October 1, 2014
When I was marking my books for the Wednesday reading, I noticed that Mrs. Eddy gives the Greek and Hebrew words in parentheses next to “serpent” in the Glossary. This is the only definition in the Glossary where she included the Greek and Hebrew words in parentheses, so I was curious to look them up.
Ophis in Greek means “pertaining to the eye.” Think of words beginning with this prefix — such as optical or optometry.
Nacash in Hebrew, according to Strong’s concordance, means “serpent” or “to practice divination.” There was quite a variety of commentary about the meaning of “nacash” on the internet, and here is one sample:
The Hebrew word Nachash is translated to “shine” (like brass) or whisper (as in enchantment). The Nachash was not a literal snake. The Nachash was, to use literal Hebrew, a ‘shining enchanter.’ He was also ‘shrewd’ (smooth or slick), as a descriptive term in the Hebrew for ‘naked and cunning’ in deceiving Eve.
Anyway, I can’t vouch for the accuracy of all internet sources, but you can see how knowing the original word for serpent adds meaning to our own definition!