Page images
PDF
EPUB

6

weight, or who have committed themselves in any other class as were in use among the Babylonians. The correway. The cooks are put upon a spit, and roasted before a

sponding Hebrew word is sokmi chalil, usually rendered slow fire; bakers are thrown into a hot oven. During the dearth of 1668 I saw such ovens heated in the royal square

pipe ' in our version, which we suppose not only to have at Ispahan, to terrify the bakers, and to deter them from been a general term, but to have specially denoted the pipe deriving advantage from the general distress.' Perhaps

of a single stem, with an orifice through it, while the the equally recent custom in Europe of burning heretics occurrence of the word nibyna nechiloth, in a plural form and witches might also be quoted in illustration.

with a singular sense, may suggest that they had also the 10. The sound of the cornet,' etc.-All the inquiry double pipe or flute. Both words come from roots which which has been directed to the discrimination of the several signify to bore through. Some also find the name of a instruments of music mentioned in this chapter has not pipe, as our translators do, in the word ap) nekeb (Ezek. been attended with any, very satisfactory results. The

xxviii. 13); but this sense does not agree with the context, whole subject is involved in great obscurity, which there seems no hope of seeing dispelled; for which reason, as

and a casket is more probably intended. Flutes and pipes well as because the general subject, and also several of the

are mentioned under a great many different names by

ancient writers, the specific distinctions of which it is now instruments, have already received some attention in the notes to the book of Psalms, we shall avoid any extended

impossible to discover. They acquired such different

names rather perhaps from the dispositions of parts proinvestigations, and confine ourselves to a few brief notices

ducing variations of musical power, than from any marked on such points as have not already been considered.

distinctions of form. We shall therefore only generally •Cornets' or horns, 'harps' and ' psalteries,' do not appear

state that the ancient flutes were cylindrical tubes, someto require further notice than they have already obtained. - Flute.'-- The Chaldee word used here (xnpinag off than the near end, and sometimes widened at the end

times of equal diameter throughout, but often wider at the mashrokitha) occurs nowhere but in this chapter, and ap- into a funnel shape, resembling a clarionet. They were pears to denote all such instruments of the pipe or flute always blown, like pipes, at one end, never transversely :

[graphic][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

[B.C. 580.

LA

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

A PERFORMER ON THE KHANoon. they had mouth-pieces, and sometimes plugs or stopples, but no keys to open or close the holes beyond the reach of the hands. The holes varied in number in the different varieties of the flute. In their origin they were doubtless made of simple reeds or canes, but in the progress of improvement they came to be made of wood, ivory, bone, and even metal. They were sometimes made in joints, but connected by an interior nozzle, which was generally of wood. The flutes were sometimes double, that is, a person played at once on two instruments, either connected or detached; and among the classical ancients, the player on the double flute often had a leathern bandage over his mouth to prevent the escape of his breath at the corners. The ancient Egyptians, as appears by our first engraving,

DOUBLE FLUTES (Roman). used the double flute; but we have not, among them, been able to find any example of the baudaged mouth, of which

the ancients seems to exact: they are large stringed inmany instances occur in classical remains. To our other

struments, and exhibit more or less of a triangular appearillustrations we have added a very simple instrument (the

ance. Musonius describes the sumbuca as rendering a nây), which is a favourite with the modern Orientals: and sharp sound; and we are also told that it was much emappears to answer very correctly in its form and use to the ployed to accompany the voice in singing iambic verses. more common instrument of ancient times. Instruments Psaliery.' - The word l'ampo pesanterin, the of the pipe class are of such high antiquity, and so univer- Yalthgrow of the Greeks, whence our word psaltery comes, sally diffused, that we have deemed it useless to inquire occurs only in this chapter, the word rendered - psaltery' concerning the inventor, or the time and place of its origin

. in the Psalms being ba; nabel

, which has been considered Examples of the instruments similar to those which appear under Ps. xcii. 3. Our translators, of course, by this indi. in the subjoined engraving, have been found in the sculp

cate that they regarded the pesantrin of this text as the tures of a tomb behind the Great Pyramid, between 3000

Chaldee name of the instrument which the Hebrews called and 4000 years old. The reader may find much curious

nabel, being influenced to this by the example of the Septuainformation on the ancient and the modern Oriental instru

gint, which in both cases uses the word psalterion. But ments of this class in the following papers in the Descrip

this term is applied by the Greek translators so arbitrarily tion de l'Egypte ;-Mémoire sur la Musique de l'Antique

to instruments that have different names in the original, Egypte ; Dissertation sur les Instrumens de Musique des

that no confidence can be placed in any use of it by them: Egyptiens ; and Instrumens de Musique des Orientaux ;

still less are we disposed to accept the conclusion of Geseand Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians, ch. vi. Rosellini

nius and others, that the Chaldee word was in this instance has also something on this subject; and Laue's Modern

derived from the Greek-by which he insinuates the opinion Egyptians should not be overlooked.

