Imatges de pÓgina

how long, or how short, we cannot exactly say t; after which, the was sent away to her husband's habitation, with finging and dances, at the sound of several instruments, This last was generally performed in the night, and the parable of the ten virgins plainly alludes to it. It was likewile customary with them to contract these marriages, whilst their children were very young, and this was called espousing ; after which, both parties continued with their parents till they were of age to consummate. As for the daughters, whether they were espoused, or not, they were kept very strict, and out of sight, by the Israelites ; though this custom seems rather to have been taken up after the misfortune of Jacob's daughter, than borrowed from their neighbours, who made no scruple to send theirs to feed and water their flocks, as we find was done by Laban's. fifter and daughters, as well as by those of Jethro among the Midianites u. From this privacy with which the unmarried damsels were kept, they came to be called Almahs, which fignifies hidden, or concealed (H).' There was like


+ See Gen. xxiv. 55, & feq. Onkelos, R. SOLOM. & MunSTER, in loc. i Mat. xxv. 1, & seq.

u Vid. Gen. 13, & feq. xxix. 9. Exod. ii. 16. (H) From the word by, ginal, which is not only capable alam, or, rather, ghalam, to of, but doth manifeftly carry a bide. To this seems to allude much sublimer sense. We hope, that saying of Agur (21), if therefore, the reader will not rightly translated -The way think amiss, if we take this op, of the man, 705y3, behalmah: portunity of doing justice to the that is (not with, as our version text, and its divine author, by hath it, but), in the maid, or setting it in its full light. virgin. And here we beg leave Whoever examines the preto observe, that an anonymous face, in the four or five first English author took upon him, verses of this chapter,will easily under the name of the late own, that such lofty expressions Monf. Le Clerc, to quarrel with could only be designed to ulher this text, as trifing and obscene in some fublime mystery: but (22); whereas, our verfion be who can find any such in these ing the only one we know of words, whether we read thein that renders it with a maid, the in or with the maid ? that is, objection could Aow but from an whether we understand them of English pen : and we may ven- coition, or generation ? Besides, ture to add, one that had but a where is there either the anasuperficial knowlege of the ori-logy or climax implied in the (21) Prov. xxxi. 19,

(22) Letters concerning inspiration,


wife another law which forbad heiresses to marry out of their own tribe w, from which the rest were exempted ; but a man was left to his liberty to marry, not only in any of the twelve tribes, but even out of them, provided it was with nations that used circumcision * ; such as the Midianites, Ishmaelites, Edomites, Moabites, and Egyptians (I).


w Num. xxxvi. past. 7, 8.

* Compare Deut. vü. 3. & xxiii.

beginning of the verse? There Mofes married a Midianite; Boaz are three things too hard for me, a Moabite(23); Maachah, Abjayea, four, or, rather, a fourth, lom's mother, was the daughter which I cannot comprehend. of Talmai, king of Geshur (24); What analogy doth the way of Amasa was the son of Jether, a man, whether in or with a an ifomaelite, by Abigail, Damaid, bear to that of an eagle vid's fifter (25); and Solomon, in the air, or a ship in the midst in the beginning of his reign, of the sea, 830.8 or wherein is married Pharaoh's daughter the former harder to be under- (26). Whenever, therefore, we stood than the latter? But if find him andother kings blam'd we understand it' of the con- for marrying strange women, ception of a man in a virgin, as we must understand it of those the words seem plainly to im- nations that were idolatrous and ply, then both the analogy and uncircumcised. climax will be very natural ; This law seems also founded and the conception of the man, upon what the subtil fons of or, as the word 73), gebber, Jacob said to the Shechemites ; imports, the mighty man in a It is not lawful for us to convirgin,continuing still such,will tract affinity with one that is appear most fitly compared to uncircumcised (27). However, the flight of an eagle in the air, this must be understood of such

