Locusts still plague the Bible lands

References to locusts in the Bible are scattered from the time when the Israelites were in Egyptian bondage to the book of Revelation. Several Hebrew terms are used to describe locusts, perhaps of different species, or because of the various stages through which the locusts grow.

The prophet Joel uses the illustration of a locust invasion upon the land.

What the cutting locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the hopping locust has eaten, and what the hopping locust left, the destroying locust has eaten. (Joel 1:4 ESV)

Was he speaking of literal locusts, or of the invasion of a foreign enemy?

The prophet Amos speaks of the punishments brought by the LORD upon the northern kingdom of Israel prior to the Assyrian invasion.

“I struck you with blight and mildew; your many gardens and your vineyards, your fig trees and your olive trees the locust devoured; yet you did not return to me,” declares the LORD. (Amos 4:9 ESV)

Notice that Amos makes specific reference to the fig trees and the olive trees. We have examples of this same thing happening during the 1915 locust plague. It was documented for National Geographic magazine by the photographs of Lewis Larson with a descriptive article by John D. Whiting. Here is a fig tree prior to the Locust plague.

Fig tree before the 1915 locust plague.

Fig tree before the 1915 locust plague.

And here is the way the same tree looked after the plague.

Fig tree after the 1915 locust plague.

Fig tree after the 1915 locust plague.

These two images are from the collection of 4,000 high-resolution photographs taken by resident photographers at the American Colony in Jerusalem from 1898 to the 1940s. The full set is available at Life in the Holy Land here. In addition to the photos in the collection, the photos are included in PowerPoint presentations. Descriptive information is included with many of them.

Several articles have appeared in the past week or so about a modern locust plague that affected Egypt and southern Israel. See here for Egypt. Some Jews, especially those from Yemen, gathered the photos [it was late; I meant locusts] for eating (see here). Some rabbis warned that the locusts may not be kosher (see here).

Just a reminder that some species of locusts were acceptable for the Israelites to eat.

Of them you may eat: the locust of any kind, the bald locust of any kind, the cricket of any kind, and the grasshopper of any kind. (Leviticus 11:22 ESV)

I know you can’t forget the diet of John the Baptist.

Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. (Matthew 3:4 ESV)

Seth Rodriquez provides more info about the 1915 plague here.

About these ads

5 responses to “Locusts still plague the Bible lands

  1. I know that Yemeni Jews could get pretty hungry, but pretty sure, in spite of God telling some of his prophets to eat a scroll that voluntary photo eating is not in mind here, as humorous as the picture is.

    Thanks for the heads up on the photo collection.

    Several articles have appeared in the past week or so about a modern locust plague that affected Egypt and southern Israel. See here for Egypt. Some Jews, especially those from Yemen, gathered the photos for eating (see here). Some rabbis warned that the locusts may not be kosher (see here).

  2. Tim, I guess the photos could taste pretty good if they were printed on pita and made into a falafel. Thanks for notifying me!

  3. Biblical studies is the academic application of a set of diverse disciplines to the study of the Jewish and Christian scriptures, the Bible.

    http://www.scripturesfromthebible.org/

  4. Reblogged this on ἐκλεκτικός and commented:
    From Ferrell Jenkins’ excellent Travel Blog

  5. Pingback: Around the Web (3/29) | InGodsImage.com

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s