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Edward Robinson

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FABLE, a story destitute of truth. Paul exhorts Timothy and Titus to shun profane and Jewish fa- bles, (1 Tim. iv. 7 ; Tit. i. 14.) as having a tendency to seduce men from the truth. By these fables some understand the Gnostics' cabalistical interpretations of the Old Testament. But the fathers, generally, and after them most of the modern commentators, interpret them of the vain traditions of the Jews, especially concerning meats, and other things to be 54 abstained from as unclean, which our Lord also styles " the doctrines of men," Matt. xv. 9. This sense of the passages is confirmed by their context. In another sense, the word is taken to signify an ap- ologue, or instructive tale, intended to convey truth under the concealment of fiction, as Jotham's fable of the trees, Judg. ix. 7 — 12. See Parable. FACE. The Lord promised Moses, that his face should go before Israel : "I myself," say the LXX [ 426 ] but rather "the angel of my face." This, and the angel of his presence, (Isa. lxiii. 9.) mean the Messi- ah. See Word of the Lord. Moses begged of God to show him his face, or to manifest his glory. God replied, " I will make all my goodness pass before thee ; and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee ; — but thou canst not see my face ; for there shall no man see me and live," Exod. xxxiii. The persuasion was very prevalent in the world, that no man could support the sight of Deity, Gen. xvi. 13 ; xxxii. 30 ; Exod. xx. 19; xxiv. 11 ; Judg. vi. 22, 23. We read in Numb. xii. 8. that " God spake mouth to mouth with Moses, even apparently, and not in dark speeches." And in Numb. xiv. 14. "The Canaanites have heard that thou, Lord, art among this people, and seen face to face." InDeut. v. 4. God talked with the He- brews "face to face, out of the midst of the fire." All these phrases are to be understood as intimating that God manifested himself to the Israelites ; that he made them hear his voice as distinctly as if he had appeared to them face to face ; not that they actually saw him. The face of God sometimes denotes his anger, Psal. Ixviii. 2. Sometimes it is used in a different sense. To consider the face of any one, is to respect his person, Pro v. xxviii. 21. The judge ought to shut his eyes, as not regarding any person whose cause comes before him, and to open them only to justice. Sometimes, to know thy face, signifies to do a favor, Mai. i. S, 9 ; Gen. xix. 21 . "I have accept- ed thee concerning this thing also." Heb. "1 have accepted thy face." To spit in one's face, is a sign of the utmost contempt, Isa. i. 6 ; Matt, xxvii. 67. We have an expression in Joel ii. 6 — " Before their approach [the locusts'] the people shall be much pained, all faces shall gather blackness ;" which is also adopted by the prophet Nihurn, ii. 10. " The heart melteth, the knees smite together, much pain is in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness" — which sounds uncouth to an English ear ; but it is elucidated by the following extract from Ock- ley's history of the Saracens. (Vol. ii. p. 319.) Mr. Harmer has referred this blackness to the effect of hunger and thirst; and Calmet to a bedaubing of the face with soot ; a proceeding not very consist- ent with the hurry of flight, or the terror of distress. " Kumeil, the son of Ziyad, was a man of fine wit. One day, Hejage made him come before him, and reproached him, because in such a garden, and be- fore such and such persons, whom he named to him, he had made a great many imprecations against him, saying, the Lord blacken his face, that is, fill him with shame and confusion ; and wished that his neck was cut off, and his blood shed." The reader will ob- serve how perfectly this explanation agrees with the sense of the passages above quoted. To gather black- ness is equivalent to suffering extreme confusion, and being overwhelmed with shame, or with terror and dismay. — Injustice to Kumeil, we ought not to omit the ready turn of wit, which saved his life. " It is true," said he, " I did say such words in such a gar- den ; but then 1 was under a vine-arbor, and was looking on a bunch of grapes, that was not yet ripe : and I wished it might be turned black soon ; that they might be cut off, and be made wine of." We see, in this instance, as the sagacious moralist remarks, that with the well-advised is wisdom ;" and that " the tongue of the wise is health ;" that is, preservation and safety. [In both these passages, however, the Heb. mNs, arur, does not signify blackness, but brightness, eauty, comeliness, &c. The phrase is, therefore, illustrated by Joel i. 10, where the stars are said "to gather in, withdraw their shining ;" so here, men's faces are said " to gather in, withdraw their bright- ness, cheerful expression," etc. i. e. grow pale with fear before the judgments of God. R.


FAIR-HAVENS, (Acts xxvii. 8.) is called by Ste- phen, the geographer, " the fair shore." It was, probably, an open kind of road, not so much a port as a bay, which did not afford more than good anchor- age for a time, on the south-east part of Crete. Je- rome and others speak of it as a town on the open shore.


FAITH, a disposition of mind by which we hold for certain the matter affirmed. This faith, which produces good works, gives life to a righteous man, Rom. i. 17 ; Hab. ii. 4. It may be considered, ei- ther as proceeding from God, who reveals his truths to man ; or from man, who assents to and obeys the truths of God ; in both these senses it is called faith, Rom. iii. 3. Faith is taken also for a firm confidence in God, by which, relying on his promises, we ad- dress ourselves without hesitation to him, whether for pardon or other blessings, Matt. xvii. 20 ; James i. 5, 6. Faith is a reliance on testimony : if it be human testimony, in reference to human things, it is not en- titled to reception until after examination and con- firmation. Human testimony, in reference to divine things, must also be scrupulously investigated before it be received and acted on ; since the grossest of all deceptions have been imposed on mankind in the name of God. Nor is testimony, assuming to be di- vine, entitled to our adherence or affection, or obedi- ence, until after its character is proved to be genuine, and really from heaven. The more genuine it is, the more readily will it undergo and sustain the tri- al ; and the more clearly will its character appear. But after a testimony, a maxim, or a command, is proved to be divine, it does not become a creature so ignorant and so feeble as man, to doubt its possi- bility, to dispute the obedience to which it is entitled, or to question the beneficial consequences attached to it, though not immediately apparent to human discernment. Faith has respect to evil as well as to good ; and in this it differs from hope. Hope wishes for good only ; — no man hopes for afflictions or evils. Hope desires rewards only ; faith expects punishments as well as rewards. Faith deters from bad conduct, through fear, no less than through desire of advan- tage ; hope allures through promises of blessings. Faith is the full assurance or personal conviction, of the reality of things not seen ; it looks backward to past ages, as well as forward to futurity. Hope looks only forward. By faith we believe that the world was originally created by God ; though we can form no conception of, much less can we see, the matter out of which it was composed. By faith we believe in the existence of ancient cities, as Babylon, Jerusalem, &c. also of distant cities and places, as Rome, Egypt, &c. also of persons formerly living, as Abraham, David, our Lord Jesus Christ, &c. Faith antici- pates things never seen as yet: so Noah, by faith, built the ark, though no general deluge had ever then been witnessed ; so Moses, actuated by faith in the descent of the Messiah from Israel, quitted the honors and pleasures of Egypt ; and so every pious Christian, believing that what God has promised he is able to perform, looks forward with realizing [ 427 1 belief in the existence of heaven and of hell ; of re- wards and punishments beyond the grave ; not su*h as are restricted to this world ; but such as coincide with the immortality of the soul, and with the power and wisdom of the supreme and universal Judge. Faith is taken for honesty, fidelity in performing promises, truth ; and in this sense it is applied both to God and man.


FAITHFUL, an appellation given in Scripture to professing Christians, to all who had been baptized ; and it is used to this day in that application in eccle- siastical language. See 1 Cor. iv. 17 ; Eph. vi. 21 ; Col. iv. 9 ; 1 Pet. v. 12 ; Acts xvi, 1, 15 ; 2 Cor. vi. 15 ; 1 Tim. v. 16. and many other passages. The apostle directs Titus, (chap. i. 6.) that the children of the bishops should be faithful ; no doubt, as examples to the flock, of the dedication of the children of the clergy to the most holy Trinity, by the introductory ordinance of Christianity.


