the Bible has some stunning insights into what coronavirus means for us. Shutterstock
Coronavirus

The Epidemic and the Stumbling Block

Did you know that the Hebrew Bible words for virus, epidemic and stumbling block share the same root?

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The world is fighting a new epidemic. Israel is isolating itself and has closed its borders. Foreigners are no longer permitted to enter. Israelis returning from abroad have to spend 14 days in quarantine.

Coronavirus. Everyone is affected, this enemy makes no distinction either for race, religion or age, or for sex or political opinion. In Hebrew, the word for epidemic is magefa (מגפה), this is the word that appears in the Bible. In English the word plague is often used as a translation, however this would actually be the translation of the word makot(מכות), which also means beatings. In the Bible, epidemic is magefa and is linked to both virus and stumbling block.

What killed the generation of the Children of Israel in the desert (Numbers 14) was an epidemic.

“… those men who brought out the very bad report of the land died by a magefa before the Lord” (Numbers 14:37).

When the nation of Israel practiced idolatry and fornication with the daughters of Moab (Numbers 25) God punished his people with an…

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