Luke 10:19, one of the largest and most malignant of all the insect tribes. It somewhat resembles the lobster in its general appearance, but is much more hideous. Those found in Southern Europe seldom exceed two inches in length; but in tropical climates it is not uncommon thing to meet with them five or six times as long. They live upon other insects, but kill and devour their own species also. Maupertuis put about a hundred of them together in the same glass and in a few days there remained but fourteen, which had killed and devoured all the rest. He enclosed a female scorpion in a glass vessel, and she was seen to devour her young as fast as they were born. There was only one of the number that escaped the general destruction by taking refuge on the back of its parent; and this soon after revenged the cause of its brethren, by killing the old one in its turn. Such is the terrible nature of this insect; and it is even found that when placed in circumstances of danger, from which it perceives no way of escape, it will sting itself to death. The passage most descriptive of the scorpion is Revelation 9:3-10, in which it is to be observed that the sting of these creatures was not to produce death, but pain so intense that the wretched sufferers should seek death, Revelation 9:6, rather than submit to its endurance. Dr. Shaw states that the sting of scorpions is not always fatal, the malignity of their venom being in proportion to their size and complexion.
The poison is injected by means of a sharp curved sting at the end of the six-jointed tail. It occasions great pain, inflammation, and hardness, with alternate chills and burning. These animals frequent dry and hot places, and lie under stones and in the crevices of old ruins. The Jews encountered them in the wilderness, Deuteronomy 8:15, and a range of cliffs across the hot valley south of the Dead Sea, called Acrabbim, or scorpions, appears to have been much infest be them. The scorpion of Judea, when curled up, greatly resembles an egg in size and shape; hence the comparison and the contrast in Luke 11:11,12. The scorpions which the haughty Rehoboam threatened to use instead of whips, 1 Kings 12:11, were probably scourges armed with knobs like the joints of a scorpion’s tail; and like the sting of that animal, occasioned extreme pain.