Biblical  Antiquities

                     This department of archæology has been variously defined and classified. Some
                     scholars have included in it even Biblical chronology, geography, and natural
                     history, but wrongly so, as these three branches of Biblical science belong rather
                     to the external environment of history proper. Archæology, properly speaking, is
                     the science of antiquities, and of those antiquities only which belong more
                     closely to the inner life and environment of a nation, such as their monumental
                     records, the sources of their history, their domestic, social, religious, and
                     political life, as well as their manners and customs. Hence, history proper,
                     geography, and natural history must be excluded from the domain of
                     archæology. So also the study of monumental records and inscriptions and of
                     their historical interpretation must be left either to the historian, or to the
                     sciences of epigraphy and numismatics. Accordingly, Biblical Archæology may
                     be appropriately defined as: the science of;

                          I. DOMESTIC, or SOCIAL,
                          II. POLITICAL, and
                          III. SACRED, ANTIQUITIES of the Hebrew nation.

                     Our principal sources of information are:

                          (a) The Old Testament writings;
                          (b) the archæological discoveries made in Syria and Palestine;
                          (c) the Assyro-Babylonian, Egyptian, and Canaanitish monuments;
                          (d) the New Testament writings;
                          (e) the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus, and of the Babylonian
                          and Jerusalem Talmuds;
                          (f) comparative study of Semitic religions, customs, and institutions.

                                        I. DOMESTIC ANTIQUITIES

                     (1) Family and clan

                     The Old Testament books present us the Hebrews as having passed through two
                     stages of social development: the pastoral and the agricultural. The stories of the
                     Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, picture them as dwelling in tents and
                     constantly moving from one pasture-ground to another. In course of time tents
                     merged into huts, huts into houses, and these into settlements, villages, and
                     cities, surrounded by cornfields, vineyards, oliveyards, and gardens. Flocks and
                     herds became rarer and rarer till the time of the early monarchy and afterwards,
                     when, with few exceptions, they gave way to commerce and trade. As among all
                     nations of antiquity, a coalition of various members, or branches, of the same
                     family constituted a clan which, as an organization, seems to have antedated the
                     family. A coalition of clans formed a tribe which was governed by its own chiefs
                     or leaders. Some of the Hebrew clans at the time of the settlement in Canaan
                     seem to have been organized, some to have been broken up and wholly or
                     partially incorporated with other clans. A man's standing in his clan was so
                     important that if he was cast out he became ipso facto an outlaw, unless,
                     indeed, some other clan could be found to receive him. After the settlement, the
                     Hebrew clan-system changed somewhat and slowly degenerated till the time of
                     the monarchy, when it fell into the background and became absorbed by the
                     more complicated system of national and monarchical government.

                     (2) Marriage and the constitution of the family

                     In ancient Hebrew times the family, as a social organization, and as compared
                     with the clan, must have held a secondary place. Comparative Semitic analogy
                     and Biblical evidences seem to indicate that among the early Hebrews, as
                     among other early Semitic nations, man lived under a matriarchate system, i.e.
                     kinship was constituted by uterine ties, and descent was reckoned through
                     female lines; the father's relation to his children being, if not ignored, certainly of
                     little or no importance. Hence a man's kin were the relatives of his mother, not
                     those of his father; and consequently all hereditary property descended in the
                     female line. The position of woman during the early Hebrew period, although
                     inferior to what it became later, was not as low and insignificant as many are
                     inclined to believe. Many episodes in the lives of women like Sarah, Rebeccah,
                     Rachel, Deborah, Mary the sister of Moses, Delilah, Jephtah's daughter, and
                     others are sufficient evidences. The duties of a woman, as such and as a wife
                     and mother, were heavy both physically and morally. The work in and about the
                     home devolved upon her, even to the pitching of the tent, as also the work of the
                     field with the men at certain seasons. The position of the man as father and as
                     the head of the household was of course superior to that of the wife; upon him
                     devolved the duty and care of the training of the children, when they had reached
                     a certain age, as also the offering of sacrifices, which necessarily included the
                     slaughtering of domestic animals, and the conduct of all devotional and ritualistic
                     services. To these must be added the duty of maintaining the family, which
                     presupposes a multitude of physical and moral obligations and hardships.

                     Polygamy was an acknowledged form of marriage in the patriarchal and
                     post-patriarchal periods, although in later times it was considerably restricted.
                     The Mosaic law everywhere requires a distinction to be made between the first
                     wife and those taken in addition to her. Marriage between near relatives was
                     common, owing to a desire to preserve, as far as possible, the family bond
                     intact. As the family was subordinate to the clan, the whole social life of the
                     people, marriage, and even property rights were under the surveillance of the
                     same. Hence a woman was to marry within the same clan; but if she chose to
                     marry without the clan, she should do so only upon such terms as the clan might
                     permit by its customs or by its action in a particular case. So, also, a woman
                     might be allowed, where compensation was made, to marry and leave her clan,
                     or she might contract through her father or other male relative with a man of
                     another clan provided she remained with her people and bore children for her
                     clan. This marriage-form, known to scholars under the term of Sadiqa-marriage,
                     was undoubtedly practised by the ancient Hebrews as positive indications of its
                     existence are found in the Book of Judges and particularly in the cases of
                     Jerubbaal, Samson, and others. The fact itself that Hebrew harlots who received
                     into their tents or dwellings men of other clans, and who bore children to their
                     own clan, were not looked upon with much disfavour is a sure indication of the
                     existence of the Sadiqa-marriage type among the Hebrews. One thing is certain,
                     however, that no matter how similar the marriage customs of the ancient
                     Hebrews may have been to those of the early Arabs, the marriage tie among the
                     former was much stronger than, and never as loose as, among the latter. Another
                     form of Hebrew marriage was the so-called levirate type (from the Lat. levir, i.e.
                     brother-in-law), i.e. the marriage between a widow, whose husband had died
                     childless, and her brother-in-law. She was, in fact, not permitted to marry a
                     stranger, unless the surviving brother-in-law formally refused to marry her. The
                     levirate marriage was intended first, to prevent the extinction of the name of the
                     deceased childless brother; and secondly, to retain the property within the same
                     tribe and family. The first-born son of such a union took the name of the
                     deceased uncle instead of that of his father, and succeeded to his estate. If there
                     were no brother of the deceased husband alive, then the next of kin was
                     supposed to marry the widow as we find in the case of Ruth's relative who
                     yielded his right to Boaz. According to the laws of Moses, a man was forbidden
                     to remarry a divorced wife, if she had married again and become a widow, or had
                     been divorced from her second husband. Israelites were not forbidden to
                     intermarry with any foreigners except the seven Canaanitish nations; hence
                     Moses' marriage to a Midianite, and afterwards to a Cushite woman and that of
                     David to a princess of Geshur were not against the Mosaic law. The high-priest
                     was to marry a virgin of his own people, and in the time of Ezechiel even an
                     ordinary priest could not marry a widow, unless she were the widow of a priest.

                     Betrothal was mostly a matter of business to be transacted by the parents and
                     near family friends. A distinction between betrothal and marriage is made even in
                     the Mosaic law, where betrothal is looked upon as more than a promise to marry;
                     it was in fact its initial act, and created a bond which could be dissolved only by
                     death or by legal divorce. Faithlessness to this vow of marriage was regarded and
                     punished as adultery. Betrothal actually took place after a dowry had been
                     agreed upon. As a rule, it was given to the parents of the bride, though
                     sometimes to an elder brother. Marriage contracts appear to have been mostly
                     oral, and made in the presence of witnesses. The earliest account of a written
                     one is found in the Book of Tobit (D. V. Tobias). The wedding festivities lasted
                     ordinarily seven days, and on the day of the wedding the bridegroom, richly
                     dressed and crowned, went in procession to the bride's house to take her away
                     from her father. The bride, deeply veiled, was led away amid the blessings of her
                     parents and friends. The bridal procession not infrequently took place at night, in
                     the blaze of torches and with the accompaniment of songs, dancing, and the
                     highest expressions of joy.

