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Exodus 8:16

    Exodus 8:16 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And the LORD said to Moses, Say to Aaron, Stretch out your rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And Jehovah said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the earth, that is may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And the Lord said to Moses, Say to Aaron, Let your rod be stretched out over the dust of the earth so that it may become insects through all the land of Egypt.

    Webster's Revision

    And Jehovah said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the earth, that is may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.

    World English Bible

    Yahweh said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, 'Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.'"

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the earth, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.

    Definitions for Exodus 8:16

    Smite - To strike; beat.

    Clarke's Commentary on Exodus 8:16

    Smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice - If the vermin commonly designated by this name be intended, it must have been a very dreadful and afflicting plague to the Egyptians, and especially to their priests, who were obliged to shave the hair off every part of their bodies, and to wear a single tunic, that no vermin of this kind might be permitted to harbor about them. See Herod. in Euterp., c. xxxvii., p. 104, edit. Gale. Of the nature of these insects it is not necessary to say much. The common louse is very prolific. In the space of twelve days a full-grown female lays one hundred eggs, from which, in the space of six days, about fifty males and as many females are produced. In eighteen days these young females are at their full growth, each of which may lay one hundred eggs, which will be all hatched in six days more. Thus, in the course of six weeks, the parent female may see 5,000 of its own descendants! So mightily does this scourge of indolence and filthiness increase!

    But learned men are not agreed on the signification of the original word כנים kinnim, which different copies of the Septuagint render σκνιφες, σκνιπες, and σκνηπες, gnats; and the Vulgate renders sciniphes, which signifies the same.

    Mr. Harmer supposes he has found out the true meaning in the word tarrentes, mentioned by Vinisauf, one of our ancient English writers; who, speaking of the expedition of King Richard I. to the Holy Land, says, that "while the army were marching from Cayphas to Caesarea, they were greatly distressed every night by certain worms called tarrentes, which crept on the ground, and occasioned a very burning heat by most painful punctures; for, being armed with stings, they conveyed a poison which quickly occasioned those who were wounded by them to swell, and was attended with the most acute pain." All this is far fetched. Bochart has endeavored to prove that the כנים kinnim of the text may mean lice in the common acceptation of the term, and not gnats. 1. Because those in question sprang from the dust of the earth, and not from the waters. 2. Because they were both on men and cattle, which cannot be spoken of gnats. 3. Because their name comes from the radix כון kun, which signifies to make firm, fix, establish, which can never agree to gnats, flies, etc., which are ever changing their place, and are almost constantly on the wing. 4. Because כנה kinnah is the term by which the Talmudists express the louse, etc. See his Hierozoicon, vol. ii., c. xviii., col. 571. The circumstance of their being in man and in beast agrees so well with the nature of the acarus sanguisugus, commonly called the tick, belonging to the seventh order of insects called Aptera, that I am ready to conclude this is the insect meant. This animal buries both its sucker and head equally in man or beast; and can with very great difficulty be extracted before it is grown to its proper size, and filled with the blood and juices of the animal on which it preys. When fully grown, it has a glossy black oval body: not only horses, cows, and sheep are infested with it in certain countries, but even the common people, especially those who labor in the field, in woods, etc. I know no insect to which the Hebrew term so properly applies. This is the fixed, established insect, which will permit itself to be pulled in pieces rather than let go its hold; and this is literally באדם ובבהמה baadam ubabbehemah, in man and in beast, burying its trunk and head in the flesh of both. In woodland countries I have seen many persons as well as cattle grievously infested with these insects.

    Barnes' Notes on Exodus 8:16

    It is observed by Hebrew commentators that the nine plagues are divided into three groups: distinct warnings are given of the first two plagues in each group; the third in each is inflicted without any previous notice; namely, the third, lice, the sixth, boils, the ninth, darkness.

    The dust of the land - The two preceding plagues fell upon the Nile. This fell on the earth, which was worshipped in Egypt as the father of the gods. An special sacredness was attached to the black fertile soil of the basin of the Nile, called Chemi, from which the ancient name of Egypt is supposed to be derived.

    Lice - The Hebrew word occurs only in connection with this plague. These insects are generally identified with mosquitos, a plague nowhere greater than in Egypt. They are most troublesome toward October, i. e. soon after the plague of frogs, and are dreaded not only for the pain and annoyance which they cause, but also because they are said to penetrate into the body through the nostrils and ears.