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COMPREHENSIVE CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY BIBLE ENCYCLOPAEDIA
Edward Robinson

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

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EARING

EARING, an agricultural term. There is a passage, (Gen. xlv. 6.) which, if it has been occasionally misunderstood by a reader, may be pardoned: — " There remain five years, in which shall be neither earing nor harvest." The fact is, that earing is an old English word for ploughing ; — the original word {pv-in is that generally rendered " ploughing," and why it should not be so translated here we cannot tell, as earing now suggests the idea of gathering ears of corn after they are arrived at ma- turity ; whereas Joseph means to say, " There shall be neither ploughing nor harvest during five years." The reader will perceive that this variation of im- port implies a totally different course of natural phe- nomena in Egypt; for the Nile must have risen so little as to have rendered ploughing hopeless; or, its waters must have been so abundant, as to have over- flowed the country entirely, and to have annihilated the use of the plough: moreover, if no ploughing, no sowing: that is, harvest was not expected ; conse- quently it was not prepared for, in respect of corn. No doubt but the Nile was deficient ; it did not rise; the peasants, therefore, did not plough; and to this agrees the account of an ancient author, that for nine years together the Nile did not rise to half a harvest. The same word chdrish occurs, 1 Sam. viii. 12: — " The king will appoint your sons, to* ear his ground and to reap his harvest:" Heb. to plough his plough- ing ; which sounds, to modern ears, at least, as a [ 362 ] very distinct branch of agriculture. We read, Exod. xxxiv. 21, " Six days spend in labor, but on the sev- enth day rest, in earing time (ploughing time, beckd- rish) and in harvest tbou shalt rest." And in Isa. xxx. 24. '-The oxen likewise, and the young asses which ear the ground;" — but in this place the word in the original for ear is not, as heretofore, charisk, but dbad, which signifies to labor in almost any manner. On this subject it sbould be observed, tbat our translation has used the word earing in the sense of tillage, general labor, labor of any kind, bestowed on the ground, in Deut. xxi. 4: " The elders shall bring down the heifer into a rough valley, (rather to the rough bank of a brook, or running water,) which is neither eared nor sown" — read, which is not tilled, cultivated in any manner; literally, "which has no cultivation in it:" — the word is dbad here, also. Though, in strict propriety, these two very distinct Hebrew words ought to have been rendered by two answerable English expressions, equally distinct ; yet, these latter instances of the word earing may satisfy us what was the intention of our translators ?when they used it, to represent that word which should be rendered ploughing ; that is, that they took it generally for cultivation of any kind; and meant to imply (Gen. xlv. 6.) that Egypt should be five years without any hopeful exertions of agricul- ture. Whether this be accurate, is another question, as certainly there may be a cessation of ploughing, yet other labors designed to promote fertility may be advanced. They meant, also, (1 Sam. viii. 12.) to say, The king will appoint your sons to till his lands by some means; whether that means be ploughing, or any other. It follows, that we ought to make very great allowances for changes in our language since the time of our translators, and not blame them for the use of words now become obsolete; but which, in their day, well expressed their meaning. EAR-RINGS. We have a passage in Gen. xxxv. 4, which has been supposed capable of different senses; Jacob ordered his household to give up the " strange gods which were in their hands, and all their ear-rings which were in their ears;" that is, say some, in the ears of the strange gods ; while others with more propriety say, in the ears of the persons of Jacob's family. To determine this ques- tion, we subjoin an instance of ear-rings, which the patriarch Jacob would surely have buried as deep under ground, as he would any other instrument of superstition: it is from Montfaucon, Antiq. Expl. vol. iii. Supp. " There was discovered at Porto, when I was at Rome, in a vault under ground, which was made for the family Caesennia, two large stat- ues ; one of a man dressed like a senator, the other of a woman, in a Roman habit, with two gold pen- dants in her ears; one with the figure of Jupiter on it, the other with that of Juno: and also the statue of a little child, their son. Aulus Cassennius Hernea caused these statutes to be made for himself and his wife; as the inscription informs us, which was found near them." See Amulet. The word ear-ring sometimes occurs in the Eng- lish Bible, when a similar ornament for the nose is rather intended. EARTH. This word is taken in various senses: — (1.) For that gross element, which sustains and nour- ishes us; which nourishes plants, and fruit; for the continent, as distinguished from the sea. — (2.) For that rude matter which existed in the beginning, Gen. i. 1. — (3.) For the terraqueous globe, and its contents, Psalm xxiv. 1; cxv. 16. — (4.) For the in- habitants of the earth, Gen. xi. 1. See also vi. 13; Psalm xcvi. 1. — (5.) For the empire of Chaldea and Assyria, Ezra i. 2. And (6.) for the land of Judea. The restricted sense of this word to Judea and the region around it, we apprehend to be more common in Scripture than is usually supposed; and this ac- ceptation of it has great effect in elucidating many passages, where it ought to be so understood. To demand earth and water, was a custom of the ancient Persians, by which they required a people to acknowledge their dominion ; Nebuchodonosor, in the Greek of Judith, (chap. ii. 7.) commands Holo- fernes to march against the people of the West, who had refused submission, and to declare to them, that they were to prepare earth and water. Darius or- dered his envoys to demand earth and water of the Scythians ; and Megabysus required the same of Amyntas, king of Macedonia, in the name of Darius. Polybius and Plutarch notice this custom among the Persians. Some believe, that these symbolical demands denoted dominion of the earth and sea ; others, that the earth represented the food received from it, corn and fruits; the water, drink, which is the second part of human nourishment. Ecclesias- ticus xv. 16. in much the same sense, says, "The Lord hath set fire and water before thee ; stretch forth thy hand unto whether thou wilt;" and chap, xxxix. 26. " Fire and water are the most necessary things to life." Fire and water were considered by the ancients as the first principles of the generation, birth, and preservation of man. Proscribed persons were debarred from their use; as, on the contrary, wives in their nuptial ceremonies were obliged to touch them. Earth, in a moral or spiritual sense, is opposed to heaven and spirit. " He that is of the earth is earthy, and speaketh of the earth : he that eometh from heaven is above all," John iii. 31. " If ye then be risen with Christ, set not your affections on things on the earth," Col. ii. 1, 2.

EARTHLY

EARTHLY, EARTHY. Having the affections fixed on the affairs of this life: it is opposed to heavenly-mindedness, spiritual, Jam. iii. 15; 1 Cor. xv. 48.

