Eastern Manners and Customs: Wine Bottles; "A Light to My Path"

Joshua 9:4; Psalm 119:104
This " evidently refers to bottles of skin, torn and sewn. Also, distended skins must be meant by the allusion in Job 32:1919Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles. (Job 32:19) 'ready to burst like new bottles.' The unfitness of old skins to hold wine subject to fermentation is, beyond question, the point in our Lord's memorable words, 'Men do not put new wine into old bottles, else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish.' When we read in Psa. 119:8383For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes. (Psalm 119:83), 'I am become like a bottle in the smoke,' the allusion is to bottles hung in the abodes of the poor, where there were no chimneys, and where the smoke would be sure to collect on the hairy surface of the skin, and leave upon it minute particles of soot. Under such circumstances, the bottle might also have a shriveled appearance, and would altogether be a striking symbol of affliction and calamity, to denote which the psalmist employs it..., As we wandered in the northern desert of Till, not far from Beersheba, how could we help thinking of Hagar and Ishmael, when the water was spent in the bottle. The word bottle' here used signifies a leathern or skin one: and, indeed, no other would suit the conditions of the beautiful story, for the carrying of a pitcher of water all that way on the head, or by hand, would be quite out of keeping with Oriental life. Hagar's empty skin upon the ground, and the boy Ishmael placed under the shrub were realities before us, as we saw the corresponding objects on our way." Anon.
" The streets of Jerusalem are perfectly safe, but some of the roads around bear a bad character. In the city, at night, a lantern must be borne before the passenger, and it is a realization of the words of the Psalmist, A lantern unto my feet and a light unto my path.' The lantern, (a large one, with a powerful light) is held down at the feet, to show every step, and the light is cast a long way on the ground."
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