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Jerusalem.

Chapter 21
Jerusalem

The first name of this city was Shalem, Genesis 14:18, Psalm 76:2, and it is still retained in the writing, however it is read Jerushalaim.

"The name of that place is Jehovah-jireh. Abraham called the place Jireh; Shem called it Shalem. Saith God, If I shall call it Jireh, it will displease Shem the Just; if I shall call it Shalem, it will displease Abraham the Just. I will therefore put that name upon it which was put upon it by both, Jireh, Shalem,--Jerusalem."--"We do not, therefore, put Jod between the letters Lamed and Mem in the word Jerusalem, that the word Shalem may be retained."

By the computation of Aben Ezra, it is situate in the three-and-thirtieth degree of latitude. For so he speaks, "The latitude of Egypt is less than thirty degrees. And the latitude of Jerusalem is three-and-thirty degrees."

Jerusalem was not divided among the tribes: for the tradition is, That houses are not hired out at Jerusalem, because they were no man's own. R. Eleazar Bar Zadok said, Nor beds also. Therefore, the master of the family received the skins of the sacrifices from the guests. Abai saith, You may learn this from hence, That it is a custom, that a man leave his earthen jug, and also the skin of his sacrifices, to his host. The Gloss: "The inhabitants of Jerusalem did not let out their houses at a price to those that came to the feasts, but granted them to them gratis." Compare Matthew 26:17.

Nevertheless, the city was divided between the tribe of Judah and Benjamin, and the distinguishing line went through the very court of the Temple: "What was in the lot of Judah? The mountain of the Temple, the Chambers of them that kept it, the Courts. And what in the lot of Benjamin? The Porch of the Temple, and the Temple, and the Holy of Holies. And a line went out of the lot of Judah, and passed on into the lot of Benjamin, and in it was the altar built." The Gloss; "The whole breadth of the outmost Court, on the east part, the whole Court of the Women, the whole Court of Israel, eleven cubits of the Court of the Priests" (these were within the lot of Judah). "From thence the altar, and thenceforward to the west, is within the lot of Benjamin."

In so exact distinction were these lots observed, that the south-east corner of the altar had no foundation; because that small part was in the portion of Judah, when the whole altar ought to have been within the portion of Benjamin.

"Jerusalem was holy above other cities, girt with walls, because in it they ate the lighter holy things, and the second tithe. These also are those things which are spoken of Jerusalem. They do not permit a dead body to remain a night in it: they do not carry the bones of a dead body through it: they do not let out houses in it: in it they do not let out a place to a proselyte inhabitant: in it they do not allow a sepulchre, except the sepulchres of the house of David, and the sepulchre of Huldah the prophetess; which were there from the days of the former prophets: nor in it do they suffer a dunghill by reason of creeping things; nor do they bring out of it into the streets scaffolds set up against the walls by reason of defilement: nor in it do they make chimneys, by reason of the smoke: nor do they nourish cocks in it for the sake of the holy things: nor do the priests nourish cocks throughout the whole land of Israel, for the sake of purity: nor is there in it a house for shutting out suspected of the leprosy: nor is it polluted with leprosy: nor is it become any way a city to be cursed for idolatry," &c.

"Never did serpent or scorpion harm any one within Jerusalem. Nor did ever any one say to his neighbour, 'The place wherein I am entertained at Jerusalem is too strait for me.'"

"There is no anathema at Jerusalem, nor hath any man stumbled. Nor hath a fire or a ruin happened there: nor hath any one said to his neighbour, 'I found not a hearth to roast my passover,' or 'I found not a bed to lie on.' In it they do not plant trees, except gardens of roses, which were there from the days of the former prophets: they do not nourish in it peacocks, or cocks, much less hogs," &c.

The fathers of the traditions give this reason, why they do not allow gardens in the city: "They make no gardens or paradises in Jerusalem, because of the stink." The Gloss, "Because of the stink from weeds, which are thrown out; and it is a custom to dung gardens, and from thence comes a stink."

The same Gloss, in the same place, gives this reason also, why they might not keep cocks: "It is also forbidden the Israelites to keep cocks in Jerusalem" (the priests may no where do it), "because of the holy things. For there they have eaten the flesh of the peace-offerings, and thank-offerings. And it is customary for dunghill cocks to scrape dunghills, and thence perhaps they might rake up the bones of creeping things; whence those holy things, which are to be eaten, might be polluted."

Gardens without the city were very frequent, and they stretching out a good way from the very walls of the city. Hence that in Josephus, concerning the hazard Titus ran, whilst he rode about the city to spy it. "It was impossible for him to go forward; for all things from the walls were fenced up with deep ditches for the gardening, and gardens lay cross, and many walls, that parted them."

The Talmudists relate also these wonders of the Temple: "Ten miracles were done for our fathers in the sanctuary. No woman ever miscarried by the smell of the holy flesh; nor did the holy flesh ever stink, or breed worms; nor was there ever seen fly in the house [or place] for slaughter; nor did ever the gonorrhea happen to the high-priest on the day of expiation; nor rains put out the fire of the altar; nor the wind prevail over the pillar of smoke; nor was any profane thing found in the sheaf of first-fruits, or the two loaves (of the high-priest), or in the show-bread. They stood (in the Court) crowded" (the Gloss explains it thus, "They did so press one another by reason of the multitude, that their feet scarcely touched the ground"); "but when they worshipped, they had room enough," &c.

"All Jerusalem was Carmelith, because it was like a common court." What Carmelith is, the Lexicons will teach us, and the Gemarists in the tract Shabbath; "There are four capacities of the sabbath" (or respects of places, as walking on the sabbath), "public, private, Carmelith, and covered lobbies. R. Chaijah saith, Carmelith is a place, neither public nor private. R. Jissa, in the name of R. Jochanan, saith, Carmelith is as the shop of Bar Justini," &c.

..."R. Ismael saith, A countryman, or a villager, who takes a field from a man of Jerusalem, the second tenth belongs to the Jerusalem man. But the wise men say, The countryman may go up to Jerusalem, and eat it there." The Gloss, Kartani &c., "A Kartani is one of those that dwell in villages."