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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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This word occurs in ; ; ; ; ; ; all which passages relate to the plague of flies inflicted upon Pharaoh and his people. Some suppose that the dog-fly is meant. Philo, in his Life of Moses, expressly describes this insect as a biting insidious creature, which comes like a dart, with great noise, and rushing with great impetuosity on the skin, sticks to it most tenaciously. All the ancient translators understand by the original word a mixture of noxious creatures. More modern writers are of opinion that a single species only is intended, and have proposed several different insects. Thus, one of the meanings of the original word is 'to darken,' and Mouffet observes that the name agrees with no kind of flies better than with those black, large, compressed flies, which boldly beset cattle, and not only obtain ichor, as other flies, but also suck out blood from beneath, and occasion great pain. He observes that they have no proboscis, but, instead of it, have double sets of teeth, like wasps, which they infix deeply in the skin; and adds that they, greatly infest the ears of days. Other's have proposed the biatta Orientalis or Ægyptia of Linnaeus, as answering considerably to the characteristics of voracity, intrusion into houses, etc. etc. The miracle involved in the plague of flies consisted, partly at least, in the creature being brought against the Egyptians in so great an abundance during winter. The particular species is, however, at present undetermined.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Fly'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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