Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
WORM . 1 . sÃ¢s , Isaiah 51:6 (cf. Arab [Note: Arabic.] , sÃ»s , a moth or a worm), the larva of a clothes-moth. See Moth. 2. rimmÃ¢h ( Exodus 16:24 , Job 25:6 , Isaiah 14:11 ). 3. tÃ´lÃ¢ ‘, tÃ´lÃ§‘Ã¢h ’ or tÃ´la‘ath ( Exodus 16:20 , Job 25:6 , Isaiah 14:11; Isaiah 66:24 , Jonah 4:7 etc.). Both 2 and 3 are used to describe the same kind of worms (cf. Exodus 16:20; Exodus 16:24 ), and most references are to maggots and other insect larvÃ¦ which breed on putrid organic matter. These are very common in Palestine, occurring even on neglected sores and, of course, on dead bodies ( Job 19:26; Job 21:26; Job 24:20 ). Jonah’s worm ( tÃ´lÃ§‘Ã¢h ) was probably some larva which attacks the roots, or perhaps a centipede. The ‘worms’ of Deuteronomy 28:39 were probably caterpillars. 4 . rÃ¢qÃ¢b ( Hosea 5:12 AVm [Note: Authorized Version margin.] ). In Proverbs 12:4 where the same word is also tr. [Note: translate or translation.] ‘rottenness,’ it is rendered in LXX [Note: Septuagint.] skÃ´lÃ§x , ‘wood-worm,’ which seems appropriate to the context. 5 . zÃ´ch Äƒl Ã§‘Ã¢rets , ‘worms of the earth’ ( Micah 7:17 ), may possibly refer to true earthworms (which are comparatively rare in Palestine), but more probably to serpents. See Serpent ( 10 ). 6 . skÃ´lÃ§x , Mark 9:44 etc. The expression ‘ eaten of worms ,’ used ( Acts 12:23 ) in describing the death of Herod Agrippa i., would seem to refer to a death accompanied by violent abdominal pains, such symptoms being commonly ascribed in the Holy Land to-day to abdominal worms ( Lumbricoides ) a belief often revived by the evacuation of such worms near the time of death (cf. p. 600 a ).
E. W. G. Masterman.
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Hastings, James. Entry for 'Worm'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/w/worm.html. 1909.