Job’s Disease

Job’s disease consisted of “sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown” (Job ii. 7). The result was that his friends “saw him afar off and knew him not”(Job ii. 12).

Some commentators conclude that Job’s disease was what is known as elephantiasis, one of the worst forms of leprosy, in which the whole body is covered with loathsome scales, similar to the hide of an elephant ,and painful in the extreme. But the fact that Job “took a potsherd to scrape himself withal” (Job ii. 8), seems to point to a less painful, although very irritable complaint. From all that is recorded, we are inclined to conclude that it was what is known to us as smallpox (Job xix.13-20).

F.G. J.

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