Locusts. The locusts are a dreaded enemy of the grain farmer. Perhaps these creatures are the most hated of enemy of the Palestinian farmer. These locusts are very much like the large grasshopper with which the Westerner is acquainted. When they reach the proportion of a plague, they are indeed a vast multitude (cf. Judges 6:5; 7:12). They will occupy a space as large as ten or twelve miles long, and four or five miles wide. They are said to march like an army. The Book of Proverbs indicates this interesting fact about them: "Locusts have no king, but they march all in ranks [i.e., in orderly array" (Proverbs 30:27, tr. of C. H. Toy). When the weather is cold and the air is moist, or if they become wet with the dew, then they will stay where they are until the sun has warmed and dried them. The prophet Nahum describes them thus: "Which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away" (Nahum 3:17). The prophet Joel describes the judgment of the Day of the LORD in terms of an invasion of locusts. The plague of locusts shuts out the light of the sun because of their great numbers (Joel 2:2). Before their coming, the land might be like the Garden of Eden, but after they leave, it has become a desolate wilderness (Joel 2:3). Their appearance is compared to horses because the form of their head resembles that of a horse (Joel 2:4). They make a loud noise when they are eating (Joel 2:5). The consternation which they cause to the people of the land may well be understood: "Before their face the people shall be much pained" (Joel 2:6). They are able to pass over walls, and to enter windows or doors of houses (Joe1 2:9). The terrible fact is that sometimes one swarm of locusts after another may invade the same section of land. Dr. Keil believes that this is what Joel 1:4 describes, rather than different stages in the development of the locust. He gives a literal translation of the verse thus: "The leavings of the gnawer the multiplier ate, and the leavings of the multiplier the licker ate, and the leavings of the licker, the devourer ate." [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

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