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suppose, we are to understand the account that is given us, of the Amelekite's bringing the bracelet that he found on Saul's arm, along with his crown, to David, 2 Sam. i. 10.
It is not impossible that this bracelet might be no part of the regalia of the kingdom of Israel, but merely a thing of value which Saul had about him, and which that stranger thought fit to present with his crown to David; but it seems rather to be mentioned as a royal ornament: and it is certain it has been since used in the East as a badge of power. For when the Khalif Cayem Bemrillah granted the investiture of certain dominions to an Eastern prince, which his predecessors had possessed, and among the rest of the city of Baghdat itself, it is said this ceremony of investiture was performed by the khalif's sending him letters patent, a crown, a chain, and bracelets.
I do not however find that any of the commentators have taken Saul's bracelet in this light. All the observation that Grotius makes upon it is, that it was an ornament used by the men as well as women of those nations, upon which he cites Num. xxxi. 50.
The ornament however, probably, was not so common as we may have been ready to suppose; for though the word bracelet is frequently to be met with in our translation, the original word in this text occurs at most but in two other places; and as the children of Israel found one or more of these bracelets among the
! D'Herbelot, p. 541.
spoils of Midian, so they killed at the same time five of their kings, Num. xxxi. 8. The place indeed speaks of female ornaments, Isai. iii. 20.; but if the word is the same, might not the women of that age wear an oinament which, from its likeness to one of the ensigns of royalty, might be called by the same name, as in some countries of late - brides have worn an ornament which has been called a crown, though that word indisputably, long before that time, marked out the chief badge of royal dignity ?
Numerous Lights, curiously disposed, used in doing
The slaughter of Saul filled his camp' with terror and mourning : before that, it is probable, his tent might sometimes be distinguished by lights; at least these illuminations are now used in those countries to do honour to princes, 'and must not here be forgotten.
So the tent of the Bey of Girge, Norden tells us," was distinguished from the other tents in that encampment by forty-lanterns, suspended before it in form of chequer-work. So Thevenot describing the reception of the new Basha of Egypt under tents, near Cairo, says there were two great trees, on which two hundred lamps hung, at the gate of the little inclosure which surrounded his pavilions, which were lighted in the night-time; and that there was the same before the tents of the principal officers, as in the caravan of Mecca..
w Voyages faits en Moscovie par Olearius, p. 238, • Part 2, p. 45,
In the East it is now a customary thing; if it was the same anciently, perhaps the words of Job might refer to it. ch. xxix. 2, 3. Oh! that it were with me as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me : when his candle shined upon my head, (when I returned prosperous from expeditions against the enemies of my tribe, and had my tent adorned with lamps,) and I passed through the night by the light of it.
As to illuminating their houses on occasions of joy, I have elsewhere given an account of it.
Chains on the Necks of Camels, &c. Marks of Dise
tinction and Grandeur.
CHAINS about the necks of their camels are mentioned in Judges viii, 26, as a part of the ornaments belonging to the kings of Midian, which were given to Gideon.
Perliaps these chains were like those Bishop Pococke saw in Egypt, hanging from the bridles of the Agas of the seven military bodies of that country, to the breast-plates of the animals on which they rode, in the grand
• Part 1, p. 160.
procession of the caravan about setting out for Mecca. Cnly these were of silver,
, whereas those of the Midianitish kings were of gold. They were however both, apparently, marks of distinction and grandeur; and, probably, were worn in the same manner.
Umbrellas used for the same Purposes.
An umbrella is a very ancient, as well as honourable defence against the pernicious effects of the scorching beams of the sun, in those sultry countries ; may we not then suppose, this is that kind of shade the Psalmist refers to in the 121st. Psalm ? ver. 5. The Lord is thy keeper : the Lord is thy shade on thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
Niebuhr who visited the southern part of Arabia, gives us the following account of a solemn procession of the Iman that resides at Sana, who is a great prince in that part of Arabia, and considered as a holy personage, being descended from Mohammed their great prophet. It is well known, that the Sultan at Constantinople goes every Friday' to the mosque, if his health will at all admit of it. The Iman of Saná observes also this religious
? Vol. 1. p. 264.
practice, with vast pomp. We only saw him in his return, because this was represented to us as the most curious part of the solemnity, on account of the long circuit he then takes, and the great number of his attendants, after their having performed their devotions in other mosques, . . . . . The Iman was preceded by some hundreds of soldiers. He, and each of the princes of his numerous family, caused a mdalla, or large umbrella, to be carried by his side, and it is a privilege which, in this country, is appropriated to princes of the blood, just as the Sultan of Constantinople permits none but his vizier to have his kaïk, or gondola, covered behind, to keep him from the heat of the sun. They say that in the other provinces of Yemen, the independent lords such for example as the sheiks of Jafâ, and those of Haschid u Bekil; the Scherif of Abu Arisch, and many others, cause these mdallas in like manner to be carried for their use, as a mark of their independence. princes, the Iman had in his train at least six hundred lords of the most distinguished rank, as well as ecclesiastics as seculars, and those of the military line, many of them mounted on superb horses, and a great multitude of people attended him on foot.
On each side of the Iman was carried a flag, different from our's,
s So at p. 305, he tells us, he saw a young prince at Sana, who had been dispossessed of some territories brella carried at his side, as he went on horseback to the mosque, one Friday.