Viper

In Job 20:16, Isa. 30:6; 59:5, the Heb. word eph'eh is thus rendered. The Hebrew word, however, probably denotes a species of poisonous serpents known by the Arabic name of 'el ephah. Tristram has identified it with the sand viper, a species of small size common in sandy regions, and frequently found under stones by the shores of the Dead Sea. It is rapid in its movements, and highly poisonous. In the New Testament _echidne_ is used (Matt. 3:7; 12:34; 23:33) for any poisonous snake. The viper mentioned in Acts 28:3 was probably the vipera aspis, or the Mediterranean viper. (See ADDER.)