And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you know, on you; but will lay them on all them that hate you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Evil diseases.—The word for diseases here used is found only in Deuteronomy (see Deuteronomy 28:60). It must not be forgotten that the law of Moses was in many of its details a sanitary quite as much as a moral code. Some of the associations of this word and the root from which it is derived would seem to point to those “languors” and “infirmities” which arise from neglect and violation of the laws of God, both moral and physical.Deuteronomy 7:15. The diseases of Egypt — Such as the Egyptians were infected with, either commonly, or miraculously. It seems to refer not only to the plagues of Egypt, but to some other epidemic diseases, which they remembered to have prevailed among the Egyptians, and by which God had chastised them for their national sins. The leprosy, and other cutaneous distempers, were frequent in Egypt. The Scriptures also mention the botch of Egypt, as a disease common in that country, Deuteronomy 28:27. Diseases are God’s servants, which go where he sends them, and do what he bids them.Exodus 15:26), as to the terrible diseases with which, above other countries, Egypt was infested. Compare Deuteronomy 28:27, Deuteronomy 28:35. It is not without significance that Egypt, which represents in Scripture the world as contrasted with the Church, should thus above other lands lie under the power of disease and death. The evil diseases of Egypt; such as the Egyptians were infested with, either commonly, as that botch, Deu 28:27; or miraculously and extraordinarily, from the hand of the Lord, as Exodus 9:10,15. Compare Exodus 23:25 Psalm 105:37.
and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt which thou knowest upon thee; meaning either the plagues that were inflicted upon them to oblige them to let the Israelites go, of which they had perfect knowledge; or else some noxious and nauseous diseases, which were common among, and peculiar to, the Egyptians, particularly what is called the botch of Egypt; see Exodus 15:26, likewise the leprosy; See Gill on Leviticus 13:2; see Gill on Deuteronomy 28:27.
but will lay them upon all them that hate thee; with which God sometimes punishes his and his people's enemies; see Judges 5:9.And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)15. take away … all sickness] Exodus 23:25 (edit.).
evil diseases of Egypt] In Exodus 15:26 (edit.) the sicknesses (another word) refers to the special plagues brought on the Egyptians by Jehovah for Israel’s sake. Here the reference is rather to the natural ailments of men of which in antiquity Egypt was notoriously the source: elephantiasis, ‘Aegypti peculiare malum’ (Pliny, H.N. xxvi. 1, 5), ophthalmia, dysentery, but especially the bubonic plague (Hecataeus of Abdera in Diod. Sic. xl. 3). See the present writer’s Hist. Geog. of the Holy Land, 157 f., 670; and cp. below note on Deuteronomy 28:27.
which thou knowest] hast had experience of, see on Deuteronomy 7:9.Verse 15. - The mercy of God should be showed to them also in preserving them from sickness, especially of a virulent and dangerous kind, such as they had seen in Egypt, where disease has in all ages readily assumed a malignant character ('Encyc. Brit.,' art. 'Egypt'), and where especially cutaneous diseases of the worst kind prevail (comp. Deuteronomy 38:27). Such diseases the Lord would rather cause to fall on their enemies. Exodus 20:5-6, as a light warning not to forfeit the mercy of God, or draw upon themselves His holy wrath by falling into idolatry. To this end He emphatically carries out still further the thought of retribution, by adding להאבידו, "to destroy him" (the hater), and וגו יאהר לא, "He delays not to His hater (sc., to repay him); He will repay him to his face." "To the face of every one of them," i.e., that they may see and feel that they are smitten by God (Rosenmller).
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