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§ 185. Disease of the Philistines. 201
other; it will, therefore, be a prominent inquiry with us to learn what the diseases are, that were designed to be expressed by those words. And in order to clear the way for this inquiry, the remark may be made here, the truth of which every one will be willing to confess, that the ancients were accustomed to attribute the origin of diseases, particularly of those, whose natural cause they did not understand, to the immediate interference of the Deity. Hence they were denominated by the ancient Greeks . uwottysg or the scourges of God, a word, which is employed in the New Testament by the physician Luke himself, chap. 7: 21 ; and also in Mark 5:29, 34. *
§ 185. Disease of THE PHILISTINEs MENTIONED IN 1 SAM. 5–6:
THE DISEASE of THE PHILISTINEs, which is mentioned in 1 Sam. 5, 6, 12. 6: 18, is denominated in the Hebrew, Boy. This word occurs likewise in Deut. 28:27, and it is worthy of remark, that it is every where explained in the Keri or marginal readings, by the Aramaean word no-int ; an expression, which in the Syriack dialect, where it occurs under the forms &nnt, and R-ority, means the fundament, and likewise the effort, which is made in an evacuation of the system. The authors, therefore, of the reading in the Keri appear to have assented to the opinion of Josephus, expressed in Antiq. VI. 1, 1; and to have understood by this word 5 : * 5 / ... 2 the dysentery. The corresponding Arabick words Joc, &\ic, mean a swelling on the anterior part of the vFRENDA in females, answering somewhat in its nature to the hernia in men; a disease, consequently, very different from the hemorrhoids, which some persons understand to be meant by the word no. Among other objections, it may also be observed, that the mice, which are mentioned not only in the Hebrew text, 1 Sam. 6: 5, 12. 16:18, but also in the Alexandrine and Vulgate versions, 1 Sam. 5: 6. 6: 5, 11, 18, are an objection to understanding the hemorrhoids by the word under consideration, since, if that were in fact the disease, we see no reason, why mice should have been presented as an offering to avert the anger of the God of Israel. Lichtenstein, a writer in Eichhorn's Bibliothek, Band VI. S. 407—466, has given a solution, which is free from the difficulties,
202 § 186. The Disease of king Jehor AM.
that attended all preceding ones. The word box, which is rendered mice, he supposes to mean venomous soleugas, which belong to the spider class, and yet are so large, and so similar in their form to mice, as to admit of their being denominated by the same word. These venomous animals destroy and live upon scorpions. They also bite men, whenever they can have an opportunity, particularly in the fundament and the verenda. Their bite causes swellings, which are fatal in their consequences, called in Hebrew sipholim, Boy, see Pliny, Hist. Nat. Lib. XXIX. 4. The probable supposition then is, that solPugAs were at this time multiplied among the Philistines by the special providence of God, and that, being very venomous, they were the means of destroying many individuals.
& 186. THE Disease of KING JEHoRAM.
KING JEHoRAM, who was clothed with the double infamy of being at once an idolater and the murderer of his brethren, was diseased internally for two years, as had been predicted by the prophet Elijah ; and his bowels are said at last to have fallen out by reason of his sickness, 2 Chron. 21: 12–15, 18, 19. This disease beyond all doubt was the dysentery, and though its continuance so long a time was very uncommon, it is by no means a thing unheard of. The intestines in time become ulcerated by the operation of this disease. Not only blood is discharged from them, but a sort of mucous excrements likewise is thrown off, and sometimes small pieces of the flesh itself; so that apparently the intestines are emitted or fall out, which is sufficient to account for the expressions, that are used in the statement of king Jehoram's disease, Mead, Medic. Sacr. c. IV.
§ 187. FALSE Conceptions. Evivivaaroos.
False conception or pregnancy, in Greek évitvévuatoguc, in Latin mola ventosa, does not appear to have been so unfrequent among the Hebrew women, as among those of Europe. If it had been so, it probably would not have made its appearance on the pages of Hebrew writers in the shape of a figure of speech. The fact, to which I allude, is this. The Hebrews were accus
§ 188. countairs whene the Lepaosy prevails. 203
tomed to expect after calamities a state of things quite the reverse, viz. a season of prosperity and joy. They, accordingly, compared a season of misfortune and calamity to the pains of a woman in travail, but the better destiny, which followed, they compared to the joy, which commonly succeeds child-birth, Is. 13: 8. 26:17. 2 Kgs. 19: 3. Jer, 4: 31. 13: 21. 22: 23. 30:6. Mic. 4: 9, 10. John 16:21, 22. But they carried the comparison still further. Those days of adversity, which were succeeded by adversity still, those scenes of sorrow, which were followed only by additional sorrow, were likened to women, who laboured under that disease of the system, which caused them to exhibit the appearance and endure the pains of a state of pregnancy, when that apparent state of pregnancy resulted either in nothing, or in the parturition of a monster, Is. 26: 18. Ps. 7: 14.
§ 188. Countries where THE LEPRosy PREVAILs.
