The Bronze Serpent: [נחשת] Nachoshét

Numbers 21:4-10
They (the Israelites) traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” (manna)
Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.”


The children of Israel were very near to the end of their wanderings in the wilderness.  40…..actually 38…..years of murmuring and complaining, murmuring and complaining, murmuring and complaining.

The First Of Many Evil Days.

Why do I say, “38?”  Because it was 38 years from the time they were turned back from the Promised Land at Kadesh Barnea.  From that point on, their wandering was a judgment on them.  It was the 9th day of the month of Av; Tish B’Av in Hebrew.

Ask any of your Jewish friends about this date and they will tell you some hair-raising tales. So many evil things that have happened to the Jewish people on this exact date, it cannot be a coincidence. It was on this day, the first evil day, that the spies came back from gathering intel from the land of Canaan and brought back an evil report. Everyone except Joshua and Caleb believed it. Tish B’Av started it all.

If you’d like to read the whole sad tale, you may follow the link below:

surprised emoji

Miserable Food???

The opening passage above is the record of the 10th time they tested the LORD since that fateful day.  They even went so far as to say they HATED the Manna He sent; called it “Miserable food!”

Miserable food???  Uh oh…..Not good!  You see, “Manna” is a typology of Jesus, the Bread of Life; God’s beloved Son.  Their rejection of it was a depiction their rejection of Him.

The Bronze Serpent.
God sent venomous snakes among the people and many died.  Well, He didn’t actually “Send” the snakes; they were there all along.  All He did was lift off His hand of protection and allow the serpents to come in and bite them.
But Moses prayed to the LORD for the people.  According to His command, he placed a bronze serpent on a pole in the midst of the camp.  When anyone looked intently with expectation at it, they were healed.
This is a picture of Jesus, our Healer!

Why A Serpent, Not A Lamb?

As the perfect, sinless, Lamb of God, Jesus came down from heaven to became the final sacrifice for sins.  No more bulls and goats, HALLELUJAH!

So, why did God have Moses make a bronze SERPENT and not a bronze LAMB and put it on a pole?  Because it would to be THE LAMB that would take away our sins: What we DO.  But on the cross, Jesus became what we ARE: Snakes.

Yep, that’s right, folks.  Without Christ, we’re all just a bunch of snakes.

You see, God cannot forgive the flesh.  Romans 8:4 says that God “CONDEMNED SIN IN THE FLESH.”  That is why Jesus “BECAME” sin at the cross.  He became what we are: A sin factory.  Though God could not forgive the flesh, He CONDEMNED it in the body of His Beloved Son on the cross.  As we walk through life, we are under His covering, like a waterfall, so that when we occasionally sin, it is instantly cleansed.

Your True Identity.

There’s something in our flesh that can just turn around and bite you, isn’t there?… a snake.  Our troubles aren’t always the devil attacking us or whispering lies, though he does do those things.  Sometimes he gives you thoughts of suicide, anxiety, or depression.  Or maybe, you are suddenly overwhelmed with impure thoughts, that kind of thing.
Those can also be our fleshly tendency to do wrong.  Please, Church; do yourself a favor.  Don’t look at your flesh–at yourself–when you fail.  LOOK TO JESUS!  He is your your true Identity.  He became what you are so that you could become what He is!  HALLELUJAH!!!
We are transformed by beholding Jesus’ GLORY…..NOT OUR GORY!


Secrets In The Hebrew Language.

The Hebrew word for “Look” in this passage is not the normal word for “Look.”  You see, the person bitten had to look “With a positive expectation of being healed.” It’s a picture of the cross.  What is God’s answer today for our needs, for healing and provision? Look to the cross with positive expectation of provision for your needs!

Now let’s look at what God has hidden in the text itself.  You know how He loves to hide wisdom in plain sight. 😉

Hebrew reads from right to left and is a form of picture writing, like Chinese. The word pictures of each letter tell us a story and show things you’d never find in any definition.  What’s really cool is that they give us a little window on God’s perspective.

This is the Hebrew spelling of the word, “Serpent:  Nachash

The Hebrew letters, from right to left, are “nun-chet-shin.”

[נ]  Nun is a picture of a “fish.”  The fish is symbolic of believers and of the Church. That is why it was used as the symbol for “Christian” in the early Church.


[ח]  Het or chet; the “ch” is pronounced like a guttural “k.” It is a picture of a “fence.” Something can either be fenced in or fenced out.
[ש]  Shin.  This letter by itself means “Shaddai” as in “El Shaddai-Almighty God.”  It is the letter you see on the mezuzah secured to the doorpost of most Jewish households.

Put the meanings of all the pictures together and they tell a story.  Church: What is it that the devil wants to do most of all?  KEEP BELIEVERS FENCED OFF FROM ALMIGHTY GOD!  That is God’s perspective or definition of a serpent.

More Hebrew.

The word for “bite” in Hebrew is “nashak.”  This is how it is spelled in Hebrew:

[נשך]  Nun-Shin-Kaf

This word is used when the fiery serpents “Bit” the Israelites in the desert.  It’s also the same word used to refer to the “Charging of interest” by lenders: Fiery little bites of poison.  Pretty graphic picture if you ask me!

Nun and Shin you’ve already met.  Whenever a word ends in “Kaf,” it is either something that belongs to you or happens to you.  This letter looks like it has its back turned away from God.  When you (the believer) ignore Almighty God’s instructions (that’s what Torah means) you can get “Bit.”

the bronze serpent

Your “fiery serpent” may be your debt, your depression, your disease, or some other seemingly insurmountable problem.  How do you deal with your problems?  How did God answer the people’s prayers to take the serpents away?  Did He take them away?  No.  He had Moses make a “Fiery bronze serpent” and put it on a pole.

This is a picture of Jesus on the cross.  You see, God’s answer is always, “Look expectantly” to the cross.  Your answer is always God’s provision through Jesus’ sacrifice.

More Secrets In Hebrew.

Below is the Hebrew word for bronze and its Hebrew spelling:

“nachochet.”  [נחשת]
The letters, from right to left, are “nun-het-shin-tav.”

The first three letters we’ve discussed.  The letter on the far left is “[ת] Tav.“ It is literally a picture of the “Cross.”  Bronze, wherever it is mentioned scripture, is a typology of “Judgment.”  The letters for the word “bronze” in Hebrew literally spell out this clear message:
“The serpent is judged at the cross!”
…hence, the bronze serpent on the pole, not a bronze Lamb!  HALLELUJAH!

Today, because our precious Jesus selflessly sacrificed Himself for us on the cross, you and I can look expectantly for healing and every provision to His finished work because the cross has replaced the bronze serpent.

Redemed by the Blood

Even More Hebrew.

As if all that weren’t cool enough, look at the word for Eagle and its Hebrew spelling:

Nesher [נשר]. Nun-shin-resh

Once again, the first two letters you already know.  The letter on the far left of this word is, “Resh-[ר].  It means, “Leader or head.”  “Rosh Hashanah,” for instance, means, “head of the year.”

This is what it means to God to be an eagle:  “When you accept the Lord as your leader or your head, you become an EAGLE!”

Reminds me of Isaiah 40:31 that says, “They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength.  They shall mount up with wings like eagles.”  And remember what it says in Psalm 91?

EAGLES EAT SNAKES.  Just like the eagle in the picture above, we will tread upon the lion and the cobra; the young lion and the serpent WE SHALL TRAMPLE UNDERFOOT! 

For more on that topic, follow the link below:
 That’s why, when we wait upon The Lord, God says we are like EAGLES…..And now you know why it was not a bronze lamb on a pole, but a Bronze Serpent.

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