New International Version
Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.
King James Bible
And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
Darby Bible Translation
Then Jehovah sent fiery serpents among the people, which bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
World English Bible
Yahweh sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many people of Israel died.
Young's Literal Translation
And Jehovah sendeth among the people the burning serpents, and they bite the people, and much people of Israel die;
Numbers 21:6 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Fiery serpents - הנחשים השרפים hannechashim hasseraphim. I have observed before, on Genesis 3. that it is difficult to assign a name to the creature termed in Hebrew nachash; it has different significations, but its meaning here and in Genesis 3.is most difficult to be ascertained. Seraphim is one of the orders of angelic beings, Isaiah 6:2, Isaiah 6:6; but as it comes from the root שרף saraph, which signifies to burn, it has been translated fiery in the text. It is likely that St. Paul alludes to the seraphim, Hebrews 1:7 : Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a Flame Of Fire. The animals mentioned here by Moses may have been called fiery because of the heat, violent inflammation, and thirst, occasioned by their bite; and consequently, if serpents, they were of the prester or dipsas species, whose bite, especially that of the former, occasioned a violent inflammation through the whole body, and a fiery appearance of the countenance. The poet Lucan has well expressed this terrible effect of the bite of the prester, and also of the dipsas, in the ninth book of his Pharsalia, which, for the sake of those who may not have the work at hand, I shall here insert.
Of the mortal effects of the bite of the dipsas in the deserts of Libya he gives the following description: -
"Signiferum juvenem Tyrrheni sanguinis Aulum
Torta caput retro dipsas calcata momordit.
Vix dolor aut sensus dentis fuit: ipsaque laeti
Frons caret invidia: nec quidquam plaga minatur.
Ecce subit virus tacitum, carpitque medullas
Ignis edax, calidaque incendit viscera tabe.
Ebibit humorem circum vitalia fusum
Pestis, et in sicco linguam torrere palato
Coepit: defessos iret qui sudor in artus
Non fuit, atque oculos lacrymarum vena refugit."
Aulus, a noble youth of Tyrrhene blood,
Who bore the standard, on a dipsas trod;
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryThe Poison and the Antidote
'And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to compare the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. 5. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. 6. And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 7. Therefore …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Messiah Suffering and Wounded for Us
The Two Classes.
1 Corinthians 10:9
We should not test Christ, as some of them did--and were killed by snakes.
He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock.
"See, I will send venomous snakes among you, vipers that cannot be charmed, and they will bite you," declares the LORD.
"Or if I send wild beasts through that country and they leave it childless and it becomes desolate so that no one can pass through it because of the beasts,
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