International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(noun) (shechin; helkos): A localized inflamed swelling. The Hebrew word is derived from a root probably meaning "to burn," and is used as a generic term for the sores in the sixth plague of Egypt (Exodus 9:9-11); for a sore which might be confounded with leprosy (Leviticus 13:18-23); for Job's malady (Job 2:7) and Hezekiah's disease (2 Kings 20:1 Isaiah 38:21). Our English word is derived from the verb "to beal," i.e. to suppurate, now obsolete except as a dialect word in Scotland and Ireland. Wyclif uses the name for Lazarus' sores (Luke 16:20), "houndis lickeden his bylis." The Egyptian word schn is the name of an abscess, and occurs in the reduplicated form chnchnt in Papyr. Ebers, CV. The plague of boils in Egypt came without warning immediately after the insect plagues of kinnim (sandflies) and that of `arobh or flies, and followed the epizootic murrain, which is suggestive in the light of the transmission of toxic germs by insects. It has been supposed by some to be elephantiasis, as Pliny says that this di sease was peculiar to Egypt (xxvi.5). A stronger case has been made out for its identity with confluent smallpox; but as it is not described as being a fatal disease, it may more probably have been an aggravated form of the ordinary gregarious furuncles or boils, due to the microbe streptococcus pyogenes.
(verb) (bashal, rathach): "Boil" is the translation of bashal, "to bubble up," "to boil," "to be cooked," Piel, "to cause to boil," "to cook" (Leviticus 8:31 1 Kings 19:21 2 Kings 6:29 Ezekiel 46:20, 24 bis); of rathach, "to be hot," "to boil," "to be made to boil," "to be greatly moved" under strong emotion (the bowels), Hiphil "to cause to boil" (Job 30:27 the King James Version "My bowels boiled, and rested not," the English Revised Version "My bowels boil." the American Standard Revised Version "My heart is troubled"; Job 41:31, "He maketh the deep to boil like a pot"; Ezekiel 24:5, "make it boil well"); of ba`ah, "to bubble" or "well up" (Isaiah 64:2 (1, in Hebrew) "The fire causeth the waters to boil"); in King James Version, margin of Psalm 45:1 ("My heart is inditing a good matter") we have Hebrew "boileth" or "bubbleth up" (rachash, "to boil" or "bubble up," the Revised Version (British and American) text, "My heart overfloweth with a goodly matter").