Numbers 21:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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."

New Living Translation
Then the LORD told him, "Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!"

English Standard Version
And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.”

New American Standard Bible
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live."

King James Bible
And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake image and mount it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will recover."

International Standard Version
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."

NET Bible
The LORD said to Moses, "Make a poisonous snake and set it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will live."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake, and put it on a pole. Anyone who is bitten can look at it and live."

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent and lift it up as a banner, and it shall be that anyone that is bitten and looks upon it shall live.

King James 2000 Bible
And the LORD said unto Moses, Make you a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looks upon it, shall live.

American King James Version
And the LORD said to Moses, Make you a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looks on it, shall live.

American Standard Version
And Jehovah said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a standard: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he seeth it, shall live.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the Lord said to him: Make brazen serpent, and set it up for a sign: whosoever being struck shall look on it, shall live.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jehovah said to Moses, Make thee a fiery [serpent], and set it upon a pole; and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, and looketh upon it, shall live.

English Revised Version
And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a standard: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he seeth it, shall live.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the LORD said to Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

World English Bible
Yahweh said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard: and it shall happen, that everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live."

Young's Literal Translation
And Jehovah saith unto Moses, 'Make for thee a burning serpent, and set it on an ensign; and it hath been, every one who is bitten and hath seen it -- he hath lived.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

21:4-9 The children of Israel were wearied by a long march round the land of Edom. They speak discontentedly of what God had done for them, and distrustfully of what he would do. What will they be pleased with, whom manna will not please? Let not the contempt which some cast on the word of God, make us value it less. It is the bread of life, substantial bread, and will nourish those who by faith feed upon it, to eternal life, whoever may call it light bread. We see the righteous judgment God brought upon them for murmuring. He sent fiery serpents among them, which bit or stung many to death. It is to be feared that they would not have owned the sin, if they had not felt the smart; but they relent under the rod. And God made a wonderful provision for their relief. The Jews themselves say it was not the sight of the brazen serpent that cured; but in looking up to it, they looked up to God as the Lord that healed them. There was much gospel in this. Our Saviour declared, Joh 3:14,15, that as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man must be lifted up, that whatsoever believeth in him, should not perish. Compare their disease and ours. Sin bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder. Compare the application of their remedy and ours. They looked and lived, and we, if we believe, shall not perish. It is by faith that we look unto Jesus, Heb 12:2. Whosoever looked, however desperate his case, or feeble his sight, or distant his place, was certainly and perfectly cured. The Lord can relieve us from dangers and distresses, by means which human reason never would have devised. Oh that the venom of the old serpent, inflaming men's passions, and causing them to commit sins which end in their eternal destruction, were as sensibly felt, and the danger as plainly seen, as the Israelites felt pain from the bite of the fiery serpents, and feared the death which followed! Then none would shut their eyes to Christ, or turn from his gospel. Then a crucified Saviour would be so valued, that all things else would be accounted loss for him; then, without delay, and with earnestness and simplicity, all would apply to him in the appointed way, crying, Lord, save us; we perish! Nor would any abuse the freeness of Christ's salvation, while they reckoned the price which it cost him.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 8. - Make thee a fiery serpent. A saraph. The Septuagint, not understanding the meaning of saraph, has simply ὄφιν (cf. John 3:14). Set it upon a pole. גֵם Septuagint σήμειον. Vulgate, signum. The same word is better translated "ensign" in such passages as Isaiah 11:10; "banner" in such as Psalm 60:4; "standard" in such as Jeremiah 51:27. The "pole" may have been the tallest and most conspicuous of those military standards which were planted (probably on some elevation) as rallying points for the various camps; or it may have been one loftier still, made for the occasion.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And the Lord said unto Moses,.... Out of the cloud; or, it may be, Moses went into the sanctuary, and there prayed, and the Lord answered him from between the cherubim:

make them a fiery serpent; not a real one, but the likeness of one, one that should very much resemble the fiery serpents Israel had been bitten with:

and set it upon a pole; a standard, banner, or ensign, as the word signifies; perhaps meaning one of the poles on which their ensigns were carried: the Targum of Jonathan renders it, on an high place, that so it might be seen by all in the camp:

and it shall come to pass, that everyone that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live; which is very wonderful, that by looking to the figure of a serpent, men should be cured of the bites of real ones, and which bites were deadly; the virtue of healing could not come from the figure, but from God, who appointed it to be made, the Targum of Jonathan adds, that one bitten should live,"if he directed his heart to the Word of the Lord,''even to that divine Logos or Word of God, whose lifting up was figured hereby; see John 3:14.



Numbers 21:8 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Bronze Serpent
7So the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned, because we have spoken against the LORD and you; intercede with the LORD, that He may remove the serpents from us." And Moses interceded for the people. 8Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live." 9And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.
Cross References
John 3:14
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,

2 Kings 18:4
He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)

Isaiah 14:29
Do not rejoice, all you Philistines, that the rod that struck you is broken; from the root of that snake will spring up a viper, its fruit will be a darting, venomous serpent.

Isaiah 30:6
A prophecy concerning the animals of the Negev: Through a land of hardship and distress, of lions and lionesses, of adders and darting snakes, the envoys carry their riches on donkeys' backs, their treasures on the humps of camels, to that unprofitable nation,

Isaiah 45:22
"Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.
Treasury of Scripture

And the LORD said to Moses, Make you a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looks on it, shall live.

Psalm 106:43-45 Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their …

Psalm 145:8 The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

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