Crocodile. The land crocodile appears as an unclean beast in the RSV rendering of (Leviticus 11:30). Many scholars assume that the crocodile is the mysterious “Leviathan” (whale, NEB) praised by Job (Job 41:1-34) and mentioned in (Psalm 74:14; 104:26); and (Isaiah 27:1).

Crocodiles used to live in rivers in the Holy Land, including the Jordan, but they have now disappeared from this region. A long, heavy animal, the crocodile has a tough hide covered with overlapping scales. His eyes and nostrils are high on his head; so he can float almost totally submerged. Crocodiles are extremely dangerous, with strong jaws and sharp teeth. They ordinarily eat small animals, birds, and fish, but occasionally will attack larger animals or man.

Source: [Anon-Animals]


Lizard. Lizards receive little attention in the Bible, although they are common in Palestine. They appeared on the list of unclean animals (Lev. 11:30) and were thus forbidden as food to the Israelites.

The lizard comes in many species. Some of the small lizards often pass for snakes, while larger versions of this animal resemble the crocodile. All lizards are cold-blooded reptiles. Since their body temperature depends on their surroundings, they thrive in the tropics and in deserts. But when the sun gets too hot even for them, they lie in the shade or burrow into the sand. One species is even called a sand lizard (Lev. 11:30); (skink, NIV).

Lizards are ingenious in the different ways they move. Some unfurl skin-like sails and soar from tree to tree. Monitor lizards (probably the Bible’s great lizard, (Lev. 11:29), RSV, NIV) swim well. They can also climb trees. Many lizards scamper rapidly across the ground. Others have poorly developed legs or no legs at all. But the little gecko (translated ferret in KJV, (Lev. 11:30)) can walk across a plaster ceiling upside down or cling to a pane of glass. His toes end in a pad made of hundreds of tiny hooks, capped with a hidden claw. This enables him to get a foothold on smooth surfaces. Geckos are abundant in Palestine.

Most lizards eat insects. Larger species of this reptile also eat small animals or plants. The chameleon’s sticky tongue, nearly as long as his body, whips out to catch insects. Chameleons are also common in Palestine. They are so narrow they look as if they have been squashed, and their bulging eyes can see in opposite directions. They have a long tail that can grasp a branch or coil into a spiral when at rest. Chameleons move at a slow, deliberate pace.

The chameleon is known for its ability to change its color to match its surroundings. Actually, this is a common protective trait for most species of lizards. Another defensive tactic is the use of tricks or bluffs. The glass snake, a type of lizard, escapes capture by shedding its wiggling tail. Other lizards hiss, puff up, or use their tails as whips.

Source: [Anon-Animals]


A cockatrice is a kind of snake with a something like a chicken’s head, and 2 legs.

Cockatrice (see Snake).

A cockatrice is a mythical beast, essentially a two-legged dragon or serpent-like creature with a rooster’s head. Described by Laurence Breiner as “an ornament in the drama and poetry of the Elizabethans”, it was featured prominently in English thought and myth for centuries.

Source: [Anon-Animals]


Asp (see Snake).

Bible occurrence: (Hebrew pethen) Deu 32:33; Job 20:14, 16; Isa 11:8; Rom 3:13.

This was probably the very deadly Egyptian cobra (Naja haje) which the Egyptians worshipped as uraeus. It is small serpent that gives a very poisonous bite which gives a quick death, as if in sleep.

There are three kinds of asps, the Chersea, Chelidonia, and the Ptyas, of which the last is most deadly [Brown]. The venom of an asp kills by causing sleep, thirst, or loss of blood. Immediately after the bite the person loses his sight, the part bitten swells, and a moderate pain is felt in the stomach. It is said that there is no cure except by cutting off the bitten limb immediately.

The peace and security of the Messiah’s kingdom is seen in a child playing on the opening hole to the asp’s home (security in the presence of great danger which has been controlled).

Wicked men are compared to asps because of their subtlety and carnality (lying in the filth of the earth), and because of their gradual murdering of themselves and others with a cruel venom, bitter gall, and the destructive poison of sin. Asps are mute, hearing no sound, and these wicked men like asps, hear not our Saviour.

Source: [DCox]

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