lis (kinnim (Exodus 8:17,18; Psalms 105:31), kinnim (Exodus 8:16), kinnam (Exodus 8:17,18); Septuagint skniphes (Exodus 8:16,18), ton sknipha, once in Exodus 8:18; sknipes (Psalms 105:31); Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) scniphes; according to Liddell and Scott, under the word sknips, Slav. sknipa equals culex):
The references, both in Exodus and in Psalms, are all to the plague of "lice." the Revised Version margin suggests "fleas" or "sandflies." The Septuagint rendering would favor "sandflies" or "mosquitoes," between which two insects the Old Testament writers would hardly be expected to discriminate. Mosquitoes belong to the order of Diptera, family Culicidae; the sandfly (Plebotomus papataci) to the family of Simuliidae of the same order. The sandflies are much smaller than mosquitoes, and are nearly noiseless, but give a sharp sting which may leave an unpleasant irritation. They are abundant in the Levant. In Southern Europe they cause the "three-day fever" or "papataci." As stated under GNAT (which see), there is little ground other than the authority of the Septuagint for deciding between "lice," "fleas," "sand-flies," or "mosquitoes" as translations of kinnim. See also under GNAT the note on ken, the Revised Version margin "gnat" (Isaiah 51:6).
Alfred Ely Day
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