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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [1]

עקרב ,  Deuteronomy 8:15;  1 Kings 12:11;  1 Kings 12:14;  2 Chronicles 10:11;  2 Chronicles 10:14;  Ezekiel 2:6 , σκορπιος ,  Luke 10:19;  Luke 11:12;  Revelation 9:3; Sir_26:7; Sir_39:30 . Parkhurst derives the name from עק , to press, squeeze, and רב , much, greatly, or קרב , near, close. Calmet remarks, that "it fixes so violently on such persons as it seizes upon, that it cannot be plucked off without difficulty;" and Martinius declares: Habent scorpii forfices seu furcas tanquam brachia, quibus retinent quod apprehendunt, postquam caudae aculeo punxerunt: "Scorpions have pincers or nippers, with which they keep hold of what they seize after they have wounded it with their sting."

The scorpion, el-akerb, is generally two inches in length, and resembles so much the lobster in form, that the latter is called by the Arabs akerb d'elbahar, the "sea scorpion." It has several joints or divisions in its tail, which are supposed to be indicative of its age; thus, if it have five, it is considered to be five years old. The poison of this animal is in its tail, at the end of which is a small, curved, sharp-pointed sting, similar to the prickle of a buck-thorn tree; the curve being downward, it turns its tail upward when it strikes a blow. The scorpion delights in stony places and in old ruins. Some are of a yellow colour, others brown, and some black. The yellow possess the strongest poison, but the venom of each affects the part wounded, with frigidity, which takes place soon after the sting has been inflicted. Dioscorides thus describes the effect produced: "Where the scorpion has stung, the place becomes inflamed and hardened; it reddens by tension, and is painful by intervals, being now chilly, now burning. The pain soon rises high, and rages, sometimes more, sometimes less. A sweating succeeds, attended by a shivering and trembling; the extremities of the body become cold; the groin swells; the hair stands on end; the visage becomes pale; and the skin feels, throughout it, the sensation of perpetual prickling, as if by needles." This description strikingly illustrates   Revelation 9:3-5;  Revelation 9:10 , in its mention of "the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man."

Some writers consider the scorpion as a species of serpent, because the poison of it is equally powerful: so the sacred writers commonly join the scorpion and serpent together in their descriptions. Thus Moses, in his farewell address to Israel,  Deuteronomy 8:15 , reminds them, that God "led them through the great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents and scorpions." We find them again united in the commission of our Lord to his disciples,  Luke 10:19 , "I give you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy;" and in his directions concerning the duty of prayer,  Luke 11:11-12 , "If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?"

The scorpion is contrasted with an egg, on account of the oval shape of its body. The body of the scorpion, says Lamy, is very like an egg, as its head can scarcely be distinguished; especially if it be a scorpion of the white kind, which is the first species mentioned by AElian, Avicenna, and others. Bochart has produced testimonies to prove that the scorpions in Judea were about the bigness of an egg. So the similitude is preserved between the thing asked and given. The Greeks have a proverb, αντι περκης σκορπιον , instead of a perch, or fish, a scorpion.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [2]


The only books in the NT in which reference is made to the scorpion are the Gospel according to St. Luke and the Apocalypse. Scorpions are mentioned three times in the apocalyptic vision of the Fifth Trumpet or the First Wce ( Revelation 9:3;  Revelation 9:5;  Revelation 9:10), and on each occasion they form part of the description of the locusts themselves or of their mission. These locusts have the power of scorpions while their tails also resemble that of a scorpion and are similarly armed with stings. The sting of the scorpion was proverbial (cf.  1 Kings 12:11;  1 Kings 12:14,  2 Chronicles 10:11;  2 Chronicles 10:14,  Ezekiel 2:6,  Luke 10:19), but is seldom fatal. The mission of the locusts is thus not to slay, but to inflict pain worse than death itself.

Scorpions belong to the Arachnidae or spider family. They are common in all warm climates, and are especially ubiquitous in the wilderness of Sinai (cf.  Deuteronomy 8:15). During the cold weather they lie dormant, but when it becomes hot they emerge from their hiding-places and make their way even into houses. More than eight species have been noted in Palestine. They vary in size and colour; the largest and most dangerous species is black, and measures about 6 ins. in length. Others are yellow, white, black, or reddish, while others again are striped. The females carry their young on their backs until they are old enough to provide for themselves. They swarm in every part of the country and have a particular partiality for ruins (cf.  Ezekiel 2:6), where they secrete themselves in the chinks of the walls, as well as under the loose stones. The scorpion resembles a lobster in shape, only it has a jointed tail, which, when running, it holds over its back in a threatening attitude. The tail has a venomous sting, and the reptile always attacks with its tail in this position, with the result that it sometimes strikes it own head and commits suicide thereby. It is carnivorous and feeds chiefly on beetles and locusts, and this fact adds to the hideousness and the formidability of the apocalyptic locusts, whose very tails are compared to the scorpions which normally feed on them. See, further, Locust.