FAN, an instrument used in the East for winnow- ing corn. Fans are of two kinds ; one a sort of fork, having teeth, with which they throw up the corn to the wind, that the chaff may be blown away ; the oth- er is formed to produce wind when the air is calm, Isa. xxx. 24. Our Lord is represented as having his fan in his hand, in order to purge his floor. By the Chris- tian dispensation, and the moral influence which it introduced, men are placed in a state of trial, and the righteous separated from the wicked, Matt. iii. 12. God's judgments are compared to a fan, (Jer. xv. 7.) by these he subjects uations and individuals to the blast of his vengeance, and scatters and disperses them for their sins. See Thrashing. has, in all ages and among all nations, been practised in times of mourning, sorrow, and affliction. It is in some sort inspired by nature, which, under these circumstances, refuses nourish- ment, and suspends the cravings of hunger. We see no example of fasting, properly so called, before Moses ; whether the patriarchs had not observed it, which yet is difficult to believe, since there were great mournings among them, which are particularly described, as that of Abraham for Sarah, and that of Jacob for Joseph ; or whether he did not think it necessary to mention it expressly, is uncertain. It appears by the law, that devotional fasts for expiation of , sins were common among the Israelites. Moses passed forty days in fasting on mount Horeb, (Exod. xxiv. 18 ; Deut. x. 10.) as did our Lord in the wilder ness, Matt. iv. 2 ; Luke iv. 2. The Jewish legislatoi enjoined no particular fast ; but it is thought that the great day of expiation was strictly observed as a fast. Joshua and the elders of Israel remained prostrate before jhe ark, from morning until evening, with- out eating, after Israel was defeated at Ai, (Josh, vii. 6.) and the eleven tribes which fought against that of Benjamin, did the same, Judg. xx. 26. See also 1 Sam. vii. 6; 2 Sam. xii. 16. The king of Nin- eveh, terrified by Jonah's preaching, ordered that not only men, but beasts also, should continue without eating or drinking ; should be covered with sackcloth, and each after their manner cry to the Lord, Jon^n iii. 5, 6. The Jews, in times of public calamity, appointed extraordinary fasts, and made even the children at the breast fast. See Joel ii. 16. They begin the observance of their fasts in the evening after sunset, and remain without eating until the same hour the next day, or until the rising of the stars ; on the great day of expiation, when they are more strictly obliged to fast, they continue without eating for twenty-eight hours. Men are obliged to fast from the age of full thirteen, and women from the age of full eleven years. Children from the age of seven years fast in proportion to their strength. During this fast, they not only abstain from food, but from bathing, perfumes, and ointments ; they go barefoot, and are continent. This is the idea which the eastern people have generally of fasting ; it is a total abstinence from pleasures of every kind. The prin- cipal fast-days of the Jews may be seen in the Jew- ish Calendar, at the end of the Dictionary. Be- side those fasts, which are common to all Jews, others, which are devotional, are practised by the most zealous and pious. The Pharisee says, (Luke xviii. 12.) "I fast twice a week," that is, on Thurs- day, in memory of Moses' going up mount Sinai on that day ; and on Monday, in memory of his coining down from thence. It it said, that some Pharisees fasted four days in the week ; and in the Greek of Judith, we read, that she fasted every day, except " the eves of the sabbaths, and the sabbaths ; and the eves of the new moons, and the new moons; and the feasts and solemn days of the house of Israel." It does not appear by his own practice, or by hib commands, that our Lord instituted any particular fast. When, however, the Pharisees reproached him, that his disciples did not fast so often as theirs, or as John the Baptist's, he replied, " Can ye make the children of the bride-chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them ? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days," Luke v. 34, 35. Accordingly, the life of the apostles and first believers was a life of self-denials, of sufferings, aus- terities, and fastings. Paul says, (2 Cor. vi. 5 ; xi. 27.) he had been, and still was, "in hunger and thirst, in fastings often," and he exhorts the faithful to imi- tate him in his patience, in his watchings, in his fastings. Ordinations and other acts of importance in the church were attended with fasting and prayers. The fasts of Wednesday and Friday, called stations in the Romish church, and that of Lent, particularly of the holy week, have been thought to be of early institution. FAT. God forbade the Hebrews to eat the fat of beasts. "All the fat is the Lord's. It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all | 428 ] E A your dwellings, that ye neither eat fat nor blood," Lev. iii. 16, 17. Some interpreters take these words literally, and suppose fat as well as blood to be for- bidden. Joseph us says, Moses forbids only the fat of oxen, goats, sheep, and their species, which agrees with Lev. vii. 23. " Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goats." The modern Jews observe this, but the fat of other sorts of clean crea- tures they think is allowed for use, conformably to Lev. vii. 24. Others maintain, that the law, which forbids the use of fat, should be restricted to fat sep- arated from the flesh ; such as that which covers the kidneys and intestines ; and this only in the case of )*s being offered in sacrifice ; which is confirmed by L,ev. vii. 25. Fat, in the Hebrew idiom, signifies, not only that of beasts, but the rich or prime part of other things. "He should have fed them also with the fat [Eng. trans, finest] of wheat," Ps. lxxxi. 16 ; cxlvii. 14. Fat expresses also the source of compassion or mer- cy. As the bowels are stirred at the recital of mis- fortune, oi' at the view of melancholy and afflicted objects, it has been thought that sensibility resided principally in the bowels, which are commonly fat. The Psalmist reproaches the wicked with shutting up their bowels, feeling no compassion at the sight of his extreme grief. " Mine enemies compass me about, they are enclosed in their own fat," Psalm x vii. 9, 10. In another passage he says, they sinned with affectation, almost like Jeshurun, who, when waxed fat, kicked, and forgot God which made him, Deut. xxxii. 15. "The fat of the earth," implies the fruitfulness of the land, Gen. xxxvii. 28. Fat denotes abundance of good things, Jobxxxvi. 16 ; Psalm lxiii. 5 ; Jer. xxxi. 14. FATHER. This word is often taken in Scrip- ture for grandfather, great-grandfather, or the founder of a family, how remote soever. So the Jews call Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, their fathers. Christ is called son of David, though David was many generations distant from him. By father is likewise understood the institutor, the original practiser, or master, of a certain profession. Jabal was "father of such as dwell in tents, an'd such as have cattle." Jubal was " father of all such as handle the harp and organ," or flute, &c. Gen. iv. 20, 21. Huram is call- ed father by the king of Tyre ; (2 Chron. ii. 13.) and (2 Chron. iv. 16.) even to Solomon, because he was the principal workman, and chief director of their undertakings. Father is a term of respect given by inferiors to superiors, and by servants to their mas- ters. The principal prophets were considered as fathers of the younger, who were their disciples ; " sons of the prophets," 2 Kings ii. 12 ; v. 13 ; vi. 21. Joseph says, that God had made him "a father to Pharaoh," had given him great authority in that prince's kingdom : that Pharaoh looked on him as his father, and had given him the government of his house and dominions, — Grand Vizier. Rechab, the founder of the Rechabites, is called their father, Jer. xxxv. 6. A man is said to be a father to the poor and orphans, when he supplies their necessities and sympathizes with their miseries, as a father would do towards them, Job xxix. 16. God declares himself to be the father of the fatherless, and the judge of the widow ; (Psalm lxviii. 5.) and he is fre- quently called heavenly father, and simply, father; eminently, the father, creator, preserver, and protec- tor of all, especially of those who invoke him, and serve him. See Deut. xxxii. 6. Since the coming of our Saviour, we have a new right to call God our father, by reason of the adop- tion and filiation which he has merited for us, by clothing himself in our humanity, and purchasing us by his death ; " Ye have received the spirit of adop- tion, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God," Rom. viii. 15, 16. The devil is called the father of the wicked, and the father of lies, John viii. 44. He deceived Eve and Adam ; he introduced sin and falsehood ; he inspires his follow- ers with his spirit and sentiments. The prophets reproach the wicked Jews with calling idols, "my father," Jer. ii. 27. They said so in effect, if not in words, since they adored them as gods. The hea- then gave the name father to several of their divini- ties ; — as to Jupiter, " father of gods and men ;" father Jove, &c. and to Bacchus, Liber Pater, &c. These appellations the idolatrous Jews repeated and imitated. The father of Sichem, the father of Teko- ah, the father of Bethlehem, &c. signify the chief person who inhabited these cities ; or he who built or rebuilt them. To be gathered to their lathers, to sleep with their fathers, are common expressions, signifying death ; and perhaps referring to interment in the same sepulchre. Christ is called, (Isa. ix. 6.) " the everlasting father," because by him, says Cal- met, we are begotten in God for eternity ; he procures life eternal to us, by adopting us to be sons of God, and by the communication of his merits. The ex- pression, however, is, " father of the everlasting (the Gospel) age." Our Lord (Matt, xxiii. 9.) forbids us to call any man " master," because we have one in heaven. Rather, to call no man father, in the same sense as the sons of the prophets called their teacher father ; to follow no earthly leader ; to follow blindly the dictates of no man, however eminent or digni- fied ; but to obey God only. Not that we should abandon, or despise, earthly fathers ; God requires us to honor that relation ; but, when the glory of God, or our salvation, is at stake, if our fathers or our mothers are obstacles, we should say to them, "We know you not;" and to God, "Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O Lord, art our father, our redeemer," Isaiah lxiii. 16. Adam is the father of the living ; Abraham is the father of the faithful ; called also the father of many nations, be- cause many people sprung from him ; as the Jews, Ishmaelites, Edoinites, Arabs, &c.


