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And when the meal is over, the priest prays again, and the company with him bless and praise God as their preserver, and the donor of their life and nourishment. From the Hebrew ritual it would appear that the Jews had their psalms of thanksgiving, not only after eating their passover, but on a variety of other occasions, at and after meals, and even between their several courses and dishes; as when the best of their wine was brought upon the table, or the fruit of the garden. To this day the Jews are said to have their zemiroth, verses or songs of thanksgiving. The continuance of the custom among the Christians is founded in the high example of our Saviour himself. The primitive converts appear to have universally observed it. We read that St. Paul, "when he had spoken, took bread, and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all; and when he had broken it, began to eat" (Acts xxvii. 35). In the days immediately following the apostles we find abundant traces of this practice in the writings of the Fathers, particularly in the Clementine Constitution, in Chrysostom, and in Origen.
EZEKIEL vi. 13.-" Did offer sweet savour to all their idols."
Incense offered to Idols.-It was a very common act of worship, in all countries, to offer incense to all descriptions of idols. As a suitable illustration of the present text, which mentions the offering of incense to idols, we have introduced an engraving representing the Emperor Trajan offering incense to Diana. It is copied from a bas-relief upon the arch of Constantine, many of the sculptures on which were taken from that of Trajan. This illustration is the more appropriate as Diana answered to that " queen of heaven" (the moon), for burning incense to whom the apostate Hebrews are severely reproached by the prophets.
MARK vi. 53. "When they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore."
Beauty of the Lake of Galilee.-Captain Wilson has observed that though it is without bold scenery and lofty precipices, it has a beauty of its own which would always make it remarkable. The shore line, for the most part regular, is broken on the north into a series of little bays of exquisite beauty, nowhere more beautiful than at Gennesaret, where the beaches, pearly white with myriads of minute shells, are on one side washed by the limpid waters of the lake, and on the other
shut in by a fringe of oleanders, rich in May with their "blossoms red and bright." It is, however, under the pale light of a full moon that the lake is seen to the greatest advantage; for there is then a softness in the outlines, a calm on the water in which the stars are so brightly mirrored, and a perfect quiet in all around, which harmonize well with the feelings that cannot fail to arise on its shores.-" Our Work in Palestine."
NUMBERS XXI. 4—" And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way."
Mount Hor. The name is applied in Scripture to two eminences. The situation of that mentioned in Num. xxxiv. 7, 8, is unknown, but it was quite distinct from the mountain of the text. The name is supposed to be the ancient form of Har, the usual Hebrew word for mountain. It was probably given to the mountains which bore it by way of emphasis, their superior height causing them to be regarded as the mountains in an emphatic sense. Accordingly, the mountain which is by tradition and all travellers identified with the eminence of the text is the highest and most conspicuous of the Edomite range, being 4,800 feet above the Mediterranean, 400 feet above the valley of the Arabah, and more than 6,000 above the Dead Sea. It is now called Jebel Haroun (Mount Aaron), in commemoration of the High-priest, who died upon its summit.-Altered from Dr. Johnson, of Newark, U.S.
Edom. A name which means red was applied to the country which Esau and his descendants occupied. The most common modern name of the country is Idumæa, the Greek form of the Hebrew word Edom. Hence also we know the ancient inhabitants as Idumæans.
Previously to the possession of the country by the descendants of Esau it was known as Mount Seir, Gen. xxxii. 3.; xxxvi. 8, from Seir, the progenitor of the Horites, Gen. xiv. 6; xxxvi. 20, 22, and perhaps in part because the name, which means rugged, was descriptive of its primitive aspect. It was terminated on the north by the land of Moab, from which it was separated by the brook Zered, on the south by the Gulf of Akabah, and on the east and west by bordering deserts, comprising a district about one hun. dred miles long by twenty broad. Red and variegated sandstone is prominent, imparting to the mountains their striking colours. The whole country is characterized by irregular ridges, abrupt cliffs, and deep ravines, covered however, for the most part
with a generous soil, capable under proper culture, of extreme fertility, thus fulfilling the prophetic blessing of Gen. xxvii. 39.— Altered from Dr. Johnson of Newark, U.S.
NUMBERS XX. 1.-" And the people abode in Kadesh."
Kadesh, near which the Israelites encamped, was probably the religious and civil capital of the surrounding district, for its name means the holy, the holy place, the sanctuary; and it is also called En-Mishpat, the spring of judgment. It is certain that the Scriptures know but one Kadesh, and that it is called indifferently Kadesh, Kadesh-barnea, or Meribah-kadesh. The theory that there were two places named Kadesh is entertained only by those who forget that the Israelites were twice in the one locality; first, about two years after the exodus (Numb. xiii. 26), and again thirty-eight years later, when the wanderings were about to cease (Numb. xx. 1). Their second visit seems to have been made in the hope of marching into Palestine by the most direct route, a hope which was frustrated by the hostility of Edom (Numb. xx. 14—22).
