Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Scorpion

Bark Scorpion©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Scorpion

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

This frightful creature is several times mentioned in the Bible. It is the largest among insects, and more dangerous than any of them. It is sometimes found in Europe, and is there about four inches long; but those of hot countries are sometimes more than a foot in length.

The scorpion is very easily made angry, and then its sting is terrible; it very often causes death, but not always. In Revelation, 9:5, 6, we read,

And their torment was as the torment of a scorpion when he striketh a man; and in those days shall men seek death and shall not find it: and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

Barb of an AZ Bark Scorpion©Wikipedia

Barb of an AZ Bark Scorpion©Wikipedia

This shows that the pain caused by their sting is very great. When a person has been stung by a scorpion, the part around the wound swells and becomes very painful, the hands and feet become cold, the skin is pale, and there is a feeling as though there were needles in every part of it. This pain often increases and rages until the person dies in great suffering.

It is well for man that scorpions destroy each other as readily as they do animals of a different kind. It is said that a hundred were once put together under a glass, where they immediately began to attack and kill each other; so that in a few days only fourteen were left alive. I have heard that if a circle of alcohol or spirit of any sort, is set on fire, and a scorpion placed within it so that he cannot get out on any side, he will sting himself so as to cause his death. I am not certain that this is true, and it would be a very cruel thing to try it even upon so dangerous an animal as the scorpion.

It seems that this creature was sometimes seen in the wilderness through which the children of Israel passed. When they had nearly reached the end of their journey, Moses reminded them to praise God for having kept them safely in so many dangers, while passing through

that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions and drought; where there was no water.

Our Savior asks,

If a son shall ask of his father an egg, will he give him a scorpion?

Scorpion - (Centruroides vittatus)©WikiC

Scorpion – (Centruroides vittatus)©WikiC

The scorpions in that country are about as large as an egg, and when rolled up look a little like one. Yet no father would be so wicked as to give one to his child instead of the egg which he needed for food.

Christ once said to his disciples, when they were going out to preach and to heal the diseases of the people,

Behold I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

This was a very wonderful power; and whoever should see one of those disciples tread on the terrible scorpion without being hurt, would know that Christ was surely with him to take care of him.

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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Scorpion

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Scorpion

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Locust

Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria)©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Locust

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The locust is called an insect, as well as the ant and the bee, but instead of being harmless, as they usually are, it does a great deal of injury. It is also much larger than they; for it is generally three inches long, and sometimes as much as four or five. The plague of the locusts was the eighth that God sent upon the Egyptians, because they would not let the children of Israel go, as he commanded; and it was a very terrible one indeed. The Bible says,

They covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left; and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field through all the land of Egypt.

This is the way they often do in those countries, though perhaps it is not common for so many to come at once.

Locusts feeding ©WikiC

Locusts feeding ©WikiC

They fly in companies of thousands together, and so close that they look like a great black cloud. When they alight on the ground they all come down in a body, and immediately begin to devour the grass and grain; they also eat the leaves of the trees, and every green thing they can find. The people dread them more than they do the most terrible fire or storm; because though they are so small, they destroy all the food, and leave the people ready to starve. When the inhabitants see them coming over their fields, they try to drive them away by making loud noises or by kindling fires; but this does little good.

It is said that a great army of locusts came over the northern part of Africa about a hundred years before the birth of Christ. They consumed every blade of grass wherever they alighted; also the roots, and bark, and even the hard wood of the trees. After they had thus eaten up every thing, a strong wind arose, and after tossing them about awhile, it blew them over the sea, and great numbers of them were drowned. Then the waves threw them back upon the land, all along the sea-coast, and their dead bodies made the air so unwholesome that a frightful pestilence commenced, and great numbers of men and animals died.

Many travellers have seen these great clouds of locusts, and describe them in their books. One says that he saw a company consisting of so many that they were an hour in passing over the place where he was. They seemed to extend a mile in length and half a mile in width. When he first noticed them, they looked like a black cloud rising in the east; and when they came over head, they shut out the light of the sun, and made a noise with their wings like the rushing of a water-fall. Another swarm is mentioned which took four hours to pass over one spot; and they made the sky so dark that one person could not see another at twenty steps off.

You can now understand two or three passages from the Bible which I will mention. David says in the 23d verse of the 109th Psalm,

I am tossed up and down as the locust;

that is, as the clouds of locusts are tossed about by the wind. In the first chapters of Joel God threatens to send the locust among the people, because of their wickedness; and he says of them,

Before their faces the people shall be much pained; all faces shall gather blackness. They (the locusts,) shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall; they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.

An English clergyman who visited countries where the locusts are found, a few years ago, says that these verses describe them exactly as he has himself seen them.

Locust - Insect food stall ©WikiC

Locust and other Insects food stall ©WikiC

Locusts are sometimes used for food. The Arabs boil them with salt, and then add a little oil or butter; sometimes they toast them by the fire before eating them. A traveller speaks of seeing the Arab women employed in filling bags with locusts, which were to be used for food. You know it is said in the New Testament that John the Baptist

did eat locusts and wild honey,

but it is not quite certain that this insect was meant; perhaps it was the fruit of the locust-tree that he ate.

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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Locust

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Locust

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Today’s Birds of the Bible

Updated at 8:10 pm

They are all finished. Hope you enjoy reading them.

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Today, instead of doing my regular Birds of the Bible article, I am going to try to finish the Scripture Alphabet of Animals series. I have all the birds finished and am working hard to finish the rest of the animals today. All throughout the day, new articles will be posted as they are completed. I will be updating the index to the article (below) as I finish each one.

I trust you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have as the articles are being “modernized.” Harriet N Cook was a very good writer and trust she would have approved of the way that they are being handled here.

Lee