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The Egyptians mourn
for Jacob seventy days. A. M. 2315. 3 And forty days were fulfilled Egyptians mourned for
e for him A. M. 2315. B. C. 1689.
B. C. 1699. for him; (for so are fulfilled the threescore and ten days. days of those which are embalmed:), and the 4 And when the days of his mourning were a Heb. wept.
e Num. xx. 29; Deut. xxxiv. 8. Having so done, they salt it up close with nitre seventy taught that art by their ancestors. These, showing days, for longer they may not salt it. After this num- each kind of burial, ask them after what manner they ber of-days are over they wash the corpse again, and will have the body prepared. When they have agreed then roll it up with fine linen, all besmeared with a sort upon the manner, they deliver the body to such as are of gum, commonly used by the Egyptians instead of usually appointed for this office. First, he who has glue. Then is the body restored to its relations, who the name of scribe, laying it upon the ground, marks prepare a wooden coffin for it in the shape and likeness about the flank on the left side how much is to be cut of a map, and then put the embalmed body into it, and away; then he who is called mapaoxLotns, paraschistes, thus enclosed, place it in a repository in the house, set- the cutter or dissector, with -an Ælltopic stone, 'euts ting it upright against the wall. After this manner away as much of the flesh as the law commands, and they, with great expense, preserve their dead; whereas presently runs away as fast as he can; those who are those who to avoid too great a charge desire a medi- present, pursuing him, cast stones at him, and curse ocrity, thus embalm them: they neither cut the belly him, hereby turning all the execrations which they nor pluck out the entrails, but fill it with clysters of oil imagine due to his office upon him. For whosoever of cedar injected up the anus, and then salt it the afore- offers violence, wounds, or does any kind of injury to said number of days. On the last of these they press a body of the same nature with himself, they think out the cedar clyster by the same way they had in him worthy of hatred.: but those who are tapıyevra, jected it, which has such virtue and efficacy that it taricheutæ, the embalmers, they esteem worthy of hobrings out along with it the bowels wasted, and the nour and respect; for they are familiar with their priests, nitre consumes the flesh, leaving only the skin and and go into the temples as holy men, without any probones : having thus done, they restore the dead body hibition. As soon as they come to embalm the disto the relations, doing nothing more. The third way sected body, one of them thrusts his hand through the of embalming is for those of yet meaner circumstances; wound into the abdomen, and draws forth all the bowels they with lotions wash the belly, then dry it up with but the heart and kidneys, which another washes, and salt for seventy days, and afterwards deliver it to be cleanses with wine made of palms and aromatic odours.
Nevertheless, beautiful women and Lastly; having washed-the body, they anoint it with oil ladies of quality were not delivered to be embalmed of cedar and other things for about thirty days, and till three or four days after they had been dead;" for afterwards with myrrh, cinnamon, and other such like which Herodotus assigns a sufficient reason, however matters, which have not only a power to preserve it a degrading to human nature : Touto de Toitovoi ovrw long time, but also give it a sweet smell ; after which τουδε είνεκα, ίνα μη σφι οι ταριχευται μισγωνται τησι | they deliver it to the kindred in such manner that γυναιξι: λαμφθηναι γαρ τινα φασι μισγομενον νεκρω προσ- every member remains whole and entire, and no part patu yuvalkos• Katelial de Tov oplotexvov. [The ori- of it changed, but the beauty and shape of the face ginal should not be put into a plainer language; the seem just as they were before ; and the person may abomination to which it refers being too gross.] “But be known, even the eyebrows and eyelids remaining as if any stranger or Egyptian was either killed by a they were at first. By this means many of the Egypcrocodile or drowned in the river, the city where he tians, keeping the dead bodies of their ancestors in was cast up was to embalm and bury him honourably, magnificent houses, so perfectly see the true visage and in the sacred monuments, whom no one, no, not a re- countenance of those that died many ages before they lation or friend, but the priests of the Nile only, might themselves were born, that in viewing the proportions touch; because they bụried one who was something of every one of them, and the lineaments of their more than a dead man.”—HEROD. Euterpe, p. 120, faces, they take as much delight as if they were still ed. Gale.