that the book of Daniel was composed long after the times Sackbut.'—The word in the orignal is xao and to which it refers. It is surely a more natural and fair xav sabbeca ; whence evidently the Greek oiußúrn. conclusion that the Greek translators, finding this word We must look for it in the sambuca of the ancients. The pesantrin, and not well knowing what it was, called it by classical writers mention this instrument as very ancient,

the Greek name which had the greatest resemblance of any and seem to ascribe its invention to the Syrians. Porphyry

other to it, even though they had already applied the same and Suidas describe it as a triangular instrument of music,

name to other instruments. The Chaldee name, and

per. furnished with cords of unequal length and thickness ; a haps the instrument denoted by it, may be recognized in description which suggests that it was an instrument of the the modern Arabic sunteer—which belongs to the same harp kind, perhaps resembling the triangular lyre, of which

class of stringed instruments as those mentioned in the last we have spoken in the note on Psalm xcii. 3. Or it may

note, but is of a different shape. be that it bore still greater resemblance to the instrument © Dulcimer.—The word thus rendered is map which old writers figure under the name of the sackbut; sumponyah, being just the same word as the ovuowvia of and which certainly is not materially different from such the Greek. Although the Greek word certainly denotes, as the khanoon and tchenk, which are still in frequent use primarily, a concert or harmony of many instruments, yet in Syria, Arabia, Egypt and Persia. They correspond to it seems also, as in the text, to have been the name of a all the conditions which the information derived from musical instrument. Servius (on Virgil, Æn. xi. 27)

describes the symphonia as a sort of bagpipe ; which is in 21. Their coats, their hosen, and their hats.'- It is ex. remarkable conformity with the Hebrew writers, who ceedingly difficult to determine what articles of dress are describe the present instrument also as a bagpipe, consist- really denoted by the words thus translated. The band ing of two pipes thrust through a leathern bag, and afford

sarbal is considered by Gesenius to denote such wide ing a mournful sound. When we add to this, that the very

drawers or trousers as are still worn by the Persians and same name was that which the bagpipe bore among the

others, and he thinks that the present Persian name for this Moors of Spain, we seem to have a greater mass of probabilities in favour of the bagpipe than can often be obtained

article of dress (shalwar) is the same word in a transposed in this class of subjects, or than can be produced for any

form. He adds, 'the name has passed with the article of other alternative which has been suggested. The known

dress into the western language, as in Greek capábapa, oapáßarla, capámäpai; in Latin sarabara, sarabalta ; in Spanish, ceroulas; in Hungarian and Sclavonic, shalwary; in Polish, sharmvari! To understand these analogies, it should be observed that b and v are convertible powers in the Hebrew, Chaldee, and other Oriental dialects ancient and modern. As to the rest, the marginal readings, of

mantle' for 'coat,' and turban' for · hat,'-probably furnish as correct an interpretation as can now be obtained.

25. Walking in the midst of the fire.'— Taylor, in one of his Fragments, alludes to the difficulty in the comprehension of the incidents of this transaction, which arises from our ignorance of the true form of that which is called

the furnace' into which the Hebrew youths were cast. A knowledge of this would render the whole perfectly intelligible. It is usually conceived of, Taylor says, 'as being somewhat like our tile-kilns, a solid, enclosed, brick building, with an aperture only fit for entrance, or at most, with a door-way below, and a vent above for the flame, smoke, etc. But the circumstances of the story do not warrant an edifice of this construction ; for it appears that Nebuchadnezzar, still seated on his throne, saw the persons

in the fire. Now this he could not do, through the solid BAGPIPE,

wall of such a building; neither could the flame, issuing

from a narrow orifice, easily slay those men who threw in antiquity of this instrument, together with its continued the Hebrews, the solid wall being between them and the existence in the East, are also corroborative circumstances. fire. Either, then, the opening to this furnace, if it were The modern Oriental bagpipe is composed of a goat-skin, a solid edifice, was large enough to admit of full view into usually with the hair on, and in the natural form, but de- it; or we must seek some other construction for it. We prived of the head, the tail, and the feet: being thus just may carry this idea somewhat further, and infer the proof the same shape as that used by the water-carriers. The priety of supposing Nebuchadnezzar to see throughout the pipes are usually of reeds, terminating in the tips of cow's structure; by consequence the building had no covering; horns, slightly curved; the whole instrument being most but was, at most, an enclosure of fire; or, an area surprimitively simple in its materials and construction. rounded by a wall, within which the fire raged.'