FEAR, a painful apprehension of danger. In the Scriptures, when spoken of as exercised towards God, or in a religious sense, it means rather reverence, veneration. It is sometimes used for the object of fear; as the fear of Isaac, that is, the God whom Issac feared, Gen. xxxi. 42. God says that he would send his fear before his people, to terrify and destroy the inhabitants of Canaan. Job (vi. 4.) speaks of the terrors of God, as set in array against him; and the Psalmist, (Ixxxviii. 15.) that he had suffered the terrors of the Lord with a troubled mind. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom ; (Ps. cxi. 10.) and to fear God, and keep his commandments, is the whole duty of man, Eccl. xii. 13. It deserves notice, that true religion is more frequently described as the fear of God in the Old Testament than in the New ; one reason of which might be the temporal sanctions annexed to the sovereignty of God, as it respected the nation of the Jews; and which, under the Gos- pel, are not applicable to all nations of the earth to whom the Gospel is sent, and to whom the most wonderful and supreme instance of divine love is [ 429 ] now revealed. We read, that "God is love," and to be ioved ; not that God is fear, and to be feared, or dreaded ; though we read of godly fear (Heb. xii. 28.) and of the fear of God, as showing itself in re- ciprocal affection between Christian brethren, 2 Cor. vii. 1 ; Eph. v. 21. Compare Rom. viii. 15 ; 2 Tim. i. 7. FEASTS. God appointed several festivals among the Jews : (1.) To perpetuate the memory of great events wrought in favor of them: the Sabbath com- memorated the creation of the world ; the Passover, the departure out of Egypt ; the Pentecost, the law given at Sinai, &c. (2.) To keep them stead- fast to their religion, by the view of ceremonies, and the majesty of divine service. (3.) To procure them certain pleasures and allowable times of rest ; their festivals being accompanied with rejoicings, feasts, and innocent diversions. (4.) To give them instruc- tion ; for in their religious assemblies the law of God was read and explained. ;5.) To renew the acquaintance, correspondence, and friendship, of their tribes and families, which, coming from distant towns in the country, met three times a year, in the holy city. For a description of these feasts, see Sab- bath, Jubilee, Passover, Pentecost, Trumpets, Moon, Expiation, Tabernacles, Purim, Ded- ication. Of the three great feasts of the year, (the Passover, Pentecost, and that of Tabernacles,) the octave, or the eighth day, was a day of rest as much as the festival itself ; and all the males of the nation were obliged to visit the temple. But the law did not require them to continue there during the whole octave ; except in the feast of Tabernacles, when they seemed to be obliged to be present for the whole seven days. In the Christian church we have no festival that clearly appears to have been instituted by our Sa- viour, or his apostles ; but as we commemorate his passion as often as we celebrate his supper, he has hereby seemed to institute a perpetual feast. Chris- tians have always celebrated the memory of his resurrection on every Sunday. We see from Rev. i. 10. that it was commonly called "the Lord's day;" and Barnabas, Ignatius, Justin, Irenanis, Tertullian, and Origen, say, we celebrate the eighth day with joy, because on that day Jesus Christ rose from the dead. It appears from Scripture, that after the promulga- tion of the Gospel, the apostles and Jewish Christians kept the Jewish feasts ; but these, being national, did not concern other nations ; nor could other nations come from their distant residences to attend them at Jerusalem. But, so early as we can trace, and cer- tainly as early as the second century, the Gentile Christians kept certain feasts, analogous to those of the Jewish Passover and Pentecost ; — that is to say, Easter, or rather the Pascha, on which was commem- orated the death and resurrection of Christ; and Whit- suntide, on which was commemorated the descent of the Holy Spirit. This was a favorite time for re- ceiving baptism ; and the white robes then worn by the new converts, gave name to the season. Some have thought that Easter was kept in the Christian sense, by the apostles ; and that it is referred to in 1 Cor. v. 8. As no Jewish feast fell about Christmas, there is no probability of any substitution in this fes- tival, as in the others. We sometimes read of the governor or master of the feast. He gave directions to the servants, and superintended every thing as he thought proper. He tasted the wine, and distributed it to the guests. The author of Ecclesiasticus thus describes his office (chap, xxxii. 1, 2.) "If thou be made the master of a feast, lift not thyself up, but be among them as one. of the rest ; take diligent care of them, and so sit down. And when thou hast done all thy office, take thy place, that thou mayest be merry with them, and receive a crown for the well-ordering of the feast." This office is mentioned in John ii. 8, 9, upon which Theophylact has a good remark: "That no one might suspect their taste was vitiated, by having drunk to excess, so as not to know water from wine, our Saviour orders it to be first carried to the gov- ernor of the feast, who certainly was sober ; for those who on these occasions are intrusted with this office, observe the strictest sobriety, that they may be able properly to regulate the whole." OF LOVE, see Agapje.


FEET, see Foot.


FELIX, see Claudius III. FENCE. The Hebrews use two terms to denote a fence of different kinds ; -ru, gaier, or m-u, gederah, and rowt, mesucdh. According to Vitringa, the latter denotes the outer thorny fence of the vineyard ; and the former, the inner wall of stones surrounding it. The chief use of the former was to keep off men, and of the latter, to keep off beasts ; not only from gar- dens, vineyards, &.c. but also from the flocks at night. See Prov. xv. 19; xxiv. 31. From this root the Phoenicians called any enclosed place guddir, and particularly gave this name to their settlement in the south-western coast of Spain, which the Greeks from them called Vrfeyu, the Remans, Gades, and the moderns, Cadiz. In Ezek. xiii. 5, xxi:. 30. gader appears to denote the fortifications cf a city ; and in Ps. lxii. 3. the wicked are compared to a tottering fence, and bowing wall ; i. e. their destruction comes suddenly upon them. Fenced cities were such as were walled or fortified.


FERRET, a sort of weasel, which Moses declares to be unclean, Lev. xi. 30. The Greek ftvyaXi^ is composed of mus, a rat, and gale, a weasel, because this animal has something of both. The Hebrew npjN, anaca, [Eng. trans, ferret.] is by some translated hedgehog, by others leech or salamander ; by Bochart, lizard. It was most probably a species of lizard.


FESTUS, PORTIUS, succeeded Felix in the government of Judea, A. D. 58. To oblige the Jews, Felix, when he resigned his government, left Paul in bonds at Csesarea in Palestine, (Acts xxiv. 27.) and when Festus arrived, he was entreated by the prin cipal Jews to condemn the apostle, or to order him up to Jerusalem ; they having conspired to assassi- nate him in the way. Festus, however, answered, that it was not customary with the Romans to con- demn any man without hearing him ; and promised to hear their accusations at Cassarea. But Paul ap- pealed to Caesar ; and so secured himself from the prosecution of the Jews, and the intentions of Fes- tus. Finding how much robbing abounded in Judea, Festus very diligently pursued the thieves ; and he also suppressed a magician, who drew the people after him into the desert. He died in Judea, A. D. 62, and Albums succeeded him.


FIELD, see Furrows. FIG. The fig-tree is very common in Palestine and the East ; and flourishes with the greatest luxu- riance in those barren and stony situations, where little else will grow. Figs are of two sorts, the " boccore" and the " kermouse." The black and white boccore, or early fig, is produced in June, though the kermouse, the fig properly so called, which is f 430 1 FIC> preserved, and made up into cakes, is rarely ripe be- fore August. There is also a long dark-colored ker- mouse, that sometimes hangs upon the trees all winter. For these figs generally hang a long time upon the tree before they fall off'; whereas the boc- cores drop as soon as they are ripe, and, according to the beautiful allusion of the prophet Nahum, "fall into the mouth of the eater, upon being shaken," ch. iii. 12. Dr. Shaw, to whom we are indebted for this information, remarks, that these trees do hot proper- ly* blossom, or send out flowers, as we render men, Hab. iii. 17. They may rather be said to shoot out their fruit, which they do like so many little buttons, with their flowers, small and imperfect as they are, enclosed within them. When this intelligent traveller visited Palestine, in the latter end of March, the boccore was far from being in a state of maturity ; for, in the Scripture expression, "the time of figs was not yet," (Matt. xi. 13.) or not till the middle or latter end of June. The "time" here mentioned, is supposed by some authors, quoted by F. Clusius, in his Hierobotanicon, to be the third year, in which the fruit of a particular kind of fig-tree is said to come to perfection. But this spe- cies, if there be any such, needs to be further known and described, before an}' argument can be founded upon it. Dionysius Syrus, as he is translated by Dr. Loftus, is more to the purpose : " it was not the time of figs," he remarks, because it was the month Nisan, when trees yielded blossoms, and not fruit. It frequently happens in Barbary, however, and it need not be doubted in the warmer climate of Pales- tine, that, according to the quality of the preceding season, some of the more forward and vigorous trees will now and then yield a few ripe figs, six weeks or more before the full season. Something like this may be alluded to by the prophet Hosea, when he says, he " saw their fathers as the first -ripe in the fig-tree at her first time ;" (ch. ix. 10.) and by Isaiah, who, speaking of the beauty of Samaria, and her rapid declension, says, she "shall be a fadingflower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which, when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand, he eateth it up," ch. xxviii. 4. When the boccore draws near to perfection, then the kermouse, the summer fig, or caricae, begin to be formed, though they rarely ripen before August; at which time there appears a third crop, or the winter fig, as it may be called. This is usually of a much longer shape and darker complexion than the ker- mouse, hanging and ripening on the tree, even after the leaves are shed ; and, provided the winter proves mild and temperate, is gathered as a delicious morsel in the spring. We learn from Pliny, that the fig-tree was bifera, or bore two crops of figs, namely, the boccore, as we may imagine, and the kermouse ; though what he relates afterwards, should intimate that there was also a winter crop. " Seri fructus per hiemem in arbore manent, et sestate inter novas fron- des et folia maturescunt." "Ficus alteram edit fructum," says Columella, "et in hiemem seram dif- feret maturitatem." It is well known, that the fruit of these prolific trees always precedes the leaves ; and consequently, when our Saviour saw one of them in full vigor having leaves, (Mark xi. 13.) he might, according to the common course of nature, very |ustly " look for fruit ;" and haply find some boc- cores, if not some winter figs likewise, upon it. But the difficulties connected with the narrative of this transaction, will not allow of its dismission in this summary manner. Mr. Taylor conjectures that this tree was the syca more, which bears fruit several times in the year, without observing any certain seasons, so that a per- son cannot determine, without a close inspection, whether it has fruit or not. But, to say nothing against the authority by which the avr.Tj is here pro- posed to be rendered "a sycamore," which has its own proper appellation, avxoumyia, (Luke xix. 4.) the assumption seems inadequate to account for the malediction which was levelled against it ; because it is plain that such a tree might at that time have been destitute of fruit, and yet by no means be barren. Dr. Shaw's conjecture, therefore, seems to be the most satisfactory; namely, that as the fig-always puts forth the fruit before its leaves, and this was not the season for figs, (rather fig harvest, for so the words xuiq'uc avy.Mr import, our Saviour was justified in expecting to meet with some on the tree. As Mr. Bloomfield remarks, The whole difficulty results from the connection of the two last clauses of the 13th verse: "And when he came to it he found nothing but leaves — for the time of figs was not yet;" for the declaration, it was not yet fig harvest, cannot be (as the order of the words seems to import) the reason why there was nothing but leaves on the tree ; because, as we have seen, the fig is of that tribe of vegetables on which the fruit appears before the leaf. Certainly fruit, says Mr. Wiston, might be expected of a tree whose leaves were distinguished afar off, and whose fruit, if it bore any, preceded the leaves. If the words had been, "he found nothing but green figs, for it was not the time of ripe fruit," says Campbell, we should have justly concluded that the latter clause was meant as the reason of what is affirmed in the former, but as they stand, they do not admit this interpretation. All will be clear, however, if we consider, with the writer above referred to, that the former of these clauses is parenthetical, and admit such a sort of tiajeciio as is not unfrequent in the ancient languages. The sense of the passage will then be as follows : "He came to see if he might find any thing thereon ; (for it was not yet the time to gather figs ;) but he found leaves only ; and he said," &c. Similar inversions and trajections have been pointed out by commentators in various other parts of the New and Old Testaments, and Camp- bell particularly notices one in this very Gospel : (chap. xvi. 3, 4.) " They said, Who shall roll us away the stone ? and when they looked, the stone was rolled away, for it was very great" — that is, "They said, Who shall roll us away the stone ; for it was very great." [The fruit of the fig-tree is one of the delicacies of the East ; and is of course very often spoken of in Scripture. Dried figs are probably like those which are brought to our own country ; sometimes, how- ever, they are dried on a string. We likewise read of cakes of figs, (nS:n) 1 Sam. xxv. 18 ; 1 Chron. xii. 40. 2 Kings xx. 7. These were probably formed by pressing the fruit forcibly into baskets or other ves- sels, so as to reduce them to a solid cake or lump. In this way dates are still prepared in Arabia. In Djedda, Burckhardt remarks, (Travels in Arabia, p. 29.) are " eight date-sellers ; at the end of June the new fruit comes in ; this lasts two months, after which, for the remainder of the year, the date-paste, called adjoue, is sold. This is formed by pressing the dates, when fully ripe, into large baskets, so forci- bly as to reduce them to a hard, solid paste or cake, each basket weighing usually about two hundred weight ; in the market, it is cut out of the basket, and 1 11 431 ] sold by the pound." He describes also smaller bas- kets, weighing about ten pounds each. See under Flagon. R.


