Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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snail Summary and Overview

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snail in Easton's Bible Dictionary

(1.) Heb. homit, among the unclean creeping things (Lev. 11:30). This was probably the sand-lizard, of which there are many species in the wilderness of Judea and the Sinai peninsula. (2.) Heb. shablul (Ps. 58:8), the snail or slug proper. Tristram explains the allusions of this passage by a reference to the heat and drought by which the moisture of the snail is evaporated. "We find," he says, "in all parts of the Holy Land myriads of snail-shells in fissures still adhering by the calcareous exudation round their orifice to the surface of the rock, but the animal of which is utterly shrivelled and wasted, 'melted away.'"

snail in Smith's Bible Dictionary

1. The Hebrew word shablul occurs only in #Ps 58:8| The rendering of the Authorized Version is probably correct. The term would denote either a limax or a helix, which are particularly noticeable for the slimy track they leave behind them, by which they seem to waste themselves away. To this, or to the fact that many of them are shrivelled up among the rocks in the long heat of the summer, the psalmist refers. 2. The Hebrew word chomet occurs only as the name of some unclean animal in #Le 11:30| Perhaps some kind of lizard may be intended.

snail in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

SNAIL . The word thus rendered in Lev 11:30 may denote some species of Snail. lizard - perhaps the sand-lizard, which is found in the desert of Sinai and in many parts of Palestine. These creatures are eaten by the Arabs, but are esteemed unclean by the Jews. In Ps 58:8 the common snail or the slug is doubtless meant. The former is eaten by the Jews, as by most Orientals. These creatures, of many species, exceedingly abound in Bible lands. Snails seem to waste themselves by covering their path with a thick shining slime. Though they secrete themselves in crevices of the rocks, yet during the long, dry summer multitudes of them perish from the heat, being utterly shrivelled and wasted away in their shells. The melting away spoken of in Psalms is doubtless to be taken in one or the other of these senses.

snail in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

chomet (Leviticus 11:30). Rather "a lizard." Some think the Stellio lacerta. The Chaldee means "to bow down"; the Muslims kill it, as though it mimicked them at prayers. The shablul in Psalm 58:8 is a "snail" or 'slug" (limax), which delights in the damp night; but in the hot sunshine, as it crawls over a dry surface and moistens the way with its secretion, its moisture melts away.