EARTHQUAKE

EARTHQUAKE, a convulsion of the earth. Scripture speaks of several earthquakes. One of the most remarkable is that which swallowed up Ko- rah, Dathan, and Abiram, Numb. xvi. This was, no doubt, a miraculous event; but whether the mir- acle consisted in the earthquake itself, or in the cir- cumstances attending it, is not clear; possibly there would have been an earthquake had not Israel been encamped around that spot; or had not Korah re- belled ; but then Korah and his associates would have escaped from it; that is, the punishment might be miraculous, though the earthquake were natural. Another earthquake is that which happened in the 27th of Uzziah king of Judah, A. M. 3221, ante A. D. 783. This is mentioned, Amos i. 1 ; Zech. xiv. 5. and in Josephus, who adds, that its violence divided a mountain, which lay west of Jerusalem, and drove one part of it four furlongs ; when it was stopped by the wall on the east of the city, but not till the earth had closed up the highway, and covered the king's gardens. A very memorable earthquake is that which happened at our Saviour's death, (Matt, xxvii. 51.) and many have thought, that it was perceived throughout the world. Others think it was felt only in Judea, or in the temple at Jerusalem. Cyril of AS [ 363 ] Jerusalem says, that the rocks on mount Calvary ?were shown in his time, which had been rent asun- der by this earthquake. Sandys and Maundrell testify the same; and say that they examined the breaches in the rock, and were convinced that they were effects of an earthquake. It must have been terrible, since the centurion and those with him, were so affected by it, as to acknowledge the inno- cence of our Saviour, Luke xxiii. 47. The word earthquake is also used in a more limited sense, to denote prodigious agitations of mountains, shocks of the foundation of the universe, effects of God's pow- er, wrath, and vengeance, — figurative exaggerations, which represent the greatness, strength, and power of God, Psalm civ. 32; xviii. 7; xlvi. 2; cxiv. 4. It, sometimes figuratively expresses a dissolution of the powers of government in a country, or state, Eev. xvi. 18, 19. EAST. The Hebrews express east, west, north, and south, by before, behind, left and right; accord- ing to the situation of a man whose face is turned to the rising sun. Hence forwards means towards the east. It appears from many places in the Old and New Testaments, that the sacred writers called the prov- inces around and beyond the Tigris and Euphrates, (Mesopotamia, Armenia, and Persia,) Kedem, or the East. Moses, who was educated in Egypt, and lived long in Arabia, might probably follow that custom; especially as Babylonia, Chaldea, Susiana, Persia, much of Mesopotamia, and the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, are, for the greater part of their course, east of Palestine, Egypt, and Arabia. Beside this, as those who came from Armenia, Syria, Media, and Upper Mesopotamia, entered Palestine and Egypt on the east side, it was sufficient to warrant the Hebrews in saying, that these people lay east of them ; and that these countries were known among the Hebrews under the name of the East, appears from several passages. Balaam says, (Numb, xxiii. 7.) that Balak, king of Moab, had brought him from the mountains of the East; i. e. from Pethor on the Euphrates. Isaiah says, (xli. 2.) that Abraham came from the East into the land of Canaan; and (xlvi. 11.) that Cyrus should come from the East against Babylon. In chap. ix. 12. he places Syria east of Judea. Dan- iel says, (xi. 44.) Antiochus should be troubled with news of a revolt of the eastern provinces; i. e. the provinces on the other side of the Euphrates; and Matthew says, that the wise men who came to wor- ship Jesus, same from the East, chap. ii. 1. All this confirms the opinion, that in the Scripture style, the East is often used for the provinces which lie easter- ly, though perhaps inclining to the north of Judea and of Egypt. It is remarked, that this word in the Greek of Matthew, (ii. 1.) gives us no certain idea of the country whence the Magi came; but it might not be so in the original Syro-Chaldaic document, from which perhaps the apostle copied. In that language, a certain country was most probably determined by this appellation. We know not whether the Talmud- ists may help us in this instance; but they thus speak: " from Rekam to the East, and Rekam itself is as the East' ' — that is, excluded from the land of Israel, eastward, and consequently is heathen land; if, then, Bekam adjoined the land of Israel, we need not go very far to seek the East, which adjoined Re- kam. We may ask also as to the Magi — What was their Syriac title ? In the Gemara we have a story of an Arabian informing a Jew that the Messiah was born: — if this were a memorial of Eastern Arabia, it may agree with the country east of Rekam; which would not greatly differ from the districts occupied by the sons of Abraham, and called " the East," Gen. xxv. 6 ; Judg. vi. 3. We read (Gen. xi. 1,2.) that mankind departed from Kedem ; in our translation " the East; " upon which there has been much controversy. It would be useless to detail the various conjectures of learn- ed men- as to the situation of Kedem. ? We have seen that there are several districts in Scripture so called; some being close to Syria; but for this Kedem we must direct our researches to a country east of Babylonia ; since the inhabitants of this coun- try came thither after a journey " from the East." [The country here meant is, unquestionably, that in the vicinity of mount Ararat, where mankind first settled after the deluge. To come from that coun- try to Babylonia, it was necessary to keep along on the east side of the Median mountains, and then issue at once from the east upon the plain. (See Bryant's Mythol. iii. p. 24; also Mr. Smith's letter under the article Ararat.) R. WIND. See Wind. EASTER. It is no honor to our translators, that this word occurs in the English Bible, Acts xii. 4 ; it should have been passover, which feast of the Jews we well know. Easter is a word of Saxon origin ; and imports a goddess of the Saxons, or rather of the East, Estera, in honor of whom sacrifices being an- nually offered about the passover time of the year, (spring,) the name became attached by association of ideas to the Christian festival of the resurrection, which happened at the time of the passover ; hence we say Easter-day, Easter-Sunday, but very improp- erly ; as we by no means refer the festival then kept to the goddess of the ancient Saxons. So the present German word for Easter, Ostern, is referred to the same goddess, Estera or Ostera.' EATING. The ancient Hebrews did not eat in- differently with all persons ; they would have esteem^ ed themselves polluted and dishonored by eating with those of another religion, or of an odious pro- fession. In Joseph's time they neither ate with the Egyptians, nor the Egyptians with them ; (Gen. xliii. 32.) nor in our Saviour's time, with the Samaritans, John iv. 9. The Jews, were scandalized at his eating with publicans and sinners, Matt.-ix. 11. As there were several sorts of meats, the use of which was prohibited, they could not conveniently eat with those who partook of them, fearing to receive pollu- tion by touching such food, or if by accident any particles of it should fall on them. See Meats. At their meals, some suppose, they had each his separate table ; and that Joseph, entertaining his brethren in Egypt, seated them separately, each at his particular table, while he himseJf sat down sepa- rately from the Egyptians, who ate with him ; but he sent to his brethren portions out of the provisions which were before him, Gen. xliii. 31, et seq. Elka- nah, Samuel's father, who had two wives, distributed their portions to them separately, 1 Sam. i. 4, 5. In Homer, each guest is supposed to have had his little table apart ; and the master of the feast distributed meat to each, Odyss. xiv. 44G seq. We are assured that this is still practised in China; and that many in India never eat out of the same dish, nor on the same table with another person, believing they can- not do so without sin ; and this, not only in their owd country, but when travelling, and in foreign lands. [ 364 ] This is also the case with the Brahmins and vari- ous castes in India ; who will not even use a vessel after a European, though he may only have drank from it water recently drawn out of a well. The same strictness is observed by the more scrupulous among the Mahometans ; and instances have been known of every plate, and dish, and cup, that had been used by Christian guests, being broken imme- diately after their departure. The ancient manners which we see in Homer, we see likewise in Scripture, with regard to eating, drinking, and entertainments. There was great plenty, but little delicacy ; great respect and honor paid to the guests by serving them plentifully. Jo- seph sent his brother Benjamin a portion five times larger than those of his other brethren. Samuel set a whole quarter of a calf before Saul ; Sam. ix. 24. The women did not appear at table in enter- tainments with the men ; this would have been an indecency ; as it is at this day throughout the East. The Hebrews anciently sat at table, but afterwards imitated the Persians and Chaldeans, who reclined on table-beds, or divans, while eating. As a knowl- edge of this fact is of importance to a right under- standing of several passages in the New Testament, we shall offer some remarks upon it. The accom- panying engraving represents one of the common eating tables. (1.) The reader is requested to notice the construc- tion of the tables, i. e. three tables, so set together as to form but one. (2.) Around these tables are placed, not seats, but couches, or beds, one to each ta- ble; each of these beds being called clinium, three of these united, to surround the three tables, formed the triclinium (three beds.) These beds were formed of mattrasses stuffed ; and were often highly orna- mented. (3.) Observe the attitude of the guests; each reclining on his left elbow; and therefore using principally his right hand, that only (or at least chiefly) being free for use. Observe also, that the feet of the person reclining being towards the exter- nal edge of the bed, they were much more readily reached by any body passing, than any other part of the person so reclining. For want of proper discrimination and description, in respect to the attitude at table, as before noticed, Ancient Egyptian Dinner Party. a,j, n, r. Tables with various dishes, b, p, Figs, d, e, y, and Baskets of grapes. Fig. 3 is taking a wing from a goose. Fig. 4 holds a joint of meat. Figs. 5 and 7 are eating fish. Fig. 6 is about to drink water from an earthen vessel. several passages of the Gospels are not merely injur- ed as to their true sense, but are absolutely reduced to nonsense, in our English translation. So Luke vii. 36: "A woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the phari- see's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him, weeping; and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head; and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment." Now, surely, when a person sits at meat, according to those ideas which naturally suggest themselves to an English reader, his