Adder in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
Five times in the Old Testament KJV, and thrice in margin for
"cockatrice" (Isaiah 11:8; Isaiah 14:29; Isaiah 59:5 ). Four
Hebrew terms stand for it. (1) Akshub, (2) Pethen, (3)
Tziphoni, and (4) Shephiphon.
(1) Akshub, ("one that lies in ambush"), swells its
skin, and rears its head back for a strike. Psalm 140:3 quoted
in Romans 3:13, "the poison of asps."
(2) Pethen, Psalm 58:4; Psalm 91:13, "adder" (compare
margin), but elsewhere translated "asp"; from a Hebrew root
"to expand the neck." The deadly haje naja, or cobra of Egypt,
fond of concealing itself in walls and holes. Serpents are
without tympanic cavity and external openings to the ear. The
deaf adder is not some particular species; but whereas a
serpent's comparative deafness made it more amenable to those
sounds it could hear, in some instances it was deaf because it
would not hear (Jeremiah 8:17; Ecclesiastes 10:11). So David's
unrighteous adversaries, though having some little moral sense
yet left to which he appeals, yet stifled it, and were
unwilling to hearken to the voice of God...