Images de page
PDF
ePub

SECTION II.

MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.

Q. 1. What were the principal garments worn by men amongst the Jews?

A. The coat was an under garment or a straight coat, Mat. v. 40. and over this there was generally worn an outer coat or gown, in the form of a long robe, John xix. 24. which was often white and woven throughout. Under these were worn linens, Eod. xxviii. 42. and a linen bonnet on the head, Ezek. xiiv. 18 or one made of other materials. The common protection for the feet were sandals or light shoes, which covered the soles and were fastened with leather strings. The beard was worn, and while the women wore the hair of their heads long and in tresses, the men usually shaved most of their heads. 1 Cor. xi. 14 and 15

The garments of the priests were particularly specified. See Exod. xxviii. 2. to 40-xxxix. 1, 27, &c. It was customary to change their garments very often,Psal. cii. 26. and in hot weather to use veils or screens, to keep off the sun.

Q. 2. What was their food and manner of eating? A. Besides flesh, and bread made of wheat and barley, they often used pot-herbs, parched corn, honey and oil; their drink was vinegar mingled with oil and wine. Supper was received late in the day, and was their principal meal. Couches were placed in the form of three sides of a square, the table set within them, and their food was received reclining. It was common to bathe or wash before eating, and to bless what was either eaten or drank, and for the host to break the bread. It was customary for the Jews to collect daily and distribute to the poor, Acts vi. 1.

Q. 3. Did they attend to the education of their children and youth?

A. Besides those directions given in Deut. vi. 7, &c. they had common schools in which the children were

[ocr errors]

taught to read the law. Academies or Seminaries were instituted in which Jewish traditions were learnt and comments upon the law made by the rabbinical doctors, Acts xxii. 3. The sons of the prophets were educated in these seminaries, 2 Kings ii. 3, 22. Kings xviii. 4.-from among whom God in former times called some to the prophetical offices-as extraordinary teachers of religion inspired to foretell future events. The others were the extraordinary teachers of religion in their synagogues which were altogether different from the ritual sacrifices of the priests-office of the temple.

Q. 4. What was the common method of expressing sorrow and grief among the Jews?

A. To clad themselves in the coarsest cloth and put earth or ashes on their heads. Fasting was extremely common in all ages, as was weeping, smiting their breasts and lying on the ground.

Q5. What of attesting innocence? Matth. xxvii. 24 compared with Deut. xxi. 6.

Q. 6. How did the Jews in former times bury their dead?

A. They interred the body, buthilled the couch or bed 2 Samuel iii. 31. on which the corpse was laid with sweet odours anddivers kinds of spices and burnt them. 2 Chron. xvi. 14. Jerem. xxxiv. 5. They were forbidden to cut themselves and howl, as did the pagans, Jerem. xvi. 6. Persons of wealth were buried in stone sepulchres, Isaiah xxii. 16. And in early ages embalming the body was sometimes practised. It was a custom to have funeral feasts in early times, Ezek. xxiv. 17.—Jer. xvi. 6. It was also among the Jews to mourn 7 days, during which time friends and neighbours visited them, John xi. 19. and during which it was customary for them to go to the grave of their departed relations. The bodies were not placed in coffins but in little rooms or cells in the sepulchre.

Q. 7, How did they celebrate their public worship? A. They considered it an act of reverence to have their feet bare, (Exod. iii. 5.) and to cover their heads,

Exod. iii. 6. and 1 Kings xix. 13.-Isaiah vi. 2. and in their prayers they went up to, or prayed towards the temple: 1 Kings viii. 48.-Dan. vi. 10. They always stood up when they read the scriptures and sat down when they taught, Mat. xxiii. 2. and from this is supposed to have originated the custom in all christian countries of preaching from a text of scripture. (See part iv.) Solemn dancing was formerly on particular occasions a part of public worship, Exod. xv. 20. The common hours of prayer were 9 o'clock in the morning, Acts ii. 15. The 2d at 12 o'clock at noon, Acts x. 9. and the 3d at 3 o'clock P. M. Acts iii. 1.

Q. 8. What was their custom at marriages?

A. They made use of burning odours and spices song of Solomon iii. 6. Of torches or lamps Mat. xxv. 6. and wine was distributed among the guests, by the master of the feast or the friend of the husband, John ii. 9 and 10.

