Worms

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

Many Hebrew words are translated worm, all indicative of something loathsome, destructive, helpless, or insignificant, as the moth
(Isa. 51:88For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation. (Isaiah 51:8)); maggot (Job 19:2626And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: (Job 19:26)); possibly the serpent (Mic. 7:1717They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the Lord our God, and shall fear because of thee. (Micah 7:17)). The allusion (Isa. 64:24; Mark 9:44-4844Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 47And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: 48Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (Mark 9:44‑48)), is thought to be to the valley near Jerusalem where the refuse of the city constantly bred worms and where fires were kept burning to consume the collections. The helplessness of the worm affords the figures (Job 25:66How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm? (Job 25:6); Psa. 22:66But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. (Psalm 22:6); Isa. 41:1414Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 41:14)).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

The worm is used symbolically to show the extreme feebleness of man (Job 17:1414I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister. (Job 17:14); Job 25:66How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm? (Job 25:6)). In blessing Israel Jehovah said, “Fear not, thou worm Jacob” (Isa. 41:1414Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 41:14)); and the Lord, to indicate the low estate in which He was, said, “I am a worm and no man” (Psa. 22:66But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. (Psalm 22:6)). In the grave man’s body becomes the companion of worms, if they do not actually feed upon it (Job 21:2626They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover them. (Job 21:26); Job 24:2020The womb shall forget him; the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered; and wickedness shall be broken as a tree. (Job 24:20); Isa. 14:1111Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. (Isaiah 14:11)). Of the eternal punishment of the wicked it is recorded “their worm dieth not” (Mark 9:44,46,4844Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (Mark 9:44)
46Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (Mark 9:46)
48Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (Mark 9:48)
: Compare Isa. 66:2424And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. (Isaiah 66:24)). Herod Agrippa, being smitten by an angel, was literally “eaten of worms” (Acts 12:2323And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. (Acts 12:23)). In Job 25:66How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm? (Job 25:6) man is compared to a worm—literally “a maggot”—an apt figure of moral corruption.

From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

It is an Oriental opinion that worms exist in the skin and in all parts of the body, and that they are among the principal causes of its destruction. Roberts (Oriental illustrations, p. 271) quotes from an ancient Indian medical work in which eighteen kinds of worms are enumerated by the author in as many different parts of the body. In Job 19:2626And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: (Job 19:26), the translators have supplied the word worms: “Though after my skin worms destroy this body.” Though the word is not in the original, yet the sentiment is in accordance with the text we are now illustrating and with several other passages. See Job 7:5; 17:14; 21:265My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome. (Job 7:5)
14I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister. (Job 17:14)
26They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover them. (Job 21:26)
; Isaiah 14:1111Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. (Isaiah 14:11). In India it is common for a sick man to say, “Ah, my body is but a nest for worms; they have paths in all parts of my frame!” “Ah, these worms are continually eating my flesh!”