What is a Worm?
Several Hebrew words are thus translated which seem to designate indefinitely caterpillars or maggots, either as destructive, as loathsome, or as helpless and insignificant. For the larva of the clothes-moth, evidently mentioned in Isa 51:8, see Moth. In Mic 7:17, "worm" should be "serpent" or "reptile." From the circumstance that maggots are found in putrefying flesh, we have the figurative expressions in Job 19:26; Job 21:26; Job 24:20; Isa 14:11. Owing to the constant accumulation of filth and putrefaction in a valley near Jerusalem it was always alive with worms, and fires were maintained day and night to consume the sources of pestilence. Hence the allusion Isa 66:24; Mark 9:44, 1 Chr 2:46, Gen 24:48. At an advanced stage of some diseases worms are bred in the flesh from the eggs of the insect. Job 7:5; Ex 17:14; Acts 12:23. The meanness of these creatures, and their liability to be trodden under foot, afford the illustrations in Job 25:6; Ps 22:6; Isa 41:14.