| living among them. Moreover, the friends and nearest Diodorus Siculus relates the funeral ceremonies relations of the deceased, for the greater pomp of the of the Egyptians more distinctly and clearly, and solemnity, acquaint the judges and the rest of their with some very remarkable additional circumstances. friends with the time prefixed for the funeral or 'day “When any one among the Egyplians dies,” says he, of sepulture, declaring that such a one (calling the “all his relations and friends, putting dirt upon their dead by his name) is such a day to pass the lake ; at heads, go lamenting about the eity, till such time as the which time above forty judges appear, and sit together body shall be buried : in the meantime, they abstain in a semicircle, in a place prepared on the hither side from baths and wine, and all kinds of delicate meats; of the lake, where a ship, provided beforehand by such neither do they, during that time, wear any costly ap- as have the care of the business, haled up to the .parel. The manner of their burials is threefold: one shore, and steered by a pilot whom the Egyptians in very costly, a second sort less chargeable, and a third their language called Charon. Hence they say Orvery mean. In the first, they say, there is spent a pheus, upon seeing this ceremony while he was in talent of silver; in the second, twenty minæ ; but in Egypt, invented the fable of hell, partly imitating the last there is very little expense. Those who have therein the people of Egypt, and partly adding somethe care of ordering the body are such as have been what of his own. The ship being thus brought to the 274
B. C. 1689.
Joseph goes up to Canaan
to bury his father. A. M. 2315. past, Joseph spake unto f the house 7 And Joseph went up to bury his A. M-2315. B. C. 1689.
of Pharaoh, saying, If now I have father; and with him went up all found grace in your eyes, speak, I pray you, the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying,
and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 5.5 My father made me swear, saying, Lo, 8 And all the house of Joseph, and his I die : in my grave which I have digged for brethren, and his father's house only their me, in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, bury me. Now, therefore, let me go up, I they left in the land of Goshen. pray thee, and bury my father, and I will 9 And there went up with him both chariots come again.
and horsemen : and it was a very great com. 6 And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy pany. father, according as he made thee swear. 10 And they came to the threshing-floor of (Esth. iv. 2.- Chap. xlvii. 29.
h 2 Chroni xvi. 14; Isa. xxii. 16; Matt. xxvii. 60. lake side, before the coffin is put on board every one balming; afterwards it lay in natron thirty days more, is at liberty by the law to accuse the dead of what he making in the whole seventy days, according to the thinks him guilty. If any one proves he was a bad preceding accounts, during which the mourning was man, the judges give sentence that the body shall be continued. deprived of sepulture ; but in case the informer be Verse 4. Speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh] convicted of false accusation, then he is severely pun- But why did not Joseph apply himself? Because he ished. If no accuser appear, or the information prove was now in his mourning habits, and in such none false, then, all the kindred of the deceased leave off must appear in the presence of the eastern monarchs. mourning, and begin to set forth his praises, yet say See Esth. iv. 2.. nothing of his birth, '(as the custom is among the Verse 7. The elders of his house] Persons who, Greeks,) because the Egyptians all think themselves by reason of their age, had acquired much experiences equally noble; but they recount how the deceased was and who on this account were deemed the best qualieducated from his youth and brought up to man's estate, fied to conduct the affairs of the king's household. exalting his piety towards the gods, and justice towards Similar to these were the Ealdormen, Eldermen, or men, his chastity, and other virtues wherein he excel-Aldermen, among our Saxon ancestors, who were senaled i and lastly pray and call upon the infernal deities tors and peers of the realm. (TOUS KOTW sous, the gods below) to receive him into The funeral procession of Jacob must have been the societies of the just. The common people take truly grand. Joseph, his brethren and their descendo this from the others, and consequently all is said in his ants, the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, praise by a loud shout, setting forth likewise his vir and all the elders all the principal
