Eastern Manners and Customs: Earthen Vessels; "Prepare Ye the Way"; Watered with the Foot

2 Corinthians 4:7; Isaiah 40:3; Deuteronomy 11:10
These words received a remarkable illustration during the terrible disturbances in Bible lands during the past year. In Syria and Palestine, more than one resident Missionary stated that, when preparing for possible attack or flight, " the women buried their valuables in earthen jars," for concealment and for preservation. Miss M. L. Whately did the same at Cairo, before she had to fly. She found all safe on her return, and so, of course, did the women in Syria, when the declaration of peace enabled them to dig up their buried treasures. R. A. W.
" A cry generally heard in the East before the approach of any great prince or conqueror. Dr. Wolff stated that on entering Jerusalem from the west, in the direction of Gaza, the road for a considerable distance from Jerusalem, was so full of stones, that it was impossible to ride, and those who were entering the city were obliged to dismount. When Ibrahim Pasha approached Jerusalem, a considerable number of laborers went before him, and removed the stones from the way, amidst the constant cry of ' Cast up, cast up the way, remove the stones! ' And on a standard was written, ' The Pasha is coming! ' And everywhere the cry was heard ' The Pasha is coming! Cast up the way! Remove the stones!' The expression indicates the removal of obstacles and diffieulties, preparatory to.some important manifestation, or some signal event. See also Isa. 62 ro. Nicholson.
Some years ago, the writer was contemplating a visit to the Holy land, and was obliged to give up the plan. A friend wrote to her from Lebanon, " It is a pity that you were prevented coming when you proposed. You would have found the traveling match easier than usual, for the Pasha of—has lately been here, and as usual, the way was prepared for him by being cleared of the large stones." R. A. W.
"Our gardens are watered by small channels only a few inches wide, which are made to intersect or cross and recross the garden, the beds between them being usually. square in shape. When they are to be watered, the gardener removes with his hand, or his foot, the small dams made of earth rudely. heaped up at the corners, and lets the water from the beds (or canal) fill them up until the level of the bed is reached. He then stops the flow by putting the heap of earth back again, and damming up the water... Who can see the laborer opening the little channels to let the water flow over the parched earth on his beds, without recalling the words of Moses in describing the promised land to the Israelites, who had so long sojourned in Egypt that they knew no other manner of cultivation: The land whither thou goest to posses it, is not as the land of Egypt, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs."
M. L. W.