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Cockatrice

A Cockatrice is a mythical beast, essentially a two-legged dragon with a rooster's head.

King James Version[]

The first use of the word in English was in John Wyclif's 1382 translation of the Bible. This usage was followed by the King James Version, the word being used several times, to translate Hebrew tziph'oni:

And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den[1].

Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent[2].

They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper[3].

For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the lord[4].

Other Versions and Translations[]

In all these instances, the Revised Version—following the tradition established by Jerome's Vulgate basiliscus—renders the word "basilisk", and the New International Version translates it as "viper". In Proverbs 23:32 the similar Hebrew tzeph'a is rendered "adder", both in the Authorized Version and the Revised Version.

References[]

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