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“ The ornaments of gold, and of jewels for the head, for the neck, for the arms, for the legs, and for the feet, (for they wear rings even on their toes), are, indeed, unlike those of the Turks, carried to great excess, but not of great value; for in Bagdad, jewels of high price either are not to be had, or are not used ; and they wear such only as are of little value, as turquoises, small rubies, emeralds, carbuncles, garnets, pearls, and the like. My spouse dresses herself with all of them, according to their fashion; with exception, however, of certain ugly rings, of very large size, set with jewels, which in truth, very absurdly, it is the custom to wear fastened to one of their nostrils, like buffaloes ; an ancient custom, however, in the east, which, as we find in the holy Scriptures, prevailed among the Hebrew ladies, even in the time of Solomon. These nose-rings, in compliance to me, she has left off; but I have not yet been able to prevail with her cousin, and her sisters, to do the same ; so fond are they of an old custom, be it ever so absurd, who have been long habituated to it."
Besides the rings, chains, and bracelets which load the ears, the neck, and the arms of the Syrian ladies, they wear on their head a hollow silver horn which rises obliquely from their forehead, similar in shape to that worn by the other sex. This seems to have been a very ancient custom ; for in the song of Hannah, when she presented her first born, Samuel, at the temple, she exclaims, " Mine horn is exalted in the LORD.”W
u Prov. xi, 22. Also Buckingham's Trav. in Palest. vol. i, p. 79.
1 Sam. ii, 1. See Buckingham's Trav. vol. i, p. 78.--The Druses women of the town of Caypha wear a horn pointing backwards from the crown of their heads ; but the Druses of Mount Lebanon wear similar horn pointing forwards. Ibid. vol. i, p. 179.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF SCRIPTURE, FROM THE MEALS AND
PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENTS OF THE EAST.
Morning meal..Dinner.-Supper.-Entertainments among the Jews, all of
one kind, provided at the expense of one man. -Materials of their entertainments, at first plain and simple.-Bread of wheat flour.-Barley bread used only in times of scarcity.-Barley bread first used by men.-Roasted their grain in the first ages.-Pounding it in a mortar.—Corn-mills.Grind their corn in the morning. Accompanied with singing.- Ovens.Small plates of iron used. The hearth.–Stone pitcher.-Shallow earthen vessel.-Jackson's description of an eastern oven.-Eastern bread, how made.- Public bakehouses.-Burgle, or boiled wheat.-Sawick, or corn parched in the ear.-Different kinds of fuel.-Devices to spare the fuel.. Flesh of sheep and oxen used for food.—Honey.-Butter and honey.Honey in the comb.—Shoulder of lamb. Providing an abundant supply of water.-Wine.Artificial liquors. Kept in earthen jars.-Cooling wines.-Manner of inviting guests to a feast. Tickets of admission. Saluting the guests. The ancient Greeks and Romans sat at meals. Custom of reclining afterwards introduced.-Tables, how constructed.Their beds or couches. The guests, how placed at table.- Washed and anointed themselves before they went. The Jews washed their hands and feet before dinner.--After meals they washed them again.-Washing the feet generally performed by women.-- -Reckoned a mean office.--Both Jews and heathens commenced their feasts with prayers.--Public entertainments conducted in various ways. Great magnificence displayed in their public feasts.-Dress worn on such occasions.-Precious ointments used at entertainments. Governor of the feast.–Drinking wine before or after meat. -Oriental banquets often spread on the green grass, under the shade of a tree. Strangers happening to pass invited. Arabs use no spoons. The oriental feast enlivened with music and dancing –By agreeable conversation-By asking difficult questions. Valedictory mark of regard. The guests dismissed with costly presents. A part of what remained from the feast sent to relations and acquaintances.The women feast by themselves. - The fragments eaten up by the poor.
