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The Blue Letter Bible

Dictionaries :: Snail

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Easton's Bible Dictionary

Snail:

(1.) Heb. homit, among the unclean creeping things (Lev 11:30). This was probably the sand-lizard, of which there are many species in the wilderness of Judea and the Sinai peninsula.

(2.) Heb. shablul (Psa 58:8), the snail or slug proper. Tristram explains the allusions of this passage by a reference to the heat and drought by which the moisture of the snail is evaporated. "We find," he says, "in all parts of the Holy Land myriads of snail-shells in fissures still adhering by the calcareous exudation round their orifice to the surface of the rock, but the animal of which is utterly shrivelled and wasted, 'melted away.'"

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia

Snail:

snal

((1) chomeT, the Revised Version (British and American) "sand-lizard," Septuagint saura, "lizard" (Le 11:30);

(2) shabbelul, Septuagint keros, "wax" (Ps 58:8)):

(1) ChomeT is 7th in the list of unclean "creeping things" in Le 11:30, and occurs nowhere else. "Snail" is not warranted by Septuagint or Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) the Revised Version (British and American) has "sand-lizard." It may be the skink or a species of Lacerta. See LIZARD.

(2) Shabbelul is translated "snail" in Ps 58:8: "Let them be as a snail which melteth and passeth away." Mandelkern gives limax, "slug."

Gesenius derives shabbelul from balal, "to pour"; compare Arabic balla, "to wet," instancing leimax, "snail," or "slug," from leibo, "to pour." While Septuagint has keros, "wax," Talmud (Mo‘edh QaTan 6b) supports "snail." The ordinary explanation of the passage, which is not very satisfying, is that the snail leaves a trail of mucus (i.e. it melts) as it moves along. This does not in any way cause the snail to waste away, because its glands are continually manufacturing fresh mucous. Two large species of snail, Helix aspersa and Helix pomatia, are collected and eaten, boiled, by the Christians of Syria and Palestine, especially in Lent. The Jews and Moslems declare them to be unclean and do not eat them.



Written by Alfred Ely Day

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Snail:

(1.) The Hebrew word shablul occurs only in Psalm 58:8. The rendering of the Authorized Version is probably correct. The term would denote either a limax or a helix, which are particularly noticeable for the slimy track they leave behind them, by which they seem to waste themselves away. To this, or to the fact that many of them are shriveled up among the rocks in the long heat of the summer, the psalmist refers.

(2.) The Hebrew word chomet occurs only as the name of some unclean animal in Leviticus 11:30. Perhaps some kind of lizard may be intended.

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