We've been reminded recently of some past research we did years ago on
the Tola Worm, so I've regathered it here for your edification. Be
Blessed as we focus on the Easter/Resurrection.
In Hebrew tola’at shani means Crimson Worm
In Psalms 22:6, the Psalm of the Cross, we find one of the Biblical
references to the Tola Worm....
Psa 22:1 My God, my God, why have You abandoned me? Why are You so far
away when I groan for help?
Psa 22:2 Every day I call to You, my God, but You do not answer. Every
night You hear my voice, but I find no relief.
Psa 22:3 Yet You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Psa 22:4 Our ancestors trusted in You, and You rescued them.
Psa 22:5 They cried out to You and were saved. They trusted in You and
were never disgraced.
Psa 22:6 But I am a worm and not a man. I am scorned and despised by
Psa 22:7+8 Everyone who sees me mocks me. They sneer and shake their
heads, saying, "Is this the one who relies on the LORD? Then let the LORD
save him! If the LORD loves him so much, let the LORD rescue him!"
This word worm in Hebrew is Tola and refers to a certain worm also
known as a maggot.
Apparently the tola worm is quite rare and is normally only found in
Israel and the surrounding areas. In ancient and Old Testament times,
the worm was actually harvested and used to dye the elaborate garments
prescribed by God and worn by the Israelite priests. The tola die was
also used in to make crimson thread used in royal garments and other
When several thousand of these grubs were mature; fully grown, then
they were crushed to death. Out of the crushed bodies of those grubs
would flow a deep red blood, which was used for a dye. When cloth or
clothes were washed in this dye, they would be dyed a beautiful
crimson red. This lovely color never faded, and could never be washed
out or removed.
The tola, like may insects, is a larvae first, but in order to
reproduce climbs onto a tree and attaches itself there. In Israel, you
will most commonly find them on the Israeli Oak trees.. The tola
attaches itself and remains there until death whereby it leaves a
scarlet stain on the tree. But perhaps it’s biggest purpose on the
tree is to lay it’s eggs. As the tola dies, its sticky blood covers
and incubates the eggs. As the babies are hatched, the mature tola is
there for the babies to eat. All that remains is the scarlet, crimson
stain on the tree. Are you ready for the best part? After 3 days, the scarlet stain drys and turns white and flakes off the tree like snow.
What a picture this gives of Christ, the king dying on the tree,
shedding His precious blood that He might "bring many sons unto glory"
(Heb. 2:10) Isa.1:18 though your sins be as scarlet they will be made
white as snow. Peters favorite saying was Christ was crucified on the
tree. 2,000 years ago God’s tree was a cross, decorated with a
bloody man, it may not have looked beautiful to man but it was the
only acceptable decorated tree to God.
“…though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
What an amazing picture of our LORD on the cross and Resurrection
Today in Israel, The Temple Institute is harvesting the tola worm to
die for a number of temple related purposes including the priests
belts, the scarlet wool tied onto the scapegoat on Yom Kippur, and one
of the essential ingredients for producing the ashes of the red
Our Savior LIVES!!! Happy Resurrection Sunday!!!