CHAPTER IV.

6 Therefore made I a decree to bring in

all the wise men of Babylon before me, that 1 Nebuchadnezzar confesseth God's kingdom, 4 ma

they might make known unto me the interketh relation of his dream, which the magicians could not interpret. 8 Daniel heareth the dream.

pretation of the dream. 19 He interpreteth it. 28 The story of the event.

7 Then came in the magicians, the astro

logers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers : NEBUCHADNEZZAR the king, unto all people, and I told the dreain before them; but they nations, and languages, that dwell in all the did not make known unto me the interpretaearth ; Peace be multiplied unto you.

tion thereof. 2 'I thought it good to shew the signs and 8 T But at the last Daniel came in before wonders that the high God hath wrought me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according toward me.

to the name of my God, and in whom is the 3 How great are his signs ! and how mighty spirit of the holy gods : and before him I told are his wonders ! his kingdom is 'an ever

the dream, saying, lasting kingdom, and his dominion is from 9 O Belteshazzar, 8master of the magicians, generation to generation.

because I know that the spirit of the holy 4 T I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, house, and flourishing in my palace :

tell me the visions of my

dream that I have 5 I saw a dream which made me afraid, seen, and the interpretation thereof. and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions 10 Thus were the visions of mine head in of my head troubled me.

my bed; “I saw, and behold a tree in the 1 Chald. It was seemly before me.

* Chap. 9. 44.
8 Chap. 2. 48.

* Chald. I secs seeing.

midst of the earth, and the height thereof was upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven great.

had their habitation : 11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the 22 It is thou, O king, that art grown and height thereof reached unto heaven, and the become strong: for thy greatness is grown, sight thereof to the end of all the earth : and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion

12 The leaves thereof were fair, and the to the end of the earth. fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all : 23 And whereas the king saw a watcher the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and an holy one coming down from heaven, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof

13 I saw in the visions of my head upon in the earth, even with a band of iron and my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy brass, in the tender grass of the field ; and one came down from heaven;

let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let 14 He cried 'aloud, and said thus, Hew his portion be with the beasts of the field, till down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake seven times pass over him ; off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the 24 This is the interpretation, O king, and beasts get away from under it, and the fowls this is the decree of the most High, which is from his branches :

:

his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of and brass, in the tender grass of the field ; | the field, and they shall make thee to eat and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with let his portion be with the beasts in the grass

the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass of the earth :

over thee, till thou know that the most High 16 Let his heart be changed from man's, ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it and let a beast's heart be given unto him; to whomsoever he will. and let seven times pass over him.

26 And whereas they commanded to leave 17 This matter is by the decree of the the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom watchers, and the demand by the word of the shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt holy ones: to the intent that the living may have known that the heavens do rule. know that the most High ruleth in the king- 27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be dom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins will, and setteth up over it the basest of by righteousness, and thine iniquities by men.

shewing mercy to the poor ; if it may be 'a 18 This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar | lengthening of thy tranquillity. have seen.

Now thou, O Belteshazzar, de- 28 | All this came upon the king Neclare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as buchadnezzar. all the wise men of my kingdom are not able 29 At the end of twelve months he walked to make known unto me the interpretation : in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy 30 The king spake, and said, Is not this gods is in thee.

great Babylon, that I have built for the 19 T Then Daniel, whose name was Belte- house of the kingdom by the might of my shazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his power, and for the honour of my majesty ? thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and 31 While the word was in the king's mouth, said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belte- Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The shazzar answered and said, My lord, the kingdom is departed from thee. dream be to them that hate thee, and the in- 32 And they shall drive thee from men, terpretation thereof to thine enemies.

and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of 20 The tree that thou sawest, which grew, the field : they shall make thee to eat grass and was strong, whose height reached unto as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the until thou know that the most High ruleth in earth;

the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whom21 Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit soever he will. thereof much, and in it was meat for all ; 33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon Nebuchadnezzar : and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his

5 Chald. with might. 6 Chap. 5. 21, &c, 7 Or, an healing of thine error.

8 Or, upon.

the inhabitants of the earth: and none can body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his stay his hand, or say unto him, ""What doest hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and thou? his nails like birds' claws.

36 At the same time my reason returned 34 And at the end of the days I Nebu- unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, chadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, mine honour and brightness returned unto and mine understanding returned unto me, me; and my counsellors and my lords sought and I blessed the most High, and I praised unto me; and I was established in my kingand honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. dominion is "an everlasting dominion, and his 37 Now 1 Nebuchadnezzar praise and kingdom is from generation to generation : extol and honour the King of heaven, all

35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are whose works are truth, and his ways judgreputed as nothing: and he doeth according ment: and those that walk in pride he is able to his will in the army of heaven, and among to abase.

