Fever

Fever the rendering, in the A. V., of the Hebrew קִדִּחִת, kaddach'ath (De 28:22), and the Greek πυρετός (Mt 8:14; Mark i, 30; Lu 4:38; Joh 4:52; Ac 28:8). Both the Hebrew and Greek words are derived from the association of burning heat, which is the usual symptom of a febrile attack; the former coming from the verb קָדִח, to burn, the latter from πῦρ, fire (comp. Aram. אֶשׁתָּא from אֵשׁ; Goth. brinno, from brinnan, to burn; Lat. febris, and our own fever, from fervere). In Le 26:16, the A. V. renders קִדִּחִת) by " burning ague," but the rendering fever seems better, as it is not necessarily the intermittent type of the disease which is thus designated. In all Eastern climates febrile diseases are common, and in Syria and Palestine they are among the commonest and severest inflictions under which the inhabitants suffer (Russell's Aleppo; bk. v, ch. iii). They are especially prevalent in the vicinity of Capernaum (Thomson, Land and Book, i, 547). The fever under which Peter's wife's mother suffered is called by Luke πυρετὸς μέχας, "a great fever," and this has been regarded as having reference to the ancient scientific distribution of fevers into the great and the less (Galen, De diff febr.; see Wetstein, in loc.), and as an instance of Luke's professional exactitude in describing disease. His use of πυρετοί in the plural in describing the disease under which the father of Publius labored (Ac 28:8) has also been adduced as an instance of the same kind, inasmuch as that disease was, from its being conjoined with dysentery, not a continuous, but an intermittent fever. To this much importance cannot be attached, though it is probable that Luke, as a physician, would naturally use the technical language of his profession in speaking of disease. In De 28:22, besides קִדִּחִת, two diseases of the same class are mentioned, דִּלֶּקֶת, dalle'keth, a burning (A.V. " inflammation"), and חִרחֻר, charchur', intense parching (A. V. ' extreme burning"). The Sept. renders the former of these by ῥίγος, shivering, and the latter by ἐριθισμός, a word which is used by the Greek writers on medicine to designate " quodvis Naturae irritamentum, quo sollicitata natura ad obeundas motiones excitatur" (Foes, Oecon. Hippoc.). The former is probably the ague, a disease of frequent occurrence in the East; and the latter probably dysentery, or some species of inflammatory fever. The Syriac version renders it by burning, which favors the latter suggestion. Rosenmuller inclines to the opinion that it is the catarrhus suffocans, but this is without probability. There is no ground for supposing it to be erysipelas. Fever constantly accompanies the bloody flux or dysentery (Ac 28:8; compare De Mandelslo, Travels, ed. 1669, p. 65). Fevers of an inflammatory character are mentioned (Burckhardt, Arab. i, 446) as common at Mecca, and putrid ones at Jedda. Intermittent fever and dysentery, the latter often fatal, are ordinary Arabian diseases. For the former, though often fatal to strangers, the natives care little, but much dread a relapse. These fevers. sometimes occasion most troublesome swellings in the stomach and legs (ii, 290-291). SEE DISEASE.

Bible concordance for FEVER.

Definition of fever

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

 
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