The new annual cycle of Torah reading beginning with Genesis has witnessed strange

weather including thunder and lightning and a semi-rare medicane storm. The first rains of the season led to flash flooding in southern Israel, especially in the Zin wadi, a dry riverbed that contains water only when heavy rain occurs. The desert region is prone to flash flooding in the winter which can turn dangerous. 

One refugee from the storm was an Ef’eh (echis) viper. The Ef’eh is part of a group of snakes known as “saw-scaled vipers,” and they are responsible for causing the most snakebite cases and deaths in the world.

Thought this particular snake clearly did not like the water, the Bible frequently refers to sea monsters as serpents or snake-like. One such case was in the Book of Amos which describes a serpent residing at the bottom of the sea

“And if they conceal themselves from My sight At the bottom of the sea, There I will command The serpent to bite them. Amos 9:3

The Desert of Zin was known as the Wilderness of Kadesh in the Bible and the Zin river marked the southern border of Israel. 

Your boundary shall then turn to pass south of the ascent of Akrabbim and continue to Zin, and its limits shall be south of Kadesh-barnea, reaching Hazar-addar and continuing to Azmon. Numbers 34:4

Source: Israel in the News