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Babylonish Mantle

One of the articles taken by Achan from the spoil of Jericho (Jos 7:21). In the Hebrew "a mantle of Shinar." Entirely gratuitous is the suggested correction of Shinar to se`ar, making "a hairy mantle." The Greek has psilen poikilen, which Josephus apparently understood to mean "a royal garment all woven out of gold" (Ant., V, i, 10). The Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A. D.) calls it a "scarlet pallium," and some of the rabbinical traditions make it a purple robe. Such classical writers as Pliny and Martial speak of the weaving of embroidered stuffs as a famous industry of Babylonia. Many tablets that have been deciphered indicate that the industry was indeed widely extended, that its costly products were of great variety and that some of them were exported to distant markets; in fine, that the account in Joshua is characterized by great verisimilitude.

Willis J. Beecher