feet, being on the floor under the table, are before him, not behind him; and the impossibility of any [ 365 ] one standing at his feet behind him, and while stand- ing, kissing his feet, wiping them, &e. is glaring. However, by inspecting the engraving, the narration becomes intelligible ; the feet of a person recumbent, being outermost, are most exposed to salutation, or to any other treatment, from one standing behind them. The same observations apply to John xii. 3: "Laza- rus was one who reclined at table (avax^^^vwv) with " Jesus ; and Mary " anointed the feet of Jesus," &c. Assisted by these ideas, we may better understand the history of our Lord's washing his disciples' feet, (John xiii. 5.) He poureth water into a basin, and go- ing round the beds whereon the disciples reclined, he began to wash their feet, which lay on the external edge of the couch, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded, &c. (verse 12.) " after he had taken his garments and was reclined again, he said," &c. It is not easy to ascertain precisely the form of the beds anciently used among the Persians; but, by re- garding them as something like what our engravings represent, we may see the story of Hainan's petition- ing Esther for his life, in nearly its true light. While the king went into the garden, Haman first stood up to entreat Esther to grant him his life; and being desirous of using even the most pathetic mode of entreaty, he fell prostrate on the bed where the queen was lying recumbent; the king, that instant re- turning, observing his attitude, and his nearness to the queen, which was utterly contrary to female modesty, and to royal dignity, exclaimed, " What! will he also force the queen ! she being in my company, in the palace f " But, when Esther fell at the king's feet, (chap. viii. 3.) we are to consider the king as seated on the divan, or sofa, in a very different at- titude, and disposition of his person. See Bed. This may be a proper place to notice the import of some other expressions, which, appearing to be simi- lar, might seem to infer the same attitude. So, " Mary sat at Jesus' s feet " to hear his discourse; while Martha was cumbei-ed about much serving. Martha, standing before Jesus, said, " Lord, direct my sister to help me," but Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus, close to the divan on which he sat ; where we see clearly that both the sisters, one standing, the other sitting, might be before Jesus, as he sat on the divan. See Bed. It would be perhaps overstraining these remarks, to apply them to some of those slighter incidents which sacred history has recorded; it is nevertheless proper to notice, how justly John might be said to "lie in Jesus's bosom" (John xiii. 23.) at the supper table. Is it supposable, from circumstances, that our Lord was not in the chief place of honor, (according to the Greeks, the right extremity of the triclinium), as such a person could not have any one lying in his bosom; or is it probable that the Jews esteemed some other part, perhaps the left extremity, as the place of honor? It is certain that the Turks and Chinese do so. The tables which the Jews are represented as pu- rifying by washing, (Mark vii. 4.) are these kind of beds, (kAijw) — purifying, as if they had been polluted by the recumbence of strangers ; unless it were cus- tomary, as in point of neatness it ought to be, to wash the tables after every meal, and before they received guests again. This, however, could not extend to the bolsters and pillows, as they could not be made sufficiently dry to receive guests, in so short a time as intervened between one meal and another. [The mode of reclining at table on couches was common in the East, and also among the Greeks and Romans. The general character of these meals appears to have been the same in the latter nations and among the Hebrews, and may be found described, with references to the necessary classical authorities, in Potter's Greek Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 375, seq. and Adam's Rom. Antiq. Philad. 1807. p. 434, seq. It was at a later period, under the emperors, that the semicircular couch, above mentioned, was introduced. ,In still later times, the custom was adopted which still prevails in the East, of sitting or reclining on the floor at meat, and at other times on cushions, etc. The present mode of eating in the East is shown in the following extracts from travellers. Dr. Jow- ett, while on a visit to Deir el Kamr, not far from Beyroot, has the following remarks: (Chr. Research- es in Syria, &c. p. 210. Amer. ed.) " To witness the daily family habits, in the house in which I lived at Deir el Kamr, forcibly reminded me of Scripture scenes. The absence of the females at our meals has been already noticed. There is another custom, by no means agreeable to a European ; to which, however, that I might not seem unfriendly, I would have will- ingly endeavored to submit, but it was impossible to learn it in the short compass of a twenty days' visit. There are set on the table, in the evening, two or three messes of stewed meat, vegetables, and sour milk. To me, the privilege of a knife and spoon and plate was granted; but the rest all helped them- selves immediately from the dish; in which it was no uncommon thing to see more than five Arab fingers at one time. Their bread, which is extremely thin, tearing and folding up like a sheet of paper, is used for the purpose of rolling together a large mouthful, or sopping up the fluid and vegetables. But the practice which was most revolting to me was this: when the master of the house found in the dish any dainty morsel, he took it out with his fingers, and applied it to my mouth. This was true Syrian courtesy and hospitality ; and, had I been suf- ficiently well-bred, my mouth would have opened to receive it. On my pointing to my plate, however, he had the goodness to deposit the choice morsel there. I would not have noticed so trivial a circum- stance, if it did not exactly illustrate what the Evan- gelists record of the Last Supper. St. Matthew relates that the traitor was described by our Lord in these terms — He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me, xxvi. 23. From this it may be inferred that Judas sat near to our Lord ; perhaps on one side next to him. St. John, who was leaning on Jesus's bosom, describes the fact with an additional circumstance. Upon his ask- ing, Lord, who is it ? Jesus answered, He it is to whom 1 shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop, Satan entered into him, xiii. 25 — 27. Niebuhr's account is as follows: (Descr. of Arabia, p. 52.) " The table of the orientals is arranged ac- cording to their mode of living. As they always sit upon the floor, a large cloth is spread out in the mid- dle of the room upon the floor, in order that the bits and crumbs may not be lost, or the carpets soiled. [On journeys, especially in the deserts, the place of this cloth is supplied by a round piece of leather, which the traveller carries with him. Travels, ii. p. 372.] Upon this cloth is placed a small stool, which [ 366 ] C B serves as a support for a large round tray of tinned copper; on this the food is served up in various small dishes of copper, well tinned within and with- out. Among the better class of Arabs, one finds, instead of napkins, a long cloth, which extends to all ?who sit at table, and which they lay upon their laps. Where this is wanting, each one takes, instead of a napkin, his own handkerchief, or rather small towel, which he always carries with him to wipe himself with after washing. Knives and forks are not used. The Turks sometimes. have spoons of wood or horn. The Arabs are so accustomed to use the hand instead of a spoon, that they can do without a spoon even when eating bread and milk prepared in the usual manner. Other kinds of food, such as we commonly eat with a spoon, I do not remember to have seen. " It is, indeed, at first, very unpleasant to an Euro- pean, just arrived in the East, to eat with people who help themselves to the food out of the common dish with their fingers ; but this is easily got over, after one has become acquainted with their mode of life. As the Mohammedans are required, by their religion, very often to wash themselves, it is there- fore even on this account probable, that their cooks prepare their food with as much cleanliness as those of Europe. The Mohammedans are even obliged to keep their nails cut so short, that no impurity can collect under them ; for they believe their prayers would be without any effect, if there should be the least impurity upon any part of the body. And since, now, before eating, they always wash them- selves carefully, and generally too with soap, it comes at length to seem of less consequence wheth- er they help themselves from the dish with clean fingers, or with a fork. " Among the sheikhs of the desert, who require at a meal nothing more than jiillau, i. e. boiled rice, a very large wooden dish is brought on full; and around this one party after another set themselves, till the dish is emptied, or they are satisfied. InMerdin, where I once ate with sixteen officers of the Wai- wode, a servant placed himself between the guests, and had nothing to do, but to take 'away the empty dishes, and set down the full ones which other ser- vants brought in. As soon as ever the dish was set down, all the sixteen hands were immediately thrust into it ; and that to so much purpose, that rarely could any one help himself three times. They eat, in the East, with very great rapidity ; and at this meal in Merdin, in the time of about twenty minutes, we sent out more than fourteen empty dishes." *R. In closing this subject, we may properly notice the obligations which are considered by ©astern peo- ple to be contracted by eating together. Niebuhr says, " When a Bedouin sheikh eats bread with strangers, they may trust his fidelity and depend on his protection. A traveller will always do well, therefore, to take an early opportunity of securing the friendship of his guide by a meal." The reader will recollect the complaint of the Psalmist, (xli. 9.) pen- etrated with the deep ingratitude of one whom he describes as having been his own familiar Mend, in whom he trusted — " who did eat of my bread, even he hath lifted up his heel against me ! " To the morti- fication of insult was added the violation of all con- fidence, the breach of every obligation connected with the ties of humanity, with the laws of honor, with the bonds of social life, with the unsuspecting freedom of those moments when the soul unbends itself to enjoyment, and is, if ever, off its guard. Under the article Covenant of Salt, we saw the obligation contracted by the participation of bread and salt ; we now find, that among the Arabs, at least, the friendship and protection implied attaches no less to bread. Hence, in part, no doubt, the convivi- ality that always followed the making of a covenant. Hence, also, the severity of some of the feelings ac- knowledged by the indignant man of patience, Job, as appears in several passages of his pathetic expos- tulations. It is "well known that Arabs, who have given food to a stranger, have afterwards thought themselves bound to protect him against the ven- geance^' demanded by consanguinity, for even blood itself.

