Sunday, February 20, 2022

Why Does the Bronze Serpent on the Pole Picture Messiah?

By Maria Merola אריאל

© Copyright Double Portion Inheritance, written in February 2021

Recently, it has come to my attention, that some people are teaching that Moses disobeyed YaHuWaH when he fashioned the bronze serpent on a pole. They erroneously conclude that Moses was instructed to make an image of a six-winged seraphim on a piece of cloth, like a banner or a flag.

The only problem with this notion, is that it completely destroys the prophetic shadow picture of our Messiah as the Aleph & Taw who crushed the head of the serpent, and who also came to destroy the works of the devil.

Before I move forward in this study, I want to cut right to the chase, and show you how these verses appear in the original Hebrew text of the Bible. 

You will notice in this graphic, that the Aleph & Taw appears right next to the word “pole” in Numbers 21:8-9. Additionally, the Hebrew word for the English “pole” indicates that the Aleph, Taw & Waw was there as a prophetic “sign,” for us to look upon. 

In John 3:14, we are also shown that it was the Aleph & Taw that was lifted up, as a prophetic picture of our Messiah who became sin for us, and therefore, he destroyed the sinful nature of the serpent when he was nailed to the cross. To learn more see this other blog: The Aleph & Taw: The Red Heifer & The Two Sticks.

The confusion about the bronze serpent on the pole is caused by the fact that there is more than one meaning or synonym for the Hebrew word “saraph,” in Numbers 21:6-9. And since our English Bible does not show us when there is an Aleph & Taw embedded in the text, its easy to miss these subtle prophetic pictures, and come to a wrong conclusion. 

The other word in question is the word “pole,” in Numbers 21:8-9. This word for pole in Hebrew (nec) also has more than one meaning or synonym, and therefore, it would be easy to choose the synonym that best fits ones own confirmation bias.

In the English language, we have similar words, such as the word “bear,” which can mean a ferocious animal in the wilderness. But the word “bear,” (spelled the same way) can also mean “To bear one anothers burdens.” Another definition can mean “To bear down on your abdominal muscles while doing crunches.”

The same thing is true of this word “saraph,” and also of the word “pole,” as both have more than one meaning or synonym. Therefore, we must do a word-study to find out how these Hebrew words are used in other passages of Scripture. Here is an example of the word “saraph” in Genesis 11:

Bereshiyth (Genesis) 11:3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn [saraph] them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 

As you can see this word “saraph” can simply mean “to burn,” or it can also means “a fiery serpent.” But it can also mean “a seraphim with six wings.” 

However, judging from the context of the entire chapter of Numbers 21, it is easy to see that Moses was instructed to make something that resembles a fiery serpent on a pole or a cross. This was meant to remind us of the prophecy in Genesis 3:15, where we are told that “The seed of the woman (Messiah), would crush the head of the serpent.”

In the process of studying this account in Numbers 21, I learned that the venom from a snakebite causes a person to feel as if they are on fire. Its not that these snakes were literally on fire. I will explain more about this as we progress in this teaching.

There are several evidences that Moses did indeed obey, when he was instructed to make something to remind of our future redemption in Messiah. But some people struggle to understand why a serpent represents Yahuwshuwa, since he is holy, and righteous, whereas a serpent is associated with the devil and all that is evil.

Scripture tells us that Messiah destroyed the power of the serpent by dying for us on two crossed sticks, or two trees. This is the reason why next to the word “pole” in Numbers 21:8-9, we see a prophetic picture of Messiah as the Aleph, Taw & Waw. These three letters are hidden in the our English Bibles, but they can be found in the Hebrew text, as they represent the Red Heifer nailed to Two Trees, for both Houses of Yisrael!

Yah did not judge Moses (as he did in the previous chapter when he smote the rock). If Moses fashioning this bronze serpent on a pole had been an act of disobedience (and a second time in a row for that matter), Yah would have been even more furious with Moses by this point. This would have been a blatant act of disobedience, only one chapter later. We would then have to place Moses in the same category as King Saul, (who repeatedly disobeyed Yah), and thus experienced the consequences of being tormented by evil spirits. This did not happen to Moses, but it did happen to King Saul.

Another reason why we know that Moses did not disobey twice in a row, is that there are several prophetic signs embedded into the text of Numbers 21:6-9. What are they?

In these passages, we can see the Aleph & Taw (a symbol of our Messiah) in the text. Not only does the Aleph & Taw appear in the Book of Numbers, but also in the Book of John, in the Briyth Chadashah (New Testament). As you will see from the screenshot (below), I used my special esword program that has Ancient Hebrew Pictograph fonts, and discovered seven Aleph & Taw’s in the text of Numbers 21:4-9. 

