Locusts in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

lo'-kust: The translation of a large number of Hebrew and Greek words: 1. Names: (1) 'arbeh from the root rabhah, "to increase" (compare Arabic raba', "to increase"). (2) sal`am, from obsolete [?] cal`am, "to swallow down," "to consume." (3) chargol (compare Arabic charjal, "to run to the right or left," charjalat, "a company of horses" or "a swarm of locusts," charjawan, a kind of locust). (4) chaghabh (compare Arabic chajab, "to hide," "to cover"). (5) gazam (compare Arabic jazum, " to cut off") (6) yeleq, from the root laqaq "to lick" (compare Arabic laqlaq, "to dart out the tongue" (used of a serpent)). (7) chacil, from the root chacal, "to devour" (compare Arabic chaucal, "crop" (of a bird)). (8) gobh, from the obsolete root gabhah (compare Arabic jabi, "locust," from the root jaba', "to come out of a hole"). (9) gebh, from same root. (10) tselatsal from [?] tsalal (onomatopoetic), "to tinkle," "to ring" (compare Arabic call, "to give a ringing sound" (used of a horse's bit); compare also Arabic Tann, used of the sound of a drum or piece of metal, also of the humming of flies). (11) akris (genitive akridos; diminutive akridion, whence Acridium, a genus of locusts). 2. Identifications: (1), (2), (3) and (4) constitute the list of clean insects in Lev 11:21 f, characterized as "winged creeping things that go upon all fours, which have legs above their feet, wherewith to leap upon the earth." This manifestly refers to jumping insects of the order Orthoptera, such as locusts, grasshoppers and crickets, and is in contrast to the unclean "winged creeping things that go upon all fours," which may be taken to denote running Orthoptera, such as cockroaches, mole-crickets and ear-wigs, as well as insects of other orders. 'Arbeh (1) is uniformly translated "locust" in the Revised Version (British and American). the King James Version has usually "locust," but "grasshopper" in Jdg 6:5; 7:12; Job 39:20; Jer 46:23. Septuagint has usually akris, "locust"; but has brouchos, "wingless locust," in Lev 11:22; 1 Ki 8:37 (akris in the parallel passage, 2 Ch 6:28); Nah 3:15; and attelebos, "wingless locust," in Nah 3:17. 'Arbeh occurs (Ex 10:4-19) in the account of the plague of locusts; in the phrase "as locusts for multitude" (Jdg 6:5; 7:12); "more than the locusts .... innumerable" (Jer 46:23); "The locusts have no king, Yet go they forth all of them by bands" (Prov 30:27). 'Arbeh is referred to as a plague in Dt 28:38; 1 Ki 8:37; 2 Ch 6:28; Ps 78:46; in Joel and in Nahum. These references, together with the fact that it is the most used word, occurring 24 times, warrant us in assuming it to be one of the swarming species, i.e. Pachtylus migratorius or Schistocerca peregrina, which from time to time devastate large regions in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean. Cal`am (2), English Versions of the Bible "bald locust," occurs only in Lev 11:22. According to...

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