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married Ruth the Moabite. Absalom's mother was the king of Geshur's daughter.* Amasa was the son of an Ishmaelite, and of Abigail, David's sister.f Solomon married the king of Egypt's daughter, soon after he came to the crown, and at the time when he was most in God's favour:f therefore what the Scripture afterwards says, to blame his marrying with strange women, must be understood of the Canaanitish women whom he married, and that, instead of endeavouring to convert them, he . paid them such a criminal complaisance as to worship their idols.
Much more were marriages free among the Israelites, and it was not necessary for every one to marry in his own tribe, as many, even of the fathers of the church, have thought. This law was peculiar to heiresses, that inheritances might not be confounded. Besides, David
* 2 Sam. iii. 3. f 1 Chron. ii. 17. 1 Kings iii. 1. xi. 1.
$ Heiresses were obliged to marry not only within their own tribe, but within their own family, Numb. xxxvi. 6. Let them marry to whom they think best, only to the FAMILY of the TRIBE (or HOUSE) of their fathers shalt they marry. And that the Jews so understood the law, appears from Judith viii. 2. Tobit iii. 15. This I chose to observe, because a late ingenious writer, who would seem to have examined this point, says, it does not appear that there was any other obligation even upon Heiresses, than to marry only within their own TRIDE. Dr. Middleton's reflections on the inconsistencies which are found in the four Evangelists, in his Works, 8vo. vol. ii. p. 309. Not only the words of the law, and the practice of the Jews, but Grotius, and the other commentators which he had before him, expressly taught him otherwise. See likewise Kidder's Dem, of the Messiah, part ii. p. 416--17. where the reader, if he pleases, may find three or four other of the Doctor's assertions fully confuted.
married Michol the daughter of Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin: and another of his wives was Ahinoam of Jezreel, a city of the tribe of Ephraim.
Their Marriages and Women.
IN the manner that the Israelites lived, marriage was no incumbrance to them: it was rather a convenience, as it was designed. The women were laborious as well as the men, and wrought in the house, whilst their husbands were at work in the fields. They dressed the victuals, and served them up, as appears from Homer and several passages in Scripture. When Samuel describes the manners of the kings to the people, he says, your king will take your daughters to be confectioners, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.* The pretence which Amnon the son of David made use of to get his sister Tamar near him when he debauched her, was that he might eat meat at her hands,t which she dressed herself, notwithstanding she was a king's daughter.
The women made wearing apparel, and their common employment was weaving stuffs, as making cloth and tapestry is now. We see in Homer the instances of Penelope, Calypso, and
Circe. There are examples of it in Theocritus, Terence, and many other authurs.* But what appears most wonderful to me is, that this custom was still retained at Rome, among the greatest ladies, in a very corrupt age : since Au. gustus commonly wore clothes of his wife's, sis, ter's, and daughter's making. For a proof out of Scripture, it is said that Samuel's mother made him a little coat, which she brought him · upon festival days;I and we see the virtuous wife in the Proverbs seeking wool and flax, and Jaying her hands to the spindle, and giving two suits of clothes to all her servants.||
All this work is done under shelter, and in the house, and requires not great strength of body: for which reason the antients did not think them fit employments for men, but left them to the women, as naturally more inclined to stay in the house, and neater, and fonder of such sort of things. And this is probably the reason why women were generally door-keepers, even to kings, Tehre was only one servant maid at the gate of king Ishbosheth,** who
*Theoc. Idyll. 15. Ter. Heaut. Act ii. Sc.2. + Suet. Aug. 73. was busy in picking corn. And David, when he fled before Absalom, left ten women, who were his concubines, to keep his palace, The women lived separated from the men, and very retired, especially widows.* Judith lived in this manner, shut up with her women in an: apartment upon the top of the house, t and so did Penelope in Homer.
1 Sam. xi. 19. § Prov. xxxi. 13, and 19.
|| Here our author follows the Vulgate, which translates Prov. xxx. 21.-Omnes enim domestici ejus vestiti sunt duplicibus ; and we, for all her household are clothed with scarlet; and in the Margin, or double garments; for oss signifies either ; but double clothing seems to be chiefly intended, because the clothing referred to is for a defence against the cold; in which case scarlet could avail no more than any other colour; therefore our translation is evidently improper
9 2 Sam. iv. 5. ** Et ostiaria domûs purgans triticum obdormivit, 2 Sam. iv, 5, The reader must not expect to find this in our bible,
The Israelites made great feasts and rejoicings at their weddings. They were so drest out, that David could find no fitter comparison to describe the splendour of the sun by, than that of a bridegroom. The feast lasted seven days; which we see as early as the times of the Patriarchs. When Jacob complained that they had given him Leah for Rachel, Laban said to him, Fulfil the week of the marriage. I Samson, having married a Philistine, made feasts for seven days, and the seventh day the feast ended. When young Tobias had a mind to go home, his father-in-law pressed him to stay two weeks, doubling the usual time, because they were never to see one another again. This is the con- . stant tradition of the Jews, and their practice is
because the Hebrew has it not. The Vulgate took it from the Seventy. However, what our author asserts is notorious: for the women spoken of, Exod. xxxviii. 8. were probably door-keepers, as well as those who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, 1 Sam. ii. 22. Athenæus says the keepers of the king's palace in Persia were women, }. xii. Deipnos. c. ii. and Chardin says it was so lately, And the damsel that kept the door in the Gospel, John xvii. 17. every body remembers, * 2 Sam. xv. 16. + Judith viii. 5. Gen, xxix. 27. f Judg, xiv, 12, &c. || Tobit viii. 20.
agreeable to it.* Whoever thoroughly studies the Song of Solomon, will find seven days plainly pointed out; to represent the first week of his marriage.t..."
We see in the same Song, the friends of the bridegroom and the companions of the bride, who were always at the feast. He had young men to rejoice with him, and she young women. In the Gospel, there is mention made of the bridegroom's friends, and of the virgins who went forth to meet the bride and bridegroom.|| He wore a crown in token of joy, and she too, according to the Jewish tradition. ** They were conducted with instruments of music, and their company carried branches of myrtle and palm-tree in their hands.tt .
As for any thing farther, we do not find that their marriages were attended with any religious ceremony; except the prayers of the father of the family, and the standers by, to beg the blessing of God. We have examples of it in the marriage of Rebecca with Isaac, ff of Ruth with Boaz,$s and of Sara with Tobias. III
* Cod. Talm. Pirke Aboth, cap. xvi. :"
Song of Sol. v. 1. $ Jud.' xiv. 11. Jeph. iii. 29.,
|| Matt. ix. 15. xxv. ' q Isaiah lxi. 10. The Chaldee paraphrast renders it, as the high priest is adorned with his vestments, that is, magnificently, which the Vulgate translates, quasi sponsum decoratum coronâ, and the Seventy in the same manner: and them our author follows, according to custom. tt Pirke Aboth. c. xix. Selden. c. xy. It Gen. xxiv. 60. $$ Ruth iv. 11. HN Tob, vii. 13. '