A small flying insect. Many species of flies are known in Palestine and Egypt. In the Bible two Hebrew words mean “fly”: ‘arôb, the flies visited on the Egyptians as the fourth plague (Exod 8:20-32; alluded to in Ps 78:45), perhaps the Tabanid fly; and zebûb (Eccl 10:1; Isa 7:18), probably the ordinary housefly. Baal-zebub, “lord of flies,” was a deity worshiped at Ekron, whom King Ahaziah wanted to ask about recovery from his final illness (2Kgs 1:2-6; 2Kgs 1:16).

Exod 8:20-32

The Fourth Plague: Flies
20Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh, as he goes out to the water, and say to ... View more

Ps 78:45

45He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them,
and frogs, which destroyed them.

Eccl 10:1

Miscellaneous Observations
1Dead flies make the perfumer's ointment give off a foul odor;
so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.

Isa 7:18

18On that day the Lord will whistle for the fly that is at the sources of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.

2Kgs 1:2-6

2Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay injured; so he sent messengers, telling them, “Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the g ... View more

2Kgs 1:16

16and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron,—is it because there is no God in Israel to ... View more

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.