Q. 9. What musical instruments were early made use of among the Israelites?

A. The Timbrel, an instrument taken from the Egyptians, and made in the form of a drum-the Tabret, Harp and Organ.

Q.10. What were their implements of war?

A. Swords, spears, javelins and poisoned arrows were made use of at different periods. The chariot of iron made use of in early times had a kind of iron scythes, about 3 feet long fastened to and extending from the axle-trees, which when driving fast through a body of men made great slaughter.

Q11. How were criminals punished among the

Jews?

A. When a person was condemned his face was generally covered, Esther vii. 8. taken to prison or im mediately to execution.

Hanging, 2 Samuel xxi. 12. Esther vii. 10. Burning, Lev. xx. 14. The rack, Heb. xi. 35. Beheading, 2 Sam. iv. 7. The precipice, or throwing headlong, 2 Chron. xxv. 12. Saw, Heb. xi. 37. Imprisonment, Lev. xxiv. 12. Stoning, Lev. xx. 2. Cutting off the hair Neh.

[ocr errors]

xiii. 25. Plucking out the eyes, Exod. xxi. 24. Cutting off the fingers and toes, Judg. i. 5 and 6. were all punishments at times used among the Jews-but the most distressing of all was crucifixion. Persons executed were sometimes preyed upon by ravens, Prov. xxx. 17. and their bodies formerly were sometimes left in the street, 2 Kings ix. 33 and 5. and devoured by dogs. When persons were crucified, they were stript and their garments divided among the executioners.

Q. 12. How were their houses constructed?

A, They were all made flat on the roof connecting with each other, 2 Sam. xi. 2. and Math. xxiv. 17, and on this they walked, slept and worshipped, Acts x. 9, and from it public notice was often given, Math. x. 27. They were often constructed of mud or bricks of a soft texture, Job xxiv. 16. The rooms were ceiled with wood and sometimes gilded, Jerem. xxii. 14. From the roof there was a flight of steps descending to the ground outside, and a door opening into the upper story of the house where Jewish teachers generally give instructions, Mark ii. 4.

Q. 13. What were the common employments and productions of Judea ?

A. They cultivated a portion of their fields, dividing them by hedges of thorn, Hosea ii. 6. Prov. xv. 19. and sowing barley in the month Marchisvan answering to Oct. and harvesting in that of Jiar or April. The hills were generally covered with flocks of sheep attended by a shepherd whose voice they knew, John x. 3. and who at night put them in an enclosure made of stone or reeds, John x. 1. The weather in winter is extremely cold-but in summer mild and very warm. The grain when harvested was carried to a threshing floor, 2 Sam. xxiv. 18. where it was trod out by oxen. Rice and early figs were gathered in the month Tamuz, or June. Barley and wheat in Jiar and Sivan, or April and May. Grapes and olives in Elul, or August. The " former rain," falls in Marchisvan, or Oct. and the "latter rain" in Nisan, or March.

SECTION III.

SECTS, MEASURES, AND DIVISIONS OF TIME.

Q. 1. Who were distinguished by the name of Rabbins, Doctors or Lawyers? A. Scribes or those who professed to expound the Law and who had attained a certain degree of eminence in their profession.

Q. 2. Who were Pharisees? A. They were among the most ancient sect of the Jews and were distinguished for their zeal for the traditions of the Elders, and for their extraordinary pretences to peculiar sanctity. They had many pagan notions, were generally mere formalists and observed a great many traditions. Most of the modern Jews are of this sect.

Q. 3. Who were Sadducees? A. They were so called from Zadoc their founder. They seemed greatly to have agreed with the Epicureans; denied however a future state-they rejected the Bible except the Penteteuch, and maintained that God had made man absolute master of his actions without assistance to good or restraint from evil.

Q. 4. Who were the Essenes? A. They were an ancient sect, lived mostly in the country and upon coarse fare and drank nothing but water; some would not taste food until sunset. Colos. 2. 18. and 21. Maintained that the essence of religion consisted in meditation and silence. Some supposed that sacrifices would appease the Deity-but others that nothing would do it but a serene and tranquil mind. They made the law of Moses allegorical-and with the Pharisees held the doctrine of the predestination of all things in opposition to the Sadducees.

Q. 5. Who were the Herodians? They were such as adhered to Herod's party; were principally Sadduces and some suppose countenanced the idea that Herod was the Messiah.

Q. 6. Who were the Epicureans? They ascribed all events to chance-denied the immortality of the Soul,

« PrécédentContinuer »