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is derived from 7a7, ravah, to multiply, be numerous, &c. because they are more prolific than any other animal, and because of the immense swarms of them by which different countries, especially the East, are infested. The locust, in entomology, belongs to a genus of insects known among naturalists by the name of grylli; which includes three species, crickets, grasshoppers, and locusts. The common great brown locust is about three inches in length; has two antennæ about an inch long, and two pair of wings. The head and horns are brown; the mouth and inside of the larger legs bluish; the upper side of the body and upper wings brown, the former spotted with black, and the latter with dusky spots. The back is defended by a shield of a greenish hue; the under wings are of a light brown, tinctured with green, and nearly transparent. It has a large open mouth; in the two jaws of which it has four teeth, which traverse each other like scissors, being calculated, from their mechanism, to gripe or cut. The general form and appearance of the insect is that of the grasshopper, so well known in this country.* These fearful insects are described by both ancient and modern writers as being brought by one wind, and carried off by another, in such clouds, as to darken the sun; covering the earth, wherever they alight, many leagues round, and six or eight inches in depth; and devouring every thing with such rapidity, that fire itself eats not so fast; and winter instantly succeeds to the bright scenes of spring.* The quantity of these insects,' says Volney, (Travels, vol. i. p. 188) is incredible to all who have not themselves witnessed their astonishing numbers; the whole earth is covered with them for the space of several leagues. The noise they make in browsing on the trees and herbage may be heard at a great distance, and resembles that of an army in secret. The Tartars themselves are a less destructive enemy than these little animals. One would imagine that fire had followed their progress. Wherever their myriads spread, the verdure of the country disappears ; trees and plants stripped of their leaves, and reduced to their naked boughs and stems, cause the dreary image of winter to succeed in an instant to the rich scenery of spring. When these clouds of locusts take their flight, to surmount any obstacles, or to traverse more rapidly a desert soil, the heavens may literally be said to be obscured by them.'t Dr. Shaw, (Travels, p. 187) observes, that in Barbary in the month of June, the locusts are no sooner hatched, than they collect themselves into compact bodies, each a' furlong or more square; and marching directly afterwards, forwards directly towards the sea, they let nothing escape them, eating up every thing that is green or juicy, not only the lesser vegetables, but the vine likewise, the fig-tree, the pomegranate, the palm, and the apple-tree, even all the trees of the field.'+ “In their progress,' says the same author, • they kept their ranks like men of war;' climbing over every tree or wall that was in their way. Nay, they entered into our very houses and bedchambers, like so many thieves. Every effort of the inhabitants to stop
them was unavailing; the trenches they had dug were quickly filled up, and the fires they had kindled extinguished by infinite swarms succeeding each other. * The Egyptians had gods in whom they trusted to deliver them from these terrible invaders; but by this judgment they were taught that it was impossible to stand before Moses, the servant of Jehovah. See Bryant, pp. 118—140. +
The plague of palpable darkness, Exod. x. 21–23.-As the Egyptians not only worshipped the light and sun, but also paid the same veneration to night and darkness, nothing could be more apposite than this punishment of palpable and coercive darkness, such as their luminary Osiris could not dispel.–See Bryant, pp. 141—160.1
The death of the first-born, Exod. xii. 29, 30.—The infliction of this judgment on the Egyptians was most equitable ; because after their nation had been preserved by one of the Israelitish family, they had, contrary to all right, and in defiance of original stipulation, enslaved the people, to whom they had been so much indebted, had murdered their offspring, and made their bondage intolerable.--See Bryant, p. 160. No people were more remarkable and frantic in their mournings than the Egyptians. When a relative died, every one left the house, and the women, with their hair loose, and their bosoms bare, ran wild about the street. The men also, with their apparel equally disordered, kept them company; all shrieking, howling, and beating themselves. See Diod. Sicul. 1. i.; Herod. 1. ii. c. 60, 85, 86; and Bryant, above cited. What a scene of horror and distress must now have presented itself, when there was not a family in Egypt where there was not one dead ! 1
The miraculous passage of the Red Sea, Exod. xiv. 21—31.—The agency employed by the Lord, we are told in ver, 23, was “a strong east wind,” which blew “ all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” Dr. E. D. Clarke, (Travels, vol. i. p. 324), states that ' a remarkable phenomenon occurs in the sea of Azof during violent east winds: the sea retires in so singular a manner, that the people of Tanganrog are able to effect a passage upon dry land to the opposite coast, a distance of twenty versts, equal to fourteen miles : but when the wind changes, and this it sometimes does very suddenly, the waters return with such rapidity to their wonted bed, that many lives are lost. The depth here is five fathoms.'1 In ver. 22, it is expressly stated, that it formed a wall unto the Israelites on the right hand and left; which demonstrates, that this event was wholly miraculous; and cannot be ascribed, as some have supposed, to an extraordinary ebb, which happened just then to be produced by a strong east wind : for this would not have caused the waters, contrary to every law of fluids, to stand as a wall on the right hand and the left. I
The pillar of cloud and fire which conducted the Israelites.-As the request of Moses to Hobab, Num. x. 29, has been thought inconsistent with this fact, I subjoin the following observations: As the Israelites were under the immediate direction of God himself, and were guided by the • Comprebensive Bible, note on Joel 2.7.
