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of our Saxon ancestors. The blades were on each side engraved with Runic characters, and signs like hieroglyphics extended their whole length... We saw one of more elaborate workmanship, where the Runic characters had been very elegantly engraved upon a stick, like a physician's cane; but this last seemed to be of a more modern date. In every instance it was evident, from some of the marks upon them, that the first owners had been Christians: the different lines and characters denoting the fasts and festivals, golden numbers, dominical letter. epact, &c. But the custom of thus preserving written records upon rods or sticks is of the highest antiquity. There is an allusion to the custom in Ezek. xxxvii. 16-20, where mention is made of something very similar to the Runic staff." The difference between these and the one represented in our cut, seems to be no more than in the variation of arbitrary signs and characters to denote the same objects.
The use of sticks and pieces of wood for the keeping of accounts, has been retained much longer than the rest; and has indeed remained to our own day, in evidence of the various purposes of this kind to which sticks have been applied. We have seen alphabets, records, books, poems, and calendars of stick; and the account sticks may be briefly noticed to complete the series. The most perfect and interesting of those which have remained in modern use appears to be the Saxon Reive Pole, still, or down to a recent date, used in the island of Portland for collecting the yearly rent paid to the sovereign as lord of the manor. The lands of this island are denominated ancient customary demesne and lands of inheritance, paying a yearly rent of 14/. 14s. 3d., and collected by the reive or steward every Michaelmas, the sum which each person pays being scored on a square pole, as shown in our present engraving. The black circle at the top denotes the parish of Southwell, and that side of the pole contains the account of the tax paid by the parishioners, each person's account being divided from that of his neighbour by the circular indentations between each. In the present instance, the first pays 24d., the second 4s. 2d., the next one farthing, and so on. This will sufficiently appear from the explanatory marks which have been set along the edges of the engraving. The other side of the pole, as seen in the cut, is appropriated to the parish of Wakem, the cross within a circle, being considered the mark of that district. In this as in other instances, we find ancient methods of proceeding retained by governments long after they have been abandoned by individuals. This is shown in the present matter, by the Reive Pole in the island of Portland, and still more by the "tallies" or notched sticks, so long and so recently used in the accounts of the public Exchequer, and which still gives name to the office of certain public functionaries, the Tellers (Talliers) of the Exchequer.
5 Persia, Ethiopia, and 'Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands and many people with thee.
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard
8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a Chap. 39. 2.
storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the | know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, land, thou, and all thy bands, and many O Gog, before their eyes. people with thee.
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt 'think an evil thought:
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell 'safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?
15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:
16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may
17 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?
18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.
19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GoD: every man's sword shall be against his brother.
22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
23 Thus will I "magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.
5 Or, conceive a mischievous purpose. • Or, confidently. 7 Heb. To spoil the spoil, and to prey the prey. 8 Heb. navel.
Verse 2. "Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.”—Great diversity of opinion has been entertained concerning the situation of Gog and Magog, and the various alternatives suggested have given occasion to no common amount of discussion. This we cannot follow: but content ourselves with stating that the opinion which seems to us the most probable, and which moreover has the support of Josephus, is that these are to be understood as names applied to the Scythians of the ancients, answering to the Tartars of the moderns-a people extending through the centre of Asia, and the south-east of Europe, and who, at various times, have left their native plains to overrun the civilized countries of Asia and eastern Europe, overthrowing thrones and kingdoms before them. Gog and Magog are probably to be understood as applied to this people in the most extensive sense, Meshech and Tubal being limited to the nearer and better known portions of the whole. Considering that the present Turks are descended from the Tartars, many commentators seem disposed to consider that the prophecies concerning Gog and Magog have an ultimate reference to that people. It is, however, allowed, on all hands, that this is one of the most difficult prophecies of the Old Testament, and interpreters are greatly divided about its application.
4. "I will turn thee back.”—It therefore appears that the people in question had at this time made an incursion from their native wilds into the countries with which the Hebrews were acquainted. It corroborates the conclusion stated in the preceding note, that this actually happened, in the time of Ezekiel, with respect to the Scythians, and not, so far as history certifies, with respect to any other people. This prophecy has no date: and if we assign it an early one, there is every historical and internal probability that the early part of the chapter refers to the expulsion of the Scythians, after they had for several years (28) assumed a position in south-western Asia which made them and their peculiar habits well known in that part of the world, and which may well be taken to explain the allusions which Ezekiel seems to make to them. About the time of the fall of Nineveh, they made their appearance in Upper Asia, and were about to enter Media, when they were opposed by the king of that country (Cyaxares I.) who sustained a signal defeat. The Scythians then proceeded, and extended their conquests over Syria to the cor fines of Egypt, which they were only prevented from entering by entreaties and valuable presents from the king. On their return they
passed through the land of the Philistines, in their progress through which some stragglers of their main body plundered the temple of Venus (Astarte) at Ascalon, which was believed to be the most ancient in the world dedicated to that goddess. It does not appear that they molested the kingdom of Judea, and the already desolated country of the expatriated ten tribes offered them little temptation. They did however appropriate to themselves the town of Bethshan, in the territories of Manasseh west of Jordan, which long retained, for this reason, the name of Scythopolis, or "eity of the Scythians." After this people had for twenty-eight years remained in possession of the two Armenias, Cappadocia, Pontus, Colchis, Iberia, and the greater part of Lydia, their chiefs were cut off by a treacherous stratagem of the same king of Media whom they had in the first instance defeated. The expulsion of their dispirited followers was then easily effected; and to this event, which happened in his own time, the prophet may well be supposed to refer, while his view extends from thence far forward into the future history of the same people, to an extent which we cannot follow through its disputed applications.
