Imatges de pàgina

duce into their commonwealth. They had not so much as a name for them, but what doth properly signify, to ląugh e, playf, toy 6, and such-like innocent amusements. Even Solomon himself, who had imitated, or rather outdone the grandeur of other kingdoms, and had indulged himself in all other vanities, or what he calls the delights of the sons of men, some of which were near of kin to these, as his fingers and musicians of both sexes ; doth yet make no mention of

any kind of games, either of hazard, or of the theatre ; neither do the Scriptures any-where speak of them (I).

c Vide Gen. xviii. 12, & alib. paff. Judg. xvi. 25, & alib. 8 Gen. xxvi. 8.

f Exod. xxxii. 6. b Ecclefiaft, ii. 8.

of prying into futurity, that versions; and indeed, if we they left none of them un- confider the frequency and tried: at least the prophets magnificence of them, espe. do generally upbraid them cially, after the building of with resorting to those who the temple, we shall not won. practised them.

der at their preferring them (I) If we may believe the 'to any others. Add to this, Talmudists, and other Jewish that all we meet with in the commentators. all kinds of writings of the antient fathers, games, spectacles, &c. were such as Tertullian (72) and St. not only forbid, but abhorred Cyprian, both in his second by all good Ifraelites, by rea- epiftle to Donatus, and in his son of the mischiefs which had book de spectaculis, if that befallen those who had ventured piece be really his, which is to be present at those of their fomewhat doubtful, by reason neighbouring nations. The of the difference of stile ; all Talmud utterly condemns being agree in this, that the Israelites present at any theatrical re- never admitted

any presentations (71): they give among them. It even appears feveral reasons, which we shall from Mr. Selden, that

games omit, because they are not of hazard, such as dice, tables

, over-modest; and R. Simeon and the like, were looked Ben-paki is there affirmed to upon as a kind of theft, no have rendered the first words gain being thought lawful, that of the first psalm, Blessed is resulted from a contract, which the man who hath not fet his depended upon chance. The foot in a theatre, &c. It seems fame they likewise affirm. rather, that their solemn fefti ed of such who made a vals served them instead of all gain of exposing beasts or fowls such kind of fpectacles and di- to fight one with another (73).

fuch games

(71) Tra&. 771.7712y, fol. 18. (72) Lib. de fpezlac. & apolog. 6. 38.

(73) Jus nat. & nat. lib. vi. c. 11.

Their diversions seem to have confifted chiefly in Divercating, drinking, dancing, and music. At least they are fons. those which good old Barzillai seems to bewail his incapacity for l; and for the excess of which they were often blamed by the prophets m. The Scriptures do often express the fimplicity of their happy lives, by fitting, and eating and drinking, every one under his vine, and under his fig-tree. But even these diversions could not be very frequent, unless it were upon such solemn occasions as we have mentioned before, or at their sheep-lhearing, harvest, and vintage ; because they would else have had but little time to have minded their country affairs. Whether they used hunting, fowling, fishing, and fuch-like, we will not pretend to say ; but we find frequent mention made of nets, gins, traps, fowlers, hunters, &c.

Their diet, except on festivals, seems to have been Diet. very plain. Boaz, a mighty man, complimented Ruth with drinking of the same water, eating of the same bread, and dipping her morsel in the vinegar with him". Even the present of victuals which were brought to David and his men, whilst he was in a kind of exile, were chiefly several kinds of pulse, fome parched corn, bread, and four, fome dried raisins and figs, honey, butter, cheese, oil, and a few fatted beasts o. Their bread was made either of barley or wheat, baked into thin cakes, fome in ovens, some upon the hearth, and others in a fryingpan, fome with, and some without oil; they often used parched corn instead of bread. Honey was commended for its deliciousness P, and the fleece of the flocks, and the milk of the goats, were thought by the wise man fufficient for food and raiment, both for the master and his family 4.

High titles were unknown among them, unless those Titles. which implied some office, such as general, treasurer, recorder, and the like. They valued themselves more upon their genealogies, which is the reason why one man's name had five or fix of his ancestors, and fonietimes more, tacked to it. Some regard was likewise had to the di. stinction of tribes or families: as for instance; to those of the priests and Levites, upon a religious account; to that of Judah, by reason of the sceptre being promised to

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it ; and to that of Ephraim, out of refpect to Foseph's memory. The same respect was likewise paid in every tribe to those who were the heads or fathers of it, and to all the elder branches in general; and next to these, old men, of what tribe or branch soever, were had in great veneration (K).

Their laborious and frugal lives, and the healthfulness of the country, were effectual means to prevent a vast number of those diseases, which have been fince ushered into the world by luxury and sloth. It is for this reason that we read of lo few, if any diseases among them, much less of physicians, except such as are now known by the name of surgeons, whom the antient Greeks, as well as the Hebrews, called physicians, or healers. Thus the Mofaic law condemned the man who wounded another, to pay, amongst other things, the falary of the physician (L).

among tbem.

