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It should be observed, thạt in the instance of Solo. mon's virtuous woman, the cloth so spun and wove at home was for the use of the family, and it is so usually in our own times. The comfort of such clothing is well expressed : “ She is not afraid of the snow for her household : for all her household are clothed with scar. let, Prov. xxxi. 21. or (as the margin better expresses it) “ with double garments.”
Solomon's virtuous woman is represented by our trans. lators of the Bible, as having clothing of silk ; the word rendered silk should be fine cotton cloth or muslin. Silk was then scarcely, if at all known. Aurelian, the Roman emperor, 1300 years after the time of Solomon, refused his wife a silk gown because it was too expensive; we can, therefore, hardly suppose that a Jewish woman of the middle class could have had such clothing. The word silk in the margin of Gen. xli. 41. has the same meaning. The fine linen of Egypt, so often mentioned, we should call very coarse-such is the improvement in manufactures. Of this there can be no doubt from an examination of the linen wrapped round the embalmed bodies, or mummies, of persons formerly of high rank in Egypt. There were various sorts of cloth in former times, for no less than four different Hebrew words are all rendered “linen” by our translators. It is probable one or more of them were of cotton.
David's robe, 1 Chron. xv. 27, was of “butz,” which is supposed to have been fine cotton cloth. Mr. Bruce mentions such robes as worn by men of rank in Abyssinia.
As an additional proof that the manufactures among the Jews were not extensive, we may refer to Ezekiel xxvii. In that chapter the prophet describes, very mi. nutely, all the articles in which the merchants of Tyre dealt; but we do not find that any of them came from Judea, except wheat, honey, oil, and balm, ver. 17. all of which were productions of the soil of that country.
Even in the account given of many articles made for the use of the tabernacle, Exod. xxxv. 25, 26. and for the temple, we find that they were made by the Israelites, rather as their family employment, than by regular manufacturers. Solomon sent to Huram, king of Tyre, 2 Chron. ii. 7, 13. for a man skilful enough to direct the manufactures of the articles he wished to have made for the temple.
Shoes and clothes were also made at home; this was usual in other countries. Homer describes Eumeas, a very respectable steward of king Ulysses, employed in making his own shoes. Sometimes these articles might be sold, Amos, ii. 6. but that was rather by way of bar. ter, and there is no mention of regular shoemakers or tailors as trades.
In like manner, there were few butchers or bakers. The country people brought meat or other articles of food to the large towns. The men of Tyre, Neh, xiii. 16. did so at Jerusalem, and sold them in the market. We read of the sheep-market, and other similar places. In the case of the men of Tyre, just mentioned, we see that the purchase and sale of provisions on the sabbath was forbidden. It is very sad to reflect how many in our land constantly break the fourth commandment.
That bakers were not common, we may suppose from the distress of David, 1 Sam. xxi. 3. He would hardly
have been so urgent with the priests of Nob, to give him the shew bread, if he could have bought any. We read, Jer. xxxvii. 21. of a baker's street ; but this was in later times, and at Jerusalem. Our blessed Lord also told his disciples to buy bread for the multitude ; and a boy appears to have followed the crowd with a few loaves and fishes for sale.
In the New Testament there are mention of several trades. Joseph, a carpenter, Matt. xiii. 55. Mark vi. 3. Simon, a tanner, Acts ix. 43. Demetrius, a silversmith, Acts xix. 24. Alexander, a coppersmith, 2 Tim. iv. 14. Paul and Aquila were tent-makers, Acts xviii. or, as is supposed, more like the business of our upholsterers ; Lydia, a seller of purple, or dyer, ch. xvi. 14.
Ch. XIV.- Tue Fine Arts.-IMAGES.
The Jews do not appear to have possessed much knowledge of what are called the fine arts, such as sculpture and painting ; many beautiful specimens of which abounded in Italy and Greece, particularly at Athens, where the apostle Paul's spirit was stirred within him when he beheld the people worshipping these idols, nor was their beauty any excuse for the idolatry. He bore testimony against them on the very spot itself, Acts xvii. Some of the sculptures which he then beheld are now in the British Museum. However, when the Israelites left the land of Egypt, it is evident that some among them must have possessed knowledge of this sort, for they made a molten calf, and fashioned it with a graving tool, Exod. xxxii. 4. and, after their arrival in the land of Canaan, Micah employed a founder who made a graven image and a molten image, Judg. xvii. 4. But we do not read of many works of this description being executed. Bezaleel and Aholiab appear to have been especially directed by the