                     Adultery was punished by death, through stoning of both participants. A man
                     suspecting his wife of unfaithfulness might subject her to a terrible ordeal which,
                     it was thought, no guilty wife could well pass through without betraying her guilt.
                     Divorce among the ancient Hebrews was as frequent as among any other
                     civilized nation of antiquity. Mosaic laws attempted only to restrict and to
                     regulate it. Any "unseemly thing" was sufficient ground for divorce, as also was
                     barrenness. The wife, however, was not allowed to separate herself from her
                     husband for any reason; in the case of her husband's adultery, he as well as the
                     other guilty party, as we have seen, would be punished with death.

                     Concubinage, which differs widely from polygamy, was also extensively practised
                     by the Hebrews. A concubine was less than a wife, but more than an ordinary
                     mistress, and her rights were jealously guarded in the Mosaic Code. The children
                     born of such a union were in no case considered as illegitimate. The principal
                     distinction between a legal wife and a concubine consisted in the latter's social
                     and domestic inferiority. Concubines were not infrequently either handmaids of
                     the wife, or captives taken in war or purchased of their fathers. Canaanitish and
                     other foreign women or slaves could in no case be taken as concubines. The
                     seducer of an unbetrothed maiden was compelled either to marry her or to pay
                     her father a heavy fine. In later times, ordinary harlotry was punished, and if the
                     harlot was the daughter of a priest she was burnt. Idolatrous harlotry and sodomy
                     were severely punished.

                     The domestic and social life of the Hebrews was frugal and simple. They indulged
                     very little in public games and diversions. Hunting and fishing were looked upon
                     as necessities of life. Slavery was extensively practised, and slaves were either
                     Hebrews or foreigners. The Mosaic law is against any kind of involuntary slavery,
                     and no Hebrew slave was allowed to be sold to foreigners. An Israelitish slave
                     was to be set free after five or six years servitude and not without some
                     compensation, unless he were willing to serve another term. As was natural,
                     Hebrew slaves were more kindly treated by their Hebrew masters than were
                     foreign ones, who were either captives in war or purchased.

                     (3) Death and burial

                     The principal sicknesses and diseases mentioned in the Old Testament are:
                     intermittent, bilious, and inflammatory fevers, dysentery produced by sunstroke,
                     inflammation of the head, fits, apoplectic paralysis, blindness, inflammation of
                     the eyes, hæmorrhages, epilepsy, diarrh a, dropsy, various kinds of skin
                     eruptions, scabies, and the various forms of leprosy. To these must be added
                     some psychical diseases, such as madness, melancholy, etc., and also various
                     forms of demoniacal possession. No explicit mention of professional physicians
                     and surgeons is made in the Old Testament.

                     In case of death, the body was washed and wrapped in a linen cloth and, if
                     financial circumstances allowed, anointed with sweet-smelling spices and
                     ointments. Embalming was neither a general nor a common practice. Burial took
                     place, usually, on the day of the person's death. The dead body was never burnt,
                     but interred, unless for some particular reason, as in the case of Saul and his
                     sons. Mourning customs were various, such as wearing sackcloths, scattering
                     dust and ashes on the head, beating the breast, plucking and pulling out the hair
                     and the beard, throwing oneself upon the earth; rending the garments, going
                     about barefooted, veiling the face, and in some cases abstaining from eating and
                     drinking for a short time. The usual period of mourning lasted seven days. With
                     few exceptions the bodies were interred outside of the town, either in caves or in
                     public cemeteries. Persons of high social and financial standing were publicly
                     mourned, and their bodies placed in sepulchres hewn in rock.

                     (4) Food and meals

                     The principal articles of food among the ancient Hebrews can be easily
                     summarized from the interesting description of the land of Canaan occurring in
                     the Book of Deuteronomy, where it is said to he "a land of wheat, and barley, and
                     vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; a land
                     wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in
                     it" (Deut., viii, 8, 9). Their meals were undoubtedly of the simplest description,
                     and their table was more rich with fish, milk, fruit, and vegetables than with meat.
                     Animal food in general was in favour with the people at large, but the Mosaic law
                     restricted its use to almost the minimum. Animals or parts of animals designated
                     for sacrifice or other holy uses could only be eaten under specific conditions. In
                     the eleventh chapter of Leviticus and the fourteenth of Deuteronomy, a list is
                     given of a large class of animals which were looked upon as ceremonially unfit to
                     be eaten. Animals, furthermore, were classified as pure and impure, or clean and
                     unclean, and the complicated legislation of the Pentateuch concerning the use of
                     these is partly based on sanitary, partly fanciful, and partly ceremonial grounds.
                     The evening meal was the principal meal of the day, and if knives, forks, spoons,
                     and other like instruments were used in the preparation of the meals they were
                     not used at the table. Hands were washed before and after meals. Neither prayer,
                     nor grace, nor blessing seems to have been proffered before or after the repast. In
                     other particulars the table usages and customs of the ancient Hebrews may
                     reasonably be supposed to have been like those of modern Palestine.

                     (5) Dress and ornaments

                     The materials for clothing were principally cotton, linen, and wool; silk is once, or
                     never, mentioned in the Old Testament. The wearing of a mixed fabric of wool and
                     linen was forbidden by the Mosaic law. So, also, either sex was forbidden to
                     wear the garments proper to the opposite sex. The outer garment of men
                     consisted of loose, flowing robes, which were of various types and forms. On the
                     four corners of this outer robe a fringe, or tassel, was attached. The
                     undergarment, which was the same for both sexes, consisted, generally, of a
                     sleeveless tunic or frock of any material desired, and reached to the knees or
                     ankles. That of the woman was longer and of richer material. The tunic was
                     fastened at the waist with a girdle. The fold made by the girdle served at the
                     same time as a pocket. A second tunic and the shawl, which was long and of
                     fine material, were also in use. The outer garment of the Hebrew women differed
                     slightly from that of the men, and no detailed description of it is found in the
                     Bible. It was undoubtedly richer and more ornamented than that of the other sex.
                     The most accepted colour for ordinary garments was white, and the art of
                     bleaching cloth was from very early times known and practised by the Hebrews.
                     In later times, the purple, scarlet, and vermilion colours were extensively used,
                     as well as the black, red, yellow, and green. Girdles were worn by both sexes,
                     and golden girdles were not unknown. Men covered the head with some kind of a
                     turban, or cap, although it is doubtful whether its use was universal in pre-Mosaic
                     and Mosaic times. In ancient times women did not wear veils, but probably
                     covered their heads with kerchiefs, mufflers, or mantles. Sandals were in general
                     use, but not among the poorer classes, or among the farmers and shepherds.
                     Worthy of notice is the ceremony mentioned in Deut., xxv, 9, according to which
                     if a man refuses to marry the wife of his brother, who had died childless, "Then
                     shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose
                     his shoe from off his foot, and spit in [or before] his face, and she shall answer
                     and say, So shall it be done unto the man that will not build up his brother's
                     house". The drawing off of the shoe evidently indicated the surrender of the rights
                     which the law gave the man to marry his brother's widow. Likewise the modern
                     custom of throwing a slipper sportively after a newly wedded pair leaving the
                     parental house appears to have a like symbolical significance; the parents and
                     family friends thereby symbolically renounce their right to the daughter or son in
                     favour of the husband or wife. Finger-rings, ear-rings, and bracelets were
                     extensively used by both men and women, but more so by the latter. Prosperous
                     men always carried a staff and a seal. All these ornamental articles, however,
                     were more indulged in by the Egyptians, Assyrians, and other Oriental nations
                     than by the Hebrews. Hebrew women wore also cauls, anklets, and
                     ankle-chains, scent-bottles, and decorated purses, or satchels. Perfumery was
                     also indulged in; and extensive use was made of pigments as applied to the
                     eyelids and eyebrows by women. Tattooing on the face, arms, chest, and hands
                     was in all probability practised by the Hebrews, although it was to a certain
                     extent incompatible with certain Mosaic prescriptions.

