The trust of the hypocrite is compared to the spider's web or house ( Job 8:14 ). It is said of the wicked by Isaiah that they "weave the spider's web" ( 59:5 ), i.e., their works and designs are, like the spider's web, vain and useless. The Hebrew word here used is 'akkabish , "a swift weaver."
In Proverbs 30:28 a different Hebrew word (semamith) is used. It is rendered in the Vulgate by stellio, and in the Revised Version by "lizard." It may, however, represent the spider, of which there are, it is said, about seven hundred species in Palestine.
The Hebrew word accabish in ( Job 8:24 ; Isaiah 59:5 ) is correctly rendered "spider." Put semamith is wrongly translated "spider" in ( Proverbs 30:28 ) it refers probably to some kind of lizard. (But "there are many species of spider in Palestine: some which spin webs, like the common garden spider; some which dig subterranean cells and make doors in them, like the well-known trap-door spider of southern Europe; and some which have no web, but chase their prey upon the ground, like the hunting-and the wolf-spider." --Woods Bible Animals.)
(2) semamith, "lizard," the King James Version "spider"; Septuagint kalabotes (Proverbs 30:28)):
Semamith of Proverbs 30:28 is probably the gecko, a kind of lizard, as Septuagint and the Revised Version (British and American) have it. See LIZARD.
In Job 8:14 the spider's web is an emblem of frailty:
"Whose confidence shall break in sunder, and whose trust is a spider's web." Frailty or futility seems to be indicated also in Isaiah 59:5,6: "They hatch adders' eggs, and weave the spider's web: .... Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works" "Spider's web" is in Job 8:14 both `akkabhish, "spider's house," while in Isaiah 59:5 it is qure `akkabhish, qur, according to BDB, being "thread" or "film."
Alfred Ely Day
These files are public domain.