Literature.-H. B. Tristram, The Natural History of the Bible10, London, 1911, pp. 301-303; W. M. Thomson, The Land and the Book, new ed., do., 1910, pp. 224-225, do., ed. 1881-86, vol. ii., ‘Central Palestine and Phcenicia,’ pp. 478-480; C. Geikie, The Holy Land and the Bible, do., 1903, pp. 356-357; Hastings’ Single-vol. Dictionary of the Bible, p. 832; Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols)iv. 419; Encyclopaedia Biblicaiv. 4317-4319; H. B. Swete, The Apocalypse of St. John 2, London, 1907, pp. 115, 116, 119.

P. S. P. Handcock.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [3]

 Luke 10:19 , one of the largest and most malignant of all the insect tribes. It somewhat resembles the lobster in its general appearance, but is much more hideous. Those found in Southern Europe seldom exceed two inches in length; but in tropical climates it is not uncommon thing to meet with them five or six times as long. They live upon other insects, but kill and devour their own species also. Maupertuis put about a hundred of them together in the same glass and in a few days there remained but fourteen, which had killed and devoured all the rest. He enclosed a female scorpion in a glass vessel, and she was seen to devour her young as fast as they were born. There was only one of the number that escaped the general destruction by taking refuge on the back of its parent; and this soon after revenged the cause of its brethren, by killing the old one in its turn. Such is the terrible nature of this insect; and it is even found that when placed in circumstances of danger, from which it perceives no way of escape, it will sting itself to death. The passage most descriptive of the scorpion is  Revelation 9:3-10 , in which it is to be observed that the sting of these creatures was not to produce death, but pain so intense that the wretched sufferers should seek death,  Revelation 9:6 , rather than submit to its endurance. Dr. Shaw states that the sting of scorpions is not always fatal, the malignity of their venom being in proportion to their size and complexion.

The poison is injected by means of a sharp curved sting at the end of the six-jointed tail. It occasions great pain, inflammation, and hardness, with alternate chills and burning. These animals frequent dry and hot places, and lie under stones and in the crevices of old ruins. The Jews encountered them in the wilderness,  Deuteronomy 8:15 , and a range of cliffs across the hot valley south of the Dead Sea, called Acrabbim, or scorpions, appears to have been much infest be them. The scorpion of Judea, when curled up, greatly resembles an egg in size and shape; hence the comparison and the contrast in  Luke 11:11,12 . The scorpions which the haughty Rehoboam threatened to use instead of whips,  1 Kings 12:11 , were probably scourges armed with knobs like the joints of a scorpion's tail; and like the sting of that animal, occasioned extreme pain.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [4]

When we consider the wilderness-state through which the Lord brought the church after coming out of Egypt, and hear what the Lord saith to his people concerning his care over them there, it is very blessed to trace a subject so abundantly interesting. "Who led thee (saith the Lord) through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water." ( Deuteronomy 8:15) There is somewhat so very gracious in this, especially when we consider what naturalists tell us of the venomous quality of those reptiles. Though the scorpion is not a large animal, yet its bite, unless restrained by the Lord, was sure death. The creature had a bladder full of poison, which he conveyed with his bite into the wound. And as the scorpion had two eyes at each extremity, and one species of scorpions possessed wings like the locusts, what could be more formidable to the traveller through the hot, sultry, unwatered wilderness!

