(Investigator 93, 2003 November)

Although Anonymous did a good rendition of the Biblical Plagues of Egypt (Investigator 2001 May) I’m sure he would appreciate some slight elaboration.

To the ancient Jews olive oil represented ‘the Spirit of God’! They were obsessed with oiling their skin.

This may be an additional explanation why the insects, during the plagues of Egypt, went for the Egyptians and not the Jews! I mean what would a blood-sucking insect prefer—a good feed of whole-blood from Egyptian skin or bland olive-oil from Israelite skin?

In Australia, too, outdoor workers bothered by sandflies and lacking insect repellent sometimes apply vegetable oils for protection.

Oiling the skin also dispensed with the body-odour that characterizes our existence today! The ancient Israelites therefore needed to wash their clothes only infrequently.

The Israelites were instructed to oil most items in the Tabernacle such as leather scrolls. This would act to preserve them. Oiling may also explain why during the 40 years in the wilderness many things did not wear-out.

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