Origin of English word SERPENT

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Edenic Word


Hebrew Word











SERPENT may not derive from a past perfect of Latin serpere (to creep). Serpere is suspect because Greek herpein (to crawl, creep) is probably the older and more correct term. The Greek is more correct for its correspondence with CREEP and with the Hebrew etymons found at CRAB, CRAW, and SCORPION.   Crabs and scorpions creep, but legless serpents and snakes slither and sidewind. The IE “root” for SERPENT, SERPIGO, HERPES and HERPETOLOGY shouldn't be serp (to crawl, creep). Greek herpein is cited as the immediate source of the two HRP words. No such SERPENTNE derivations are required,    שרף SaRaP(H) is the second "serpent" in Isaiah14:29-    ...out of the serpents's root shall come forth a basilisk, and his fruit shall be a flying serpent.     In Deuteronomy 8:15 the  שרף  SaRaPH is a”fiery serpent.” Not aflame but stinging as the    נחש NaK[H]aSH before it, and the scorpion after it.  Elsewhere a "flying serpent" (perhaps a leaping or spitting cobra), it  appears beside a viper in Isaiah30:6. These snakes may be related to the "fiery"     שרפים SeRaPHeeM serpents of Numbers21:6-8 who gave us the medical symbol of the snake on a pole. שרף    SaRaPH is to burn (Numbers 19:6), and snake venom “burns.”


SaRaPH is to burn (FREEZE and BLAZE backwards), and snake venom can sting or burn. So it is with the sting of the syrphos (Greek for gnat) - source of the SYRPHUS FLY. A more formidable foe from a fiery setting would be SERAPIS, the Egyptian, Greek and Roman god of the lower world.

ZAFFER or ZAFFRE is traced to Arabic sufr (yellow copper, brass). Along with 150 SULFUR words, these yellow substances are from 1) a reversal of PHaZ (gold, yellow – see TOPAZ) with an added suffix,  or  2) from  SaRaPH (to burn - Leviticus4:12).  The flammability of SULFER is crucial to its use in gunpowder, matches, etc.  Swap #2-#3 root consonants of the Arabic; change R to L for Latin sulphur, the immediate source ofSULFUR. The curing snake ofNumbers21:9 was also copper and yellowish. Another fricative-liquid-bilabial word of burning is TSaRaBH, to burn (Ezekiel 21:3).  See SAFFRON, SERF and SILVER.    

A synonym by M213 metathesis Synonym by M213 metathesis  is  רשף   RaSHahF, to burn, glow.  The noun form is  רשף   ReSHeF, flame (Songs 8:6),r burning plague (Deuteronomy 32:24) or  sparks (Job 5:7).


Bible Verses

Isaiah 14:29 אל־תשׂמחי פלשׁת כלך כי נשׁבר שׁבט מכך כי־משׁרשׁ נחשׁ יצא צפע ופריו שׂרף מעופף׃

Rejoice not, O Philistia, all of thee, because the rod that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a basilisk, and his fruit shall be a flying serpent.



Related Words


David   3/22/2012 9:17:00 AM
Now you can have an explanation for the redundancy in the English language. Search and you will find out that Snake and Serpent are the same, no difference between them. But with Hebrew derivation it becomes obvious. Snake is the all inclusive word for those creatures, but Serpent would only include those snakes that are poisonous, perhaps with a gland that produces poison. It is by no negligent result the English language contains more than 1 word for a snake as does the Hebrew language.

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