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The Plague of Locusts Are Coming!

They’re baaaack! As we describe in the Passover story, locust is the eighth plague that God inflicted on the Egyptians. The Hebrew word for locust is Arbeh, which means “many”, symbolizing that the locust came in great numbers as punishment for the Egyptians trying to limit the Jews from multiplying and stopping God’s blessing of Harbeh Arbeh, “you should be fruitful and multiply.”

To this day, these bulbous-eyed bugs are considered one of the most desctuctive migrant insects, and billions are headed to the eastern U.S. in April as one of the largest groups of 17-year cicadas, Brood X, which last emerged from underground in 2004.
Cicadas don’t just make a lot of noise—they can also take out young trees, vines, and saplings. But that’s nothing compared to what the Egyptians suffered.
Moses was instructed by God to extend his staff over Egypt, and an eastern wind started blowing. It continued to blow all day and night, bringing with it a large swarm of locusts the next morning. The swarm of locust covered the entire sky, hiding the sun and darkening the land. This plague destroyed all the crops including wheat and spelt not devastated by the plague of hail.
As with the previous plagues, Moses warned Pharaoh of the impending plague. The people begged Pharaoh to surrender and free the Israelites, but he refused.
Like the other plagues, God was not as much punishing the citizens of Egypt, as He was trying to teach them a lesson. The Egyptians used Jews as slave labor in their fields to grow their crops, and then stole from them when they had barely enough of their own food to survive. As a result, God sent these ravenous pests to consume their crops.
Finally, Pharaoh relented, promised to let the Israelites leave. And then, once the the locust was removed, Pharaoh’s heart hardened and he reneged on his promise.
And the rest, as they say, is history. Next came darkness, followed by the death of all firstborn.