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if I understand the passage aright, that sugarcanes grew in this Arabia, where sometimes the sugar was found congealed upon the canes; but that manufactured sugar came from India. If it was not a production of Judea in the time of our Lord, it is reasonable to believe it never was in the ages that preceded his : it was too delicate a thing in the esteem of the Eastern people to be abandoned.
David and Solomon, however, might be acquainted with it. We are to remember they were mighty princes, greatly revered by foreign nations, and their influence of great extent; as such presents were made them, according to the Eastern mode, by distant nations, consisting of things of the most curious kind, some of which Judea never before saw : And she gave the king, says the sacred historian, an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices great abundance, and precious stones ; neither was there any such spice as the queen of Sheba gave king Solomon, 2 Chron. ix. 9.' Sugar, in some form or other, might, along with those other things, be presented to Solomon, and, on the like account, by some nation or other to David his father, to whom we know, many great presents were also made, 1 Chron. xviii; as fine sugar is at this day sent to the Grand Seignor by the Egyptians, and honey was anciently by Jacob, as one of the best things of the land he inhabited, to a viceroy of Pharoah.
From these data, the knowing nothing anciently of the honey of grapes, the honey of dates
not being so good as proper honey, and sugar much better, with this, that sugar, or the canamelle, might be known to David and Solomon, we may draw some probable conclusions, concerning the meaning of the words rendered by our translators honey-comb.
Yaareth haddebash, vatn ng is, I presume, the honey-comb properly speaking, for it is used for the receptacle of the honey in the wood, into which Jonathan dipped the end of his rod, it being probably in some hollow tree, and not otherwise to be come at, 1 Sam. xiv. 27. Nor does its being used Cant. v. I, I have eaten my honey-comb with my honey, contradict this: understood of the honey-comb properly speaking, the Miscellanea Curiosa may furnish us with a comment on the words; or the Septuagint translator of the Canticles may be supposed to interpret it, who thinks it signifies bread in that place, bread, we are to imagine of a particular kind, somewhat like Dr. Shaw's bag-reah, which he tells us' is a pancake made like to honeycomb, by rubbing the ta-jen with soap instead of butter. 099 98 tzuph debash, used Prov. xvi. 24. and Ps. xix, 10, is, I suppose, the name given the plant that produces one of the other kinds of honey: and when I consider that only David and Solomon speak of this ; that the Psalmist supposes its droppings are as much preferable to honey, as refined gold to unrefined ; and compare the words of the other sacred writer, Pleasant words are as an honey. comb, or as the honey-tzuph, “sweet to the soul, and health to the bones," with those expressions of William the Archbishop of Tyre, " It produces canes, from whence sugar is made, one of the most precious things in the world for the use of men, and extremely necessary for their health ;" I am very much inclined to think those two passages speak, the one of the sugar or syrup of that plant, the other of the cane itself.
i P. 230.
The honey of dates, which, though inferior to that of bees, is, it seems, very pleasant, is left to answer the other word, nba nopheth, which occurs in Prov. v. 3. ch. xxiv. 13, ch. xxvii. 7, Cant. iv. 11. Or that word may be applied by my reader to any of the other varieties of honey he may meet with, and which he may think more answerable to the meaning of the word, and the description that may be drawn from these passages,
Of their Honey-Pots.
AMONG the varieties made by our English potters, one sort, of particular shape, is called a honey-pot; the ancient Jewish potters seem to have had a like distinction among them.
Honey is a thing of which flies, wasps, ants, &c. are so fond, that they must soon have found
& Gesta Dei per Francos, p. 835. Nutriat-Canamellas, unde præciosissima usibus et saluti mortalium necessaria maximè, conficitur zachara.
a necessity of taking some particular care to guard against their depredations ; and must therefore have found it requisite to make the vessels, designed for the preservation of their honey, of a particular shape, whether the same with that made use of by our English potters, or not, is of no consequence to us to determine.
Bakbuk papa seems to have been the Hebrew name of the vessel. The 1 Kings xiv 3, show's it was a vessel used for honey; as Jer. xix. ). 10, II, shows that it was an earthen vessel.
Our translators seem to have been unhappy, in rendering the word bakbuk by the term bottle. A vessel with a small mouth, which is what is meant by the word bottle, is not proper for a substance so glutinous, and so apt to candy as as honey: whatever kind of vessel then it was, it certainly was not a bottle. At the same time the force and liveliness of the image is extremely impaired : Go, said the LORD to Jeremiah, get a potter's earthen honey-pot, and taking of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests, break the pot in their sight ; and say unto them, thus saith the Lord of Hosts, Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter's vessel, which cannot be made whole again, i. e. though the people that dwelt here in former times have been grateful to me, as honey is to men, their habitation shall be destroyed totally, and their posterity cast out of my sight.
• Prov, xxiv. 13. Ezek. xvi. 13. Gen. xliii. 11.
Different kinds of Delicacies used in the East.
ST. JEROM reckons wine, liquamen, fish, and eggs, along with honey, in his catalogue of delicacies. Perhaps then, when told the disciples gave our Lord' a piece of broiled fish, and of a honey-comb, Luke xxiv. 42, we, who ' have been ready to look npon it as a strange
association of dishes, if understood of proper honey comb, and not of a sort of bread, have suffered this surprise from not entering into the views of the disciples. They probably not attending to any order,....... so contriv'd as not to mix Tastes, not well join'd, inelegant ; but bring
Taste after taste, upheld with kindliest change, " as Eve did, according to Milton, but only designing to express their great veneration for him, by setting before him the most grateful' things in their power, leaving it to him to eat of which he pleased.
In Epitaphiâ Paulæ, vol. 1. p. 176. . * Paradise Lost, b. 5. 331—336.
So the Arabs set all they have before their guests, however discordant their natures, eggs, honey, curds, &c. that every one may eat as he likes. Voy. dans la Pal. p. 125 and 128. So pillaw, broth, beans, sour cream, and honey, were set before Egmont and Heyman by the Arabs of the Holy Land. Vol. ii. p. 4. Pillaw, dishes of meat, soup, honey, &c. constituted an entertainment at Tiberias, p. 35.
Dr. Russell remarks, that these things are not set down at once, but are brought on in succession. Edit.