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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


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nat (in English Versions of the Bible, only in Matthew 23:24 , κώνωψ , kō̇nōps ̌ . In Exodus 8:16 , for English Versions of the Bible "lice," one of the plagues of Egypt, כּנּם , kinnim , כּנּים ,minni , kinnı̄m , or כּנּם , kinnām , we find in the Revised Version, margin "sand flies" or "fleas" (Gesenius "gnat"; Mandelkern "culex"). For kemō kēn (Isaiah 51:6 ), English Versions of the Bible "in like manner," Septuagint ὡσπερ ταῦτα , hō̇sper taúta , Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible , 390-405 ad) sicut haec , the Revised Version, margin has "like gnats" since כּן , kēn , elsewhere "thus," may here be taken to be a singular of the form כּנּים , kinnı̄m , which occurs in Ex 8): In the New Testament passage, the difference between the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) should be noted. "Strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel" is changed to "strain out the gnat and swallow the camel," the reference being to the inconsistency of the Jewish religious leaders in taking extraordinary pains in some things, as in the preparation of food, while leaving weightier matters unattended to.

In Isaiah 51:6 , the suggestion of the Revised Version, margin, "They that dwell therein shall die like gnats," seems a decided improvement on the "shall die in like manner" of English Versions of the Bible, especially as kēn , "thus" (see supra ), is a repetition of kemō , whose meaning is practically the same, "in like manner" being the rendering in English Versions of the Bible of kemō kēn ̌ .

As to the creatures, kinnı̄m , of the Egyptian plague, there is little choice between "lice" of English Versions of the Bible and the others suggested, except as we may be influenced by the Septuagint rendering, sknı́phes , which may mean "gnats" or "mosquitoes." See FLEA ; LICE .

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Gnat'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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