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The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
The sceptre was, from the earliest age, an emblem of kingly power.
"The King of Kings his awful figure raised:
High in his hand the golden sceptre blazed;
By Vulcan form'd, from Jove to Hermes came :
The immortal gift great Pelops left behind,
To rich Thyestes next the prize descends;
Subjects all Argos and controls the main."-Hoм. Пl. l. ii. v. 100. "Know, Cambyses, that it is not the golden sceptre which can preserve your kingdom.-XEN. Cyrop. 1. viii. c. 7.
Juno persuades Jove,
"Swear to me a solemn oath, that he who shall this day fall between the feet of a woman shall have dominion over all the earth-born sons of Jove."
HOM. I. 1. XIX. v. 110. 11. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
Justin Martyr supposes the character, rites, and history of Bacchus to have been derived from this passage. See LEV. XXIII. 42.
27. Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf.
Elpenor, who by an accident slew his grandfather Abas, is called
"Euboea's wolf, whose unrelenting fangs
Tore out his grandsire's heart."-LYCOPH. Cassand. v. 1034.
3. And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days.
This was the greatest honour the Egyptians could possibly pay to Joseph and his family, for they performed but seventy-two days' mourning for their kings.
"At the death of every king the Egyptians generally lament with an universal mourning, rend their garments, shut up their temples, and abstain from sacrifices and all feasts and solemnities for the space of seventy-two days."
DIOD. SIC. 1. I. c. 72.
"The Egyptian embalmers, having sown up the body, cover it with nitre for the space of seventy days, which time they may not exceed; at the end of this period it is washed and closely wrapped in bandages of cotton, dipped in a gum which the Egyptians use as glue it is then returned to the relations, who enclose the body in a case of wood, made to resemble a human figure, and place it against the wall in the repository of the dead."-HDT. 1. II. c. 86.
10. And they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days.
"Seven days entire, along th' infernal shores
No sustenance but grief and care he seeks."-Ov. Met. 1. x. v. 73. 20. As for you ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Socrates says to his accusers
"To a good man nothing is evil, neither while living nor when dead, nor are his concerns neglected by the gods. And what has befallen me is not the effect of chance; but this is clear to me, that now to die and be freed from my cares is better for me. On this account the warning in no way turned me aside; and I bear no resentment towards those who condemned me, or against my accusers, although they did not accuse me with this intention, but thinking to injure me; and in this respect they deserve to be blamed." PLAT. Socr. Apolog. c. 33.
1. The children of Israel which came into Egypt.
Homer speaks of "the children of the Trojans" (πâides Тpówν); and Herdotus of "the children of the Lydians" (oi Avdŵv tâides) meaning as here, the nation or people. HOм. Odyss. 1. xi. v. 547. HDT. 1. 1. c 27.
"It is a tradition that the Jews, as fugitives from the island of Crete, at the time when Saturn, expelled by the violence of Jupiter, forsook his kingdom, settled themselves upon the extremities of Lybia. For proof of this, their name is alleged for that in Crete stands the celebrated Mount Ida; and the Idæans, natives of the mountain, were, by a barbarous extension of the name, called Judæans."-TAC. Hist. l. v. c. 2.
7. And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.
Aristotle mentions the extraordinary fecundity of the people of Egypt.
"One woman, in Egypt, at four births, brought forth twenty children; for she had five at a time, and the greater part of them were reared."
ARISTOT. Hist. Anim. 1. vII. c. 4.
"When a greater number of children than three is produced at one birth, it is looked upon as portentous; except, indeed, in Egypt, where the water of the Nile, which is used for drink, is a promoter of fecundity."-PLIN. Hist. Nat. 1. vII. c. 3.
10. Let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to
pass that when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.
"It is the policy of a tyrant to render his subjects poor; that he may be compelled to maintain a guard against them; and that they, being engaged in procuring their daily food, may have no time for plots and conspiracies."
ARISTOT. Polit. 1. v. c. 11.
"It is asserted by most persons that the only motive for constructing the pyramids of Egypt, was, either a determination on the part of the monarchs, not to leave their treasures to their successors, or to rivals that might be plotting to supplant them, or to prevent the lower classes from remaining unoccupied."-PLIN. Hist. Nat. 1. xxxvI. c. 16. 14. They made their lives bitter with hard bondage.
"Bitter Egypt," (πɩkpηv Aiyúπтov.)—HOм. Odyss. 1. xvii. v. 448.
3. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink.
"According to Euripides, Auge, with her son Telephus, was enclosed in a chest, and thrown into the sea by the command of her father Aleus. By the care of Minerva the chest crossed the sea, and was cast ashore at the mouth of the Caicus. Teuthras adopted the son, and treated him as his own child."-STRAB. 1. XIII. c. 1.
"Faustulus, pursuant to his orders, hid the children (Romulus and Remus) in a small trough or cradle, and went down towards the river with a design to cast them in ;
but seeing it very rough, and running with a strong current, he was afraid to approach
it. He therefore laid it down near the bank and departed."-PLUT. Romul. c. 3.
