The Bronze Snake

Numbers 21:4-9. God sent snakes to punish the people who had sinned by speaking against Him and Moses.

He then said to Moses to make a bronze snake that was fastened to a pole. If any person who had been bitten by the snakes then looked at the bronze snake in obedience to God’s command, they would live.

The people of Israel were at it again, growing impatient and saying, “Why have you, Moses, brought us into the desert to die? We do not like the food God supplies.”

The people Moses was leading were again forgetting very quickly the miracles God had performed for them even though the cloud by day and the fire by night were still with them.

Jesus talks about this incident in John 3:14-15. Jesus also talks about being lifted up in John 8:28 and John 12:32. Do these passages have a double meaning: i.e. referring to both the Roman cross of death and a bronze snake on a pole that gave life to those that looked upon it?

Background Reading:

The Bronze Snake or Serpent

21:4 After this, they traveled from Mount Hor along the caravan route by way of the Sea of Reeds and went around the land of Edom. But when the people got impatient because it was a long route, 5 the people complained against the LORD and Moses. “Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” they asked. “There’s no food and water, and we’re tired of this worthless bread.”

6 In response, the LORD sent poisonous serpents among the people to bite them. As a result, many people of Israel died. 7 Then the people approached Moses and admitted, “We’ve sinned by speaking against the LORD and you. Pray to the LORD, that he’ll remove the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed in behalf of the people.

8 Then the LORD instructed Moses, “Make a poisonous serpent out of brass and fasten it to a pole. Anyone who has been bitten and who looks at it will live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent and fastened it to a pole. If a person who had been bitten by a poisonous serpent looked to the serpent, he lived.
Numbers 21:4-9

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