1 Samuel 5:9
And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had tumors in their secret parts.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Samuel 5:9. They had emerods in their secret (or hidden) parts — That is, internally, in their hinder parts; which is the worst kind of emerods, as all physicians acknowledge, both because their pains are far more sharp than those of the other kind, and because the malady is more out of the reach of remedies.5:6-12 The hand of the Lord was heavy upon the Philistines; he not only convinced them of their folly, but severely chastised their insolence. Yet they would not renounce Dagon; and instead of seeking God's mercy, they desired to get clear of his ark. Carnal hearts, when they smart under the judgments of God, would rather, if it were possible, put him far from them, than enter into covenant or communion with him, and seek him for their friend. But their devices to escape the Divine judgments only increase them. Those that fight against God will soon have enough of it.The "lords" (see Judges 3:3) were very unwilling to give up their triumph, and, with the common pagan superstition, imagined that some local bad luck was against them at Ashdod. The result was to bring the whole Philistine community under the same calamity. 7. the ark of God shall not abide with us—It was removed successively to several of the large towns of the country, but the same pestilence broke out in every place and raged so fiercely and fatally that the authorities were forced to send the ark back into the land of Israel [1Sa 5:8-10]. Or,

in their hidden parts, to wit, in the inwards of their hinder parts; which is the worst kind of emerods, as all physicians acknowledge, both because its pains are far more sharp and keen than the other, and because the malady is more out of the reach of remedies. And it was so, that after they had carried it about,.... And at last placed it in the city of Gath:

the hand of the Lord was against the city with a very great destruction: greater than that at Ashdod, more persons were destroyed; the distemper sent among them was more epidemic and mortal:

and he smote the men of the city, both small and great; high and low, persons of every class, rank, and station, young and old, men, women, and children:

and they had emerods in their secret parts; and so had the men of Ashdod; and the design of this expression is, not to point at the place where they were, which it is well known they are always in those parts, but the different nature of them; the emerods or piles of the men of Ashdod were more outward, these more inward, and so more painful, and not so easy to come at, and more difficult of cure; for the words may be rendered:

and the emerods were hidden unto them (z); were inward, and out of sight; and perhaps this disease as inflicted on them might be more grievous than it commonly is now. Josephus (a) wrongly makes these to be the Ashkalonites, when they were the men of Gath.

(z) "et absconditi erant", Montanus; so Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius. (a) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 6. c. 1. sect. 1.)

And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. with a very great destruction] Better, with an exceeding great panic, causing utter consternation.

both small and great] i.e. both young and old: all the inhabitants.

and they had emerods in their secret parts] Better, and boils broke out upon them.Verse 9. - And they had emerods in their secret parts. The verb used here, sathar, is found in Hebrew only in this place, but is of common occurrence in Syriac and Arabic. Its ordinary meaning in both these languages is to "cover," "conceal," and the A.V., taking it in this sense, supposes that the boils were hidden, and translates as above. But the root has a double meaning, and signifies also "to destroy," though in this sense the Arabic has a slight difference in spelling, namely, shatara instead of satara. The old versions were evidently at a loss in understanding the meaning, though their renderings are suggestive, except the Syriac, which translates quite literally, but leaves thereby the difficulty untouched of the twofold meaning of the word, and the Syro-Arabic lexicons are uncertain which to choose. Some give, "and the emerods hid themselves in them," in the sense of gnawing and burrowing into the flesh, i.e. they became cancerous. Others take the alternative sense, and render, "and the emerods were burst upon them," i.e. became fissured and rent, and turned into open sores. Another translation has been proposed, namely, "the tumours or emerods brake out upon them;" but as the verb, both in the Hebrew and the Syriac, is passive, this rendering can scarcely be defended. Upon the whole, the most probable sense is that the tumours buried themselves deep in the flesh, and becoming thus incurable, ended in causing the death of the sufferers. The next morning the Ashdodites found Dagon lying on his face upon the ground before the ark of Jehovah, and restored him to his place again, evidently supposing that the idol had fallen or been thrown down by some accident.
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