poisonous snake, 1520s, earlier aspis (mid-14c.), from Old French aspe (13c.) or directly from Latin aspidem (nominative aspis), from Greek aspis "shield;" the serpent so called probably in reference to its neck hood.
(Heb. pethen), Deut. 32:33; Job 20:14, 16; Isa. 11:8. It was probably the Egyptian cobra (Naja haje), which was very poisonous (Rom. 3:13; Gr. aspis). The Egyptians worshipped it as the _uraeus_, and it was found in the desert and in the fields. The peace and security of Messiah's reign is represented by the figure of a child playing on the hole of the asp. (See ADDER.)