9. "Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm.”—This verse does very strikingly describe the character of a Scythian or Tartar invasion, the force of which is illustrated by every account of such transactions which has been preserved. Their vast numbers covering the land like a cloud, their rapid and irresistible progress, compared to a storm-are circumstances to which the prophets allude, and which all historians describe with wonder. Gibbon's notice of the invasions of China by the Tartars contains a passage strikingly illustrative of this verse; and it is always a pleasant office to oblige infidels to bring evidence of the truth of the descriptions and prophecies of that Divine Book which they affect to contemn. "The cavalry of the Tanjou frequently consisted of two or three hundred thousand men; formidable by the matchless dexterity with which they managed their bows and their horses; by their hardy patience in supporting the inclemency of the weather; and by the incredible speed of their march, which was seldom checked by torrents or precipices, by the deepest rivers, or by the most lofty mountains. They spread themselves at once over the face of the country; and their rapid impetuosity surprised, astonished, and disconcerted the grave and elaborate tactics of a Chinese army." The vast numbers of men which were brought into the field by the people in question are repeatedly noticed in this and the following chapter: and indeed it used to be a matter of wonder how such immense bodies of men as the ancient Scythians and modern Tartars assembed could be brought together. But this is accounted for by the recollection, that among all the Tartar tribes every adult serves, when required, as a soldier; so that their thinlypeopled wildernesses have often been able to send forth armies far exceeding those which the most populous civilized countries could ever raise. One of the laws of the Mongol Tartars, in the time of Genghiz Khan, was, "Husbands are to be employed solely in hunting and war; all other occupations belong to women."
15. “All of them riding upon horses.”—"The plains of Tartary are filled with a strong and serviceable breed of horses, which are easily trained for the purposes of war and hunting. The Scythians of every age have been celebrated as bold and skilful riders; and constant practice has seated them so firmly on horseback, that they were supposed by strangers to perform the ordinary duties of civil life-to eat, to drink, and even to sleep-without dismounting from their steeds."-Gibbon, ch. xxvi.
1 God's judgment upon Gog. 8 Israel's victory. 11 Gog's burial in Hamon-gog. 17 The feast of the fowls. 23 Israel, having been plagued for their sins, shall be gathered again with eternal favour.
THEREFORE, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
2 And I will turn thee back, and 'leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from 'the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field 'to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the
isles and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more : and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 ¶ Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
9 And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the 'handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:
10 So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD.
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea and it shall stop the 'noses of the passengers and there
1 Or, trike thee with six plagues; or, draw thee back with an hook of six teeth, as chap. 39. 4. 4 Heb. to decour. 5 Heb. the face of the field. Or, confidently. 7 Or, javelins
Heb. he sides of the north 8 Or, make a fire of the n
3 Heb. wny. Or, mouths.
shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: | and with all men of war, saith the Lord and they shall call it The valley of 1oHamon- God. gog.
12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.
13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD.
14 And they shall sever out "men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it after the end of seven months shall they search.
15 And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man's bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamon-gog.
16 And also the name of the city shall be 13Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.
17¶And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak "unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my "sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.
18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of "goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, 10 That is, the multitude of Gog. 11 Heb. men of continuance.
21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.
22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.
23 And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword
24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.
25 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;
26 After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid.
27 When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and "am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;
28 Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, "which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.