&c. which leave no trace be- only as were admitted into the hind; and, at the same time, Jewish religion : as for those be most juftly esteemed the that were not so, they were not hardest, of all the rest, to be ac- so much as permitted to have counted for. This text may any carnalcommerce with them; therefore juftly be looked upon except in the case of an Hebrew as parallel to that of Jeremiah soldier's having taken a gentile xxxi. 22.The Lord bas, or captive; to whom Moses inwill, create a new thing; a wo- dulg'd the liberty of enjoyman fall incompass gebber, a ing her once, before the marman, or the mighty man. riage was confirmed: this, at

(I) Accordingly we find that least,seems to be the sense of the

(23) Rutb iv. (24) 2 Sam. iii. 3. Cbron. iii. 2. "(25) 1 Cbror.ii 17, & feq. (26) i Kings iii, I. (27) Gen, xxxiv, 14.

words ;

These are the main laws relating to marriage. As for the manner of its celebration, Mofes has left no direction about it. Some few ceremonials may be gathered from Scripture, and the rest from the rabbies. We do not find, that it was accompanied with any religious ceremony, such as going to the tabernacle or temple, offering of sacrifices, or even that it was performed by or before a priest : only from the examples of Ifaac with Rebecca, of Boaz with Ruth, and of Tobias with Sarah, we may conclude, that the parents, and the rest of the company, did pray for the prosperity of the new-married couple. These nuptials were accompanied with feasting and mirth, which lasted a whole week. Thus Samson's wedding is faid to have lafted seven days c; and Tobias was desired, by his father-in-law, that his might last twice that spaced ; probably, because they were not likely to see one another after that time (K).


e Judg. xiv. 17:

à Tobit viii, 19, 20. words (28); because, if he did a rising-fun to a bridegroom not like her, he might put her coming out of his nuptialchamaway ; only he was to give her ber (37). He likewise describes, liberty, as a récompence for her in another psalm, the richness yirginity. A maid-servant,tho' of the bride's attire, the pomp converted to Judaisin, was not of her åttendance and the grancapable of matrimonial right, deur of the folemnity, in molt whilft her servitude continued ; elegant terms ( 32). The parabut, if her redemption was paid, nymph, or friend of the brideor me was manumitted, the groom, and the bride-maids,are might become a wife (29). If likewise mentioned here, and in a woman was not wholly free, the Canticles. Besides these, the her marriage seems to have been bridegroom and bride had a neither in force, nor abfolutely number of companions, that alvoid ; because, in cases of un- sifted during the whole feast. chastity, she was not to be pnt Samson is said to have had thirty to death, as the free women at his wedding (33). However, were, but only whipt (30). we must not suppose both sexes

(K) What splendor did ufu- to have a lifted promiscuously; ally accompany these feasts, the cultom of eastern countries where their circumstances wou'd did not allow of it: and it is admit of it, we may conclude, much more likely,that they had from that beautiful comparison separate tables, apartments, arid of the psalmift, of the glory of diversions : thefe laf were fing(28) Deut. xxi. 10,

(29) Schl. jus nat. & gent. I. v. 1, 17. Vid. . ant. l. iv. c. 8. Carlton's concordo part i. c.7. (30) Levit. xx. (31) Psal. xix. 5: (32) Psal. xlv, pal. Vid. & Ija. Ixi, :0. (53) Jilly, · Vol. III,



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Their plurality of wives was far from being either a charge, or incumbrance, on them, confidering their fimple way of living : the domestic affairs were their province, whilst that of the husband was the business of the fields and vineyards. "Dressing of victuals, the care of children, fpinning, carding, weaving, and the like, are often mentioned in the sacred books as the occupation of women m; whilst their husbands chose the more laborious works. However, at the worst, Mofes had indulged them with a remedy, namely, that of,

4. Divorce, which was permitted to the Jews for the hardness of their hearts, as our Saviour observes n; neither do we find, that it had ever been practised by any of the patriarchs (T), whatever it might have been by other na



