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People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Adder. Four different Hebrew words are so rendered in the A. V. That occurring Genesis 49:17 (arrowsnake, marg.), implies a gliding motion. It is a small and very venomous snake, with two antennae like horns, well known in Egypt, accustomed to lie in wait in the sand and near paths. "Adder" occurs also, Psalms 58:4; Psalms 91:13, as the translation of another word, perhaps embodying the idea of twisting or twining. It is described as deaf to the charmer, and, as the same word is generally rendered "asp," e.g., Deuteronomy 32:33, it must have been venomous. It is probably the Egyptian cobra. We find another Hebrew word. Psalms 140:3, which is compound, including the two ideas of coiling and lying in wait. It also was poisonous. There is one more word which implies hissing. It occurs several times, Proverbs 23:32; Isaiah 11:8; Isaiah 14:29; Isaiah 59:5; Jeremiah 8:17, but is rendered "adder" in the text only in the first-named place, elsewhere "cockatrice." It seems to have lived in holes, to have been oviparous, and venomous.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Adder'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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