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placed there, in the times preceding the building of the Temple at Jerusalem.
Nevertheless, the Apocryphal writer seems to be justified in what he says, by Judges xx. 1, and 1 Sam. vii. 5—7, supposing Maspha means the same place with Mizpah, of which no one doubts. For the first passage teaches us that Israel assembled before the Lord at Mizpah, at a time when the Ark was at Bethel, according to the twenty-seventh verse of that chapter; and by the second it appears that Samuel convened the people at Mispah, in order to prepare them by solemn devotions for war with the Philistines, and the Philistines understood a meeting of Israel to be introductory to war, and by the first verse of that chapter it appears, that the Ark was at that time at Kirjath-Jearim. As for the Tabernacle, it is not supposed to have ever been at Mizpah.
I confess this has often perplexed me. A passage I met with in the first volume of Pococke's Travels into the East,' recalled this difficulty to my mind, with the pleasing thought, that possibly it might serve to explain it. What the learned may think of it, I do not know; but I would offer it to their consideration, whether the custom he mentions may not be a remain of ancient Eastern usages.
Pococke's account is this : “ Near Cairo, beyond the mosque of Sheikh Duise, and the neighbourhood of a burial-place of the sons of some Pashas, on an hill, is a solid building of
stone, about three feet wide, built with ten steps, being at the top about three feet square, on which the Sheikh mounts to pray on any extraordinary occasion, when all the people go out, as at the beginning of a war : and here in Egypt, when the Nile does not rise as they expect it should; and such a place they have without all the towns throughout Turkey."
There are several remarkable mosques, according to Pococke's account, in and about Cairo, one of them of surprising magnificence, another of great antiquity, yet none of these are made use of it seems on these occasions ; but this little place near the mosque of Sheikh Duise is appropriated to this service.
Every town in Turkey, according to this author, has such a place. If this is exact, it does not appear however that they were anciently so common in Judea. Mizpah, if not the only place where prayers of this sort were wont to be made, which indeed we can hardly suppose, was at least celebrated on this account, and was perhaps near some plentiful fountain of water, or otherwise proper for the assembling Israel together for war.
People in the East often carry their whole Families
with them, when they go to War. .
It is not a very unusual thing, in the East, for persons to carry their whole family with them when they go to war.
The mention of little ones, as being with Ittai the Gittite, when he attended king David flying before his son Absalom, 2 Samuel xv. 22, appears very strange to us; and for this reason it is that Sir J. Chardin tells us, in a note on that place, in his MS. that it is usual with the greatest part of the Eastern people to do thus, and especially the Arabs.
The granting of a Banner, a sign of Protection.
The satisfaction Ben-hadad received, touching the safety of his life, appears to have been by words; but it seems that the modern Eastern people, have looked upon the giving them a banner as a more sure pledge of protection.
So Albertus Aquensis tells us, that when Jerusalem was taken in 1099, about three hundred Saracens got upon the roof of a very lofty building and earnestly begged for quarter, but could not be induced by any promises of safety to come down, until they had received the banner of Tancred, (one of the chiefs of the Croisade army) as a pledge of life. It did not indeed avail them, as that historian observes; for their behaviour occasioned such indignation, that they were destroyed to a man." The event shewed the faithlessness of these zealots, whom no solemnities could bind; but the Saracens surrendering themselves upon the delivery of a
• Gesta Dei, &c. p. 282.
standard to them, proves in what a strong light they looked upon the giving them a banner, since it induced them to trust it, when they would not trust any promises.
Perhaps the delivery of a banner was anciently esteemed, in like manner, an obligation to protect, and that the Psalmist might consider it in this light, when, upon a victory gained over the Syrians and Edomites, after the public affairs of Israel had been in a bad state, he says, Thou hast shewed thy people hard things, &c. Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee. Though thou didst for a time give up
thine Israel into the hands of their enemies, thou hast now given them an assurance of thy having received them under thy protection.
When the Psalmist is represented as saying, Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed, it
questioned whether it is rightly translated, since it is most probable they used anciently only a spear, properly ornamented, to distinguish it from a common one, as this same Albertus tells us, that a very long spear, covered all over with silver, to which another writer of those Croisade wars adds a ball of gold on the top, was the standard of the Egyptian princes at that time, and carried before their armies. Thou hast given a banner, (oj nes, an ensign, or a standard,) to them that fear thee, that it may
• Ps. Ix. 3, 4.
• Gesta Dei, &c. p. 288. • Robertus Monachus, Gesta Dei, &c. p. so.
be lifted up, may perhaps be a better version ; or rather, that they may lift it up to themselves, or encourage themselves with the confident persuasion that they are under the protection of God, because of the truth, thy word of promise, which is an assurance of protection, like the giving me and my people a banner, the surest of pledges.
The Ileads of Enemies cut off to serve for a Triumph.
Bishop Patrick is silent about the design of the people concerned in the cutting off the head of king Saul, after his death, and the intention of David in taking away with him the head of Goliath, after he had certainly killed him by separating it from his body; but Sanctius very justly supposes, both were done in a way of triumph.
The instances Sanctius has produced, in confirmation of his supposition, are taken from the Roman and Grecian histories ; it will perhaps, be a considerable addition to our satisfaction, to have some adduced from the managements of people, whose customs more nearly resemble those of the Old Testament. I will therefore set down such here.
. For the word Dougnab le hithnoses is of the conjugation called Hithpahel.
1 Chron. xvii. 9, 10, Vide Poli. Syn. in loc.