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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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The frequent occurrence of blindness in the East has always excited the astonishment of travelers. Volney says that, out of a hundred persons in Cairo, he has met twenty quite blind, ten wanting one eye, and twenty others having their eyes red, purulent, or blemished. This is principally owing to the Egyptian ophthalmia, which is endemic in that country and on the coast of Syria. This disease is contagious; but it is not often communicated from one individual to another. It is not confined to the East, but appears here and there throughout Europe. The French and English suffered greatly from it while they were in Egypt, and subsequently.

Small pox is another great cause of blindness in the East.

In the New Testament, blind mendicants are frequently mentioned (Matthew 9:27; Matthew 12:22; Matthew 20:30; Matthew 21:14; John 5:3). The blindness of Bar Jesus (Acts 13:6-11) was miraculously produced, and of its nature we know nothing. Examples of blindness from old age occur in Genesis 27:1; 1 Kings 14:4; 1 Samuel 4:15. The Syrian army that came to apprehend Elisha was suddenly smitten with blindness in a miraculous manner (2 Kings 6:18); and so also was St. Paul (Acts 9:9). The Mosaic law has not neglected to inculcate humane feelings towards the blind (Leviticus 19:14; Deuteronomy 27:18). Blindness is sometimes threatened in the Old Testament as a punishment for disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:28; Leviticus 26:16; Zephaniah 1:17).





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Blindness'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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Monday, July 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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