[Heb., rim·mahʹ; Gr., skoʹlex].
The larva, or wormlike stage, of an insect just after leaving the egg. The term “maggot” is applied particularly to the fly larvae found in decaying vegetable or animal matter and in living tissues. The living or putrefying material provides heat for hatching the eggs and nourishment for the maggots.
Maggots have a legless, slender, segmented body that appears to be headless. However, with reference to the head, The Smithsonian Series (Vol. 5, p. 343) states: “The tapering end of the body is the head end, but the true head of the maggot is withdrawn entirely into the body. From the aperture where the head has disappeared, which serves the maggot as a mouth, two clawlike hooks project, and these hooks are both jaws and grasping organs to the maggot.”
The Scriptures allude to the fact that maggots subsist on dead organic matter. (Job 7:5; 17:14; 21:26; 24:20; Isa 14:11) The miraculous manna, if saved by the Israelites until the morning of the next day, gave off a repulsive odor and developed worms or maggots, except the manna stored up on the sixth day and saved over for the Sabbath. (Ex 16:20, 24) In mentioning the “maggot” in connection with Gehenna, Jesus evidently was alluding to the dump outside the city of Jerusalem where fires consumed the refuse and where worms or maggots subsisted on decaying matter near, but not in, the fire.—Mr 9:48; compare Isa 66:24; see GEHENNA.
The word “maggot” was employed by Bildad to denote someone of little account.—Job 25:6.