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1 This god of flies seems to have been so called, as was the like god among the Greeks, from his supposed power over flies, in driving them away from the flesh of their sacrifices, which otherwise would have been very troublesome to them.
2 It is commonly esteemed a very cruel action of Elijah, when he called for fire from heaven, and consumed no fewer than two captains and a hundred soldiers, and this for no other crime than obeying the orders of their king, in attempting to seize him; and it is owned by our Savior, that it was an instance of greater severity than the spirit of the New Testament allows, Luke 9:54. But then we must consider that it is not unlikely that these captains and soldiers believed that they were sent to fetch the prophet, that he might be put to death for foretelling the death of the king, and this while they knew him to be the prophet of the true God, the supreme King of Israel, (for they were still under the theocracy,) which was no less than impiety, rebellion, and treason, in the highest degree: nor would the command of a subaltern, or inferior captain, contradicting the commands of the general, when the captain and the soldiers both knew it to be so, as I suppose, justify or excuse such gross rebellion and disobedience in soldiers at this day. Accordingly, when Saul commanded his guards to slay Ahimelech and the priests at Nob, they knew it to be an unlawful command, and would not obey it, 1 Samuel 22:17. From which cases both officers and soldiers may learn, that the commands of their leaders or kings cannot justify or excuse them in doing what is wicked in the sight of God, or in fighting in an unjust cause, when they know it so to be.
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