EBAL

EBAL, a mountain in Ephraim, near Shechem, over against mount Gerizim, from which it is sepa- rated by a valley of about two hundred paces wide, in which stands the town of Shechem. Both moun- tains are much alike in length, height, and form, and their altitude is stated by Mr. Buckingham not to ex- ceed 700 or 800 feet, from the level of the valley. But if they are alike in these particulars, in others they are very unlike; for Ebal is barren, while Gerizim is beautiful and fruitful. The Jews and Samaritans have great disputes about them. (See Gerizim.) Moses commanded Israel, that as soon as they had passed the Jordan, they should go to Shechem, and divide into two bodies, each com- posed of six tribes, one placed on, that is, adjacent to, Ebal; the other on, that is," adjacent to, Gerizim. The six tribes on, or at, Gerizim, were to pronounce blessings on those who should faithfully observe the law; and the six on mount Ebal, were to pronounce curses against those who should violate it, Deut. xxvii. This Joshua executed, Josh. viii. 30, 31. Moses enjoined them to erect an altar of unhewn stones on mount Ebal, and to plaster them over, that the law might be written on the altar; but the Sa- maritan Pentateuch, instead of Ebal reads Gerizim; because the altar and sanctuary of the Samaritans were there. See Shechem.

EBED-MELECH

EBED-MELECH, a eunuch or servant of king Zedekiah, who being informed that Jeremiah was imprisoned in a place full of mire, informed the king of it, and was the means of his restoration to safety, though not to liberty. For this humanity he was promised divine protection, and after the city was taken by Nebuzaradan he was preserved, Jeremiah xxxviii. 7.