THE LEPRosy prevails in Egypt, in the southern part of Upper Asia, and in fact may be considered a disease endemick in warm climates generally. Accordingly, it is not at all surprising, if many of the Hebrews, when they left Egypt, were infected with it; but the assertion of Manetho, that they were all thus infected, and were in consequence of the infection driven out by force, in which he is precipitately and carelessly followed by Strabo, by Tacitus, by Justin Trogus, and by others more recent, is a mere dream, without any adequate foundation. The disease, it is true, was a very severe and a very repulsive one, and was regarded by the ancients, as a marked exhibition of the justice and the wrath of God. It was denominated by the Hebrews the blow or wound, yori, nons vo, i.e. by supplying the ellipsis, the blow or wound of the Lord, Num. 12: 1–10. 2 Kgs. 5:1, et seq. 15: 5. 2 Chron. 26: 16. et seq. Herodot. 1. 138. But certainly the kings of Egypt, who, according to the unanimous testimony of the ancients, could correctly estimate the value of a numerous population, acted a strange and unaccountable part, if it be a fact, that on account of a disease, which might be called one of the attributes of the country and climate, they expelled from the very heart of the nation more than two millions of people.
204 $ 189. ProgRess of LEPRosy.
§ 189. BeGINNINGS AND PaogREss of LEPRosy.
The leprosy exhibits itself on the exteriour surface of the skin, but it infects, at the same time, the marrow and the bones; so much so that the furthest joints in the system gradually lose their powers, and the members fall together in such a manner, as to give the body a mutilated and dreadful appearance. From these circumstances, there can be no doubt, that the disease originates, and spreads its ravages internally, before it makes its appearance on the external parts of the body. Indeed we have reason to believe, that it is concealed in the internal parts of the system a number of years, for instance, in infants commonly till they arrive at the age of puberty, and in adults, as many as three or four years, till at last it gives the fearful indications on the skin of having already gained a well-rooted and permanent existence.
Its progress subsequently to its appearance on the external surface of the body is far from being rapid; in a number of years it arrives at its middle, and in a number after to its final state. A person, who is leprous from his nativity may live fifty years; one, who in after life is infected with it, may live twenty years, but they will be such years of dreadful misery, as rarely fall to the lot of man in any other situation.
The appearance of the disease externally, is not always the same. The spot is commonly small, resembling in its appearance the small red spot that would be the consequence of a puncture from a needle, or the pustules of a ringworm. The spots for the most part make their appearance very suddenly, especially if the infected person, at the period when the disease shows itself externally, happens to be in great fear, or to be intoxicated with anger, Num. 12; 10. 2 Chron. 26:19. They commonly exhibit themselves in the first instance, on the face, about the nose and eyes; they gradually increase in size for a number of years, till they become, as respects the extent of surface which they embrace on the skin, as large as a pea or bean. They are then called nNip. The white spot or pustule, nor;2. MoRPHEA ALBA, and also the dark spot, nrep, MoRPHEA NIGRA, are indications of the existence of the real leprosy, Lev. 13:2, 39. 14:56. From these it is § 189. ProgRess or LEPRosy. 205
necessary to distinguish the spot, which, whatever resemblance there may be in form, is so different in its effects, called Bohak, Pria, and also the harmless sort of scab, which occurs under the word, nroton, Lev. 13: 6–8, 29. Moses, in the thirteenth chapter of Leviticus, lays down very explicit rules for the purpose of distinguishing between those spots, which are proofs of the actual existence of the leprosy, and those spots, which are harmless and result from some other cause. Those spots, which are the genuine effects and marks of the leprosy, gradually dilate themselves, till at length they cover the whole body. Not only the skin is subject to a total destruction, but the whole body is affected in every part. The pain, it is true, is not very great, but there is a great debility of the system, and great uneasiness and grief, so much so, as almost to drive the victim of the disease to self-destruction, Job 7: 15. There are four kinds of the real leprosy. The first kind is of so virulent and powerful a nature, that it separates the joints and limbs, and mutilates the body in the most awful manner. The second is the white leprosy, nons. The third is the black leprosy or Psora, an:, Trio, nivasas The Troi, oyri, no, Deut. 28:27, 35. Lev. 21:20–22. The fourth description of leprosy is the alopecia, or red leprosy. The person, who is infected with the leprosy, however long the disease may be in passing through its several stages, is at last taken away suddenly, and for the most part unexpectedly. But the evils, which fall upon the living leper, are not terminated by the event of his death. The disease is to a certain extent hereditary, and is transmitted down to the third and fourth generation; to this fact there seems to be an allusion in Exod. 20: 4–6. 3: 7. Deut. 5: 9. 24: 8, 9. If any one should undertake to say, that in the fourth generation it is not the real leprosy, still it will not be denied, there is something, which bears no little resemblance to it, in the shape of defective teeth, of fetid breath, and a diseased hue. Leprous persons, notwithstanding the deformities and mutilation of their bodies, give no special evidence of a liberation from the strength of the sensual passions, and cannot be influenced to abstain from the procreation of children, when at the same time they clearly foresee the misery, of which their offspring will be the inheritors. The disease of leprosy is communicated not