|Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia|
di-zez', di-zez'-iz (chalah, choli; nosos): Palestine, from its position and physical conditions, ought to be a healthy country. That it is not so depends on the unsanitary conditions in which the people live and the absence of any attempts to check the introduction or development of zymotic diseases. The number of marshes or pools is fairly small, and the use of active measures to destroy the larvae of mosquitos might easily diminish or abolish the malarial fevers which now prevail all over the country.
The freeing of Ismailieh and Port Said from these pests is an object-lesson in sanitation. When one examines the conditions of life in towns and villages all over the country, the evidences of the ravages of these fevers and their sequelae appear on every hand as they affect all ages from infancy to middle age, and one meets but few individuals of extreme old age. The absence of any adequate system of drainage and the pollution of the water supplies are also factors of great importance in preserving this unhealthiness.
In ancient times it was regarded as healthier than Egypt, as it well might be, hence, the diseases of Egypt are referred to as being worse than those of Palestine (Deuteronomy 7:15; Deuteronomy 28:60 Amos 4:10). The sanitary regulations and restrictions of the Priestly Code would doubtless have raised the standard of public health, but it is unlikely that these were ever observed over any large area. The types of disease which are referred to in the Bible are those that still prevail. Fevers of several kinds, dysentery, leprosy, intestinal worms, plague, nervous diseases such as paralysis and epilepsy, insanity, ophthalmia and skin diseases are among the commonest and will be described under their several names. Methods of treatment are described under MEDICINE; PHYSICIAN. The word "disease" or "diseases" in the King James Version is changed to "sickness" in the Revised Version (British and American) in 2 Kings 1:2; 2 Kings 8:8 Matthew 9:35, and left out in John 5:4; while in Matthew 8:17 "sicknesses" is replaced by "diseases." the Revised Version (British and American) also changes "infirmity" in Luke 7:21 to "diseases," and in Psalm 38:7 "a loathsome disease" is changed to "burning."
EYES, DISEASES OF THE
Blindness, defects of sight and diseases of the eye are frequently mentioned in the Scriptures, but usually in general terms. It is probable that in the period covered by the Bible, ophthalmia was as common in Palestine and Egypt as it is now. See BLINDNESS. The commonest of the diseases at present is the purulent conjunctivitis which is a highly infectious malady affecting people of all ages, but especially children, and whose germs are carried from eye to eye by the flies, which are allowed to walk freely over the diseased eyes. This is one of the most disgusting sights in a Palestine village, but I have been told by mothers that it is esteemed unlucky to drive off the flies. In this manner the disease is propagated. The number of persons in any Palestine village whose eyes are more or less blemished by disease is on this account phenomenally large.
Blindness incapacitated a man from serving in the priesthood (Leviticus 21:16, 18); even a blemish of the eye was regarded as a disqualification (Leviticus 21:20).
The cases in the New Testament of persons blind from their birth (as John 9:1) were probably the results of this ophthalmia, but may have been due to congenital malformation. The interesting psychological record of the difficulty of interpreting the new visual sensations by the blind man healed by our Lord (Mark 8:22) indicates that it was probably not a case of congenital blindness, as the evangelist uses the word apokatestathe ("restored"), but he had been so long blind that he had lost the power of appreciating the sense-impressions. This condition has been often discussed as a psycho-physical problem since the days of Molyneux and Locke (Essay on the Human Understanding, II, 9, 8).
The blindness of Paul was probably a temporary paralysis of the retina from the shock of a dazzling light accentuated by the intense emotion which accompanied his vision on the road to Damascus. The "scales" mentioned in Acts 9:18 were not material, but his sight was restored as if (hosei) scales had fallen from his eyes. How far this left his eyes weak we do not know, but from his inability to recognize the high priest (Acts 23:5) and from his employing an amanuensis for transcribing his epistles (Romans 16:22), as well as from his writing in characters of large size (pelikos; Galatians 6:11), it is probable that his vision was defective, and this it has been conjectured was the "thorn in the flesh" of 2 Corinthians 12:7.
Senile blindness, the result either of cataract or retinal degeneration, is mentioned in the cases of Isaac (Genesis 27:1), Jacob (Genesis 48:10) and Eli (1 Samuel 4:15). The frequency of such senile dimness of sight made the case of Moses the more remarkable that at the age of 120 his eye was not dim (Deuteronomy 34:7).
Tobit's blindness, caused by the irritation of the sparrow's dung (APC Tobit 2:10), was a traumatic conjunctivitis which left an opacity. It is not said that the whiteness was itself sufficiently large to destroy vision. There was with it probably a considerable amount of conjunctival thickening, and it is possible that the remedy might have removed this. It certainly could not remove a cicatricial white spot of the nature of an albugo. The conjecture of a recent commentator that the gall, by coloring the spot, made the eye look as if sight was restored when it really was not, seems ludicrously inept. In any case the historical accuracy of the narrative is so problematical that explanation is unnecessary.
DISEASES OF THE EYE
See EYES, DISEASES OF THE.
