accordingly, Tyrian carpenters were sent
to build vessels for both kings at Ezion-geber, Solomon's port on
the Red Sea; whither Solomon himself also went to animate the
workmen by his presence.
Solomon's ships, conducted by Tyrian navigators, sailed in com-
pany with those of Hiram to some rich countries, called Ophir,
(most probably Sofala on the eastern coast of Africa,) and Tarshish,
a place supposed to be somewhere on the same coast." The voy-
age required three years to accomplish it; yet, notwithstanding the
length of time employed in it, the returns in this new channel of
trade were prodigiously great and profitable, consisting of gold,
silver, precious stones, valuable woods, and some exotic animals,
as apes and peacocks. We have no information concerning the
articles exported in this trade; but, in all probability, the manu-
factures of the Tyrians, together with the commodities imported by
them from other countries, were assorted with the corn, wine, and
oil, of Solomon's dominions in making up the cargoes; and his
ships, like the late Spanish galleons, imported the bullion, partly
for the benefit of his industrious and commercial neighbours.
(Kings vii.-x. 2. Chron. ii. viii. ix.) Solomon also established a
commercial correspondence with Egypt; whence he imported
horses, chariots, and fine linen-yarn; the chariots cost six hundred,
and the horses one hundred and fifty shekels of silver each... (1 Kings
x. 28, 29. 2 Chron. i. 16, 17.)
After the division of the kingdom, Edom being in that portion
which remained to the house of David, the Jews appear to have
carried on the oriental trade from the two ports of Elath and
Ezion-geber, especially the latter, until the time of Jehoshaphat,
whose fleet was wrecked there. (1 Kings xxii. 48. 2 Chron. xx.
36, 37.) During the reign of Jehoram, the wicked successor of
Jehoshaphat, the Edomites shook off the yoke of the Jewish sove-
reigns, and recovered their ports. From this time the Jewish
traffic, through the Red Sea, ceased till the reign of Uzziah; who,
having recovered Elath soon after his accession, expelled the Edo-

1. It is certain that under Pharaoh Necho, two hundred years after the time of Solomon, this voyage was made by the Egyptians. (Herodotus, lib. iv, c. 42.) They sailed from the Red Sea, and returned by the Mediterranean, and they performed it in three years; just the same time that the voyage under Solomon had taken up. It appears likewise from Pliny (Nat. Hist. lib. ii., c. 67), that the pas sage round the č. of Good Hope was known and frequently practised before his time; by Hanno, the Carthaginian, when Carthage, was in all its glory ; by one Eudoxus, in the time of Ptolemy Lathyrus, king of Egypt; and Celius Antipater, an historian of good credit, somewhat earlier than Pliny, testifies that he had seen a merchant who had made the voyage from Gades to Ethiopia.

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mites thence, and, having fortified the place, peopled it with his own subjects, who renewed their former commerce. This appears to have continued till the reign of Ahaz, when Rezin, king of Damascus, having oppressed and weakened Judah in conjunction with Pekah, king of Israel, took advantage of this circumstance to seize Elath; whence he expelled the Jews, and planted it with Syrians. In the following year, however, Elath fell into the hands of TiglathPileser, king of Assyria, who conquered Rezin, but did not restore it to his friend and ally, king Ahaz." Thus finally terminated the commercial prosperity of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. After the captivity, indeed, during the reigns of the Asmonasan princes, the Jews became great traders. In É. time of Pompey the Great, there were so many Jews abroad on the ocean, even in the character of pirates, that king Antigonus was accused before him of having sent them out on purpose. During the period of time comprised in the New Testament history, Joppa and Caesarea were the two principal ports; and corn continued to be a staple article of export to Tyre. (Acts xii. 20.)” IV. Respecting the size and architecture of the Jewish ships, we have no information whatever. The trading vessels of the antients were, in general, much inferior in size to those of the moderns: Cicero mentions a number of ships of burthen, none of which were below two thousand amphorae, that is, not exceeding fifty-six tons; and in a trading vessel, in all probability of much less burthen, bound with corn from Alexandria in Egypt to Rome, St. Paul was embarked at Myra in Lycia. From the description of his voyage in Acts xxvii. it is evident to what small improvement the art of navigation had then attained. They had no compass by which they could steer their course across the trackless deep; and the sacred historian represents their situation as peculiarly distressing, when the sight of the sun, moon, and stars was intercepted from them. (Acts xxvii. 20.) The vessel being overtaken by one of those tremendous gales, which at certain seasons of the year prevail in the Mediterranean (where they are now called Levanters), they had much work to come by the ship's boat, which appears to have been towed along after the vessel, agreeably to the custom that still obtains in the East, where the skiffs are fastened to the sterns of the ships (16.); which having taken up, that is, having drawn it up close to the stern, they proceeded to undergird the ship. (17.) We learn from various passages in the Greek and Roman authors, that the antients had recourse to this expedient in order to secure their ves

