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I have already said that hay, at least at the present day, is unknown in Palestine and also in the other Oriental countries, and I assert it from this ground, that all who have visited those regions at the present day, without an exception, have made no mention of hay. However I think hay was in use there in the early times, and this appears from reading Isa. xxxiii. 11, where I translate Wun dry grass, that is hay. The root is found in the Arabic where it signifies to be dry. Moreover in the same language Vwn is opposed to my which signifies, young grass growing. That Went in Isa. v. 24, signifies dry grass, appears evident, for green and fresh grass cannot take fire. I do not understand, that hay, which is generally kept by us in barns, and which is less exposed to fire, but rather the hay lying in the field, as is the custom in the East, which can easily take fire, both on account of the more ardent heat of the sun, and the imprudence of the inhabitants. Of which thing, there are not wanting examples. Therefore in this place, it is entirely ån Oriental figure, and alth.ough none of the travellers make mention of hay, this by no mcans proves, as I think, that the ancient Hebrews were without the use of it. For the old Orientals far surpassed the modern in economy, and living more compactly than at this day, they were compelled to exert themselves more to find provision for their cattle.
$ X. Not Egypt but Palestine, abounds in vines.
If we compare the testimonies of ancient and moderu authors, respecting the cultivation of the vine in Egypt, we will find that they differ: the former represent Egypt as abounding in vineyards, and the latter as having scarcely any. The representations of the Bible are between both. These contradictions, and the testimony of one part appear to be false : but they are not; each of them is most true,
if we only distinguish between the different ages of Egypt. In their early history, there appears to have been only a moderate cultivation of the vine in Egypt: but afterwards, under the successors of Alexander, very great attention was paid to it, which the Greek and Roman authors describe; finally under the Mohammedans, the vineyards were neglected and destroyed. However, vineyards are yet found in a very few places, and especially about Alexandria, and the region of Fium, where the canal of Joseph is, which makes the earth fertile. This canal is sometimes called the river of Fium, but generally the canal of Jo. seph: so it is called by Paul Lucas* and Sicardus.t For every great and stupendous work in Egypt is attributed to Joseph, I who is said to have made this canal, and by it, to have rendered the region of Fium fertile ; but this is ineredible. The Mareotic wine is praised by Strabo. | The lake Mareotis situated in Egypt, is about one hundred stadia broad, and three hundred long : it contains eight islands, and the places in the vicinity are very populous, and they make great quantities of wine. HoraceT extols the Mareotic wine, as second only to that of Cæcubum,
* In a voyage made 1714, through Turkey, &c. T. II. p. 205. T. III. p. 53. Examinc the annexed table, where this canal is represented. Vid. Ps. txxviii, 47, Gen. xl. 9. 10. Num. xx. 5.
+ Memoires des Missions, Tom. II. page 261. The canal of Joseph made from Saon to Fium, cut through a mountain, communicates immediately with the Nile, by a bridge or cataract, and flows through the middle of Fium. Conf. Abulfeda in descriptione Egypti p. 10, where he says, the river of Fium commences (from the Nile,) at Daruth Darban, and flows northwardly towards Bahanesa, thence to a place called Sohon; afterwards it turns to the west, and enters Fium. The country of Fium has always been the most fertile part of Egypt. Strabo lib. xvii. Plinii Hist. Nat. lib. xviii. c. 15. Maillet's Description of Egypt, page 293, &c. Wansleben's
voyage in Egypt, p. 245__255. Maillet, p. 211, 212. § Golii Not. in Alfragan, p. 175. Kircheri Oedipus Ægypt. T. I. p. 8. | Geog. lib. xvii. p. 799, Edit. Paris.
1 Lib. i. Od. 37. There is a particular species of the wine of Mareotis, whence Virgil, Georg. lib. i, says, Sunt Thasiae vites, sunt et Mareotides albæ.
Mentemque lymphatam Mareotico
However, almost the whole of Egypt is very unfavourable for the cultivation of the vine, for it is destitute of hills, which the vine requires,* for in a plain, grapes cannot come to maturity ; especially as at the favourable season for them, the land is overflowed by the Nile. Maillett says, that vines are sometimes seen on the walls of houses, which afford an excellent wine: but this by no means proves that Egypt abounds in wine. Herodotust describing the scarcity of wine in Egypt, says, that wine is carried into Egypt twice a year, from different parts of Greece and Phenicia. In which thing many have attempted to refute him, but to these Michaelis answers, that the commerce which Herodotus mentions, the priests attempted to stop, as being very pernicious to Egypt, for they prohibited the use of wine, saying that Osiris had invented it: and they themselves abstained from it very strictly.