FIGURES, see Types. To FIND, to meet with, is used sometimes for to attack, to surprise one's enemies, to light on them suddenly, &c. so Anah "found the Emim," Gen. xxxvi. 24. (See Emim.) So the verb to find is used in Judg. i. 5. " They found Adonibezek in Bezek ;" that is, they attacked him there. The Philistine archers found king Saul ; they reached him, hit him, 1 Sam. xxxi. 8. See also 1 Kings xiii. 24. It is said of a man smitten by God, that lie is no more found ; he has disappeared. Comp. Psalm xxvii. 10 ; Job vii. 10 ; xx. 9. To find favor in the sight of any one, is an expressive form of speech common in Scripture. FINGER. The finger of God denotes his power, his operation. Pharaoh's magicians discovered the finger of God in some of the miracles of Moses, Ex- odus viii. 19. That legislator gave the tables writ- ten with the finger of God to the Hebrews, Exod. xxxi. 18. The heavens were the work of God's fingers, Psalm viii. 3. Our Lord says, he casts out devils with the finger of God ; meaning, perhaps, by his authority, Luke xi. 20. To put forth one's finger, is a bantering gesture. If thou take away from the midst of thee the chain or yoke wherewith thou overwhelmest thy creditors, and forbear pointing at them, and using jeering and insulting gestures, Isaiah lix. 8. Some take this for a menacing gesture, as Nicanor stretched out his hand against the temple, threatening to burn it, 2 Mac. xiv. 33.


FIR, an evergreen tree, of beautiful appearance, whose lofty height and dense foliage afford a spa- cious shelter and shade. It is worth observing, on the Heb. vra, berosh, how contradictorily the LXX have rendered it, for want of established principles of natural history — cypress, fir, myrtle, juniper. The Chaldee reads fir constantly ; and it is likely this translator should be quite as well acquainted with the subject as any foreigner. The Hebrew word seems, however, to mean the cypress ; or possibly an evergreen tree in general. In 2 Sam. vi. 5, it is said, that " David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all manner of instruments made of fir-wood," &c. Mr. Taylor inclines to think that the word beroshim in this pas- sage, may express some instrument of music, rather than the wood of which such instrument was made ; but. with his usual candor, he gives the following passage from Dr. Burney's history of music : " This species of wood, so soft in its nature and sonorous in its effects, seems to have been preferred by the an- cients, as well as the moderns, to every other kind, for the construction of musical instruments, particu- larly the bellies of them, on which their tone chiefly depends. Those of the harp, lute, guitar, harpsichord, and violin, in present use, are constantly made of fir- wood." I. FIRE is often a symbol of the Deity, Deut. i v. 24. He appeared to Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and John, in the midst of fire ; the Psalmist describes his chariot as a flame, (Psal. xviii. 9, 10.) and Daniel says (vii. 10.) that a fiery stream issued from before him. Fire is a common symbol of God's vengeance, also ; and the effects of his wrath, as war, famine, and other scourges, are compared fire. Fire from heaven fell on victims sacrificed to the Lord, as a mark of approbation ; but when Abraham made a covenant with the Lord, a fire passed between the divided pieces of the sacrifices. This was probably the Shekinah. perpetual fire was kept up in the temple, on the altar of burnt-sacrifices, by burning wood continually on it. In addition to this fire, there were several kitchens in the temple, where the provisions of the priests and the peace-offerings were dressed. The Son of God says, that he had brought fire on the earth, and desired nothing more than to have it kindled ; (Luke xii. 49.) that is, to subject the land of Judea to judgments, in consequence of its wicked- ness ; part of which was already begun in the do- minions of the Romans. The sword of this people would complete the punishment. He came to bap- tize with the Holy Ghost and fire, (Matt. iii. 11.) and to verify this prediction, the Holy Ghost descended on his disciples in the form of tongues of fire, Acts ii. 3. Fire will one day consume this world, according to Peter, 2 Epist. iii. 7, 12. The heathen had some knowledge of this ; whether they received it from the Hebrews, or from the sacred writings ; from tra- dition, or from reasoning, and their knowledge of the elements and the actual state of the earth, we know not. Josephus speaks of an ancient tradition, that before the deluge-the sons of Seth had learned from Adam that the world would be destroyed first by water, afterwards by fire. Heraclitus held, that after it had passed through the flames, it would receive a new birth amidst the fire ; the Stoics maintained the same ; and Cicero particularly notices it in his book De Nat. Deorum, (lib. ii.) as does Ovid, (Met. lib. i.) The Chaldeans, Persians, and some other people of the East, adored fire ; and there is a tradition that Abraham was thrown into a fire, because he refused to worship this element. See Zoroaster, Abra- ham. Few things are more shocking to humanity than the custom of which such frequent mention is made in Scripture, of making children pass through fire in honor of Moloch ; a custom, the antiquity of which appears from its having been repeatedly forbidden by Moses, as Lev. xviii. 2], and, at length, in chap, xx. 1 — 5. where the expressions are very strong, of "giving his seed to Moloch." This cruelty, one would hope, was confined to the strangers in Israel, and not adopted by any native Israelite ; yet we af- terwards find the kings of Israel, themselves, practis- ing this superstition, and making their children pass through the fire. There is a remarkable variation of terms in the history of Ahaz, who, in 2 Kings xvi. 3, is said to make "his son to pass through the fire, according to the abomination of the heathen," i. e. no doubt, in honor of Moloch, — while, in 2 Chron. xxviii. 3, it is expressed by " he burned his children in the fire." Now, as the book of Chronicles is best understood, by being considered as a supplementary and explan- atory history to the book of Kings, it is rather sin- gular, that, it uses by much the strongest word in this passage — -for the import of ijai is, generally, to con- sume, to clear off; so Psal. lxxxiii. 14. " As the fire burnetii a wood," so Isaiah i. 31, and this variation of expression is further heightened, by the word son (who passed through) being singular in Kings, but plural (sons) in Chronicles. It seems very natural to ask, " If he burned his children in the fire, how could he leave any posterity to succeed him?" The rabbins have histories of the manner of pass- ing through the fires, or between the fir


