Fiery serpent



(LXX. “deadly,” Vulg. “burning”), Num. 21:6, probably the naja haje of Egypt; some swift-springing, deadly snake (Isa. 14:29). After setting out from their encampment at Ezion-gaber, the Israelites entered on a wide sandy desert, which stretches from the mountains of Edom as far as the Persian Gulf. While traversing this region, the people began to murmur and utter loud complaints against Moses. As a punishment, the Lord sent serpents among them, and much people of Israel died. Moses interceded on their behalf, and by divine direction he made a “brazen serpent,” and raised it on a pole in the midst of the camp, and all the wounded Israelites who looked on it were at once healed. (Comp. John 3:14, 15.) (See ASP.) This “brazen serpent” was preserved by the Israelites till the days of Hezekiah, when it was destroyed (2 Kings 18:4). (See BRASS.)

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