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tressing was the infliction which turned the waters of the river into blood, and occasioned the death of the fish (Exod. vii. 18—19). Their sacred stream became so polluted as to be unfit for drink, for bathing, and for other uses of water to which they were superstitiously devoted, (chap. ii. 5; vii. 15; viii. 20 ;) and themselves obliged to nauseate what was the usual food of the common people, and held sacred by the priests.

From Neh. xiii. 16, we learn, that in the time of Nehemiah, the Tyrians brought fish in considerable quantities to Jerusalem, for purchasing which, on the Sabbath-day, that zealous patriot reproved the elders of the Jews. As the people of Tyre were remarkable for their skill in maritime affairs, it is impossible to say how far their fisheries might extend ; but from Le Bruyn we ascertain that fish, in large numbers, and of excellent quality, were to be procured in the neighbourhood of their own city. Nor should we omit to notice, in justification of John xxi. 11, that the sea of Tiberias was well stocked with fish of a very large size. Hasselquist, and Egmont and Heyman notice the charmud or karmud, which is common to this lake and the Nile, and which weighs nearly thirty pounds; and Mr.

“ the density of shoals of fish in the sea of Galilee can scarcely be conceived by those who have not witnessed them. Frequently, these shoals cover an acre or more of the surface, and the fish, as they slowly move along in masses, are so crowded, with their black fins just appearing on the level of the water, that the appearance, at a little distance, is that of a violent shower of rain pattering on the surface.”

Tristram says,



This numerous and diversified class of beings is distinguished by two appellations in the sacred writings (Gen. i. 24, 25 ; vii. 21); the one being expressive of its motion, that is, crawling ; and the other of its abundant production or increase. Reptiles of all sorts, except those furnished with wings, were unclean (Lev. xi. 41).

There are several creatures belonging to the reptile tribes that appear in our translation of the Bible under names by which we never should be able to recognise the family to which they belong ; as the tortoise, ferret, snail, and mole ; creatures far enough removed from those which were intended by the Jewish legislator, in those passages of his ritual in which they are mentioned. Thus, the tzab or tjab of Lev. xi. 29, which we call the TORTOISE, is a LIZARD, called in Arabic, with a near approach to the Hebrew name, dhab or dab, agreeing nearly in shape, and in the hard pointed annulæ or scales of the tail, with the caudiverbera or shake tail, as it is represented in Gesner and Johnson. With this idea the Septuagint agree, as does Bochart, who cites Damir and Avicenna in his support. Dr. Harris quotes Jackson, who says, " The dhab, or saharawan lizard, is about eighteen inches long, and three or four inches broad across the back. It is not poisonous.

It lays eggs like the tortoise. It is very swift, and, if hunted, will hide itself in the earth, which it penetrates with its nose, and nothing will extricate it but digging up the ground.”

Dr. Geddes understands the Hebrew name, rendered FERRET in Lev. xi. 30, to denote the newt, and Dr. James takes it for the frog; but, as its name seems to be taken from the cry it makes, the probability is that it is the species of lizard, in Egypt called the gecko, which has some resemblance to the chameleon. The head is almost triangular, and is large in comparison to its body ; the eyes are very large ; the tongue flat, covered with small scales, and the end rounded; the teeth are sharp, and so strong that they are able to make impressions on the hardest substances, even on steel. It is almost entirely covered with little warts, more or less rising ; the under part of the thighs is furnished with a row of tubercles, raised and grooved. The feet are remarkable for oval scales, more or less hollowed in the middle, as large as the under surface of the toes themselves, and regularly disposed one over another, like the slates on a roof. The tail of the gecko is commonly rather longer than the body, though it is sometimes shorter; it is round, thin, and covered with circular rings or bands, formed of several rows of very small scales. Its colour is a clear green, spotted with brilliant red. The name, gecko, imitates the cry of the animal, which is heard especially before rain. It is found in Egypt, Palestine, India, Amboyna, etc. It inhabits, by choice, the crevices of half rotten trees, as well as humid places ; it is sometimes met with in houses, where it occasions great alarm, and where every exertion is used to destroy it speedily, its bite being





THE Hebrew word, nachash, seems to be used by the sacred writers as a general term for the whole serpentine genus, as the Greek ophis is. Dr. Adam Clarke, indeed, has laboured to prove that it is “a sort of general term, confined to no one sense;" but his attempt has been singularly unfortunate. The doctor ascribed meanings to the word in its simple state, which are only true when applied to it under various modifications.

The primitive meaning of the verb, from which the Hebrew name of the serpent class of reptiles is derived, signifies to view, observe attentively, etc.; and so remarkable are they for this quality, that “ serpent's eye” became a proverb ainong the Greeks and Romans, who applied it to those who view things sharply or acutely. An ingenious writer, speaking of the supposed fascination in the rattlesnake's eye, says, “ It is, perhaps, more universal


“ among the poisonous serpents than is supposed; for our common viper has it.”

The craft and subtilty of the serpent are noticed in Scripture as qualities by which it is distinguished above every other beast of the field (Genesis iii. 1; Matthew x. 16). Of its prudence and cunning many instances might be adduced, as recorded by naturalists; although it is reasonable to suppose, that, in common with other parts of the creation, it

has materially suffered in these respects from the effects of the curse.

Notwithstanding that the generality of mankind regard this formidable race with horror, there have been some nations who held them in veneration and regard. The adoration of the serpent in ancient Egypt is well known ; as is that of the dragon in Babylon. Herodotus speaks of tame serpents consecrated to Jupiter, near Thebes; and Ælian, of a sacred dragon dedicated to Diana, and kept in a wood in Phrygia. The same species of idolatry still prevails throughout India, and in many parts of Africa it is carried to the most degrading excess.

Calmet has enumerated eleven kinds of serpents, which were known to the Hebrews:-1. Aphen, the viper. 2. CHEPAIR, a sort of aspick, or a lion. 3. ACSHUB, the aspick. 4. PETHEN, the asp. 5. TzEBOA, a speckled serpent, called hyena, by the Greeks and Egyptians. 6. TZIMMAON, according to Jerom. 7. TzEpho, or TZEPHONI, a basilisk, not the fabulous cockatrice, but a serpent like others. 8. KIPPOS, the acontias or dart.

9. SHEPHIPHON, the cerastes. 10. SHACHAL, the blackest serpent. 11. SERAPH, a flying serpent.

We may observe, that the prophet Isaiah mentions the viper among the venomous reptiles which, in extraordinary numbers, infested the land of Egypt (chap. xxx. 6); and in illustrating the mischievous character of wicked men, and the ruinous nature of sin, he thus alludes to this dangerous creature again: • They hatch cockatrice eggs and weave the spider's web : he that eateth of their eggs dieth; and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.” The cockatrice here undoubtedly means the viper; for the egg of one creature never produces, by any

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