FISH, it, dag, a general name in Scripture for aquatic animals, which the Hebrews place among reptiles. We have few Hebrew names, if any, for particular fish. Moses says in general, (Lev. xi. 9.) that all sorts of river, lake, and sea fish may be eaten if they have scales and fins ; others are unclean. Some interpreters believe that the fish whicb swallowed Jonah was a whale ; but others, with more probability, suppose that it was a shark. are frequently spoken of by the proph- ets, in their metaphorical discourses. A passage oi two requires notice. . Jeremiah says, (ch. xvi. 16.) " Behold,! will send for many (d'Jh, davvagim^si- ers, and they shall (au'i, digvm) fish them ; and after, will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks." Mr. Taylor thinks this would be more correct, if understood thus — "I will send divers who shall dive after them, or, take them by wading, diving, plunging, following them among the holes and crannies of the rocks, and bringing them from thence." For it should seem, he remarks, that the hunting associated with this fishing, being an active pursuit, demands more than mere angling, or fishing with nets, as its parallel ; neither among holes of the rocks are nets of use ; but diving is an active pursuit by water, as hunting is by land, and seems to maintain the requisite association of import in this passage. Diving for pearls was (and is) practised in the East ; and, that diving is prac- tised as one way of taking fish, is strongly implied in the subsequent quotation from Niebuhr. [There is no reason whatever for taking the word fisher out of its usual sense ; — nothing can be more ap- propriate than its being employed along with hunter, as above. Still, a diver might, by possibility, be in- cluded under it, as it is in English. R. Is this the allusion of the prophet Ezekiel, (chap, xlvii. 10.) " And fishers shall stand upon it, from En- gedi to En-eglaim ; they shall be a place to spread forth nets ?" Such is our translation ; but, reading with the keri (noy, AiueRu) shall gather, instead of (noy, AM6DU ) shall stand, the words may be rendered thus: "And divers shall gather upon its banks; and from the kids' fountain to the calves' fountain, shall be the extent of separations." But what does this mean ? Mr. Taylor suggests, " They shall gather into heaps, (the word signifies to compress close together,) as pearl oysters are gathered into distinct hillocks ; and the ground appointed for such separate heaps shall be from En-gedi, the kids' fountain, to En-eglaim, the calves' fountain." The prophet goes on to say, this river shall also have all other kinds of fish, in the same number and variety as the ocean itself. If this be the import of the place, then diving, as one branch of fishing, is uniformly included in the deriv- atives from the word dag ; and this idea increases the symbolical riches of these prophetic waters. Attaching the idea of diving to this word, gives a decided import to a noun used in Amos iv. 2 : " The Lord God hath sworn that the days come .... that he will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fish-hooks.''' 1 Mr. Harmer (Obs. vol. iv. p. 199.) enters at large into the rendering of this passage. Mr. Taylor would render thus : " The Lord shall take you (yourselves) aivay with, or among, or being beat forward by, prickles ; but those whom you leave behind you shall be driven away by a diver's weapon ; an in- strument equally sharp, and with points as numerous, and piercing as those used by divers to strike at the fish which they pursue." — By this rendering, he ob serves, the idea of driving forward cattle is preserved throughout the passage; and the change of meta- [ 436 ] plior, by allusion to fishing (i. e. angling) is avoided. [The figure is here taken from the custom of taming or subduing animals by placing hooks or rings in their noses: Compare Is. xxxvii. 29, "Therefore I will put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way which thou earnest." Why these hooks are here called fish-hooks, appears from fizek. xxix. 4 ; Job xli. 2, — viz. because it was customary to let the larger fish, when once caught, hang in the water, being fastened by a hook in the nose. See Brace's Travels. Oedmann's Sammlungen, etc. V. 5. R. " Of all the creatures which live in the water, the Mahometans eat only fish, and not all sorts of them. Those which are considered as pure and e'dible, ac- cording to the books of the old Mahometan theologist, ought to have been taken in nets, or with the hand, while alive ; when the water being ebbed away, leaves the shores dry. Nevertheless, they take them, at least in the Euphrates, with the hook, or with a grain which intoxicates them. Some have questioned whether a piece of fish, which swims on the water, may be eaten ? and it is decided, that it is lawful when there appears some mark that the fish was killed by a knife, or by a sabre ; because then, it is presumed, that the words bism alia akbar were pro- nounced over it. I do not remember to have seen fishes alive among the Mahometan fishermen. Those of Djidda and Loheia only brought ashore such as were dead : without a doubt they had cut their throats, lest they should die of themselves, and so become impure." (Niebuhr, Descrip. Arabie, p. 150. Fr. edit.) Here we see that fish are taken by the hand ; they are also killed by sharp weapons, as a knife, or a sa- bre ; and therefore other sharp and piercing instru- ments, better adapted to the purpose than knives or sabres, could hardly fail of being employed by fish- ermen. Our translation mentions fish-spears, (Job xli. 1.) but in the original it is another word. FITCHES. There are two words in the Hebrew Bible which the English translators have rendered fitches or vetches — nsp Kttsach, and ntD3 Kussemeth ; the latter probably denotes rye, or spelt ; we have now to inquire about the former, which occurs only in Isaiah xxviii. 25 — 27, and about which critics are not agreed. Jerome, Maimonides, and the rabbins un- derstand it of the gith, which was c led by the Greeks MiZuv&lov, and by the Latins nigella; and Rabbi Obdias de Bartemora expressly says, that the barbarous or vulgar name of the nxp> was '^"j nielli, nigella. Ausonius says the gith is " pungent as pep- per ;" and Pliny adds, that its seed is good for sea- soning food. He also states it to be of great use in the bakehouse, and that it affords a grateful season- ing to bread ; perhaps by sprinkling upon it, as we do caraway and other small seeds. Some think the gith to have been the same as our fennel, and Ballester is quoted ns saying "gith is commonly met with in garden . . it grows a cubit in height, sometimes more. The leaves are small, like those of fennel, the flower blue, which disappearing, the ovary shows itself on the top, like those of a poppy, fur- nished with little horns, oblong, divided by mem- branes into several partitions and cells, in which are enclosed seeds of a very black color, not unlike those of a leek, but very fragrant. But the cir- cumstance of Ballester comparing the gith to the fennel is decisive against the notion that it was this particular plant. That it classes with the fennel may be readily admitted ; but not that it was the same. FLAG. There are two words in the original, ins*, achit, and rpo, si'tph, translated "flag," in our Bibles, though not uniformly so ; for in Gen. xli. 2, 18, the former word is rendered meadotv, and in Jonah ii. 5, ?e latter is translated weeds. It probably denotes the sedge or long grass, which grows in the meadows of the Nile, very grateful to the cattle. The following is from Dr. Harris. Jerome, in his Hebrew questions or traditions on Genesis, writes, "Achi neque Grsecus sermo est, nec Latinus, sed et Hebra?us ipse corruptus est." The Hebrew van (i) and jod (?<) being like one* another, and differing only in length ; the LXX in- terpreters, he observes, wrote tin, achi for mx, achu ; and according to their usual custom, put the Greek x for the double aspirate n. That the grass was well known among the Egyptians, he owns in his com- ment upon Isa. xix. 7, where the LXX render nny, aroth, paper reeds, to at ri> z?.mQuv — "Cum ab eruditis qusererem, quid hie sermo significaret, audivi ab .lEgyptiis hoc nomine lingua eorum omne, quod in palude virens nascitur appellari." "We have no radix," says the learned Chappellow, "for inN, unless we derive it, as Schultens does, from the Arabic achi, to bind or join together." Thus it may \v. defined "a species of plant, sedge, or reed, so called from its fitness for making ropes, or the like, to connect or join things together; as the Latin 'juncus,' a bulrush, a jungendo, from joining, for the same reason :" and some suppose that it is the plant, or reed, growing near the Nile, which Hasselquist describes as having numerous narrow leaves, and growing about eleven feet high ; of the leaves of which the Egyptians make ropes. It should, how- ever, be observed, that the LXX, in Job viii. 11, ren- der butomus which Hesychius explains as "a plant on which cattle are fed, like to grass ;" and Suidas, as "a plant like to a reed, on which oxen feed." These explanations are remarkable, because we read, Gen. xli. 2, that the fat kine of Pharaoh fed in a meadow, says our translation, on achu'm the original. This leads us to wish for information on what aquatic plants the Egyptian cattle feed ; which, no doubt, would lead us to the achu of these passages. The word rpo, suph, is considered by Aben Ezra to be "a reed growing on the borders of the river." Bochart, Fuller, Rivetus, Ludolphus, and Junius and Tremellius, render it by juncus carex or alga, and Celsius thinks it the fiucus or alga [sea weed.] Dr. Geddes says, there is little doubt of its being the sedge called " sari ;" which, as we learn from Theo- phrastus and Pliny, grows on the marshy banks of the Nile, and rises to the height of almost two cubits. This, indeed, agrees very well with Exod. ii. 3, 5, and " the thickets of arundinaceous plants, at some small distances from the Red sea," observed by Dr. Shaw ; but the place in Jonah seems to require some submarine plant. FLAGON. In Cant. ii. 5, the bride says, "Stay me with flagons ; comfort me with apples." Some kind of fruit would seem to be intended here by flagons, in order to parallel the following versicle, " comfort me with apples ;" for as the latter is a fruit, it seems necessary that the former should be a fruit also. And as these apples are a round fruit, some- thing of the melon kind may be intended, as extreme- ly refreshing, sweet, and juicy; which seems to be the ideas included — whether an apple, or a citron be the fellow-fruit referred to. As one kind of gourd is by us called flagon, so might another kind, but of a similar genus, be formerly called. The word occurs here without the insertion "of wine," but in Hosea [ 437 ] lii. 1, is added "of grapes," — "Loving measures — flagons of grapes." Slight these be grapes gathered into gourds ? Or do they mean wine, as our trans- lators have rendered them here ; and have inserted the word wine in the other places — thereby fixing them to this sense ? [The Hebrew word nwvx, ashishah, every where rendered in the English version flagon, (2 Sam. vi. 19 ; 1 Chron. xvi. 3 ; Hos. iii. 1 ; Cant. ii. 5.) means rather a cake, especially of dried grapes, or raisins, pressed into a particular form. These are mentioned as delicacies, by which the weary and languid were refreshed ; they were also offered to idols, Hos. iii. 1. They differed from the p^^tsimmiik, (Ital. Simmuki,) dried clusters of grapes not pressed into any form ; (1 Sam. xxv. 18.) and also from the cakes of Jigs ; (see Figs, sub Jin.) We may compare the manner in which with us cheeses are pressed in various forms, as of pine-apples, &c. and also the manner in which dates are prepared at the present day by the Arabs. See under Figs. R.