Idem, in locis.
+ Idem, on Exod. 9.13.
pillar of cloud and fire, it might be supposed that they had no need of Hobab. But it should be remembered, that the cloud directed only their general journeys, not their particular excursions. Parties took several journeys while the grand army lay still, (ch. xiii. xx. xxxi. xxxii.); and, therefore, they needed such a person as Hobab, well acquainted with the desart, to direct these excursions; to point out the watering places, and where they might meet with fuel, &c. &c. See some valuable observations on this subject in Harmer, ch. v: Observ. 34., and Dr. A, Clarke.*
The miraculous supply of quails, Exod. xvi. 12, 13.-15W, selar, in Chaldee rsp, seluiv, Syriac, wales, and Arabic, glow, selwa, is without doubt the quail : so the LXX. render oprvyountpa, a large kind of quail, Josephus (Ant. I. iii. c. 1. § 12.) oprvě, Ethiopic 44, ferferat, and Vulgate, coturnices, quails, with which agree Philo (Vita Mosis, 1. 1.) and the Rabbins.—The quail is a bird of the gallinaceous kind, somewhat less than a pigeon, but larger than a sparrow. Hasselquist describes the quail of the larger kind as very much resembling the red partridge, but not larger than the turtle dove; found in Judea as well as in the deserts of Arabia Petræa, and Egypt; and affording a most agreeable and delicate dish. (Travels, pp. 203, 209, 442.) But Ludolf, (Com. ad. Hist. Æthiop. p. 168.) endeavours to prove that a species of locust is intended; and Sheuchzer and Bp. Patrick, from the difficulties which seem to encumber the text, follow his opinion. The opinion of Ludolf, however, is ably confuted by Paxton, (Illustrations of Scripture, vol. ii. pp. 84—101.) and the objections of Bp. Patrick fairly and fully met by Mr. Harmer, (Observations, vol. iv. pp. 359—366.)* To this I subjoin an authority which Ludolf himself, who thought it was the locust, was desirous of consulting. Ludolf, when Mr. Maundrell visited him at Francfort, recommended this to him as a subject of enquiry when he should come to Naplosa (the ancient Sichem) where the Samaritans live. Mr. Maundrell (Travels, March 24.) accordingly asked their chief priest what sort of animal he took the selav to be. He answered, they were a sort of fowls; and by the description, Mr. Maundrell perceived he meant the same kind with our quails. He was then asked what he thought of locusts, and whether the history might not be better accounted for, supposing them to be the winged creatures that fell so thick about the camp of Israel. But by his answer, it appeared he had never heard of such a hypothesis.f In Psa. lxviii. 10. we read, “ Thy congregation (or rather, “Thy living creatures, Joan, chayathecha, ra Swa, LXX. animalia, Vulgate,) hath dwelt therein,” which is probably a reference to the immense number of quails which were miraculously brought to the camp of the Israelites, and, in a manner, dwelt around it.*
The miraculous gift of manna, Exod. xvi. 14—36.- Manna is the common name for the thick, clammy, and sweet juice, which in southern countries oozes from certain trees and shrubs, partly by the rays of the sun, partly by the puncture of some kinds of insects, and partly by arti
ficial means. The manna common in our druggists' shops comes from Calabria and Sicily, where it oozes out of a kind of ash tree, from the end of June to the end of July. But the European Manna is not so good as the Oriental, which is gathered particularly in Syria, Arabia, and Persia, partly from the Oriental oak and partly from a shrub which is called in Persia Teranjabin. Rauwolf (Travels, vol. i. p. 94.) and Gmelin (Travels, vol. iii. p. 282.) say that the manna is as wbite as snow, and consists of grains like coriander seed as above described. But though this manna very much resembles that described by Moses, in its form, appearance, &c., yet we find a peculiar circumstance by which it is distinguished from the common. It is expressly said (v. 14.) that the manna lay round the camp like hoar frost, which does not agree with the manna which exudes from trees and plants. Hence Oedman supposes that it falls with the dew ; being formed in the air from the quantity of sweet juices expelled from different kinds of shrubs, &c., by the great heats of Arabia. But what the substance called Manna was, is utterly unknown. From the circumstances in the text, it is evident that it was not a natural production, but was miraculously sent by Jehovah. These the learned Abarbinel, a most judicious Jewish interpreter, has thus enumerated : The natural manpa was never found in the desert where this fell :-where the common manna does fall, it is only in the spring time, in