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beaux,” blazing ever so fiercely? Besides, his view sinks the last member of the comparison, and indeed, seems to throw over it an air of ridicule ; Who is this that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and dazzling, like a bride lighted home with flambeaux ? The common translation certainly sustains much better the dignity of the last clause, while it gives the genuine meaning of (Bx) aim, which in every passage of Scripture where it occurs, signifies either terrible, or the tumult and confusion of mind which terror produces. Y
The form of the Hebrew camp varied according to circumstances. In the wilderness, it was of a quadrangular form, surrounded, say the Jewish writers, with an enclosure of the height of ten handsbreadth, to prevent the soldiers from deserting their colours. It was not a regular square, for the court of the tabernacle was in the midst of the camp, and the sides of that being unequal, those towards the east and west, of no more than fifty cubits length, but those towards the north and south, of an hundred cubits length, made the encampment about it also unequal. The distance of the camp from the tabernacle is reckoned to have been about two thousand cubits. This camp, the Jews
of twelve miles in compass about the tabernacle. Within this was another, called the camp of the Levites, whose duty it was to guard the tabernacle on all sides, that no profane foot enter its hallowed courts.
Harmer's Observ. vol. ii, p. 449.
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
Encampments of Israel in Canaan.—Arab camp.- Time of going forth to
war.-Syrians cursed their enemies before they undertook an expedition. Charms used on such occasions.--Ravages of a hostile army.-Israel forbid to cut down fruit trees.-Diverting the streams into other channels, and stopping up the wells.-Order of battle among the Greeks--Among the Romans-Among the Israelites.-Military orations. Hymn sung to the God of war. -Soothsayers.—Mode of divining by arrows- -By inspecting the liver. The chosen people had recourse to the holy Oracle.- The Greeks began their attack with the sound of trumpets.- Concert of various instruments. Shouts of the armies rushing to battle.-Generals fought at the head of their armies.--Single combat.-Flight by panic.—Stretching out the hands to the conqueror.-Oriental cities strongly defended.—Me. thod of besieging.– Terrible distress of the inhabitants. The mount. Moveable towers of wood.-Battering ram. Engines for casting arrows. -The testudo. Signals of the besieged to their friends. Their mode of defence.-Cruel fate of a captured city.---Curses pronounced against those who should attempt to rebuild it. Sowed with salt, and marked with the plough.--Stripping the slain. Conduct of an oriental enemy in modern times.-Treatment of the dead bodies of enemies.—Warriors interred in complete armour.- -Heap of stones raised over them.--Booty of the victors. -Captives taken in war. -Sold at a very low price.-Their eyes not seldom put out. Their noses and lips cut off.-Put to death by a measuring line, or by lot.-Put under saws and harrows of iron.— Bodies of the dead bound to the living.--Sword hung from the neck of the vanquished.-Sackcloth put upon the loins, and ropes about the heud.-Banner a pledge of safety.- Making streets in the capital of a conquered prince.-Method of dividing the spoil.-Part dedicated to God.- Presents to the general.. Armour suspended in the temple. Soldier, when he retired from war, hung up his own arms there. Sacrifices of thanksgiving:- Triumphal proceso sions. Head of an enemy carried on a spear.-Heads of enemies laid in heaps before the palace.-Conquerors carried branches of palm in their
hands.—Arms of the vanquished burnt.-Sword and head of the spear converted into implements of industry.-Roman triumph.-Officers and soldiers rewarded according to their merit.Military crowns conferred by the general.-- Those that received them placed near his person. The Chris. tian's triumph.
The encampments of Israel in Canaan seems to have been opened and unguarded on all sides. When David reconnoitred the camp of Saul, the king “ lay in the trench, and all the people pitched round about him.”a The Hebrew term magal never signifies a ditch and rampart, as our translators seem to have understood it, but a chariot or waggon way, a high way, or the rut of a wheel in the ground. Nor is it to be understood of a ring of carriages, as the marginal reading seems to suppose, and as Buxtorf interprets the word; for it is not probable that Saul would encumber his army with baggage in so rapid a pursuit, nor that so mountainous a country was practicable for waggons. It seems then simply to mean, the circle these troops formed, in the midst of which, as being the place of honour, Saul reposed.
An Arab camp is always circular, when the dispositions of the ground will permit, the chieftain being in the middle, and the troops at a respectful distance around him. Their lances are fixed near them in the ground, all the day long, ready for action. This was precisely the form and arrangement of Saul's camp, as described by the sacred historian. As it is an universal custom in the east to make the great meal at night, and consequently to fall into a deep sleep immediately after it, a handful of reso
a 1 Sam. xxvi, 5. Iliad. lib. vii, 1. 436. ► D'Arvieux Voy. dans la Palest. p. 173, 174, 169.
lute men might easily beat up a camp of many thousands. This circumstance undoubtedly facilitated the decisive victory which Gideon obtained over the combined forces of Midian.
The most usual time of commencing military operations was at the return of spring; the hardships of a winter campaign were then unknown. In the beginning of spring, says Josephus, David sent forth his commander-in-chief Joab, to make war with the Ammonites. In another part of his works, he says, that as soon as spring was begun, Adad levied and led forth his army against the Hebrews. Antiochus also prepared to invade Judea at the first appearance of spring; and Vespasian, earnest to put an end to the war in Judea, marched with his whole army to Antipatris, at the commencement of the same season. The sacred historian seems to suppose, that there was one particular time of the year to which the operations of war were commonly limited : “ And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants and all Israel, and they destroyed the children of Ammon and besieged Rabbah." The kings and armies of the east, says Chardin, do not march but when there is grass, and when they can encamp, which time is April. But in modern times, this rule is disregarded, and the history of the crusades records expeditions and battles in every month of the year.
Before the idolatrous nations of Syria and Palestine undertook a warlike expedition, or entered into battle, they endeavoured to bring down a curse upon
· Judg. vii, 19. Orme's Hist. &c. vol. iv, p. 419.
e 2 Sam. xi, 1.
mies, which should inevitably secure their overthrow. Influenced by an opinion, which long prevailed in those parts of the world, that some men had a power, by the help of their gods, to devote not only particular persons, but even whole armies to destruction, Balak sent for Balaam to curse Israel, before he would venture to attack their
camp; “Come now, therefore, and curse me this people, for they are too mighty for me; peradventure, I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land; for I wot, that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.”g This was done sometimes by words of imprecation, of which there was a set form among some people, which Eschines calls the determinate curse. Besides this, they sometimes offered sacrifices, and used certain rites and ceremonies with solemn charms. We discover evident traces of this custom in the conduct of Balaam, who built seven altars, and offered on every altar a bullock and a ram, in the vain hope of procuring an alteration in the purpose of the Most High ; and when his hopes were disappointed in one place, he removed to another, renewing his sacrifices and incantations, supposing he might find some position where God might be more favourable to his wishes. It appears also from the history of the transaction, that Balaam did not rely for success merely on the number and quality of his oblations, but in his eagerness to merit the splendid rewards of Balak, had recourse to the arts of divination, for at the second failure he complains ; “ Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel.” And after the third attempt, it is said, “When Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he
& Numb. xxii, 6.