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Serpent
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
A fearsome creature of both land and sea. In ancient Near Eastern cultural contexts, the serpent is a symbol with both positive and negative valences. In the Bible, the serpent is a venomous creature whose physical characteristics easily become the basis for a complex array of symbolic and metaphorical connections.
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Serpent
Serpent (נָחָשׁ‎, nachash; ὄφις, ophis). A fearsome creature of both land and sea. In ancient Near Eastern cultural contexts, the serpent is a symbol with both positive and negative valences. In the Bible, the serpent is a venomous creature whose physical characteristics easily become the basis for
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Serpent (Religious Symbol)
SERPENT (RELIGIOUS SYMBOL). In comparative religions the term “serpent” refers to a number of creatures, real and imaginary, distinguished by physical serpentine characteristics. Serpents play a major role in mythological and religious traditions throughout the world from arctic peoples (where snakes
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Cockatrice
Cockatrice. kjv rendering of serpent, adder, and viper in Isaiah 14:29; 11:8; and 59:5, respectively.See Animals (Serpent).
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Serpent
Serpent A snake; a long, limbless, scaled reptile belonging to the order Serpentes or Opidia. Although serpents are not particularly abundant in Palestine, they are mentioned often in the Bible. The OT has eleven Hebrew terms for serpents. The NT has four Greek terms. The LXX employs two of these and
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Serpent
SERPENT A snake or sea monster. Various words are used in the Bible for serpents or snakes. In general, the serpent belongs to a class of reptiles often characterized by their ability to wound by striking or biting and then poisoning with venom. There are particular kinds of snakes mentioned in the Bible,
Cockatrice
COCKATRICE* kjv rendering of serpent, adder, and viper in Isaiah 11:8; 14:29; and 59:5, respectively. See Animals (Snake).
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
Serpent
serpent. In the ancient world, there was general respect for, revulsion at, and fear of serpents, since many were assumed to be poisonous. The serpent thus came to be understood symbolically with both positive and negative connotations. In some ancient cultures, the serpent was associated with deity
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Serpent
SerpentA general term for the various snakelike creatures found in the ancient Near East (Heb. nāḥāš, kārāp̱; Gk. óphis).Representations of serpents in literature and other media (chiefly clay and bronze) occur throughout the ancient Near East. Serpents functioned largely as objects of worship
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Serpent
Serpent. †A wide variety of snakes, both poisonous and nonpoisonous, are common in Palestine and nearby lands. These include the Egyptian asp or cobra (Naja haje; Heb. peṯen; Gk. aspís), the horned viper (Cerastes cornutus; Heb. šep̱îp̱ōn), the carpet viper (Echis colorata; perhaps Heb.
Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible
Serpent
SERPENT נחשׁI. In MT the generic word for a venomous snake or serpent is nāḥāš (31 times). In Semitic the only certain cognate noun is Ugaritic nḥš, ‘snake’ (numerous times in KTU 1.100 and 1.107), with a possible cognate in Arabic ḥanaš, ‘snake’ (via metathesis and an altered sibilant). The
Catholic Bible Dictionary
Serpent
SERPENT Various species of snakes are native to Palestine and the Near East. Venomous serpents, then as now, were greatly feared as a threat to human life (Gen 49:17; Exod 4:2–3). Snakebites could even be seen as signs of God’s punishment for sin (Num 21:4–6; Jer 8:17). The movements and tactics of the
Smith’s Bible Dictionary
Serpent
Serpent. The Hebrew word nâchâsh is the generic name of any serpent. The following are the principal biblical allusions to this animal: Its subtlety is mentioned in Gen. 3:1; its wisdom is alluded to by our Lord in Matt. 10:16; the poisonous properties of some species are often mentioned, see Ps. 58:4;
Key passages
Is 14:29

You must not rejoice, all you Philistines, that the rod that struck you is broken, for a viper will come forth from the root of the snake, and its fruit will be a flying serpent.

Ac 28:3–6

And when Paul had gathered a large number of sticks and was placing them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand. And when the local people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they began saying to one another, “Doubtless this man is a murderer …

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