« AnteriorContinuar »
Ecce, supercilio clivosi tramitis undam
worn off by time. It is composed of two arcs, which Elicit: illa cadens raucum per levia murmur
being kept open by the machinery in the middle, furnish Saxa ciet, scatebrisque arentia temperat arva.'
the oval frame of the net; but when the bird flies in, and • Him shall I praise, who o'er the new sown earth,
knocks out the pin in the centre, the arcs collapse (as Crumbles the clods that hide the entrusted birth,
shewn in the fig. 4), enclosing the bird in the net. This Freshens with streams that at his pleasure glide,
simple contrivance has not yet fallen into disuse. These And leads their rills that wind from side to side ?
brief explanations may point out the modes of taking 'Mid gasping herbs, when fevered nature dies,
birds which were probably known to the Jews, and some Lo! on yon brow whence bubbling springs arise,
of which were probably practised by themselves, and to The peasant bending o'er the expanse below
which the sacred writers refer when they mention the Directs the channeli'd waters where to flow:
nets and shares of the fowler. Down the smooth rock melodious murmurs glide,
The text may however be regarded in another light, And a new verdure gleams beneath the tide.
as one of many allusions in Scripture to the ancient me
thod by which lions and other wild beasts were captured. 20. • I will spread my net upon him, and he shall be By the mention of their being taken by nets, we are of course taken in my snare.'-- It seems doubtful whether this al- not to understand that such powerful animals are taken in ludes to the methods by which wild beasts were taken, or a net in the same manner as birds and fishes, but that to those employed for the capture of birds. The language they were surrounded and driven into an enclosure formed would seem to refer rather to the latter; and it is certain,
by strong nets or palisades, where, their retreat being from other passages, that the Hebrews caught birds with
arrested, they were easily slain or captured. Spence, in nets and snares. We have therefore considered this a
his Polymetis, has given a good description of this mesuitable opportunity for introducing a representation of thod of hunting. The hunters of forest-beasts surrounded some of the nets and snares employed by the Egyptians, a considerable tract of ground by a circle of nets, and whose paintings and sculptures, many of which exhibit
after contracting that circle by degrees, till they had scenes of hunting and fowling, shew that game of all forced all the beasts of that quarter together into a narkinds was a favourite food of the Egyptians, and the cap
row compass, then it was the slaughter began. This ture of birds a pursuit much followed, as a gainful occu
manner of hunting was pursued in Italy, as well as all pation to some and an amusement to others. The cuts
over the eastern parts of the world; and it was from this we here offer too clearly shew the manner in which the custom that the poets sometimes represent death as surcontrivances acted to require much explanation; and rounding persons with his nets, and as encompassing them they will serve also to indicate how little of novelty
on every side.'
The same allusions occur in Scripture, has been introduced into modern practices. There is particularly in the Psalms, as in Ps. xviii. 5 : The sorscarcely any process now followed which was not known
rows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prein very ancient times. Thus the ancients had not only vented me;' and, still more expressly, in cxl. 5: The traps, nets, and springes, but also bird-lime smeared upon proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have twigs, and made use of stalking.horses, setting dogs, bird- spread a net by the way-side; they have set gins for me.' calls, etc. The Egyptian paintings describe other modes This last clause, referring to gins or traps, probably of taking birds besides those which our cuts exhibit. In alludes to the circumstance, that when the object was to some instances we see them shot with arrows while upon take the wild beasts alive, gaps were sometimes left in the the wing, and in others they are knocked down by sticks enclosure, where traps were set, or pitfalls formed, so that thrown at them, as they perched or flew in the thickets or the animals were taken. marshes. The most striking scenes are however those In the sculptures on the living rock at Takht-i-Bostan, which the water-fowling exhibits, as exercised apparently in Persia, the manner of hunting here mentioned is very by men who supplied the great consumption of the Egyp- clearly represented. A large enclosure is shewn, formed tians in water-fowl, particularly ducks and geese. There apparently of strong poles and curtains, into which the is a painting among the Egyptian antiquities in the Bri
animals are driven by the hunters. The hunters are tish Museum, which shews the mode of operation in a mounted some on elephants and others on horseback. very lively manner. The fowler stands up in a long nar- The elephants remain outside, but the horsemen enter row boat, in which are also a woman and girl, probably with the animals at full speed, and pursue them within his wife and daughter. He is acting against a large num- the enclosure, spearing them (seemingly) and shooting ber of various aquatic birds, with a few land birds among them with arrows. The king is present on a stately them, and it appears to be his object to drive or seduce thein into a net or decoy, or perhaps he is represented as
charger, but does not actively engage in the hunt, unless
a gigantic huntsman in the middle of the field, and sometaking possession of birds already decoyed. The fowler
what resembling him, be a repetition of his figure. There holds three large long-billed birds crect by the legs in his left hand, and in the other grasps something that appears
are present bands of musicians, some standing on the
ground and others seated on platforms. The slain beasts to represent such a loaded instrument as a life preserver,' are dragged outside the enclosure by men in attendance seemingly for the purpose of bringing the birds down.
