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Cockatrice

The mediaeval name (a corruption of “crocodile”) of a fabulous serpent supposed to be produced from a cock’s egg. It is generally supposed to denote the cerastes, or “horned viper,” a very poisonous serpent about a foot long. Others think it to be the yellow viper (Daboia xanthina), one of the most dangerous vipers, from its size and its nocturnal habits (Isa. 11:8; 14:29; 59:5; Jer. 8:17; in all which the Revised Version renders the Hebrew tziph’oni by “basilisk”). In Prov. 23:32 the Hebrew tzeph’a is rendered both in the Authorized Version and the Revised Version by “adder;” margin of Revised Version “basilisk,” and of Authorized Version “cockatrice.”

« Coat of mail Cockatrice Cock-crowing »
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