the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
People's Dictionary of the Bible
Viper. This word in the Old Testament possibly designates some particular species of hissing and venomous serpent, but its exact application cannot be determined. In the New Testament the Greek word thus rendered was used for any poisonous snake. The viper which fastened on Paul's hand, =Acts 28:16, was doubtless the snake of that name, Vipcra aspis, still common in the Mediterranean islands. It has now disappeared from Malta with the woods to which it is partial. The viper is an emblem of whatever is deceitful and destructive. Matthew 3:7; Matthew 12:34; Matthew 23:33; Luke 3:7.
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Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Viper'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​rpd/​v/viper.html. 1893.