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Numbers 21:8-10 New English Translation (NET Bible)

The Lord said to Moses, “Make a poisonous snake and set it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks[a] at it, he will live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole, so that if a snake had bitten someone, when he looked at the bronze snake he lived.[b]

The Approach to Moab

10 [c] The Israelites traveled on and camped in Oboth.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 21:8 tn The word order is slightly different in Hebrew: “and it shall be anyone who is bitten when he looks at it he shall live.”
  2. Numbers 21:9 sn The image of the snake was to be a symbol of the curse that the Israelites were experiencing; by lifting the snake up on a pole Moses was indicating that the curse would be drawn away from the people—if they looked to it, which was a sign of faith. This symbol was later stored in the temple, until it became an object of worship and had to be removed (2 Kgs 18:4). Jesus, of course, alluded to it and used it as an illustration of his own mission. He would become the curse, and be lifted up, so that people who looked by faith to him would live (John 3:14). For further material, see D. J. Wiseman, “Flying Serpents,” TynBul 23 (1972): 108-10; and K. R. Joines, “The Bronze Serpent in the Israelite Cult,” JBL 87 (1968): 245-56.
  3. Numbers 21:10 sn See further D. L. Christensen, “Numbers 21:14-15 and the Book of the Wars of Yahweh,” CBQ 36 (1974): 359-60; G. W. Coats, “The Wilderness Itinerary,” CBQ 34 (1972): 135-52; G. I. Davies, “The Wilderness Itinerary,” TB 25 (1974): 46-81; idem, The Way of the Wilderness; G. E. Mendenhall, “The Hebrew Conquest of Palestine,” BA 25 (1962): 66-87.
New English Translation (NET)

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