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continually fresh washed: concerning which they take particular care. Herod. 1. 2. c. 37. p. 120, 1. The people in general wore a woollen garment over another of linen: but they laid aside the former, when they approached their deities, for fear, that it should harbour any verinine. · Ου μεντοι ες γε τα δρα εσφερεται ειρινέα, ουδε συγκαταθάπτεται σφι· ου γαρ ὅσιον. They never wear any woollen garment, when they are to enter a temple: nor is any thing of this sort used in their burials: for it would be esteemed an impurity. On this account the priests abstained entirely from all woollen raiment, and wore only one covering, which was of linen and besides bathing continually, they plucked out all hairs and excrescences from their * bodies, and were carefully shaved ; that they might not incur any impurity. Οι δε ίξεες ξυρευνται παν το σωμα δια τριτης ἡμερης, ἵνα μητε ΦΘΕΙΡ, μητε αλλο μυσαρον μηδεν εγινηται σφι θεραπεύεσι της Θεος. The priests, says Herodotus, are shaved, both as to their heads, and
· Herod. 1. 2. c. 31. p. 141.
Ενδεδυκασι δε κιθωνας λινες περι τα σκελεα θυσανωτος, ὃς καλεσι καλάσιρις.
* Sacerdotes deglabrato corpore. Lactant. de Falsâ. Relig. 1. 1. p. 96.
bodies, every third day: to prevent any LOUSE, or any other detestable object, being found upon them, when they are performing their duty to the gods. Herod. 1. 2. c. 37. p. 121. The same is mentioned by another author: who adds, that all woollen was foul, and excrementitious, being an animal substance from a perishable being; which they abhorred. Το δε λινον φύεται εξ αθανατε της γης· λίτην δε παρεχει και καθαραν εσθητα,ηκιστα δε φθειροποιον. But fax is the product of the immortal earth. It affords a delicate and pure covering-and is not at all liable to produce LICE. We may from hence see, what an abhorrence the Egyptians shewed towards this sort of vermine; and what care was taken by the priests to guard against them. The judgments therefore inflicted by the hands of Moses were adapted to their prejudices, and they were made to suffer for their false delicacy in placing the essence of religion in external cleanliness, to the omission of things of real weight. For with
Plutarch; who speaks of the priests as-vausvovçTM xas λειαινομενες ὁμαλώς παν το σωμα, shaved close, and equably smoothed all over their bodies. De Is. et Osir. v. 2. p. 352. D. Of their wearing linen, ibid.
pure hands they practised iniquity; and performed rites to the last degree foul and abominable. We learn from Herodotus and other writers, that the most bestial and unnatural practices were carried on within the precincts of their temples, for which the neatness and elegance of the sanctuary could not atone. The judgment at this time inflicted was attended with such propriety in its direction, that the priests and magicians perceived immediately from what hand it came. The two preceding plagues had been antecedently mentioned to Pharaoh and notice was given concerning the hand, that would inflict them. But of this third plague there was no warning afforded: yet the application was too plain to be mistaken: and the magicians said immediately---this is the finger of God.
Such is the history of this judgment, and of the consequences, which ensued. But as
'An Hebrew term, as well as an Egyptian; by which was signified the power of God. Our Saviour says,-If I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. Luke, c. 11. v. 20.
Οψομαι έργα των δακτύλων σε Psalm, 8. v. 4.
some have raised doubts about the means which were used; and have thought, that a different object was employed, it is necessary to proceed somewhat farther upon the subject, in order to obviate their notions: for upon this article the propriety of the miracle depends.
Of the Cinnim or Conim (5) Lice, and of the different Interpretations mistakenly given: Exodus viii. 16.
The uncertainty above mentioned has arisen from the Greek version, where the original word cinnim or conim, pediculi, is rendered ORVITE; which seems to be a term not very common, and of a different signification. This insect, the on, or x, has been variously described by the writers, who have treated of it: though they all suppose it to have been a species of fly. The best judges about a Greek word are the Grecians: and among them Theophrastus: and he speaks of it as a fly or gnat, which hurt the vines and fig-trees.
But the plague in Egypt was upon man and beast: therefore no such species of gnat could be alluded to in this history. Besides,
Hist. Plant. 1. 4. c. 17.
if it were a winged and a stinging insect, as Jerome, Origen, and others have supposed, the plague of flies is unduly anticipated and the next miracle will be only a repetition of the former for the very next is the plague of flies. Hence Bochart very truly says--Sed Græci o nomine quicquid intellexerint, hebræo nomine, , puto pediculos potius, quam culices, significari.---Mihi occurrit nulla ratio, cur culices dicantur cinnim; sed pediculis hoc nomen vel maxime convenit. Taylor, Buxtorf, and le Clerc agree with Bochart; and interpret the word in the same sense, ages, sive pediculi, lice.
Bochart farther observes, that from the Hebrew cinnim, or conim, came the Greek words ziviα, and zondes, which signify nits, and small lice. From the derivative, therefore, the sense of the original may be known. 5 Hesychius accordingly explains za by pinga plegia, small lice. And the same in
'Homilia Tertia in Exodum.
* Exodus, viii. 20.
3 Bochart. Hierozii. Pars Poster. 1. iv. p. 574. See the whole Treatise de Pediculis.
4 Ibid. p. 575.
5 It is rendered xxvia; but is corrected by the learned Bruno. See Hesych. Alberti. p. 257. n. 10.