' men, of the land tues in the highest strains of commendation, as one of Egypt, with chariots and horsemen, must have apă that is to live for ever with the infernal gods. Then peared a very great company indeed. We have seen those that have tombs of their own inter the corpse in LORDS, for their greater honour, buried at the public places appointed for that purpose ; and they that have expense; and all the male branches of the royal family, none rear up the body in its coffin against some strong as well as the most eminent men of the nation, join in wall of their house. But such as are denied sepul- the funeral procession, as in the case of the late-Lord ture on account of some crime or debt, are lạid up at Nelson; but what was all this in comparison of the home without coffins ; yet when it shall afterwards funeral solemnity now before us ?' Here was no conhappen that any of their posterity grows rich, he com- queror, no mighty man of valout, no person of proud monly pays off the deceased person's debts, and gets descent; here was only a plain man, who had dwelt his crimes absolved, and so buries him honourably; for almost all his life long in tents, without any other the Egyptians are wont to boast of their parents and subjects than his cattle, and whose kingdom was not ancestors that were honourably buried. It is a custom of this world. Behold this man honoured by a nalikewise among them to pawn the dead bodies of their tional mourning, and by a national funeral! It may parents to their creditors; but then those that do not be said indeed that “all this was done out of respect redeem them fall under the greatest disgrace imagin- |-to Joseph.” Be it so ; why was Joseph thus respecto able, and are denied burial themselves at their deaths.” | ed? Was it because he had conquered nations, had ---Diod. Sic. Biblioth., lib. i., cap. 91–93., edit. Bi- made his sword drunk with blood, had triumphed over pont. See also the Necrokedia, or Art of. Embalm- the enemies of Egypt? NO! But because he had ing, by. Greenhill; 4to., p. 241, who endeavoured in saved men alive ; because he was the king's faithful vain to recommend and restore the art. But he could servant, the rich man's counsellor, and the poor man's not give his countrymen Egyptian manners ; for a friend. He was á national blessings and the nation dead carcass-is to the British an object of horror, and mourns in his affliction, and unites to do him honour. scarcely any, except a surgeon or an undertaker,.cares Verse 10. The threshing-floor of Atad] As: Tox to touch it.
atad signifies a bramble or thorn, it has been underVerse 3. Forty daya] The body it appears required stood. by the Arabic, not as a man's name, but as the this number of days to complete the process of em- name of a place; but all the other versions and the
B C 1689
B. C. 1689.
Jacob is buried in the
cave of Machpelah. A. M. 2315. Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and of Canaan, and buried him in the A. M. 2315.
there they 'mourned with a great cave of the field of Machpelah, and very sore lamentation : k and he made a (which Abraham bought with the field, for mourning for his father seven days.
possession of a burying-place, of Ephron the 11 And when the inhabitants of the land, Hittite,) before Mamre. the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor 14 And Josephi returned into Egypt, he of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourn- and his brethren, and all that went up with ing to the Egyptians : wherefore the name of him to bury his father, after he had buried it was called i Abel-mizraim, which is beyond his father. Jordan.
15 And when Joseph's brethren saw that 12 And his sons did unto him according as their father was dead,,° they said, Joseph will he commanded thein :
peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite 13 For m his sons carried him into the land us all the evil which we did unto him.
i 2 Sam. i. 17; Acts viii. 2.-kl Sam. xxxi. 13; Job ii. 13.
1 That is, the mourning of the Egyptians.
m Chapter xlix. 29, 30; Acts yij. 16.
• Job xv. 21, 22.
Chapter xxiii. 16.
