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Reference: Locusts


There are several species of locusts which visit Palestine; they are brought by the wind, and carried away by the same. Five Hebrew words are translated 'locusts,' but they cannot now be definitely distinguished. Some of the Hebrew words are also translated GRASSHOPPERS. They formed one of the plagues of Egypt. Ex 10:4-19. They are remarkable for the immense numbers that suddenly swarm upon a district, and for the vast devastation they accomplish in vegetation in a little while, as the prophet says, before them the land may be as the garden of Eden, and behind them a desolate wilderness: nothing escapes them. Joe 2:3.

They were classed among the clean things that might be eaten by the Israelites. Le 11:22; they were the food of John the Baptist, Mt 3:4; and are eaten at the present time. They are boiled, roasted, and fried, or salted, or pounded into cakes with salt. The OEdipoda migratoria is a species that commonly visits Palestine.

THE BALD LOCUSTS, salam. These are mentioned only in Le 11:22; as distinct from the common locusts (arbeh). The bald locust is supposed to be a species of Truxalis, which have smooth heads.

In Re 9:3,7 the locust is symbolical of some destructive power that will issue from 'the smoke,' or influence, of the bottomless pit, to sting and torment the men that have not the seal of God in their foreheads. These locusts have stings like scorpions, are in shape or appearance like horses, with faces of men, and with crowns of gold on their heads, etc., implying imperial power, with pretended subjection to God; but withal cruel, pitiless, and false.

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