This word is used for any poisonous snake, and is applied in this general sense by the translators of the Authorized Version. The word adder occurs five times in the text of the Authorized Version, and three times in the margin as synonymous with cockatrice, viz., (Isaiah 11:8; 14:29; 59:5) It represents four Hebrew words:
Tsepha, or Tsiphoni, occurs five times in the Hebrew Bible. In (Proverbs 23:32) it is it is translated adder, and in (Isaiah 11:8; 14:29; 59:5; Jeremiah 8:17) it is rendered cockatrice. From Jeremiah we learn that it was of a hostile nature, and from the parallelism of (Isaiah 11:8) it appears that the Tsiphoni was considered even more dreadful than the Pethen.
* See other occurrences of the same term: Adder.
Main reference: Smith's Bible Dictionary (1860s)
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