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there was some method of grinding the grain. We will not say that they separated the flour from the bran, as they probably lived on Graham principles. xvi. 12; xxxvii. 7; 1. 11; xviii. 6.

167. As early as the days of Noah, the art of building must have been carried to a great degree of perfection; else how could the ark have been built and fitted to carry its enormous burden over the turbulent abyss of waters. All the instruction given to Noah by the Divine Being would still leave many things, it is presumed, to the knowledge and skill of the architect. The making of tents and houses, at a later day, would require some skill. The manufacture of brick, with which to build the tower of Babel, is another instance of the skill of those primitive times.

168. There are a few references to carriages. Joseph rode in the second chariot of Egypt; and there went up to Canaan with him, both chariots and horsemen, at the burial of his father. Wagons were sent from Egypt to Canaan, to bring the patriarch and his family down to that country. It is probable that both wagons and chariots were used only in Egypt, or sel dom elsewhere. In Canaan burdens were carried upon asses; and men and women rode on camels. xlvi. 29; 1. 9.


169. Time was then reckoned by days, weeks, months, and years, nearly in the same manner as with us. Forty days and forty nights, is the same kind of reckoning then as now. Months are mentioned as made up of days. Hence we read of the first day of the month, the seventeenth day of the month, and the seventh and twentieth day. We also read of the first month, the second month, and the seventh month. By comparing vii. 11 with viii. 4, it will be seen that five months is precisely 150 days, which make one

month to be thirty days. A similar comparison of vii. 11 and viii. 13,will show that a Jewish year consisted of twelve months. vii. 4, 11; viii. 13, 14; viii. 4.

170. The seasons of the year were the same as with us, only that summer and winter are the only names by which they were designated, unless seed time and harvest be intended as denoting spring and viii. 22.


Length, in respect to short distances, was reckoned in cubits; long distances by the number of days journey. A "bow shot" is employed to denote a brief space over which an arrow might be sped. vi. 15; xxxi. 23; xxi. 16.

The points of the compass are named; but a careful observation will show that they are used with great indefiniteness. A place laying in a northerly direction was said to be north, though it might lay far east or west of that point. So of the other points. This makes it quite difficult to determine with accuracy the location or direction of places. xiii. 14; xxviii. 14.

The word "measure" has reference to a vessel of a certain capacity. Hence "three measures of meal,” were not, as we might infer from our use of that term meal in three separate vessels; but it was a certain amount three times repeated. xviii. 6.

Isaac sowed his field, and received that year a "hundred fold;" that is, an hundred times as much as he sowed, which, though a great yield, was not unusual in that country. xxvi. 12.

Money was sometimes reckoned by pieces, and sometimes by shekels, or by weight. There were shekels of silver and shekels of gold. xxxiii. 19; xxiii. 15; xliii. 21; xliv. 22.


171. It is obvious that the Hebrews recognized but one supreme Divinity, to whom a good and virtu ous life was the most acceptable service. They prayed to him in times of need. They built altars and offered sacrifices thereon. It is remarkable that no mention is made of priests in connection with the patriarchs. Melchisedek was a priest of the most High God; but to what race he belonged does not appear, from the narrative; and the apostle Paul, referring to this personage, speaks of him as being "without father or mother," &c., meaning thereby, that wẹ have no account of his parentage, his history, or his death. The patriarchs themselves offered sacrifices and officiated at the altar. This was done by Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There were priests in Egypt, who owned some real estate, and were supported, when occasion required, out of the public treasury. iv. 3, 4; viii. 20; xii. 8; xxvi. 25; xxviii. 18; xxxi. 54; xlvii. 22.

172. "Men began to call upon the name of the Lord," even before the flood-language that seems to imply at that time, some arrangement for the maintenance of public worship. Paying tithes is mentioned once or twice. Abraham paid the tenth of the spoils he had obtained in battle, to Melchisedek. Jacob promised to pay to the Lord the tenth of all he had, if he should be prospered in his way. The animals offered in sacrifice, were the heifer, she goat, ram, turtle dove and pigeon. Pouring oil on the top of a pillar, was understood, no doubt, as a religious offering. xiv. 20; xxviii. 22; xv. 9; xxviii. 18; xxxv. 14.

173. The worship of images is alluded to in connection with the family of Laban. The earrings of which we read in connection with these usages, were appendages to the same worship, and not the usual ornaments worn by damsels. Abraham planted a

grove in Beersheba, where the worship of God was observed. At a later day such groves became very obnoxious, as places where idol worship, accompanied by obscene and immoral rites, was practiced. The rite of circumcision was instituted as a perpetual memorial of religious obligation. xxxi. 19; xxxv. 4; xxiv. 30, 47; xiii. 10; xxi. 33.



Contents:- General Divisions; Mountains; Valleys and Plains; Rivers; Groves and Wildernesses; Seas; Cities; National Designations.



174. Canaan is often alluded to as the residence of the patriarchs, and the country that was to be the everlasting possession of their descendants. boundaries are defined in a general way in x. 19, from which it appears that Sidon, Gerar, Gaza, Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Lasha, lay on the outer borders around it.

175. When Abram came to Canaan he came from Ur of the Chaldees. Chaldea is, therefore, another country alluded to in the book. Assyria, that lay in the same general direction, is referred to; and as that name seems to have been given to the country by Asshur, the cities he built were probably in that country. xi. 31; xxv. 18; x. 11, 12.

176. Laban, into whose family Jacob married, is called a Syrian. Thus, by implication, Syria is referred to. The same country is called Mesopotamia and Padan Aram. xxviii. 5; xxiv. 10; xxviii. 2.

Mt. Seir was an extensive region, as is evident from what is said of it and the cities it contained. It

was also called Edom. xxxvi. The land of the Philistines is referred to; but no name is given to it, though it is thought to have originated the name of Palestine. It was included in the gift to the seed of Abraham, as a part of their everlasting possession. xxi. 32: xxvi. 3.

177. Egypt is too often referred to, to require particular description. It embraced the land of Goshen or Rameses; and one of its principle cities, viz., On, is once or twice named. The "river" often alluded to in connection with Egypt, though not named, is understood to be the Nile. The "river of Egypt" may be the same, and it may not. xlvii. 6, 11; xli. 50; xli. 1; xv. 18.


178. The first mountain named in the Bible is Mt. Ararat where the ark of Noah rested. Mesha and Sephar are mentioned in connection with a mountain of the East; but the passage is equivocal; and we cannot tell which of those names was intended to designate the mountain referred to; and perhaps the reference is to a mountain between the two. There

is a reference to "a mountain on the east cf Bethel," but its name is not given. It was between Bethel and Hai. ix. 4; x. 30; xii. 8.

179. There was a mountain in the land of Moriah, on which Abraham offered his son Isaac in sacrifice. It is called the "mountain of the Lord." We commonly refer to it as Mt. Moriah, but it is not so called in the book. It was in the land of Moriah. xxii. 2,


Mt. Gilead lay in the direction of Syria, and is noted as being the place where an interesting conference was held between Laban and Jacob. xxxi. 21, 55. Mt. Seir was an extensive country and was the possession of Esau and his descendants. It was also

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