for the purpose; and, further on, strings of camels are A goose, probably a decoy-bird, stands at the head of the
represented in the act of carrying them away. It is true boat cackling, and as if inviting the wild birds to follow, that in this scene the animals are deer ; but the same plan while a cat is seen near the boat, upon the dry spot where is pursued with others of a more ferocious character. most of the birds are, seizing one of them in its fore- Perhaps the fact that the animals enter at one side alive, paws. We might suppose this animal to be in the fowler's
and are drawn out dead at the other, gives a peculiar force service; but it is as possible that it has escaped from the
to the Scriptural allusions to the subject. The Persians boat against the fowler's intention, as some of the birds were always much addicted to this kind of hunting; and have taken alarm and are in the act of flying off. A if, with some, we thought (but we do not) that Ezekiel simpler scene of water-fowling is shewn in our present was stationed in Persia, his allusions might be derived fig. 1, which is copied from Rosellini, as are the others. from what could not but be frequently brought under his The birds are taken in a large clap-net set in the midst of notice in that country. But there was no necessity for an oval lake, and which four men draw, by means of a this precise corroboration, the practice having been so exstrong cable, on a signal from a man ensconced among ceedingly general in all ages and countries. Some idea the tall plants growing near the lake. The small circular of the enclosures formed on such occasions may be derived net (fig. 2) seems to be a self-acting one, by means of a from the by uo means incredible circumstance related by sort of trap connected with it, so that the birds on coming Plutarch, that when the Macedonian conquerors were in in contact with it close the net upon themselves. Fig. 3 Persia, Philotas the son of Parmenio had hunting-nets is very similar to fig. 2, except that it is oval; and it had that would enclose the space of a hundred furlongs. The in like manner a net in the painting, which has been Oriental sovereigns have sometimes employed whole
armies in this sort of hunting, in which, however, the enclosure was formed by the persons of a vast host of men, forming a thick circular hedge many leagues in circumference, and enclosing forests, plains, and rivers. The men being formed, would march on, and as they marched of course contracted their circle, till they had driven all the beasts before them within a spot which had been previously determined. Till this no animals were killed, the soldiers being forbidden to kill or wound any beast whatever violence it might offer. But when the beasts of va. rious kinds were driven within the limits, the king entered the circle, attended by princes and military chiefs, and himself commenced the slaughter, after which he withdrew to an eminence whence he could behold the prowess of his sons and nobles. When they had satisfied themselves, the young soldiers were allowed to take their place
in the circle, and committed great slaughter among the multitude of animals there collected, until at last the young princes and lords made suit to the sovereign that the remaining beasts should have their lives and liberty granted to them; and this being allowed, those which had escaped the arrows and scimitars of the military hunters were suffered to withdraw and regain their forests and dens. (See the account in Ranking's Researches, of the grand hunting match of Genghiz Khan, in the year 1221.) The military character given to these expeditions, and the scale on which the royal huntings were conducted, made these affairs images of war in a very striking degree; and hence the description which the Scripture gives of the results of war by those of hunting are very remarkably appropriate.