EBEN-EZER

EBEN-EZER, stone of help, a witness stone erected by Samuel, of divine assistance obtained, 1 Sam. vii. 12.

EBER

EBER, see Heber.

EBODA

EBODA, a town in Arabia Petraea. Probably Oboda, or Oboth, Numb. xxi. 10; xxxiii. 43, 44.

ECBATANA

ECBATANA, the ancient capital of Media, built, or, perhaps, enlarged and fortified, by Dejoces, or Arphaxad, fourth king of the Medes. It was en- compassed with seven walls, of unequal heights; the largest, according to Herodotus, (lib. i. cap. 98.) was equal in extent with those of Athens ; that is, 1 78 furlongs, or nearly eight leagues, (Thucyd. lib. i.) After the union of Media with Persia, Ecbatana be- came the summer residence of the kings of Persia, because of the freshness of the air. It still subsists, under the name of Hamadan, in lat. 34 53' N. long. 40 E. Its inhabitants are stated by Mr. Kinnier to be about 40,000, including about 600 Jewish families. It is supposed to be mentioned under the name of Achmetha, Ezra vi. 2. [ 367 ] ECCLESIASTES. This word is feminine in the Hebrew, and literally signifies, one who speaks in public; or, one who convenes the assembly. The Greeks and Latins, not regarding the gender, render it Ecclesiasles, an orator, one who speaks in public. Solomon describes himself in the first verse, " The words of Koheleth, [Eng. Vers. ' the Preacher,'] the son of David, king of Jerusalem." He mentions his works, his riches, his buildings, and his proverbs, or parables, and that he was the wisest and happiest of all kings in Jerusalem; which description plainly characterizes Solomon. This book is generally thought to be the production of Solomon's repent- ance, towards the latter end of his life. It proposes the sentiments of the Sadducees and Epicureans in their full force ; proves excellently the vanity of all things ; the little benefit of men's restless and busy cares, and the uncertainty of their knowledge ; but concludes, " Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is the whole of man." In this all his obligations terminate; this is his only means to happiness, pres- ent and future. In reading this book, care should be taken not to deduce opinions from detached senti- ments, but from the general scope and combined force of the whole.

ECCLESIASTICUS

ECCLESIASTICUS, a book so called in Latin, either to distinguish it from Ecclesiastes, or to show that it contains, as well as that, precepts and exhor- tations to wisdoni and virtue. The Greeks call it " The Wisdom of Jesus, the Son of Sirach." It con- tains maxims and instructions, useful in all states and conditions of life. Some of the ancients ascribed this work to Solomon ; but the author is much more modern than Solomon, and speaks of several persons who lived after that prince. He mentions himself in chap. i. 27: " I, Jesus, the son of Sirach, have writ- ten in this book the instruction of understanding and knowledge." Chap. li. is inscribed, " A prayer of Jesus, the son of Sirach." The interpreter of it out of Syriac or Hebrew into Greek, says, that his grandfather Jesus composed it in Hebrew; but we have no authentic information who he was, nor when he lived. He praises the high-priest Simon, and speaks of him as not then living: but there were more high-priests than one of this name. Neverthe- less, it is probable, he means Simon II. after whose death those calamities befell the Jews, which might induce the son of Sirach to speak as he does, chap, xxxvi. and 1. The translator of it into Greek came into Egypt in the thirty-eighth year of Ptolemy VII. surnamed Euergetes, the second of that name; as he says in his preface. The author of the Latin translation from the Greek is unknown. Jerome says, the church receives Ecclesiasticus for edifica- tion, but not to authorize any point of doctrine.

ECDIPPA

ECDIPPA, otherwise Achzib, which see. ECLIPSE. The Hebrews seem not to have phi- losophized much on eclipses, which they considered as sensible marks of God's anger. Se.e Joel ii. 10, 31; iii. 15; Job ix. 7. — Ezekiel (xxxii. 7.) and Job (xxxvi. 32.) speak more particularly, that God covers the sun with clouds, when he deprives the earth of its light, by eclipses. Yet, when we read that " the sun shall be turned into darkness ; and the moon in- to blood," we can hardly avoid discerning an ac- quaintance with the appearance of those luminaries while under eclipse. The interruption of the sun's light causes him to appear black; and the moon during a total eclipse exhibits a copper color ; or what Scripture intends by a blood color. See Darkness.

ED

ED, witness, the name given to the altar erected by the two tribes and a half, who were settled beyond Jordan, Josh. xxii. 34. It was probably a copy or repetition of that which was used among the He- brews, their brethren, and it was built Xo witness to posterity the interest of these tribes in the altar com- mon to the descendants of the patriarch Israel.

EDER

EDER, a town of Judah, Josh. xv. 21.

EDOM

EDOM, red, earthy, or of blood, otherwise Esau, son of Isaac, and brother of Jacob. The name Edom was given him, either because he sold his birthright to Jacob for a mess of red pottage, or because of the color of his hair and complexion, Gen. xxv. 25, 30. Idumaja is named from Edom, and is often called the land of Edom. See Esau and Idum^ea. EDOMlTES. See Idumea.

EGLAH

EGLAH, sixth wife of David, and mother of Ith- ream, 2 Sam.iii. 5. Many are of opinion, thatEglah and Michal are the same, and that she died in labor of Ithream. But see 2 Sam. vi. 23.

EGLAIM

EGLAIM, a city beyond Jordan, east of the Dead sea, in the land of Moab, which Eusebius places 8 miles south of Ar, or Areopolis. Isa. xv. 8. 1 Sam. xxv. 44.

EGYPT

EGYPT, brook, or river of. This is frequent- ly mentioned as the southern limit of the Land of Promise, Gen. xv. 18 ; 2 Chron. vii. 8 ; Num. xxiv. 5 ; Joshua xv. 4. Calmet is of opinion, that this was the Nile : remarking that Joshua (xiii. 3.) describes it by the name of Sihor ; which is the true name of the Nile; "the muddy river:" and that Amos (vi. 14.) calls it the river of the wilderness, because the east- ern arm of the Nile adjoined Arabia, or the wilder- ness, in Hebrew Araba, and watered the district by the Egyptians called Arabian. In answer to this, it is said that this stream was the limit of Judea toward Egypt ; and that the LXX, (Isaiah xxvii. 12.) "unto the river of Egypt," render "to Rhinocorura;" a town certainly not adjacent to the Nile. Besides, it is extremely dubious whether the power of the He- brew nation extended, at any time, to the Nile ; and if it did, it was over a mere sandy desert. But as this desert is unquestionably the natural boundary of the Syrian dominions, no reason can be given why the political boundary should exceed it. Such an anomaly is an error against both nature and geo- graphy. We take the river of Egypt, therefore, to he the brook Besor, between Gaza and Rhinocorura. See Josh. xv. 47. See Nile.

