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October 1972

Adam's Rib: Essays on Biblical Medicine.

Arch Intern Med. 1972;130(4):654. doi:10.1001/archinte.1972.03650040178028

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This is a fascinating book on the Bible, written by a physician who has studied the text very carefully, apparently in Hebrew. The Bible is particularly interesting when it is interpreted by a learned physician. For example, Levin says that some of King David's symptoms suggest syphilis. If Psalm 38 is his (and it is headed "A Psalm of David"), then he gives a reasonable description of shooting pains, gummatous wounds, and iritis, all supposedly as a consequence of sexual indiscretions with his neighbor's wife, Bathsheba. The Psalmist says, "there is no soundness in my flesh... neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness... my loins are filled with a burning (Jewish Publication Society of America translation).... My heart panteth... as for the light of mine eyes, it is also gone from

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