2 What mean ye, that ye use this proverb 1 God reproveth the unjust parable of sour grapes.
concerning the land of Israel, saying, The 5 He sheweth how he dealeth with the just father :
'fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the chil10 with a wicked son of a just father : 14 with a
dren's teeth are set on edge ? just son of a wicked father : 19 with a wicked man 3 As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall repenting : 24 with a just man revolting. 25 He
not have occasion any more to use this proverb defendeth his justice, 31 and exhorteth to repent- in Israel.
4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul The word of the LORD came unto me again, of the father, so also the soul of the son is saying,
mine : the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
1 Jer, 31. 29.
5 9 But if a man be just, and do that oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and which is lawful and right,
did that which is not good among his people, 6 And hath not eaten upon the mountains, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity. neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of 19 [ Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son the house of Israel, neither hath 'defiled his bear the iniquity of the father? When the neighbour's wife, neither hath come near to 'a son hath done that which is lawful and right, menstruous woman,
and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done 7 And hath not 'oppressed any, but hath them, he shall surely live. restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled 20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. none by violence, hath 'given his bread to the 1*The son shall not bear the iniquity of the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a father, neither shall the father bear the garment;
iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the 8 He that hath not given forth upon usury, righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedneither hath taken any increase, that hath ness of the wicked shall be
him. withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath exe- 21 | But if the wicked will turn from all cuted true judgment between man and man, his sins that he hath committed, and keep all
9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath my statutes, and do that which is lawful kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, and right, he shall surely live, he shall not he shall surely live, saith the Lord Gop. die.
10 9 If he beget a son that is a 'robber, a 22 All his transgressions that he hath comshedder of blood, and ''that doeth the like to mitted, they shall not be mentioned unto him : any one of these things,
in his righteousness that he hath done he shall 11 And that doeth not any of those duties, live. but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and 23 "Have I any pleasure at all that the defiled his neighbour's wife,
wicked should die ? saith the Lord God: 12 Hath oppressed the poor and needy, and not that he should return from his ways, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the and live? pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the 24 But when the righteous turneth idols, hath committed abomination,
away from his righteousness, and committeth 13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath iniquity, and doeth according to all the abotaken increase : shall he then live ? he shall minations that the wicked man doeth, shall he not live: he hath done all these abominations ; live? All his righteousness that he hath done he shall surely die ; his "blood shall be upon shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that him.
he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath 14 1 Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth sinned, in them shall he die. all his father's sins which he hath done, and 25 1 Yet ye say, ''The way of the Lord considereth, and doeth not such like,
is not equal." Hear now, O house of Israel ; ; 15 That hath not eaten upon the moun- Is not my way equal ? are not your ways untains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the equal ? idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled 26 When a righteous man turneth away his neighbour's wife,
from his righteousness, and committeth ini16 Neither hath oppressed any, "hath not quity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that withholden the pledge, neither bath spoiled he hath done shall he die. by violence, but hath given his bread to the 27 Again, when the wicked man turneth hungry, and hath covered the naked with a away from his wickedness that he hath comgarment,
mitted, and doeth that which is lawful and 17 That hath taken off his hand from the right, he shall save his soul alive. poor, that hath not received usury nor in- 28 Because he considereth, and turneth crease, hath executed my judgments, hath away from all his transgressions that he hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for committed, he shall surely live, he shall not the iniquity of his father, he shall surely die. live.
29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way 18 As for his father, because lie cruelly of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel,
2 Heb. judgment and justice.
3 Levit. 18. 20.
4 Levit. 18. 19, and 20. 18. 5 Exod. 22. 21. Levit. 19. 15, and 25. 14, 6 Exod. 22. 26. Deut. 24. 12.
7. Deut. 15. 7. Isa. 58. 7. Matt. 25. 35, 8 Exod. 22. 25, Levit. 25, 36, 37. Deut. 23. 19. Psal. 15. 5.
9. Or, breaker up of an house. 10 Or, that doeth to his brother besides any of these.
11 Heb. bloods. 19 Heb. hath not pledged the pledge, or, taken to pledge, 13 Deut. 24. 16. 2 Kings 14. 6. 2 Chron, 25, 4. Jer. 31. 29. 14 Chap. 33. 1. 15 Chap. 33. 20.