What a sweet thought is it to the church of Christ, that as this as a figure of the present life, it is Jesus that now speaks to his people in the same gracious language, while they are going home through their eventful pilgrimage! What scorpions, what fiery flying serpents, do they meet with in every part of their warfare! "Behold, (saith the Lord Jesus) I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you." ( Luke 10:19) And they find the truth of this promise every step they take. "No weapon formed against them can prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against them in judgment the Lord will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord; and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." ( Isaiah 54:17)

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [5]

1: Σκορπίος (Strong'S #4651 — Noun Masculine — skorpios — skor-pee'-os )

akin to skorpizo, "to scatter" (which see), is a small animal (the largest of the several species is 6 in. long) like a lobster, but with a long tail, at the end of which is its venomous sting; the pain, the position of the sting, and the effect are mentioned in  Revelation 9:3,5,10 . The Lord's rhetorical question as to the provision of a "scorpion" instead of an egg,  Luke 11:12 , is firstly, an allusion to the egg-like shape of the creature when at rest; secondly, an indication of the abhorrence with which it is regarded. In  Luke 10:19 , the Lord's assurance to the disciples of the authority given them by Him to tread upon serpents and scorpions conveys the thought of victory over spiritually antagonistic forces, the powers of darkness, as is shown by His reference to the "power of the enemy" and by the context in vv. 17,20.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [6]

Scorpion ( ‘aqrâb [Arab. [Note: Arabic.] same name],   Deuteronomy 8:15 ,   Ezekiel 2:6; skorpios ,   Luke 10:19;   Luke 11:12 ,   Revelation 9:3;   Revelation 9:10 ). The scorpion belongs to the ArachnidÅ“ or spider family. It occurs plentifully in Palestine, ten species being known; it is nocturnal in its habits, and kills small insects, spiders, etc., for food by means of the poisonous sting at the end of its tail. The effect of the poison on human beings is severe pain, and sometimes collapse and even death, thelatter in young children only. The ‘scorpions’ of   1 Kings 12:11; 1Ki 12:14 ,   2 Chronicles 10:11;   2 Chronicles 10:14 are clearly used only figuratively. It is possible, but hardly likely (see Hastings’ DCG [Note: CG Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels.] , art. ‘Scorpion’), that the language of our Lord in   Luke 11:12 is suggested by the egg-like form of the ‘scorpion’ when at rest. More probably He has in mind some such form of proverb as was current among the Greeks: ‘Instead of a perch, a scorpion.’

E. W. G. Masterman.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [7]

'Akrab . Of the class Αrachnida and order Ρulmonaria . Common in the Sinai wilderness, typifying Satan and his malicious agents against the Lord's people ( Deuteronomy 8:15;  Ezekiel 2:6;  Luke 10:19). Rolling itself together it might be mistaken for an egg ( Luke 11:12). Found in dry dark places amidst ruins, in hot climates. Carnivorous, breathing like spiders by lung-sacs, moving with uplifted tail.

The sting at the tail's end has at its base a gland which discharges poison into the wound from two openings. In  Revelation 9:3;  Revelation 9:10, "the scorpions of the earth" stand in Contrast to the "locusts" from hell, not earth. The "five months" are thought to refer to the 150 prophetical days, i.e. years, from A.D. 612, when Mahomet opened his mission, to 762, when the caliphate was moved to Bagdad. In  1 Kings 12:11 scorpions mean "scourges armed with iron points". The sting of the common scorpion is not very severe, except that of Βuthus Occitanus .

Smith's Bible Dictionary [8]

Scorpion. (Hebrew, 'akrab ). A well known, venomous insect of hot climates, shaped much like a lobster. It is usually not more than two or three inches long, but in tropical climates is sometimes six inches in length. The wilderness of Sinai is especially alluded to as being inhabited by scorpions, at the time of the Exodus, and to this day, these animals are common in the same district, as well as in some parts of Palestine.

Scorpions are generally found in dry and in dark places, under stones and in ruins. They are carnivorous in the habits, and move along in a threatening attitude, with the tail elevated. The sting, which is situated at the end of the tail, has, at its base, a gland that secretes a poisonous fluid, which is discharged into the wound by two minute orifices at its extremity. In hot climates, the sting often occasions much suffering, and sometimes alarming symptoms. The "scorpions" of  1 Kings 12:1;  1 Kings 12:14;  2 Chronicles 10:11;  2 Chronicles 10:14, have clearly no allusion whatever to the animal, but to some instrument of scourging - unless, indeed, the expression is a mere figure.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [9]

Scorpion. 1. A venomous creature allied to the spider, but resembling the lobster. Its usual length is one or two inches, but in tropical climates it is sometimes found six or eight inches in length, and its sting is attended with excruciating pain,  Revelation 9:3-6, terminating often in violent convulsions and death. Scorpions are abundant in Palestine, and are especially common about Mount Sinai.  Deuteronomy 8:16. They remain dormant during the cold season, but through the rest of the year swarm under stones and in all the crannies and crevices of walls and houses. The sting is a curved claw at the end of the tail, and this latter the animal, in running, carries over its back in a threatening attitude.  Luke 11:12 seems to mean merely the bestowal of a dangerous and unwelcome gift rather than a good one, and may refer to the Greek proverb: "A scorpion instead of a perch." 2. An instrument resembling a whip, with knots, bits of lead, or small stones at the end.  1 Kings 12:11. See Scourge.

