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COMPREHENSIVE CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY BIBLE ENCYCLOPAEDIA
Edward Robinson

[1]

ULAI

ULAI, a river which runs by the city Shushan in Persia, on the bank of which Daniel had a famous vision, Dan. viii. 2, 16. [It was the Choaspes of the Greeks, and is now called Kerrah. It empties its waters into the united stream of the Euphrates and Tigris, Dan. viii. 2. (See R. K. Porter's Travels, vol. ii. p. 412.) R. UNICORN. (Heb. attn, reem.) It is hardly neces- sary to remark, that the unicorn, as represented by poets and painters, has never been found in nature, and never, perhaps, had an existence but in the im- agination of the one, and on the canvass of the other. [See, however, the additions at the end of this article. Indeed the whole of the article which follows might, perhaps, be more properly omitted ; as it proceeds on the erroneous supposition that the animal denoted by the Hebrew word reem is the rhinoceros ; and because one of the main arguments for this supposition is based upon a word not found in the Hebrew, but inserted by the English translators, as will be shown below. Still, as the general information here exhibited is not uninteresting, the whole may be permitted to remain ; referring the reader, however, for a probably more correct view to the additions below. R. Before we inquire what creature is denoted by the Hebrew reem, it will be well to ascertain its precise character from a careful examination of the several passages in which it is mentioned. The first allusion to it is in the reply of Balaam to Balak, wh,en impor- tuned by the terrified king to curse the invading armies of Israel : " God brought them out of Egypt ; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn," Numb, xxiii. 22 ; xxiv. 8. From this it is evident, that the reem was conceived to possess very considerable power. With this idea corresponds the passage in Isaiah, where the prophet associates with him other power- ful animals, to symbolize the leaders and princes of the hostile nations that were destined to desolate his country : " And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls ; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust be made fat with fatness," chap, xxxiv. 7. From the book of Job we learn, that he was not only an animal of con- siderable strength, but also of a very intractable dis- position : " Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib ? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow, or will he harrow the valleys after thee ? Wilt thou trust him because his strength is great, or wilt thou leave thy labor to him ? Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn ? " chap, xxxix. 9 — 12. Another particular we collect from Ps. xcii. 10. namely, that this animal possesses a single horn, and that in an erect posture, unlike other horned ani- mals : " My horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn ; " while it is evident from the following pas- sage, that it was sometimes found with more horns than one. " His [Joseph's] horns are like the horns of an unicorn," Deut. xxxiii. 17. There are only two more passages, in which the reem is mentioned in Scripture : these are Ps. xxii. 21. ? and xxix. 6. From the former we are unable to gather any addi- tional information, and the latter will add but little to our stock : " He maketh them also to skip like a calf ; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn." We are now better prepared to examine into the validity of the claims that have been advanced in fa- vor of those animals which are supposed to be the reem of the Hebrew Scriptures. Let us first hear Mr. Bruce. It is very remarkable, says this distinguished travel- ler, that two such animals as the elephant and rhi- noceros should have wholly escaped the description of the sacred writers. Moses and the children of Israel were long in the neighborhood of the countries which produced them both, while in Egypt and in Arabia. The classing of the animals into clean and unclean seem? io have \ed the legislator into a kind of nece* [ 903 ] sity of describing, in one of the classes, an animal which made the food of the principal pagan nations in f he neighborhood. Considering the long and inti- mate connection Solomon had with the south coast of the Red sea, it is next to impossible that he was not acquainted with them, as both David his father, and he himself, made pfentiful use of ivory, as they frequently mention in