are not my ways equal ? are not your ways 31 | Cast
all unequal ?
gressions, whereby ye have transgressed ; and
. 30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of make you a new heart and a ''new spirit: for Israel, every one according to his ways, saith why will ye die, 0 house of Israel ? the Lord God. "Repent, and turn "your1°
32 For "I have no pleasure in the death selves from all your transgressions ; so ini- of him that dieth, saith the Lord God : wherequity shall not be your ruin.
fore turn yourselves, and live ye. 17 Or, others. 18 Jer. 32. 39. Chap. 11. 19, and 36. 26. 19 Chap. 33. 11. 2 Pet. 3. 9. 20 Or, others.
16 Matt. 3. 2.
Verse 8. • He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase.'-Jerome, in his comment on this text, says, that men used to exact usury for the loan of corn, wine, oil, millet, and other products of the ground,
lending ten bushels in winter on condition of receiving fifteen in harvest--that is, the whole and half as much
This was expressly forbidden by our Lord in Luke vi. 35.
their net over him : he was taken in their
pit. 1 A lamentation for the princes of Israel, under the parable of lions' whelps taken in a pit, 10 and for
9 And they put him in ward 'in chains, Jerusalem, under the parable of a wasted vine. and brought him to the king of Babylon :
they brought him into holds, that his voice MOREOVER take thou up a lamentation for should no more be heard upon the mountains the princes of Israel,
of Israel. 2 And say, What is thy mother ? А 10 9 Thy mother is like a vine 'in thy lioness: she lay down among lions, she nou- blood, planted by the waters: she was fruitrished her whelps among young lions. .
ful and full of branches by reason of many 3 And she brought up one of her whelps : waters. it became a young lion, and it learned to 11 And she had strong rods for the sceptres catch the prey; it devoured men.
of them that bare rule, and her stature was 4 The nations also heard of him; he was exalted among the thick branches, and she taken in their pit, and they brought him with appeared in her height with the multitude of chains unto the land of 'Egypt.
her branches. 5 Now when she saw that she had waited, 12 But she was plucked up in fury, she was and her hope was lost, then she took another cast down to the ground, and the east wind of her whelps, and made him a young lion.
. dried up her fruit : her strong rods were 6 And he went up and down among the broken and withered; the fire consumed lions, he became a young lion, and learned to them. catch the prey, and devoured men.
13 And now she is planted in the wilder7 And he knew 'their desolate palaces, and ness, in a dry and thirsty ground. he laid waste their cities; and the land was 14 And fire is gone out of a rod of her desolate, and the fulness thereof, by the noise branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so of his roaring.
that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to 8 Then the nations set against him on rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for every side from the provinces, and spread a lamentation. | 2 Kings 23. 34. Jer. 22. 11, 12. 2 Or, their widows.
4 Or, in thy quietness, or, in thy likeness.
3 Or, in hooks. 5 Hos, 23. 15.
Verse 3. 'One of her whelps.'--Jehoahaz, son of Josiah, is intended, whom Pharaoh-necho 'put into bonds' and took into Egypt, 2 Kings xxiii. 33, 34.
4. · Brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt.'This lion's whelp was therefore Jehoahaz, who was carried prisoner into Egypt by Pharaoh-necho. See the history, 2 Kings xxi. 31-33.
5. Another of her whelps' —Jehoiakim, who was made king in his brother's stead by the king of Egypt.
9. Brought him to the king of Babylon. It seems to be disputed whether this was Jehoiakim or his son Jeconiah. As, however, the former immediately succeeded Jehoahaz, being made king in his room by Pharaoh
necho, and reigned many years, whereas the latter reigned
the sense of this. we may perhaps admit, as probable, the kings appears to have varied at different times. It has conjecture on which several m_dern translators have pro- been inferred from 1 Sam. xviii. 10; xxii. 6, that the ceeded, that, by a mistake of similar letters, 797), ' in sceptre of Saul was a spear; and if so it was doubtless thy blood,' has been read instead of 1973, like a pome- distinguished from common spears by its size or orna. granate.' This proposed emendation results in a double ments. Possibly it was the war sceptre, while the rod comparison : Thy mother is like a vine, like a pome- was the sceptre of peace. There was anciently some disgranate, planted by the waters.'— The connection is natural, as the vine and pomegranate do not thrive in dry situations. In Georgia we have seen wild vines and pomegranates growing together on the banks of the same streams. This observation perhaps supports the suggested interpretation.
