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sects are described in their first state by · Dioscorides under the name of xovides. He informs us, φθειρας και κονιδας φθειρει μελιτι περιxgirleiσa nedgos, that the wood of Cedar, anointed with honey, kills both lice and nits.
Josephus, as an Hebrew, must be an unexceptionable judge in the case before us and he could not but know the general opinion of the Jews in his time. In describing the Mosaic account of this plague he says-gw τοις Αιγυπτιοις εξήνθησαν απειρον τι πληθος. There came forth all over the Egyptians an immense quantity of lice. As the word occurs often among the Hebrew commentators, it is by them uniformly interpreted in the same sense, as in Josephus, and they must have been the best judges of a word in their own language. We cannot, therefore, have better authority to countenance this interpretation. 3 Bochart accordingly tells us---idem sequuntur Chaldæi, Jonathan, Onkelos, Syrus, Samaritanus, &c. ---Hebræi omnes, nullo excepto. After these proofs we cannot, I think, doubt about the purport of the word..
' In Libro de Melle.
See Bochart above.
* Antiq. Jud. 1. 2. p. 109. Havercamp. 3 Bochart above.
The disorder with which the Egyptians were afflicted, was odious, and detestable in its nature; as being in general the consequence of filth, and animal corruption; which of all things they abominated most. This perhaps was the reason, why the authors of the Greek version, the Hellenistic Jews of Alexandria, gave another name to these vermine, that they might not be guilty of any offence to the natives. For they wrote under the eyes of the Ptolemies: and their translation could be no secret to the priests of the country. These were men of power, and influence, who held their ancestors in great veneration. It might therefore have brought much evil upon the Jews of Alexandria, as well as of other parts; and no small odium upon their sacred Pentateuch; if there had been published to the world, that the whole body of the most sacred order in Egypt, had once swarmed with these detestable vermine. This, I imagine, was the reason for suppressing the truth; and giving a different turn to the history. The priests might look upon the pollution of their river, and the introduction. of frogs, with all the subsequent plagues, as great calamities. But the tradition about Lice,
if divulged, would have been an everlasting
disgrace to their calling: an affront to the whole body of the priesthood, as well as to the nation in general; and never to be forgiven. But waving this, we may from the evidence above be assured, that by cinnim were meant those noisome vermine, called by the Greeks plages, and pediculi by the Romans; and in the English version, Lice.
Josephus speaks of Pharaoh, as dreading the disgrace-λέσας όμε τον ολεθρον τε λακ, και την αισχυτην της απολειας.
PLAGUES OF EGYPT.
THE FOURTH PLAGUE.
Κυνομυιαι, or FLIES.
Exod. Ch. viii. Ver. 20. And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me:
V. 21. Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground, whereon they are.
V. 22. And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou
mayest know, that I am the Lord in the midst of
V. 23. And I will put a division between my people, and thy people: to-morrow shall the sign be.
V. 24. And the Lord did so: and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies.
We find, that Moses was ordered to accost Pharaoh, and to disclose to him the will of God, at the time, when he was taking his morning walk upon the banks of the Nile. It was probably a season of customary adoration; when the prince of the country shewed his reverence to the stream, which was esteemed so beneficial and sacred. The judgment to be denounced was a plague of flies and of the same species, according to Bochart, as was stiled by the Romans Musca Canina, and by the Grecians' Kuvoμvia. They were brought
'Whether the term a denotes absolutely a distinct species of fly, or swarms of all sorts, may be difficult to determine. The Seventy express it xuvouvia.
Ιδε, εγω εξαποςελλω επί σε κυνόμυιαν.
Exod. 8. v. 21,