Song of Solomon 4:3: Scarlet Worm

In Sections 1 and 2 of our book Simply Song of Solomon, we relate the Song of Solomon to marriage and marital sex. In our study of the Song we learned the depth of God’s word also included Jesus’ bride, the church and God’s faithfulness to His chosen people Israel. Thus, Section 3 of our book, Simply Song of Solomon, is titled “The Lamb’s Wife,” which includes the church and Israel as one in the New Jerusalem.

This post focuses on Song of Solomon 4:3 as interpreted in Chapter 17 of our book. In the previous chapter the church has been raptured and now Jesus is welcoming His bride with “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter in to the joy of your Lord.”

Song 4:3
Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, 
and thy speech comely: 
thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate 
within thy locks.

We can’t mention a reference to scarlet without including the amazing revelation through the crimson or scarlet worm. God’s incredible creation of this insect tells the gospel story of Jesus‘ death and resurrection that made a way for us to enter in to the joy of our Lord for eternity.

This writing on the scarlet worm is not included in our book because we could not expound on the scope of the entire work of redemption; it would have taken too may pages. One purpose of this website is to add such insights to the writings of our book.

Scarlet Worm Testifies of the Death, Burial and Resurrection

This story of the crimson worm originates in Psalms 22 where David prophesied of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection. 

Psalms 22:6

But I am a worm and not a man,

scorned by mankind and despised by the people.

Usually the Hebrew word for worm is rimmah, which means a maggot, but the word that David used here is tôla’ath. Strong’s definition associates it with the crimson grub and its color. Every time this Hebrew word tôla’ath is used in the OT the Hebrew word (H8144) shânîy (scarlet) is connected to it meaning the crimson worm.

The Crimson worm [coccus ilicis] is a special worm that looks more like a grub than a worm and actually it is an insect. When it is time for the mother crimson worm to have babies, she finds the Kermes oak tree. She attaches her body to that wood and grows a hard, crimson shell. She is so strongly and permanently stuck to the wood that the shell can never be removed without tearing her body completely apart and killing her.

Jesus’ torn and bleeding body remained on a wooden cross, even though He could have called on His Father to send a legion of angels to rescue Him. He stayed there for three agonizing hours because of His love for all people.

The crimson worm then lays her eggs under her body as a protective shell. When the baby worms hatch, they stay under the shell. Not only does the mother’s body give protection for her babies, but it also provides them with food. The babies feed on the body of the mother.

Jesus is the life. We have eternal life because He died and was resurrected from death after three days. We live because He died to pay the full price for our sins.

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death,

but the free gift of God is eternal life

in Christ Jesus our Lord.

After a few days, when the young worms grow to the point they are able to take care of themselves, the mother dies. Yes, she gives birth only once in her lifetime. At her death, she releases a crimson or scarlet red dye which not only stains the wood she is attached to, but also her young children. They are colored scarlet red for the rest of their lives.

After three days, on the fourth day, her body loses its crimson color and turns into a wax with a white powdery coating which falls to the ground like snow.

This wax can be harvested to make a shellac to spread on wood as a preservative. The worm’s remains are also used to make a medicine that aids in the regulation of the human heartbeat.

Psalms 22:14

. . . my heart is like wax.

Jesus died for us but through His death He gave us the power of His sinless blood to redeem us from our sins and its control over our lives. When we confess our sins to Jesus and ask forgiveness, we receive the gift of righteousness. Our stain of sin is forgiven and forgotten and we are white as snow before God. Nothing but the blood of Jesus can clean the stain of sin, the guilt of sin, the pain of sin, the shame of sin. The stain of sin cannot be removed by our good works of charity, our suffering or our good intentions. Salvation for our soul is only found in the belief in Jesus Christ as our savior.

Isaiah 1:18-20

Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:

though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;

though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;

20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword;

for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

So, what did Jesus mean “I am a worm”? He sacrificed or gave up his life on a tree so that his children might be washed with his crimson blood and their sins cleaned white as snow. He died for us, that we might live through him!

Saved by the Blood of Jesus,

Our Passover Lamb

On the night God delivered His people out of Egypt they were told to kill a lamb without blemish and take some of the blood and put it on the sides and the top of the door of their houses. When the angel of death passed through Egypt to kill the first born, he passed over the houses that had the blood on their doorposts.  

Exodus 12:3-7; 12-13

Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying,

In the tenth day of this month

they shall take to them every man a lamb,

according to the house of their fathers,

a lamb for a house:

4 And if the household be too little for the lamb,

let him and his neighbour next to his house take it

according to the number of the souls;

every man according to his eating

shall make your count for the lamb.

you shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:

5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year:

6 And you shall keep it up until

the fourteenth day of the same month:

and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel

shall kill it in the evening.

7 And they shall take of the blood,

and strike it on the two side posts

and on the upper door post of the houses,

where they shall eat it.

12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night,

and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt,

both man and beast;

and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments:

I am the LORD.

13 The blood shall be a sign for you,

on the houses where you are.

And when I see the blood, I will pass over you,

and the plague shall not be on you,

when I smite the land of Egypt.

Alleluia! Just as the blood of the lamb saved the children of Israel from the angel of death, Jesus’ blood saves us from our sins when we repent of our sins and confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead. We will not perish or be condemned to eternal damnation, but have eternal life.

Scarlet Dye from the Crimson Worm

When God instructed Moses to build the tabernacle in the desert the scarlet dye for the curtains and for the priests’ garments came from the crimson worm. Likewise, today in preparation for building the third temple, the Temple Institute is now harvesting this insect to make the dye for the priest’s garments, just as they did in ancient times.

”The Crimson or Scarlet Worm,” Alpha Omega Institute, November 20, 2011,

“In Search of the Tola’ at Shani – The Crimson Worm,” The Temple Institute, accessed June 2019,

Rating: 1 out of 5.

This post is from Section 3 in our book, “The Lamb’s Wife”

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