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m Vid. int. al. 1 Sam. ii. 19. 2 Sam. viü. 13. Prov. xxxi.
13, & seq. & alib. paff. Mat. xix. 8.
ing, dancing, playing upon mu- monies relating to marriages,
fical instruments among


as we have no other authority
men, and some kind of manly for them but that of the Tal-
exercises among the men. To mudifts, we shall not trouble
these we may add the custom of our readers with them.
propounding riddles, and assign- (T) The Jews pretend, that
ing some sort of reward to those Abraham divorced Hagar; and
that expounded them,as we find Mofes, either Ziphorah, or Tar-
it was done at Samson's nup- bis, the princess of Ethiopia:
tials (34), and which, the Tal- and that this was the reason of
mudifts tell us, was usually pra- the quarrel which he had with
etised upon such and the like Aaron and Miriam (38); and
festivals (35). They add, that from thence conclude, that di-
both the bride and bridegroom vorce was not only of earlier
used to wear a crown during date, but that it was lawful up-
the whole solemnity, until the on many other accounts, besides
destruction of the laft temple ; that of adultery. But,as to Ha-
but that, thenceforth, such an gar, whom they pretend to have
ornament was set aside, in me. been divorced for her insolence,
mory of that catastrophe (36). it is plain, first, that she was no
We read, indeed, of a nuptial wife, but a bond-woman,substi.
crown made for Solomon, and tute to Sarah; and, secondly,
presented to him by his mother that her expulsion was not pro-
(37); but nothing of the like perly a divorce, because she was
ornament for the bride. As received again after the first
for the other particular cere- fault; and that, at the second,
(34) Hudy. xiv. 12.

(35) Pirke aboth. (36) Ibid. Vide
Seld, ux. Heb. l. ii. 0. 15. Buxtorf. Synag. & al. (37) Cant. iii. ver.
alt. (38) Targ, Onkel. & Hierd.& rabbin, mult. in Num. xiii 1, &* sezo

tions. The words of the law, or, rather, permission, run thus 0 : “When a man hath taken a wife, and married

her, and it come to pass that she finds no favour in his

eyes, because he has found in her some uncleanness (U); " then let him write her a bill of divorcement; and give « it into her hand, and send her out of his house. And

when the is departed she may go and be an“ other man's wife ; and if her second husband hate her, " and write her a bill of divorce or if he chance to “ die her former husband shall not take her again

to be his wife, after she is defiled ; for that is an abo« mination to the LORD.

The question is here, What is meant by the words, if he find any uncleanness, turpitude, or 'nakedness, in her? We have seen in the last note, how the Jews are divided in their opinion about it : the Christians are no less so; some confining it to adultery, and others to all enormous crimes, such as idolatry, apostaly, and the like; which the Scriptures often call fornication, and is the word made use of by our Saviour for

o Deut. xxiv: 1, & feq:

it was her son's behaviour, and cording to Akkiba, another of not her own, that fent her away the same loofe principles, if he (18): and as to the case of Zi- finds another that pleases him phorah and Tarbis,they are mere better, or is more handsome in fi&tions,as we may have occasion his eyes. To make this out, to shew in the sequel. So that they divide the text thus: 1. If we do not find one precedent of the do not find favour in his divorce before the law of Moses; fight ; and; 2. If he find in her but afterwards they became so any uncleanness. But the more frequent, that the prophets often virtuous school of his co-rival upbraided the Jews with it (19); Shammai juftly condemns such and Solomon doth as much con- a perverse reading, though he demn the divorce of a virtuous confines this case of turpitude, woman, as he doth the keeping which Mofes afligns as the of an adulterous one (20). ground of the husband's dislike;

(U) As plain as the import to the case of unchastity; whereof the text is, yet the famous as that of Hillel extends it to Hillel has found out a way tợ all that he may dislike in her evade it, in order to make di- (21). This last has been moft vorce lawful, even upon the followed by the Jews, and sufAightest fault; such as spoiling ficiently condemned by Chrift his meat in cooking; or, ac- (22).

(18) Comf. Gen. xvi. 1, & feq. &* xxi. 9, & leg. (19) Mic ii. 9. Maloćb. ii. 14, & feq.

(20) Vide Mihn c.9. 9. 10. Seld.wx. Heb. l. ij. c. 18, & 2

(21) Vide glos: Barteno ; 557777129377. (22) Mat. 1.32, & alib.



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