They were told not to ·harm [damage] the grass on the earth or any ·plant [greenery] or tree. They could ·harm [damage] only the people who did not have the ·sign [seal] of God on their foreheads [7:3].
Then out of the smoke emerged locusts to descend upon the earth. They were given powers like those of earthly scorpions. They had orders to do no harm to any grass, green thing or tree upon the earth, but to injure only those human beings who did not bear the seal of God upon their foreheads. They were given no power to kill men, but only to torture them for five months. The torture they could inflict was like the pain of a scorpion’s sting.
Then out of the smoke crawled locusts with the venom of scorpions. They were given their orders: “Don’t hurt the grass, don’t hurt anything green, don’t hurt a single tree—only men and women, and then only those who lack the seal of God on their foreheads.” They were ordered to torture but not kill, torture them for five months, the pain like a scorpion sting. When this happens, people are going to prefer death to torture, look for ways to kill themselves. But they won’t find a way—death will have gone into hiding.
And it was told them that they should not harm the grass of ha’aretz (the earth) nor any greenery nor any etz (tree), except the Bnei Adam, all who do not have the chotam (seal) of Hashem on their metsakhim (foreheads) (YECHEZKEL 9:4).
However, they were instructed not to damage any grasses, plants, or trees that grow from the earth. Instead, they were given power for five months to torture, but not to kill, the people without the seal of God upon their foreheads. The torment they inflicted was like the sting of a scorpion when it strikes.
And it was commanded to them, that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree, but only men, that have not the sign of God [that have not the mark of God] in their foreheads.
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