Targums consider it as the name of a man. Thresh- In a kind of politico-religious institution formed by ing-floors were always in a field, in the open air; and his late majesty Ferdinand IV., king of Naples and Alad was probably what we would call a great farmer the Sicilies, I find the following rational institute relaor chief of some clan or tribe in that place. · Jerome tive to this point : “ There shall be no mourning among supposed the place to have been about two leagues you but only on the death of a father, mother, husband, from Jericho ; but we have no certain information on or wife. To render to these the last duties of affecthis point. The funeral procession stopped here, pro- tion, children, wives, and husbands only shall be
perbably as affording pasturage to their cattle while they mitted to wear a sign or emblem of grief: a man mây observed the seven days' mourning which terminated wear acrape tied round his right arm; a woman, a black the funeral solemnities, after which nothing remained handkerchief around her neck; and this in both cases but the interment of the corpse. The mourning of the for only two months at the most.". Is there a purpose ancient Hebrews was usually of seven days' continu- which religion, reason, or decency' can demand that ance, Num. xix. 19; 1 Sam. xxxi. 13; though on would not be answered by such external mourning as certain occasions it was extended to thirty days, Num. this? Only such relatives as the above, brothers and xx. 29 ; Deut. xxi. 13 ; xxxiv. 8, but never longer. sisters being included, can mourn ; all others make The seventy days' mourning mentioned above was that only a part of the dumb hypocritical show. of the Egyptians, and was rendered necessary by the Verse 12. And his sons did unto him This and long process of embalming, which obliged them to keep the thirteenth verse have been supposed by Mr. Locke the body out of the grave for seventy days' as we and others to belong to the conclusion of the preceding learn both from Herodotus and Diodorus. Seven days chapter, in which connection they certainly read more by the order of God a man 'was to mourn for his dead, consistently than they do here. because during that time he was considered as unclean ; Verse 15. Saw that their father was dead] This at but when those were finished he was to purify him- once argues both a sense of guilt in their own conself, and consider the morning as ended; Num. xix. sciences, and a want of confidence in their brother. 11, 19.
Thus God gave seven days, in some cases They might have supposed that hitherto he had forthirty, to mourn in : man, ever in his own estimation borne to punish them merely on their father's account; wiser than the word of God, has added eleven whole but now that he was dead, and Joseph having them months to the term, which nature itself pronounces to completely in his power, they imagined that he would be absurd, because it is incapable of supporting grief take vengeance on them for their former conduct tofor such a time; and thus mourning is now, except in wards him. the first seven or thirty days, a mere solemn ill-con- Thus conscience records criminality; and, by giving ducted FARCE, a grave mimicry, a vain show, that con- birth to continual fears and doubtfulness, destroys all victs itself of its own hypocrisy. Who will rise up peace of mind, security, and confidence. On this suhon the side of God and common sense, and restore be-ject an elegant poet has spoken with his usual point coming sorrow on the death of a relative to decency and discernment :of garb-and moderation in its continuance? Suppose the near relatives of the deceased were to be allowed Exemplo quodcumque maló committitur, ipsi seven days of seclusion from society, for the purpose
Displicet auctori. Prima est hæc utio, quod se of meditating on death and eternity, and after this to
Judice nemo nocens absolvitur, improba quamvis appear in a mourning habit for thirty days ; every im
Gratia fallaci Prætoris vicerit urna. portant end would be accomplished, and hypocrisy,
Juv. Sat. xiii. 1, &c. the too common attendant of man, be banished, espe- Happily metaphrased by Mr. Dryden ;cially from that part of his life in which deep sincerity is not less becoming than in the most solemn act of He that commits a fault shall quickly find his religious intercourse with God.
The pressing guilt lie heavy on his mind.
B. C. 1635.
Joseph's brethren ask forgiveness. CHAP. L.
Joseph's last charge to them. A. M. 2315. 16 And they P sent a messenger nourish you,
little ones. A. M. 2315. B. C. 1689.
B. C. 1689. unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did And he comforted them, and spake command before he died, saying,
y kindly unto them. 17. So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I 22 And Joseph-dwelt in Egypt, A. M. 2309 pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, he, and his father's house : and and their sin ; " for they did unto thee evil : Joseph lived a hundred and ten years. and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass 23 And Joseph saw Ephraim's children? of of the servants of the God of thy father. the third generation : a the children also of And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. Machir, the son of Manasseh, . were e brought
18 And his brethren also went and s fell up upon Joseph's knees. down before his face; and they said, Behold, 24 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I we be thy servants.
die: and God will surely visit you, and 19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: bring you out of this land, unto the land for am I in the place of God?
which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and 20 But as for you, ye thought evil against to Jacob. me; but w God meant it unto good, to bring 25. And Joseph took an oath of the chil. to pass, as it is this day, to save much people dren of Israel, saying, God will surely visit alive.
you, and ye shall carry up my bones from 21 Now therefore fear ye not : I will hence..
