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xxxiii. 9.* At this time, palm trees may be found in that place. Deborah the prophetess dwelt under the palm trees. Jericho abounds with this tree, whence it is called the city of palms. Strabo says, the plain of Jericho is surrounded with mountains; there is a palm grove, having other trees scattered through it, but abounding in palm trees for one hundred stadia, well watered and filled with habitations; which place Herod purchased for a palm grove, at a great price, from Cleopatra, to whom Anthony had presented it as a splendid gift.
Many others, as Tacitus, Justin, Pliny, Josephus, testify that Jericho formerly abounded in palms. There is another reason why Judea appears to have been very rich in palms. That region is represented under the emblem of that tree; for hieroglyphics were taken for the most part from things which a country produced in great abundance. On the coins of Titus, the image of that country is to be seen, bound to a palm tree, with the inscription IVD. CAP.
The Sycamore tree is a native of Egypt, whence, according to Theophrastus, Pliny, and Solinus, it is called the Egyptian Fig tree. It has, however, flourished in other regions, and especially in Palestine. It flourishes best in open plains.It is a large tree, containing many branches. It is a species of the fig tree, and its leaves resemble those of the mulbary tree. It does not
from the seed, but is propagated by the branch. It abounds in sap, and produces much fruit. Its fruit grows in a peculiar manner, not on the extremities of the boughs, as in other trees, but near the trunk. Its size is about that of the fig, though it differs from that in not having seed within. It is very sweet and pleasant to the taste.
* Conf. J. C. Ulrick de decem fontibus et septuaginta palmis ab Israelitis in Elim repertis.
+ 1 Kings x. 27. i Chron, xxvii. 28. 2 Chron. i. 15. Conf. Relandi Palestina,
It does not ripen without being plucked and placed in oil. The use of figs is injurious to the stomach, it relaxes and weakens it. But figs may be eaten with impunity by those who have been heated by travelling, or exposure to the sun, and who need cooling and moisture. They are not of great value as food, but are eaten considerably by the poor. * This fruit, however, and the flower of the tree, are of considerable importance as a medicine. Wine and vinegar are also made out of it.
The wood of this tree will not decay for many ages, whence it was used by the ancient Egyptians for coffins The ancients used it for building houses and ships.
* Amos vü. 14.
POPULATION OF PALESTINE.
§ 1. Could Palestine contain as many inhabitants as
Moses proposed to settle in it? The population of a country does not belong to the subject of political law, because a lawgiver cannot determine or fix it, by statutes, but to its historico-political description. The reader, however, will not be displeased to find here some remarks on this point as an appendix to the preceding Articles ; more especially as so many doubts have been started as to the number of citizens sometimes ascribed to the Israelitish state in the course of their history. But indeed the number of fighting men mentioned by Moses himself, has a closer relation to the object of the present work than at first appears : for if to them he has assigned for a habitation a country included within certain limits, and incapable of supporting so great a number, his laws must be considered as deficient in those principles that are acknowledged as incontrovertible by the universal sense of mankind : more especially as their chief object was the still farther increase of population, and as withal he had established his policy on this principle of agriculture, that every citizen was to possess his own hereditary land unalienably. In a state depending for its prosperity solely on trade or manufactures, it is of no moment whether the land be sufficient to support the people or not ; (Holland here furnishes a remarkable example,) but the Israelites were to live, not by trade, but by husbandry, which rendered it indispensably requisite that there should