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In Matthew, xxvi. 34, our Lord is represented as saying, that “ before the cock crew" Peter should deny him thrice; so Luke, xxii. 34, and John, xiii. 39. But according to Mark, xiv. 30, he says,
“ before the cock crow twice thou shalt deny me thrice." These texts may be very satisfactorily reconciled, by observing, that ancient authors, both Greek and Latin, mention two cockcrowings, the one of which was soon after midnight, the other about three o'clock in the morning; and this latter being most noticed by men as the signal of their approaching labours, was called by way of eminence, “the cock-crowing;” and to this alone, Matthew, giving the general sense of our Saviour's warning to Peter, refers; but Mark, more accurately recording his very words, mentions the two cock-crowings 16.
X writer in the Theological Repository, vol. vi. p. 105, remarks, that the Rabbies tell us that “cocks were not permitted to be kept in Jerusalem on account of the holiness of the place;" and that for this reason some modern Jews cavil against this declaration of the Evangelists. To obviate these objections he states that Jerusalem being a military station of the Romans, the custom of that nation concerning the placing and relieving of the guard was practised there. “ The night was divided into four watches, of three hours each, that is, from six in the evening to nine, from nine to twelve, from twelve to three, and from three to six. They are thus set down in Mark, xiii. 35, “ Watch therefore, for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning.”
“ These watches, or guards, were declared by the sound of a trumpet; and whenever one guard relieved another, it was always done by this usual military signal. The whole four watches were closed by the blowing of a shrill horn. Drakenborch says, the last trumpet, which blew at three in the morning, was sounded three times to imitate the crowing of a cock; but from
16 See Wetstein on Mark, xiv. 30. Scheuchzer, Phys. Sacr. on Mark, xiii. 35, and Whitby's note on Matth. xxvi. 34.
The Jewish Doctors distinguish the cock crowing into the first, second, and third times. Lightfoot on Joh. xiii, 38. The heathen nations in general observed and spoke of only two. Of these, the latter, which was about the fourth watch [quarta vigilia, Plin. N. H. lib. v. c. 22] or the breaking in of the day, was the most distinguished, and was usually called a XeXTOGO@Wrid, as in Mark, xiii. 35; and gallicinium, as in Aulus Gellius, Macrobius, Saturnalia, 1. 1. c. 3. Apuleius ; Censorinus, c. 19. et de die natali, c. xxiv. Julius Pollux. I. 1. c. 7.9 8. Thus,
quarta vigilia,” in Solinus, speaking of the sun seen rising from Mount Cassius, is secundis galliciniis,” in Amm. Marcellinus, lib. xii. Thus to devtepoy adentguay Epeygero, Aristoph. and “ ad cantum galli secundi.” Juð. Sat. ix. v. 106. As the cock crew the second time after St. Peter's third denial, Mark, xiv. 70, it is to this second and more distinguished time that the other Evangelists also refer, or rather to the second of the three times mentioned by the Jewish doctors.
“In reinembrance of the crowing of the cock, which brought Peter to a sense of the great evil he was guilty of in denying his master, the practice, it is said, began of placing weather-cocks upon towers and steeples.”
[Macknight, Harm. ed. 4to. p. 581, note.
the words of Ausonius, it might be the shrill horn, which blew three times in imitation of a cock. And certainly this would render the imitation more striking. Among the innumerable proofs that it would be possible to bring of these things, take the few in the note 17.
“ Thus it appears that the guard or watches were relieved by the sound of the trumpet. The two last watches were both of them called 'cock crowings,' because cocks usually crowed in that space of time. But as the trumpet sounded these watches, its sound was often called the crowing of the first cock, and the crowing of the second cock; and more especially the last sounding, because it blew three times, as Ausonius says, in imitation of the shrill note of a cock."
Hence this writer concludes, that our Lord did not refer to the crowing of a cock, but to the sounding of the fourth watch 18.”
Upon this article, my learned friend James Winthrop, Esq. has furnished the following remarks. “ Notwithstanding the declaration of the Rabbies, and the figurative construction of the modern critic, it appears to me, that the story of Christ's prediction is to be understood literally. The cock is not among the birds prohibited in the law of Moses. If there was any restraint in the use or domestication of the animal, it must have been an arbitrary practice of the Jews, but could not have been binding on foreigners, of whom many resided at Jerusalem as officers or traders. Strangers would not be willing to forego an innocent kind of food in compliance with a conquered peoplė; and the trafficking spirit of the Jews would induce them to supply aliens, if it did not expressly contradict the letter of their law. This is sufficient to account for fowl of this kind being there, even admitting a customary restraint. But the whole imitation of a prohibition seems like a fiction, contrived with a view to invalidate the account of witnesses who were present, and who write without any apparent reserve. The prediction is not limited to any particular individual of this class of domestic fowls, but that before any of them shall crow... This
the fair construction; and is not intended as a miracle at all, but as an instance of the prophetic spirit which knew things apparently contingent; and is a proof of extraordinary knowledge, as miracles are of uncommon power.”
