FROG (Heb. צְפַרְדֵּעַ; ẓefarde'a). One of the ten plagues visited upon Egypt was that of frogs (Ex. 7:29; Ps. 78:45; 105:30). They apparently made life intolerable for the Egyptians by their shrill croaking and by contaminating food with their moist bodies. The frog, Rana esculenta, is found in Israel near bodies of water. The word ẓefarde'a may also refer to the toad (Bufo). While the frog is, according to the laws of the Torah, prohibited as food, it is not included among the swarming things which, by contact, make man, vessels, and food unclean (cf. Lev. 11:29–30; Toh. 5:4).


Tristram, Nat Hist, 280f.; J. Feliks, Animal World of the Bible (1962), 112. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Feliks, Ha-Ẓome'aḥ, 272.

[Jehuda Feliks]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.