EHUD

EHUD, son of Gera; a judge of Israel, who slew Eglon, king of Moab. Judg. iii. 15. A [ 378 ] There is a circumstance in the history of Ehud Judg. iii. 15, &c.) which is well illustrated by an oc- currence noticed by Mr. Bruce. "Ehud said, l I have a secret errand unto thee, O king!' who said, ' Keep silence !' and all that stood by him went out from before him. And Ehud came unto him," &c. — This seems to imply, that the delivery of messages announced as secret was nothing uncommon, but that the king's people knew their duty, and, on the mention of such a thing, quitted the presence, as good manners directed them. This idea of the fre- quency of such messages accounts also for the non- suspicion of Eglon, or of his attendants, respecting this communication of Ehud ; in fact, this part of the history assumes much more the air of an ordina- ry occurrence, after having read the passage from Bruce, which renders the whole action so much the easier ; as there can be no doubt that Ehud laid his plan with strict attention to the manners of the times, and conducted it, also, in correct conformity to the modes prevalent in the king's court ; as might best insure his purpose, might prevent suspicion of his design, and might most effectually render detection of it unavailing. — "I drank a dish of coffee, and told him that I was bearer of a confidential message from Ali Bey of Cairo, and wished to deliver it to him, without witnesses, whenever he pleased. The room was accordingly cleared, without delay, excepting his secretary, who was also going away, when I pulled him back by the clothes, saying, 'Stay, if you please ; we shall need you to write the answer.' We were no sooner left alone, than I told the aga that, .... I wished to put it in his power, as he pleased or not, to have witnesses of delivering the small present I had brought him from Cairo." (Trav. vol. i. p. 153.)

EKRON

EKRON, the most northern city of the Philistines, allotted to Judah by Joshua, (xv. 45.) but afterwards given to Dan, (xix. 43.) though it does not appear that the Jews ever peaceably possessed it. It was near the Mediterranean, between Ashdod and Jam- nia, and is probably the ruined village now called Tookrain. The Ekronites were the first who pro- posed to send back the ark, in order to be delivered from those calamities which it brought on their country, 1 Sam. v. 10. Baalzebub was adored at Ekron, 2 Kings i. 2.

EL-BETH-EL

EL-BETH-EL, to the God of Bethel, the name given by Jacob to an altar which he built, (Gen.xxxv. 7.) and which stood, probably, in the very spot where he had formerly seen the prophetic dream of the ladder, chap, xxviii. 22. AD and MEDAD, were appointed by Mosea among the seventy elders of Israel, who were to as- sist in the government: though not present in the general assembly, they were filled with the Spirit oi God, equally with those who were there, and began to prophesy in the camp. Joshua would have had Moses forbid them, but he replied, "Enviestthou for my sake ? Would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them !" Numb. xi. 24 — 29. of Israel, the headsof tribes, who, before the settlement of the Hebrew commonwealth, had a government and authority over their own families and the people. When Moses was sent into Egypt to deliver Israel, he assembled the elders, and inform- ed them, that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, had appeared to him, Exod. iv. 29 ; xii. 21. Moses and Aaron treated the elders as representatives of the nation. When the law was given, God directed Moses to take the seventy elders, as well as Aaron, and Nadab and Abihu, his sons, that they might be witnesses, xxiv. 1, 9, 10. Ever afterwards, we find this number of seventy, or rather seventy-two, el ders ; six from each tribe. Some have been of opinion that these seventy el- ders formed a kind of senate in Egypt, for the better governing the people while in bondage ; and that [? 381 ] from hence the famous Sanhedrim was derived in later ages. But it is more credible, that in the begin- ning they exercised, each over their respective tribe, and all together over the whole people, a jurisdiction only like that which fathers of families exercise over their children ; founded on the respect and obedience due to parents. The commissioners appointed to inspect in what manner the children of Israel per- formed their tasks in Egypt, (called in Hebrew ;tpt.3^, Shoterim,) were, according to some, the elders of Is- rael, who judged and commanded the people. The translate scribes, that is, commissioners, who had lists of those that worked, who appointed them their tasks, and saw that they performed them. After Jethro's arrival in the camp of Israel, Moses made a considerable change in the governors of the people. He established over Israel heads of thou- sands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, that justice might be readily administered to applicants ; difficult cases only being referred to himself, Exod. xviii. 24, 25, &c. This constitution, however, did not long con- tinue ; for on the murmuring of the people at the encampment called the Graves of Lust, (Numb. xi. 24, 25.) Moses appointed seventy elders of Israel, to whom God communicated part of that legislator's spirit. This judicial body appears to have continued, not only during the life of Moses, but also under Joshua, if not under the Judges. See Josh. ix. 15; xxiii. xxiv. 1, 32. See Sanhedrim. In allusion to the Jewish elders, the ordinary gov- ernors of the Christian church are called elders, or presbyters, and are the same as bishops or overseers, Acts xx. 17. 28 ; Tit. i. 5.7.

EL-ELOHE-ISRAEL

EL-ELOHE-ISRAEL, " To God the. God of Is- rael," the name of an altar built by Jacob in a piece of ground which' he bought of Hamor, Shechem's father, Gen.xxxiii. 20.

ELAH

ELAH, Aholibamah's successor in the govern- ment of Edom, Gen. xxxvi. 41.

