Chapter 9 –Cankerworms and Locusts
Cankerworms are mentioned in the Old Testament books of Nahum and Joel. In Joel chapter 1 we read a strange prediction:
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 caterpillar eaten.
There was an actual plague of locusts in the land that historians can verify. All of chapter 1 of Joel deals with an actual ancient event. The palmerworm, locust, cankerworm and caterpillar are all developmental stages of the desert locust which as recently as 1915 devastated Palestine.
Chapter 2 changes to a prophecy of an invasion of locusts as “the day of the Lord”. That is, the locusts now represent an invading army from the north before the day of Armageddon (this army is described in Revelation 19).
Locusts hold a special spot as the eighth of ten plagues that devastated Egypt when Moses stood up against Pharaoh. Also we find locusts in the Bible as the necessary protein that John the Baptist ate when he was in the wilderness.
Though I think it would be pretty scary to have the earth blackened with a plague of these insects, I think locusts are scariest as they are presented in the book of the Revelation of John:
Rev 9:3: 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.
Rev 9:7: And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.