or Shedeem. A species of beings in Jewish mythology
exactly resembling the Arabian Jinn or genii, and said to be the agents
of magic and enchantment. When Adam fell, says the Talmud, he was
excommunicated for 130 years, during which time he begat demons and
spectres; for, it is written, “Adam lived 130 years and (i.e. before he) begat children in his own image” (Genesis v. 3). (Rabbi
Jeremiah ben Eliezar.)
“And the Mazikeen shall not come nigh thy tents.”- Psalm xci. 5
Swells out like the Mazikeen ass.
The allusion is to a Jewish tradition that a servant, whose duty it
was to rouse the neighbourhood to midnight prayer, found one night an
ass in the street, which he mounted. As he rode along the ass grew
bigger and bigger, till at last it towered as high as the tallest
edifice, where it left the man, and where next morning he was found.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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