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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature

Gnat

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Our Savior's allusion to the gnat is a kind of proverb, either in use in His time, or invented by Himself, 'Blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow down [ as we say] a camel,' . He adopts the antithesis of the smallest insect to the largest animal, and applies it to those who are superstitiously anxious in avoiding small faults, yet do not scruple to commit their greatest sins. The typographical error, 'strain at a gnat,' first found its way into King James's translation, 1611. It is 'strain out' in the previous translations. The custom of filtering wine, among the Jews, for this purpose, was founded on the prohibition of 'all flying, creeping things' being used for food, excepting the saltatorii (). According to the Talmud, eating a gnat incurred scourging or excommunication.

 

 

 

 

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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Gnat'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature". https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/kbe/g/gnat.html.

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