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Live, reproduce, die
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Life as we know it
Divide and multiply
Great Apes
Not to be confused with Incest.

Insects (class Hexapoda) are a group of arthropods that have six legs, three parts to their bodies (head, thorax and abdomen), two antennae and compound eyes. Many have wings, depending on the life cycle and group. The study of insects is called entomology, which is not to be confused with etymology (the study of the origins of words) or ethology (the scientific study of animal behavior).

In the Bible[edit]

Insects appear here and there throughout the Bible. These include:

Fowls that creep[edit]

Leviticus 11:20
All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you.

The "fowls" in the above King James Version passage are generally considered to actually refer to (flying) insects, although of course insects don't walk on four legs. This is arguably an error on the authors' part, though this is debatable.


Proverbs 6:6-8
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

These most amazing of all creatures are mentioned only in the Proverbs, in Proverbs 6:6 and Proverbs 30:25. Even the authors of these passages realised that ants are strong and prudent, and to be looked up to.[1]


While not quite as good as ants, bees do feature more prominently in the Bible. However, they are not viewed in as positive a light as ants. They are first mentioned in a passage noting that the Israelites had been pursued by the Amorites like a swarm of bees.[2] Later on, Israel's enemy, the Assyrians, will be compared to a bee, while the Egyptians (also enemies) will be compared to flies.[3] The Mormons have a thing for Deseret, though.


God may love beetles,[4] but they only appear once in the Bible in a passage telling the reader that they are edible.[5] And the passage probably isn't even talking about them.[6]


Perhaps the most popular kind of insect in the Bible, the locust appears repeatedly in plague form,[7][8][9] as food,[10] and even as a tribulation in Revelation.[11] However, in several cases 'locust' is a mistranslation of something else, or some other word is a mistranslation of 'locust'.

As food[edit]

Deep-fried crambidaeWikipedia larvae (aka "bamboo worms"), commonly eaten in Thailand.

Insects are commonly eaten as food by many cultures around the world. Grasshoppers and termites are widely eaten across Africa, giant skipper caterpillars are considered a delicacy in Mexico, and military manuals even suggest eating insects when no other food source is available.[12] While many Americans are squeamish about eating insects, it's a fact that everyone eats insects and insect parts without noticing due to them inevitably contaminating foods during production.[13] Despite this, there's always a moral panic that flares up whenever it is suggested that people should eat insects,[14] usually as a suggestion to make food supplies more sustainable and reduce global warming.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. [1]
  2. Deuteronomy 1:44
  3. Isaiah 7:18
  4. "God is most likely to take trouble over reproducing his own image, and his 400,000 attempts at the perfect beetle contrast with his slipshod creation of man. When we meet the Almighty face to face he will resemble a beetle." Kenneth and Doris Kermack recalling J. B. S. Haldane, as quoted by Stephen Jay Gould (The Linnean, August 1992).
  5. Leviticus 11:22 All ye faithful should try eating a Bombardier beetleWikipedia which releases a 100°C toxic chemical stew when disturbed!
  6. [2]
  7. Exodus 10:15
  8. Judges 6:5
  9. Joel 2:6
  10. Matthew 3:4
  11. Revelation 9:3
  12. Insects as Food for Humans, Smithsonian
  13. 13 Common Foods That Could Secretly Contain Insects, Brooke Nelson Alexander, Reader's Digest 9 December 2022
  14. Understanding Westerners' disgust for the eating of insects: The role of food neophobia and implicit associations, Francesco La Barbera et al., 2018 Food Quality and Preference 64. 120-125. 10.1016/j.foodqual.2017.10.002.
  15. The Motivations for Consumption of Edible Insects: A Systematic Review, Sofia G. Florença et al., Foods 2022 Nov 15;11(22):3643. doi: 10.3390/foods11223643. PMID: 36429235; PMCID: PMC9689975.