Gardens in the East anciently were, and still are, when possible, planted near streams, which afford the means of easy irrigation. (See the curious account of ancient garden irrigation in Pliny, Hist. Nat. 19, 4.) This explains such passages as Ge 2:9 sq., and Isa 1:30. But streams were few in Palestine, at least such as afforded water in summer, when alone water was wanted for irrigation: hence rain-water, or water from the streams which dried up in summer, was in winter stored up in reservoirs, spacious enough to contain all the water likely to be needed during the dry season. SEE POOL; SEE WELL. In fact, many of our own large nurseries are watered in the same manner from reservoirs of rain- water. The water was distributed through the garden in numerous small rills, which traversed it in all directions, and which were supplied either by: a continued stream from the reservoir, or had water poured into them by the gardeners, in the manner shown in the Egyptian monuments (see Wilkinson, Anc. Eg. abridgm. 1, 33 sq.). SEE GARDEN. These rills, being turned and directed by the foot, gave rise to the phrase "watering by the foot," as indicative of garden irrigation (De 11:10). Thus Dr. Thomson says (Land and Book, 2, 279), "I have often watched the gardener at this fatiguing and unhealthy work. When one place is sufficiently saturated, he pushes, aside the sandy soil between it and the next furrow with his foot, and thus continues to do until all are watered." The reference, however, may be to certain kinds of hydraulic machines turned by the feet, such as the small water-wheels used on the plain of Acre and elsewhere. At Hamath, Damascus, and other places in Syria, there are large waterwheels, turned by the stream, used to raise water into aqueducts. But the most common method of raising water along the Nile is the Shadeif, or well-sweep and bucket, represented on the monuments, though not much used in Palestine. (On the whole subject, see Kitto, Nat. Hist. of Pal. p. 293 sq.). See WATER.

Bible concordance for IRRIGATION.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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