FLAX, a well known plant, upon which the in- dustry of mankind has been exercised with the great- est success and utility. Moses speaks of the flax in Egypt, (Exod. ix. 31.) which country has been cele- brated, from time immemorial, for its production and' manufacture. The " fine linen of Egypt," which was manufactured of this article, is spoken of for its su- perior excellence, in Scripture, Prov. vii. 16 ; Ezek. xxvii. 7. It was under the stalks of this plant that Rahab hid the spies, Josh. ii. 6. In predicting the gentleness, caution, and tenderness, with which the Messiah should manage his administration, Isaiah (xlii. 3.) happily illustrates it by a proverb, " The bruised reed lie shall not break, and the smoking flax he shall not quench." — He shall not break even a bruised reed, which snaps asunder immediately, when pressed with any considerable weight ; nor shall he extinguish even the smoking flax, or the wick of a lamp, which, when it first begins to kindle, is put out by every little motion. This is quoted in Matt. xii. 20, where, by an easy metonymy, the mate- rial for the thing made,^a.r, is used for the wick of a lamp or taper ; and that, by a synecdoche, for the lamp or taper itself, which, when near going out, yields more smoke than light.— He will not put out or extinguish the dying lamp. is taken, literally, for the substance which composes bodies, whether of men or animals, Gen. vi. 13. The word flesh is also used to denote a principle opposite to the spirit : " The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other," Gal. v. 17. " Walk in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh," ver. 16. To crucify the flesh with its lusts ; not to fulfil the desires of the flesh ; the wis- dom of the flesh, &c. are expressions which require no explanation. " We are thy flesh and thy bone," are familial- expressions to denote kindred and rela- tionship, Gen. xxix. 14; xxxviii. 27. The wise man says, that the flesh of the intempe- rate is consumed by infamous diseases, Prov. v. 11. See also Eccles. v. 6. Ecclesiasticus requires a pru- dent man to separate his flesh from a prostitute, chap. xxv. 26. In 2 Peter ii. 10, we read of" those who walk after the flesh, in the hist of uncleanness ;" and in Jude 7, of "going after strange flesh." In both places reference is expressed to the vile prac- tices of the Sodomites. In 2 Pet. ii. 7, we read of "the filthy conversation of the wicked ;" and also of their "unlawful deeds," ver. 8. The intention of the sacred writers is clear ; though veiled for the sake of decorum in a general term. " Oh that we had of his flesh !" said Job's enemies, even his domestics, in his affliction, chap. xxxi. 31. They would have eaten him up alive, says Calmet; thus they repaid with ingratitude his services to them. But Job seems rather to describe his former condition, as having been so honorable, that what- ever was placed on his table was longed for as the most desirable of its kind. So Rosenmuller : " Did not my domestics say, Who is there that is not filled with his banquets ?" The Psalmist says, The wicked, even mine enemies, came upon me to eat up my flesh, Ps. xxvii. 2. Wisdom (xii. 5.) reproaches the Canaanites with devouring man's flesh ; and Jere- miah threatens the inhabitants of Jerusalem that they should be constrained to eat the flesh of their friends and children. See also Lam. ii. 20 ; iv. 10 ; and Ezek. v. 10. .Tosephus relates an instance of this during the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans. The revolting custom of eating human flesh is still common in many islands of the eastern seas. Some eat their parents when they are old ; others eat Eu- ropeans, when they can seize them. The Peguans sold human flesh publicly. In Whidah, also, it is said that human flesh is sold as food.


FLOOD, see Deluge.


FLORUS, (Gessius,) the last procurator of Judea, succeeded Albinus in the government, A. D. 64. His excesses exasperated the Jews beyond patience, and forced them to rebel against the Romans, A. D. 66. He is thought to have left Judaea, when Vespasian went there, A. D. 67.


FLOUR, see Bread, Cakes, Offerings, &c.


FLUTE, a musical instrument, sometimes men- tioned in Scripture by the names Chalil, Machalath, Masrokoth, and Uggab. The last word is generally translated organ ; but Calmet thinks it was nothing more than a flute ; though his description of it corres- ponds to " the Pandean pipes," which are extreme- ly ancient, and were perhaps the original organ. There is notice taken in the Gospels, of players on the flute, [Eng. trans, minstrels,] who were collected at funerals. See Matt. ix. 23, 24. The rabbins say, that it was not allowable to have less than two play- ers on the flute, at the funeral of persons of the mean- est condition, beside a professional woman hired to lament ; and Josephus relates, that a false report of his death being spread at Jerusalem, several persons hired players on the flute, by way of preparation for his funeral. In the Old Testament, however, we see nothing like it. The Jews probably borrowed the custom from the Romans. When it was an old wo- man who died, they used trumpets ; but flutes when a young woman was to be buried.


