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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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ילק , Psalms 105:34 ; Jeremiah 51:27 , where it is rendered caterpillar; Joel 1:4 ; Joel 2:25 ; Nahum 3:15 , canker-worm. As it is frequently mentioned with the locust, it is thought by some to be a species of that insect. It certainly cannot be the canker-worm, as our version renders it; for in Nahum, it is expressly said to have wings and fly, to camp in the hedges by day, and commit its depredations in the night. But it may be, as the Septuagint renders it in five passages out of eight where it occurs, the bruchus, or "hedge-chaffer." Nevertheless, the passage, Jeremiah 51:27 , where the ialek is described as "rough," that is, with hair standing an end on it, leads us very naturally to the rendering of our translators in that place, "the rough caterpillar," which, like other caterpillars, at a proper time, casts its exterior covering and flies away in a winged state. Scheuchzer observes, that we should not, perhaps, be far from the truth, if with the ancient interpreters, we understood this ialek, after all, as a kind of locust; as some species of them have hair principally on the head, and others have prickly points standing out.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Canker-Worm'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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