It was a city (Numb. xx. 16), and its name was naturally given to the country around it (Psa. xxix. 8) in which the camp of Israel lay. It is sometimes said to have been in the wilderness of Paran (Numb. xii. 16; xiii. 31, comp. xiii. 26); and again it is placed in the wilderness of Zin (Numb. xx. 1; xxxiii. 36), because the wilderness of Zin was in the larger wilderness of Paran, including only its northern extremity.
Robinson identifies it with the modern Ain-el-Weibeh, in the valley of the Arabah, about ten miles north of the foot of Mount Hor. But Kadesh was a city, and no remains of a city are found at Ain-el-Weibeh. No remarkable cliff is found near it, although there seems to have been one near Kadesh (see Numb. xx. 7-11). No trace of the name is found in the vicinity, which is strange, considering the early celebrity of the city and the length of time during which the Israelites made it their head-quarters. And strategically considered, the children of Israel would have been confined, as it were, in a cul de sac; with the subjects of king Arad, the Amorites, the Edomites, the Moabites, completely hemming them in. A good general like Moses would not have chosen a bad position for so important a camp.
Greater importance, however, attaches itself to the discovery of Rowland, who says, near the Arabah, on its western side, rises a vast mountain, called the Azazamat, which runs far to the west, and finally slopes off gradually towards the Wady-el-Arish.
At the north-western corner it is joined by lower mountains. Immediately south of these, and running into the heart of the Azazamat, is an extended desert plain, which is undoubtedly the wilderness of Kadesh, and the encampment of the chosen people. Here is the rock, with its copious spring still bearing its ancient name. Abundant ruins are found in the district; and it is in such a position as a military strategist, called upon to face the foes of ancient Israel in the desert, would consider safe.-Dr. F. Johnson, Newark, N.J.
DEUT. xxxiv. 6.—" But no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day."
The Sepulchre of Moses.-The reason of this concealment most probably was lest, in future times, the Israelites should hold it sacred, as they afterwards did the brazen serpent. Judging from the number of deified mortals which the systems of ancient paganism contained, there was certainly the greatest danger that the Hebrews would in time have come to pay divine honours to their great lawgiver. This text has led to the opinion entertained by some of the Jewish writers, that Moses did not die, but was snatched away in a cloud, while conversing with Eleazer and Joshua. Josephus is one of those who give this statement; but it is directly contradictory to the sacred text, which says that he died, and was buried in the valley. Some Jewish and Christian commentators understand that Moses was buried by angels, at the Lord's command; while others think that he was directed to enter a cave, where he died, and which served him for a grave. But the text says that although he died in the mountain, he was buried in the valley.
In 1655 some Maronite shepherds found near Mount Nebo, a tomb bearing the inscription in Hebrew of "Moses, the servant of the Lord," and this was forthwith determined to be the long lost sepulchre of the Hebrew legislator. But a learned Jew, Rabbi Jakum, proved so convincingly that this must be the tomb of some other and much later Moses, that the report speedily died away. Some think that the whole story about the discovery of the tomb, and the refutation of Jakum, is a fabrication. But as we find that a supposed tomb of Moses is still shown in the neighbourhood, we suspect the only fabricated part of the story is that which assigns so convincing a character to Rabbi Jakum's reply. It might have convinced the Jews themselves; and all instructed minds will of course concur in his conclusion. But the natives are not an instructed people; and the Rabbi's best arguments were likely to avail little when they had once got into their heads the conceit that they had found the tomb of Moses. DR. KITTO.
JOY AFTER PRAYER.
ECCLESIASTES V. 20.-" God answereth him in the joy of his heart." A Negro's Experience.-Sambo, a negro, in giving an account of his conversion, narrates as follows. Some fellow-slave had said to him one day while he was working in the fields, that he ought to ask God to have mercy upon him. Then," says Sambo, " me look around, me look up, me see no one to pray to, but the words sound in my ears, 'Better pray to your Lord and Master.' By'mbye me feel bad, sunshine sorry, birds sing sorry, land look sorry, but Sambo sorrier than dem all. Den me cry out, Massy, massy, Lord, on poor Sambo!' By'm bye water come into my eyes, and glad come in my heart. Den sun look gay, woods look gay, birds sing gay, land look gay, but Sambo was gladder than all."
CONFIDENCE IN GOD'S POWER.
2 CHRONICLES xiv. 11.—And Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and said, Lord, it is nothing with Thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power."
The Battle of Agincourt. On the eve of the battle of Agincourt, the English king, hearing some of his officers express a wish that the many brave men who were idle in England were there to assist them, exclaimed, much in the spirit of the Jewish king, "No, I would not have one man more. If we are defeated, we are too many; if it shall please God to give us the victory, as I trust He will, the smaller the number, the greater our glory." The French passed the night in festivities; the English were either reposing or engaged in devotion. The result was a complete victory to the small English army.
NUMBERS xxi. 8.-" And it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live."
A Traveller once fording the Susquehanna on horseback, became so dizzy as to be near losing his seat. Suddenly he received a blow on his chin from a hunter who was his companion, with the words, "Look up!" He did so, and recovered his balance. It was looking on the turbulent water that endangered his life, and looking up saved it,