« ZurückWeiter »
be thrown into the flames with their common garments; but even with all the ensigns of dignity and office which they had on, when first seized. The vehemence of the king's anger being such as to command immediate execution without that degradation, (that stripping off vestments, and taking away ensigns of dignity,) which the cool and determinate cruelty of the Popish church in former times has been wont to practise, before the offender in holy orders was committed to the flames.
If it should be objected, that the hammers that appear on this Persian antiquity were probably things belonging to their idolatrous worship, and it may be the sacred instruments with which they knocked down their sacrifices, and that therefore these faithful and zealous worshippers of the one living and true God, would never have appeared with them in this solemn assembly: I would answer, that we cannot certainly tell what use they were put to : and if it should be admitted, that they were instruments belonging to their idolatrous worship, yet other things are seen in the hands of many of these figures, or fixed about them, that plainly appeared to have fiad no such referenec, as spears, bows, quivers. &c.
Consequently the second of these words may very well be understood to mean, some ensigns of their secular honour which they carried in their hands, or had about them, and which might bear some resemblance to the hammers of that age, and that country. -Or, perhaps the word might mean those large hammer-like hilted swords, which appear stuck to the side of several of the leaders of each distinct company in this grand procession, and which seem to be the mark of dignity. The form of the hilt of these swords is really remarkable, if the drawings of Chardin are exact. It must be acknowledged, indeed, that they do not appear, at all, in the engravings of these antiquities, in the quarto edition of le Bruyn; but then it ought to be remarked that le Bruyn’s figures are of little more than half the size of those of Chardin, and consequently the want of any sword in those leading figures may be owing merely to the diminutive size, in which they must have appeared if properly engraven.
But be this as it may, it is natural to suppose that the three things distinctly mentioned in this
passage of Daniel mean, in general, habits or ensigns of dignity, with which they were thrown into the flames, as well as in their common clothes, that all might see no national prejudice, no station of dignity, should exempt them from death, that should dare to refuse à compliance with the will of their prince in religious matters. But what the things particularly were is much more uncertain : if we are at all influenced by these wonderful remains of Eastern royal magnificence, the supposing them to mean a short garment hung on the shoulders, something like that part of the English royal dress called the dalmatica, a large Sword with a hammer-like hilt, and a cap of dignity, may be as probable an interpretation as has been put upon these words, and more so than the explanation of our translation, which talks of coats, hosen of breeches, and hats.
Ensigns of dignity began to be worn in times of the most remote antiquity, of which we have any account. And as crowns and sceptres are very ancient, so we find a key, worn on the shoulder, a mark of Jewish inferior dignity, in the time of their princes of the house of David. The splendor of Nebuchadnezzar's court leads us to suppose they were of several kinds there, and I would hope the illustration I have given from this celebrated Persian monument may appear not very improbable; at least not disagreeable to be proposed for examination.
Is. xxii. 22. The apparel of the servants of Solomon, mentioned i Kings X. 5, were, I presumo, robes of dig. nity.
Mr. Parkhurst on the word 1990 sarbel, the first of the three words referred to above, observes, “ Herodotus, lib. 1. cap. 195. tells us, that in his time, which was about one hundred years after the events recorded in Dan. iij. the dress of the Babylonians consisted of a tunic (of woollen,) and over all a white short cloak or mantle, and that on their heads they wore turbans, fustenou. Thus therefore I think we may best translate Dan. iii. 21. Then these three men were bound bono sarbeleehon, in their cloaks; nuo patsheehon, their turbans, pansani vekarbelatehon, and their upper (woollen) tunics, 19.7"wabo ulebushechon, and their under (linen) tunics. And as according to this interpre. tation their igno sarbelee were their outermost garments, we see the propriety with which it is observed at ver. 27, that these were not changed by the fire." Edit.
The same Subject continued.
When the son of Sirach opposes him that wore uodevov to him that wore purple and a crown," it is visible that he means to contrast one that was miserably clothed, to one that was richly attired; but is it as clear that he meant by that Greek word a porter, according to the marginal translation ? or can the describing such a person as being one that wore a linen garment, according to the body of our English version, be considered as a happy translation,
The poor people of Egypt are described now as clothed very generally with a “linen shirt or frock, which is always dyed blue.” But though the dying it of that colour is
universal, yet it is spoken of as done by indigo, a thing of value, and which is considered as a beautiful dye, and is accordingly cultivated in Egypt up to the cataracts."
So another writer informs us, as to the dress of the common people in Egypt, that the men wear next to their skin a shirt of coarse calico, without a collar or wristband, which hangs down to their knees; above it they wear another larger, and longer, of a blue colour, and
» Ecclesiasticus xl. 4.
round their waist a leathern girdle, about a quarter of a yard in breadth, buckled on the front with brass buckles--The women are dressed nearly in the same manner, but without girdles, wearing their outer shirt loose, reaching down to their heels; the seams of it are sewed with red silk, and both sides are embroidered,° &c. This embroidery, I think, plainly shows, that though it is the dress of the common people that is described, yet still not as destitute of all finery, and the being dyed with indigo is of the same nature with the embroidery: may not bed svou then mean coarse linen not so much as dyed, according to the custom of Egypt with indigo, but worn as it comes from the bleaching-ground ? perhaps not so much as bleached, but as it came from the loom? As the word signifies crude linen, may
it not be understood after this manner ? One would hardly think it necessary to suppose it means tow, or flax unwoven and unspun, though a quantity of that wrapped round the waist, might be sufficient to conceal the private parts, which seem to be as much as many of the Egyptians are concerned about, and even more.
So Niebuhr saw some washer-women in that country, washing in the sea and in the river, who had no trowsers on, but simply a cloth about their haunches. De Tott adds, concerning the Egyptians, “Both the men and
History of the Revolt of Ali Bey, p. 17. ? Voy. cn Arabic, et en d'autres Pays circonvoisins, Tom. 1, p. 168.