10. • Fruitful and full of branches, by reason of many waters.' -In warm countries the vine is said to grow most luxuriantly in a situation which is near the water ; but it is generally allowed that the flavour of the grapes from vines in such a situation is much inferior to that of grapes growing in a dry soil.
11. ' Strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule.' – The pastoral rod of the shepherd appears to have suggested the first use of a rod as a symbol of authority and rule; and was the more appropriate, as the early con. dition of superior power was compared to and illustrated by that which a shepherd exercises over his flock, and hence kings and chiefs were wont to be called, as well
GROUP OF ANCIENT EGYPTIAN SCEPTRES. among the heathen as the Hebrews, shepherds' of their people. In the Pentateuch we see that not only Moses tinction of this kind; thus, in Egypt, while the common and Aaron, but all the chiefs of tribes, were distinguished forms were such as appear in all the other figures in our by their rods-doubtless as insignia of their rank. These engraving, the war sceptre was sometimes a massive mace, were, then, the sceptres of very ancient times, and, from of the form shewn in one of the figures, and bearing, as the present text, appear to have continued such till the will be seen, more resemblance than any other to the time of Ezekiel, when, however, they may have, and pro- modern sceptres. That, on a similar principle of distincbably had, become walking staves of a distinctive fashion. tion, a spear should be used for a sceptre by kings when Such are some of those which our present cut exhibits with their armies, is highly probable. Indeed we are after Egyptian figures; the distinction being, in these, told by Justin that the old kings of Rome wore no diachiefly in the form given to the head of the rod : and such dems to mark their dignity, but carried spears, which the are those which the Persepolitan sculptures display in Greeks called sceptres.' He adds, as a reason, that, from the hands of the king, being a tall and straight staff sur- the earliest times, the ancients revered spears as immortal mounted by a round head, and used by the monarch as a divinities, and that it was in memory of this ancient walking staff. This
may be seen in the cuts to Ezra i. worship that spears continued to be represented in the It is true that the Persian sceptre, the form of which is hands of the immortal gods. (Hist. 1. xliii. c. 3.) All thus shewn, is said to be of gold, in Esther, which Xe- this means, we suppose, that as the spear seems to have nophon confirms: but by this we are probably to under- been one of the earliest weapons of war that was invented, stand that it was covered or studded with gold, or had a men originally, before statuary was practised, made it golden head. Rods served for sceptres to the kings leagued the symbol or representative of the god in whom they against Troy (see the passage cited from the Iliad in the chiefly trusted. Under the same idea, the Scythians are note to Num. xvii.); but we understand from Homer that said to have worshipped a sword as the representative of they were adorned with studs and rings of gold.
the god of war. As might be expected, the sceptre among the Hebrew
As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be
enquired of by you. I God refuseth to be consulted by the elders of Israel. 5 He sheweth the story of their rebellions in Egypt,
4 Wilt thou judge them, son of man, 10 in the wilderness, 27 and in the land. 33 He wilt thou judge them ? cause them to know promiseth to gather them by the Gospel. 45 Under the abominations of their fathers : the name of a forest he sheweth the destruction of 5 And say unto them, Thus saith the Jerusalem.
Lord God; In the day when I chose Israel, And it came to pass in the seventh year, in and 'lifted up mine hand unto the seed of the the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, house of Jacob, and made myself ‘known unto that certain of the elders of Israel came them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up to enquire of the LORD, and sat before mine hand unto them, saying, I am the LORD me.
2 Then came the word of the LORD unto 6 In the day that I lifted up mine hand me, saying,
unto them, to bring them forth of the land of 3 Son of man, speak unto the elders of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory Lord God; Are ye come to enquire of me? of all lands :
1 Or, plead for them. 2 Chap. 22. 2, and 23. 36. 3 Or, sware. And so verso 6, &c. * Exod. 3. 8, and 4. 31.