The Plague Of Lice.— Exodus 8:16.
"The Egyptians were of meticulously clean habits, and this infliction must have been to them an extreme annoyance. They were careful to keep all infested with lice out of their temples. Their priests were clad in linen garments, and every precaution was adopted to keep themselves free from such vermin.
Bryant says, " The Egyptians affected great external purity; and were very nice both in their persons and clothing-bathing and making ablutions continually. Uncommon care was taken not to harbor any vermin. They were particularly solicitous of the head, thinking it would be a great profanation of the temple which they entered, if any animalculse of this sort were concealed in their person or garments."
The priests, says Herodotus, are shaved, both as to their heads and bodies, every third day, to prevent any louse or any other detestable creature being found upon them when they are performing their duty to the gods.
The same is mentioned by another author, who adds, that "all wool was considered as foul, and from a perishable animal; but flax is the product of the immortal earth, affords a delicate and pure covering, and is not liable to harbor insects."
We may hence see what an abhorrence the Egyptians showed towards this sort of vermin, and what care was taken by the priests to guard against them. The judgments, therefore, inflicted by the hands of Moses were adapted to their prejudices. It was, consequently, not only most distressing to the people in general, but was no small odium to the most sacred order in Egypt , that they were overrun with these filthy and detestable vermin."