King James Dictionary [10]

SCOR'PION, n. L. scorpio Gr. probably altered from the Oriental.

1. In zoology, an insect of the genus Scorpio, or rather the genus itself, containing several species, natives of southern or warm climates. This animal has eight feet, two claws in front, eight eyes, three on each side of the thorax and two on the back, and a long jointed tail ending in a pointed weapon or sting. It is found in the south of Europe, where it seldom exceeds four inches in length. In tropical climates, it grows to a foot in length, and resembles a lobster. The sting of this animal is sometimes fatal to life. 2. In Scripture, a painful scourge a kind of whip armed with points like a scorpion's tail.  1 Kings 12 .

Malicious and crafty men, who delight in injuring others, are compared to scorpions.  Ezekiel 2 .

3. In astronomy, the eighth sign of the zodiac, which the sun enters, Oct. 23. 4. A sea fish. L. scorpius.

Water scorpion, an aquatic insect of the genus Nepa.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [11]

aqrab, σκορπίος. These words refer to the well-known animal armed with claws like a lobster, and having its sting in its tail. In the East it inhabits desolate places, hides under stones or logs of wood, and comes out at night. It is carnivorous. Various species are known, they belong to the class arachnida, which includes the spider.  Deuteronomy 8:15;  Luke 10:19;  Luke 11:12 . In  Ezekiel 2:6 the children of Israel are compared to scorpions, among whom Ezekiel had to labour.

In  Revelation 9 we read of locusts with stings in their tails, and which torment men as do the scorpions: they are employed as symbols of some form of cruel and pitiless agents. In   1 Kings 12:11,14;  2 Chronicles 10:11,14 , a scourge with hard knots or metal points is supposed to be alluded to.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [12]

 1 Kings 12:11 (a) Here is a figure to describe the terrible oppression which Rehoboam intended to bring upon the people over whom he ruled. His father's oppression is compared to a whip. His was to be so much worse that he compared it to the sting of a scorpion. (See also1Ki  12:14 and2Ch  10:11-14).

 Ezekiel 2:6 (a) The word is used to describe the terrible wickedness and the evil scourge of Israel at this time.

 Luke 11:12 (a) The little child, seeing a scorpion rolled up ready to strike, is deceived by its appearance and thinks he is looking at an egg. The Lord is teaching us that often we see something which looks as if it would be good for us to have, but our Lord sees that it would be injurious. Therefore, He does not grant our request for it in prayer.

Webster's Dictionary [13]

(1): ( n.) A sign and constellation. See Scorpio.

(2): ( n.) An ancient military engine for hurling stones and other missiles.

(3): ( n.) Any one of numerous species of pulmonate arachnids of the order Scorpiones, having a suctorial mouth, large claw-bearing palpi, and a caudal sting.

(4): ( n.) A painful scourge.

(5): ( n.) The pine or gray lizard (Sceloporus undulatus).

(6): ( n.) The scorpene.

Holman Bible Dictionary [14]

buthus  Deuteronomy 8:15 Ezekiel 2:6 1 Kings 12:14

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [15]