FLY, an insect well known ; in the law, declared to be unclean, Lev. xi. 42. The Philistines and Ca- naanites adored a god of flies, under the name of Beelzebub. Wisdom xii. 8. The Hebrew language has at least two words for flies: the first is arob, (Exod. viii. 21 ; Psal. lxxiii. 45 ; cv. 31.) which the Seventy interpreters, who, by re- siding on the spot, have had the best opportunity of identifying, have rendered the dog-fly ; the Zimb of Abyssinia. Others suppose it to be the cock-roach, an insect very common in the East. Another word for a fly is, zebub, (Eccles. x. 1.) which some have conjectured might be the "great blue-bottle fly ;" or flesh-fly. Barbut says, (p. 298.) "This is one of the numerous classes of insects. Variety runs through their forms, their structure, their organization, their [ 438 ] metamorphoses, their manner of living, propagating their species, and providing for their posterity. Eve- ry species is furnished with implements adapted to its exigencies. What exquisiteness ! what proportion in the several parts which compose the body of a fly ! What precision, what mechanism in the springs and motion ! — Some are oviparous, others viviparous ; which latter have but two young ones at a time, whereas the propagation of the former is by hun- dreds. Flies are lascivious, troublesome insects, that put up with every kind of food. When storms im- pend, they have most activity, and sting with greatest force. They multiply most in hot, moist climates ; and so great was formerly their numbers in Spain, that there were fly-hunters commissioned to give them chase." Schindler, in his Lexicon, considers the Hebrew word zebub, with its Chald.ee and Arabic cognates, as including the whole of winged insects ; culex, the gnat ; vespa, the wasp ; astrum, the gad-fly ; and crabro, the hornet : this certainly implies the inclu-, sion of true flies, generally ; a species well known to be sufficiently numerous. Moreover, that this word should hardly be restrained to a single species of fly, maybe inferred from the pun employed in playing on the appellation of the deity Beelzebub, " Lord of flies," to convert it into Beelzebul, " Lord of the dunghill ;"— alluding probably to the disposi- tion of certain kinds of flies, which roll themselves and their eggs in the filth of such places ; so that the change of name has a reference, a degrading reference, to the manners of the symbol of this deity, including, no doubt, a sarcastic sneer at those of his worshippers. The general import of this word may be further argued from what Pliny tells us (lib. x. cap. 18.) concerning the deity Achorem, from the Greek achor, which may be from the Hebrew Ekron or Jlccaron, the city where Beelzebub, the "Lord of flies," was worshipped. "The inhabitants of Cy- rene," he says, " invoke the assistance of the god Achorem, when the multitude of flies produces a pestilence ; but when they have placated that deity by their offerings, the flies perish immediately." Whether only one species of fly pestered the Cyre- naicum does not appear. The following description of the Zimb, the Ethi- opian fly, (zebub) mentioned by the prophet Isaiah, (chap. vii. 18.) is furnished by Mr. Bruce. " This insect is called Zimb ; it has not been described by any naturalist. It is, in size, very little larger than a bee, of a thicker proportion, and has wings, which are broader than those of a bee, placed separate, like those of a fly ; they are of pure gauze, without color or spot upon them ; the head is large, the upper jaw or lip is sharp, and has at the end of it a strong pointed hair, of about a quarter of an inch long ; the lower jaw has two of these pointed hairs ; and this pencil of hairs, when joined together, makes a resist- ance to the finger, nearly equal to that of a strong hog's bristle. Its legs are serrated on the inside, and the whole covered with brown hair or down. As soon as this plague appears, and their buzzing is heard, all the cattle forsake their food, and run wildly about the plain, till they die, worn out with fatigue, fright, and hunger. No remedy remains, but to leave the black earth, and hasten down to the sands of At- bara ; and there they remain, while the rains last, this cruel enemy never daring to pursue them farther. "Though his size is immense, as is his strength, and his body covered with a thick skin, defended with strong hair, yet even the camel is not able to sustain the violent punctures the fly makes with his pointed proboscis. He must lose no time in remov- ing to the sands of Atbara ; for, when once attacked by this fly, his body, head, and legs, break out into large bosses, which swell, break, and putrefy to the certain destruction of the creature. Even the ele- phant and rhinoceros, who, by reason of their enor- mous bulk, and the vast quantity of food and water they daily need, cannot shift to desert and dry places, as the season may require, are obliged to roll them- selves in mud and mire; which, when dry, coats them over like armor, and enables them to stand their ground against this winged assassin: yet I have found some of these tubercles upon almost every elephant and rhinoceros that I have seen, and attribute them to this cause. "All the inhabitants of the sea-coast of Melinda, down to cape Gardefan, to Saba, and the south coast of the Red sea, are obliged to put themselves in mo- tion, and remove to the next sand, in the beginning of the rainy season, to prevent all their stock of cattle from being destroyed. This is not a partial emigration ; the inhabitants of all the countries, from the mountains of Abyssinia northward, to the con- fluence of the Nile, and Astaboras, are once a year obliged to change their abode, and seek protection on the sands of Beja ; nor is there any alternative, or means of avoiding this, though a hostile band was in their way, capable of spoiling them of half their substance. " Of all those that have written upon these coun- tries, the prophet Isaiah alone has given an account of this animal, and the maimer of its operation, Isa. vii. 18, 19: 'And it shall come to pass, in that day, that the Lord shall hiss for the fly that is in the ut- termost part of the rivers of Egypt. And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate val- leys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes.' — That is, they shall cut off from the cattle their usual retreat to the desert, by taking possession of those places, and meeting them there, where ordinarily they never come, and which, therefore, were the refuge of the cattle. " We cannot read the history of the plagues which God brought upon Pharaoh by the hands of Moses, without stopping a moment to consider a singularity, a very principal one, which attended this plague of the fly [Exod. viii. 21, &c] It was not till this time, and by means of this insect, that God said, he would separate his people from the Egyptians. And it would seem that then a law was given to them, that fixed the limits of their habitation. It is well known, as I have repeatedly said, that the land of Goshen or Geshen, the possession of the Israelites, was a land of pasture, which was not tilled or sown, because it was not overflowed by the Nile. But the land over- flowed by the Nile was the black earth of the valley of Egypt, and it was here that God confined the flies ; for, he says, it shall be a sign of this separation of the people, which he had then made, that not one fly should be seen in the sand, or pasture-ground, the land of Goshen ; and this kind of soil has ever since been the refuge of all cattle, emigrating from the black earth, to the lower part of Atbara. Isaiah, indeed, says, that the fly shall be in all the desert places, and, consequently, the sands ; yet this was a particular dispensation of Providence, to a special end, the desolation of Egypt, and was not a repeal of the general law, but a con firmation of it ; it was an exception for a particular purpose, and a limited time. [ 439 ] "I have already said so much on this subject, that it would be tiring my reader's patience, to repeat any thing concerning him ; I shall, therefore, content myself by giving a very accurate design of him, only observing that, for distinctness sake, I have magnified him something above twice the natural size. He has no sting, though he seems to me to be rather of the bee kind ; but his motion is more rapid and sud- den than that of the bee, and resembles that of the gad-fly in England. There is something particular in the sound or buzzing of this insect. It is a jarring noise, together with a humming ; which induces me to believe it proceeds, at least in part, from a vibra- tion made with the three hairs at his snout. "The Chaldee version is content with calling this animal simply zebub, which signifies the fly in gene- ral, as we express it in English. The Arabs call it zimb in their translation, which has the same gen- eral signification. The Ethiopic translation calls it tsaltsalya, which is the true name of this particular fly in Geez, and was the same in Hebrew." (Bruce's Travels, vol. i. p. 5 ; vol. v. p. 191.) Thus, at length, we have the true signification of a word which has embarrassed translators and com- mentators, during two thousand years. The reason is evident : the subject of it did not exist nearer than Ethiopia; — and who knew that it existed there ? or who would go there to inspect it ? What shall we say now to the difficulties in Scripture ? — are there any, distinct from our own want of information re- specting them ? and FOLLY, in Scripture, signify not only, according to the literal meaning, an idiot, or one whose senses are disordered ; the discourses and notions of fools and madmen ; but also sin, and partic- ularly sins of impurity, Psal. xxxviii. 5 ; 2 Sam. xiii. 12, 13. The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, 1 Cor. i. 20, 21 ; iii. 18, 19. The character of fool, WISDOM. Wisdom hath builded her house, She hath hewn out her numerous ornamental pillars, She hath killed her beasts, She hath mingled her wine ; She hath furnished her table ; She hath sent forth her maidens ; She crieth on the highest places of the city " Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither." , To him who wanteth understanding, she saith, " Come, eat of my bread, And drink of the wine I have mingled, Forsake the foolish and live, And go in the way of Understanding ; For by me thy days shall be multiplied, And the years of thy life shall be many." Thus Folly assumes the counterpart of Wisdom, and invites no less generally ; but her invitation is easily detected by due consideration, being very different from that of real wisdom. The conse- quences of following the counsels of these contrasted personages are very strongly marked, and are dia- metrically opposite ; one tending to prolonged life, the other to premature and violent dissolution. It appears by the reference to the fatal ends of her guests, that the gratification of illicit passion is what Folly intends by " stolen waters," and " secret bread :" this is the utmost enjoyment she offers, and this en- joyment teminates in death ! a description how as well as the attribute folly, seems to be used in the Proverbs in more than one sense ; sometimes it seems to mean lack of understanding, and sometimes perverseness of will. Mr. Taylor supposes that a companionized picture of Wisdom and Folly is in- cluded in the descriptions presented in the ninth chapter of the Proverbs. He thinks that the former verses of the chapter contain a description of Wis- dom personified of her actions, conduct, and beha- vior : and that from verse 13 to 18 contains a description of Folly, similarly personified ; who mim ics the actions, conduct, and behavior of Wisdom ; and so closely mimics them, that a person who will not exercise deliberation and reflection, would as readily be persuaded to follow the false, the imposi- tions goddess Folly, as to obey the true, the genuine power of Divine Wisdom herself. That such per- sonification is common in the Proverbs, and in Ec- clesiastes, must be evident to every reader. This idea may open the way also, he thinks, to a true construction and correction of the passage, which, as it stands at present, is obscure ; and, as some think, corrupted. The LXX read, verse 13. "A foolish and brazen-faced woman, she comes to want a piece of bread ; she has no shame ;" the Chal- dee reads, " she has no goodness." Some have sup- posed that the word (nrno,) simplicity is redundant ; but if any word be redundant, it was probably the first word, "a woman," in which case, as the nouns are of the feminine gender, and imply a woman, without that distinctive description, the import of the passage would stand thus : " Simplicity is foolish and clamorous ;" or, " Folly is clamorous — simplicity itself !" that is, extremely simple ; and drives away knowledge of any valuable kind from her. Yet she sits at the door of her house, and imitates the actions of Wisdom ; as appears by comparing these two personages, and their addresses, to those who need instruction. FOLLY. Folly is stupid and clamorous, Indeed, she repels all knowledge from her: She sitteth at the door of her house, On a throne in the high places of the city, To call passengers who go right on their ways : Saying, " Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither :" To him who wanteth understanding, she saith, " Stolen waters are sweet ; And bread eaten in secret is pleasant." She invites him to her house of rendezvous, But he knoweth not that the dead are there, That her guests are in the depth of the grave. Compare chap. v. 3 — 6. applicable to great numbers of unhappy youth among us ! Compare Flesh. FOOT. By this word the Hebrews modestly ex- press those parts which decency forbids us to name ; e.g. "the water of the feet," urine. "To cover the feet," to dismiss the refuse of nature. "The hair of the feet," of the pubes. " Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst ;" (Jer. ii. 2.) i. e. do not prostitute yourselves, as you have clone, to strange people. Ezek. xvi. 25. " Thou hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by." Feet, in the sacred writers, often mean inclinations, affec- tions, propensities, actions, motions. " G uide my feet [ 440 ] W in thy paths ;" keep my feet at a distance from evil : "The feet of the debauched woman go down to death," — " Let not the feet of pride come upon me,"&c. " A wicked man speaketh with his feet," (Prov. vi. 13.) i. e. he uses much gesture with his hands and feet while talking, which the ancient sages blamed. Ezekiel (xxv. 6.) reproaches the Ammonites with clapping their hands and stamping with their feet in token of joy on seeing the desolation of Jerusalem. He also describes similar motions as signs of grief, because of the ruin of his people, chap. vi. 11. To be at any one's feet, is used for obeying him ; being in his service, following him, 1 Sam. xxv. 27. Moses says, that " the Lord loved his people, and those that sat down at his feet ;" who heard him, who belonged to him, who were instructed in his doctrine (his pu- pils). Paul says, he was brought up at the feet of Ga- maliel (as his scholar). Mary sat at our Saviour's feet, and heard his word. Jacob said to Laban, (Gen. xxx. 30.) " The Lord hath blessed thee at my feet ;" which Jerome translates ad introitum meum, ever since I came to you, and undertook the conduct of your flocks. To be under any one's feet, to be a footstool to him, signifies the subjection of a subject to his sovereign, of a slave to his master. " My foot stand- eth right ;" I have pursued the paths of righteousness ; or, rather, supposing a Levite to be the speaker, My foot shall stand in the place appointed for the Levites in the temple, in the court of the priests, where my proper station is. Job says, (xix. 15.) he was "feet to the lame, and eyes to the blind ;" he led one, and supported the other. In another place, that God had " put his feet in the stocks, and looked nar- rowly to all his paths ;" like a bird, or some other animal led along, with a foot fastened to a cord, and Unable to go the least step, but as he who guides it pleases. Nakedness of feet was a sign of mourning: God says to Ezekiel, " Make no mourning for the (lead, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet," &c. It Was likewise a mark of respect, Exod. iii. 5. Moses put off his shoes to approach the burning bush ; and most commentators are of opinion, that the priests served in the tabernacle with their feet naked, as they did afterwards in the temple. The Talmudists teach, that if they had but stepped with their feet Upon a cloth, a skin, or even upon the foot of one of their companions, their service would have been un- lawful. That, as the pavement of the temple was of marble, the priests used to incur several inconve- niences, because of the nakedness of their feet ; to prevent which, in the second temple there was a room in which the pavement was warmed. The frequent ablutions appointed them in the temple seem to imply, that their feet were naked. It is also thought that the Israelites might not enter this holy place, till they had put off" their shoes, and cleaned their feet. To this purpose Eccl. v. 1. is ap- plied : " Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God." Take care that your feet be clean. Mai- monides says expressly, that it was never allowed to enter the house of God on the holy mountain with shoes on, or with their ordinary clothes on, or with dirty feet. The Turks never enter their mosques till after they have washed their feet, and their hands, and have put off the outward covering of their legs. The Christians of Ethiopia enter their churches with their shoes off, and the Indian Brahmans and others have the same respect for their pagodas and temples. Washing of Feet. (See also under Sandals.) The orientals used to wash the feet of strangers, who came off a journey, because they commonly walked with their legs bare, and their feet were de- fended only by sandals. So Abraham washed the feet of the three angels, Gen. xviii. 4. They washed the feet of Eliezer, and those who accom- panied him, at the house of Laban, (Gen. xxiv. 32.) and also those of Joseph's brethren, when they came into Egypt, Gen. xliii. 24. This office was commonly performed by servants and slaves ; and hence Abigail answers David, who sought her in marriage, that she should think it an honor to wash the feet of the king's servants, 1 Sam. xxv. 41. When Paul recommends hospitality, he wotdd have a widow assisted by the church, to be one who had washed the feet of saints, 1 Tim. v. 10. Our Sa- viour, after his last supper, gave his last lesson of hu- mility, by washing his disciples' feet, John xiii. 5, 6. "Then cometh he to Simon Peter; and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus an- swered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head." Our Saviour's observation to Peter, " If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me," gave occasion to several of the early Christians to believe, that the washing of feet had something of the nature of baptism. On Good Friday, the Syrians celebrate the festival of washing of feet. The Greeks perform the sacred Niptere, or holy washing; and in the Latin church this ceremony is practised. The bishops, abbots, and princes in many places, practise it in person. The council of Elvire, seeing the abuse that some persons made of it, by putting a confidence in it for remission of sins, suppressed it in Spain.


