But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and struck them with tumors, even Ashdod and the territory thereof.
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George Leo Haydock
Emerods. The particular disorder which attacked them, (Psalm lxxvii. 66,) is very uncertain. Some say it was the dysentery, or the fistula, or the venereal disease Eusebius believes that it was in punishment of their incontinency. It was very painful, and sometimes proved mortal, ver. 12. Aristophanes assures us that the Athenians were punished with a shameful disorder, because they had not received the mysteries of Bacchus with due respect; and they were ordered, by the oracle, to make and carry aloft some obscene figures, before they could obtain a cure. (Acharn. ii. 6.)
And in The remainder of this verse is not found in Hebrew, Chaldean, Syriac, Arabic, nor in many Greek and Latin copies. But it is conformable to the truth of history, since we read that figures of these animals were placed beside the ark, in memory of this event, chap. vi. 6.
Mice, or rats. Such vermin have often obliged people to abandon their country. (Pliny, viii. 28.)
Bellon. (ii. 78,) testifies that he saw, ...
And this explains how they died. It is said that each one died when he went out to purge his bowels and was bitten in the inner part of his buttocks by mice. Now this wound is shown here in a literal fashion, but it is united with an allegorical exposition. For in its literal meaning, it refers to the illness caused by the hand of the Lord and the bites of the mice, which led to the outcome of death. It is said that the hand of the Lord weighed heavily upon the inhabitants of Ashdod because they were being killed by the mouse bites. In giving this passage its spiritual meaning, however, we recognize two kinds of deaths: the first kind of death is that by which sinners die to righteousness when they sin; the second kind of death is that by which the righteous deliver themselves from the sins in which they had lived and repent of them. The first kind of death enters into human hearts whenever the devil persuades someone to sin. The second kind of death is effected by the virtue of almigh...