P Heb. charged.- -9 Prov. xxviii. 13. Chap. xlix. 25. » Heb. to their hearts ; chap: xxxiv. 3. _ Job xlii. 16. Chap. xxxvii. 7, 10. :- Chap. xlv. 5.- Lu Deut. xxxii. 35; a Num. xxxii, 39,- Chap. xxx. 3.- Heb. borne. Job xxxiv. 29; Rom. xii. 19; Heb. x. 30; 2 Kings v. 7.-Psa. xv. 14; xlvi. 4; xlviii. 21; Exod. iii. 16, 17; Heb. xi. 22. Ivi. 5; Isaiah x. 7.-# Chapter xlv. 5, 7; Acts iii. 13, 14, 15. Chap. xv. 14; xxvi. 3; xxxv. 12; xlvi. 4. - Exod. xiii. 19; * Chap. xlvii. 12; Matt. v. 44.
Josh. xxiv. 32; Acts vii. 16. Though bribes or favour shall assert his cause, as therefore God had honoured him by making him Pronounce him guiltless, and elude the laws, vicegerent in the dispensations of his especial bounty None quits himself; his own impartial thought towards so many people, it was impossible he should Will damn, and conscience will record the fault.. be displeased with the means by which this was This, first, the wicked feels.
brought about. We have seen this in the preceding history often Verse 22. Joseph dwelt in Egypt] Continued in exemplified in the case of Joseph's brethren. - Egypt after his return from Canaan till his death; he,
Verse 16. Thy father did command] Whether he and his father's house--all the descendants of Israel, did or not we cannot tell. Some think they had till the exodus or departure under the direction of feigned this story, but that is not so likely. Jacob Moses and Aaron, which was one hundred and fortymight have had suspicions too, and might have thought four years after. that the best way to prevent evil was to humble them- Verse 23. Were brought up upon Joseph's knees.) selves before their brother, and get a fresh assurance They were educated by hím, or under his direction ; his of his forgiveness.
sons and their children continuing to aeknowledge him - Verse 17. The servants of the God of thy father.] as patriarch, or head of the family, as long as he lived. These words were wonderfully well chosen, and spo- Verse 24. Joseph said I die] That is, I am dying ; ken in the most forcible manner to Joseph's piety and and God will surely visit you-he will yet again give filial affection. No wonder then that he wept when yoụ, in the time when it shall be essentially necessary, they spake to him.
the most signal proof of his unbounded love towards Verse 19. Am I in the place of God ?] These the seed of Jacob. words may be understood either as a question, or an And bring you out of this land] Though ye have affirmative proposition. How should I take any far- here every thing that can render life comfortable, yet ther notice of your transgression! I have passed it this is not the typical land, the land given by covenant, by, the matter lies now between God and you. Or, the land which represents the rest that remains for the In the order of Divine providence I am now in God's people of God. place,; he has furnished me with means, and made Verse 25. Ye shall carry up my bones] That I may me a distributor of his bounty ; I will therefore not finally rest with my ancestors in the land which God only nourish you, but also your little ones, ver. 21 : gave to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and which and therefore he spake comfortably unto them, as in is a pledge as it is a type of the kingdom of heaven. chap. xlv. 8, telling them that he attributed the whole Thus says the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, business to the particular providence of God rather chap. xi. 22: “By Faith Joseph, when he died, than to any ill will or malice in them, and that, in (Teevrwv, when dying,) made mention of the deparpermitting him to be brought into Egypt, God had ture (@godov, of the Exodus) of the children of Israel ; graciously saved their lives, the life of their father, and gave commandment concerning his bones." From the lives of the people of Canaan, and of the Egyptians : this it is evident that Joseph considered all these
Joseph dies, is embalmed,
and put in a coffin in Egypt 26 So Joseph died, being a hun. Kembalmed him, and he was put A. M. 2369 dred and ten years old : and they in a coffin in Egypt.
