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ther wine nor any other liquor that could intoxi. cate.* The same abstinence may be observed among idolaters, especially the Egyptians; and their priests wore nothing but linen, and shoes made of the plant papyrus, that gives name to paper, that they might not have any thing about them that came from dead beasts, and tended to corruption, The Israelitish priests officiated bare-foot, but with linen garments on. They were forbidden to wear any woollen, and put off those sacred vestments when they came out of their precinct to go into the court of the people. The priests and all the Levites led a pastoral life, that was so dear to the patriarchs, when they were not upon duty, and had no other substance than their flocks; for they were excluded from any share of land, to wean them the more from temporal cares, and give them greater leisure to employ themselves in the affairs of religion. Yet they were wealthy, when the people paid them justly what was ordered by the law; for though there were fewer of that tribet than of any else, they had tithe of all fruits gathered by the other twelve, and consequently their share, was the largest, They had besides, the firstlings of all animals, without reckoning their own cattle, and the daily offerings, on which the priests lived when they served at the altar. : I do not perceive that they were excluded from any civil office: they bore arms like other men, and the priests sounded the trumpet in
panemory of God, the com. and their
the army, 'and upon all other occasions;|| for they made use of silver trumpets to proclaim the feasts, and call the people to public prayers; and the name of Jubilee is derived froni a ram's horn, which was sounded to give notice of its opening.* The antient monks of Egypt obseryed the custom of blowing a trumpet at the hours of prayer, for the use of bells is more modern. :
The feasts of the Israelites were the Sabbath; the first day of each month, called in our translations calends or new-moon ; the three great feasts of the passover, pentecost, and tabernacles, instituted in meinory of the three greatest blessings they received from God, the coming out of Egypt, the promulgation of the law, and their settlement in the promised land, after their journeying in the wilderness, where they had so long lodged under tents.t. These great solemnities lasted seven days, probably in memory of the week of the creation,
Their year consisted of twelve months, each of thirty days, I very little different from ours. Thus we find it regulated from Noah's time, as appears by the date of the deluge ; but it is thought it began then at the autumnal equinox. Moses was ordered to begin it in spring, in the month Abib, which was that of the passover; and it is with respect to the first month that the others are reckoned, which are only named from their number. They agree very nearly with our Roman months, the names of which come from
irty daysregulated, he deluge; equinox
tappears by the Jegulated from Kent from our
ill 2 Chron, xiii, 12. * Numb. x. Joseph. Ant. iii. 12. Lev. xxv. 9. . Ib. xxiii,
In Gen. vii. 11, comp. with viii, 3, 4. we see one hundred and fifty days are equal to five months. $Ex, xiii. 4.
CHAP. XVII. ,
Their Fasts and Vors. FASTING days were quite the reverse of festivals. Upon those they did all that I have related in speaking of mourning: for fasting and mourning with them were the same thing. It did not consist therefore only in eating later, but being afflicted in all respects. They spent the whole day without eating or drinking till night.* Thus the Jews still fast, and the Mahomedans, who herein imitate both them and the primitive Christians. They observed a strict silence, put on sackcloth and ashes, and expressed every other sign of affliction. The public fasts were proclaimed by sound of trumpet, as well as the feasts :f all the people at Jerusalem met together in the temple, and at other places in the public square: they read lessons out of the law, and the most venerable old men exhorted the people to confess their sins, and repent of them. They never married upon those days; such as were already married separated themselves from their wives. .
The law had appointed but one fast day, the tenth of the seventh month, which was the feast of atonement :I but from the tinie of the prophet Zachariah, they reckoned two more, one in the fifth month, and another in the tenth.
They had extraordinary fasts; some in public calamities, as the dearth which Joel speaks of; others upon particular misfortunes, as David's fast for the sickness of his child, that was the offspring of his great crime;} for the death of Abner, S and upon many other occasions men tioned in the Psalms. In fine, they had fasts which they imposed upon themselves, out of pure devotion, or to perform some vow: for they were very strict in keeping their vows and maths. As to vows, the instance of Jephthah is but too convincing:* and for oaths, Joshua kept the promise he made to the Gibeonites,f though it: was obtained by a manifest fraud, because he had sworn to them by the name of the Lord. Saul had resolved to put Jonathan to death for, transgressing the order he had made with an oath, $$ though Jonathan offended only through ignorance; and we see many more examples of it. They entered into such solemn engagements. very seriously, and did not allow themselves any latitude in interpreting them. Swearing by the name of God was an act of religion ;** for this oath distinguished the Israelites from those that swore by the name of false gods: this is to be understood of lawful and necessary oaths, such as are taken in a court of judicature. i .
Their vows consisted usually in offering some part of their substance to God, either for his service in sacrifices, or to be set apart by itself. Thence came those great treasures in Solomon's
very ide in ina was athe Israe