Exodus 8:16
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, 'Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,' and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats."

New Living Translation
So the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, 'Raise your staff and strike the ground. The dust will turn into swarms of gnats throughout the land of Egypt.'"

English Standard Version
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, so that it may become gnats in all the land of Egypt.’”

New American Standard Bible
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Say to Aaron, 'Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become gnats through all the land of Egypt.'"

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron: Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, and it will become gnats throughout the land of Egypt."

International Standard Version
Then the LORD told Moses, "Tell Aaron, 'Stretch out your staff, strike the dust of the ground, and the dust will become gnats throughout the land of Egypt.'"

NET Bible
The LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, 'Extend your staff and strike the dust of the ground, and it will become gnats throughout all the land of Egypt.'"

New Heart English Bible
The LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, 'Stretch out your hand with your rod, and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.'"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, 'Hold out your staff and strike the dust on the ground. All over Egypt the dust will turn into gnats.'"

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Say unto Aaron: Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the earth, that it may become gnats throughout all the land of Egypt.'

New American Standard 1977
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become gnats through all the land of Egypt.’”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then 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.

King James 2000 Bible
And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.

American King James Version
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
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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the Lord said to Moses: Say to Aaron, Stretch forth thy rod, and strike the dust of the earth: and may there be sciniphs in all the land of Egypt.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jehovah said to Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy staff, and smite the dust of the earth, and it shall become gnats throughout the land of Egypt.

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the LORD said to Moses, Say to Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it 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.'"

Young's Literal Translation
And Jehovah saith unto Moses, 'Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, and it hath become gnats in all the land of Egypt.'
Study Bible
The Third Plague: Gnats
15But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, as the LORD had said. 16Then the LORD said to Moses, "Say to Aaron, 'Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become gnats through all the land of Egypt.'" 17They did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats through all the land of Egypt.…
Cross References
Exodus 8:15
But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

Exodus 8:17
They did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats through all the land of Egypt.

Exodus 8:18
The magicians tried with their secret arts to bring forth gnats, but they could not; so there were gnats on man and beast.

Psalm 105:31
He spoke, and there came a swarm of flies And gnats in all their territory.
Treasury of Scripture

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.

stretch

Exodus 8:5,17 And the LORD spoke to Moses, Say to Aaron, Stretch forth your hand …

lice. Mr. Harmer supposes he has found out the true meaning in the word tarrentes, a species of worm. Bochart, however, seems to have proved that lice, and not gnats, are meant; because,

THE THIRD PLAGUE. (16, 17)

It is disputed whether this plague was one of lice or of mosquitoes. Josephus and the Jewish commentators generally take the former view, while the latter is supported by the LXX. and Vulgate, by the authorities of Philo, Artapanus, Origen, and St. Augustine in ancient, and by those of Rosenmller, Michaelis, dmann, Gesenius, Keil, and Kalisch in modern times. The word used (kinnim) seems connected with the Greek ????, or ?????, and is reasonably regarded as formed by onomatopoeia, from the sharp tingling sound given out by the insect when on the wing.[58] The trouble caused to the Egyptians of the Delta by mosquitoes is noticed by Herodotus (ii. 95); while moderns, as Forskal (Descript. Anim. p. 85), declare that they amount to an absolute pest at certain seasons. They are most troublesome towards October, and are said to attack not only the exposed parts of the skin, but especially the ears, the nostrils, and the eyes, where they do great damage. Some have thought that mosquitoes do not molest cattle (Exodus 8:17); but Kalisch says, "They 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."

[58] In Egyptian the word for "mosquito" is Khnemms, (Brugsch, Diet. Hierogl. p. 1103).

It is to be noticed that the third plague, whatever it was, came without warning. It was God's judgment on Pharaoh for hardening his heart and breaking his promise (Exodus 8:15); and he was not given the option of avoiding it by submission to God's will.

(16) Smite the dust of the land.--Dust prevails in Egypt to an extent that is highly inconvenient. "We travelled to Ashmim." says one writer, "through clouds of dust, raised by a high wind, which intercepted our view as much as if we had been travelling in a fog." "There is one great source of discomfort," says another, "arising from the dryness of the atmosphere, namely, an excessive quantity of dust." When "all the dust of the land became mosquitoes" (Exodus 8:17), the plague must indeed have been great.

Verses 16-19. - THE THIRD PLAGUE. The breach of promise on the part of Pharaoh (ver. 15), was punished by the third plague, which was inflicted without being announced. It is disputed among the best critics, whether the plague was really one of "lice"(as given in the Authorised Version) or of mosquitoes. To the present writer the arguments in favour of mosquitoes seem to preponderate; and he believes the kinnim to represent those subtle pests. Such is the view of the LXX. translators, of Philo, Artapanus, Origen, Rosenmuller, Gesenins, Geddes, Boothroyd, Keil, and Kalisch. Mosquitoes are, under ordinary circumstances, a terrible annoyance in Egypt, when the inundation is going off, especially about October. Their power to annoy is witnessed to in ancient times by Herodotus (2:95), Philo (Vit. Mos. 2. p. 97), and St. Augustine; in modern by Wilkinson and others. That Aaron was ordered to produce them out of "the dust of the land," whereas mosquitoes come from larvae deposited in stagnant waters (Cook), is only a proof that God can transform any kind of matter into any other. He who made man of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7) could with still greater ease have transformed that dust into gnats. It is undoubtedly remarkable that the magi-clans could not produce the kinnim; but this disability does not help us to determine what exactly the kinnim were. Conceivably, the magicians were tired of the contest, and feeling that they would ultimately be worsted in it, . withdrew before the circumstances compelled them to withdraw. Verse 16. - Lice. Kinnim - the word is only found here and in the Psalms which celebrate the Exodus (Psalm 78:46; Psalm 105:31). It was understood as "lice"by Josephus, the Talmudical writers, Bochart, Pool, and our translators in the reign of James I. But the great weight of authority is in favour of the rendering "gnats" or "mosquitoes." See the preceding paragraph. It must also be berne in mind that the nearest Egyptian equivalent, khennems, has the signification of mosquito (Speaker's Commentary, vol. 1. p. 490). And the Lord said unto Moses,.... On the twenty seventh day of the month, according to Bishop Usher, the same day the flogs were removed; no warning is given him of the next plague, at least there is no account of any:

say unto Aaron, stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land; in some one part of the land, that place nearest to him where there was a quantity of dust; for it cannot be imagined that he should smite all the dust of the land in every part of it, but smiting one part served for the whole:

that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt: not gnats, as some, nor flies, as others, but lice, though perhaps not of the common and ordinary sort, but new and extraordinary, and it may be of different sorts, suitable to different creatures. Ex 8:16-19. Plague of Lice.

16. smite the dust of the land, etc.—Aaron's rod, by the direction of Moses, who was commanded by God, was again raised, and the land was filled with gnats, mosquitoes—that is the proper meaning of the original term. In ordinary circumstances they embitter life in Eastern countries, and therefore the terrible nature of this infliction on Egypt may be imagined when no precautions could preserve from their painful sting. The very smallness and insignificance of these fierce insects made them a dreadful scourge. The magicians never attempted any imitation, and what neither the blood of the river nor the nuisance of the frogs had done, the visitation of this tiny enemy constrained them to acknowledge "this is the finger of God"—properly "gods," for they spoke as heathens.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.
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