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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Moth occurs in ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; . There is no Biblical insect whose identity is better ascertained. The following allusions to the moth occur in Scripture:—to its being produced in clothes—'for from garments cometh a moth' (): to its well-known fragility 'mortal men are crushed before the moth' (), literally 'before the face of the moth.' The allusion to 'the house of the moth' () seems to refer plainly to the silky spindle shaped case, covered with detached hairs and particles of wool, made and inhabited by the larva of the Tinea sarcitella; or to the felted case or tunnel formed by the larva of the Tinea pellionella; or to the arched gallery formed by eating through wool by the larva of the Tinea tapetzella. References occur to the destructiveness of the clothes-moth: 'as a garment that is moth-eaten' (); 'the moth shall eat them up' (); 'the moth shall eat them up like a garment' (); 'I will be to Ephraim as a moth,' i.e. will secretly consume him (); comp. ; ; , metaphorically. Since the 'treasures' of the Orientals, in ancient times, consisted partly of 'garments, both new and old' (; and comp. ; ), the ravages of the clothes-moth afforded them a lively emblem of destruction. Moths, like fleas, etc. amid other more immediate purposes of their existence, incidentally serve as a stimulus to human industry and cleanliness; for, by a remarkable discrimination in her instinct, the parent moth never deposits her eggs in garments frequently overlooked or kept clean. Indeed, the most remarkable of all proofs of animal intelligence is to be found in the larva of the water-moth, which get into straws, and adjust the weight of their case so that it can always float: when too heavy they add a piece of straw or wood, and when too light a bit of gravel.





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Moth'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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