                     (6) Pastoral and agricultural life

                     According to the Biblical records, tilling the ground and the rearing of cattle and
                     sheep were the first and earliest occupations of men. In Patriarchal times the
                     latter was in greater favour, while in the later Hebrew period the first prevailed over
                     the second. This transition from the pastoral, or nomadic, to the agricultural, or
                     settled, life was a natural consequence of the settlement in Canaan, but at no
                     time did the two occupations exclude each other. Both, in fact, were important,
                     indispensable, and necessary. The sheep was, of course, the principal animal
                     both as an article of food and as wool-producers besides its constant use as a
                     sacrificial animal. Sheep's milk was also a favourite article. Rams also, with from
                     two to as many as eight horns, are not infrequently mentioned. Goats are
                     frequently mentioned, and cows and oxen were utilized for milk and butter and for
                     tilling the ground. Horses and camels were imported from Arabia. Poultry and
                     hens are not once mentioned in the Old Testament. The ass was a common and
                     useful animal for transportation, but the mule is not mentioned in the Bible prior
                     to the time of the monarchy. The life of the Hebrew and Eastern shepherds in
                     general was by no means easy or uneventful. Jacob, in fact, in reproaching his
                     father-in-law, Laban, says: "Thus I was: in the day the drought consumed me,
                     and the frost by night; and my sleep fled from mine eyes" (Gen., xxxi, 40); and of
                     his own pastoral life and its perils David tells us that "there came a lion, an a
                     bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: and I went out after him, and smote him,
                     and delivered it out of his mouth" [I Sam. (D. V. I Kings), xvii, 34, 35]. The
                     shepherd's duties were to lead out the flock to pasture, watch them, supply them
                     with water, go after the straying ones, and bring them all safely back to the fold
                     at night. These formed his riches, trade, occupation, and sustenance.

                     Agriculture is the natural product of settled life. Nevertheless we read of Isaac
                     that during the prevalence of a famine in Palestine he cultivated land in the
                     vicinity of Gerar, which produced a hundredfold (Gen., xxvi, 12). The Mosaic law
                     recognizes land as the principal possession of the Hebrews, and its cultivation
                     as their chief business. Hence every Hebrew family was to have its own piece of
                     ground, which could not be alienated, except for limited periods. Such family
                     estates were carefully surveyed; and it was regarded as one of the most flagrant
                     of crimes to remove a neighbour's landmark. Estates were divided into so many
                     yokes, that is, such portions as a yoke of oxen could plough in a single day. The
                     value of the land was according to its yield in grain. Irrigation was practised to a
                     certain extent in Palestine, though not carried to the same extent as in Assyria,
                     Babylonia, and Egypt. The chief dependence for moisture was on the dew and
                     the drenching rains of the rainy season. The climate of Palestine was, as a
                     whole, favourable to agriculture, although in modern times the valleys and the
                     plains have greatly deteriorated in fertility. The ground was ordinarily fertilized by
                     the ashes of burnt straw and stubble, the chaff left after threshing, and the direct
                     application of dung. According to the Mosaic law, every tillable land should enjoy
                     on each seventh year a sabbath, or a rest. The year in question is called the
                     Sabbatic Year, in which the field was not to be tilled. The object of this
                     prescription was to heighten the natural fertility of the soil. What grew
                     spontaneously in that year was to be not alone for the owner, but, on equal
                     terms, for the poor, for strangers and for cattle. It is doubtful, however, whether
                     this law was scrupulously observed in later Hebrew times. The most widely
                     cultivated grains were wheat and barley, as well as spelt and millet. Of plants
                     and vegetables the principal were grape-vines, olive-trees, nuts, apples, figs,
                     pomegranates, beans, lentils, onions, melons, cucumbers, etc. The season for
                     ploughing and cultivating the ground extended from October to March; that of
                     gathering the crops from April or May to September. The plough was similar to
                     our modern one. It was ordinarily drawn by two oxen, cows or asses, never,
                     however, by an ass and an ox together. It was also forbidden under penalty of
                     confiscation to sow the same field with two kinds of seeds. The beginning of the
                     harvest was signalized by bringing a sheaf of new grain (presumably barley) into
                     the sanctuary and waving it before the Lord. The grain was generally cut with the
                     sickle, and sometimes pulled up by the roots. Fields and fruit-orchards were not
                     to be gleaned by their owners, as this privilege was given to the poor and
                     strangers, as in the case of Ruth. The threshing and winnowing were performed
                     in the open field, the first by means of cattle yoked together, the other by shovels
                     and fans.

                     (7) Commerce

                     The Hebrew people of olden times were not inclined towards commerce and did
                     not indulge in it. This is probably due partly to the geographical position of
                     Palestine and partly to its physical features. For although, geographically,
                     Palestine would seem to have offered the most natural highway to connect the
                     opulent commercial nations of Egypt, Syria, Ph nicia, Assyria, and Babylonia,
                     nevertheless, it lacked a sea-coast. Hence the Israelites remained essentially
                     agriculturists. The trade of the Israelites consisted chiefly in the mutual exchange
                     of products among themselves. At the time of David and Solomon, caravans from
                     Egypt, Arabia, and Syria were not infrequently sent to Palestine and vice versa.
                     The ships which Solomon is said to have sent to remote lands were built and
                     manned by the Ph nicians. But even this revival of commercial spirit among the
                     Hebrews was short-lived, for it ended with the life of Solomon. Solomon's
                     commercial activities have been also greatly misunderstood and exaggerated. A
                     faint revival of the Solomonic commercial spirit was inaugurated by King
                     Jehoshaphat, of whom we read that he made "ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir
                     for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Eziongeber" [I (D. V. III)
                     Kings, xxii, 48]. During and after the Babylonian Captivity, the Hebrews were
                     compelled by circumstances to resort to trade and commerce, as they had come
                     into constant contact with their Babylonian brethren and with the numerous
                     Syro-Ph nician and Aramæan tribes and colonies. The historian Josephus well
                     summarizes this whole matter when, in his work against Apion, he says: "We
                     neither inhabit a maritime country, nor do we delight in merchandise, nor in such
                     a mixture with other men as arises from it."

                     Previous to the Babylonian Captivity, coined money does not seem to have
                     circulated among the Hebrews, although a few references in Isaiah and other
                     prophets seem to indicate its existence. Silver and gold were bought and
                     exchanged by weight and value. The talent, the shekel, the kesitah, and the
                     maneh (mina) are late Hebrew terms and of Babylonian origin. After the Exile,
                     and especially during the Persian, Greek, and Roman dominations, coined
                     money became quite common in Palestine, such as the quadrans, the assarion,
                     the denarius, the drachma, the stater, the didrachma, etc.

                     During the time of the monarchy and afterwards., such trades and occupations
                     as woodworking, metalworking, stone-working, tanning, and weaving were
                     thoroughly in evidence among the most industrious class of the Israelites, but the
                     Chosen People cannot be said to have attained considerable skill and success in
                     these directions.

                     (8) Science, arts, etc.

                     At no time can the Hebrews be said to have developed a liking for the study of
                     history, astronomy, astrology, geometry, arithmetic, grammar, and physical
                     science in general. The Book of Job, Proverbs, and the many parables which
                     Solomon is said to have written contain but meagre and popular notions, mostly
                     drawn from observations of everyday life and happenings, while others are, to a
                     great extent, due to the Babylonian influence and civilization which, from very
                     early times, and especially during and after the Captivity, seem to have invaded
                     the entire literary and social life of the Hebrews. Hence the Hebrew astronomical
                     system, their calendar, constellations, sacred numbers, names of the months,
                     solar and lunar months, etc., are of Babylonian origin. The Book of Job no less
                     than the early chapters of Genesis show the traces of this same Babylonian

                     As the Tell-el-Amarna letters have conclusively shown, the art of writing must
                     have been known in Canaan and among the ancient Hebrews as early as the
                     Mosaic age, and even earlier. Whether, however, this art was utilized by them to
                     any great extent, is another question. Hebrew literature is one of the most
                     venerable and valuable literary productions of the ancient East; and, although in
                     respect of quantity and variety far inferior to that of the Assyro-Babylonians and
                     Egyptians, nevertheless, in loftiness of ideals, sublimity of thoughts, and
                     standard of morals and ethics, it is infinitely superior to them.