· (K) The name of old man, handmaid, for, here am l. The
or elder, as our version renders women, whether because they
it, feems all along to imply. were more bashful and timo-
fomething of dignity in the rous, or perhaps greater flatter-
Mofaic writings ; and their ex- ers, were still more remarka-
perience and gravity seem to ble for the modest turn of their
have intitled them to be the expressions, and the humbleness
proper perfons to take cogni- of their behaviour (1).
fance, and to judge, of all im- (L) Suci were those whom
portant matters, in the places king A/ah is blamed for his too
where they dwelt, as well as to great confidence in, when he
the respect of the younger fort laboured with a diftemper in
upon that account. But this his feet, which the generality
respect did not consist in giving of interpreters take to have
to them, or indeed to any man, been a kind of gout; and
how great soever, the king ex- whose skill extended no further
cepted, any pompous title; but than outward applications ; for
in a submissive approach and we read nothing, in the facred
behaviour, and in a respectful books, of purges, sweats, vo-
phrafe peculiar to the Hebrew; mits, diet-drinks, and other
in which, though the second such evacuating medicines

, tho person was always used even to often of plasters, ointments, a prince, yet the speaker always bandages, and such-like. This expressed himself in the third, seems indeed the reason of their with the addition of fervant or living fo long, as well as of handmaid: Let thy fervant their

being so healthy and fruitIpeak a word, instead of, Let me ful, even to the end of their speakbehold tby servant or lives.

(1) Vide Rutb ii. 13. 1 Sam. i. 15, 16. XXV. 23. & feqq. & alib.

Their mourning was, for the death of their near Mourning, relations, or for any misfortunes, either public or private ; and was expressed in both cases much after the fame manner ; not with such formalities as are used among us, which hardly reach beyond the outside ; but by such as expressed all the tokens of inward grief, or at least would be apt to cause a real one in those, who were obliged to go through such a series of mournful ceremonies. The first sallies of it were followed by rending their cloaths, uncovering their heads, smiting their breasts, tearing their hair and beards, putting alhes and dirt upon their heads, instead of perfumes (which were quite laid afide all the time of mourning), going barefoot, putting on fackcloth next the skin, lying upon the bare ground, and the like r (M).

THEIR funeral ceremonies were no less mourn- Funerals, ful. As soon as a person was dead, all the near relations came to the house in their mourning habit, and

2 Sam. i. 11, 12. xii. 16. xiii. 31, & feqq. Ezek. xxiv.


16, 17

(M) The neighbouring na- longer or shorter, according to tions had still more violent ways the occasion ; and when it hapof expressing their grief, by pened for the death of a confipricking, cutting, and scarify- derable person, even a whole ing themselves ; but these were month, as was done for Moses expresly forbid by the law of and Aaron (4); but when it Mofes (2). As soon as these

was for an ordinary person, or first fits of grief were ended, near relation, it lasted but about they changed their cloaths for a week. In public mourning, bothers, that were ftreighter, the people were wont to get coarfer, dirtier, and more rag- up to the top of their houses, ged. They covered their faces there to give the greater vent with their upper garment, to to their grief; at least it seems hide their tears ; they fafted till probable, that there was some sunset, and then contented them- soch caftom, by what the profelves with the plainest diet; kept phet says, speaking to Jerufa a profound filence, which they lem, What aileth thee now, never broke, but to utter some that thou art gone up wholly to groans or complaints, or at the house-tops? and so on (5): most fome doleful lamenta- and, speaking elsewhere of the ţion (3). Some did even chuse Moabites, he says (6), On the to lie in the ashes, or on a dung- tops of their houses, and in their hil, and to avoid the light of streets, every one fall bowl and any light. This mourning was weep abundantly. (2) Levit. xix. 28. Deut. xiv. 1. Vide Fag. in loc. (3) 2 Sam. i. & feqq.

(4) Numb. xx. ult. Deut, xxxiv. 8, (5) Ijai, xxii. 1. (6) Ibid. xv, 3.



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sat down upon the ground, with a mournful filence, whilft another part of the house echoed with the voices of mourners, and the sounds of instruments suitable to the occasion, and hired for the purpose (N). These lafted till the funeral was over, when the nearest relations resumed their melancholy posture, and continued in it all the time of the mourning, eating, fitting, and lying upon the ground, and never speaking to any, unless spoken to (0)

In the mean time, there were proper persons appointed to make ready the corpse for the burial. It was looked upon as a duty incumbent on the nearest relation present, to close the eyes of the deceased. 'This custom is taken from God's promise to Jacob, that his son Joseph should perform that office to him. If the person was of a considerable rank, they

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(N) As to the musical instru- for he is at rest, and we in ments, we have no instance of tears (10). their being used upon

these (0) Their very food was cafions in the Old Testament; unclean, and defiled by those only we find it practised in our that eat of it (1). They nei. Saviour's time (7); and the ther made their beds, washed Talmudists assure us, that it themselves, or pared their nails. was not only an antient custom, In a word, they abstained from but that it was even obligato- every thing that could yield ry, and that the poorest huf- them any delight. They made, band could have no less than indeed, a kind of banquet for two of them for his wife (8). the rest of the mourners, called These instruments, according by the prophets the bread of to them, were a kind of mourn- men, and wine or cup of conful fute ; hence that proverb of folation (12); but even then theirs, flutes ferve either for a their tables were covered with bride, or for the dead (9). As wooden or common earthen for the hired fingers, their of platters and trenchers; and, for fice was to sing some mournful the same n, they were not ditty, proper to fill the compa- allowed to drink above ten ny with the deepest sorrow. glasses of wine at it; namely, One of them is elegantly com- three before, three at meat, and prised in few words by one of four after it, left any should their rabbies, Mourn for the get drunk, and betray any tomourners, and not for the dead;

ken of mirth (13).

(7) Matt. ix. 23. (8) Misin. tr. ni2in), 6.4. Gemar. Babyl. in cod. titul.. (9) . ), .

(10) Bar. Abbin. up: Hott: in Goodw. lib. vi. c. 5. note 12. (11) Vide Hof. ix. 4.

(12) Ezek. xxiv. 17. Jerem. xvi. 70 (13) In tra&t. Abel. 6. 4.


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