What is "their worm" in Mark 9...???

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by AVL1984, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. AVL1984

    AVL1984
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    In another thread in the Bible Versions forum, James Newman has stated the possibility of “their worm” in Mark 9:40-50 is the human soul. Not being a Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic/Latin scholar, I thought I would bring this question to others who are more knowledgeable than I on the subject. I have always heard it preached that this term refers to the lost individuals most sinful desires being the object of their torment along with the fire, etc., and that these sinful desires will never be met again, therefore being one of the sources of their torment. What is “their worm”? Is it their soul, or is it something else?

    AVL1984
     
  2. Deborah B.

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    I have always took it as like a rotting corpse where the worm keeps feeding until there is nothing left. But in this case it would be a metaphor for an ever-lasting state of being rotten and being devoured by "worms", but never being completely devoured, i.e. constant misery, pain, and suffering. That's my 2 cents.

    Because of Christ,
    Deborah
     
  3. moeowo2

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    It's taken from Isaiah...

    Is 66:24 "Then they will go forth and look On the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm will not die And their fire will not be quenched; And they will be an abhorrence to all mankind."

    Verse 48. "Worm dieth not, . . . fire is not quenched." An expression borrowed from the last verse of Isaiah, and probably in current use among the Jews of our Savior's time, as applied to the state of future retribution.
    People's New Testament

     
  4. Craigbythesea

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    The worm in both Isaiah and Mark is the larva of dipterous insects (maggots).
     
  5. James_Newman

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    Job 25:6
    How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?

    what kind of worm is that?
     
  6. Craigbythesea

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    Job 25:6. How much less man, that maggot, And the son of man, that worm!" (NASB, 1995)
     
  7. PowerndBlood

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    I always looked at it as when they are bound hand and foot and cast into the lake of fire that they will wiggle just like a worm.

    Worm being their soul and it's look if someone was looking down on them.
     
  8. wopik

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    Deborah B.,

    Me too.

    Isaiah 66:24

    There was a city dump where refuse was burned, where the carcass of a dead animal would be thrown and burned, as would the body of an evil man. Burial was something reserved for honorable men.

    The wicked man was killed, stoned and he was taken out to the dump and his body was burned.

    The image here is not of people burning forever in hell, but of their dead carcass on the city dump, where the fire never goes out and where worms don’t die, but feed plentifully, and turn into FLIES.
     
  9. Trotter

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    Wopik,

    Show me a worm that can exist in the flames, and I might accept your reasoning. But, until then, forget it. Take your WCOG bunk elsewhere.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  10. Helen

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    The word in the Greek is "skolex" -- a grub, a maggot, or an earthworm.

    The word in Isaiah 66 is something different, though (aside from it being in a different language!) -- it is "towla-ath", and has the association with crimson, or scarlet. "A scarlet grub"!

    So there may also be an association with Isaiah 1:18, where the Lord lists the colors of sin as both scarlet and crimson.

    In other words we may be dealing with a metaphor within a metaphor here. Perhaps, in addition to any other meanings, there was the meaning understood by the Jews, regarding the sin that cannot be forgiven -- the sin that lives forever for the damned -- the sin of having suppressed the truth they were given, which ultimately results in a refusal/rejection of Christ Himself, who IS Truth.

    The fact that this is being used metaphorically is evidenced by the passage itself, which is using metaphor after metaphor by way of explanation regarding getting that which tempts/causes you to sin out of your life.

    The phrased after this series, in Mark 9:49, is also interesting: "Everyone will be salted with fire." This comes right before the warning about losing saltiness. If you look up "lose saltiness" in a Concordance, you will find that phrase is used four times in the New Testament, but only twice is it translated 'lose saltiness.' The other two times (Romans 1 and 1Corinthians 1) it is translated 'become fools' or 'become foolish.' Thus, salt itself was evidently a symbol for wisdom.

    If everyone is salted with fire, that could simply mean that every one of us gains some wisdom through our pain in life.

    And this, then ties in directly with what Jesus was saying which this question started about the worm, for before He quoted from Isaiah, He was saying that if your hand or foot or eye causes you to sin, cut it off/gouge it out, so that you will not go to hell.

    Gory? NO, for He was using symbols known to the people then. The eye is the symbol of understanding -- as in "Do you see?" -- a phrase used then and now. The hand is a symbol for what you do -- "Put your hand to it; get going!" -- and the foot for where you go, or the direction you are headed in -- "Brother are you taking the wrong path there!" We still refer to these usages. So Jesus was saying that if something you think you understand, or something you are doing, or a direction you are headed is bringing sin into your life, get rid of it! Then He repeats the Isaiah warning of the worm -- but it was a crimson worm, and crimson is the color of sin. Cutting these things off will be painful, but everyone is salted, or gains wisdom, through that pain.

    The entire passage ties together when the symbols are clear.
     
  11. AVL1984

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    Good explanation, Helen.
     
  12. Russ Kelly

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    I personally like "the larva of dipterous insects (maggots)." Reminds me of some of Craig's posts.

    Gehenna (hell) in Mark 9 was the garbage dump just south of Jerusalem. It was a great pit with a fire at the bottom kept buring by adding sulfer.

    If the dead, or dying animal, was rolled down the hill, IT WOULD NOT ESCAPE. It would either be eaten by worms if it failed to reach the pit, or it would be destroyed in the pit. Either way, there was no escape.

    Today I think it is a nice neighborhood, or slums, or condos. I'm sure Craig could tell us. He knows everything. Ha!
     
  13. wopik

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    Trotter
    Actually, these worms, or maggots, are the larvae that develop from eggs deposited by flies. They continue for only a few days in this larva form, then pupate and finally emerge as flies, later dying.


    The Greek word that was inspired and translated into the English word "worm" in this passage simply means a grub or maggot. It is a collective expression for all the worms that devour dead matter. These worms do not die, but pupate and become flies. Later, these flies like all other animals will return to the dust from which they come. "All are of the dust, and all turn to dust again" (Eccl. 3:20).

    A familiar passage is found in Mark 9:43-48. Jesus was showing that it was better to rid ourselves of anything - even a job, an association or a habit that we loved as much as our right arm - than to let it cause us to disobey God and thus be cast into hell (gehenna), "into the fire that never shall be quenched: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."



    The "hell" to which Jesus referred was gehenna - deriving its name from the Valley of Hinnom. There were ledges along the edge of this valley.

    Smith's Bible Dictionary gives a description of this valley. If anything, especially a dead body, landed on a ledge above the fires, it

    would be devoured by many worms or maggots that were kept alive by the animal and vegetable substances deposited there.


    It was to these worms that Christ was referring when he said, "Their worm dieth not." But Christ didn't mean that each individual worm continued to live forever! He wasn't teaching the immortality of worms!
     
  14. Craigbythesea

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    Isa. 66:24. And they shall go out and look at the dead bodies of those who have rebelled against me, for their worm shall never die; their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be a disgusting sight to all mankind. NASB, 1995

    The mere fact that a scarlet pigment was extracted from these worms has absolutely nothing to do with this verse. The verse does not say that the scarlet pigment will not die; the verse says that the worm will not die.
     
  15. Craigbythesea

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    Amen! When we read into the text that which is not there, we subject ourselves to all sorts of foolish nonsense.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Craigbythesea

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    In chapter 9 of his Gospel, Mark used the same Greek word for “worm” that was used in the Septuagint translation for “worm” in Isaiah 66.


    [​IMG]
     
  17. Artimaeus

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