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May 11, 1940


JAMA. 1940;114(19):1950. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810190112027

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To the Editor:—  In The Journal, March 23, there is an article by Otto Neustatter on "Emerods."Unless he uses some other Bible than the St. James version, the account of this is not in II Samuel but is recorded in chapters 4-5 and 6 of I Samuel.The ark was captured and taken to a Philistine temple, and the next morning the image of Dagon is found on its face before it. This is followed by an affliction of "emerods" —acute, phlegmonous, purulent tumor masses of the genitalia, so they decide to send it back with a peace offering. This offering took the form of five rough representations of these tumors and of five golden mice. The small black rat was probably translated as mice. In some way they had associated these mice with the disease and there is here undoubtedly an allusion to the plague and its characteristic

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