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nd each family in the same barony or hundred. Yor was the estate of any family in one tribe permitted to pass into another, even by the marriage of an heiress (Num. xxvii.); so that not only was the original balance of property preserved, but the closest and dearest connections of affinity attached to each other the inhabitants of every vicinage.
For this land a kind of quit-rent was payable to the sovereign proprietor, in the form of a tenth or tithe of the produce, which was assigned to he priesthood [TITHES]. The condition of miliary service was also attached to the land: as it ppears that every freeholder (Deut. xx. 5) was obliged to attend at the general muster of the national army, and to serve in it, at his own expense (often more than repaid by the plunder), is long as the occasion required. In this direcion, therefore, the agrarian law operated in securing a body of 600,000 men, inured to labour and industry, always assumed to be ready, as hey were bound, to come forward at their country's call. This great body of national yeomanry, every one of whom had an important stake in he national independence, was officered by its own hereditary chiefs, heads of tribes and families (comp. Exod. xviii. and Num. xxxi. 14); and nust have presented an insuperable obstacle to treacherous ambition and political intrigue, and o every attempt to overthrow the Hebrew commonwealth and establish despotic power. Nor were these institutions less wisely adapted to secure the state against foreign violence, and at the same time prevent offensive wars and renote conquests. For while this vast body of hardy yeomanry were always ready to defend their country, when assailed by foreign foes, yet, being constantly employed in agriculture, attached to domestic life, and enjoying at home the society of the numerous relatives who peopled their neighbourhood, war must have been in a high degree averse to their tastes and habits. Religion also took part in preventing them from being captivated by the splendour of military glory. On returning from battle, even if victorious, in order to bring them back to more peaceful feelings after the rage of war, the law required them to consider themselves as polluted by the slaughter, and unworthy of appearing in he camp of Jehovah until they had employed an entire day in the rites of purification (Num. xix. 13-16; xxxi. 19). Besides, the force was entirely infantry; the law forbidding even the kings to multiply horses in their train (Deut. xvii. 16); and this, with the ordinance requiring the attendance of all the males three times every year at Jerusalem, proved the intention of the legislator to confine the natives within the limits of the Promised Land, and rendered long and distant wars and conquests impossible without the virtual renunciation of that religion which was incorporated with their whole civil polity, and which was, in fact, the charter by which they held their property and enjoyed all their rights. AGRICULTURE. The antiquity of agriculture is intimated in the brief history of Cain and Abel (Gen. iv. 2, 3). But of the actual state of agriculture before the deluge we know nothing. Whatever knowledge was possessed by the old world was doubtless transmitted to the new by Noah and his sons; and that this knowledge was
considerable is implied in the fact that one of the operations of Noah, when he began to be a husbandman,' was to plant a vineyard, and to make wine with the fruit (Gen. ix. 20). There are few agricultural notices belonging to the patriarchal period, but they suffice to show that the land of Canaan was in a state of cultivation, and that the inhabitants possessed what were at a later date the principal products of the soil in the same country. In giving to the Israelites possession of a country already under cultivation, it was the Divine intention that they should keep up that cultivation, and become themselves an agricultural people; and in doing this they doubtless adopted the practices of agriculture which they found already established in the country.
As the condition of the seasons lies at the root of all agricultural operations, it should be noticed that the variations of sunshine and rain, which with us extend throughout the year, are in Palestine confined chiefly to the latter part of autumn and the winter. During all the rest of the year the sky is almost uninterruptedly cloudless, and rain very rarely falls. The autumnal rains usually commence at the latter end of October or the beginning of November, not suddenly, but by degrees, which gives opportunity to the husbandman to sow his wheat and barley. The rains continue during November and December, but afterwards they occur at longer intervals; and rain is rare after March, and almost never occurs as late as May. The cold of winter is not severe; and as the ground is never frozen, the labours of the husbandman are not entirely interrupted. Snow falls in different parts of the country, but never lies long on the ground. In the plains and valleys the heat of summer is oppressive, but not in the more elevated tracts. În such high grounds the nights are cool, often with heavy dew. The total absence of rain in summer soon destroys the verdure of the fields, and gives to the general landscape, even in the high country, an aspect of drought and barrenness. No green thing remains but the foliage of the scattered fruit trees, and occasional vineyards and fields of millet. In autumn the whole land becomes dry and parched; the cisterns are nearly empty; and all nature, animate and inanimate, looks forward with longing for the return of the rainy season. In the hill country the time of harvest is later than in the plains of the Jordan and of the sea-coast. The barley harvest is about a fortnight earlier than that of wheat. In the plain of the Jordan the wheat harvest is early in May; in the plains of the coast and of Esdraelon it is towards the latter end of that month; and in the hills, not until June. The general vintage is in September, but the first grapes ripen in July; and from that time the towns are well supplied with this fruit.