During the time that Osiris reigned in Egypt he changed the needy and uncivilized manners of the people, instructing them in agriculture, and giving them laws, and teaching them to worship the gods.
"Typhon devised a plot against Osiris.
Having secretly taken the measure of Osiris's body, he caused an ark or chest to be made exactly of his length, and having adorned it very beautifully, he brought it to the company assembled at a banquet. Every one being pleased with the beauty of the ark, Typhon jestingly promised to give it to whomsoever it should fit.
"Osiris lay down in it; upon which the conspirators placed the cover upon it, and fastened it down with nails and melted lead. They then carried the ark and cast it into the sea near the Tanaitic mouth of the Nile, which mouth is even now execrated by the Egyptians."-PLUT. de Isid, et Osirid. c. 13.
"When the Nile covers everything, the Memphitic boat is framed of the swampy papyrus."-LUCAN. Phars. 1. IV. v. 136.
"On the Nile, boats are made of papyrus, rushes, and reeds."
PLIN. Hist. nat. 1. vII. c. 56.
13. And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow ?
"By the law of Egypt if any one upon the road saw a man violently assaulted, or likely to be killed, and did not rescue him, if he were able, he was to die for it; and if in truth he were not able to defend him, yet he was bound to discover the offender, and to prosecute him in due course of law."-DIOD. SIC. 1. I. c. 77.
15. Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses.
"He that wilfully killed a free man, or even a slave, was by the law of Egypt, to die."-DIOD. SIC. 1. 1. c. 77.
2. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
"The chief idea of the deity he (the Creator) formed from fire, that it might be, as far as possible, splendid and fair to behold."-PLAT. Tim. c. XII.
"The Persians reverence fire as a deity; believing it to be a living creature." HDT. 1. III. c. 16.
"The Persians worship fire, an image lasting but for a day, voracious and insatiable."-MAX. TYR. diss. 38.
"Among the Lycians, the mountain Olympus eructates fire, not like that of Etna, but peaceful and possessing symmetry: and this fire is to them a temple and a statue." IBID.
See Exodus ix. 24.
3. Put off thy shoes from off thy feet.
Pythagoras taught that the gods were to be worshipped, and sacrifices offered with the feet naked. A picture found at Herculaneum represents persons with naked feet engaged in the worship of Isis. Edipus approaching the temple of the Eumenides, is warned
Speak not till thou art removed
By human footsteps not to be profaned."--Soru. dip. Colon. v. 36.
"Here was a sacred grove, dense with bulrushes and reeds, and a marsh not be approached with covered feet."—Ov. Fast. 1 vi. v. 411.
“Judæa, the land where bare-footed kings observe festal sabbaths.”
8. A land flowing with milk and honey.
"Bare-footed, they preserve the unextinguished fire upon the altar."
Juv. Sat. VI. v. 158.
"On Ida's hills the goat Amalthea bred,
SIL. Ital. 1. III. v. 29.
CALLIM. H. in Jov. v. 48. Formerly, said Calanus, fountains flowed with milk, honey, wine, and oil.” STRAB. 1. XV. c. 1.
"The goats with strutting dugs shall homeward speed,
And through the matted grass the liquid gold shall creep."
"It is given me to sing the wanton Bacchanalian priestess, and the fountains of wine, and rivulets flowing with milk, and the honies distilling from hollow trunks." HOR. 1. II. carm. 19.
Horace proposes to the Romans, beset with civil wars and dangers, to flee to
In the golden age—
"Blissful isles and happy seats, From hollow oaks where honey'd streams distil, And bounds with noisy foot the pebbled rill;
Where goats untaught forsake the flowery vale,
And bring their swelling udders to the pail."-IBID. 1. v. carm. 16.
"From veins of valleys milk and nectar broke,
And honey sweating from the pores of oak."-Ov. Metam. 1. 1. v. 110. "The more remarkable quality of the dates of Judæa is a rich unctuous juice; they are of a milky consistency, and have a sort of vinous flavour, with a remarkable sweetness like that of honey."-PLIN. Hist. nat.
XIII. c. 9.
"Syria is famous for its gardens; whence the Greek proverb-'Plenty of vegetables in Syria.'"—IBID. 1. xx. c. 16.
"The soil of Syria is rich and fruitful. In all those fruits of the earth which are common with us, they abound; and besides this they enjoy the palm tree, and that which produces balm. The palms are lofty and beautiful."-TAC. Hist. 1. v. c. 6.
14. And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
"We say a thing was, is, and will be, while, according to truth, the term it is is alone suitable, was and will be being expressions only suitable to generation which proceeds through time; whereas what exists eternally the same and immoveable, neither becomes at any time older or younger, neither has it been generated in the past, nor will be in the future."-PLAT. Timæus, c. 10.
"God, as the proverb says, having in himself the beginning, and end, and middle