Page images

Thevenot, however, travelled here in the day-time, passing through these deserts in January, and even found the mornings cold before the sun was up ; and what is more extraordinary, it seems that Egmont and Heyman, who travelled to mount Sinai in the month of July,'travelled here a good deal in the day-time, and found very refreshing breezes. Moses, in like manner, supposes the cloud, which regulated their marches, was sometimes taken up by day, and sometimes by night, Numb. ix. 21. doubtless, according to the season, or the temperature of the air, which a merciful God regarded in giving that signal; and thus we find that Egmont and Heyman's conductors were $0 careful of their camels, and the heat of the sun was so excessive in the last day of their journey to Sinai, that. when they were only an hour and a half from the convent, they would not move a step farther, but waited till the declining of the sun made it more tolerable". It appears however from hence, that had we an account of the time that Israel removed from stage to stage, as to its being by day or night, we could not from thence determine, with certainty, the time of the year in which those removals were made, since they that were so careful of their camels travelled by day in July, in these deserts. Let. dern. p. 928.

• P. 154. .


In journeying, Bells are sometimes appended both to

Horses and Camels.

There is something very amusing in Pitts account of the singing in the night of the servants that attended those camels ; and this circumstance of those sacred journies may be explanatory of the singing of the Israelites, in their return to Jerusalem, which the Prophet speaks of, 11, as well as lead us to imagine it was what was common in their going thither three times a year.

But the sounding of the bells, which he tells us were fastened to some of the camels, does not seem to have any thing to do with Zech. xiv. 20. They are, according to our translation; bells of horses that the Prophet mentions ;' but it is not the word that is used for the bells on one of the vestments of Aaron: nor do I remember to have met with any account of horses decked after this manner in the East;

Some have supposed those fifteen Psalms, which are each entitled, “A song of Degrees," relate to the as. cent of Israel out of the Babylonish captivity; may they not rather be thus marked, to denote they were wont to be sung in the journies of Israel up to Jerusalem from time to time? The Eastern people were wont to sing in their jour. nies; these psalms suit such travellers; and the singular of that word translated degrees signifies going up to Jerusalem, Ezra, vii. 9.

'Dign ibu metsilloth hassus; but the ordinary word for bell is yoyo paamon.

nor, if they were, does it easily appear why these should be consecrated unto God: as then the word may be taken for some covering of the horses ; and they were the creatures that were in those times, as well as now, particularly used in war; and as they are camels, not horses, that are adorned with bells in travelling ;' these considerations may serve a little to establish the explanation the learned Mr. Lowth has given us from the Chaldee, supposing the word our version translates bells signifies warlike trappings of horses. These were to be holiness to the LORD': that is, perhaps, not only laid up for a memorial before God, as he remarks: but never to be put to their former use more, which things that were laid up in the Temple sometimes were."

However, Sir John Chardin, in his MS. notes

& Camels, mules, and horses are all occasionally decked with bells. A beautiful painting in a copy of the Ajaceb almakhloocat (i. e. the wonders of the creation) now lying before me, represents a caravan going through the valley of serpents in the island of Serindib (Ceylon); in which the camels, horses, &c. have bells not only about their necks, but on their legs also. This has also been particularly noticed by Major Rooke, in his travels to the coast of Arabia Felix: In page 83, he makes the following remarks on having been present at a field-day, which the Turkish cavalry had at Mocha. " The horses were sumptuously caparisoned, being arlorned with gold and silver trappings, bells hung round their necks, and rich housinys; the riders were in hand. some Turkish dresses, with white turbans, and the whole formed to me a new and pleasing spectacle.” But from the account in the Ajaeeb Almak hloocat it seems that these bells were used rather for the expulsion of the serpents than for ornaments to their cattle. However it sufficiently shows that bells on horses as well as on camels are in use in t'ic East. Epit.

+ See 1 Sam, xxi, 9.


on this verse, has given a different turn to these words, which, whether perfectly just or not is very amusing to the imagination. After mentioning the Arabic translation, which signifies that that which should be upon the bridle of a horse should be holiness to the Lord, he informs us, that something like this is seen in several places of the East: in Persia, and in Turkey, the reins are of silk, of the thickness of a finger, on which are wrought the name of God, or other inscriptions.'

The words of the Prophet naturally lead us to think of the mitre of the Jewish High Priest, on a plate of gold of which was engraven Holiness to the LORD; but whether Zechariah meant that marks of devotedness to the God of Israel should appear, in their travelling to Jerusalem to worship there, as strong as if the inscription on the forehead of Aaron should be embroidered on the bridle of horses, and the highest reverence for him, and care to avoid

i The Arabic words are well suinisalu lijami'l faras, upon the horse's bridle; but it is common with the Moham. medans to put the name of God upon almost every thing : I have seen it upon their bows, and other military weapons. It is well known to the learned, that to every literary work, whether on law, physic, divinity, arts, sciences, or cren books of amusement, such as tales, romances, &c. the following sentence is constantly prefixed:

[merged small][ocr errors]

Bismillahi arrahmani arruhcomi. In the name of the most merciful and most compassionate

Gop. So that no people in the world conform more literally than the Mohammedlans, to those words of an inspired writer, Whatsocver you do, do it in the name of the Lori). Epit. all pollution, should appear in all the habitations in Jerusalem at that time; or whether Mr. Lowth's is the true interpretation, I will not take upon mc to decide: I will only beg leave to observe, that Sir John's account removes all difficulty from uniting an inscription and bridle together, which is the marginal reading; and that it seems better to agree with the subsequent thought, of every pot in Jeru: salem and Judah being holiness to the LORD, which pots never had any concern with war, or were to be supposed to be in any danger of being applied to such a purpose afterwards.


Of the Lights used for Travelling by Night.

Pitts goes on, in bis account of his return from Mecca, with describing those lights by which they travel in the night in the desert, and which are carried on the tops of poles, to direct their march, “ They are somewhat like iron stoves, into which they put short dry wood, which some of the camels are loaded with; it is carried in great sacks, which have

a hole near the bottom, where the servants · take it out, as they see the fires need a recruit.

Every cottor has one of these poles belonging to it, some of which have ten, some twelve of these lights on their tops, or more or less; and they are likewise of different figures, as well as

« PreviousContinue »