[blocks in formation]

Verse 30. Is not this great Babylon, that I have built ?'—Nebuchadnezzar did not found Babylon, which existed as a town from the earliest ages; but he did liberally employ his vast resources in its improvement, extension, and aggrandizement, until it became that great and magnificent town which the ancient world regarded with equal wonder and admiration. The Greek writers do not indeed notice Nebuchadnezzar as the author of the great works at Babylon, but rather refer them to two queens-Semiramis, who lived before him, and Nitocris, who was after bim. But, on the other hand, the native historian Berosus, together with Megasthenes and Abydenus, expressly attribute them to this great monarch; and moreover it would seem that Nitocris, whom some make the queen of Nebuchadnezzar, and others the wife of his son Evilmerodach, merely completed the great works which he had begun. Indeed, these could only have been accomplished after the fall of Nineveh, and when Babylon had become the seat of a great empire, neither of which events happened till the time of Nebuchadnezzar.

It would occupy far more room than we can spare to describe, after the ancient writers, the glories of the golden city' We must therefore content ourselves with a very limited statement.

The Euphrates passed through the city, dividing it into two parts, of which that on the western side of the stream exceeded in magnificence, and comprehended most of the new improvements. According to Herodotus, the city, as a whole, was a perfect square, each side of which was equal to 120 stadia, and, consequently, its circuit to 480 stadia, which (Greek stadia being of course intended) would make not much less than filty miles. This extent seems so enormous, that various attempts have been made to reduce it: but not, we think, on authority equal to those which furnished and have corroborated the statement: and when we see how our own metropolis is spreading around, and may be expected at no very remote period to reach the same dimensions; and, still more, when we are told that the city was very loosely built, and much of the ground enclosed by the walls was left vacant, or laid out in cultivated fields and gardens, it may very well be doubted whether it contained a population equal to that of the present London, or comprehended as large a number of buildings. However surprising, therefore, the account may seem in the first instance, it is much less incredible than has sometimes been supposed.

A deep ditch, lined with brickwork and full of water, went round the city; and as the soil dug out from it furnished the bricks with which the wall was built, some idea of its capacity may be formed from the alleged dimensions of the wall, which was 200 royal cubits high by 50 in thickness. These bricks were baked in a furnace and cemented with hot bitumen. In the wall there were a

hundred gates, twenty-five on each side; all these gates were of solid brass and of prodigious size and strength; besides which there were, in the wall lining the river, smaller gates of the same metal, from which steps conducted down to the stream. Between every two of the great gates there were three watch-towers, ten feet higher than the walls, with four such towers at each of the four angles of the wall, and three more between each of these angles and the next adjoining gate on either side. There were, however, but 250 towers in all, as there were none on that side where the morasses rendered unnecessary the protection which they offered. This great square was divided into twenty-five grand streets, which intersected each other, dividing the city into 626 squares. Each of these streets went quite across the city in a straight line, extending from a principal gate on one side to another on the opposite side. The vast squares formed, in so extensive a plot, by the intersection of the streets, were not built upon, but hollow, and were laid out in fields, gardens, and pleasure grounds; and, besides this, the houses which lined at the same time the streets and the squares, stood much apart from each other, which suffices to shew how loosely the city was constructed. The houses are de scribed as being three or four stories high, and adorned with all the splendour and magnificence of ancient Oriental taste.

The wonders at Babylon which seem most to have attracted the attention of ancient travellers were the temple of Belus, or rather the pile on which it stood, which pile, from the description given of it, may seem very possibly to have been the famous Tower of Confusion, which may have been repaired, and this temple or chapel built thereon, probably by Nebuchadnezzar. (See the note on Gen. xi. 4.) The tower was in the midst of a large enclosure, two stadia square, with gates of brass: and within which were other sacred buildings, as alluded to in the note on ch. iii. 1. The banks of the river, in that part which ran through the city, were faced with brick, like the enclosing trench, and a continued quay was formed, the whole length of the town. The river was crossed by | a bridge said to have been rather more than a furlong in length, and constructed on some new and much admired principle, to supply a defect in the bottom of the river, which was all sandy. Another communication was afforded by a tunnel under the bed of the river. At the western end of the bridge stood the palace, which Nebuchadnezzar is said to have built to supersede another, smaller and less magnificent, which stood on the other side of the stream. This palace may be taken as that so often mentioned in the present book. It was enclosed by a triple wall, and with its parks and gardens was included in a circuit of little less than eight miles. Adjoining this palace, and within the general enclosure, were the hang

« PreviousContinue »