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Holman Bible Dictionary

Locust

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(Luh cusst) An insect species of the order Orthoptera , family Acrididae . In the Middle East the locust periodically multiplies to astronomical numbers. As the swarm moves across the land, it devours all vegetation, high and low. The Hebrew Old Testament uses different words to describe the insect at its various stages of life, from egg to larvae to adult insect. Eaten in several ways (raw, boiled, roasted), the locust is an excellent source of protein (See Leviticus 11:21-22 , Mark 1:6 ).

The locust plague is used in the Bible as a symbol for what God's judgment will be like (Joel 2:1 ,Joel 2:1,2:11 ; Revelation 9:3 ,Revelation 9:3,9:7 ; compare Exodus 10:3-20 ; Deuteronomy 28:38 ). The image of the locust plague was also used to symbolize being overwhelmed by a large and powerful army (Judges 6:5 ; Isaiah 33:4 ; Jeremiah 46:23 ; Jeremiah 51:27 ; Joel 2:20 ; Nahum 3:15 ). Similar imagery is used in other Ancient Near Eastern literature.


Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Locust'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hbd/l/locust.html. 1991.

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