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BIBLICAL


552


BIBLICAL


the flute, the pipe (Lat. fistula), and the trumpet. To the last belong the tabret, or thnbrel, the casta- nets, and the CJ^ubals.

In mechanical arts, the Israelites were far behind their Egj'ptian and AssjTO-Babylonian neighbours. The author of I Samuel (D. V. I Kings) gives a sorry but true picture of the times preceding the acti\-ity of Samuel as follows: "Xow there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel . . . but all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen even,' 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 build- ing of the temple, conditions materially improved. Of the artisan classes, those working in wood and metals were alwaj-s, 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, plough- shares, and the wheels of tlireshmg-mstruments. 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 suc- cessors.

II. PoLiTic.vL Antiquities. — (1) Civil adminis- tration. — 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 in- fluential 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 c;ise, judgment could be rendered and new precedents might be made which in process of time would crj-staliize into customs. Hence the old tribal sys- tem among primitive Semitic clans, and especially in early Israel and .Arabia, knew no legislative au- thority; 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 commimistic system petty offences are unreasonable. Serious misde- meanour 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 WTonged 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 fimdamentally regarded as a violation of the tribe's honour, rather than as a personal injurj' to the family of the sufferer. This condition of


affairs, however, does not necessarily imply a con- dition of utter lawlessness. On the contrarj', tribal customs formed practically a law of binding char- acter, 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 Egj-pt and the comparatively advanced civiliza- tion 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 wTitten 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 commtmity of custom and of feeling in matters of law, which community of feeling can be traced back verj' 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 imkno'mi in the earlier period of Israelitish historj'.

A study of the different Hebrew terms for jridge clearly shows that a professional class of judges and, consequently, duly constituted courts did not exist in Israel tiU the first period of the monarcliy. and even later. The Shoteritit were primarily sub- ordinate military officials, who were employed partly in the maintenance of civil order and military dis- cipline. It was not until post -Exilic times that the term was applied to one with judicial power. .1/(- hokek (prim.arily from hakak, "to cut in", "to in- scribe", "to decide, etc., and subsequently, as in Arabic, "to be just", "right", etc.) meant originally commander or ruler. Tlie shophctiiyi (Lat. sujetca: AssjTian 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, shopheti?n is a sjTLonj-m of "kings" and "rulers", and t'ne sufctes of the Phoenician 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 etjTnology and historical significance, is dayt;an (fomid in all Semitic languages: Arab, dayydn; Aramaic dayydna; AssjTian 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). x.xiv, 15, it is even questionable whether it belongs to the original text, and it is only in post-Exihc 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