* the plenty.
It is well known, that in Egypt there is scarcely any rain,
the country depending for its fertility upon the overflowing
of the Nile; and that the fertility is in proportion to the
duration and quality of the overflow, in order to saturate
the land and prepare for the seed. Pliny has given a scale,
by which the plenty or dearth may ascertained; which may be
considered as perfectly correct. The ordinary height of the
inundations is 16; cubits. When the waters are lower than
this standard, they do not overflow the whole ground; when
above this standard they are too long in running off. In the
first case, the ground is not saturated; by the second, the
waters are detained so long on the ground that seed-time is
lost. The province marks both. If it rise only 12; cubits, a
famine is the consequence; at 13; hunger prevails; 14; produces
general rejoicing; 15; perfect security; and 16; all the
luxuries of life.
* grievous. Heb. heavy.
1Sa 5:6 Isa 24:20