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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Locust. A well-known insect which commits terrible ravages on vegetation in the countries which it visits. The common brown locust is about three inches in length, and the general form is that of a grasshopper. Locusts occur in great numbers, and sometimes obscure the sun. Exodus 10:15; Judges 6:5; Jeremiah 46:23. Their voracity is alluded to in Exodus 10:12; Exodus 10:15; Joel 1:4; Joel 1:7. They make a fearful noise in their flight. Joel 2:5; Revelation 9:9. Their irresistible progress is referred to in Joel 2:8-9. They enter dwellings, and devour even the woodwork of houses. Exodus 10:6; Joel 2:9-10. They do not fly in the night. Nahum 3:17. The sea destroys the greater number. Exodus 10:19; Joel 2:20. The flight of locusts is thus described: "It is difficult to express the effect produced on us by the sight of the whole atmosphere filled on all sides and to a great height by an innumerable quantity of these insects, whose flight was slow and uniform, and whose noise resembled that of rain; the sky was darkened, and the light of the sun considerably weakened. In a moment the terraces of the houses, the streets, and all the fields were covered by these insects, and in two days they had nearly devoured all the leaves of the plants." Locusts have been used as food from the earliest times. Leviticus 11:21-22; Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6. Herodotus speaks of a Libyan nation who dried their locusts in the sun and ate them with milk. The more common method was to pull off the legs and wings and roast the bodies in an iron dish. Then they were thrown into a bag, and eaten like parched corn, each one taking a handful when he chose. Sometimes locusts are ground and pounded, and then mixed with flour and water and made into cakes, or they are salted and then eaten; sometimes smoked; sometimes boiled or roasted; or stewed or fried in butter.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Locust'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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