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“ Millet.”—The millet is the Panicum miliaceum of Linnæus, and is a kind of grass. which has a must extensise cultivation for the sake of its nutritive seeds. Panicum is froin panis. “ bread," and shows in what estimation it was heid by the ancients. There is also another species which is called Panicum Italicum and Setaria. It is an annual, in ine warmer parts of Europe, and produces a seed that is smaller than the foregoing species. The original word, in the present instance, is 1177 dochan, and may very possibly have been the dhourra, or holcus sorghum, of which we have given a representation under Gen. xli., and which is now so extensively cultivated and used in Palestine, Syria, Arabia, Egypt, Nubia, &c.; being in some of these countries the principal food of the lower classes. It is sometimes eallei the greater millet,” though belonging to a different genus. All these grasses have large spreading clusters of flowers at the top of the stem, and present a curious appearance to the eye that has been aocustomed to regard wheat as the staff of life. In Egypt three harvests of the dhourra are obtained in one year; in other places, two or one only, according to circumstances. The stalks grow very high. In the countries south of Egypt. the same species that is there cultivated often rises to the height of from sixteen to twenty feet. In those countries wheat is scarcely knowo; and dhourra forms the principal product of the ground, and the chief food of man and beast. Besides being made into bread, much of it is also consumed in the form of pap, seasoned with salt; and sometimes the grains are boiled and eaten like rice. The poorer inhabitants of Arabia have little other food than the dhourra bread, which, from its coarseness, is seldom much liked by Europeans, till necessity accustoms them to it. The usual way of preparing it in Arabia is by kneading it with camel's milk, oil, butter, or grease. Niebuhr says he could not eat of it at first, and that he should have preferred to it the worst bread he had ever eaten in Europe. But the people of the country, being used to it, prefer it to barley, which they think too light.
Notwithstanding its present extensive use, it might be and has been questioned whether the dhourra was so early cultivated in the south-west of Asia as the time of Ezekiel. On this subject we have however no doubt. The dhourra does still also bear the Scriptural name of dochan or dokhen. Wilkinson, in his enumeration of the products of ancient Egypt, as evinced by paintings and seeds preserved in the ancient tombs, mentions dhourra, wheat, beans, lentiles-all of which are mentioned in this verse. In another place, after having spoken of wheat, he says, “ Another species of grain, with a single round head, was plucked up by the roots, but formed, in the Thebaid at least, a much smaller proportion of the cultivated produce of the country. Its height far exceeds the wheat, near which they represent it growing ; and its general appearance cannot better answer to any of the order of gramina than to the sorghum, or Egyptian dhourra.” He adds, in a note, that of the fifteen species of holcus, five at least appear to be natives of Egypt; and that there seem also to be two unnoticed varieties. In another place, Mr. Wilkinson expresses his full conviction that the Holcus sorghum was grown in Egypt.
15. “ Cow's dung for man's dung.”—The command, in the first instance, to use dung. implies that the siege should be of such duration that the supply of firewood in the town would be exhausted, and being precluded from having more from the country, the inhabitants must necessarily resort to dung to prepare such miserable food as remained to them. In such cases, and in all cases where wood is scarce, animal dung, and especially cow's dung, is much employed in the East. But the command to use human dung intimates, further, that not only was the wood exhausted, but that no animal dung could be obtained, probably because all the animals in the town had been killed for food, or had perished for want of nourishment. Thus, as cow dung is a common resource in the East, the command to use that at first would not have conveyed that intimation of distress which is involved in the other direction.
There is sufficient intimation that the Hebrews sometimes employed animal dung for fuel ; but this could not generally have been the case in a country so tolerably well wooded as Palestine appears to have been. But in some regions of Western Asia where wood is scarce, it forms the common fuel ; and as the supply of this is often inadequate to the occasions of the people, great anxiety is exhibited in collecting a sufficient quantity, and in regulating the consumption. In winter we have seen it used in the best rooms of some of the most respectable houses in towns of northern Persia ; and while travelling through the same country, and some parts of Media and Armenia, when we formed our camp dear the villages, all the children who were old enough would come out with baskets and wait long and patiently to receive all the animal dung that occurred, to secure which there was often much rushing, contention, and violence among the numerous claimants for its possession. Cow dung is considered much preferable to any other ; but all animal dung is considered valuable. When collected it is made into cakes, which are stuck against the sunny side of the houses. giving them a curious and rather unsightly appearance. When it is quite dry and falls off, it is stored away in heaps for future use. It is much used for baking, being considered preferable to any other fuel for that purpose, as it is by the villagers in Devonshire. In the East, they either heat with it the portable oven, or iron plate, or else lay their cakes upon the fire of dung. A very common resource, in the want of a plate or oven, is to form the dough into balls, which are placed either among live coals or into a fire of camel's dung, and covered over till penetrated by the heat. The ashes are then removed and the bread eaten hot, with much enjoyment by the natives ; but it sometimes contracts a flavour and appearance which is not pleasant to Europeans. It seems very probable that it was such cakes or balls, baked in immediate contact with the fire, which the prophet intended to provide, and which made him the more abhor the idea of employing human dung for the purpose.