ELATH

ELATH, or Eloth, a city of Edom on the east- ern gulf of the Red sea, and which Smidts thinks was named from Ela, a duke of Edom, who built it, Gen. xxxvi. 41. Eloth was singularly varied in the writing, and no doubt in the pronunciation, of its name : ^Elath, iElana, Aila, Ailana, Ailas, Ailath, Ailoth, Elath, Elana, Haila, Hailath, &c. Pliny says it was called Leana, from the Leanites, a people that dwelt on the shores of the Elanitic gulf, which gulf was between Eloth and Gaza. In later ages it was commonly called Elana, and was, according to Jerome, the first port from which to sail from India to Egypt. After the decease of Alexander, and the wars consequent on his death, Elana was subject m the kings of Egypt ; afterwards tq those of Syria ; then to the Romans, who, in the days of Jerome, stationed the tenth legion there. Ibn Haukal (Appendix to Eng. Tr. of D'Arvieux,) describes Ailah as " formerly a small town, with some fruitful lands about it : it is the city of those Jews who were turned into hogs and monkeys. It stands upon the coast of the Red sea, pretty near the road of the Egyptian pilgrims that go to Mecca. It is now nothing but a tower, the residence of a gov- ernor, who depends upon him of Grand Cairo. There are now no longer any sown fields there. There was formerly a fort built in the sea, but it is all gone to ruin, and the commander lives in the tower we were just speaking of, which stands by the water-side." This information is of consequence, as it shows that the character of the country is changed. It had formerly " fruitful lands ;" it had "sown fields." It had also "a fort built in the sea:" but there would have been no occasion for a fort, and still less for a fort in the sea, if it had not for- merly been a seaport, and a place worth defending. Describing the Red sea, the same writer says, (p. 353.) — "Leaving Madyan, it comes to Ailah, which is under the 55th degree of longitude, and 29th of latitude. From Ailah the sea bends southward as far as Al-tour, which is mount Sinai, that by a very high cape, jutting out into the sea, divides it into two arms. From thence, turning back again northward, it comes at last to Kolzum, which stands to the west of Ailah, both of them having almost the same lati- tude. Kolzum and Ailah are situate upon the two ends of the sea we have been speaking of, and so are we arrived at the northern Terra Firma. Among the turnings and windings which this sea makes, which we have just now been describing, the land juts out on the south ; and the place where it parts the sea is Al-tour, — mount Sinai, the longitude of which is almost the same as that of Ailah. Ailah stands upon the extremity of the eastern arm or channel, and Kolzum upon the extremity of the western one. Ailah is more easterly than Kolzum. What is between Kolzum and Ailah is mount Al- tour, which is more southerly than Kolzum, and Ailah lies at the end of the cape that runs out into the sea. The sea flows between Al-tour and the coast of Egypt, and shuts up the channel or arm, upon the extremity of which Kolzum stands. Just so between Al-tour and the shore of Hegiaz there is another channel, upon the extremity of which the town of Ailah stands. To go from Al-tour to either of the opnosite lands is a very short passage by sea, but it is abundantly a longer way by the desert of Fakiah, because those who come from Al-tour to go into Egypt must of necessity pass round Kol- zum ; or beyond Ailah, if they are going to Hegiaz. 1 Al-tour is joined to the continent on the north side; 379 ] ELATfl out ll is encompassed by the sea on the other three sides." The following is Mr. Bruce's account of the eastern, or Elanitic, gulf of the Red sea:- "We sailed from cape Mahomet, just as the sun appeared. We passed the island of Tyrone in the mouth of the Elanitic gulf, which it divides nearly equally into two ; or, rather, the north-west side is the narrowest. The direction of the gulf is nearly north and south. judge it to be about six leagues over. Many of the Cairo ships are lost in mistaking the entry of the Elanitic gulf for that of the Heropolitic gulf, or gulf of Suez ; for, from the island of Tyrone, which is not above two leagues from the main, there runs a string of islands, which seem to make a semicircu- lar bar across the entry from the point, where a ship, going with a south wind, would take its departure ; and this range of islands ends in a shoal with sunken rocks, which reaches near five leagues from the main. It is probable, that upon these islands the fleet of Rehoboam perished when sailing for the expedition of Ophir, 2 Chron. xx. 37." (Trav. vol. i. p. 241.) [The country around the eastern, or Elanitic, gulf of the Red sea, has been, until within a few years, almost a terra incognita. One of the most important of Burckhardt's discoveries, is said by his editor, Mr. Leake, himself a traveller and man of science, to be the ascertaining of " the extent and form of the Elanitic gulf, hitherto so imperfectly known, as either to be omitted in the maps, or marked with a bifurcation at the extremity, which is now found not to exist." (Preface to Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, &c. p. v.) It is to the same traveller, also, that we are first in- debted for a knowledge of the existence of the long valley, known by the names of El Ghor, and El Araba, extending from the Dead sea to the Elanitic gulf, and forming a prolongation of the great valley of the Jordan ; thus indicating, that not improbably the Jordan once discharged itself into the Red sea. See Burckhardt's letter, inserted in the article Canaan ; also, the extract below, from Riippell ; and compare the articles Exodus and Jordan. It was in the spring of 1816, that Burckhardt visit- ed the peninsula of mount Sinai, and examined the western coast of the Elanitic gulf, with the intention of proceeding to Akaba, situated at its northern ex- tremity. Having arrived, however, within sight of that place, he found it impossible to proceed, because of the hostile and perfidious character of the tribes of Bedouins, in that vicinity, to whom his guides were strangers. (Travels in Syria, &c. p. 508, seq.) "The Alowein and the Omran' are the masters of the district of Akaba, intrepid robbers, who are to this day entirely independent of the government of Egypt. Through them we must unavoidably pass, to reach Akaba; and Ayd [the guide] could not give me the smallest hope of being able to cross their valleys without being attacked ; — -I saw little chance of success, and knew, from what I had heard on my journey, that the Omran not only rob but murder passengers. I had no alternative but to turn back ; and, under these circumstances, I reluctantly deter- mined to retrace my steps the next day." He had, indeed, advanced too far already ; for the very next day he and his three Arab guides were attacked by a party of Bedouins, and escaped only after killing one of the latter. " Akaba was not far distant from the spot from whence we returned. Before sunset, I could dis- tinguish a black line in the plain, where my sharp- sighted guides clearly saw the date-trees surround- ing the castle, which bore N. E. by E ; it could not be more than five or six hours distant. Before us was a promontory ; and behind this, as I was told, another, which begins the plain of Akaba. The castle is situated at an hour and a half or two hours from the western chain of hills, down which the Hadji route leads ; and about the same distance from the eastern chain, a lower continuation of Tor Hcsma, a mountain which I have mentioned in my journey through the northern parts of Arabia Pe- trsea. The descent of the western mountain is very steep, and has probably given to the place its name of Akaba, which in Arabic means a cliff or steep de- clivity ; it is probably the Akabet Aila of the Arabian geographers. [Compare the extract from Ibn Hau- kal, above.] In Numbers xxxiv. 