A. M. 2369.
B. C. 1635.
6 Genesis, chap. L. 2.
things as typical, and by this very commandment of Joseph that he was not only embalmed, but was
swathed, after which they laid them one by the side Verse 26. Joseph died, being a hundred and ten of the other, without any ceremony. Some were even years old) d'uv yi 7x23 ja ven meah vaeser shanim ; put into these tombs without any embalming at all, or literally, the son of a hundred and ten years. Here with such a slight one that there remains nothing of the period of time he lived is personified, all the years them in the linen in which they were wrapped but the of which it was composed being represented as a bones, and these half rotten. It is probable that each nurse or father, feeding, nourishing, and supporting considerable family had one of these burial-places to him to the end. This figure, which is termed by themselves; that the niches were designed for the rhetoricians prosopopæia, is very frequent in Scripture ; bodies of the heads of the family; and that those of and by this virtues, vices, forms, attributes, and quali- their domestics and slaves had no other care taken of ties, with every part of inanimate nature, are repre- them than merely laying them in the ground after sented as endued with reason and speech, and perform- being slighty embalmed, and sometimes even without ing all the actions of intelligent beings.
that; which was probably all that was done to heads They embalmed him] See on ver, 2. The same of families of less distinction.'—Lett. 7, p. 281. The precaations were taken to preserve his body as to same author gives an account of a mode of burial preserve that of his father Jacob; and this was parti- anciently practised in that country, which has been cularly necessary in his case, because his body was but recently discovered : it consisted. in placing the to be carried to Canaan 'a hundred and forty-four bodies, after they were swathed up, on a layer of charyears after; which was the duration of the Israelites' coal, and covering them with a mat, under a bed of bondage after the death of Joseph.
sand seven or eight feet deep. And he was put in a coffin in Egypt.). On this “ Hence it seems, evident that coffins were not subject I shall subjoin some useful remarks from universally used in Egypt, and were only used for Harmer's Observations, which several have borrowed persons of eminence and distinction. It is also reawithout acknowledgment. I quote my own edition of sonable to believe that in times so remote as those of this Work, vol. iii., p. 69, &e. Lond. 1808.
Joseph they might have been much less common than “ There were some methods of honouring the dead afterwards, and that consequently Joseph's being put which demand our attention ; the being put into a in a coffin in Egypt might be mentioned with a de. coffin has been in particular considered as a mark of sign to express the great honours the Egyptians did distinction.
him in death, as well as in life ; being treated after " With
us the poorest people have their coffins ; if the most sumptuous manner, embalmed, and put inta the relations cannot afford them, the parish is at the a coffin.” expense. In the east, on the contrary, they are not It is no objection to this account that the widow always used, even in our times. The ancient Jews of Nain's son is represented as carried forth to be probably buried their dead in the same manner : buried in a copos or bier ; for the present inhabitants neither was the body of our Lord put in a coffin, nor of the Levant, who are well known to lay their dead that of Elisha, whose bones were touched by the in the earth uninclosed, carry them frequently out to corpse that was let down a little after into his se- burial in a kind of coffin, which is not deposited in the pulchre, 2 Kings xiii. 21. That coffins were anciently grave, the body being taken out of it, and placed in used in Egypt, all agree; and antique coffins of stone the grave in a reclining posture. It is probable that and of sycamore wood are still to be seen in that the coffins used at Nain were of the same kind, being country, not to mention those said to be made of a intended for no other purpose but to carry the body to sort of pasteboard, formed by folding and gluing cloth the place of interment, the body itself being buried together a great number of times, curiously plastered, without them. and then painted with hieroglyphics.
It is very probable that the chief difference was “As it was an ancient Egyptian custom, and was not in being with or without a coffin, but in the expennot used in the neighbouring countries, on these ac- siveness of the coffin itself; some of the Egyptian counts the sacred historian was doubtless led to observe coffins being made of granite, and covered all over