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But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

5:6 emerods. These “emerods” (old English spelling of hemorrhoids), affected the “secret parts” (I Samuel 5:9) of the Philistines, and were apparently associated with mice (I Samuel 6:4-5). This fact has suggested that mice transmitted the disease, and many scholars argue that it was bubonic plague. The Hebrew words so translated mean “tumor” or “mound.”

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