Locusts in the Bible Meaning


Lord’s Library editors compiled this resource on locusts in the Bible meaning with key Scripture verses, for your edification.

Locusts in the Bible are mentioned in various contexts and often symbolize different themes like divine judgment, destruction, and renewal. Perhaps the most commonly understood mention of locusts in the Bible is when they are loosed as instruments of God’s wrath. We see this in Exodus 10:1-20; locusts are one of the ten plagues sent to punish Pharaoh and Egypt for their stubbornness in not freeing the Israelites.

The locusts cover the land and consume everything, demonstrating the severity of God’s judgment.

In the prophetic books, locusts often symbolize impending judgment due to sin. For example, in the book of Joel (Joel 1:4; 2:25) Joel describes a devastating locust plague as a punishment for sin, but also promises restoration and blessings, symbolizing God’s mercy:

  • Joel 1:4: “That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.”
  • Joel 2:25: “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.”

Proverbs 30:27 offers a different perspective, using locusts to teach a lesson in wisdom and order: “The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands;” It notes that locusts have no king, yet they move in coordinated bands without a centralized authority.

The Gospel

Locusts in the Bible Meaning

In the New Testament, the appearance of locusts takes an apocalyptic turn. Revelation 9:3 describes a vision of locusts that are given the power to torment men: “And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.”

In many Biblical instances, locust plagues serve as a warning, calling people to repentance. The locusts’ destructive power reflects the seriousness of straying from God’s path, emphasizing the need for both a spiritual awakening and moral realignment.

Locusts in the Bible Meaning: Key Scripture Verses

Here is a comprehensive exploration of the mentions and meanings of locusts, using the King James Version:

Exodus 10:1-20 (The Plague of Locusts): In this narrative, locusts are used as one of the ten plagues to punish Pharaoh and Egypt for refusing to let the Israelites go. The locusts cover the land and devour everything, symbolizing God’s power and judgment.


Leviticus 11:21-22 (Dietary Laws): Among the insects, locusts are declared clean for consumption. This signifies the importance of discernment in following God’s laws, distinguishing between what is considered clean and unclean.


Deuteronomy 28:38-42 (Curses for Disobedience): Locusts here are a part of the curses that will befall the Israelites if they disobey God’s commandments. The swarming locusts devouring crops symbolize the consequences of turning away from God.


Judges 6:5; 7:12 (Midianites Compared to Locusts): The Midianites, enemies of Israel, are compared to locusts in their vast numbers, representing overwhelming opposition but also the potential for God’s miraculous deliverance as seen in Gideon’s story.


1 Kings 8:37 (Solomon’s Prayer): Solomon acknowledges locusts as a potential plague that might be sent by God, indicating a recognition of divine judgment and the need for repentance and prayer.


2 Chronicles 6:28 (Solomon’s Prayer for the People): Similar to 1 Kings, Solomon prays for deliverance from various calamities, including locust plagues, demonstrating dependence on God in times of trouble.


Psalms 78:46; 105:34-35 (Recalling the Plague in Egypt): These Psalms recount the story of the plagues in Egypt, including locusts, as a reminder of God’s power and the importance of obedience.


Proverbs 30:27 (The Wisdom of Locusts): Locusts are used as an example of wisdom, moving in coordination without a king, symbolizing collective action and order.


Joel 1:4; 2:25 (Locust Plagues as Divine Judgment and Restoration): The book of Joel uses locust plagues as a metaphor for divine judgment and later restoration. The promise of restoring what the locusts have eaten symbolizes God’s ability to restore and renew after judgment.


Nahum 3:15-17 (The Destruction of Nineveh): Locusts are used metaphorically to describe the destruction of Nineveh, signifying the transient nature of power and the certainty of divine judgment.


Revelation 9:3-10 (The Fifth Trumpet): In Revelation, locusts symbolize a part of the end-times judgments. These locusts are not ordinary but are described as having power to torment, representing a part of apocalyptic events.


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Timothy Andrew

Timothy Andrew

Tim is the Founder of Lord's Library. He believes the Bible commands us to minister "as of the ability which God giveth" (1 Peter 4:11). Tim aspires to be as The Lord's mouth by "taking forth the precious from the vile" (Jeremiah 15:19) and witnessing The Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4) to the whole world.

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