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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
(n.) The larva of any one of numerous species of bombycid moths, which spins a large amount of strong silk in constructing its cocoon before changing to a pupa.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

silk'-wurm ((1) meshi (Ezekiel 16:10, 13), perhaps from mashah, "to draw" "to extract" compare Arabic masa' of same meaning; Septuagint trichapton, "woven of hair"; (2) serikon (Revelation 18:12); (31 shesh; compare Arabic shash, a thin cotton material; (4) buts; compare Arabic 'abyad, "white," from bad; (5) bussos, "fine linen," later used of cotton and silk): The only undoubted reference to silk in the Bible is the passage cited from Revelation, where it is mentioned among the merchandise of Babylon. Serikon, "silk," is from Ser, the Greek name of China, whence silk was first obtained. The equivalent Latin sericum occurs frequently in classical authors, and is found in the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) (Esther 8:15) for buts, "fine linen." For buts, bussos, and shesh English Versions of the Bible has nearly always "fine linen," but for shesh in Proverbs 31:22, the King James Version has "silk," and in Genesis 41:42 and Exodus 25:4, the King James Version margin has "silk" and the Revised Version margin has "cotton."


There can be little doubt of the correctness of English Versions of the Bible "silk" for meshi in Ezekiel 16:10, "I girded thee about with fine linen (shesh), and' covered thee with silk (meshi)," and in the similar passage, Ezekiel 16:13.

Silk is produced by all Lepidoptera, butterflies and moths, but it is of great economic importance only in the Chinese silkworm, Bombyx mori, whose larva, a yellowish-white caterpillar from 2 to 3 in. long, feeds on the leaves of the mulberry (Morus). A pair of large glands on the two sides of the stomach secrete a viscous fluid, which is conveyed by ducts to an orifice under the mouth. On issuing into the air, the fine stream is hardened into the silk fiber, which the caterpillar spins into a cocoon. Within the cocoon the caterpillar is presently transformed into the chrysalis or pupa. The cocoons from which silk is to be spun are subjected to heat which kills the pupae and prevents them from being transformed into the perfect insects or moths, which would otherwise damage the cocoons as they made their exit.

The raising of silkworms, and the spinning and weaving of silk are now important industries in Syria, though the insect was unknown in Bible times. It was introduced to the Mediterranean region from China a few centuries after Christ. Coarse silk is produced from the Chinese oak silk-moth, Saturnia pernyi, and from the Japanese oak silk-moth, Saturnia yama-mai. The largest moth of Syria and Palestine is Saturnia pyri, from which silk has also been spun, but not commercially.

See , further, WEAVING.

Alfred Ely Day


Continues the Same Subject: Explains the Prayer of Union by a ...
... 1. The soul compared to a butterfly.2. The grandeurs of creation.3. Symbol of the
soul and the silkworm.4. Preparation of the soul for God's indwelling.5 ...
/.../teresa/the interior castle or the mansions/chapter ii continues the same 3.htm

In the Bitter Cold of Winter the Trees Stand Bare of Leaves...
... of the believer and that of the unbeliever show great similarity in their beginning,
but when their end comes, they are as diverse as the snake and the silkworm ...
// the masters feet/section ii 1 in the.htm

This ChapterContinues the Same Subject and Speaks of Another Kind ...
... wandering off the road to heaven (that is, the keeping of the commandments) it will
share the fate of the butterfly that comes from the silkworm, which lays ...
/.../the interior castle or the mansions/chapter iii this chapter continues.htm

All Portions of Creation Attest the Excellence of the Creator ...
... in infirmity [2489] "imitate, if you can, the cells of the bee, the hills of the
ant, the webs of the spider, and the threads of the silkworm; endure, too ...
/.../the five books against marcion/chapter xiv all portions of creation.htm

He Careth for You
... That we may be clothed, he makes the cotton and the flax to grow out of the soil,
the wool upon the sheep, and causes the silkworm to spin its glossy house. ...
// talks/talk fifty-two he careth for.htm

Beasts Similarly Subject to the Law of Mutation.
... Further: it is no secret that the silkworm"a species of wormling it is"presently
reproduces safe and sound (the fleecy threads) which, by drawing them ...
/.../tertullian/on the pallium/chapter iii beasts similarly subject to.htm

The Life of Faith.
... Who can guess in what direction grace will guide it? And who could guess either,
what nature does with a silkworm if he had not seen it working? ...
/.../de caussade/abandonment to divine providence/section v the life of faith.htm

The General Resurrection
... extreme old age. Let us explain the transmutation of a caterpillar or a
silkworm, which, from a reptile, becomes a butterfly. Isn't ...
/.../newton/messiah vol 2/sermon xlii the general resurrection.htm

The Interior Castle, or The Mansions
... ii.10. Siena, St. Catharine of; VI. v.2. Silkworm, likeness of, V. ii.1-6; 5. Sin,
mortal, I.-ii.1-3; committed under the very eyes of God, VI. x.2, 3. ...
// interior castle or the mansions/index 2.htm

Six Years in North Bengal --Missionary and Indigo Planter
... and on large salaries, made advances of money to contractors, native and European,
who induced the ryots to weave cloth, to breed and feed the silkworm, and to ...
/.../smith/the life of william carey/chapter iv six years in.htm

... constructing its cocoon before changing to a pupa. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia.
SILK; SILKWORM. silk'-wurm ((1) meshi (Ezekiel 16:10, 13 ...
/s/silkworm.htm - 9k

Silk (4 Occurrences)
... 3. (n.) That which resembles silk, as the filiform styles of the female flower
of maize. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. SILK; SILKWORM. ...
/s/silk.htm - 12k

Caterpillar (6 Occurrences)
... and succulent vegetables, being often very destructive, Many of them are popularly
called worms, as the cutworm, cankerworm, army worm, cotton worm, silkworm. ...
/c/caterpillar.htm - 10k

Chios (1 Occurrence)
... In modern times large quantities of ochre are mined. The chief industry is
the culture of the silkworm, the cocoons being sent to Lyons. ...
/c/chios.htm - 11k

Cocoon (1 Occurrence)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (n.) An oblong case in which the silkworm lies
in its chrysalis state. It is formed of threads of silk ...
/c/cocoon.htm - 7k

Spin (4 Occurrences)
... threads produced by the extrusion of a viscid, transparent liquid, which hardens
on coming into contact with the air; -- said of the spider, the silkworm, etc. ...
/s/spin.htm - 9k

... of the cases here considered are worms, properly so called, denoted, but various
insect larvae which are commonly called "worms," eg "silkworm," "apple-worm ...
/s/scarlet-worm.htm - 11k

Sill (1 Occurrence)

/s/sill.htm - 7k

... of the cases here considered are worms, properly so called, denoted, but various
insect larvae which are commonly called "worms," eg "silkworm," "apple-worm ...
/s/scarletworm.htm - 11k

Worm (22 Occurrences)
... of the cases here considered are worms, properly so called, denoted, but various
insect larvae which are commonly called "worms," eg "silkworm," "apple-worm ...
/w/worm.htm - 21k

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