SOIL, &c.-The geological characters of the soil in Palestine have never been satisfactorily stated; but the different epithets of description which travellers employ enable us to know tha it differs considerally, both in its appearance and character, in different parts of the land; but wherever soil of any kind exists, even to a very slight depth, it is found to be highly fertile. As parts of Palestine are hilly, and hills have seldom much depth of soil, the mode of cultivating them in terraces was anciently, and is now, much em
ployed. A series of low stone walls, one above
In such a climate as that of Palestine, water is the great fertilizing agent. The rains of autumn and winter, and the dews of spring, suffice for the ordinary objects of agriculture; but the ancient inhabitants were able, in some parts, to avert even the aridity which the summer droughts occasioned, and to keep up a garden-like verdure, by means of aqueducts communicating with the brooks and rivers (Ps. i. 3; lxv. 10; Prov. xxi. 1; Isa. xxx. 25; xxxii. 2, 20; Hos. xii. 11). Hence springs, fountains, and rivulets were as much esteemed by husbandmen as by shepherds (Josh. xv. 19; Judg. i. 15). The soil was also cleared of stones, and carefully cultivated; and its fertility was increased by the ashes to which the dry stubble and herbage were occasionally reduced by burning over the surface of the ground (Prov. xxiv. 31; Isa. vii. 23; x. 17; xxxii. 13; xlvii. 14; Matt. iii. 12; Luke iii. 17). The dung, and, in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, the blood of animals, were also used to enrich the soil (2 Kings ix. 37; Ps. lxxxiii. 10; Isa. xxv. 10; Jer. ix. 22; Luke xiv. 34, 35).
That the soil might not be exhausted, it was ordered that every seventh year should be a sabbath of rest to the land. There was to be no sowing or reaping, no pruning of vines or olives, no vintage or gathering of fruits; and whatever grew of itself was to be left to the poor, the stranger, and the beast of the field (Lev. xxv. 1-7). But such an observance required more faith than the Israelites were prepared to exercise. It was for a long time utterly neglected (Lev. xxvi. 34, 35; 2 Chron. xxxvi. 21), but after the Captivity it was more observed. By this remarkable institution the Hebrews were also trained to habits of economy and foresight, and invited to exercise a large degree of trust in the bountiful providence of their Divine King.
FIELDS.-Syria, including Palestine, was regarded by the ancients as one of the first countries for corn. Wheat was abundant and excellent; and there is still one bearded sort, the ear of which is three times as heavy, and contains twice as many grains, as our common English wheat. Barley was also much cultivated, not only for bread, but because it was the only kind of corn which was given to beasts; for oats and rye do not grow in warm climates. Hay was not in use; and therefore the barley was mixed with chopped straw to form the food of cattle (Gen. xxiv. 25, 32; Judg. xix. 19, &c.). Other objects of field culture were millet, spelt, various kinds of beans and peas, pepperwort, cummin, cucumbers, melons, flax, and, perhaps, cotton. Many other articles might be mentioned as being now cultivated in Palestine; but, as their names do not occur in Seripture, we cannot with certainty know which of them were grown there in the ancient times.
Anciently, as now, in Palestine and the East the arable lands were not divided by hedges into
fields, as in this country. The ripening products therefore presented an expanse of culture unbroken, although perhaps variegated, in a large by the difference of the products grown. The boundaries of lands were therefore marked by stones as landmarks, which, even in patriarchal times, it was deemed a heinous wrong to remove (Job. xxiv. 2); and the law pronounced a curse upon those who, without authority, displaced them (Deut. xix. 14; xxvii. 17). The walls and hedges which are occasionally mentioned in Scripture belonged to orchards, gardens, and vineyards.
8. Modern Syrian Plough.
AGRICULTURAL OPERATIONS.-Of late years much light has been thrown upon the agricultural operations and implements of ancient times, by the discovery of various representations on the sculptured monuments and painted with the notices in the Bible, and, indeed, differ tombs of Egypt. As these agree surprisingly little from what is still employed in Syria and Egypt, it is very safe to receive the instruction which they offer.