their writings, which, along with gold, came from the same parts. Solo- mon, besides, wrote expressly on zoology, and we can scarce suppose was ignorant of two of the princi- pal articles of that part of the creation, inhabitants of the great continent of Asia east from him, and that of Africa on the south, with both wbich territories he was in constant correspondence. There are two animals named frequently in Scrip- ture, without naturalists being agreed what they are. The one is the behemoth, the other the Teem ; both mentioned as types of strength, courage and inde- pendence on man ; and, as such, exempted from the ordinary lot of beasts, to be subdued by him, or re- duced under his dominion. Though this is not to be taken in a literal sense, — for there is no animal with- out the fear or beyond the reach of the power of man, — we are to understand it of animals possessed of strength and size so superlative, as that in these qualities other beasts bear no proportion to them. The behemoth Mr. Bruce takes to be the elephant, in which we differ from him : the reem he argues to be the rhinoceros, from the following considerations : • The derivation of the word, both in Hebrew and Ethiopic, seems to be from erectness, or standing straight. This is certainly no particular quality in the animal itself, who is not more, nor even so much, erect as many other quadrupeds, for its knees are rather crooked ; but it is from the circumstance and manner in which his horn is placed. The horns of all other animals are inclined to some degree of par- allelism with the nose, or os frontis. The horn of the rhinoceros alone is erect or perpendicular to this bone, on which it stands at right angles ; thereby pos- sessing a greater purchase or power, as a lever, than any horn could possibly have in any other position. This situation of the horn is very happily alluded to in the sacred writings: "My horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of a reem," Ps. xcii. 10. And the horn here alluded to is not wholly figurative, but was really an ornament worn by great men in the days of vic- tory, preferment, or rejoicing, when they were anoint- ed with new, sweet, or fresh oil ; a circumstance which David joins with that of erecting the horn. The reasons which have induced some writers to consider the unicorn as being of the deer or antelope kind, it is difficult to conceive of, since this is of a genus, whose very character is fear and weakness, very opposite, as Mr. Bruce continues, to the qualities by which the reem is described in Scripture. Be- sides, it is plain the reem is not of the class of clean quadrupeds ; and a late traveller very whimsically takes him for the leviathan, which certainly was a fish. Balaam, a priest of Midian, and so in the neighborhood of the haunts of the rhinoceros, and intimately connected with Ethiopia, (for they them- selves were shepherds of that country,) in a transport, from contemplating the strength of Israel whom lie was brought to curse, says, they had as it were "the strength of the reem," Numb, xxiii. 22. Job makes frequent allusion to his great strength, ferocity and indocility, chap, xxxix. 9, 10. He asks, " Will the reem be willing to serve thee, or to abide at thy crib ? " That is, Will he willingly come into thy stable, and eat at thy manger ? and again, " Canst thou bind the reem with a band in the furrow, and will he harrow the valleys after thee. ? " In other words, Canst thou make him to go in the plo-ugh or harrows ? Isaiah, (chap, xxxiv. 7.) who, of all the prophets, seems to have known Egypt and Ethiopia the best, when prophesying about the destruction of Idumea, says, that " the reem shall come down with the fat cattle : " a proof that he knew his habitation was in the neighborhood. In the same manner as when foretelling the desolation of Egypt, he mentions as one manner of effecting it, the bringing down the fly from Ethiopia, to meet the cattle in the desert, and among the bushes, and destroy them there, where that insect did not ordinarily come but on command, (comp. Isa. vii. 18, 19, and fixod. viii. 22.) and where the cattle feed every year, to save themselves from that insect. The rhinoceros in Geez is called ariok harish, anJ. in the Amharic, auraris, both of which names signify the large wild beast with the horn. This would seem as if applied to the species that had but one horn. On the other hand, in the country of the Shangalla, and in Nubia adjoining, he is called girnamgirn, or horn upon horn, and this