in the midst of the city, when the days of 1 Under the type of hair, 5 is shewed the judgment the siege are fulfilled : and thou shalt take
of Jerusalem for their rebellion, 12 by famine, a third part, and smite about it with a knife : sword, and dispersion.
and a third part thou shalt scatter in the And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp wind; and I will draw out a sword after knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause them. it to pass upon thine head and upon thy 3 Thou shalt also take thereof a few in beard : then take theo balances to weigh, number, and bind them in thy 'skirts. and divide the hair.
4 Then take of them again, and cast them 2 Thou shalt burn with fire a third part | into the midst of the fire, and burn them in
1 Heb. wings.
the fire ; for thereof shall a fire come forth and with all thine abominations, therefore into all the house of Israel.
will I also diminish thee; 'neither shall 5 ( Thus saith the Lord God; This is mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity. Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the 12 Í A third part of thee shall die with nations and countries that are round about the pestilence, and with famine shall they her.
be consumed in the midst of thee: and a 6 And she hath changed my judgments third part shall fall by the sword round into wickedness more than the nations, and about thee: and I will scatter a third part my statutes more than the countries that into all the winds, and I will draw out a are round about her: for they have refused sword after them. my judgments and my statutes, they have 13 Thus shall mine anger be accomnot walked in them.
plished, and I will cause my fury to rest 7 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; upon them, and I will be comforted : and Because ye multiplied more than the nations they shall know that I the Lord have spoken that are round about you, and have not it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my walked in my statutes, neither have kept fury in them. my judgments, neither have done according 14 Moreover I will make thee waste, and to the judgments of the nations that are a reproach among the nations that are round round about you;
about thee, in the sight of all that pass by. 8 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; 15 So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will | an instruction and an astonishment unto execute judgments in the midst of thee in the nations that are round about thee, when the sight of the nations.
I shall execute judgments in thee in anger 9 And I will do in thee that which I have and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the not done, and whereunto I will not do any LORD have spoken it. more the like, because of all thine abomi- 16 When I shall send upon them the evil nations
arrows of famine, which shall be for their 10 Therefore the fathers shall eat the destruction, and which I will send to destroy sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall you: and I will increase the famine upon eat their fathers; and I will execute judg- you, and will break your 'staff of bread: ments in thee, and the whole remnant of 17 So will I send upon you famine and thee will I scatter into all the winds. 'evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee;
11 Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord and pestilence and blood shall pass through God; Surely, because thou hast defiled my thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. sanctuary with all thy detestable things, | I the Lord have spoken it. * Levit. 26. 29. Deut. 28.53.2 Kings 6. 29.
* Chap 7.4, 9. 5 Levit. 26. 26 Chap. 4. 16, and 14. 13.
Lam. 4. 10. Baruch 2. 3.
• Deut. 28.37.
6 Levit. 26. 22.
Verse 1. “ A sharp knife...a barber's razor.”—The word rendered "a sharp knife,” is a general one denoting a sword, a knife, and other cutting instruments. Newcome has, “ a sharp tool,” Boothroyd, " a sharp instrument;" and some of the ancient versions understand a sword to be intended, and that the second clause does not define it to be a barber's razor, but describes it as sharper than a barber's razor. The supposition that a sword is denoted does vertainly give force to the passage with reference to the final object of the symbolical action. We have, however, as a general illustration, introduced representations of the three forms of cutting instruments, other than swords (for which see Num. xxxi.), which most frequently occur in Egyptian paintings and sculptures. The word rendered “razor," (nyn taar) is of more limited application to a sharp knife or a razor for shaving. As the Jews allowed their beards to grow, and did not habitually shave their heads like the modern Orientals, there could have been little occasion among them for the use of the razor. Perhaps the allusion in Isa. vii. 20, to “a razor that is hired,” suggests that the suitable implements were so uncommon as to be hired from the persons who possessed them, on those occasions of mourning when it was usual to shave the head; or, as possibly, that there were professional barbers, little as their services were generally required—the employment of the hired barber, being perhaps involved in the hiring of the razor. The operation of shaving the head was probably performed much in the same manner as is now usual in the East, and a representation of which has been given under Jer. xvi. 6. The facility with which this operation is performed by the Oriental barbers, and the soothing sensation which is experienced by the patient, have been described by most travellers whose experience enabled them to do so. The operator rubs the head gently and comfortably with his hand, moistened with water. This he does a considerable time; and then applies the razor, shaving from the top of the head downward. The instrument is generally rude, and not remarkably sharp, as compared with our own; but in consequence of the previous handling of the head, the hair is removed with such extreme ease that the process is scarcely felt, or felt only as an agreeable sensation, by the person subject to it, and who is not roused by it from the gentlest slumber into which he may have been soothed by the preceding part of the operation.