                     The art of music, both vocal and instrumental, occupies a high position in the
                     Bible. Previous to the time of David, the music of the Hebrews seems to have
                     been of the simplest character, as direct efforts to cultivate music among them
                     appear first in connexion with the schools of the prophets, founded by Samuel.
                     Under David's direction not less than four thousand musicians, i.e. more than the
                     tenth part of the tribe of Levi, praised the Lord with "instruments" in the service of
                     the temple. A select body of two hundred and eighty-eight trained musicians led
                     this chorus of voices, one person being placed as leader over a section
                     consisting of twelve singers. Heman, Asaph, and Ethan were among the most
                     famous of these leaders. Men and women were associated together in the choir.
                     In later Hebrew times the art of music developed still further till it reached its
                     acme under Hezekiah and Josiah. The Hebrew musical instruments were, like
                     those of other nations of antiquity, chiefly of three kinds, viz: stringed
                     instruments, wind instruments, and such as were beaten or shaken to produce
                     sound. To the first class belong the harp, the psaltery (also rendered "viol",
                     "dulcimer", etc.), the sackbut (Lat. Sambuca). To the second belong the flute,
                     the pipe (Lat. fistula), and the trumpet. To the last belong the tabret, or timbrel,
                     the castanets, and the cymbals.

                     In mechanical arts, the Israelites were far behind their Egyptian and
                     Assyro-Babylonian neighbours. The author of I Samuel (D. V. I Kings) gives a
                     sorry but true picture of the times preceding the activity of Samuel as follows:
                     "Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel . . . but all the
                     Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his
                     coulter, and his axe, and his mattock." In the times of Solomon, however, as it
                     appears in connexion with the building of the temple, conditions materially
                     improved. Of the artisan classes, those working in wood and metals were
                     always, perhaps, the most numerous in Israel. Among the former were
                     carpenters, cabinet-makers, wood-carvers, manufacturers of wagons, of baskets,
                     of various household utensils, including the distaff and the loom, and of the tools
                     used in agriculture, such as ploughs, yokes, threshing-machines, goads, and
                     winnowing-shovels. Workers in metals mentioned in the Bible are gold- and
                     silversmiths and workers in brass and iron. Some of the tools of which they made
                     use were the anvil, the bellows, the smelting-furnace, the fining-pot, the hammer,
                     and the tongs. Among the various products of these Hebrew metal-workers are
                     settings for precious stones, gilding, axes, saws, sickles, knives, swords,
                     spear-heads, fetters, chains, bolts, nails, hooks, penstocks, pans for cooking
                     purposes, ploughshares, and the wheels of threshing-instruments. Copper or
                     bronze was also used in manufacturing some of these articles. Other artisans
                     mentioned in the Bible are: stone-masons, brick- and tile-makers, engravers,
                     apothecaries, perfumers, bakers, tanners, fullers, spinners, weavers, and potters.
                     Most of these trades and mechanical arts, however, came into prominence
                     during the reign of Solomon and his successors.

                                        II. POLITICAL ANTIQUITIES

                     (1) Civil administration

                     It has been truly said that law as law was unknown in early Israel. The customs
                     of the clans and the conduct of the elders or of the most influential members of
                     the tribe were looked upon as the standards of law and morality. Lawfulness was
                     a matter of custom more or less ancient and more or less approved; and penalty
                     was equally a matter of custom. When custom failed in a specific case,
                     judgment could be rendered and new precedents might be made which in
                     process of time would crystallize into customs. Hence the old tribal system
                     among primitive Semitic clans, and especially in early Israel and Arabia, knew no
                     legislative authority; and no single person or group of persons was ever
                     acknowledged as having power to make laws or to render judgment. Of course
                     prominent individuals or families within the tribe enjoyed certain privileges in
                     acknowledgment of which they performed certain duties. In many cases they
                     were called upon to settle differences, but they had no judicial powers and, if
                     their decision did not satisfy the litigants, they had neither the right nor the power
                     to enforce obedience, much less to inflict punishment. Within the tribe all men
                     are on a footing of equality, and under a communistic system petty offences are
                     unreasonable. Serious misdemeanour is punished by expulsion; the offender is
                     excluded from the protection of his kinsmen, and the penalty is sufficiently
                     severe to prevent it being a common occurrence. The man who is wronged must
                     take the first step in gaining redress; and when it happens that the whole tribe is
                     aroused by the perpetration of any exceptionally serious crime, the offence is
                     fundamentally regarded as a violation of the tribe's honour, rather than as a
                     personal injury to the family of the sufferer. This condition of affairs, however,
                     does not necessarily imply a condition of utter lawlessness. On the contrary,
                     tribal customs formed practically a law of binding character, although they were
                     not regarded as law in the proper sense of the term.

                     That such was the prevalent social condition of the ancient Hebrews in the
                     patriarchal period is quite certain. The few recorded incidents in the lives of
                     Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob furnish ample illustration of it. The long sojourn of the
                     Hebrews in Egypt and the comparatively advanced civilization with which they
                     there came in contact, as well as their settlement in Canaan, might be expected
                     to have influenced their old tribal system of law and justice. Nevertheless, the
                     authentic historical records of Israel's national formation and even the legislation
                     of the Book of the Covenant, which is undoubtedly the oldest Hebrew code of
                     laws, when carefully examined, utterly fail to show any such remarkable advance
                     in the administration of law and justice over the old nomadic tribal system. It is
                     true, that as Dr. Benzinger remarks, "before the monarchy Israel had attained a
                     certain degree of unity in matters of law; not in the sense that it possessed a
                     written law common to all the tribes, or as a uniform organization for the
                     pronouncing of legal judgments, but in the sense that along with a common God
                     it had a community of custom and of feeling in matters of law, which community
                     of feeling can be traced back very far. 'It is not so done in Israel' and 'Folly in
                     Israel, which ought not to be done' are proverbial expressions reaching back to
                     quite early times". Nevertheless, law as law, with legislative power and authority,
                     or a uniform system of legal procedure with courts and professional judges, were
                     unknown in the earlier period of Israelitish history.

                     A study of the different Hebrew terms for judge clearly shows that a professional
                     class of judges and, consequently, duly constituted courts did not exist in Israel
                     till the first period of the monarchy, and even later. The Shoterim were primarily
                     subordinate military officials, who were employed partly in the maintenance of
                     civil order and military discipline. It was not until post-Exilic times that the term
                     was applied to one with judicial power. Mehokek (primarily from hakak, "to cut
                     in", "to inscribe", "to decide", etc., and subsequently, as in Arabic, "to be just",
                     "right", etc.) meant originally commander or ruler. The shophetim (Lat. sufetes;
                     Assyrian sapatu), from which the "Book of Judges" takes its title, were not
                     judges, but champions and deliverers. Hence, in Hosea (D. V. Osee), vii, 7, and
                     Ps., ii, 10, shophetim is a synonym of "kings" and "rulers", and the sufetes of
                     the Ph nician cities and colonies were called "kings" by the Greeks. Other
                     terms, such as palil, quasin, the meaning of which is rather obscure, primarily
                     mean "umpire" in general, "chief", and "petty ruler". The only Hebrew word which,
                     properly speaking, means "judge", in its etymology and historical significance, is
                     dayyan (found in all Semitic languages: Arab. dayyân; Aramaic dayyâna;
                     Assyrian da-a-nu or da-ia-nu, etc.). Although the stem meant originally "to
                     requite", "to compensate", "to govern", and "to rule", we have sufficient warrant to
                     believe that it meant, from the very earliest times, "to decide", and "to render
                     decision". In the Old Testament, however, the word rarely occurs. In I Sam. (D.
                     V., I Kings), xxiv, 15, it is even questionable whether it belongs to the original
                     text, and it is only in post-Exilic times that the word meant "professional judge".

