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The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary


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By flies in Scripture are meant, not only those that have wings and fly in the open air, but also insects which creep upon the earth. They are reputed unclean by the law. (Leviticus 11:41 etc.) The plague of Egypt of the flies, (see Exodus 8:20, etc.) may in some measure serve to explain, how pointed, as well as heavy, the Lord's punishments on the Egyptians were. The Egyptians had their Baalzebub, as well as the Philistines; and probably from the same cause. (See 2 Kings 1:2) Hence this dunghill idol Baalzebub, that is, the god of the flies, they looked to to keep them from their destroying power. So then when the Lord made the very idol they worshipped thus contemptible before them, while under the smarting of his power, how strikingly did the Lord set forth the distinguishing mercy to his people, in the moment he thus visited their enemies. It is worthy of farther remark, that it was not until this plague that the Lord declared the separation he would put between his people and the Egyptians. I beg the reader to turn to the Scripture account of this. (Exodus 8:20-26)

I must not dismiss this article until that I have farther observed upon it, that in all probability it was a fly of the same species as infested Egypt, that the Lord, by the prophet Isaiah, called for, after that glorious prophecy concerning Christ; and which, it should seem, was to be among the plagues of those who received not Christ. "The Lord" [saith the prophet,] "shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria." (Isaiah 7:17-18)

How strange soever the worship of a fly may appear to us, yet historians of modern times have given us an account of similar honours paid by the Hottentots to the fly; and perhaps to this very day the custom is not altered. Kolben in his history of the present state of the Cape of Good Hope relates, that there is an insect about the size of a child's little finger, that hath two wings and two horns, which is held in the highest veneration by this deluded people. They sacrifice two of the fattest sheep to this fly, whenever he appears in their kraal, or village. And the historian farther adds, that he thinks it impossible to drive the opinion out of their minds, but that the appearance of this insect in a kraal is an omen of great prosperity to the inhabitants.

Having said thus much, by way of shewing to what a degraded state our whole nature is reduced by the fall, I hope the reader will indulge me with making another observation, to point out the blessedness to which we are brought, in the recovery from such gross ignorance, by the glorious gospel of the ever-blessed God. Oh, what unspeakable mercy is it to be free from all dunghill deities and superstitious foolishness, in the knowledge of the true God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. "Thanks be unto God, for his unspeakable gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15)

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Flies'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. London. 1828.

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