[b-hebrew] Flying or Darting in Isaiah 14:29 and 30:6

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sun Apr 2 00:54:24 EST 2006

The form "me'ofef" appears only in these two places, but the verb "ye'ofef" 
appears in Gen. 1:20 and Isaiah 6:2, and obviously does mean "fly". I would 
assume that a "flying snake" is one that stikes its prey suddenly, like a 

David Kimhi (Radak), BTW, interprets "a snake that skips from place to 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <tladatsi at charter.net>
To: "B-Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, April 02, 2006 7:32 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Flying or Darting in Isaiah 14:29 and 30:6

> Hello,
> In Isaiah 14:29 and 30:6 the phrase "sharaf mez'wfef" is used.  It is 
> frequently translated as "flying snake".  I guess flying is derived from 
> the root 'wf.  Flying snakes are not normal to say the least.  So if the 
> author intended the phrase to refer to an self-propelled airborne 
> (winged?) snake, it would certainly be something unusual.   However there 
> is nothing in the context to suggest anything out of the ordinary about 
> these snakes.  The NIV translates the phrases as darting, I suppose a 
> reference to the tounge of the snake (which flys out of the mouth of the 
> snake).
> Any thoughts?
> --
> Jack Tladatsi
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