Ploughing. This has always been a light and superficial operation in the East. At first, the ground was opened with pointed sticks; then, a kind of hoe was employed; and this, in many parts of the world, is still the substitute for a plough. But the plough was known in Egypt and Syria before the Hebrews became cultivators (Job i. 14). In the East, however, it has always been a light and inartificial implement. At first, it was little more than a stout branch of a tree, from which projected another limb, shortened and pointed. This, being turned into the ground, made the furrows; while at the farther end of the larger branch was fastened a transverse yoke, to which the oxen were harnessed. Afterwards a handle to guide the plough was added. Thus the plough consisted of-1. the pole ; 2. the point or share; 3. the handle; 4. the yoke. The Syrian plough is, and doubtless was, light enough for a man to carry in his hand. We annex a figure of the ancient Egyptian plough, which
9. Ancient Egyptian Plough.
had the most resemblance to the one now used (as figured in No. 8), and the comparison between them will probably suggest a fair idea of the plough which was in use among the Hebrews.
The plough was drawn by oxen, which were sometimes impelled by a scourge (Isa. x. 26; Nahum iii. 2); but oftener by a long staff, furnished at one end with a flat piece of metal for clearing the plough, and at the other with a spike for goading the oxen. This ox-goad might be easily used as a spear (Judg. iii. 31; I Sam. xiii. 21). Sometimes men followed the plough with hoes to break the clods (Isa. xxviii. 24); but in later times a kind of hammer was employed, which appears to have been then, as now, merely a thick block of wood, pressed down by a weight, or by a man sitting on it, and drawn over the ploughed field.
Sowing.-The ground, having been ploughed as soon as the autumnal rains had mollified the soil, was fit, by the end of October, to receive the seed; and the sowing of wheat continued, in different situations, through November into December. Barley was not generally sown till January and February. The seed appears to have been sown and harrowed at the same time; although sometimes it was ploughed in by a cross furrow.
11. Sowing. Ancient Egyptian.
Ploughing in the Seed.-The Egyptian paintings illustrate the Scriptures by showing that in those soils which needed no previous preparation
12. Ploughing and Sowing.
by the hoe (for breaking the clods) the sower
kind of instrument was drawn by an animal over the ploughed field, most probably the rough log which is still in use.
Harvest.--It has been already indicated that the time of the wheat harvest in Palestine varies, in different situations, from early in May to late in June; and that the barley harvest is about a fortnight earlier than that of wheat. Among the Israelites, as with all other people, the harvest was a season of joy, and as such is more than once alluded to in Scripture (Ps. xxvi. 5; Isa. ix. 3).
Reaping. Different modes of reaping are indicated in Scripture, and illustrated by the Egyp
corn was plucked up by the roots, which continued to be the practice with particular kinds of grain after the sickle was known. In Egypt, at this day, barley and dhurah (maize) are pulled up by the roots Wheat, as well as barley in general,' says Russell, does not grow half as high as in Britain; and is therefore, like other grain, not reaped with the sickle, but plucked up by the roots with the hand. In other parts of the country, where the corn grows ranker, the sickle is used. When the sickle was used, the wheat was either cropped off under the ear or cut close to the ground. In the former case, the straw was afterwards plucked up for use; in the latter, the stubble was left and burnt on the ground for manure. As the Egyptians needed not such manure, and were economical of straw, they generally followed the former method; while the Israelites, whose lands derived benefit from the burnt stubble, used the latter; although the practice of cutting off the ears was also
14. Binding Sheaves.
known to them (Job xxiv. 24). Cropping the ears short, the Egyptians did not generally bind them into sheaves, but removed them in baskets. Sometimes, however, they bound them into double sheaves; and such as they plucked up were bound into single long sheaves. The Israelites appear generally to have made up their corn into sheaves (Gen. xxxvii. 7; Lev. xxiii. 10-15; Ruth ii. 7, 15; Job xxiv. 10; Jer. ix. 22; Mich. iv. 12), which were collected into a heap, or removed in a cart (Amos ii. 13) to the threshing-floor. The carts were probably similar to those which are still employed for the same purpose.
With regard to the sickles, there appear to have been two kinds in use as among the Egyptians. The figures of these Egyptian sickles probably mark the difference between them. One
was very much like our common reaping-hook, while the other had more resemblance in its shape to a scythe, and in the Egyptian examples appears to have been toothed. The reapers were the owners and their children, men-servants and women-servants, and day-labourers (Ruth ii. 4,
6, 21, 23; John iv. 36; James v. 4). Refreshments were provided for them, especially drink, of which the gleaners were allowed to partake (Ruth ii. 9). So in the Egyptian harvest-scenes, we perceive a provision of water in skins, hung against trees, or in jars upon stands, with the reapers drinking, and gleaners applying to share the draught. Among the Israelites, gleaning
16. Egyptian Harvest Scene.
was one of the stated provisions for the poor: and for their benefit the corners of the field were left unreaped, and the reapers might not return for a forgotten sheaf. The gleaners were however to obtain in the first place the express permission of the proprietor or his steward (Lev. xix. 9, 10; Deut. xxiv. 19; Ruth ii. 2, 7).
