Bookstore
Home    Topics    Contact    Support

Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Hebrew Words



Crocodile
By Jeff A. Benner
תנין qadosh
The Modern Hebrew word for a crocodile is תנין (taniyn, Strong’s #8577). This word is also a Biblical Hebrew word and appears twenty-eight times in the Hebrew Bible, including the following verses.

When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent (taniyn). (KJV, Exodus 7:9)

And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent (taniyn). (KJV, Exodus 7:10)

Is it possible that Moses’ staff turned into a crocodile instead of a serpent? Yes, I believe so. The usual Hebrew word for a serpent is נחש (nahhash, Strong’s #5175) and this is the word used in these two verses.

And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent (nahhash); and Moses fled from before it. (KJV, Exodus 4:3)

Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's brink against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent (nahhash) shalt thou take in thine hand. (KJV, Exodus 7:15)

According to these verses, Moses’ staff turned into a taniyn (7:9,10), but it is also called a nahhash (4:3, 7:15). I am of the opinion that the Hebrew word nahhash means “reptile,” which could be a serpent or a crocodile. This leaves us with the word taniyn. In Genesis 1:21 the taniyn, translated as “whale” in the KJV, appears to live in the water, but in Psalm 91:13 the taniyn, translated as “dragon” in the KJV, appears to live on the land.

While there are some serpents that do swim in the water, they are predominately a land animal. The crocodile however, is at home in the water and the land.

Strong's: #8577



If you would like to be notified of new articles from this website...
Join the Mail List



Related Pages by Jeff A. Benner


Ancient Hebrew Dictionary Target=Ancient Hebrew Dictionary (Book)
This Biblical Hebrew dictionary contains the one thousand most frequent verbs and nouns found within the Hebrew Bible.


TheThe Living Words - Introduction (Article)
An introduction to Mr. Benner's book The Living Words expounding on the Ancient Hebrew culture and philosophy.


DefinitionDefinition of Hebrew Names (Articles)
Defining Hebrew names based on the Hebrew words used within the names.



Search the AHRC Website

Google
 
Web Ancient-Hebrew.Org