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selquist, after hearing the lament of Linnæus relative to the defective knowledge of the natural productions of the Holy Land, though in a very delicate state of health, determined to visit the country and investigate its natural history. He accordingly sailed from Stockholm to Smyrna in 1749, and after visiting Egypt and Palestine, and making many valuable notes on the zoology and botany of these countries, he was compelled, on account of the heat of Palestine, to return to Smyrna, where he died in the thirty-first year of his age, wasting away daily,' as his great tutor and biographer laments, like a lamp whose oil is spent.' The result of Hasselquist's investigations was given to the world by Linnæus in 1757, under the name of • Iter Palæstinum ;' the volume was translated into English in 1776. Imperfect as this work is, owing to the short time the traveller was in Palestine, it would be difficult to name another more valuable; and it is still the book of reference for those interested in the matters of which it treats.
The great Danish expedition of 1761 included Carsten Niebuhr, F. C. von Haven, the naturalist Forskål, C. C. Cramer as physician, and G. W. Baurenfeind as draughtsman. They visited Lower Egypt, Mount Sinai, and Arabia Felix, which last country appears to have been the destined seat of their mission. At Mocha Von Haven the philologist died; soon after Forskål expired ; and while the three remaining travellers were on their journey from Mocha to Bombay, the painter Baurenfeind died; and at Bombay it was poor Niebuhr's melancholy duty to bury the last of his fellow travellers, for there the physician Cramer breathed his last. The result of the combined labours of these travellers was published in three separate works, which contain a vast amount of information relative to the countries visited. The natural history portion, containing an account of the plants and animals observed by Forskål, was published at the expense of Niebuhr; and although it contains no direct contributions to the natural history of Palestine, it is still of much value in aiding to determine those productions of Egypt and Arabia of which mention is made in the Bible.
From the great French work on Egypt,* also, the student of Biblical natural history may derive much assistance, as well as from the Natural History of Aleppo,' by Dr. Russell. But the writers who are most famous for the value of their researches are undoubtedly Samuel Bochart and Olaus Celsius, the former for his systematic treatises on the different animals mentioned in the Bible, the latter for his discussions on the plants.
* Description de l'Égypte,' &c.
Bochart was a man of deep learning and most extensive reading; his Hierozoicon,' which was the labour of thirty years, is a complete storehouse of ancient zoology. Quotation follows quotation—' velut unda supervenit undam'-from Greek, Latin, and Arabic sources, so that the reader is fairly overwhelmed with the list of authorities quoted, and astounded at the amazing diligence of which the result was the completion of so extraordinary à work. The Hierozoicon' is therefore quite indispensable to him who is investigating the zoology of the Bible; but there can be no doubt that Bochart's conclusions are often unwarranted; he depends too much on etymologies which are sometimes forced and fanciful, besides which, it must be remembered that Bochart was no naturalist. Physical science did not enter into the category of his studies; hence his great work contains much that is mere fable, and his conclusions are often erroneous. What Bochart has done for the zoology of the Bible, Celsius has done for its botany. Dr. Olaus Celsius was Professor of Divinity at Upsal, and is well known to scientific readers as the friend and patron of Linnæus at a time when that great naturalist stood in pressing need of assistance, and the clouds of adversity hung thickly over him. Celsius was at that time preparing his work on the plants of the Bible, in which he was assisted by his young friend. His ‘Hierobotanicon,' which was published at Amsterdam in 1748, is by far the most valuable work that we possess on sacred botany. Celsius was a botanist, he had travelled in the East, and was an accomplished Oriental scholar-a combination of qualifications that could not but result in the production of a work of permanent value. The · Hierobotanicon' is an extremely rare book, as there were only two hundred copies printed; and it is now one of those works which are oftener talked of than read.'*
It would be unpardonable were we to pass over without mention the names of Michaelis, Maundrell, Shaw, Harmer, Charles Taylor, Harris, Mariti, Volney, Seetzen, Pococke, Burckhardt, Irby and Mangles, Hemprich and Ehrenberg, Elliott, Kitto, Rosenmüller, Robinson, Royle, Hamilton Smith, Hooker, &c., who have contributed to our knowledge of the Natural History of the Bible, either by suggesting investigations, or by personal observation, or by a careful condensation of existing trustworthy materials. It is, however, from the writings of men who have been long resident in Palestine that we should expect to derive the most information on these subjects. Travellers, as we have observed, have not the necessary time and opportunities at command; but we
velled in son sacred748, is
* Smith in Linnæan Transactions, vol. i. p. 34.
naturally naturally anticipate very valuable contributions from residents in the country. We have not been altogether disappointed in the perusal of Dr. W. M. Thomson's work,* which contains some useful helps to the understanding of certain passages in the Bible which allude to animals and plants. But there is a great fault to be found with Dr. Thomson; he has failed to employ to much advantage the opportunities which a twentyfive years' residence as a missionary in Syria and Palestine afforded him, of increasing our knowledge of these things. He is far too hasty in his conclusions; he often sets at nought the careful investigations of others in the matter of the identity of an animal or plant, and advances his own opinion, which is too frequently unsupported by any kind of evidence. He cares not to know, for instance (p. 256), the botanical name of a certain species of lily which he first saw in the plain of the Huleh; he seems satisfied it is the lily of the field' referred to by our Lord, and speaks in raptures of the beauty of the flower, but gives so vague a description as to defy any attempt to divine what is the plant he is talking about.