4. the "ascent of Akrabbim" is mentioned, which appears to corre- spond very accurately to this ascent of the western mountain from the plain of Akaba. Into this plain, which surrounds the castle on every side except the sea, issues the Wady el Araba, the broad sandy val- ley which leads towards the Dead sea, and which I crossed, in 1812, at a day and a half, or two days' journey from Akaba. At about two hours to the south of the castle, the eastern range of mountains approaches the sea. The plain of Akaba, which is from three to four hours in length, from west to east, and, I believe, not much less in breadth northward, is very fertile in pasturage. To the distance of about one hour from the sea, it is strongly impreg- nated with salt, but farther north sands prevail. The castle itself stands at a few hundred paces from the sea, and is surrounded with large groves of date- trees. It is a square building, with strong walls, erected, as it now stands, by sultan el Ghoury, of Egypt, in the sixteenth century. The castle has tolerably good water in deep wells. The pasha of Egypt keeps here a garrison of about thirty soldiers, to guard the provisions deposited for the supply of the Hadji, [or annual caravan to Mecca,] and lor the use of the cavalry, on their passage by this route to join the army of the Hedjaz. "It appears that the gulf extends very little farther east than the castle, distant from which one hour, in a southern direction, and on the eastern shore of the gulf, lies a smaller and half-ruined castle, inhabited by Bedouins only, called Kaszer el Bedawy. At about three quarters of an hour from Akaba, and the same distance from Kaszer, are said to be ruins in the sea, which are visible only at low water. They are said to consist of walls, houses, and columns, but cannot easily be approached, on account of the shallows. I inquired particularly whether the gulf did not form two branches at this extremity, as it has always been laid down in the maps ; but I was assured it had only a single ending, at which the castle is situated. " Makrizi, the Egyptian historian, says, in his chapter on Aila (Akaba), ' It is from hence that the Hedjaz begins ; in former times it was the frontier place of the Greeks ; at one mile from it is a trium phal arch of the Caesars. In the time of the Islam, it was a fine town, inhabited by the Beni Omeya. Ibn Ahmed Ibn Toulon (a sultan of Egypt) made the road over the Akaba, a steep mountain before Aila. There were many mosques at Aila, and many Jews lived there ; it was taken by the Franks, dur- ing the crusades ; but in 566, [of the Hegira,] Sala- heddyn [Saladin] transported ships upon camels from Cairo to tl is place, and recovered it from them. Near Aila was formerly situated a large and handsome town, called Aszyoun' (Ezion-geber)." i ; With better success, Mr. Ruppell, in 1822, visited this region, and came to Akaba itself. His personal observation goe« to show the great general accuracy of the information collected by Burckhardt from the tes- timony of others. He approached the plain from the west, on the route of the Hadji, or great annual cara- van from Egypt to Mecca, alluded to above. The following is a translation of his remarks upon this region. (Reisen, etc. Fraukf. 1829, p. 247, seq.) " On this high table-land, we remarked, as we descended by a steep path among the rocks, that we were ele- vated at least fifteen hundred feet above the level of the sea. The view from the terrace of this plateau was very picturesque ; but probably produced the greater effect on me, because we had behind us a most hideous desert. From this point one beholds, in the distance, the steep blue granite mountains on the other side of Akaba ; on the right, a section of the deep-green sea. In the foreground, are wild and ragged masses of dark primitive rocks ; on which recline, in different parts, layers of yellowish shell- limestone. On the left is the valley of Wady Araba, through which the dry bed of a stream, shaded with bushes, winds among luxuriant meadow-grounds. "We occupied more than five hours in descending fi'om this high table-land to the sea-shore, on account of the many windings of the road among wild masses of porphyry rocks. In the more dangerous places, the way is hewn out of the rock, thirty feet wide. Here, also, an inscription records the founder of this toilsome work; who is doubtless annually remem- bered with gratitude by the pilgrims upon their way to Mecca. This declivity is called Djebel Mahemar ; that on the other (eastern) side of the valley is named Djebel Araba. " Our way now followed, for an hour, in an easter- ly direction, the sea-shore ; which here forms a salt marsh. We then reached the site of an ancient town, distinguished by many large mounds of rubbish, and probably the remains of the ancient Ailat (Elath) ; on this point I afterwards received express confirma- tion. The dry channel of the Wady Araba separates these ruins from the remains of a far more modern settlement, which lie scattered among date-trees. These consist of low walls of rough stones laid in clay. Some of these serve periodically as dwellings for the Bedouins. In the immediate vicinity, towards the east, lies the castle of Akaba, among plantations of date-trees. In form it is a square fortress, with walls in good preservation, and octagonal towers at the corners. It lies some hundred paces from the sea-shore. The pasha of Egypt keeps here a garri- son of forty soldiers. The gateway is still further defended by two bulwarks in the form of towers. "It has been a general opinion, that the sea of Akaba forms here two bays. This, however, is in- correct ; no one here knows any thing of such a bifurcation. This information, however, was not enough to satisfy me ; I wished myself to visit in per- son the eastern coast of the gulf. A good half hour south-east of Akaba, I found, on an excursion along the coast, the ruins of a castle called Kasser Bedowi ; it is an Arabian building, probably erected before the fortress of Akaba, to protect the caravan of pilgrims to Mecca. From this point I could see a great part of the eastern coast of the gulf ; I afterwards visited very particularly its western coast ; but I could no where perceive any bays like those which have been conjectured to exist here. In the region of Akaba there is not a single boat or water-craft of any kind ; the Arabs in fishing use only rafts made of the trunks of palm-trees tied together. It was, therefore, impos sible for me to make any investigation respecting the depth of the sea, or the nature of its bottom. "On inquiring the name of the spot where the above mentioned mounds of rubbish are situated, I was told that it was called Djelena; probably the ancient site of Ailat. I often wandered among these ruins in various directions, but never met with any thing of importance. " In the court of the castle of Akaba is a walled-up well, with excellent water ; indeed, throughout this whole region, there is every where good water. I took some pains to assure myself, that, at the time of ebb, on digging a foot deep in the sand which the sea has just covered, the hole is instantly filled with most excellent water for drinking. I often quenched, in this way, my thirst during long walks; and it was so much the more refreshing, because, during the time of my stay in this place, the temperature of the air was sometimes above thirty degrees of Reaumur, [or one hundred of Fahrenheit.] The existence of this water can be explained in no other way, than by sup- posing a very copious filtration of the water which collects in the Wady Araba, through the layer of sand which covers the granite formation beneath." Is it perhaps admissible here, to suppose that it is the waters of the Dead sea, which continue thus to filter through beneath the sands that have filled up the ancient channel, in which the Jordan would seem once to have flowed ? " The environs of the castle of Akaba are very in- secure ; in all my walks and excursions I was accom- panied by several soldiers ; the Hamaran Arabs [Omran of Burckhardt] who dwell in this region, are notorious on account of their faithless character. The Turkish garrison, however, described the dan- ger, no doubt, as much greater than it really is, in* order thus to magnify the value of the protection which they afforded me." *R.

ELEALEH

ELEALEH, a town of Reuben, (Numb, xxxii. 37.) placed by Eusebius a mile from Heshbon.

ELECT

ELECT, ELECTION, see Predestination. was, as is generally believed, a lady of quality, who lived near Ephesus, to whom John ad- dressed his second Epistle, cautioning her and her children against heretics, who denied the divinity of Christ, and his incarnation. Some think Electa, which signifies chosen, is not a proper name, but an honorable epithet ; [elect lady, Eng. trans.] and that the Epistle was directed to a church The same apostle salutes Electa, and her children, in his third Epistle ; but the accounts of this Electa are as per- plexed as those of the former.

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