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before it was quite ripe, roasted or dried in the ear, and eaten without any thing else being done to it.

The grain was usually ground into flour, then fermen. ted, or made light by leaven, then kneaded into bread. This flour was ground by small hand-mills, which were only two flat, circular stones, one placed upon the other, the upper one was turned round, while the corn was

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poured between them. Mills like these were in use in the highlands of Scotland till very lately; they were called querns; they were usually worked by two wo. men, see Matt. xxiv. 41. who sat one on each side and turned the upper stone round. In Pennant's tour in Scotland, there is a picture which represents this exactly. It was one of these millstones that the woman of Thebez, Jud. ix. 53, cast upon the head of Abimelech; see also Matt xviii. 6.

These mills ground the flour but slowly, so it was the employment of every day to grind some flour. This sound, and the women singing as they work the mill, is heard in the morning early in the houses of the east, and is considered as a sign that the people are well and active, as when it is not heard the neighbors fear that all is not well, Ecc. xii. 4. This explains the description of the desolate state to which Jerusalem should be reduced, Jer. xxv. 10.

Ás the millstones were so necessary to prepare the daily food of each family, the Israelites were forbidden to “ take the nether or the upper millstone to pledge: for he taketh a man's life to pledge,” Deut. xxiv. 6. This is a strong expression; it shows how important an article of food bread must have been, when the instrument by which it was prepared was of so much consequence to every family. The finest flour was made into cakes, and baked quickly upon the hearth, Gen. xviii. 6. the coarser four was made into loaves, 1 Sam. xxi. 3. Sometimes the cakes were baked upon the coals, being laid upon the hot embers, or upon a flat plate of iron, or a grate of iron over the fire; as cakes are now sometimes baked upon a plate of iron called a girdle, in the north of England and Scotland, and are called girdle-cakes ; but we also read of ovens being used, Levit. ii. 4. Mal. iv. l. This is a section of the ovens now in use in the east.

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They were heated by the fuel being put into them, Luke xii. 28. The bread is usually made in small flat cakes. The lighter kinds of bread adhered to the heated sides of these ovens and were soon baked.

Leviticus xi. contains particular directions as to what sorts of animal food the Jews might eat, and what was this respect.

forbidden them. Upon this a general remark may be made, that the sorts of food forbidden are mostly such as are unwholesome and hard of digestion. Pork, for in. stance, is considered


unwholesome in those hot coun. tries. Indeed many sorts of food which may be eaten among us without harm would be very dangerous there. In the year 1801, when the English attacked the French in Egypt, many of the troops died from want of care in

The illness of which the captain of one of our frigates died, arose from his continuing to eat eggs for his breakfast, though warned that it was not safe in those countries.

Cooling vegetables were, and still are, much used for food, as melons, cucumbers, &c. The reader will re. member how the Israelites in the wilderness longed for them, Numb. xi. 5.

But the laws respecting food were also to keep the Jews a separate people from those nations who fed upon what they were forbidden to eat, and to teach them temperance. Tertullian, one of the ancient fathers who lived soon after the days of the apostles, says, “ If the law takes away the use of some sorts of meat, and pronounces creatures to be unclean who before were held to be quite otherwise, let us consider that the design was to accustom the Jews to temperance, and look upon it as a restraint laid upon gluttons, who hankered after the cucumbers and melons of Egypt, while they were eating the food of angels.” It is indeed very sad to see a glut. ton, or one who thinks a great deal about eating or drinking ; it is wicked, and every one must despise them.

The coals we read of in the Bible were coals of wood or charcoal. They also used thorns, and wood of all sorts, Ps. lviii. 9. Ecc. vii. 6. they collected the dung of cows, and other animals, and dried it for the purpose, as is still the custom in the east, where wood often is very

Grass also is mentioned, Matt. vi. 30. These different sorts of fuel are spoken of in several places in the Bible. As they are all such as burn away very quickly, so the sudden manner in which destruction comes upon sinners, by the wrath of God against sin, is frequently explained by referring to them.


The usual drink among the Jews was water. There were numerous public wells and fountains, besides those belonging to private houses. It was by the side of one of the former that Jesus sat, John iv. 6, 7. while he discoursed with the woman of Samaria. We read that Jesus was wearied and sat thus on the well--like one wearied with a long journey on a very hot day. How this ought to affect us ! He who was God, the Creator of all things, took upon him our nature with all its in. firmities, sin excepted, Heb. iv. 15, and all this that we might be saved from the punishment our sins deserve.

The importance and value of wells of water were very great. In the days of the patriarchs we read of the contests between Abraham and Abimelech, and between Isaac and the Philistines, for wells of water, Gen. xxxvi. 18--25. Moses found protection from Jethro, on account of the assistance which he had rendered to his daughters when the shepherds attempted to drive them away, and possess themselves of the water they had drawn, Exod. ii. 17. The woman of Samaria seems to have thought the possession of a well a proof of Jacob's greatness and power, John iv. 12. Caleb's


daughter, Jud. i. 14, 15. considered her father's gift of land as not complete without springs of water.

In England, we have but little idea of the value of water in those hot and dry countries, but it was very strongly felt there. Thus David, when desirous of ex. pressing in the strongest manner his desire for the Lord, referred to this very thing. He was in the wilderness of Judah, where he longed for the water from the well of Bethlehem, which he used to drink, 1 Chron. xi. 16, &c.

His soul feeling a strong desire for the presence of the Lord, he also thus expresses himself, “ 0 God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee : my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is,” Ps. Ixiii. 1.

Our Lord, referring to the manner in which water had been alluded to by the psalmist and the prophet Isaiah, and in other parts of the Old Testament, spoke of him. self, to the woman, as able to give that water which would cause those who drink it, never to thirst again. If my readers thirst for this living water, they may remember Christ's own declaration : 66 In the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink, John vii. 37. Of course he did not there refer to com. mon water ; the influences of the Holy Spirit, and the fulness of grace in Christ are meant. These blessings we need as much as the Jews did, they are offered to us as freely, and yet, strange to say,

how many who will not quench their thirst, but prefer to go on, delighting in sin till at length it consumes them.

Much more might be said about water. readers to refer to Is, xii. 3. xlv. 3. Jer. ii. 13. Zech. xiii. 1. xiv. 8. and other similar passages. They may also be reminded of the Israelites in the wilderness, and the distress they were in for water, and how God was pleased to supply them by a miracle, which the apostle Paul tells us refers also to Christ ; see Numb. xx. il. 1 Cor. x. 4.

In Egypt, the inhabitants were chiefly supplied with water from the river Nile, which travellers say is most excellent ; so that, when the Egyptians are in foreign countries, they are continually speaking of the pleasure they shall have when they return home, and drink again the water of the Nile. This shows us how great must have been the plague with which they were afflicted,

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