( עַקְרָב Akrab,  Deuteronomy 8:15;  Ezekiel 2:6; Σκορπίος ,  Luke 10:19;  Luke 11:12;  Revelation 9:3;  Revelation 9:5;  Revelation 9:10), a well known injurious insect of hot climates, belonging to the class Arachnida and order Pulmonaria, which is shaped very much like a lobster. It lives in damp places under stones, in clefts of walls, cellars, etc.; and in summer nights even creeps about in streets and on steps (Russell, Aleppo, 2, 119). The head and breast are closely joined, and there are two large feelers in front. The eyes are arranged much as in the spiders one pair in the center of the thorax, the rest symmetrically on each side of the front. In the genus Scorpio proper there are six of these organs, in Buthus eight, and in Androctonus twelve. All these, however, may be quite correctly considered as scorpions. There are eight feet, covered with hair. There is a very active tail, of six joints, which ends in a crooked point (Pliny, 11, 62) like a fowl's claw (Schulz, Leitung, 4, 351). They are carnivorous in their habits, and move along in a threatening attitude with the tail elevated. The sting, which is situated at the extremity of the tail, has at its base a gland that secretes a poisonous fluid, which is discharged into the wound by two minute orifices at its extremity. The scorpion makes a painful wound in men and beasts (Pliny, 11, 62; Host, Marokko, p. 302; camp. Minutoli, Tray. p. 205) which produces fatal results (Pliny, 11, 30; Sonnini, Tray. 2, 312; Prosp. Alpin. Rer. Aegyp. p. 206; camp. Latorde, Voyage, p. 50), Unless speedy remedies be provided (such are scarifying the wound, sucking out the poison, etc. [Russegger, Reis. 2, 2, 223]). This is true, however, only of the Oriental scorpion (though Thomson, Land and Book, 1, 379, says its bite is never fatal in Syria), that mentioned in the Bible (see description and plates in Rosel, Insecten-Belustig, 3, 370 sq., Tab. 65; camp. Sirach 26, 10;  Ezekiel 2:6); for the wound of the European, or Italian, scorpion is less dangerous. The former is distinguished by its shining black breastplate, which has given it the name Scorpio Afer. (Many plates are given in Ehrenberg's Icon. Et Descript. Animal. Icon. 1, Der Animal Evertebr. ; but without descriptions. Three kinds of scorpions are named in the Descript. De Egypte, 22, 409 sq.)

The wilderness of Sinai is especially alluded to as being inhabited by scorpions at the time of the Exodus ( Deuteronomy 8:15), and to this day these animals are common in the same district as well as in some parts of Palestine. Ehrenberg (Symb. Phys.) enumerates five species as occurring near Mt. Sinai, some of which are found also in the Lebanon. Ezekiel ( Ezekiel 2:6) is told to be in no fear of the rebellious Israelites here compared to scorpions. There are many scorpions in Palestine in the plains of Jordan, on the mountains of Judah, etc. (Troilo, Trav. p. 433; Schulz, Leitung, 4. 352, Thomson, Land and.Book, 1, 378 sq.), and they are proverbially common in Banias (Caesarea Philippi). A part of the mountains bordering on Palestine in the south was named from them Acrabbim. See Bochart, Hieroz. 3, 538 sq.; Shaw, Tray. p. 168. On the scorpion of Asia Minor, see Van Lennep, Bible Lands, p. 309 sq.; and on those of Egypt, Olivier, Voyage, 5, 171. Those found in Europe seldom exceed two or three inches in length, but in the tropical climates they are occasionally found six inches long. Those of Palestine are from one to three inches in length. There are few animals more formidable, and none more irascible, than the scorpion; but, happily for mankind, they are equally destructive to their own species as to other animals. Maupertius put about a hundred of them together in the same glass and they scarcely came into contact when they began to exert all their rage in mutual destruction, so that in a few days there remained but fourteen, which had killed and devoured all the rest. But their malignity is still more apparent in their cruelty to their offspring. He enclosed a female scorpion, big with young, in a glass vessel, and she was seen to devour them as fast as they were extruded. There was only one of the number that escaped the general destruction by taking refuge on the back of its parent; and this soon after avenged the cause of its brethren by killing the old one in its turn. Such is the terrible nature of this insect; and it is even asserted that when placed in circumstances of danger, from which it perceives no way of escape, it will sting itself to death. Ordinarily, however, it is said to be extremely fond of its young, which it carries about on its back.

A scorpion for an egg ( Luke 11:12) was probably a proverbial expression. According to Erasmus, the Greeks had a similar proverb ( Ἀντὶ Περκῆς Σκορπίον ) . But the creature has, of course, no likeness to an egg, as some have supposed that this passage implies (comp. Thomson, Land And.Book, 1, 379 sq.). The apostles were endued with power to resist the stings of serpents and scorpions ( Luke 10:19). In the vision of St. John ( Revelation 9:3;  Revelation 9:10) the locusts that came out of the smoke of the bottomless pit are said to have had "tails like unto scorpions," while the pain resulting from this Creature's sting is alluded to in  Revelation 9:5. The prophecy here has received many fanciful interpretations. (See Book Of Revelation). The "scorpions" of  1 Kings 12:11;  1 Kings 12:14;  2 Chronicles 10:11;  2 Chronicles 10:14, have clearly no allusion whatever to the animal, but to some instrument of scourging, unless, indeed, the expression is a mere figure. Celsius (Hierob. 2, 45) thinks the "scorpion" scourge was the spiny stem of what the Arabs call Hedek, the Solanum melongena, var. esculentum, eggplant, because, according to Abul-Fadli, this plant, from the resemblance of its spines to the sting of a scorpion, was sometimes called the "scorpion thorn;" but, in all probability, this instrument of punishment was in the form of a whip armed with iron points, "Virga si nodosa vel aculeata, scorpio rectissimo nomine vocatur, qui arcuato vulnere in corpus infigitur" (Isidore, Orig. Lot. 5, 27; and see Jahn, Bibl. Ant. p. 287). In the Greek of  1 Maccabees 6:51, some kind of war missile is mentioned under the name Σκορπίδιον but we want information both as to its form and the reason of its name. See Smith, Dict. Of Class. Antiquities, art. "Tormentum." Another tropical use of the word is given in the Mishna (Chelim, 12:3).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [16]

