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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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SCORPION ( ‘aqrâb [Arab. [Note: Arabic.] same name], Deuteronomy 8:15 , Ezekiel 2:6 ; skorpios , Luke 10:19 ; Luke 11:12 , Revelation 9:3 ; Revelation 9:10 ). The scorpion belongs to the Arachnidœ or spider family. It occurs plentifully in Palestine, ten species being known; it is nocturnal in its habits, and kills small insects, spiders, etc., for food by means of the poisonous sting at the end of its tail. The effect of the poison on human beings is severe pain, and sometimes collapse and even death, thelatter in young children only. The ‘scorpions’ of 1 Kings 12:11 ; 1Ki 12:14 , 2 Chronicles 10:11 ; 2 Chronicles 10:14 are clearly used only figuratively. It is possible, but hardly likely (see Hastings’ DCG [Note: CG Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels.] , art. ‘Scorpion’), that the language of our Lord in Luke 11:12 is suggested by the egg-like form of the ‘scorpion’ when at rest. More probably He has in mind some such form of proverb as was current among the Greeks: ‘Instead of a perch, a scorpion.’

E. W. G. Masterman.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Scorpion'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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Saturday, January 25th, 2020
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