3 And say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear i The judgment of Israel for their idolatry. 8 A the word of the Lord God; Thus saith the remnant shall be blessed 11 The faithful are Lord God to the mountains, and to the hills
, exhorted to lament their calamities.
to the rivers
, and to the valleys; Behold, 1, And the word of the LORD came unto me, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I saying,
will destroy your high places. 2 Son of man, set thy face toward the 4 And your altars shall be desolate, and ‘mountains of Israel, and prophesy against your 'images shall be broken : and I will them,
your slain men before 1 Chap 36. 1. * Or, sun-images, and so verse 6.
5 And I will Play the dead carcases of the 10 And they shall know that I am the children of Israel before their idols; and I LORD, and that I have not said in vain that will scatter your bones round about your I would do this evil unto them. altars.
11 Thus saith the Lord God; Smite 6 In all your dwellingplaces the cities with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot, shall be laid waste, and the high places shall and say, Alas for all the evil abominations be desolate; that your altars may be laid of the house of Israel ! for they shall fall by waste and made desolate, and your idols the sword, by the famine, and by the pestimay be broken and cease, and your images lence. may be cut down, and your works may be
12 He that is far off shall die of the pesabolished.
tilence; and he that is near shall fall by the 7 And the slain shall fall in the midst sword; and he that remaineth and is beof you, and ye shall know that I am the sieged shall die by the famine: thus will i LORD.
accomplish my fury upon them. 8 Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye 13 Then shall ye know that I am the may have some that shall escape the sword LORD, when their slain men shall be among among the nations, when ye shall be scat- their idols round about their altars, upon tered through the countries.
every high hill, in all the tops of the moun9 And they that escape of you shall re- tains, and under every green tree, and under member me among the nations whither they every thick oak, the place where they did shall be carried captives, because I am broken offer sweet savour to all their idols. with their whorish heart, which hath depart- 14 So will I stretch out my hand upon ed from me, and with their eyes, which go a them, and make the land desolate, yea, whoring after their idols: and they shall 'more desolate than the wilderness toward lothe themselves for the evils which they Diblath, in all their habitations: and they have committed in all their abominations. shall know that I am the LORD.
3 Heb. give.
• Chap 90, 17. 5 Or, desolate from the wilderness.
GROUP OF ALTARS.
Verse 11. "Smile with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot.”—This was probably to smite the thigh with the hand, which we know to have been an action of grief (Jer. xxxi
. 19; Ezek. xxi. 12). Stamping with the foot is not elsewhere mentioned as an expression of feeling; but it probably denoted indignation. Grief with indignation are the feelings obvious to the occasion, and which the text indeed expresses.
13. “ Altars.”—The altars of the idolaters are frequently alluded to in Scripture ; and the Hebrews are here and elsewhere severely rebuked for erecting similar altars. Doubtless the Divine indignation is to be referred primarily to
he idolatrous worship to which these borrowed altars were consecrated ; but it is also to be remembered that the altars were in themselves unlawful, the materials, the situation, and even the form of the Lord's own altar having been specially defined, and all others being interdicted. We have therefore thought it might form an instructive illustration to assemble in one engraving, representations of the most prevalent forms which the altars bore among different ancient nations—the Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans-as furnishing probable examples of those which were at different times adopted by the Jews. A Syrian altar has been given under 2 Kings xvi. ; and of that we shall perhaps soon have occasion to speak more particularly. Leaving the representations we now supply to furnish their own information, a few particulars on the general subject may tend to illustrate some of the passages of Scripture which de scribe the use and abuse of altars.