                     What was the polity of the Hebrew tribes prior to the time of Moses is not difficult
                     to describe.

                     "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob governed their families with an authority well nigh
                     unlimited. Their power over their households was little short of a sovereign
                     dominion. They were independent princes. They acknowledged no subjection,
                     and owed no allegiance to any sovereign. They formed alliances with other
                     princes. They treated with kings on a footing of equality. They maintained a body
                     of servants, trained to the use of arms; were the chiefs who led them in war, and
                     repelled force by force. They were the priests who appointed festivals, and offered
                     sacrifices. They had the power of disinheriting their children, of sending them
                     away from home without assigning any reason, and even of punishing them

                     "The twelve sons of Jacob ruled their respective families with the same authority.
                     But when their descendants had become numerous enough to form tribes, each
                     tribe acknowledged a prince as its ruler. This office, it is likely, was at first
                     hereditary in the oldest son, but afterwards became elective. When the tribes
                     increased to such an extent as to embrace a great number of separate
                     households, the less powerful ones united with their stronger relatives, and
                     acknowledged them as their superiors. In this way, there arose a subdivision of
                     the tribes into collections of households. Such a collection was technically called
                     a family, a clan, a house of fathers, or a thousand. This last appellation was not
                     given because each of these sub- divisions contained just a thousand persons, or
                     a thousand households; for in the nature of things, the number must have varied,
                     and in point of fact, it is manifest from the history, that it did. As the tribes had
                     their princes, so these clans, families, or thousands had their respective chiefs,
                     who were called heads of houses of fathers, heads of thousands, and sometimes
                     simply heads. Harrington denominates these two classes of officers phylarchs,
                     or governors of tribes, and patriarchs, or governors of families. Both, while the
                     Israelites were yet in Egypt, were comprehended under the general title of elders.
                     Whether this name was a title of honour, like that of sheikh (the aged) among the
                     Arabs, and that of senator among the Romans, or whether it is to be understood,
                     according to its etymology, as denoting persons actually advanced in years, is
                     uncertain, These princes of tribes and heads of thousands, the elders of Israel,
                     were the rulers of the people, while they remained still subject to the power of the
                     Pharaohs, and constituted a kind of 'imperium in imperio'. Of course they had no
                     written constitution, nor any formal code of laws, but governed by custom, reason
                     and the principles of natural justice. They watched over and provided for the
                     general good of the community, while the affairs of each individual household
                     continued under the control of its own father. For the most part, it may be
                     supposed, only those cases which concerned the fathers of families themselves
                     would come under the cognizance and supervision of the elders."

                     During their wanderings through the Desert the Hebrew tribes had no occasion to
                     introduce any radical change in this form of government, for they had to contend
                     with continuous difficulties of a social, moral, and religious character. And,
                     although numerically superior to many Canaanitish tribes, they were,
                     nevertheless, lacking in military discipline and were constantly moving from place
                     to place. Realizing the necessity of defending themselves against the predatory
                     tribes and rivals for the possession of fertile lands and oases they soon
                     developed a military spirit, which is the strongest external principle of cohesion in
                     nomadic life.

                     The administration of justice in Israel in the Mosaic age, and for a long time after,
                     was in the hands of the elders, the local judges, and, somewhat later, the priests
                     and the Levites, joined afterwards by the prophets. The elders, who represented
                     the former heads of the families and clans under the tribal system, had
                     undoubtedly ample jurisdiction concerning family affairs, disputes about conjugal
                     relations, inheritances, the division of property, the appointment of the goel or
                     upholder of the family, and the settlement of blood-revenge. The local judges, as
                     we have remarked, were not what this technical title ordinarily means. They were
                     merely arbitrators and advisers in settling disputes which could not be settled by
                     the elders, and very often they had to decide cases of appeal from the ordinary
                     bench of elders at the city gates. They were, as a rule, taken from the body of
                     the elders of the city, and later on from the princes, chiefs, and military officers of
                     the army. The third class consisted of priests, and later on of prophets. They
                     were appealed to in all difficult cases, their authority and influence being
                     undoubtedly very strong. To appeal to a priest was to appeal to God Himself, for
                     the priest was universally acknowledged as the official representative of Yahweh.
                     His decisions were regarded as "directions", and as such they were of an
                     advisory character, thus constituting the "oracle" of the Hebrews. As originally
                     each family group had its own priest, resort was naturally had to him for light on
                     practical difficulties, not so much the settling of disputes as pointing out the safe,
                     judicious, or righteous way for the individuals of the household in embarrassment.
                     The prophets were also, in course of time, appealed to, not so much as official
                     representatives of Yahweh as from the fact that they were regarded as men
                     eminent in wisdom and spiritual authority. From the eighth century downwards
                     the authority of the priests was greatly overshadowed by that of the prophets,
                     who managed the destinies of the whole nation with an almost unlimited authority
                     and assertiveness, proclaiming themselves as the messengers of Yahweh and
                     the mouthpieces of His orders. A single judicial centre for the whole nation was
                     never attained till the period of the monarchy. During the period of the Judges
                     several leading judicial centres existed, such as Shiloh, Beth-el, Gilgal, Mizpah,
                     Ramah, etc.

                     Whether Hebrew judges held their office for life is not altogether certain, although
                     the presumption is that they did. It is likewise uncertain whether any salary or
                     compensation was attached to the office. In the case of the Ten Judges, no
                     revenues were appropriated for them, except, perhaps, a larger share of the
                     spoils taken in war; and in case of the ordinary local judges or elders the offering
                     of presents was quite common. This at first may have been a kind of testimonial
                     of gratitude and respect, but it afterwards degenerated into mere bribery and

                     Whether the office of princes of tribes, chiefs, military officers, elders, and judges
                     was hereditary or elective, is not easy to determine. Both systems may have
                     been according to the different circumstances; but that in the majority of cases it
                     was hereditary, admits of no doubt, for such was the prevailing custom in the
                     ancient East and, to a certain extent, is so even in our own days.

                     No external sign of honour seems to have been attached to the dignity of judges
                     and elders in Israel. They were without pomp, retinue, or equipage, although the
                     passage in the Song of Deborah relating to those "who ride on white asses and
                     sit in judgment" probably refers to the princes of the tribes, chiefs, elders, and
                     judges in their respective capacities of military commanders, magistrates, and
                     moral advisers and arbiters. In the East, even at the present day, the quadis, or
                     chief judges and magistrates, have the distinctive privilege of riding either on
                     mules or white asses, as against the military officers and civil governors who
                     must ride on horses.

                     That the office of chief magistrate was unknown in ancient Israel is quite certain.
                     In the whole Pentateuchal legislation allusion to such an institution is absolutely
                     wanting. The supreme authority of the Hebrew community was in Yahweh.
                     Moses, strictly speaking, was but the viceroy of Yahweh and the same, to a
                     certain extent, may also be said of Joshua. Their successors, the judges, were
                     rather military commanders than judges or magistrates in the strict sense. With
                     the beginning of the monarchy, the civil as well as the military power began to be
                     concentrated, as far as possible, in the person of the king. But the Pentateuchal
                     legislation as a whole is decidedly adverse to the idea of concentrating all power
                     in the person of the king, or in that of any individual, and it is not improbable that
                     the writer of Deut., xvii, was influenced by Israel's historical experience under the