29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
12 Heb. build. 18 That is, the multitude.
14 Heb. to the fowl of every wing 19 Joel 2. 28. Acts 2. 17.
15 Or, slaughter. To Heb. great goats. 17 Chap. 36. 23. 18 Heb. by my causing of them, &c. Verse 3. "I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand."-There are several other passages which intimate that the bow was the principal weapon of the people intended. So it has always been among the Scythian nations. "The long Tartar bow," says Gibbon, "is drawn with a nervous arm; and the weighty arrow is directed to its object with unerring aim and irresistible force." The same has been intimated in the extract, from the same author, under verse 9 of the preceding chapter. Compare also the enumeration of other articles of their military array in verse 4 of the preceding chapter, and verse 9 of this, with the following law of Genghiz Khan's time. "The arms appointed are the sabre, the bow, the battle-axe, with some ropes. The officers to wear helmets and breastplates of leather or iron, or an entire coat of mail. Soldiers who can afford it are permitted to wear armour. The officers are strictly to examine the edges and points of the sabres." This law does not mention spears or lances, which we know to have been also favourite weapons among the ancient and modern Scythians. The "hand-staves," in verse 9, are we suppose maces, which are also very common among them, and formidable in their hands.
9. "They shall burn them with fire seven years.”—That is to say, that the shafts or wooden parts of their weapons should be so abundant as to last the people of the land seven years for fuel. This is intended, doubtless, to convey an idea of their prodigious numbers. But it is right to add, that the inhabitants of those genial climates make but a sparing use of fuel, which will explain any difficulty the text might be supposed to offer.
11. The valley of the passengers on the east of the sea."-The Targum, followed by many Jewish and Christian interpreters, take this " sea to have been the Lake of Gennesaret. The valley near this sea may have been called "The valley of passengers," because a great number of merchants, traders, and others, from Syria and other eastern countries,
passed through it, in their way to and from Egypt. We see, in Gen. xxvii. 17, 25, that the Ishmaelite merchants to whom Joseph was sold, were passing this way towards Egypt.
14. “They shall sever out men of continual employment.”—It was anciently the usual custom for the conquerors to leave the bodies of their slaughtered enemies for a prey to the birds and beasts of prey; and this custom is frequently alluded to in Scripture. When however the slain were in great numbers, and the slaughter occurred in a peopled district, bodies were often disposed of, in some way or other, by the inhabitants, out of a regard to their own safety and comfort. Thus, also, it seems that when the Jews gained a battle on a foreign field they left their slain enemies unburied, or to be buried by others; but when, as in the present instance, the event happened in their own country, we discover from these verses that they were accustomed to inter the dead: and to this the Hebrews had not only the inducement common to all people, but another, more immediately constraining, which arose from the pollution which they contracted by the contact of a dead body; and which they could not fail to have been constantly incurring while so many dead bodies remained uninterred. It seems that two sets of men were employed in this business, one to seek out the corpses and to set up a mark of direction for the others, whose duty it was to inter the bodies thus found. The mark set up for this purpose would also, in the mean time, by warning passengers from the spot, prevent the danger of accidental pollution.
1 The time, manner, and end of the vision. 6 The description of the east gate, 20 of the north gate, 24 of the south gate, 32 of the east gate, 35 and of the north gate. 39 Eight tables. 44 The chambers. 48 The porch of the house.
In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after that the city was smitten, in the selfsame day the hand of the LORD was upon me, and brought me thither.
2 In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, 'by which was as the frame of a city on the south.
3 And he brought me thither, and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate.
4 And the man said unto me, Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee; for to the intent that I might shew them unto thee art thou brought hither: declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel.
5 And behold a wall on the outside of the
house round about, and in the man's hand a measuring reed of six cubits long by the cubit and an hand breadth : so he measured the breadth of the building, one reed; and the height, one reed.
6¶Then came he unto the gate 'which looketh toward the east, and went up the stairs thereof, and measured the threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad; and the other threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad.
7 And every little chamber was one reed long, and one reed broad; and between the little chambers were five cubits; and the 1 Or, upon which. * Heb. whose face was the way toward the east.
threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate within was one reed.
8 He measured also the porch of the gate within, one reed.
9 Then measured he the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and the posts thereof, two cubits; and the porch of the gate was inward.
10 And the little chambers of the gate eastward were three on this side, and three on that side; they three were of one measure: and the posts had one measure on this side and on that side.
11 And he measured the breadth of the entry of the gate, ten cubits; and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits.
12 The 'space also before the little chambers was one cubit on this side, and the space was one cubit on that side: and the little chambers were six cubits on this side, and six cubits on that side.
13 He measured then the gate from the roof of one little chamber to the roof of another: the breadth was five and twenty cubits, door against door.
14 He made also posts of threescore cubits, even unto the post of the court round about the gate.
15 And from the face of the gate of the entrance unto the face of the porch of the inner gate were fifty cubits.
16 And there were 'narrow windows to the little chambers, and to their posts within the gate round about, and likewise to the 'arches: and windows were round about 'inward: and upon each post were palm trees.
17 Then brought he me into the outward court, and, lo, there were chambers, and a pavement made for the court round about: thirty chambers were upon the pavement.
18 And the pavement by the side of the gates over against the length of the gates was the lower pavement.
3 Heb. limit, or bound, • Heb. closed. 5 Or, galleries, or porches. • Or, within. 193