1. During this period, the Jews seem to have had privileged streets at Damascus, as the Syrians had in Samaria. (1 Kings xx. 34.) In later times, during the cru. sades, the Genoese and Venetians, who had assisted the Latin kings of Jerusalem, had streets assigned to them, with great liberties and exclusive jurisdictions therein, See Harmer's Observations, vol. iii. pp. 489–492. i ..o. $ool Hebr. pp. 169–174. Macpherson's Annals of Cominerce, vol. § PPist ad Familiares, lib. xii.ep. 15

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sels, when in imminent danger;' and this method has been used
even in modern times.
Much ingenious conjecture has been hazarded relative to t
nature of the rudder-bands, mentioned in Acts xxvii. 40., but .
supposed difficulty will be obviated by attending to the * .
antient vessels. It was usual for all large ships, (of which descrip-
tion were the Alexandrian corn ships) to have two rudders, a *
of very large and broad oars, which were fixed at the head .
stern. The bands were some kinds of fastenings, by which tho.
rudders were hoisted some way out of the water; for, as they could
be of no use in the storm, and in the event of fair weather coming
the vessel could not do without them, this was a prudent way of s.
curing them from being broken to pieces by the agitation of the waves.
These bands being loosed, the rudders would fall down into their
proper places, and serve to steer the vessel into the creek which they
now had in view.”
W. Commerce could not be carried on without coin, nor without
a system of weights and measures.
Although the Scriptures frequently mention gold, silver, brass,
certain sums of money, purchases made with money, current money,
and money of a certain weight; yet the use of coin or stamped
./Money appears to have been of late introduction among them.
Calmet is of opinion that the antient Hebrews took gold and silver
only by weight, and that they regarded the purity of the metal and
not the stamp. The most antient mode of carrying on trade, un-
questionably, was by way of barter, or exchanging one commodity
for another; a custom which obtains in some places even to this day.
In process of time such metals as were deemed the most valuable,
were received into traffic, and were weighed out; until the inconve-
niences of this method induced men to give to each metal a certain
mark, weight, and degree of alloy, in order to determine its value,
and save both buyers and sellers the trouble of weighing and examin-
ing the metal. The coinage of money was of late date among the
Persians, Greeks, and Romans. The Persians had none coined
before the reign of Darius the son of Hystaspes, nor had the Greeks
(whom the Romans most probably o any before the time of
Alexander. We have no certain vestiges of the existence of coined
money, among the Egyptians, before the time of the Ptolemies; nor

! Raphelius and Wetstein, in loc. have collected numerous testimonies. . . .

* The process of under-girding a ship is thus performed: A stout cable is slip: ped under the vessel at the prow, which the seamen can conduct to any part of the ship's keel, and then fasten the two ends on the deck, to keep the planks from starting. . As many rounds as may be necessary, may be thus taken about the vessel. An instance of this kind is mentioned in Lord Anson's voyage round the world. , Speaking of a Spanish man-of-war in a storm, the writer says, “They were obliged to throw overboard all their upper-deck guns; and take sir turns of the cable round the ship, to prerent her opening.” (p. 24. 4to. edit.) Bp. Pearce and Dr. A. Clarke, on Acts xxvii. 17. Two instances of under-girding a ship are noticed in the chevalier de Johnstone's Memoirs of the Rebellion in 1745-6. (London, 1822. Svo.) pp. 421, 454.

