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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Lizard

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LIZARD

(1) lÄ›t â’âh , a generic name for ‘lizard.’

(2) tsâb (cf. Arab [Note: Arabic.] , dabb ), tr. [Note: translate or translation.] AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘tortoise,’ RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘great lizard.’

(3) ’ăn âqâh , tr. [Note: translate or translation.] AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘ferret,’ RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘gecko.’

(4) kôach , tr. [Note: translate or translation.] AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘chameleon,’ RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘land crocodile.’

(5) chômet , tr. [Note: translate or translation.] AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘snail,’ RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘sandlizard.’

(6) tinshemeth , tr. [Note: translate or translation.] AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘mole,’ RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘chameleon’ (wh. see).

All these names occur in Leviticus 11:29-30 , as ‘unclean’ animals; most of them are very uncertain.

(7) sÄ›m âmîth ( Proverbs 30:28 ), tr. [Note: translate or translation.] AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘spider,’ RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘lizard.’

Lizards are ubiquitous and exceedingly plentiful in Palestine: over 40 species have been identified. The most common is the green lizard ( Lacerta viridis ). The Palestinian gecko ( Ptyodactylus Hasselquistii ) is common in all native houses; it is able to walk up the walls and along the ceilings by means of the disc-like suckers at the ends of its toes. If sçmâmîth was, as many scholars claim, a lizard, then probably the gecko is the special species indicated. The dabb is a large lizard ( Uromastix spinipes ), with a long spiny tail. The sandlizards or skinks are common on soft, sandy soil; seven species are found in Palestine. The ‘ land crocodile ,’ known to the Arabs as the warrel , is a large lizard, sometimes five feet long; two species have been found in the Jordan valley the Psammosaurus scineus and the Monitor niloticus . The chameleon is dealt with in a separate article.

E. W. G. Masterman.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Lizard'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/l/lizard.html. 1909.

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