March and April, whereas this fell throughout all the months in the year ;-the ordinary manna does not melt in the sun, as this did (v. 21.);--it does not stink and breed worms as this did, when kept till the morning (v. 20.); it cannot be ground, or beaten in a mortar, so as to make cakes, as this was ;-the common manna is medicinal and purgative, and cannot be used for food and nutriment, as this was ;—this fell in a double proportion on the sixth day, and not on the sabbath, as it certainly would have done had it fallen naturally ;-it followed them in all their journeys, wherever they pitched their tents ;—and it ceased at the very time of the year when the other falls, namely, in March, when the Israelites were come to Gilgal. Whatever this substance was, it does not appear to have been common to ths wilderness. From Deut. 8. 3, 16. it is evident that the Israelites never saw it before; and from a pot of it being preserved, it is probable that nothing of the kind ever appeared again.*
The miraculous supply of water from the rock at Horeb, Exod. xvii. 6, 7. -This rock, which is a vast block of red granite 15 feet long, 10 broad, and 12 high, lies in the wilderness of Rephidim to the west of mount Horeb, a part of Sinai. There are sufficient traces of this wonderful miracle remaining at this day. This rock has been visited, drawn, and described by Dr. Shaw (Travels, p. 314. 4to.) Dr. Pocock (vol. i. p. 143. et seq.) Norden (p. 114. 8vo.) and others; and holes and channels appear in the stone, which could only have been formed by the bursting out and running of water. No art of man could have done it, if any motive could be supposed for the undertaking in such a place as this.*
* Comprehensive Bible, in locis.
The destruction of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, &c., Num. xvi. 26– 49.—This was altogether so miraculous, that Moses speaks of it in the following remarkable terms: 017273978992 DN), wäim beriah yivra Yehowah, ' And if Jehovah should create a creation,' i. e. do such a thing as was never done before, (Is. 45. 7, 12.) “ and the earth open her mouth and swallow them up,' &c. Yet it is not unlikely, that the people afterwards persuaded themselves that Moses and Aaron had used some cunning in this business ; and that the earthquake and fire were artificial; for, had they discerned the hand of God in the punishment, they would scarcely have dared the anger of the Lord in the face of his justice. And while they thus absurdly imputed this judgment to Moses and Aaron, they impiously called the persons, thus perishing in their rebellion, the people of the Lord !' God therefore punished them by a secret blast, so as to put the matter beyond dispute—his hand, and his hand alone, was seen, not only in the plague, but in the manner in which the mortality was arrested. It was necessary that it should be done in this way, that the whole congregation might see that these men who had perished were not the people of the Lord,' and that God, not Moses and Aaron, had destroyed them. What the plegue was we know not; but it seems from ver. 48. to have begun at one part of the camp, and have proceeded regularly onward."
The resurrection of our Lord.—After his death, every thing was done which human policy and prudence could, to prevent a resurrection, which these very precautions had the most direct tendency to authenticate and establish. Mat. xxvii. 66.* So also the disbelief of the apostles is the mean of furnishing us with a full and satisfactory demonstration of the resurrection of our Lord. Throughout the divine dispensations, every doctrine and every important truth is gradually revealed; and here we have a conspicuous instance of this progressive system. An angel first declares the glorious event. The empty sepưlchre confirms the women's report.-Christ's appearance to Mary Magdalene shewed that he was alive: that to the disciples at Emmaus proved that it was at least the spirit of Christ; that to the eleven shewed the reality of his body; and the conviction given to St. Thomas, proved it the self same body that had been crucified. Incredulity itself is satisfied; and the convinced apostle exclaims, in the joy of his heart, My Lord and my God!'t
The darkness at the crucifixion.—That this general darkness was wholly preternatural, is evident from this, that it happened at the passover, which was celebrated only at the full moon, a time in which it is impossible for the sun to be eclipsed, natural eclipses happening only at the time of the new moon. See also p. 114, infra.
(2.) The sacred writers would not attempt to impose on others: which is shewn by their strict impartiality.