[Heb., toh·le·ʽahʹ or toh·laʹʽath].
Any of a great variety of slender crawling or creeping animals, usually having soft bodies and being legless or virtually so. In Scripture, “worm” often appears to denote the larval stage of insects, particularly maggots. (Ex 16:20, 24; Isa 14:11; 66:24) At other times the reference is not to maggots but to worms that feed on vegetation.—De 28:39; Jon 4:7.
The term “worm” also appears in an illustrative setting. Bildad disparagingly spoke of man as a worm (Job 25:6), and it was foretold that the Messiah would be viewed as a reproach and despicable, as a worm. (Ps 22:6) Jehovah God referred to Israel as a worm, a lowly and helpless creature, seemingly at the mercy of anyone passing by. But Jehovah assured the Israelites of his help and encouraged them not to be afraid.—Isa 41:14.