The celebrated Reland, in his oration“ de Galli cantu Hierosolymis audita," admits that it was not allowed to breed cocks in the city, but that the Jews were not prohibited from buying
17 Silias Ital. 1.7. p. 154. edit. Drakenborch, and the learned note of the editor upon the place. Vegetius, de Castrorum Ordinatione, 1. iii. c. 8. Censorinus de Die natali. c. ix. Moschus, Idyl. n. Ausonius; and Græv. Antiq. v. iv. p. 1184. Juvenal, sat. ix. v. 100, and Aristophanes, as quoted by Whitby, on Mark, xiv. 68.
18 This explanation was first proposed by J. J. Áltmann, in the Bibl. Brem. cl. v. fasc. iii. and very largely and learnediy refuted in the Museum Brem. vol. i. p. 377, by Joh. Diotsma.
them to eat, and that therefore the cock mentioned in the gospel might be in the house of a Jew who designed to kill it for his own table; or may have been kept in the precincts of Pilate, or of a Roman officer or soldier 19.
COCKATRICE. VOX TJEPHUON, or 'zyby TSIPHONI.
A venomous serpent. The original Hebrew word bas been variously rendered, the aspic, the regulus, the hydra, the hemorhoos, the viper, and the cerastes.
In Isai. xi. 8, this serpent is evidently intended for a proportionate advance in malignity beyond the peten which precedes it; and in xiv. 29, it must mean a worse kind of serpent than the nahash. In ch. lix. 5, it is referred to as oviparous. In Jer. viii. 17. Dr. Blaney, after Aquila, retains the rendering of basilisk. Bochart, who thinks it to be the regulus, or basilisk, says that it may be so denominated by
so denominated by an onomatopæia from its hissing; and accordingly it is hence called in Latin “sibilus,” the hisser. So the Arabic saphaa signifies “flatu adurere.” The Chaldee paraphrast, the Syriac, and the Arabic render it the hurman, or horman; which Rabbi Selomo on Gen. xlix. 17, de clares to be the TZIPHONI of the Hebrews. “ Hurman vocatur species, cujus morsus est insanabilis. Is est Hebræis TZIPHONI, et Chaldaice dicitur hurman, quia omnia facit on vastationem; id est, quia omnia vastat, et ad internecionem destruit 20."
From uniting all its characteristics, I am inclined to suppose it to be the raja sephen of Forskall.
This word occurs only in Job, xxxi. 40. By the Chaldee it is rendered noxious herbs; by Symmachus, ateneoQoguta, plants of imperfect fruit; by the Septuagint, Batos, the blackberrybush ; by Castalio, “ebulus,” dwarf elder; by Celsius, “ aconite;" and by Bp. Stock and Mr. Good, “ the night-shade."
M. Michaelis in his Suppl. ad Lex. Heb. maintains after Celsius, that both this word and D'UNI, Isai. v. 2. 4, denote the
19 In Lightfoot's Horæ Hebraicæ, in Matth. xxv. 34, is the following remark: “ Mireris gallum gallinaceum inveniri Hierosolymis, cum canone prohibitum sit gallos illic alere. Bava Kama, cap. 7. Non alunt gallos Hierosolymis propter sacra, nec sacerdotes eos alunt per totam terram Israeliticam. Quonam modo et pretextu cum canone sit dispensatum non disputamus; aderunt certe galli gallinacei Hierosolymis æque ac alibi.”
See also Meuschen Nov. Test. ex Talmude illustratum, p. 119.
The objections of Reland with Schultze's answers, and an account of the contradictions between Josephus and the Talmud, may be seen in the following work—“Relandi de spoliis templi Hierosolymitani in arcu Titiano Romæ conspicuis liber singularis. Prolusionem de variis Judæorum erroribus in descriptione hujus templi præmisit notasque adjecit E. A. Schultze, S. T. D. in Acad. Viadrina. Traj. ad Rhen. 1775, 8vo.
The learned reader is also referred to the elaborate chapter of Bochart, “ De galli cantic, &c. Hieroz. V. 2. p. 688. Wolfius, Cur. philol. ad Matth. xxvi..
tom. 1. p. 378, and to Paxton, Illustrations of Scripture, vol. ii. p. 101. Edinb. 1819.
20 From the Hebrew oin, to butcher, to cut in pieces, to inflict wounds, may be derived the English word harm.
aconite, a poisonous plant, growing spontaneously and luxuriantly on sunny hills, such as are used for vineyards. He says that this interpretation is certain, because, as Celsius has observed, w'n, in Arabic denotes the aconite, and he intimates that it best suits Job, xxxi. 40, where it is mentioned as growing instead of barley.
The word appears to import a weed not only noxious, but of a fetid smell 21
CONY. OU SHAPHAN.
Occ. Levit. xi. 5; Deut. xiv. 7; Psal. civ. 8; and Prov. xxx. 26, only.
