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by Wayne Blank
Classified As "Clean"
According to the Levitical dietary laws (see Clean and Unclean), locusts were classified as "clean" for food (the author of this study does not recommend trying it):
"Yet among the winged insects that go on all fours you may eat those which have legs above their feet, with which to leap on the earth. Of them you may eat: the locust according to its kind, the bald locust according to its kind, the cricket according to its kind, and the grasshopper according to its kind. But all other winged insects which have four feet are an abomination to you." (Leviticus 11:21-23 RSV)
Plagues of Locusts
Locust plagues were sometimes used as agents of God's wrath against those who opposed Him:
"Then The Lord [see Rock Of Ages] said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come upon the land of Egypt, and eat every plant in the land, all that the hail has left."
Locust plagues were also sometimes used as agents of God's wrath against His own people when they were disobedient to Him:
"Then The Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: "I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice [see Temples]. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:12-14 RSV)
"And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key of the shaft of the bottomless pit; he opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft."
Fact Finder: Were swarms of locusts also used as a symbol of great multitudes of people?
This Week's Bible Quiz
1. What sea is located between Greece and Turkey?
2. What great river flows through Egypt?
3. What sea is located east of Jerusalem?
4. What sea is located in northern Israel near Capernaum?
5. What gulf is located along the east side of The Sinai Peninsula?
6. What sea is located on the west coast of Israel?
7. What river did the Israelites cross into the Promised Land?
8. What pool of water in Jerusalem was believed to have healing effects?
9. What delta is located in northern Egypt?
10. What river flows into the Jordan River from the east? A hint: the river's name begins with a "Y"
For the answers to this November 14 2000 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page