Serpent - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
Serpent[ 1,,G3789, ophis ]
the characteristics of the serpent" as alluded to in Scripture are mostly evil (though Matthew 10:16 refers to its caution in avoiding danger); its treachery, Genesis 49:17; 2 Corinthians 11:3; its venom, Psalms 58:4; 1 Corinthians 10:9; Revelation 9:19; its skulking, Job 26:13; its murderous proclivities, e.g., Psalms 58:4; Proverbs 23:32; Ecclesiastes 10:8, Ecclesiastes 10:11; Amos 5:19; Mark 16:18; Luke 10:19; the Lord used the word metaphorically of the scribes and Pharisees, Matthew 23:33 (cp. echidna, "viper," in Matthew 3:7; Matthew 12:34). The general aspects of its evil character are intimated in the Lord's rhetorical question in Matthew 7:10; Luke 11:11. Its characteristics are concentrated in the archadversary of God and man, the Devil, metaphorically described as the serpent, 2 Corinthians 11:3; Revelation 12:9, Revelation 12:14-Revelation 12:15; Revelation 20:2. The brazen "serpent" lifted up by Moses was symbolical of the means of salvation provided by God, in Christ and His vicarious death under the Divine judgment upon sin, John 3:14. While the living "serpent" symbolizes sin in its origin, hatefulness, and deadly effect, the brazen "serpent" symbolized the bearing away of the curse and the judgement of sin; the metal was itself figurative of the righteousness of God's judgment.
[ 2,,G2062, herpeton ]
"a creeping thing" (from herpo, "to creep"), "a reptile," is rendered "serpents" in James 3:7, AV (RV, "creeping things," as elsewhere). See CREEP, B.