skôr´pi - un ( עקרב , ‛aḳrābh  ; compare Arabic ‛aḳrab , "scorpion"; עקרבּים מעלה , ma‛ălēh ‛aḳrabbı̄m , "the ascent of Akrabbim"; σκορπίος , skorpı́os . Note that the Greek and Hebrew may be akin; compare, omitting the vowels, ‛krb and skrp ): In   Deuteronomy 8:15 , we have, "who led thee through the great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents ( nāḥāsh sārāph ) and scorpions ( ‛aḳrābh )." Rehoboam ( 1 Kings 12:11 ,  1 Kings 12:14;  2 Chronicles 10:11 ,  2 Chronicles 10:14 ) says, "My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions." Ezekiel is told to prophesy to the children of Israel ( Ezekiel 2:6 ), and "Be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions." "The ascent of Akrabbim," the north end of Wâdi - ul - ‛Arabah , South of the Dead Sea, is mentioned as a boundary 3 times ( Numbers 34:4;  Joshua 15:3;  Judges 1:36 ). Jesus says to the Seventy ( Luke 10:19 ), "Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions," and again in  Luke 11:12 He says, "Or if he shall ask an egg, will he give him a scorpion?"

Note that we have here three doublets, the loaf and the stone, the fish and the serpent, and the egg and the scorpion, whereas in the passage in Matthew ( Matthew 7:9 f) we have only the loaf and stone and the fish and serpent. Encyclopedia Biblica (s.v. "Scorpion") ingeniously seeks to bring Lk into nearer agreement with Matthew by omitting from Luke the second doublet, i.e. the fish and the serpent, instancing several texts as authority for the omission, and reading ὄψον , ópson , "fish," for ᾠόν , ōṓn , "egg."

In  Revelation 9:2-10 there come out of the smoke of the abyss winged creatures ("locusts," ἀρίδες , akrı́des ) like war-horses with crowns of gold, with the faces of men, hair of women, teeth of lions, breastplates of iron, and with stinging tails like scorpions. In Ecclesiasticus 26:7 it is said of an evil wife, "He that taketh hold of her is as one that graspeth a scorpion." In 1 Macc 6:51 we find mention of "pieces σκορπίδια , skorpı́dia , diminutive of skorpios to cast darts." In Plutarch skorpios is used in the same sense (Liddell and Scott, under the word σκορπίος , skorpı́os .

In the passage cited from Deuteronomy, and probably also in the name "ascent of Akrabbim," we find references to the abundance of scorpions, especially in the warmer parts of the country. Though there is a Greek proverb, "Look for a scorpion under every stone," few would agree with the categorical statement of Tristram ( Nhb ) that "every third stone is sure to conceal one." Nevertheless, campers and people sleeping on the ground need to exercise care in order to avoid their stings, which, though often exceedingly painful for several hours, are seldom fatal.

Scorpions are not properly insects, but belong with spiders, mites and ticks to the Arachnidae . The scorpions of Palestine are usually 2 or 3 inches long. The short cephalothorax bears a powerful pair of jaws, two long limbs terminating with pincers, which make the creature look like a small crayfish or lobster, and four pairs of legs. The rest of the body consists of the abdomen, a broad part continuous with the cephalothorax, and a slender part forming the long tail which terminates with the sting. The tail is usually carried curved over the back and is used for stinging; the prey into insensibility. Scorpions feed mostly on insects for which they lie in wait. The scorpion family is remarkable for having existed with very little change from the Silurian age to the present time.

It does not seem necessary to consider that the words of Rehoboam ( 1 Kings 12:11 , etc.) refer to a whip that was called a scorpion, but rather that as the sting of a scorpion is worse than the lash of a whip, so his treatment would be harsher than his father's.