Exodus 8:17 MEANING

Exodus 8:17
Verse 17. - And in beast. Kalisch notes that mosquitoes - molest especially beasts, as oxen and horses, flying into their eyes and nostrils, driving them to madness and fury, and sometimes even torturing them to death." He quotes Theodoret, Hist. Ecclesiastes 8:26.

8:16-19 These lice were produced out of the dust of the earth; out of any part of the creation God can fetch a scourge, with which to correct those who rebel against him. Even the dust of the earth obeys him. These lice were very troublesome, as well as disgraceful to the Egyptians, whose priests were obliged to take much pains that no vermin ever should be found about them. All the plagues inflicted on the Egyptians, had reference to their national crimes, or were rendered particularly severe by their customs. The magicians attempted to imitate it, but they could not. It forced them to confess, This is the finger of God! The check and restraint put upon us, must needs be from a Divine power. Sooner or later God will force even his enemies to acknowledge his own power. Pharaoh, notwithstanding this, was more and more obstinate.And they did so,.... As follows:

for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod; as directed and ordered:

and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man and in beast; which shows it was a miraculous operation, since lice do not usually spring from dust, but thrive in the sweat of bodies, and the nastiness of them, through sloth and idleness; and moreover, this was like the creation of man at first, which was out of the dust of the earth, and alike the effect of almighty power:

all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt; that is, the greatest part of it, not that every atom of dust became lice, nor was the land of Goshen, in which the Israelites dwelt, infected with this plague, unless where any of the Egyptians were; though Dr. Lightfoot (d) thinks, that lice were in Goshen as in other parts of Egypt, there being no severing between Goshen and Egypt mentioned until the next plague; and since Israel had partook of many of the sins of Egypt, they must partake of some of her punishments; and he thinks this is the reason that the plague of lice is not reckoned among the plagues of Egypt in Psalm 78:44 because it was common to Israel, and to the Egyptians, and which is the sense of Aben Ezra on Exodus 7:24. The account that Artapanus (e), the Heathen historian, gives of this plague, is this;"Moses smote the earth with a rod, and produced a certain flying animal, which greatly distressed the Egyptians, and raised ulcers in their bodies, which no physicians could cure.''And so Origen (f) describes this creature as"having wings and flying in the air, but so subtile and minute as to escape the eye, unless very sharp sighted; but when it lights upon a body, it stings most bitterly, so that what a man cannot see flying, he feels stinging.''Both seem to design the gnat, but this sort of vermin do not stick in and abide with men or beasts, as these here are said to do, but buzz about and bite, and then are gone.

(d) Works, vol. 1. p. 705, 706. (e) Apud Euseb. ut supra. (Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 27. p. 435.) (f) In Exod. Homil. 4. fol. 35. Colossians 2.

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