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ROCK TOMBS AT GADARA.
sought after idols and adopted heathenish practices :ss which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments ” (Is. lxv. 4).
The custom of dwelling in old sepulchres is still common both in Palestine and in Egypt. The place in which the demoniac found an abode is thus described :-“We arrived before sunset at Om Keis (the ancient Gadara, on the south-east side of the lake of Tiberias). We were very kindly received by the sheikh of the natives who inhabit the ancient sepulchres. The tomb we lodged in was capable of containing between twenty and thirty people; it was of an oblong form, and the cattle, &c., occupied one end, while the proprietor and his family lodged in the other: it was near this spot that the people lived in the tombs during the time of our Saviour. ... The sepulchres, which are all under ground, and hewn out of the live rock, and the doors, which are very massy, are cut out of immense blocks of stone. Some of these are now standing, and actually working on their hinges, and used by the natives : of course the hinge is nothing but a part of the stone left projecting at each end, and let into a socket cut in the rock; the faces of the doors were cut in the shape of panels.”—IRBY and MANGLES, pp. 297,
298. Of Egypt we are told that “The people of Gournou live in the entrance of such (mummy) caves as have already been opened, and, by making partitions with earthen walls, they form habitations for themselves, as well as for their cows, camels, buffaloes, sheep, goats, dogs, &c. ... Though they have at their disposal a great quantity of all sorts of bricks, which abound in every part of Gournou, from the surrounding tombs, they have never built a single house. .. Their dwelling is generally in the passages between the first and second entrance into a tomb.
The walls and the roof are as black as any chimney. The inner door is closed up with mud, except
MUMMY CAVES AT GOURNOU.
a small aperture sufficient for a man to crawl through. Within this place the sheep are kept at night; ... over the doorway there are always some half-broken Egyptian figures, and the two foxes, the usual guardians of burial-places. A small lamp, kept
alive by fat from the sheep, or rancid oil, is placed in a niche in the wall, and a mat is spread on the ground; and this formed the grand divan wherever I was. There the people assembled round me, their conversation turning wholly on antiquities. Such a one had found such a thing, and another had discovered a tomb ... I was sure of a supper of milk and bread served in a wooden bowl; but, whenever they supposed that I should stay all night, they always killed a couple of fowls for me, which were baked in a small oven heated with pieces of mummy-cases, and sometimes with the bones and rags of the mummies themselves. It is no uncommon
thing to sit down near fragments of bones : hands, feet, or skulls are often in the way; for these people are so accustomed to be among the mummies that they think no more of sitting on them than on the skins of their dead calves. I also became indifferent about them at last, and would have slept in a mummy-pit as readily as out of it.” – BELZONI's Travels, pp. 158, 159, 181, 182.
SEPULCHRES. HOUSES OF THE DEAD.—Rock SEPULCHRES AT JERUSALEM.
TOMBS OF THE KINGS.—ROCK TOMBS IN ASIA MINOR, ÎN EGYPT, AND AT PETRA.- ELEVATED SEPULCHRES.—RACHEL'S TOMB.—TOMBS OF THE PROPHETS.—WHITED SEPULCHRES.— CEMETERIES OUTSIDE Towns.
FROM the habitations of the living we pass on to those of the dead : for these too were houses, and differed from the houses of the living to a far less degree
HOUSES OF THE DEAD.
than do our burial-places. Sometimes indeed the graves are called houses, as in the following passages :
“ Samuel died : and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah ” (1 Sam. xxv. 1); “So Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, went up and fell on him (Joab) and slew him; and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness” (1 Kings ii. 34); “How should I have lain still
with princes that had gold, who filled their houses (i. e. their mausoleums) with silver” (Job iii. 13, 15); so I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living” (Job xxx. 23); “ Thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. . . . All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house” (Is. xiv. 15, 18). That sepulchres might be, and actually were, used as the dwelling-places of the living, has been already noticed in the foregoing chapter.
The following passage illustrates the above remarks : .“ While walking out one evening, a few fields' distance from Deir el Kamr (on Mount Lebanon), with the son of my host, to see a detached garden belonging to his father, he pointed out to me a small solid stone building, apparently a house, very solemnly adding,
The sepulchre of our family.' It had neither door nor window. He then directed my attention to a considerable number of similar buildings, at a distance, which to the eye are exactly like houses, but which are, in fact, family mansions for the dead. They have a most melancholy appearance, which made him shudder as he explained their use. They seem, by their dead walls, which must be opened at each several interment of the members of a family, to say, “This is an unkindly house, to which visitors do not willingly throng--but one by one they will be forced to enter; and none who enter come out again. Perhaps this custom, which prevails particularly at Deir el Kamr, and in the lonely neighbouring parts of the