snal ((1) chomeT, the Revised Version (British and American) "sand-lizard," Septuagint saura, "lizard" (Le 11:30); (2) shabbelul, Septuagint keros, "wax" (Ps 58:8)): (1) ChomeT is 7th in the list of unclean "creeping things" in Le 11:30, and occurs nowhere else. "Snail" is not warranted by Septuagint or Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) the Revised Version (British and American) has "sand-lizard." It may be the skink or a species of Lacerta. See LIZARD. (2) Shabbelul is translated "snail" in Ps 58:8: "Let them be as a snail which melteth and passeth away." Mandelkern gives limax, "slug." Gesenius derives shabbelul from balal, "to pour"; compare Arabic balla, "to wet," instancing leimax, "snail," or "slug," from leibo, "to pour." While Septuagint has keros, "wax," Talmud (Mo`edh QaTan 6b) supports "snail." The ordinary explanation of the passage, which is not very satisfying, is that the snail leaves a trail of mucus (i.e. it melts) as it moves along. This does not in any way cause the snail to waste away, because its glands are continually manufacturing fresh mucous. Two large species of snail, Helix aspersa and Helix pomatia, are collected and eaten, boiled, by the Christians of Syria and Palestine, especially in Lent. The Jews and Moslems declare them to be unclean and do not eat them.
Alfred Ely Day