Diseases (38 Occurrences)
Matthew 4:24 The report about him went out into all Syria. They brought to him all who were sick, afflicted with various diseases and torments, possessed with demons, epileptics, and paralytics; and he healed them. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 8:17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying: "He took our infirmities, and bore our diseases." (WEB WEY ASV BBE DBY NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 1:34 He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. He didn't allow the demons to speak, because they knew him. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 3:10 For he had healed many, so that as many as had diseases pressed on him that they might touch him. (WEB WBS RSV NIV)
Mark 3:15 and to have power to heal diseases, and to cast out demons. (DBY)
Luke 4:40 When the sun was setting, all those who had any sick with various diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV)
Luke 5:15 But all the more the report about Him spread abroad, and great multitudes crowded to hear Him and to be cured of their diseases; (WEY BBE)
Luke 6:17 He came down with them, and stood on a level place, with a crowd of his disciples, and a great number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS RSV)
Luke 6:18 as well as those who were troubled by unclean spirits, and they were being healed. (See NAS NIV)
Luke 7:21 In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits; and to many who were blind he gave sight. (WEB WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 8:2 and certain women whom He had delivered from evil spirits and various diseases--Mary of Magdala, out of whom seven demons had come, (WEY BBE NIV)
Luke 9:1 He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 9:6 And they went away, journeying through all the towns, preaching the good news and making people free from diseases in all places. (BBE)
John 5:3 In these doorways there were a great number of people with different diseases: some unable to see, some without the power of walking, some with wasted bodies. (BBE)
Acts 19:12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. (KJV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV)
Acts 28:9 Then when this was done, the rest also who had diseases in the island came, and were cured. (WEB KJV ASV BBE WBS NAS RSV)
1 Corinthians 12:28 And by God's appointment there are in the Church--first Apostles, secondly Prophets, thirdly teachers. Then come miraculous powers, and then ability to cure diseases or render loving service, or powers of organization, or varieties of the gift of 'tongues.' (WEY)
1 Corinthians 12:30 Have all miraculous powers? Have all ability to cure diseases? Do all speak in 'tongues'? Do all interpret? (WEY)
Genesis 12:17 Yahweh plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. (See NIV)
Exodus 15:26 and he said, "If you will diligently listen to the voice of Yahweh your God, and will do that which is right in his eyes, and will pay attention to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you, which I have put on the Egyptians; for I am Yahweh who heals you." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Leviticus 14:54 This is the law for all signs of the leper's disease and for skin diseases; (BBE)
Leviticus 14:57 To make clear when it is unclean and when it is clean: this is the law about the disease of the leper. (See NIV)
Leviticus 26:16 This will I do to you: I will put fear in your hearts, even wasting disease and burning pain, drying up the eyes and making the soul feeble, and you will get no profit from your seed, for your haters will take it for food. (See NIV)
Deuteronomy 7:15 Yahweh will take away from you all sickness; and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you know, he will put on you, but will lay them on all those who hate you. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Deuteronomy 24:8 In connection with the leper's disease, take care to keep and do every detail of the teaching of the priests, the Levites: as I gave them orders, so you are to do. (See NIV)
Deuteronomy 28:21 The Lord will send disease after disease on you, till you have been cut off by death from the land to which you are going. (See NIV)
Deuteronomy 28:27 The Lord will send on you the disease of Egypt, and other sorts of skin diseases which nothing will make well. (BBE)
Deuteronomy 28:59 Then the Lord your God will make your punishment, and the punishment of your seed, a thing to be wondered at; great punishments and cruel diseases stretching on through long years. (BBE)
Deuteronomy 28:60 He will bring on you again all the diseases of Egypt, which you were afraid of; and they shall cling to you. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Deuteronomy 28:61 And all the diseases and the pains not recorded in the book of this law will the Lord send on you till your destruction is complete. (BBE)
Deuteronomy 29:22 And future generations, your children coming after you, and travellers from far countries, will say, when they see the punishments of that land and the diseases which the Lord has sent on it; (BBE NAS NIV)
2 Chronicles 21:19 It happened, in process of time, at the end of two years, that his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness, and he died of sore diseases. His people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers. (WEB KJV JPS ASV WBS YLT)
2 Chronicles 24:25 And when they were departed from him, (for they left him in great diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings. (KJV JPS DBY WBS YLT)
Job 18:13 His skin is wasted by disease, and his body is food for the worst of diseases. (BBE)
Psalms 103:3 who forgives all your sins; who heals all your diseases; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 53:4 But it was our pain he took, and our diseases were put on him: while to us he seemed as one diseased, on whom God's punishment had come. (BBE JPS)
Jeremiah 14:18 If I have gone forth to the field, Then, lo, the pierced of the sword! And if I have entered the city, Then, lo, the diseased of famine! For both prophet and priest have gone up and down Unto a land that they knew not. (See NAS RSV)
Jeremiah 16:4 Death from evil diseases will overtake them; there will be no weeping for them and their bodies will not be put to rest; they will be like waste on the face of the earth: the sword and need of food will put an end to them; their dead bodies will be meat for the birds of heaven and for the beasts of the earth. (BBE NAS RSV NIV)