However they made use of wine at their feasts, and offered it, according to Hecatacus not as a thing in itself agreeable to the gods, but to expose the blood of those who had fought against the gods, and thence they thought to conciliate the deities to themselves; for the Egyptians thought that the vine had sprung from the blood of the giants poured on the earth, and hence fury and madness belonged to wine. But this prohibition, thought it was intended to be universal, yet was exercised with some limitation : for to gratify their kings and wealthy men, a dis
Virgilii Georg. lib. i. 109. + Description de l’Egypte, Tom. II. p. 17.
# Hist. lib. iii. cap. 6. Conf. Expedit. totius mundi, vol. III. p. 5. Ep. Edit. Hodsoni, where it is said, Ascalon and Gaza send their best wine to Egyyt and Syria. Vid. Dapper's Besch. von Afrika, p. 117.
$ Im Mosaischen Rechte, Tom. IV.
tinction was made between wine, and the juice of the grape which they were allowed to drink; and which permission gave them no ordinary consolation and joy.* From these things it will appear evident that Egypt is not to be called a vine bearing country : but that Palestine abounds in wine, we will now attempt to show. There are many vineyards in Palestine, and there would have been more, had not the use of wine been entirely prohibited by the law of Mohamed,t to the Saracens or Turks : for they holding that land under their subjection, tear up and destroy the vineyards wherever they find them. There are, however, some Saracens living near to the Christians, who cultivate vineyards and sell to them birds and wine. Moreover the Turks often violate their law and indulge themselves with the sweet gifts of Bacchus. I The wine of the Holy Land is very rich and sweet as all the travellers state, and particularly that of Bethlehem in the valley Rephaim, and as far as Nehel-Eschol, where the spies sent by Moses received the vine and grapes which they brought to the camp. About Sidon and Anteradus and Marhadus, and likewise Mount Lebanus, good wine is made. The trunks of the vines are there very thick and they send out their branches to a great distance, the inhabitants knowing well how to cultivate them : for they plant them so far a part that a carriage can easily pass between them. It is not wonderful therefore that the
* Conf. Gen. xl. The Indians have a law, that if a woman shall kin a king intoxocated, her reward shall be marriage to his successor; but his sons shall succeed.
+ Which you inay find in many places of the Koran, especially in Sura II and V. 92; XVI. 69.
# Conf. d'Arvieux Memoirs, which Labat edited 1735 ; Tom. I. p. 62. Thevenot T. I. lib. i. e. 24. Smith de moribus et institutis Turcarum, Epist. II. p. 28. Busbeckii Hist. Constantinopol. Epist. I. Conf. Hasselquist's Reise, p. 203. Beausobre says the same thing of the Manacheans in his history of them, Tom. II. pag. 774, &c. Conf. Niebuhr's Besch. von Arabien, p. 141.
$ Num. xiii. 23.
Neibuhr's Reisebeschreibung nach Arabien, T. II. p. 451. Troilo's Reisebeschreibung, p. 69. Roger's Terre Saint, p. 479.
grapes are so large and the wine so generous; nor is it to be wondered at, that in some countries the wine is so weak, seeing the inhabitants plant their vines so near to each other, that they scarcely admit the intervention of the foot of the cultivator. The manner of cultivating the vine in Antaradus is worthy of remark. For there the same wine produces grapes three times a year and they all mature in the ordinary time in this manner. The vine-dressers when they prune the vines leave as many branches of the preceding year as they deem necessary. Then after they begin to produce new branches and young clusters of grapes, they cut off the part of the branch that is above the clusters and cast it away. This is done in March. In April the branch that was cut above the clusters buds, and produces another branch with new clusters, which being seen, the part above the grapes is again cut off. the branch buds again and produces another, with new clusters, and thus there are three orders of grapes which ripen in the same manner. Those that appeared in March are gathered in August: those in April are gathered in September : those in May are gathered in October. But if the branches are not pruned in that order, it will not take place. Whence in Palestine, from the feast of Pentecost until St. Martin's day, ripe grapes are continually to be found in the market. * Indeed, it is astonishing that, Palestine even in this day surpasses all the neighbouring regions in the best wines, after having suffered so much injury from the Turks, the enemies of wine. Its wines are said to be quite equal in flavour to those of Italy : and especially those of Ilebron are extalled in the highest praises by Hasselquist,t comparing them with the gene
* Conf. Shaw's Travels, p. 142. Joseph. de bello Jud. lib.iii. cap. 10. sect. 8.
+ Im. i2ten Briefe an den H. Ritter Linne, von Smirna, aus den 13 Septem. 1751. Conf. Athenæi Dipnos. lib. i. cap. 15, pag. 29. Michaelis or. Bib. T. IV. p. 118. &c.