8 Biblical References to Snakes Beyond the Serpent

Did you know the Bible talks about snakes in more ways than just the one in Eden? Besides that famous snake, other stories show how snakes symbolize different things in the Bible.

Let’s look at eight such stories. We will talk about the bronze serpent, fiery serpents, and even the staff of Moses. These stories help us learn about the human struggle, spiritual fights, and the power of God’s healing.

We’re about to embark on an interesting journey. We’ll find out what biblical stories about snakes teach us. Ready to learn and challenge what you know? Let’s get started!

The Serpent in Eden’s Curse (Genesis 3:14)

Genesis 3:14 tells us about the curse on the serpent after it tricked Eve in the Garden of Eden. This curse marks the serpent’s fall from grace. It connects the serpent to deceit and drawing people away from what’s right.

“And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” – Genesis 3:14

God’s punishment means the serpent will drag itself and eat dust forever. This consequence shows the result of tricking Adam and Eve. It emphasizes how the serpent is linked to trickery and manipulation.

The serpent symbolizes the battle between good and evil. It’s often seen as sly and sneaky. The story of the serpent and Adam and Eve warns against giving in to temptation and turning away from what’s right.

Over time, the serpent’s role in Eden has become a strong message. It’s a reminder to guard against deception and to pick knowledge and what’s right over the wrong.

Symbolism Key Elements
Deceit The serpent’s involvement in the temptation of Adam and Eve
Temptation The serpent’s part in luring humanity off the right path
Fallen State The curse of crawling on its belly and consuming dust

The Bronze Serpent – Nehushtan (Numbers 21:8-9)

During the Israelites’ journey, God told Moses to make a bronze serpent on a pole. This was in Numbers 21:8-9. This bronze serpent had a special job. If someone got bitten by a snake, they only needed to look at it to get healed.

The bronze serpent symbolized healing and showed God’s mercy. It gave hope and fixed things for anyone in real trouble. This showed in a very real way how God’s grace helps us.

Including a picture of the bronze serpent helps us see its big meaning better. Below is an image to help you understand:

Bronze Serpent

The picture shows the bronze serpent on a pole, just like in the Bible at Numbers 21:8-9. This image helps us remember how people got better by looking at the bronze serpent. It’s about the faith they had in God’s word.

Serpent’s Brood (Matthew 3:7 & 12:34)

In Matthew, John the Baptist calls the religious leaders a “brood of vipers.” He means they act like snakes with their lies and danger. John wants them to be honest and truly believe in their faith.

“Brood of vipers” shows up twice in Matthew, in Matthew 3:7 and Matthew 12:34. John uses it when talking to the Pharisees and Sadducees at the Jordan River. His goal is to shock them into changing their ways. He wants them to stop their bad actions and start showing real faith.

“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?'” – Matthew 3:7

“You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” – Matthew 12:34

John uses this strong picture to talk about having a real change of heart. He’s saying faith should change how you think, act, and talk. It’s not just about outward looks; it’s about what’s inside.

See also  7 Birds That Brought Messages in the Bible

The leaders John is talking to look good on the outside but are bad inside. John wants them to see that true faith is about being real and wanting to do what’s right.

By thinking about “brood of vipers,” we see the need for true faith and honesty. Just as John told the leaders to change, we’re reminded to check our own hearts. Our faith should show in how we live, not just what we say.

In short, John’s words highlight how some leaders were not true to their faith. By saying “brood of vipers,” he pushed them to change, be real, and have true faith.

Comparing the Characteristics of a Brood of Vipers with Genuine Faith

Brood of Vipers Genuine Faith
Hypocritical Genuine and authentic
Deceitful Transparent and honest
Dangerous Sincere and beneficial

Wisdom Compared to a Serpent (Proverbs 23:32)

In Proverbs 23:32, wisdom is likened to a serpent’s cunning. Just as a serpent moves carefully, wisdom urges us to be smart in life. It tells us to think before we act, ensuring we make smart choices and avoid trouble.

Being wise is a key skill. It helps us look deeper into things and think before we leap, avoiding bad decisions. This way, we pick the best path that stays true to what we believe and where we want to go.

“Seeing wisdom as serpent-like reminds us not to ignore smarts. Just like how the serpent tricked Eve long ago, wisdom helps us today in making clear decisions.”

Understanding the value of wisdom lets us judge situations well. It gives us strength to face problems wisely, skipping unnecessary hardship and picking choices that are truly good for us.

The Power of Discernment

Wisdom being compared to a serpent highlights the need for good judgment. This skill helps us tell right from wrong, leading us to better paths. It guides us in the complexities of life, giving us clear eyes.

Finding this skill lets us move smoothly through life’s challenges. We make choices deftly, based on what we hold dear. It helps us see lies for what they are and choose with honesty.

Seeking Wisdom

Especially as with the serpent, wisdom grows with seeking. We can gain more wisdom by learning, thinking, and seeking advice from knowledgeable others. Also, by learning from our past acts.

Choosing wisdom enriches life. It helps us make choices that improve and enlighten. This way, we get wiser about our own selves and the world we live in.

Let wisdom, like a serpent, guide your way. Value smart choices and seek wisdom. This will bring you to know yourself and your surroundings more deeply.

Wisdom Compared to a Serpent

Fiery Serpents (Deuteronomy 8:15)

In Deuteronomy 8:15, God sends fiery serpents to punish the Israelites. This is a lesson about God’s power over nature.

See also  10 Instances of Horses in Biblical Events

They also show the consequences of disobeying God’s rules. The story tells about how the Israelites faced trials and had to keep their faith strong.