                     Allusions to the administration of law and justice in the old Book of the Covenant
                     are extremely meagre and utterly fail to give us any clear (or even vague)
                     reference to legal procedure, judges, courts, or to any system of administration
                     of justice. It is true that the Book of the Covenant contains statutes and
                     judgments, apparently enacted by some authoritative power; for such an
                     authority must be assumed, otherwise there would be no meaning in the precise
                     fixing of punishment, etc., such as the punishment of death, seven times
                     prescribed, and the avenging on the body of the guilty person the wrong he had
                     done. Still, as Kautzsch rightly remarks, "we are wholly in the dark as to the
                     circle from which all the statutes and judgments proceeded, and, above all, as to
                     the public authority by which scrupulous obedience was ensured. And,
                     emphatically as justice and impartiality in legal cases is insisted on (xxiii, ff.),
                     there is not a single indication as to who is authorized to pronounce sentence or
                     to supervise the execution of the verdict." In two cases, however, viz., in Exodus,
                     xxi, 6 and xxii, 8, in which the case is complicated and the law doubtful, the
                     Book of the Covenant insists that the parties should present themselves "before
                     God" (Elohim): in the first case probably to perform a symbolic act which will
                     have legal effect, and in the second probably to obtain an oracle. The Septuagint
                     seems to have understood the sense of the phrase before God in its most
                     obvious meaning, rendering it "before the tribunal of God", i.e. that the matter is
                     to be referred to the judgment of God, presumably in the sanctuary or before the
                     priest. Rabbinical tradition, however, as early as the time of St. Jerome, took the
                     word Elohim (God) as a plural, i.e. "gods", arguing that the word here means
                     simply "judges", from the fact that, on account of the sacredness of their office,
                     and the place where their decisions were rendered (often in the temple or at
                     some sacred shrine) the Judges were called "gods". The rabbinical interpretation
                     which has been followed by the majority of ancient and modern commentators
                     ingenious though it be, is nevertheless erroneous for, considering the fact that
                     the two cases referred to were such as no judge could decide with any certainty
                     or probability , and in which only a divine intervention could bring about a
                     satisfactory solution, we may assume that the rabbinical interpretation is
                     untenable. This conclusion has been admirably vindicated by the Code of
                     Hammurabi, where, in several cases in which the doubt is such as to make any
                     human wisdom of no avail, and any judicial decision untrustworthy, the decision
                     is left to God Himself. Hence, in all such cases Hammurabi decrees that the
                     litigants should present themselves "before God", and swear by His name, i.e.
                     take an oath. The expression used by Hammurabi is exactly the same as that
                     used in the two passages of Exodus referred to, and the cases in which the
                     expression is applied are analogous. But in the Code of Hammurabi "to appear
                     before God" is the same as "to swear by the name of God", or "to take a solemn
                     oath"; hence, in the two passages of Exodus, to appear before Elohim does not
                     mean to appear before the judges, but to take a solemn oath at some holy place
                     or sanctuary where the presence of the deity was more sensibly felt. By taking
                     an oath the man in question constitutes God as the judge before whom he
                     protests his innocence and affirms his rights . God is thereby called upon to
                     avenge Himself upon the perjurers. And this God is neither Bel, nor Marduk, nor
                     any other particular god, but is the Deity in its almost abstract form -- He who is
                     considered to be everywhere and to know everything. Hence the rabbinical
                     interpretation, followed, till the discovery of the Code of Hammurabi, by the
                     majority of commentators, may be confidently dismissed.

                     The legislation of Deuteronomy, on the other hand, which is in the main
                     considerably later than that of the Book of the Covenant, furnishes us with more
                     abundant details concerning the administration of law and justice in Israel. These
                     are contained mainly in xvi, 18-20; xvii, 8-13, and 14-20; xix, 15-20, and xxv, 1-4.
                     From II Chronicles (D. V. Paralipomenon) we learn that King Jehoshaphat
                     established in Jerusalem a supreme tribunal, or court of justice, where priests
                     and lay judges participated in the administration of justice each in their own
                     sphere, and that he appointed judges in all cities of Judah. Details are lacking,
                     but in its broader features the judicature thus established by Jehoshaphat agrees
                     remarkably with the system prescribed in Deuteronomy, xvii, 8-13. Even in this
                     case it is doubtful whether these judges and tribunals could in any satisfactory
                     measure compare with the Babylonian legal system of the time of Hammurabi. In
                     Ezechiel's time (and this brings us down to the sixth century B. C.) the priests
                     seem to have absorbed all administrative power, while the author of I Chronicles,
                     evidently influenced by Ezechiel or Deuteronomy, tells us that David had
                     appointed 6,000 Levites as judges, which is quite inadmissible. In the post-Exilic
                     times, and during the Greek and Roman periods, reference is made to
                     professional judges, local courts, and tribunals in all the cities of Israel, which
                     was undoubtedly due to Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman influences.

                     Judicial or legal procedure was very simple in early Israel. In Exodus, xviii, 22, we
                     are told that the elders appointed by Moses at Horeb were to judge the people
                     "at all seasons"; and in Numbers, xxvii, 2 (cf. Exodus, xviii, 19 sqq.), we read
                     that Moses rendered judgments before the tabernacle of Yahweh, where he sat
                     with Aaron and the princes or elders of the congregation to teach statutes and
                     give judgments. According to Deuteronomy, xxi, 19; xxii, 15; and xxv, 7 (cf.
                     Prov., xxii, 22; Amos , v, 11, 15; and Ruth, iv, 1, etc.), the judges in the cities
                     had their seat at the gate, which was the thoroughfare of the public, or in the
                     public squares of the city, where the markets were held, or in some other open
                     place. Even the supreme judges administered justice in public; Deborah, for
                     instance, under a palm-tree, and the kings at the gate, or in the court, of the
                     royal palace. Solomon is said to have erected a porch, or hall of judgment, in
                     Jerusalem, for his own royal court of justice, and from Jeremiah we learn that in
                     later times the princes of Judah exercised judgment in a chamber of the royal
                     palace. Jeremiah himself, when accused by the priests and false prophets, was
                     judged by the princes of the people, who are said to have come out of the king's
                     house into the temple to judge at the entrance of the new gate before the
                     assembled people. The litigants, viz., the plaintiff and the defendant, appeared
                     personally before the elders, and presented their complaints orally. The accused,
                     if not present, could be summoned to appear. Advocates are unknown in the Old
                     Testament, for the plaintiff was supposed to look after his own case if he desired
                     satisfactory judgment. Litigants were also at liberty to settle their differences
                     personally, without appealing to the judge. The judge was held bound to hear and
                     examine the case closely and conscientiously, his chief method of inquiry being
                     the examination of the testimony of the witnesses. The accusations of the father
                     against his rebellious child needed no support of witness. In other cases,
                     however, especially criminal cases, not fewer than two or three witnesses were
                     absolutely required. In all probability the testimony of slaves, children under age,
                     and women was not accepted, as is expressly stated by Josephus and the
                     Talmud, although not mentioned in the Old Testament. Witnesses were
                     thoroughly examined, and, as in the Code of Hammurabi, false witnesses were
                     punished according to the lex talionis, viz., by inflicting the precise kind of
                     punishment the false witness had intended to bring upon his victim by his
                     falsehood. Witnesses do not seem to have been put on oath, but when the
                     nature of the case was such as to make it impossible to have or to produce
                     witnesses as in a case of theft,, the oath was then administered to the accused,
                     and the case decided. When the discovery of the crime and of the guilty party
                     was a practical impossibility, Yahweh was looked to for the accomplishment of
                     the task.

                     The Law affixes no civil punishment for perjury; it forbids it as a profanation of
                     Yahweh's name and threatens it with divine punishment. It must be noted,
                     however, that in all cases in which an oath was taken before a judgment-seat it
                     consisted merely of an adjuration addressed by the judge and responded to by
                     the person sworn with an Amen. "Only in common life did the person swearing
                     himself utter the oath, either: 'So Yahweh do to me, and more also', or 'God
                     [Elohim] do so to me', etc., or 'as Yahweh liveth'. But in such cases the name of
                     Yahweh was probably avoided, and the oath was taken by the life (soul) of the
                     man, to whom one wished to protest by oath. In later times, it became common,
                     especially among the Pharisees, to swear by heaven, by the earth, by the
                     temple, the holy city, and by one's own head."

                     The verdict, or the sentence, was pronounced orally, although from Job, xiii, 16;
                     and Isaiah, x, 1, it appears that in some cases the sentence may have been
                     given in written form. The sentence was to be executed without delay.
                     Punishment was administered before the eyes of the judge, and that of stoning
                     by the whole congregation or the people of the city, the witnesses being required
                     to put their hands first to the execution of the guilty.

