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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/357

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Babylonians, the Israelites retained their old monthly sabbath, or festival of the new moon, and considered it to be the more important because the more ancient and national. Whether the monthly sabbath was coincident with the first weekly sabbath would depend upon whether the seven-day week, as borrowed from the Babylonians, was a civil period or a true subdivision of a lunar month. That the Israelites did borrow the weekly sabbath from the Babylonians there can scarcely be any doubt. We know that the Babylonians observed the seventh day as a day of rest, and the historical books of the Old Testament show that the Israelites had no knowledge of any such observance till after contact with Babylon.[1]



WHEN the would-be reformer Balmaceda ended his blighted career, a correspondent of the Chili Mercurio consoled himself with the thought that "the ruin of his friend, though in some respects an irreparable loss, had at least an experimental value."

A similar reflection may reconcile American naturalists to the fate of Pat Rooney, the champion chimpanzee of the Cincinnati Zoo. It will be a long time before the pet dealers of this continent get hold of another such marvel, but the manner of his death proves at least the impossibility of preventing lung disorders by habitual indoor life.

Pat's prison was in many respects a model of comfort. He had a rocking-chair and a variety of gymnastic contrivances, a bench and a dinner-table of his own, and could rely on a liberal allowance of well-selected food, served daily at convenient hours. The cage was large enough for extensive romps, and was kept as

  1. The sabbath is not, as has been said, anywhere mentioned between Deuteronomy, v, 15, and II Kings, iv, 23, but it is mentioned in Chronicles, which refers to some of the same periods. Chronicles is, however, clearly a compilation from the other books, for it contains genealogies from Genesis, and some of the same occurrences as are narrated in Samuel and Kings. The word sabbath occurs in the following passages: I Chronicles, ix, 32, where certain Levites are appointed to prepare the shew-bread every sabbath. This chapter describes the Israelites as dwelling in Jerusalem in the days of Saul, which we know, from II Samuel, v, 5–9, was not the case. In I Chronicles, xxiii, 31, David appoints Levites to offer sacrifices on sabbaths and new moons; in II Chronicles, ii, 4, Solomon says he built the temple for the burnt offerings on the sabbaths and new moons; and in II Chronicles, xxxi, 3, Hezekiah appoints his portion for burnt offerings for the sabbaths and new moons. These are the only cases in which the sabbath is mentioned, and the combinations of sabbaths with new moons, only found in the later books, is additional proof, if further proof be required, that the two books of Chronicles date from post-captivity times.