When they disobeyed, they were attacked by venomous snakes. This punishment shows God’s authority and his clear stance against rebellion. The snakes and their bites symbolize the harsh results of disobeying.

“And He led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock;”

After this harsh lesson, the Israelites repented. They turned to God, asked for forgiveness, and showed their faith again. Because of their actions, they were saved from the snakes’ deadly venom.

The Consequences of Disobedience

The fiery serpents in Deuteronomy 8:15 show us the results of disobeying. It teaches that not following God’s ways can lead to great suffering.

This punishment urges us to think about how important it is to be faithful and obedient. The fiery serpents are a lesson in the costs of not listening to God.

Learning from the Fiery Serpents

This story warns us of disobedience. It’s a chance for us to think about our own actions and their spiritual effects.

We should ask ourselves if we are really obeying God’s rules. By reflecting on this, we can stay true to God’s wishes and avoid disobeying.

Deuteronomy 8:15 also reminds us of God’s complete control over everything. He is both loving and just.

Lessons from Fiery Serpents in Deuteronomy 8:15
God’s authority over all creation
Consequences of disobedience
Opportunity for personal reflection and repentance
Importance of obedience and faithfulness
God’s role as a just and righteous judge

The tale of the fiery serpents is a strong lesson in obedience, trust, and repentance. It warns about the dangers of going against God and highlights the need to follow his commands.

Fiery Serpents

Staff of Moses Transformed (Exodus 4:3-4)

In Exodus 4:3-4, Moses showed his power from God to Pharaoh. He threw his staff down, and it turned into a snake. This miracle was a powerful moment of God’s authority over everything.

This miracle showed Pharaoh that God was more powerful than his own beliefs. It was a clear sign that God was ready to fight for His people’s freedom.

“God’s ability to transform the staff into a serpent symbolizes His dominion over both the natural and supernatural realms.”

Pharaoh saw something that shattered his confidence. His staff turning into a serpent was a sign that God was in control, not him. This event challenged Pharaoh’s understanding of power.

Surely, this was a warning to Pharaoh. It told of the coming plagues and the Israelites’ eventual freedom. The staff’s transformation was only the beginning of God’s plan.

This event also teaches us about God’s great power. Just like He turned Moses’ staff into a serpent, He can do wonders with what seems small and ordinary. It shows us that by trusting in God, our lives can change for the better, just like Moses’ staff did.

staff of Moses transformed

Serpent as a Symbol of Deception (Revelation 12:9 & 20:2)

In the book of Revelation, a big serpent is a strong symbol of deceit. This serpent stands for Satan, who is tricky and wants to mislead people away from what’s right. The story shows there’s a constant fight between good and evil. It teaches us the value of knowing what’s true and staying faithful.

“And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world…” – Revelation 12:9

This part makes it clear that the serpent is linked to deceit. It calls Satan the one who tricks everyone. It warns us to always be ready to spot and reject evil’s lies.

See also  5 Insects Mentioned in the Bible and Their Meanings

Revelation 20:2 talks about the serpent again:

“And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.”

Here, it talks about Satan being defeated and tied up for a long time. The story’s use of a serpent shows how tricky Satan is. It teaches that in the end, lies won’t win.

serpent as a symbol of deception

The story of the serpent in Revelation is a clear warning. It tells us to always watch out for the devil’s plans. We’re reminded that there’s always a spiritual war. Knowing the truth and being wise helps us beat the lies around us.

Serpent Raised Up by Moses (John 3:14-15)

When talking with Nicodemus, Jesus mentions the serpent the same way Moses did in the Old Testament. Jesus discusses the importance of starting life anew to join God’s kingdom.

“Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up. Then whoever believes in him will have eternal life.”

Jesus compares his own future crucifixion to Moses’ act of raising a bronze serpent. He explains this to show that just as looking at the bronze serpent brought healing then, believing in him brings eternal life now.

He stresses the critical role of faith in gaining eternal life. As the Israelites had to look at the bronze serpent to be cured, we too must look to Jesus with belief to receive spiritual healing.

This story captures the core message of salvation. It shows how the serpent’s raising by Moses connects to God’s plan for saving us and giving eternal life.

serpent raised up by Moses

The Symbolism of the Serpent Raised Up

The serpent raised by Moses points ahead to Jesus’ death on a cross and the life it offers. It signifies Jesus’ upcoming crucifixion and the salvation that follows.

The bronze serpent on a pole offers a visible sign of God’s mercy to the Israelites fighting serpent bites. After they looked at it, they found healing. Similarly, looking to Jesus with trust offers spiritual healing and life forever.

This imagery shows how strong God’s saving power is. It says that through faith in Jesus, we get eternal life and repair our relationship with God.

The Role of Faith in Receiving Eternal Life

Jesus affirms the importance of faith in God’s saving plan. Looking at the bronze serpent needed trust in God. Now, trust in Jesus is vital for eternal life.

He explains that faith in him is crucial. His sacrifice and return to life offer salvation to those who believe. Just like the bronze serpent, believing in Jesus is the way to get healed eternally.

  • Belief in Jesus as the Son of God
  • Trust in God’s saving plan
  • Active faith in receiving eternal life’s gift

These elements are key for God’s love and salvation to change our lives.


Snakes in the Bible offer deep ideas about life. They appear as the serpent in Eden and other forms. These symbols tell us about temptation, healing, and deceit consequences. Also, they teach us to be careful and wise every day.

Stories about snakes also show spiritual struggles. For example, Moses’s staff turning into a serpent shows God’s power. And the metaphor of the serpent’s brood in Matthew teaches the value of true faith.

In short, the Bible’s snake references are timeless and wise. They help us understand life and its tests. Learning from them can make us wiser in our own life journeys.