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Hebrew: אֶפְעֶה —transliteration: epheh —meaning: (a kind of) viper —occurrences: 3

Hebrew: צֶפַע —transliteration: tsepha' —origin: from an root meaning to extrude; as a snake thrusting out its tongue and hissing —meaning: a serpent of some kind ——occurrences: 5 times —translations include: viper, adder, cockatrice

In Job 20:16; Isaiah 30:6; 59:5 King James Version, the Hebrew word eph'eh is translated as viper. The Hebrew word, however, probably denotes a species of poisonous serpents known by the Arabic name of 'el ephah.

Tristram identified it with the sand viper, a species of small size common in sandy regions, and frequently found under stones by the shores of the Dead Sea. It is rapid in its movements, and highly poisonous.

In the New Testament the word echidne is used in Matthew 3:7; 12:34; 23:33 for any poisonous snake.

The viper mentioned in Acts 28:3 was probably the vipera aspis, or the Mediterranean viper. (See Adder.)

Viper (European). Photographer: Eric Steinert. License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0
Vipera aspis. Photo by Eric Steinert. License: CC BY 2.5 (image cropped).

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Article Version: June 14, 2024