SUN, SMITING BY
Exposure of the uncovered head to the heat of the sun is likely to produce either of two conditions; the commoner is heat exhaustion with faintness, the rarer is heatstroke with fever and paralysis of the heat-regulating apparatus of the nervous system. This condition is described as siriasis. The two fatal instances recorded were probably of the latter kind. One, the case of the Shunammite's son (2 Kings 4:19), was apparently very acute, like some of the cases described by Manson and Sambon. Of the other case, that of Manasseh, Judith's husband, we have no particulars (Judith 8:3), except that it was likewise brought on by exposure in the harvest field, and occurred at the time of barley harvest, that is, early in May. Jonah's attack was one of heat syncope, as he fainted from the heat (Jonah 4:8). According both to psalmist (Psalms 121:6) and to prophet (Isaiah 49:10), the people of God are protected from the stroke of the sun as well as from that of the moon. The latter was supposed to cause lunacy (hence, the name), and epilepsy, so in Matthew 4:24 the word rendered "lunatic" (the King James Version) for "epileptic" (Revised Version) is seleniazomenous, literally, "moon struck."
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