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is in Egypt. I cannot then apprehend the motion of the boats of the Nile was so extremely swift, as to be used as an allusion by an Arab, that is supposed to have resided in a country considerably remote.
But I cannot, on the other hand, see any reason to suppose with Sir John Chardin, that Job refered to boats on the Euphrates, or on the Tygris, which is supposed to be still more rapid, carried by the stream alone, without the adventitious help of sails. I cannot see why he may not be conceived to represent his days of prosperity as passing away with the swiftness of a courier on a dromedary, instead of moving on with the gentle pace of a common camel ; as running away with the speed of a boat sailing down the Euphrates with a strong and fair gale of wind, instead of sliding gently along like some float, or other vehicle used in that river, and carried with no other force than that of the stream, in the stiller season of the year; yea, as passing away with a celerity resembling that of an eagle, when hastening to its prey.
Various are the inventions the people of these countries still make use of to float down their rivers : they are extremely simple, and
1 The boats which are used on the Euphrates and Tigris for transporting passengers or merchandise arc called doneks or kiraffes, and with all the help of sails, oars, current, &c. scarcely ever go more than five miles in the hour; often only three, as they are frequently obliged to track, i. e. to draw them by men on the banks, as we do our canal-boats. See Jackson's Journey overland from India, p. 59. Epit.
some of them, without doubt, as ancient as the age of Job; and to a comparison made between them and vessels with sails, I should, without hesitation, suppose he refers; and those of the Euphrates, without going to the Nile, without doubt, answer his views.
No Mangers used in the East; Hair Bags, and
Stone-Troughs answering the Purpose.
· As their horses eat chiefly barley, so they do not eat it out of a manger as with us, but out of bags of hair-cloth, which are hung about their heads for that purpose : they have no mangers in the East.
D'Arvieux informs us, that the Arab horses are fed after this manner out of bags ;m and Thevenot tells us" they are made of black goats-hair, and that they use no manger for feeding their horses, neither in Persia nor Turkey.
What then are we to understand by the manger in which our LORD was laid in his infancy? Or are their customs changed as to this point ?
Sir John Chardin, in his MS, note on Luke ii. 7. supposes that by a manger is meant one of those holes of stone, or good cement, which they have in the stables of their caravanserais, which are very large, and long enough to lay a
Voy. dans la Pal. p. 168. • Part ii. p. 113.
child in. It is somewhat unlucky that he has not told us what those holes are made for ; however, this account supposes they really have no mangers there."
OBSERVATION X. Their Caravans composed of. People of different
As caravans are oftentimes very numerous, so they are composed of people of different countries very frequently; but they are denominated a caravan of the people that are most numerous in it, and to which the captain of it belongs.
So we call one a caravan of Armenians, says Sir J. Chardin, in his MS. because it is chiefly composed of Armenians, and because the Caravan-Bashaw is of that nation, though there are Turks, &c. in the caravan, as well as Armenians.
He applies this observation to solve a diffi
• Dr. Russell (in a MS. note on this place) supplies Sir J. Chardin's defect : “ Mangers like those in England the Eastern people have not, for they have no hay ; but in their stables they have stone troughs, in which they lay the fodder. When they tie down their horses in the court-yard, or campagnia, they use sacks.” In such a place, our blessed Lord must certainly have been laid ; but for this conjecture there is no necessity, as the original word, Qarm, significs not only a manger, but a stable also, and in this sense alone I am persuaded it should be understood in the text. And she brought forth her Son, her first-born, and rolled him in swaddling clothes, and laid him ev on Oxom, in the stable, because there was no room for him in the inn, Luke ii. 7. Res ipsa loquitur, they were obliged to lodge in the stable, because the inn was full before they ar. rived. Epit.
culty mentioned by St. Austin--the calling the caravan of merchants, to which Joseph was sold by his brethren, sometimes Ishmaelites, sometimes Midianités : ” he supposes it was principally composed of Ishmaelites, but that there were Midianites among them, to whom ' Joseph was sold. .
I mention this, merely, as it is a circumstance of Eastern travelling that may give some amusement : for the true solution seems to me to be, that they were Ishmaelites who
dwelt in the land of Midian who composed the i, caravan, and to som Joseph was sold. It ap
pears from Judges viii. 22, 24, that Ishmaelites and Midianites were names sometimes applied to the same people : and as the descendants of Midian were not Ishmaelites, for Midian was a son of Abraham by Keturah, as Ishmael was by Hagar; the Ishmaelites, or some, of the Ismaelites, must have been Midianites by dwelling in the land of Midian. And though people of different nations, without . doubt, travelled in ancient times in the same caravan, as they do now, yet the terms are so indiscriminately made use of in the history, (Midianites and Ishmaelites) that we cannot so naturally explain Moses, by saying Joseph was sold to Midiantish merchants travelling in a caravan of Ishmaelites, as in the manner I have been pointing out.
P Gen. xxxvii. 25, 28, 36.
OBSERVATION XI. Different Kinds of Vehicles used in the Caravans
for Persons of Distinction, the Sick, 8c. The editor of the Ruins of Palmyra tells us, that the caravan they formed, to go to that place, consisted of about two hundred persons, and about the same number of beasts of carriage, which were an odd mixture of horses, camels, mules,' and asses; but there is no account of any vehicle drawn on wheels in that expedition ; nor do we find an account of such things in other Eastern journeys.
There are, however, some vehicles among them used for the sick,' or for persons of high distinction. So Pitts observes, in his account of his return from Mecca, that at the head of each division some great gentleman or officer was carried in a thing like a horse-litter, borne by two camels, one before and another behind, which was covered all over with sear-cloth, and over that again with green broad-cloth, 9 P. 31.
Besides mules, which are not uncommon in England, but appear much more frequently in the East, particularly in Arabia, Sir J. Chardin says, in his MS. In this coun. try there is also another animal of a mixed nature, begotten by an ass upon a cow, which he had seen. Shaw mentions the same, as met with in Barbary, where it is called kum. rah, p. 166. Anah (Gen. xxxvi. 21,) seems to have been the first that thought of the propagation of such a creature as a mule ; to whom the kumrah is to be ascribed does not appear.
• Maillet, Lett. dern, p. 230.