[Heb., ʽash; sas (clothes moth); Gr., ses].
A four-winged insect resembling a butterfly but differing from the latter in that its feelers usually are feathery and not terminated by distinct knobs. When at rest the moth’s wings are not held erect, as is often the case with butterflies. Instead, they are either folded back flat over the insect’s body or held flat at its sides. Also, moths are generally nocturnal. The insect referred to in Scripture is evidently the webbing clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella), particularly in its destructive larval stage. (Job 13:28; Ps 39:11; Isa 50:9; 51:8; Ho 5:12; Mt 6:19, 20; Lu 12:33; compare Jas 5:2.) The ease with which a moth can be crushed was a figure employed by Eliphaz with reference to the frailty of mortal man.—Job 4:17, 19, 20.
Female clothes moths lay their eggs on fabrics of wool or silk or on furs, distributing them so that emerging caterpillars will have ample room and material on which to feed. The caterpillars will not eat until they have first protected themselves with a “house” or case constructed from the available fibers. In this “house” they remain as they feed.—Job 27:18.