would seem to denote that he had two. The Ethiopic text renders the word reem, anvi harish, and this the Septuagint translates fiovor.t- gos, or unicorn. If the Abyssinian rhinoceros had invariably two horns, it seems improbable that the Septuagint would have called him monoceros, especially as they must have seen an animal of this kind exposed at Alexan- dria in their time, when first mentioned in history, at an exhibition given to Ptolemy Philadelphus, at his accession to the crown, before the death of his father. The principal reason for translating the word reem, unicorn, and not. rhinoceros, is from a prejudice that he must have but one horn. But this is by no means so well founded, as to be admitted as the only argu- ment for establishing the existence of an animal, which never has appeared after the search of so many ages. Scripture, as we have seen, speaks of the horns of the unicorn ; so that, even from this cir- cumstance, the reem may be the rhinoceros, as the Asiatic and part of the African rhinoceros may be the unicorn. In addition to these particulars, Mr. Bruce informs us, that the rhinoceros does not eat hay or grass, but lives entirely upon trees ; he does not spare the most thorny ones, but rather seems to be fond of them ; and it is not a small branch that can escape his hun- ger, for he has the strongest jaws of any creature known to him, and best adapted to grinding or bruis- ing any thing that makes resistance. But, besides the trees capable of most resistance, there are in the vast forests which he inhabits trees of a softer consistence, and of a very succulent quality, which seem to be destined for his principal food. For the purpose of gainingthe highest branches of these, his upper lip is capable of being lengthened out, so as to increase his power of laying hold with this, in the same manner as the elephant does with his trunk. With this lip, and the assistance of his tongue, he pulls down the upper branches, which have most leaves, and these he devours first: having stripped the tree of its branches, he does not therefore abandon it, but placing his snout as low in the trunk as he finds his horn will enter, he rips up the body of the tree, and reduces it to thin pieces, like so many laths ; and when he has thus prepared it, he embraces as much of it as he can in his monstrous jaws, and twists it with as much [ 904 1 base as an ox would do a root of celery. (Bruce's Tiavels, vol. v. p. 89—95.) Such is the description which this intelligent writer gives of the animal which he supposes to he the reem of the sacred writers ; but it is necessary that we should notice the objections urged against this opinion. Mr. Scott, who considers the reem to be a species of the wild bull, an animal bred in the Arabian and Syrian deserts, objects, that the rhinoceros cannot be the animal intended, because the reem is represented as having high and terrible horns ; whereas, this creature possesses but one, and that a very short one, placed just over the nose. That the former part of this objection is founded in misapprehension, we have already seen ; since the reem is, in one passage of Scripture at least represented as having only one horn ; and that horn, as is evident from the allusion, placed in a position exactly answering to the descrip- tion of this weapon of the rhinoceros, which is fur- nished by Mr. Bruce. Nor is the remaining part of the objection of greater weight, since the horn of the rhinoceros is by no means of so contemptible a size as it represents. In the forty-second and fifty-sixth vol- umes of the Philosophical Transactions, Dr. Parsons has given drawings of the horns of the rhinoceros, from Dr. Mead's, and also from sir Hans Sloane's, collections. From those delineations we ascertain, that the straight horn on a double-horned animal was twenty-Jive inches in length ; the curved one being something shorter; and the two diameters of the bases thirteen inches. Nor were these the largest of the kind, for the doctor mentions a horn in the col- lection of sir II. Sloane, which was thirty-seven inches long, and another thirty-two inches ; and Buf- fon mentions one whose length was three feet eight inches, — an altitude sufficient, surely, to justify the allusions of the sacred writers. But in addition to this, we must remark, that the wild bull, which in all its varieties is possessed of two boms, can never be identified with an animal represented as varying in these particulars ; pos- sessing sometimes one and sometimes two. The

