Asp in Wikipedia

Asp. - This word, which occurs eleven times in D.V., stands for four Hebrew names: (1) Péthén [Deut., xxxii, 33; Job, xx, 14, 16; Psalms., lvii (Hebr., lviii), 5; Isaiah, xi, 8]. From several allusions both to its deadly venom (Deuteronomy 32:33), and to its use by serpent-charmers [Ps., lvii (Hebr., lviii), 5, 6], it appears that the cobra (naja aspis) is most probably signified. Safely to step upon its body, or even linger by the hole where it coils itself, is manifestly a sign of God's particular protection [Ps., xc (Hebr., xci), 13; Is., xi, 8]. Sophar, one of Job's friends, speaks of the wicked as sucking the venom of péthén, in punishment whereof the food he takes shall be turned within him into the gall of this poisonous reptile (Job 20:16, 14). (2) 'Akhshûbh, mentioned only once in the Hebrew Bible, namely Ps., cxl (Vulg., cxxxix), 4, but manifestly alluded to in Ps., xiii, 3, and Rom., iii, 13, seems to have been one of the most highly poisonous kinds of viper, perhaps the toxicoa, also called echis arenicola or scytale of the Pyramids, very common in Syria and North Africa. (3) Sháhál is also found only once to signify a snake, Ps., xci (Vulg., xc), 13; but what particular kind of snake we are unable to determine. The word Sháhál might possibly, owing to some copyist's mistake, have crept into the place of another name now impossible to restore. (4) çphônî (Isaiah 59:5), "the hisser", generally rendered by basilisk in ID.V. and in ancient translations, the latter sometimes calling it regulus. This snake was deemed so deadly that, according to the common saying, its hissing alone, even its look, was fatal. It was probably a small viper, perhaps a cerastes, possibly the daboia zanthina, according to Cheyne.

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