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think some others,” that the Greek word en does not necessarily signify on—that our LORD sat on the building belonging to the well : either a circular low wall about it, like those used in country towns among us, as painters and carvers seem to have understood it; or on a more magnificent erection over so celebrated à well, as that of which the patriarch JACOB and his family had been wont to drink. It has been used for sitting not on but near a river, and so, according to modern Eastern usages, it is most natural to understand it here, of sitting in a commodious place near that
Whether the disciples had cords and a small leather bucket with them to draw with, which the Samaritancss did not remark; or whether the disciples were to procure proper implements in the city, which they were afterwards to return, or at lcast, leave at the well for the use of its owner, who would soon have occasion to go thither;" or whether they trusted to a favourable accident, as travelling people were very frequently coming to so celebrated a well, does not appear. None of the conjectures is highly improbable.
The time indeed when they wanted this assis- Wolfius on the place.
• Thus Dr. Chandler, somewhere in his travels in the Lesser Asia, speaks of goat's skin with the hair on made use of as a bucket, which was distended by a piece of wood, to which the rope was fixed, and which was left at a well by a benevolent peasant, (who had before drawn water for them from thence,) for their use while he was absent.
tance was not the usual hour of drawing water by the inhabitants, though a common time for travellers to stop and take their repast. But it is to be remembered, when we find an inbabitant coming for water, that it was winter time, and consequently we may believe water might then be drawn at any time--at noon, as well as in the morning or evening, though these earlier and later seasons seem to have been those that were mostly made use of even in winter. Thus when Haynes travelled from Cana to Nazareth, in the depth of winter, for it was about the end of December, he found many women assembled at a fountain, to draw water at five in the afternoon, p. 144 compared with p. 131 and 134.
The coming then of the woman of Samaria to draw water, just at noon, does not look as though our Lord was fatigued with the heat, as well as the length of the way, as some have conjectured. The air in those countries, it is acknowledged, is frequently pretty warm in the middle of the day, in the depth of winter; but had it been so then, the woman would hardly have gone to the well at noon for water ; she would, most probably, have stayed till the usual time—the evening, or fetched it in the morning.
That travellers frequently stop at noon, in order to take some refreshment, is evident from a remark made by Plaistead : in giving an account of his traversing the mighty desert
See rer. 35, of this 4th of John
between Busserah and Aleppo, he tells us, p. 81, “ that the caravan with which he travelled did not stop to dine, as many caravans do, but travelled thirteen hours together. Many Eastern travellers stop to dine, though some do not. No wonder our Lord then, who seems to have been a-foot, and wearied with the length of his walk, stopped near so inviting a well.
A considerable time after I had finished this article, I had the pleasure to find the very learned and accurate Bishop Pearce had made a similar observation on the meaning of the word BTW5, in his Commentary and Notes on the Acts of the Apostles.P
Water carried sometimes in Skins, and sometimes
Though it must, one would think, be much more commodious to carry water in skins or leather bottles, where water must be carried, and accordingly, such we find are generally made use of in the East in travelling; yet, whatever the cause may be, they sometimes content themselves with earthen jars.
Thus we find, in the beginning of Dr. Chandler's expeditions, in search of the antiquities of these countries, though he was
? On chap. xx. ver. 11.
equipped under the direction of a Jew of that country, of such eminence as to act as the British consul at the Dardanells, and was attended at first by him, yet the vessel in which their water was to be carried, was an earthen jar, which not only served them in the wherry in which they coasted some of the nearer parts of Asia Minor, but was carried upon the ass of a poor peasant, along with other luggage, when they made an excursion from the sea-side up into the country, to visit the great ruin at Troas. :
This may serye to remove our wonder that Gideon should be able to collect three hundred water-jars from among ten thousand men, for we have no reason to suppose, the method he was to make use of, to surprise the Midianites, was not suggested to him before he dismissed all the army to the three hundred. In an army of ten thousand Israelitish peasants, collected together on a sudden, there might be many goat-skin vessels for water, but many might have nothing better than earthen jars, since Dr. Chandler appears not to have been better equipped, at least at first; and three hundred water-jars, collected from the whole army, were sufficient to answer the views of divine Providence. q' 25.
- Judges vii. 3, 16, 19, 20.
On the Supposition that the Israelites marched out
of Egypt, in Files of Fire in Front.
The margin of our translation remarks, that the word 'von chamusheem, rendered harnessed, in Exodus xiii. 18, signifies by fives, but when it adds, five in a rank, it seems to limit the sense of the term very unnecessarily, as it may as well signify five men in a company, or their cattle tied one to another in strings of five each.
If there were 600,000 footmen, besides children, and a mixed multitude, together with całtle, the marching of five only abreast, suppoing only one yard for each rank to move in, would make the whole length of this enormous file of people more than sixty-eight miles.' If we should suppose two such columns, and place the children, mixed multitude, and cattle, between them, the length then of this body of people would be above thirty-four miles. At the same time we cannot conceive any reason for such a narrow front, on the one hand, in
• For 600,000 divided by 5, gives 120,000 ranks of fire each, and their being only 1760 yards in a mile, the dividing 120,000 by 1760, will give the number of miles such a column of people would take up, which by such an operation will be found to be something more than sixty-eight miles, which the circumstances of the history will not easily admit of.