17. Threshing by Cattle.
Threshing.-The ancient mode of threshing, Egyptian_monuments, is still preserved in Paas described in Scripture and figured on the lestine. Formerly the sheaves were conveyed from the field to the threshing-floor in carts; but now they are borne, generally, on the backs of camels and asses. The threshing-floor is a level plot of ground, of a circular shape, generally about fifty feet in diameter, prepared for use by beating down the earth till a hard floor xxiv. 16, 24). Sometimes several of these floors is formed (Gen. 1. 10; Judg. vi. 37; 2 Sam. are contiguous to each other. The sheaves are spread out upon them; and the grain is trodden out by oxen, cows, and young cattle, arranged five abreast, and driven in a circle, or rather in all directions, over the floor. This was the common mode in the Bible times; and Moses forbade that the oxen thus employed should be muzzled to prevent them from tasting the corn (Deut. xxv. 4; Isa. xxviii. 28). Flails, or sticks, were only used in threshing small quantities, or for the lighter kinds of grain (Ruth ii. 17; Isa. xxviii. 27). There were, however, some kinds of threshing-machines, which are still used in Palestine and Egypt. One of them, represented in the annexed figure, is very much used in Palestine. It is composed of two thick planks, fastened together side by side, and bent upwards in front. Sharp fragments of stone are fixed into holes bored in the bottom. This ma chine is drawn over the corn by oxen, a man of boy sometimes sitting on it to increase the weight. It not only separates the grain, but
19. Threshing by the Noreg. frame of wood, in which are inserted three wooden rollers, armed with iron teeth, &c. It bears a sort of seat or chair, in which the driver sits to give the benefit of his weight. It is generally drawn over the corn by two oxen, and separates the grain, and breaks up the straw even more effectually than the drag. In all these processes, the corn is occasionally turned by a fork; and, when sufficiently threshed, is thrown up by the same fork against the wind to separate the grain, which is then gathered up
Winnowing. This was generally accomplished by repeating the process of tossing up the grain against the wind with a fork (Jer. iv. 11, 12), by which the broken straw and chaff were dispersed, and the grain fell to the ground.
A'GUR, the author of the sayings contained in Prov. xxx., which the inscription describes as composed of the precepts delivered by Agur, the son of Jakeh,' to his friends Ithiel and Ucal. Beyond this everything that has been stated of him, and of the time in which he lived, is pure conjecture.
A'HAB (father's brother), son of Omri, and the sixth king of Israel, who reigned twenty-two years, beginning in B.C. 918 and ending in 897. Ahab was, upon the whole, the weakest of all the Israelitish monarchs; and although there
are occasional traits of character which show that he was not without good feelings and dispositions, the history of his reign shows that weakness of character in a king may sometimes be as injurious in its effects as wickedness. Many of the evils of his reign may be ascribed to the close connection which he formed with the Phoenicians. The wife of Ahab was Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal, or Ithobaal, king of Tyre. She was a woman of a decided and energetic character, and, as such, soon established that influence over her husband which such women always acquire over weak, and not unfrequently also over strong, men. Ahab, being entirely under the control of Jezebel, sanc tioned the introduction, and eventually established the worship of the Phoenician idols, and especially of the sun-god Baal. Hitherto the golden calves in Dan and Bethel had been the only objects of idolatrous worship in Israel, and they were intended as symbols of JEHOVAH. But all reserve and limitation were now abandoned. The king built a temple at Samaria, and erected an image, and consecrated a grove phets of Baal were maintained. Idolatry beto Baal. A multitude of the priests and procame the predominant religion; and Jehovah, with the golden calves as symbolical representations of him, were viewed with no more reverence than Baal and his image. At length the judgment of God on Ahab and on his house was pronounced by Elijah, that, during the reign of his son, his whole race should be exterminated. Ahab died of the wounds which he received in a battle with the Syrians, according to a prediction of Micaiah, which the king disbelieved, but yet endeavoured to avert by disguising himself in the action (1 Kings xvi. 29; xxii. 40).
2. AHAB and ZEDEKIAH. The names of two false prophets, who deceived the Israelites at Babylon. For this they were threatened by Jeremiah, who foretold that they should be put to death by the king of Babylon in the presence of those whom they had beguiled; and that in following times it should become a common malediction to say, 'The Lord make thee like Ahal