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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 433



hands all round, and humbly requests permission to provide the materials necessary for the feast. The high priest then, having prostrated himself upon the ground, and uttered a short invocation to certain mystic personages, distributes the sprigs of olive amongst the congregation, who rub them in their hands, and place them solemnly to their nose to inhale their fragrance. This ceremony would alone furnish evidence of the antiquity of the Nuseiriyeh rites, for it is unquestionably the same as that alluded to by Ezekiel (viii. v. 17), when condemning the idolatrous practices of the Jews. In that passage the prophet (after mentioning " women weeping for Tammuz," the Syrian Adonis, " twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces to the east, worshipping the sun in the east," and thus showing beyond question that the particular form of idolatry which he is condemning is the sun worship of Syria) concludes with the following words : " Is it a light thing which they commit here ? For they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger : and, lo, they put the hrancli to their nose." The more sober Muslim historians tell us that Selmân el Farsi died at the age of ninety-eight or ninety-nine years ; but some do not scruple to assert that he was over six hundred years old, and had personally witnessed the ministry of Christ. Nothing certain seems to be known of him, except that he died in the year A.D. C5G, and no reason appears for his deification by the Nuseiriyeh except the fact that he was a Persian, and à friend of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib. Abu Dhurrâ is another of the companions of Mohammed, deified by the Nuseiriyeh (in whose pantheon he appears as the representative of the planet Jupiter), and is also Eaid to have entered Jerusalem with the armv of 'Omar. He is buried at Medinah. Sheddâd ibn Aus. It is related that Mohammed, some little time before his death, predicted that Jerusalem


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