UR

UR, the country of Terah, and the birth-place of Abraham, (Gen. xi. 28.) but its precise situation is unknown. [It is called Ur of the Chaldecs ; and by the Seventy, country, or region of the Chaldees. Traces of it most probably remain in the Persian fortress Ur, between Nesibis and the Tigris, men- tioned by Ammianus, xxv. 8. Alexander Polyhistor calls it a city of the Chaldeans. (Ap. Euseb. Praep. Evang. ix. 17.) The word Ur in Sanscrit signifies city, town, place, &c. R.

URIAH

URIAH, a Hittite, and husband of Bathsheba, was killed at the siege of Rabbah, in consequence of the orders of David, 2 Sam. xi. 3. See Bathsheba.

USURY

USURY, a premium received for the loan of a sum of money, over and above the principal. It is said in Exod. xxii. 25, 26, " If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay uppn him usury. If thou at all take thy neighbor's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down." And in Lev. xxv. 35 — 37 : "If thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen into decay with thee, then thou shalt relieve him ; yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner, that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase, but fear thy God, that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase." The Hebrew may be trans- lated : " When your brother shall fall into poverty 9 | IJZ and misery, you shall support him ; and as to the stranger or foreigner that shall be settled among you, you shall take no usury of him ; you shall not lend him your money for usury," &c. So that this passage would contain two precepts: first, that a brother was to be maintained when in poverty ; secondly, that even a stranger was to be relieved without paying usury. In Deut. xxiii. 19, 20, however, we have the following : " Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother, usury of money, usury of vidua. usury of • any thing that is lent upon usury. Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury, but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury : that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to, in the land whither thou goest to possess it." In this place the Lord seems to tolerate usury towards strangers ; that is, the Canaanites, and other peopl': devoted to subjection, but not toward such strangers against whom the Hebrews had no quarrel, and against whom the Lord had not denounced his judg- ments. To exact usury is here, according to Am- brose, an act of hostility ; it was a kind of wag'ng war with the Canaanites, and of ruining them by means of usury. The true inference seems to be, that God did indeed tolerate, but not approve, the usury which the Hebrews received from the Canaan- ites. He allowed thus much to the hardness of their hearts, because it could not be entirely prevented. Our Saviour has revoked all such tolerations, which obtained under the old law, Luke vi. 30 — 33.

UZAL

UZAL, the sixth son of Joktan, (Gen. x. 27 ; 1 Chron. i. 21.) is commonly placed in Arabia Felix.

UZZAH

UZZAH, son of Abinadab, (2 Sam. vi.) a Levite, who, with his brother, Ahio, conducted the new cart, on which the ark of the covenant was brought from Kirjath-jearim to Jerusalem. When they arrived at Nachon's thrashing-floor, Uzzah stretched out his hand to support the ark of God, which seemed to him to be in danger of falling, because of the stumbling of the oxen. In consequence of this, the anger of the Lord smote him, and he died on the place. Critics are much divided about the occasion of the death of Uzzah ; and as the history, being related very succinctly, is liable to be misunderstood, it may be proper to notice, (1.) That the law (Exod xxv. 14.) ordered the arx to be carried on the shoulders of Levites, whereas [ OH ] u zz in this instance, it was drawn by oxen, on a cart, as if this carriage by beasts were good enough for it : it was hereby assimilated to the processions of the hea- then, who drew their gods about in carriages. (2.) The ark ought to have been enveloped, wholly concealed, by the priests, before the Levites ap- proached it: whereas, no priest attended this proces- sion. Was it carried openly, exposed to view as it was by the Philistines ? 1 Sam. vi. 13 — 19. Uzzah, being a Levite, ought to have known these rules, and being the principal in conducting the procession, and, as may be supposed, the elder brother, he was prin- cipally guilty ; Ahio being subordinate to him. (3.) It is likely, that the oxen drew it safely while in a straight road, but when they came to the thrash- ing-floor, one or both of them became restiff and stumbled, which, provoking Uzzah, put him off his guard. [This solution seems to be most in accordance with the words of David afterwards, when about to bring the ark from the house of Obed-edom to'Zion 1 Chron. xv. After saying (verse 2) that "none ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites," he summons all the priests and Levites to assist in the removal of it, and then says, (verse 13,) "Because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order." This is said in evident allusion to the breach made upon Uzzah, i. e. the breaking forth of God's anger against Uzzah, 2 Sam. vi. 8, and 1 Chron xiii. 11. R.

UZZEN-SHERAH

UZZEN-SHERAH, a city of Ephraim, built by Sherah, daughter of Beriah, and granddaughter of Ephraim, 1 Chron. vii. 22 — 24.

UZZI

UZZI, son of Bukki, the sixth high-priest of the Jews, of the race of Eleazar, was succeeded by Eli, A. M. 2828.

UZZIAH

UZZIAH, or Azariah, king of Judah. See Az a- VIII. is put (1.) for vain glory, or pride, which inflates men with a great opinion of them- selves ; boasting, or self-conceit, Ps. cxix. 37 ; 2 Pet. ii. 18 ; (2.) for lying, Ps. iv. 2 ; (3.) for mere emptiness, Eccles. i ; Ps. cxliv. 4 ; (4.) for idols, Deut. xxxii. 21 ; 2 Kings xvii. 15 ; Jer. ii. 5 ; (5.) for wantonly, unnecessarily, &c. Exod. xx. 7. (6.) Vain is opposed to true, real, substantial. Ps. v. 10, "Their heart is vain, or full of vanity and lying." Ps. xii. 2, They have deceived their neighbors by vain discourses, by words of deceit and lies. To lift up the soul to vanity, (Ps. xxiv. 4.) is, to swear vainly and falsely.



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