In Greece and other countries, they had their morning meal, consisting of bread and wine unmixed with water; but to eat and drink in the morning was considered in Israel as an act of debauchery ; and Solomon pronounces a woe upon the land, when the people of rank and influence indulged in the pleasures of the table at such an unseasonable time : “ Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning.” The Jews might, perhaps, take a slight repast like the Greeks, about sun rising, although this is very uncertain; but they neither sat down to meat, nor drank wine till after the morning sacrifice. The Syrians of the present day breakfast as soon as they get up in the morning, on a variety of solid food ;* which seems to indicate a change in the manners of the country in this instance. They dine about eleven o'clock in the forenoon in winter, and rather earlier in summer ; and sup about five o'clock in the winter, and six in the summer. Their dinner is more sparing and short ; their supper more rich and magnificent. Such also was the mode of living, in the primitive ages of Greece and Rome ; frugal and temperate, they thought it sufficient to take a moderate and hasty breakfast; and after the business and labour of the day was over, refreshed themselves with a plentiful meal. In many parts of the New Testament, the supper is in like manner mentioned as the principal meal : “ Herod on his birth-day, made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; me and in the parable, a certain man made a great supper, and bade many. When Jesus visited Lazarus and his sisters, on his way to the passover, “ they made him a supper."e
a Russel's Hist. of Aleppo, vol. i, p. 166, 176. b Potter's Antiq. vol. ii, p. 353. Adam's Rom. Antiq. p. 433.
The entertainments among the Jews appear to have been all of one kind, provided at the expense of one man; we have no instance in Scripture of the sgavos so common among
the Greeks; an entertainment made at the common charge of all present, in which every man contributed his proportion ; if the supper given to the Saviour by his friends in Bethany immediately before he suffered, may not be considered as one. The materials of which the Jewish entertainments consisted, were at first plain and simple; these were commonly bread and milk, and fruits and herbs. Sparing in the use of flesh, like all the nations of the east, the chosen people usually satisfied their hunger with bread, and quenched their thirst in the running stream. So necessary were bread and water to their subsistence, that under these two words, they comprehended every species of food. Their bread was generally made of wheat or barley, or lentiles and beans. Bread of wheat flour, as being the most excellent, was preferred ; barley bread was used only in times of scarcity and distress. Barley bread is in some regions of Persia commonly used by the lower orders. It must not however be omitted, that in making bread, barley was used before any other sort of corn; for it is reported, says Artemidorus,h that this was the first food which the gods imparted to mankind; and it was, according to Pliny,' the
• Mark vi, 21.
e John xii, 2. Compare Mat. xxvi, 1, and Mark xiv, 1, with John xii, 2. 8 Morier's Trav. vol. i, p. 334. Pitts, p. 35, 208. h Lib. i, cap. 71.
i Nat. Hist. lib. xviii, cap. 13, 14, 18.
most ancient sort of provision. But in more civilized ages, to use the words of the same author, barley bread came to be the food of beasts only; yet it was still used by the poorer sort, who were not able to furnish their tables with better provisions; and in the Roman camp, as Vegetius and Livy inform us, soldiers who had been guilty of any offence, were fed with barley, instead of bread corn. An example of this punishment is recorded in the history of the second Punic war:
-The cohorts that lost their standards, had an allowance of barley assigned by Marcellus.k And Augustus Cæsar commonly punished the cohorts which gave way to the enemy, by a decimation, and allowing them no provision but barley. So mean and contemptible, in the estimation of the numerous and well appointed armies of Midian, was Gideon, with his handful of undisciplined militia ; but guided by the wisdom, and supported by the power of the living God, he inflicted a deserved and exemplary punishment on these proud oppressors. The meagre barley cake was put into the hand of Midian by the God of armies, as a punishment for disobedience of orders, not to make a full end of his chosen people. “ And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent and smote it, that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay -along. And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon, the son of Joash, a man of Israel ; for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host." m
j De Re Militari, lib. iii, cap. 13. Hist. lib. xxvii, cap. 13.
Judg. vii, 13, 14.