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lics, whose spirit would not permit that two portions of land, and consequently two inheritances, should devolve on the same person. A man that married his sister only by his father's side, could inherit but one estate, that of his father: but by marrying his sister by the same mother, it might happen that this sister's father, having no male issue, might leave her his estate, and consequently the brother that married her might be possessed of two.
No. 616.-xxi. 10. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, cast out this bond-woman and her son; for the son of this bond-woman shall not be heir with my son.] The following extract will exhibit to the reader a striking similarity of practice with that to which the above cited passage alludes: and that amongst a race of people very remote both as to local situation and time. The Alguoquins make a great distinction between the wife to whom they give the appellation of the entrance of the hut, and those whom they term of the middle of the hut; these last are the servants of the other, and their children are considered as bastards, and of an inferior rank, to those which are born of the first and legitimate wife. Among the Caribbs also one wife possesses rank and distinction above the rest."
BABIE's Travels among Savage Nations, in
No. 617.-xxii. 9. And bound Isaac his son.] Both his hands and his feet, as it is explained in Pirke Elieser, cap. 31. When the Gentiles offered human sacrifices, they tied both their hands behind their backs. Ovid. 1. 3. De Pont, Eleg. ii. PATRICK, in loc.
No 618.-xxiii. 11. In the presence of the sons of my people.] Contracts, or grants, were usually made before all the people, or their representatives, till writings were invented. PATRICK, in loc.
No. 619.-xxiii. 16. And Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver.] Ancient nations have discovered a singular coincidence in the management of their money. The Jews appear to have used silver in lumps, perhaps of various dimensions and weights; and certainly, on some occasions at least, impressed with a particular stamp. The Chinese also do the same. For "there is no silver coin in China, notwithstanding payments are made with that metal, in masses of about ten ounces, having the form of the crucibles they were refined in, with the stamp of a single character upon them, denoting their weight." Macartney, p. 290. vol. ii. p. 266. 8vo. edit.
No. 620.-xxiv. 11. At the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water.] Homer mentions the same custom of women's being employed in drawing water among the Phæacians and Læstrygonians. (Od. vii. 20. et x, 105.) Dr. Shaw, speaking of the occupation of the Moorish women in Barbary, says, to finish the day, at the time of the evening, even at the time that the women go out to draw water, they are still to fit themselves with a pitcher or goatskin, and tying their sucking children behind them, trudge it in this manner two or three miles to fetch water." Travels, p. 421.
No.621.-xxiv. 15. Rebekah came out with her pitcher upon her shoulder.] The same custom prevailed in ancient Greece. Homer represents Minerva meeting Ulysses as the sun was going down, under the form of a Phæacian virgin carrying a pitcher of water, that being the time when the maidens went out to draw water.
When near the fam'd Phæacian walls he drew,
Odyss. b. vii. 25. Pope.
See also Odyss. lib. x. 105.
A similar custom prevailed also in Armenia, as may be seen in Xenophon's Anabasis, b. iv.
No. 622.-xxiv. 20. And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough.] In some places where there are wells, there are no conveniences to draw water with. But in other places the wells are furnished with troughs, and suitable contrivances for watering cattle. The M. S. Chardin tells us, that "there are wells in Persia and Arabia, in the driest places, and above all in the Indies, with troughs and basons of stone by the side of them." HARMER, vol. i. p. 431.
No. 623.-xxiv. 22. And it came to pass as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden ear-ring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight, of gold.] The weight of the ornaments put upon Rebekah appears extraordinary. But Chardin assures us, that even heavier were worn by the women of the East when he was there. He says that the women wear rings and bracelets of as great weight as this, through all Asia, and even heavier. They are rather manacles than bracelets. There are some as large as the finger. The women wear several of them, one above the other, in such a manner as sometimes to have the arm covered with them from the wrist to the elbow. Poor people wear as many of glass or horn. They hardly ever take them off. They are their riches. HARMER, vol. ii. p. 500.
No. 624.-xxiv. 53. Jewels of gold and raiment] Among the several female ornaments, which Abraham sent by his servant, whom he employed to search out a wife for his son Isaac, were jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, exclusive of raiment, which probably was very
rich and valuable for the age in which Abraham lived. Rich and splendid apparel, especially such as was adorned with gold, was very general in the eastern nations, from the earliest ages: and as the fashions and customs of the Orientals are not subject to much variation, so we find that this propensity to golden ornaments, prevails even in the present age, among the females in the countries bordering on Judea. Thus Mungo Park, in the account of his travels in Africa, mentions the following singular circumstance, respecting the ornamental part of the dress of an African lady. "It is evident from the account of the process by which negroes obtain gold in Manding, that the country contains a considerable portion of this precious metal. A great part is converted into ornaments for the women: and, when a lady of consequence is in full dress, the gold about her person may be worth, altogether, from fifty to eighty pounds sterling."
We find also that the same disposition for rich ornamental apparel prevailed in the times of the Apostles ; for St. Peter cautioned the females of quality in the first ages of Christianity, when they adorned themselves, not to have it consist, in the outward adorning, of plaiting the hair, and of wearing gold, or of putting on apparel. 1 Pet. iii. 3. See also Psalm xlv. 9. 13. Upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of ophir.-Her clothing is of wrought gold,
No. 625.-xxiv. 59. And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse.] Nurses were formerly held in very high esteem, and considered as being entitled to constant and lasting regard. The nurse in an eastern family is always an important personage. Modern travellers inform us, that in Syria she is considered as a sort of second parent, whether she has been foster-mother or otherwise. She always accompanies the bride to her
husband's house, and ever remains there, an honoured character. Thus it was in ancient Greece." Siege of Acre, b. ii. p. 35. note.
Thus it appears to have been in the ages of the Patriarchs. GILLINGWATER M. S.
No. 626.-xxiv. 60. And they blessed Rebekah.] Nuptial benedictions were used both by the Jews, Greeks, and Romans. That of the Jews was in this form. Blessed be thou, O Lord, who hast created man and woman, and ordained marriage," &c. This was repeated every day during the wedding week, provided there were new guests. The Grecian form of benediction was, apad Tuky; the Latin was, Quod faustum felixque sit. The Jews constantly made use of the same form: but the Greeks and Romans frequently varied theirs: a benediction however in some form was always used. See SELDEN de Jure N. et. G. 1. v. cap. 5.
No. 627.—xxv. 30. Red pottage.] The inhabitants of Barbary still make use of lentils, boiled and stewed with oil and garlick, a pottage of a chocolate colour; this was the red pottage for which Esau, from thence called Edom, sold his birth-right.
No. 628.-xxvi. 12. Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year a hundred fold.] The author of the history of the piratical states of Barbary observes, that the Moors of that country are divided into tribes like the Arabians, and like them dwell in tents, formed into itinerant villages: that "these wanderers farm lands of the inhabitants of the towns, sow and cultivate them, paying their rent with the produce, such as fruits, corn, wax, &c. They are very skilful in chusing the most advantageous soils for every season,