                     The practice of ordeals as means for ascertaining the truth, or obtaining a
                     confession of guilt, was by no means unknown in Israel, although Josephus
                     expressly tells us that torture and the bastinado for this purpose were first
                     introduced into Israel by the Herodians. The most important one is the so-called
                     "ordeal of jealousy", prescribed in Numbers, v, 11-31, in the case of a woman
                     suspected of adultery which cannot be legally proved. For this purpose the
                     husband of the suspected woman would bring her to the priest; he must also
                     bring with him an offering of barley meal, which is called "a meal-offering of
                     jealousy, a meal-offering of memorial bringing guilt to remembrance". The priest
                     brings the woman before Yahweh, makes her take an oath of purgation, and then
                     gives her to drink a potion described as "the water of bitterness that causeth the
                     cure", consisting of "holy water" with which dust from the floor of the tabernacle
                     has been mingled, and into which the written words of the oath have been
                     washed. If the woman be guilty the potion proves harmful; if innocent, harmless;
                     in the latter case, moreover, the woman becomes fruitful.

                     The existence, at least at certain periods, of corruption and dishonesty in the
                     administration of justice in Israel, and especially among the priests, need hardly
                     be insisted on. The example of the two sons of Eli, notorious for their greed, is
                     well known. Micah, Isaiah, Hosea, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, and Malachi freely and
                     vehemently accuse the Hebrew judges of unfairness, injustice, respect of
                     persons, bribery, and dishonesty in their legal decisions.

                     (2) The army

                     While in Egypt, the Hebrews lived a peaceful pastoral life under the supreme
                     control of the Pharaohs. During their forty-years wandering in the desert, they
                     had no enemy to fight, and no land to conquer; but when the time of their
                     entering Canaan approached, the situation was completely changed. Here they
                     were face to face with old settled Canaanitish tribes and nations, such as the
                     Philistines, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Amorites, the Jebusites, the
                     Hivites, the Perizzites, and many others, whom they had to attack, defeat, and
                     exterminate. "Ye shall utterly destroy", was the command of Yahweh, "all the
                     places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the
                     high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: and ye shall
                     overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and
                     ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of
                     them out of that place" (Deut., xii, 2, 3). Hence the creation and organization of
                     an army became a necessity, and it is morally certain that in their first wars
                     every available Hebrew fighter took part. From the time of David down to the late
                     monarchical period a regular army was selected and organized. From Num., i, 3,
                     it appears that the whole male population over twenty years of age if capable of
                     bearing arms, were liable to military duty. At the time of the Judges, it is certain
                     that the Israelitish army was composed wholly of infantry, as David was the first
                     to use horses and chariots for military purposes, and it was Solomon who first
                     established a distinct cavalry army. In the middle days of the monarchy the
                     Hebrews could raise an army of one hundred and eighty thousand men [I Kings
                     (D. V. III Kings), xii, 21], and on some occasions twice and even three times as
                     many [see II Chronicles (D. V. Paralip.), xiii, 3, and xiv, 8]. These figures,
                     however, need be greatly lowered, as they are due probably to a copyist's error.
                     The army was divided into hundreds and thousands, with their appropriate
                     leaders, captains of hundreds and captains of thousands, if on their arrival by
                     septs or clans they were not thus organized. It is certain, however, that in point
                     of armament and military organization and discipline the Hebrew army was
                     greatly inferior to either the Egyptian or the Assyrian. Before undertaking any
                     military operation. Yahweh was consulted through a prophet or through the Urim
                     and Thummim, and sacrifices were offered just as in Homer's times. This
                     custom, however, was practised by all nations of antiquity. >From many Biblical
                     passages [such as Judges, vii, 16; I Sam. (D. V. Kings), xi, 11; II Sam. (D. V.
                     Kings), xviii, 2; I Kings (D. V. III Kings), xx, 27; and II Macc., viii, 22, etc.] it
                     clearly appears that the attacking Israelitish army was usually divided into three
                     divisions, one in the centre and two on the flanks. Isaiah refers even to the
                     "wings" of the army (viii, 8). A column advancing to conflict was preceded by two
                     ranks of spearmen; next to these was a rank of bowmen, and behind them came
                     the slingers. Spies were often sent out in advance to learn the position and the
                     strength of the enemy, while night-attacks, with skilfully divided forces, were not
                     infrequent. The beginning of the battle was signalized by the blast of a trumpet,
                     accompanied by the shouts of the combatants. The Ark with its ephod was
                     considered indispensable. It was borne before the army, who, as it was taken up,
                     cried out, "Arise, 0 Yahweh, and let Thine enemies be scattered, and let them
                     that hate Thee flee before Thee". The principal equipment for war was the helmet,
                     shield, and other defensive armour, the bow, the sling, the sword, the spear, the
                     javelin, and other instruments which must have been common to all Oriental
                     nations, although not explicitly mentioned in the Bible.

                                        III. SACRED ANTIQUITIES

                     Some of the Hebrew festivals are originally of historical character, i.e. are
                     commemorative of some great historical event in the life of the Hebrew nation;
                     while others are primarily religious, or of ethico-religious significance. To the first
                     category belong the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Pentecost, and the Feast of
                     Tabernacles, and other minor ones mentioned below such as the Feast of Purim,
                     etc. To the second class belong the Sabbath, the New Moon, the Feast of
                     Trumpets, the Sabbatical Year and the Year of Jubilee. The former were more
                     properly called festivals; the latter, sacred seasons. The latter are lunar; the
                     former are solar -- based on the lunar and solar system respectively. The
                     principal features of the three great historical festivals consisted in making a
                     pilgrimage, or a visit, to the Temple, as prescribed in Exodus, xxiii, 14, 17:
                     "Three times in the year shalt thou hold pilgrimage unto me, three times in the
                     year shall all thy men appear before Yahweh, the God of Israel."

                     The Passover (whence our Pascha), with which the Feast of the Unleavened
                     Bread is closely connected and almost identified, although originally distinct from
                     it, constituted the opening festival of the Jewish ecclesiastical year, and was
                     celebrated on the 14th of Nisan (Abib), which month approximately corresponds
                     to our April. It was instituted in commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt, when
                     the Angel of Death went forth to destroy the first-born of the Egyptians, passing
                     over (whence Passover), however, the houses of the Hebrews, on the lintels of
                     whose doors the blood of a lamb had been sprinkled. The Passover Festival was
                     celebrated as follows: An unblemished male lamb a year old (called the paschal
                     lamb) was to be selected by each family in Israel. It was to be killed on the
                     evening of the fourteenth day and consumed the same night. The flesh was to be
                     roasted, not eaten raw, or boiled, and not a bone of the animal was to be broken.
                     Along with it, unleavened bread and bitter herbs might be used, but nothing more;
                     and whatever portions were not needed for food were to be destroyed the same
                     night by burning. Hence, on the evening of the thirteenth day of Nisan, all leaven
                     was scrupulously removed from the Jewish homes. The fourteenth day was thus
                     regarded as a holiday, on which all servile work was suspended. In later Hebrew
                     times, however, the Passover Festival was somewhat modified.

                     The Feast of the Pentecost, also called the Feast of Weeks, Feast of Harvest,
                     Day of Firstfruits, etc., was celebrated on the fiftieth day after the Passover, i.e.
                     on or about the 8th of Siwan, the third month of the Jewish ecclesiastical year. It
                     lasted a single day, and it marked the completion of the corn harvest. According
                     to later Jewish traditions, the Feast of Pentecost was also instituted in
                     commemoration of the giving of the Law to Moses. It is mentioned in the Bible for
                     the first time in the second Book of Maccabees. With the Feast of Pentecost the
                     New Year holiday season closed: The characteristic ritual of this feast consisted
                     in offering and waving to Yahweh in his Temple two leavened loaves of wheaten
                     flour, together with a sin offering, burnt offering, and peace offering, and its object
                     was to offer to Yahweh the flrst-fruits of the harvest, and to thank Him for it.