The importance of Natural History in its bearing on the Bible has long been acknowledged. It is true that it is looked upon with suspicion and forebodings of evil consequences by many persons, but this fact should rather increase our desire for fuller investigation. We look with no degree of anxious suspicion upon attempts to discover the truth, provided those attempts be conducted with honest integrity of purpose, with fair argument, and sound deduction. It is not our intention upon the present occasion to enter into the controversies which are raging upon this subject; our immediate purpose is to bring before our readers a few of the most remarkable animals and plants which the Bible record has invested with more particular importance.
The animals and plants of which mention is made in the Bible belong principally to the countries of Egypt and Palestine, though, of course, we have notices of some that occur in the peninsula of Sinai, as well as of various articles of merchandise consisting of animal and vegetable products from foreign countries.
Of the animals of Egypt, the most remarkable are the crocodile and the hippopotamus; the former being occasionally mentioned under the Hebrew name liv'yátlan, the leviathan of the authorised version, while the latter-named animal is denoted by the
* The Land and the Book,' by W. M. Thomson, D.D., twenty-five years a missionary in Syria and Palestine, London, T. Nelson and Sons. 1860.
Hebrew behemoth. The leviathan may denote almost any huge 'monster.' In the 41st chapter of Job it undoubtedly represents the crocodile of the Nile and no other animal, notwithstanding the assertion of Sir G. Wilkinson to the contrary.* It is perfectly true, as this eminent writer maintains, that • Isaiah (xxvii. 1) calls “ leviathan the piercing serpent,” and “that crooked serpent”' where it is probable that it corresponds to the aphophis, or great serpent of Egypt; but this by no means invalidates the opinion that liv’yâthan is a generic term to signify any huge monster, whether terrestrial, amphibious, or marine. Thus, in Psalm civ. 26: O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! in wisdom hast Thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable. ..... There go the ships, there is that leviathan whom Thou hast made to play therein,' there can be little doubt that some whale is intended. The word monster, therefore, is perhaps as good a translation as can be proposed of the Hebrew term; indeed, the Village Clerk's proposed rendering of that great live thing' was not very far from the mark. Great difference of opinion, however, has prevailed amongst the old commentators as to the animal denoted, which is very remarkable, considering the indications which the Bible affords of its identity. •Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons ? His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal.' •Who can open the doors of his face? “His teeth are terrible round about. The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold; the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon.' 'He esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood. It is impossible to have a better clue to identification than is conveyed by these expressions. Some of them, indeed, would apply to a large serpent, yet not all equally ; besides, it is clear the animal is, for the most part, aquatic in his habits, which python-snakes, as a rule, are not. Many of the oldest commentators were persuaded that a 'whale' is signified. Beza and Diodati appear to have been the first to suggest a crocodile, and Bochart, as Mason Good has well observed, 'has supported this rendering with a train of argument which has nearly overwhelmed all opposition, t and has brought almost every commentator over to his opinion.' Our own translators of the Bible seem to have believed that the leviathan of the book of Job was a whale, as is evident from the marginal reading whale or whirlpool, formerly synonymous terms.
, are not.", aquatic in i besides, it could apply to
* Note in Rawlinson's 'Herodotus,'ii, p. 99.
+ 'The Book of Job literally translated from the original Hebrew,' by John Mason Good, F.R.S. London, 1812. • Vol. 114.-No. 227.
Milton (* Par. L.,'i, 200, represents leviathan as a whale, or some yet greater sea monster, with a scaly skin; for he speaks of
Lee, in his . Commentary on the Book of Job,' has laboured hard to show that leviathan is the common grampus (Delphinus orca, Linn.), an opinion which cannot for a moment be maintained, being utterly destitute of any argument to recommend it. Cartwright asserts that many of the ancients both br behemoth and by leviathan understand the devil.' Mercer says “Nostri collegerunt, hanc descriptionem Leviathanis ad Satanam pertinere;' and again— Multa in Leviathanis descriptione nulli alii quam Diabolo, aut saltem non adeo proprie congruunt'(!). What these descriptive details are, which are so especially applicable to the devil, it would be difficult to determine. There are, however, modern critics who seem to be of the same opinion ; for, who does not remember the indignant remonstrances which were uttered some years ago by a certain Journal, when it was proposed to call the monster-ship by the dreadful name of Leviathan?' The argument against the name was groundless. There is not the slightest indication in Scripture that leviathan ever designated Satan. The “leviathan, the piercing serpent, even that crooked serpent' clearly refers to some temporal enemy of the Jews; in all probability the Egyptian Kingdom, of which some huge rock-snake or python was an emblem. But even if the term were ever applied in the sense which has been attributed to it, it would be as reasonable to object to many other names given to ships--such as: “The Lion,' • The Serpent,' The Dragon,' &c. The crocodile was regarded by the Israelites as an emblem of the Egyptian King: “Thou didst divide the sea by Thy strength . . . Thou brakest the head of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness '—that is, Thou didst destroy the princes of Pharaoh, and didst give their dead bodies to the jackals of the desert of Sinai. The jackals, which are preeminently the wild beasts of the field,' are doubtless intended by the expression people inhabiting the wilderness ;' just as in Prov. XXX. 25, 26, it is said that the ants are a people not