Bochart 22, and others 23, have supposed the shaphan of the Scriptures to be the “ Jerboa;" but Mr. Bruce proves that the “ Ashkoko” is intended. This curious animal is found in Ethiopia, and in great numbers on Mount Lebanon, &c. ;It does not burrow and make holes as the rat and rabbit, nature having interdicted it this practice by furnishing it with feet which are round, and of a soft, pulpy, tender substance; the fleshy part of the toes project beyond the nails, which are rather broad than sharp, much similar to a man's nails ill
grown, and these appear rather given for defence of the soft toes than for any active use in digging, to which they are by no means adapted.
“ The total length of the animal as it sits is seventeen inches and a quarter. It has no tail ; and gives, at first sight, the idea of a rat rather than any other creature. The colour is gray, mixed with reddish brown, and the belly white. All over the body are scattered hairs, strong and polished, like mustachoes ; these are, for the most part, two inches and a quarter in length24. The ears are round, not pointed. The upper jaw is longer than the other. It lives upon grain, fruit, and roots; and certainly chews the cud."
Instead of holes, these animals seem to delight in less close or more airy places, in the mouths of caves, or clefts in the rock. They are gregarious, and frequently several dozens of them sit
21 The verb vx) BAS, itself, in its primary signification, bears the same meaning, namely, to-stink. Hence the plant may mean what has base qualities.
Maimonides in præf. ad Seder Saraim. “Qủare creata sunt venena letalia (veluti herba Bish, et herba hashishalol dam), quibus perditio hominibus, non utilitas infertur?" Bellonins has the following remark upon this herb, lib. ii. c. 3.
« Le consul de Florentins nous fait gouster d'une racine, que les Arabes nomment bish, la quelle causa si grande chaleur en la bouche, qui nous dura deux jours, qu'il nous sembloit y avoir du feu. Elle est bien petite comme un petit naveau. Les autres l'ont nommée Napellus, qui est commune aux drogueurs Turcs.” 22 Hieroz. vol. ii. p. 409-429. edit. Rosenmuller.
Schultesn, ad Prov. xxx. 26. Oedmann in Miscel. Sacr. part iv. C.-5, p. 41, ed Upsal, 1789. Tychsen, Physiol. Syrus, p. 23.
24 Mr. Bruce observes, “ In Amhara this animal is called Ashkoko, which I apprehend is derived from the singularity of these long herinaceous hairs, which, like small thorns, grow about his back, and which in Amhara are called ashok.” “Amharicum enim Aschok significat spinam.” Vide Ludolfi, Lex. Amhar. p. 58.
the great stones at the mouths of caves, and warm them selves in the sun, or come out and enjoy the freshness of the summer evening. They do not stand upright upon their feet, but seem to steal along as in fear, their belly being nearly close to the ground; advancing a few steps at a time, and then pausing. They have something very mild, feeble-like, and timid in their deportment; are gentle and easily tamed, though when roughly handly at the first, they bite very severely.
Many are the reasons to believe this to be the animal Called SAPHAN in Hebrew, and erroneously by our translators, " the coney,” or rabbit. We know that the last mentioned animal is peculiar to Spain, and therefore could not be supposed to be either in Judea or Arabia. They are gregarious indeed, and so far resemble each other, as also in size; but seek not the same place of retreat, for the rabbit burrows most generally in the sand. Nor is there any thing in the character of rabbits that denotes excellent wisdom, or that they supply the want of strength by any remarkable sagacity. The SAPHAN then is not the rabbit; which last, unless it was brought him by his ships from Europe, Solomon never saw.
Let us now apply the characters of the ashkoko to the SAPHAN. “ He is above all other animals so much attached to the rocks, that I never once (says Mr. Bruce) saw him on the ground, or from among large stones in the mouth of caves, where is his constant residence. He lives in families or flocks. He is in Judea, Palestine, and Arabia, and consequently must have been familiar to Solomon. David describes him very pertinently, and joins him to other animals perfectly known; the hills are a refuge for the wild goats, and the rocks for the suphan.' And Solomon says, that they are exceeding wise,' that they are but a feeble folk, yet make their houses in the rocks. Now this, I think, very obviously fixes the ashkoko to be the saphan, for his weakness seems to allude to his feet, and how inadequate these are to dig holes in the rock, where yet, however, he lodges. From their tenderness these are very liable to be excoriated or hurt: notwithstanding which they build houses in the rocks, more inaccessible than those of the rabbit, and in which they abide in greater safety, not by exertion of strength, for they have it not, but are truly, as Solomon says, a feeble folk, but by their own sagacity and judgment, and are therefore justly described as wise, Lastly, what leaves the thing without doubt is, that some of the Arabs, particularly Damir, say that the saphan has no tail, that it is less than a cat, that it lives in houses or nests, which he builds of straw, in contradistinction to the rabbit and the rat, and those animals that burrow in the ground.”
Such is the account and such the opinion of Mr. Bruce, and it must be acknowledged that many of his coincidences are striking, and lead to the adoption of his opinion.