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Serpent


"(Heb. nahash; Gr. ophis), frequently noticed in Scripture. More" than forty species are found in Syria and Arabia. The poisonous character of the serpent is alluded to in Jacob's blessing on "Dan (Gen. 49:17; see Prov. 30:18, 19; James 3:7; Jer. 8:17)." (See [571]ADDER.) "This word is used symbolically of a deadly, subtle, malicious enemy (Luke 10:19). "The serpent is first mentioned in connection with the history of the temptation and fall of our first parents (Gen. 3). It has "been well remarked regarding this temptation: "A real serpent" "was the agent of the temptation, as is plain from what is said" of the natural characteristic of the serpent in the first verse "of the chapter (3:1), and from the curse pronounced upon the" "animal itself. But that Satan was the actual tempter, and that" "he used the serpent merely as his instrument, is evident (1)" from the nature of the transaction; for although the serpent may "be the most subtle of all the beasts of the field, yet he has" not the high intellectual faculties which the tempter here displayed. (2.) In the New Testament it is both directly asserted and in various forms assumed that Satan seduced our "first parents into sin (John 8:44; Rom. 16:20; 2 Cor. 11:3, 14;" "Rev. 12:9; 20:2)." Hodge's System. Theol., ii. 127."

"(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 [572]ASP.) This "brazen" "serpent" was preserved by the Israelites till the days of" "Hezekiah, when it was destroyed (2 Kings 18:4). (See" [573]BRASS.)


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Related Bible Dictionary Terms:
Serpent Fiery