What is the word lice in the Bible?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

In the Bible, the word “lice” is mentioned in the context of the third plague that was sent upon Egypt. This specific event is described in the book of Exodus (8:16-18). According to the biblical account, God inflicted Egypt with a series of plagues to convince Pharaoh to release the Israelites from their slavery.

During the third plague, the land of Egypt was plagued by an abundance of lice. These lice were not ordinary insects but were miraculously produced from the dust of the land. It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word used for these creatures is “kinnim.”

The exact nature of these creatures is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, and there is some debate among scholars regarding their identity. Some interpretations suggest that they were lice or gnats, while others propose that they might have been a different type of insect or even a broader term encompassing various pests.

Regardless of their specific identity, the key significance lies in the fact that these creatures were divinely sent as a punishment upon Egypt. They served as a demonstration of God’s power and a sign of His authority over all creation.

The plagues in Egypt were not merely random events but were carefully orchestrated to convey a message. Each plague targeted a specific aspect of Egyptian life and their false gods, ultimately proving the superiority of the God of Israel. In the case of the lice, it is believed that this plague was aimed at the Egyptian god Khepri, who was associated with creation and the earth.

The plague of lice had a profound impact on the Egyptians, causing great discomfort and inconvenience. It is worth noting that the Pharaoh’s magicians were unable to replicate this miracle, and they acknowledged it as the finger of God. Despite this, Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened, and he continued to resist releasing the Israelites.

The narrative of the plagues and the overall Exodus story serves as a powerful reminder of God’s sovereignty and His ability to bring about justice and liberation. It also highlights the consequences of stubbornness and the refusal to acknowledge God’s authority.

While the story of the plagues and the mention of lice may seem distant and unfamiliar to us today, it is important to consider the broader themes and lessons it conveys. It encourages us to reflect on the significance of obedience, faith, and humility in our own lives. It also reminds us that God is actively involved in human affairs and has the power to intervene in extraordinary ways.

Though the specific word “lice” is not extensively mentioned throughout the Bible, its presence in the account of the plagues in Egypt serves as a powerful reminder of God’s ability to bring about justice and deliverance. It also highlights the importance of recognizing and submitting to His authority in our lives.