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Serpent’s Stone

SERPENT’s STONE (אֶ֣בֶן הַזֹּחֶ֔לֶת, LXX λίθου τοῦ Ζώελεθ, probable meaning, either stone of the crawling thing or the gliding stone); KJV STONE OF ZOHELETH (1 Kings 1:9), also NEB and NASB.

A stone or boulder near En-rogel, a spring near Jerusalem in the valley of Kidron, by which Adonijah offered sacrifices in his abortive attempt to become king (1 Kings 1:9). Hazōḥelet, from the verb זָחַל֒, H2323, “to glide, to crawl” (cf. Deut 32:24; Mic 7:17), may indicate either the sliding of the rock from the overhanging cliffs to the spring, or that the stone was associated with the cultic emblem of the serpent.

Bibliography G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, I (1907), 109-111; G. R. Driver, “Hebrew Notes,” ZAW, LII (1934), 51, 52; J. A. Montgomery and H. S. Gehman, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Books of the Kings, ICC (1951), 73, 74; J. Simons, Jerusalem in the Old Testament (1952), 158-162; J. Gray, I and II Kings (1963), 81, 82.

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