Deuteronomy 28:27
The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.
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(27) The botch of Egypt.—The “boil,” with which the Egyptians were plagued (Exodus 9:9, &c.) is the same word. (See also 2Kings 20:7; Job 2:7.) Rashi says of this boil, “It was very bad, being moist on the inside, and dry outside.” A learned Dalmatian Jew, with whom I have read this passage, tells me that he has seen many cases of this kind among the Hungarian and Polish Jews, and that it prevails among them, being traceable partly to their uncleanliness.

Emerodsi.e., hœmorrhoids (as in 1Samuel 5:6).

The scab.—In Leviticus 21:20; Leviticus 22:22 “scurvy.” It would make both a priest and a victim unclean, and unfit for the service of Jehovah.

The itch.—Here only. “A dry ulcer like a sherd” (Rashi).

Whereof thou canst not be healed.—Not that these things are in themselves incurable, but that they should have them incurably.

Deuteronomy 28:27-29. The botch of Egypt — Such boils or blains as the Egyptians were plagued with, spreading from head to foot. The emerods — Those painful swellings of the hemorrhoidal vessels, called piles. Blindness — Of mind, so that they should not know what to do. Astonishment — They should be filled with wonder and horror because of the strangeness and soreness of their calamities. Grope at noon-day — In the most clear and evident matters thou shalt grossly mistake. Thy ways — Thy counsels and enterprises shall be frustrated and turn to thy destruction. Compare Jeremiah 25:16; Jeremiah 25:18; Zephaniah 1:17; Lamentations 4:14; Jeremiah 4:9; Ezekiel 4:17.

28:15-44 If we do not keep God's commandments, we not only come short of the blessing promised, but we lay ourselves under the curse, which includes all misery, as the blessing all happiness. Observe the justice of this curse. It is not a curse causeless, or for some light cause. The extent and power of this curse. Wherever the sinner goes, the curse of God follows; wherever he is, it rests upon him. Whatever he has is under a curse. All his enjoyments are made bitter; he cannot take any true comfort in them, for the wrath of God mixes itself with them. Many judgments are here stated, which would be the fruits of the curse, and with which God would punish the people of the Jews, for their apostacy and disobedience. We may observe the fulfilling of these threatenings in their present state. To complete their misery, it is threatened that by these troubles they should be bereaved of all comfort and hope, and left to utter despair. Those who walk by sight, and not by faith, are in danger of losing reason itself, when every thing about them looks frightful.Second series of judgments on the body, mind, and outward circumstances of the sinners.

Deuteronomy 28:27

The "botch" (rather "boil;" see Exodus 9:9), the "emerods" or tumors 1 Samuel 5:6, 1 Samuel 5:9, the "scab" and "itch" represent the various forms of the loathsome skin diseases which are common in Syria and Egypt.

27. the botch of Egypt—a troublesome eruption, marked by red pimples, to which, at the rising of the Nile, the Egyptians are subject.

emerods—fistulæ or piles.


itch—the disease commonly known by that name; but it is far more malignant in the East than is ever witnessed in our part of the world.

No text from Poole on this verse.

The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt,.... Which some understand of the leprosy, Of that sort of it called "elephantiasis", frequent among the Egyptians; See Gill on Leviticus 13:2. Thevenot (i) relates, that when the time of the increase of the Nile expires, the Egyptians are attended with sharp prickings in their skin like needles. So Vansleb says (k),"the waters of the Nile cause an itch in the skin, which troubles such as drink of them when the river increases. This itch is very small, and appears first about the arms, next upon the stomach, and spreads all about the body, which causes a grievous pain; and not only the river water, but that out of the cisterns drank of, brings it, and it lasts about six weeks.''Though some take this botch to be the botch and blain which the Egyptians were plagued with for refusing to let Israel go, Exodus 9:9,

and with the emerods; or haemorrhoids, the piles, a disease of the fundament, attended sometimes with ulcers there; see 1 Samuel 5:9,

and with the scab and with the itch: the one moist, the other dry, and both very distressing:

whereof thou canst not be healed; by any art of men; which shows these to be uncommon ones, and from the immediate hand of God.

(i) Apud Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 3. p. 426, 427. (k) Relation of a Voyage to Egypt, p. 35, 36.

The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.
27. the boil of Egypt] Cp. P, Exodus 9:9 with Driver’s note. One of the skin-diseases common in Egypt. Boil, Heb. sheḥîn; Eg. sḥn, ‘an abscess.’ Some think of small-pox, others of elephantiasis. But it may be the bubonic plague; see next note.

emerods] LXX ἕλκος Αἰγ. εἰς τὴν ἕδραν. Rather, as R.V. marg., tumours; Heb. ‘ophalim, swellings. Probably the buboes of the bubonic plague (so Macalister). On this see HGHL, 157 ff.

scurvy] Heb. garab (Ar. garab = mange), Leviticus 21:20; Leviticus 22:22; LXX ψώρα ἀγρία, Vulg. scabies. ‘Favus’ (Macalister).

itch] Heb. ḥeres, Leviticus 21:20, LXX κνήφη, Vulg. prurigo.

Verses 27-34. - Second group. The Lord should afflict them with various loathsome diseases, vex them with humiliating and mortifying calamities, and give them over to be plundered and oppressed by their enemies. Verse 27. - Botch of Egypt; the form of leprosy peculiar to Egypt (Exodus 9:9, etc.), elephantiasis, "AEgypti peculiare malum" (Pliny, 'Nat. Hist.,' 26:1-5). Emerods; tumors, probably piles (cf. 1 Samuel 5.). Scab; probably some kind of malignant scurvy. Itch; of this there are various kinds common in Egypt and Syria. Deuteronomy 28:27The second view depicts still further the visitation of God both by diseases of body and soul, and also by plunder and oppression on the part of their enemies. - In Deuteronomy 28:27 four incurable diseases of the body are threatened: the ulcer of Egypt (see at Exodus 9:9), i.e., the form of leprosy peculiar to Egypt, elephantiasis (Aegypti peculiare malum: Plin. xxvi. c. 1, s. 5), which differed from lepra tuberosa, however, or tubercular leprosy (Deuteronomy 28:35; cf. Job 2:7), in degree only, and not in its essential characteristics (see Tobler, mediz. Topogr. v. Jerus. p. 51). עפלים, from עפל, a swelling, rising, signifies a tumour, and according to the Rabbins a disease of the anus: in men, tumor in posticis partibus; in women, durius quoddam οἴδημα in utero. It was with this disease that the Philistines were smitten (1 Samuel 5:1-12). גּרב (see Leviticus 21:20) and חרס, from חרס, to scrape or scratch, also a kind of itch, of which there are several forms in Syria and Egypt.
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