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there translated clean, and in the margin leavened, which, Vitringa observes, is the proper meaning of the word, may be supposed to make the passage difficult. The Septuagint seem to have thought the words signified nothing more than straw mingled with winnowed barley: and if the word translated provender, though originally intended to express mixture, might afterwards come to signify uncompounded food, as Vitringa supposes, the passage is easily decyphered; for though the word translated clean does commonly signify leavened, or made sour, yet not always; signifying sometimes mere mixing, as in Is. Ixiii. I, where it is used for staining a garment with blood, and so it may signify here, as the Septuagint seem to have understood the passage, chopped straw, leavened or mixed with barley. But there is no necessity of supposing the word translated provender, is used in a sense differerit from its common and ancient meaning, and signifying uncompounded meat for cattle; that single word may be understood to mean chopped straw mingled with barley, since we find that barley, when given to beasts of labour, is sometimes mingled, or, to express it poetically, leavened, with a few beans, to which therefore the Prophet might refer.
The wild Arabs, who are extremely nice in managing their horses, give them no food but very clean barley. The Israelites were not so scrupulous, as appears from the passage I cited
. Voy. dans la Pal. p. 167.
relating to the provision made for Solomon's horses, but they may nevertheless think the cleanness of the provender a very great recommendation of it, and seem to have done so, since Isaiah, in the above-mentioned passage, spcaks of leavened provender winnowed with the shovel and with the fan. It is not the more important to them, as a good deal of earth, sand and gravel are wont, notwithstanding all their precautions, to be taken up with the grain, in their way of threshing."
But though the Israelites, were not so scrupulous as the Arabs, giving their beasts of burden straw as well as barley, yet it must have been much more commodious for them in their journeying to have carried barley alone, or balls of bean or barley-meal, rather than a quantity of chopped straw, with a little other provender of a better kind; and accordingly we find no mention made by Dr. Shaw, of any chopped straw being carried with them to Mount Sinai; but only barley, with a few beans intermixed, or the flour of one or other of them, or both, made into balls with a little water. The Levite's mentioning therefore his having straw,' along with other provender, rather conveys the idea of his being a person in mean circumstances, who was not able to feed his asses with pure barley, or those other sorts of provender that Eastern travellers. are wont to carry with them. * See Shaw, p. 139.
- Pref. p. xi. Judges xix. 19.
i OBSERVATION IV.',. Their Manner of making up their Packages. Different things which they want in travelfing are done up in different parcels, frequently in goat or kid-skins, and often put into one large coarse woollen sack, guarded with leather.
This is the account of Sir J. Chardin in his MS. but he is much more large and explicit on this subject in a note on Gen. xliv. 1, which therefore I here insert. “ There are 'two sorts of sacks," taken notice of in the history of Joseph, which ought not to be confounded ; the one sort of sacks for the corn, the other for the baggage, and every thing in general which a person carries with him for his own use. It has been already said, there are no waggons almost through all Asia, as far as to the Indies, every thing is carried upon beasts of burden, in sacks of wool, covered in the middle with lea- .. ther, down to the bottom, the better to make resistance to water, &c. Sacks of this sort are called Tambellit. They inclose in them their things, done up in large parcels. It is of this kind of sacks we are to understand what is said here, and through this history, and not of the sacks in which they carried their corn. It would be necessary otherwise to believe that
• They that consult the original, will find there are two distinct words made use of there.
each of the Patriarchs carried but one sack of corn out of Egypt, which is not at all likely, or reasonable to imagine. The text upon which I make this remark confirms my opinion, and that these sacks of which the Scripture speaks here were different from the sacks of corn; forJoseph ordered them to fill them with victuals as much as they could hold, which presupposes they were not full of corn. Gen. xlii. 27. furnishes another proof of this, One of then opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn; for if this sack had been a sack of wheat, it would follow, that they gave their beasts of burden wheat at that time for food, which is not at all probable. The translators of the Bible, and expositors still more, have confounded themselves in many places, for want of knowing the country which served as a theatre to all the transactions of the Old Testament, with respect to the customs practised there, and those things which are proper and particular to it, which cannot be well learnt but on the place itself.” .
If these sacks are woollen, then the sack-, cloth with which the Eastern people were wont to clothe themselves at particular times, means coarse woollen cloth, such as they make sacks of, and neither hair-cloth, or rough harsh cloth of hemp, as we may have been ready to imagine, for it is the same Hebrew word which signifies sacks, that is translated sackcloth. And as the people of very remote antiquity commonly wore no linen, there was not that affectation in
what they put on in times of humiliation, as we in the West may perhaps have apprehended
They only put on very coarse mean woollen garments, instead of those that were finer, but of the same general nature.
OBSERVATION V. Of their Wells, and the Method of drawing Water
If in some places where there are wells, there are no conveniences to draw any water with, to refresh the fainting traveller, there are other places where the wells are furnished with troughs, and other contrivances for the watering cattle that want to drink. .
The MS. C. tells us there are wells in Persia and in Arabia, in the driest places, and above all in the Indies, with troughs and basons of stone by the side of them.
He supposes the well called Beer-lahai-roi, mentioned Gen. xvi. 14, was thus furnished. I do not remember any circumstance mentioned in that part of the patriarchal history that proves this; but it is sufficiently apparent there, the well where Rebecca went to draw water, near the city of Nahor, had some convenience of this kind ;* as also had the Arabian well to which the daughters of Jethro resorted. Other wells, without doubt, had the like conveniences, though not distinctly mentioned. * Gen. xxiv. 20.
Exod. ii. xvi, VOL. II,