FORESKIN, see Circumcision.


FOREST, a woody tract of ground. There were several such tracts in Canaan, especially in the north- ern parts. The chief of these were, The Forest of Ephraim, near Mahanaim. See Ephraim IV. The Forest of Hareth, in Judah. The Forest of Libanus. In addition to the proper forest of Libanus, where the cedars grow, Scripture thus calls a palace, which Solomon built at Jerusalem, contiguous to the palace of the king of Egypt's daughter ; and in which he usually resided. All the vessels of it were of gold. It was called the house of the forest of Libanus, probably from the great quantity of cedar used in it, 1 Kings vii. 2 ; x. 27. FORNICATION. This word is used in Scrip- ture, not only for the sin of impurity, but for idolatry, and for all kinds of infidelity to God. Adultery and fornication are frequently confounded. Both the Old and New Testaments condemn all impurity and fornication, corporeal and spiritual ; idolatry, aposta- sy, heresy, infidelity, &c.


FORTUNATUS, mentioned 1 Cor. xvi. 15, 17. came from Corinth to Ephesus, to visit Paul. We have no particulars of his life or death, only that Paul calls Stephanus, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, the first-fruits of Achaia, and set for the service of the church and saints. They carried Paul's first epistle to Corinth.


FORUM, a city, or market town, founded by Appius Claudius, on the great road ( Via Appii) which he constructed from Rome to Capua. Some authors suppose it to have occupied the site of the present hamlet of Le Case Nuove. But it is more probably to be found in the present Casarillo di Santa Maria, situated 5G miles from Rome, in the borders of the Pontine marshes, where are the remains of an ancient city. Being thus situated in the marshes, it is no wonder that the water was bad, as mentioned by Horace Egressum magna me excepit Aricia, Roma, Hospitio modico. — — Inde Forum Appi Differtum nautis, cauponibus atque malignis. — Hie ego, propter aquam, quod erat deterriina, ventri Indico bellum. — Hor. Sat. i. 5. The " Three Taverns" were about eight or ten miles nearer to Rome than " Appii Forum," as Cice- ro intimates, who, going from Rome, writes, " ab Appii Foro, hora quarta ; dederam aliam paulo ante a Tribus Tabemis a little before he came to the Forum of Appius he had written from the Three Taverns ; (ad. Att. ii. 10.) so that probably the chief number of Christians waited for the apostle Paul at a place of refreshment ; while some of their num- ber went forward to meet him, and to acquaint him with their expectation of seeing him among them, for which they respectfully waited his coming. See Acts xxviii. 15. and APPLE-TREE, Heb. men tappuach Cant. viii. 5 ; Joel i. 12. Commentators have been at a loss what tree is strictly meant under this name ; the manner in which it is employed seeming to imply a tree of great and distinguished beauty ; thus Cant, ii. 3, "As the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons;" and vii. 8, "the smell of thy nose is like apples." Hence Harmar supposes it to be the orange or citron-tree. Obs. lxxv. The corresponding Arabic word, tyffach, sig- nifies not only apples, but also generally all similar fruits, as oranges, lemons, quinces, peaches, apricots, etc. and it is a common comparison to say of any thing, " It is as fragrant as a tyffach.'''' The Hebrew word may, perhaps, have been used in the same gen- eral sense. There is, however, no need of such a supposition. Apple-trees were not very common in Palestine, and their comparative rarity would natu- rally give them a poetical value. The same word, tappuach, is also employed as the name of a person, (1 Chron. ii. 43.) and of two cities, one in Judah, (Josh, xii. 17 ; xv. 34.) and the other on the border between Ephraim and Manasseh, Josh. xvi. 8. In Prov. xxv. 11, it is said, in our English version, " A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pic tures of silver." This is translated by Gesenius and others thus : " Like golden apples inlaid with silver figures." On this Rosenmueller remarks, that it is difficult to see for what purpose such apples of gold should be fabricated ; and he prefers, therefore, to refer the epithet golden to their color, and translates, " like golden apples, or quinces, in vases or baskets of silver ;" i. e. as these allure the eye, so a fitly spoken word is pleasant to the understanding. *R. of Sodom. The late adventurous traveller, M. Seetzen, who went round the Red sea, notices the famous Apple of Sodom ; which was said to have all the appearance of the most inviting apple, while it was filled with nauseous and bitter dust only. It has furnished many moralists with allusions: and also our poet Milton, in whose infernal regions— grove sprung up — laden with fair fruit — greedily they plucked The fruitage, fair to sight, like that which grew Near that bituminous lake, where Sodom flamed. This, more delusive, not the touch, but taste Deceived. They, fondly thinking to allay Their appetite with gust, instead of fruit Chewed bitter ashes, which the offended taste With spattering noise rejected :- - [ 84 ] Scetzen thus explains this peculiarity: "The infor- mation which I have been able to collect on the ap- ples of Sodom (Solanvm Sodomeum) is very contra- dictory and insufficient ; I believe, however, that I can give a very natural explanation of the phenom- enon, and that the following remark will lead to it. While I was at Karrak, at the house of a Greek cu- rate of the town, J saw a sort of cotton, resembling silk, which he used as tinder for his match-lock, as it could not be employed in making cloth. He told me that it grew in the plains of el-G6r, to the east of the Dead sea, on a tree like a fig-tree, called Aoeschaer. The cotton is contained in a fruit re- sembling the pomegranate ; and by making incisions at the root of the tree, a sort of milk is procured, which is recommended to barren women, and is called Lebbin Aoeschaer. It has struck me that these fruits, being, as they are, without pulp, and which are unknown throughout the rest of Pales- tine, might be the famous apples of Sodom. I sup- pose, likewise, that the tree which produces it, is a sort of fromager, (Bombyx, Linn.) which can only flourish under the excessive heat of the Dead sea, and in no other "district of Palestine." This curious subject is further explained, in a note added by M. Seetzen's editor, who considers the tree to be a species of Asclepias, probably the Asclepias Gigantea. The remark of M. Seetzen is corroborat- ed by a traveller, who passed a long time in situa- tions where this plant is very abundant. The same idea occurred to him when he first saw it in 1792, though he did not then know that it existed near the lake Asphaltites. The umbella, somew r hat like a bladder, containing from half a pint to a pint, is of the same color with the leaves, a bright green, and ma)" be mistaken for an inviting fruit, without much stretch of imagination. That, as well as the other parts, when green, being rut or pressed, yields a milky juice, of a very acrid taste : but in winter, when dry, it contains a yellowish dust, in appearance resembling certain fungi, common in South Britain ; but of pungent quality, and said to be particularly injurious to the eyes. The whole so nearly corre- sponds with the description given by Solinus, (Poly- histor,) Josephus, and others, of the Poma Sodomse, allowance being made for their extravagant exagge- rations, as to leave little doubt on the subject. Seetzen's account is partly confirmed by the la- mented Burckhardt. He says, " The tree Asheyr is very common in the Ghor. It bears a fruit of a red- dish yellow color, about three inches in diameter, which contains a white substance, resembling the finest silk. The Arabs collect the silk, and twist it into matches for their fire-locks, preferring it to the common match because it ignites more readily. More than twenty camel loads might be produced annually." p. 392. The same plant is also to be seen on the sandy borders of the Nile, above the first cataracts, the only vegetable production of that barren tract. It is about three feet in height, and the fruit exactly answering the above description. It is there called Oshom. The downy substance found within the stem is of too short staple probably for any manufac- ture, for which its silky delicate texture and clear whiteness might otherwise be suitable. It is used to stuff pillows, and similar articles. [Chateaubriand supposes the apples of Sodom to be the fruit of a shrub which grows two or three leagues from the mouth of the Jordan ; it is thorny, with small taper leaves, and its fruit is exactly like the small Egyptian lemon in size and color. Before the fruit is ripe, it is filled with a corrosive and sa- line juice; when dried, it yields a blaikish seed, which may be compared to ashes, and which in taste resembles bittsr pepper.- — Mr. King found the same shrub and fruit near Jericho, and seems also inclined to regard it as the apple of Sodom. Miss. Herald for 1824, p. 99. Mod. Traveller, i. p. 206. Most probably, however, the whole story in Taci- tus and Josephus is a fable, which sprung up in connection with the singular and marvellous char- acter of this region and its history. The whole ac- count of the Dead sea in Tacitus is of a similar kind. Even to the present day a like fable is current among the Arabs who dwell in the vicinity. Burckhardt says, "They speak of the spurious pomegrariate-tree, producing a fruit precisely like that of the pomegranate, but which, on being open- ed, is found to contain nothing but a dusty powder. This, they pretend, is the Sodom apple-tree ; other persons, however, deny its existence." p. 392. *R.


FOUNTAIN, a spring of water. The word is met- aphorically used in Prov. v. 16. for a numerous pos- terity ; and in Cant. iv. 12. the chastity of the bride is denoted by a sealed fountain. "A fountain of liv- ing water," or fountain of life, (Cant. iv. 15.) is a source of living water, whether it spring out of the earth like a fountain, or rise in the bottom of a well. ; the Hebr ;w ipy, oph, which we translate [ 441 ] fowl, from the Saxon Jleon, to fly, is a word used to denote birds in general. See Birds.

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