Altars were doubtless the first constructions which men devoted to the service of God. They found it inconvenient to lay their offerings upon the ground, and at first therefore sought natural heaps or elevations for the purpose, and in mountainous countries the tops of the hills were favourite situations. But in plain countries where such elevations could not easily be found, it was obvious to form them by art. Of this it seems to us singularly illustrative that in Persia, which is a very mountainous country, the natives long continued to burn their sacred fires upon the mountains, without altars, whereas in Egypt, which is a level valley, altars were so anciently in use that their origin is commonly ascribed to that country. The altars were at first simple heaps of unhewn stones or earth. But by degrees, when men became idolaters, and associated the power and presence of the object worshipped with the altar at which it was ho noured, this patriarchal simplicity was relinquished. To this however Moses restricted the Israelites (Exod. xx. 24 and the note), and his injunction sufficiently intimates that the change had already taken place. Great diversity then arose in the materials, forms, and ornaments of altars. Every nation seems to have had a great variety of altars, although in each one general form appears to have been more common than any other even when the details differed greatly. This was not so much owing to difference of taste as to the plurality of idols; some forms, ornaments, and materials being considered more proper to particular gods. Hence, even among the heathen, some altars remained of the most simple character. We are told, for instance, that the altar of Jupiter Olympus was nothing but a heap of ashes. There was scarcely any practicable material of which altars were not made. Some were hewn from single large blocks of stone, others were formed of squared stones, and many of precious marbles; some were of brick, others of metal-brass, and even gold-being probably overlaid with the metal like the Hebrew brazen altar and the golden altar of incense: others again are said to have been of wood, even in Greece; but these were not common, neither do those appear to have been so which are described as having been built with the horns of animals curiously interlaced. Moses meutions the “horns of the altars,” but in a different sense, meaning only the salient angles of its platform. The shapes of altars were almost istinitely varied, as well as their dimensions; but the leading forms and proportions will be seen by the figures in our engraving. We may observe however that, to the best of our recollection, no native Oriental antiquities exhibit the round form which appears in one of our Grecian specimeus, though they were probably brought into use by the Greeks of Asia. Altars were generally about three feet high; but some were lower, and some higher, those dedicated to the celestial guds being the highest. The fire-altars of Persia were not intended for sacrifice, but for the sacred fire to burn thereon ; hence perhaps, as the priests had little service to perform at them, they were often made of a height and size which would not have been convenient in an altar for sacrifice. Those grand altars which our engravings exhibit, are cut out of the solid substance of a projecting mass of rock, and stand upon a rocky platform twelve or fourteen feet above the level ground. They grow narrow from the base upward, as do many of the most ancient altars, so that, although the base is a square of four feet six inches, the top is ten inches less. A fire-altar, smaller aud somewhat different in form, may be seen under Job xxxi. Some ancient altars were solid, others were hollow; and most of them had at the top an enclosing ledge to confine the fire and offerings: there was also sometimes a hollow sunk in the platform, and a hole pierced in the side to receive and discharge the libations and the blood of victims. Some of these particulars, of arrangements for convenience, may suggest ideas as to the altars of the tabernacle and temple. There were properly three kinds of altars-that on which the victims were consumed by firethat on which unbloody offerings only were made--and that on which incense only was consumed. The Hebrews had two of these—the altar of burnt offerings, and the altar of incense; and the table of shew bread in some respects answered to the second. The tabernacle altars were portable, and the pagans also had portable altars, which were sometimes of stone, being formed of squared blocks which might be taken asunder and joined together at pleasure. There were also small private altars in almost every house, for the offerings to the household gods. To this there seems some allusion in Scripture, where certainly we read of altars upon the tops of houses. Altars were not by any means confined to temples: they abounded everywhere in and around idolatrous towns- in the fields—the highways—the streets (particularly the cross streets), and in every public place. But upon the hill tops, in groves, and under conspicuous trees, were chosen situations for altars; and how grievou the Hebrews were addicted to the erection of unholy altars in such places, the present verse and a great number of other passages abundantly show. We shall only adú that the altars were usually inscribed with the name or symbols of the god to whom they were dedicated. Many of the altars were otherwise plain ; but others had their sides ornamented with sculptures of gods and genii, or with festal figures of dancers and players on musical instruments. To prevent such things, probably, the use of iron tools was forbidden to those who constructed the Hebrew altars. When a particular deity was to be honoured, it was also usual to deck the altar with boughs and garlands, formed of such plants as were deemed most acceptable to the idol. (See Acts xiv, 13.)
“ Did offer sweet savour to all their idols." — It was a very common act of worship, in all countries, to offer incense to all descriptions of idols. We have already spoken of incense and incense offerings under Exod. xxx.; and as a suitable illustration of the present text which mentions the offering of incense to idols, we here introduce an engraving representing the emperor Trajan offering incense to Diana. It is copied from a bas-relief upon the arch of Constantine, many of the sculptures on which were taken from that of Trajan. This illustration is the more appropriate as Diana answered to that “queen of heaven” (the moon), for incense to whom the apostate Hebrews are severely reproached by the prophets.