* Essner and Wetstein, on Acts xxvii. 40


had the Hebrews any coinage until the government of Judas Maccabeus, to whom Antiochus Sidetes, king of Syria, granted the privilege of coining his own money in Judaea. Before these respective times, all payments were made by weight: this will account for one and the same word (shekel, which comes from shakal, to weigh) denoting both a certain weight of any commodity, and also a determinate sum of money.'

Weights and Measures were regulated at a very early period in Asia. Moses made various enactments concerning them for the Hebrews; and both weights and measures, which were to serve as standards both for form and contents, were deposited at first in the tabernacle, and afterwards in the temple, under the cognisance of the priests. On the destruction of Solomon's temple, these standards necessarily perished; and, during the captivity, the Hebrews used the weights and measures of their masters.

or tables of the weights, measures, and money, which are men

tioned in the Bible, the reader is referred to No. II. of the Appendix to this volume.

1 Calmet's Dictionary, vol. ii. article, Money.



I. Allusions to the Theatres and to Theatrical Performances in the .New Testament.—II. .shllusions to the Grecian Games, particularly the Olympic Games.—1. o: of the Candidates.—Preparatory Discipline to which they were subjected.—2. Foot-race.— 3. Rewards of the Victors.-4. Beautiful allusions to these Games in the New Testament, explained.

I. NOTHING seems more foreign to the manners of the Israelites than theatres, public shows, or those exercises in which gladiators sought naked, and hazarded their lives for the sake of diverting a multitude of spectators, a barbarous amusement, which has happily been abolished by the beneficent influence of the Gospel. There were in the cities of the heathens certain places appointed for public sports. The theatres held a great number of persons, and were so contrived that all could conveniently see." In the performances there exhibited the Gentiles took great delight: and this circumstance accounts for so many theatres being erected in Judaea, soon after it became subject to a foreign dominion. The theatres also appear to have been places of public meeting on particular occasions. Thus, at Ephesus, Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's companions in travel, were taken to the theatre; but the apostle was prevented from enter

ing in among them for fear of increasing the tumult of the people.

(Acts xix. 29, 30.) “In all countries the stage has ever furnished different languages with the most beautiful metaphors that adorn them.” In every tongue we read of the drama of human life;" its scenes are described as continually shifting and varying: mortal life is represented as an intricate plot, which will gradually unfold and finally wind up into harmony

1 See Lamy, De Tabernaculo, lib. iv. c. 7. § 3. 2 For the following account of the theatrical representations, and of the Grecian ames, alluded to in the New Testament, the author is indebted to Dr. Harwood's f. vol. ii. sections I. and 4., collated with Bruning's Compendium Antiquitatum Græcarum e profanis Sacrarum, pp. 352–376, from which treatise Dr. H. *** principally to have derived his materials. XKnvn ra; 6 boos, kat raiyvtov m uabs rat;eiv, Tow arovány parašas, n otp: ras oëwas.-Epigram in Antholog. Quomodo fabula, sic vita ; non quâm diu, sed quam bene acta sit, resert. Nihil ad rem pertinet, quo loco desinas: quocunque voles desine: tantum bonam clausulam impone. Seneca, epist. lxxvii tom. ii. p. 306, edit. Elz. 1672. Ovov ti swpoav aroxvet rms armyns & rapaxatiov sparmyo; ax\' ovk torov ra revre utom, a\\a ru rota, kaxws tiras' evolvrot ro 34% ra reta Aov ro paya ist. Mar. Antoninus, lib. xii. p. 236, edit. Oxon. The words of the Psalmist,-4 we spend our days as a tale that is told,”— have been supposed to be an allusion to a dramatic fable. The imagery, considered in this view, would be striking, did we know that the early Jews ever had any scenical representations. WOL. III. 62

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