(גָּזָם, gazam; Sept. κάμπη; Vulg. rsuca) occurs Joe 1:4; Joe 2:25; Am 4:9. Bochart (Hieroz. 3, 253) has endeavored to shown that gazaim denotes some species of locust; but the ten Hebrew names to which Bochart assigns the meaning of different kinds of locusts can hardly apply to so many, as not more than two or three destructive species of locust are known in Bible lands. The derivation of the Hebrew word from a root which means "to cut off," is as applicable to several kinds of insects, whether in their perfect or larva condition, as it is to a locust, the action of the jaws being nearly the same in both cases. Both insects, when in numbers, shear away the leaves, slice after slice, and leaf after leaf, until the plant is completely shorn of its verdure, when it either dies, or becomes at least incapable of bearing fruit for that season. Hence most interpreters prefer to follow the Sept. and Vulg., which are consistent with each other in the rendering of the Hebrew word in the three passages where it is found. The κάμπη of Aristotle (Hist. Anim. 2, 17, 4, 5, 6) evidently denotes a caterpillar, so called from its "bending itself" up (κάμπτω) to move, as the caterpillars called geometric, or else from the habit some caterpillars have of "coiling" themselves up when handled. The es-uca of the Vulg. is the κάμπη of the Greeks, as is evident from the express assertion of Columella (De Re Rust. 11:3, 63, ed. Schneider). The Chaldee and Syriac understand some locust larva by the Hebrew word. Oedmann (Vetrm. Samml. fasc. 2, c. 6 p. 116) is of the same opinion. Tychsen (Comment. de locustis, etc., p. 88) identifies the gazam with the Gryllus cristatus, Lin., a South African species. Michaelis (Supp. p. 220) follows the Sept. and Vulg. SEE CATERPILLAR.
The English word palmer-worm is provincially used for the hairy muff-like caterpillar of the great tigermoth (Arctia caja). This is a very indiscriminate and voracious feeder, but we never heard of its attacking cultivated plants in such numbers as to produce the slightest alarm. Indeed, we much doubt whether any single species would devour indiscriminately plants with qualities so different as the olive, the fig, the vine, and the fruits of an Oriental "garden." There are other varieties of the larger moths, however, which are very destructive to vegetables, especially that very common one in the latter part of summer, called the gamma moth (Plusia gamma), easily recognised by its bearing on each wing a Greek y, in silver on a dark brown. Perhaps, therefore, we need not look for any precise species, as represented by the gazam; but may understand the word to bear a sense as wide and general as its Greek or English equivalent.; and to include several species of caterpillars, all having this in common, a greedy devouring of cultivated produce, and a preternatural multiplication of their numbers. See Locust.