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GADFLY (קֶ֫רֶץ, H7976, meaning uncertain, perhaps “nipping” [KJV: “destruction”]). A stinging insect.

Gadflies include both botflies (Oestridae) and horseflies (Tabanidae). They approach their victims, such as livestock, with a loud hum and inflict painful bites. The term is applied metaphorically to Nebuchadrezzar (Jer 46:20), described as a gadfly coming from the N upon Egypt. This he did in 568-567 b.c. It has been suggested that the plague of flies visited upon the Egyptians (Exod 8:20, 31 [MT 8:16-27]) was a plague of gadflies. Here the Heb. word is עָרֹב, H6856, which prob. means simply, “swarm.”

See also

  • Animals