                     The Feast of Tabernacles, or Booths, was observed for seven days, i.e. from the
                     15th to the 22nd of Tisri (the seventh month of the Jewish year, approximately
                     corresponding to our October), following closely upon the Day of Atonement. It
                     marked the completion of the fruit-harvest (which included the oil- and
                     wine-harvest), and, historically, it commemorated the forty-years wandering in the
                     wilderness, when all the Hebrew tribes and families, for lack of houses and
                     buildings, lived in tents and booths. "The sacrifices at this feast were far more
                     numerous than at any other. On each of the seven days one kid of the goats was
                     offered as a sin offering, and two rams and fourteen lambs as a burnt-offering.
                     Also seventy bullocks were offered on the seven days, beginning with thirteen on
                     the first day and diminishing by one each day, until on the seventh day seven
                     were offered. After the seven days a solemn day of 'holy convocation' was
                     observed which marked the conclusion, not only of the feast of Tabernacles, but
                     of the whole cycle of the festal year. On this day one bullock, one ram, and
                     seven lambs were offered as a burnt offering, and one goat for a sin offering." The
                     earliest Biblical allusion to this feast is found in I (D. V. III) Kings, viii, 2, and xii,

                     Besides these three great festivals, certain minor ones were observed by the
                     Hebrews: The word Purim is probably of Persian origin (Furdigan, Pordigân, or
                     Pardiyân), and the feast so named was instituted to commemorate the overthrow
                     of Haman, the triumph of Mordecai, and the escape of the Jews from utter
                     destruction in the time of Esther. It was celebrated in the 14th and 15th day of
                     Adar (the twelfth and last month of the Jewish Year). -- The Feast of the
                     Dedication of the Temple was instituted in 164 B. C. by Judas Maccabæus, when
                     the Temple, which had been desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes, was once
                     more purified and rededicated to the service of Yahweh. It commenced on the
                     25th of Chislew, the ninth month of the Jewish year (corresponding to our
                     December), and lasted for eight days. It was a feast of universal and unbounded
                     joy, delight, and happiness, as was that of Purim. Other minor feasts were the
                     Feast of the Wood Offering; The Reading of the Law; Feast of Nicanor; of the
                     Captured Fortress; of Baskets, etc.

                     The sacred seasons, or religious festivals, are primarily a development of the
                     institution of the Sabbath and based on the lunar system of the Calendar. It has
                     been often remarked, and with good reason, that in all the Hebrew Religious
                     Festivals the sacred number seven is the dominating factor. "Every 7th day was
                     a Sabbath. Every seventh month was a sacred month. Every seventh year was a
                     Sabbatical year. Seven times seven was the year of Jubilee. The Feast of the
                     Passover, with the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, began fourteen days (2x7)
                     after the beginning of the month, and lasted seven days. The Feast of Pentecost
                     was seven times seven days after the Feast of the Passover. The Feast of
                     Tabernacles began fourteen days (2x7) after the beginning of the month and
                     lasted seven days. The seventh month was marked by;

                          (1) the Feast of Trumpets on the first day,
                          (2) the Fast of Atonement on the tenth day,
                          (3) Feast of Tabernacles from the fifteenth day to the twenty-first.

                     The days of the "Holy Convocation" were seven in number -- two at the Passover,
                     one at Pentecost, one at the Feast of Trumpets, one at the Day of Atonement,
                     and one at the Feast of Tabernacles, and one on the day following, the eighth

                     The institution of the Hebrew Sabbath may be traced in its origin to the early
                     Babylonians who, according to the majority of Assyriologists, seem to have been
                     its originators, although among the Hebrews it developed on altogether different
                     lines. It was celebrated on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of the lunar month. It
                     is doubtful whether it was known and observed in patriarchal and pre-Mosaic
                     times. Moses, in instituting -- or rather in modifying -- the old institution of the
                     Sabbath, connects it with the seventh day of the Creation period, on which God
                     is said to have rested. By the ancient Babylonians it was looked upon as an
                     unlucky day, on which it was unlucky to do any public work, consequently was a
                     day of rest.

                     The New Moon Festival consisted in celebrating the reappearance of the moon,
                     and as such it was universally practised by all Semitic nations. Hence, in all
                     probability, it was an acknowledged pre-Mosaic Hebrew institution. On this day
                     the law enjoined only the offering of special sacrifices and the blowing of
                     trumpets. Abstinence from work was not obligatory. On the day of the new moon
                     of the seventh month the festival in question was more solemnly and more
                     elaborately celebrated. After the Babylonian exile, however, the festival assumed
                     a new character, similar to that of the New Year Celebration.

                     The Feast of Trumpets is the New Moon Festival of the seventh, or Sabbatical,
                     month of the year.

                     The Sabbatical Year occurred every seventh year, and in it fields were not to be

                     The Year of Jubilee occurred every fifty years, i.e. at the end of seven Sabbatic
                     years, just as Pentecost occurred on the fiftieth day after the Passover Festival.
                     Its principal features were the emancipation of the Hebrew slaves and the return
                     of mortgaged property to its hereditary owners.

                     The great Hebrew Fast Festival was the "Day of Atonement", or Yom Kippur. It
                     was celebrated on the tenth day of the seventh month, on which day atoning
                     sacrifices were offered for the sins and uncleannesses of the people of Israel as a
                     whole, and for the purification of the temple in all its parts and appurtenances. It
                     is significant that the earliest mention of it in the Bible occurs in such post-Exilic
                     writings as Zech. (D. V. Zach.), iii, 9; Nehemiah, vii, 73; ix, 38; and Sirach, 1, 5
                     sqq. A ceremony connected with the Day of Atonement is the so-called For
                     Azazel. It consisted in sending into the wilderness the remaining goat (the
                     "emissary goat"), the sins of the people of Israel having first been placed
                     symbolically upon its head.

                     Treatises on Biblical Arch ology by JARN (Vienna, 1817); ROSENMÜLLER (Leipzig, 1823-31); DE
                     WETTE (Leipzig, 1864); EWALD (Göttingen, 1866); HANEBERG (Munich, 1869); ROSKEFF
                     (Vienna, 1857); KINZLER (Stuttgart, 1884); SCHEGG (Freiburg, 1886). For English readers the best
                     and most available works are KEIL, Manual of Biblical Arch ology (tr., 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1887);
                     BISSELL, Biblical Antiquities (Philadelphia, 1888); FENTON, Early Hebrew Life (London, 1880);
                     DAY, The Social Life of the Hebrews in the Semitic Series (New York, 1901); TRUMBULL, The
                     Blood Covenant; ID., The Threshold Covenant; ID., The Salt Covenant; various articles in SMITH,
                     Dictionary of the Bible; KITTO, Biblical Cyclopedia; VIGOUROUX, Dict. de la Bible; HASTINGS,
                     Dict. of the Bible; and Jewish Encyclopedia. The most recent and authoritative works on the
                     subject, however, are BENZIGER, Hebräische Archäologie (Freiburg im Br., 1894); NOWACK,
                     Lehrbuch der hebräischen Archäologie (Freiburg im Br., 1894); BUHL, Die socialen Verhältnisse
                     der Israeliten (Berlin, 1899), tr. into French by CINTRE (Paris, 1904); LEVY, La famille dans
                     l'antiquité israelite (Paris, 1905). Of great value, especially for later Old Testament times, are also
                     the classical works of SCHÜRER, Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi (3 vols.,
                     1898-1901), tr. from the 2nd ed. (5 vols., London and New York); EDERSHEIM, The Rites and
                     Worships of the Jews (New York, 1891); ID., The Temple, its Ministry and Service (London, 1874);
                     ID., Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (London and New York).

                     GABRIEL OUSSANI
                     Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter
                     Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ

                                       The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume II
                                    Copyright © 1907 by Robert Appleton Company
                                    Online Edition Copyright © 1999 by Kevin Knight
                                   Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York

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