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Job 20:16

    Job 20:16 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    He shall suck the poison of asps: the viper's tongue shall slay him.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    He shall suck the poison of asps: the viper's tongue shall slay him.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    He shall suck the poison of asps: The viper's tongue shall slay him.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    He takes the poison of snakes into his mouth, the tongue of the snake is the cause of his death.

    Webster's Revision

    He shall suck the poison of asps: The viper's tongue shall slay him.

    World English Bible

    He shall suck cobra venom. The viper's tongue shall kill him.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    He shall suck the poison of asps: the viper's tongue shall slay him.

    Definitions for Job 20:16

    Viper - Snake.

    Clarke's Commentary on Job 20:16

    He shall suck the poison of asps - That delicious morsel, that secret, easily-besetting sin, so palatable, and so pleasurable, shall act on the life of his soul, as the poison of asps would do on the life of his body. The poison is called the gall of asps, it being anciently supposed that the poison of serpents consists in their gall, which is thought to be copiously exuded when those animals are enraged; as it has been often seen that their bite is not poisonous when they are not angry. Pliny, in speaking of the various parts of animals, Hist. Nat. lib. xi., c. 37, states, from this circumstance, that in the gall, the poison of serpents consists; ne quis miretur id (fel) venenum esse serpentum. And in lib. xxviii., c. 9, he ranks the gall of horses among the poisons: Damnatur (fel) equinum tantum inter venena. We see, therefore, that the gall was considered to be the source whence the poison of serpents was generated, not only in Arabia, but also in Italy.

    Barnes' Notes on Job 20:16

    He shall suck the poison of asps - That which he swallowed as pleasant nutriment, shall become the most deadly poison; or the consequence shall be as if he had sucked the poison of asps. It would seem that the ancients regarded the poison of the serpent as deadly, however, it was taken into the system. They seem not to have been aware that the poison of a wound may be sucked out without injury to him who does it; and that it is necessary that the poison should mingle with the blood to be fatal.

    The viper's tongue shall slay him - The early impression probably was, that the injury done by a serpent was by the fiery, forked, and brandished tongue, which was supposed to be sharp and penetrating. It is now known, that the injury is done by the poison ejected through a groove, or orifice in one of the teeth, which is so made as to lie flat on the roof of the mouth, except when the serpent bites, when that tooth is elevated, and penetrates the flesh. The word "viper" here (אפעה 'eph‛eh), "viper," is probably the same species of serpent that is known among the Arabs by the same name still - El Effah. See the notes at Isaiah 30:6. It is the most common and venomous of the serpent tribe in Northern Africa and in South-western Asia. It is remarkable for its quick and penetrating poison. It is about two feet long, as thick as a man's arm, beautifully spotted with yellow and brown, and sprinkled over with blackish specks. They have a large mouth, by which they inhale a large quantity of air, and when inflated therewith, they eject it with such force as to be heard a considerable distance. "Jackson." Capt. Riley, in his "Authentic Narrative," (New York, 1817,) confirms this account. He describes the viper as the "most beautiful object in nature," and says that the poison is so virulent as to cause death in fifteen minutes.
    Book: Job