The number “seven” represents covenant in Scripture. And the Aleph & Taw is a prophetic picture of our Messiah, Yahuwshuwa, as he is “The first and the last, the beginning and the ending, the Aleph & Taw,” (Isaiah 41:4; 44:6; 48:12; Revelation 1:11; 1:17; 22:13). What this tells us, is that the bronze serpent on a pole is a prophetic picture of Yahuwshuwa haMashiyach! 

You will also notice that only in verse 8, the Aleph & Taw is coupled with the Waw, or the nail. Why? Because this verse is foretelling about our Messiah being nailed to two sticks or the cross!

If Moses was being disobedient in this account, why then, does the Apostle John refer to the bronze serpent on a pole, as a prophetic picture of our Messiah, and his obedience unto death? Below, you will see a screenshot from my esword program of a comparison between the Hebrew translation of John 3:14 and the KJV+. As you can see, the Aleph & Taw (which is Messiah) is being lifted up! 

Yahuwchanon (John) 3:14 And as Mosheh lifted up [ALEPH & TAW] the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up. 

It is obvious that Moses was not instructed to make a cloth banner with an image of a seraphim or angel on it. For in this account, the people had been bitten by poisonous serpents, and some of them were dying. This is consistent with the Genesis narrative where Adam & Eve died spiritually when they obeyed the serpent and ate of the forbidden fruit. So where is the confusion coming from? It stems from the fact that there are two entries in the Strong’s Concordance for the Hebrew word “saraph.” 

The primary definition of this word (#H8314) simply means “burning.” The secondary meaning can also mean “A poisonous serpent,” because the poison from a snake bite will cause a burning sensation. 

The third definition can also mean “seraphim,” as seen in Isaiah 6:1-5, where Isaiah is visited by a six-winged creature that touches his lips with a burning coal. A seraphim is defined in the Hebrew Concordance as a “saraph,” because it is “A burning one” or “ A shining one.” 

In other words, because these living creatures are at the throne of Elohiym, they reflect the light of his presence, and therefore, they appear to be on fire. We have often heard people using this as a metaphor when someone is very passionate about something, we say “Wow, you are on fire!” The same thing can be said about this word “saraph.” It is not limited to these six-winged creatures. It is also not limited to the word “poisonous snake.” For it can also mean something “shiny and coppery.” 

This word “saraph” is not necessarily describing a snake, or a seraphim, because the primary definition of this word simply means “something burning, or on fire.” It can also mean “something shiny.” Therefore, the word “saraph” is simply describing the burning sensation that comes when a snake bites it’s victims. At this website, I learned that a rattlesnake bite will cause a burning sensation:  

At the Mayo Clinic website, it says the following: Mayo Clinic: Snakebites

Usually, after a bite from a venomous snake, there is severe burning pain at the site within 15 to 30 minutes. This can progress to swelling and bruising at the wound and all the way up the arm or leg. 

Another way we can know which definition of the word “saraph and pole” apply in Numbers 21:6-9 is that we must read the entire account for context. Therefore, whenever we see the symbols of the “Aleph & Taw” strategically placed in the text, we can be certain that there is a much deeper message than meets the eye. 

The Aleph & Taw who Crushed the Serpent!

In these passages, we get a picture of YaHuWaH himself, who came in the flesh as our Messiah, to save us from the power of the serpent.

Yeshayahuw (Isaiah) 41:4 Who has wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I YHWH, THE FIRST, AND THE LAST; I AM HE. 

Yeshayahuw (Isaiah) 44:6 Thus says YHWH the King of Yisra’el, and his redeemer YHWH of hosts; I AM THE FIRST, AND I AM THE LAST; and beside me there is no Elohiym. 

Yeshayahuw (Isaiah) 48:12 Hearken unto me, O Yaaqob (Jacob) and Yisrael, my called; I AM HE; I AM THE FIRST, AND I AM ALSO THE LAST. 

Chazown (Revelation) 1:11 Saying, I AM ALPHA & OMEGA [ALEPH & TAW], THE FIRST AND THE LAST: and, What you see, write in a book, and send it unto the seven assemblies which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. 

Chazown (Revelation) 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I AM THE FIRST AND THE LAST


Because the Aleph & Taw is a prophetic picture of our Messiah, it does not make sense that Yah wanted the people to look upon an image of a 6-winged seraphim on a banner, because this is not a prophetic picture of our Messiah. Additionally, angels are created beings, and should not be worshiped (Colossians 2:18). Nevertheless, I want to examine the evidence to help some of you sift through all the confusion. In the Hebrew Concordance, there are three different words that have the following meaning:

#H8314 saraph - from 8313; burning, i.e. (figuratively) poisonous (serpent); specifically, a saraph or symbolical creature (from their copper color):--fiery (serpent), seraph.

#H8313 saraph - A primitive root; to be (causatively, set) on fire:--(cause to, make a burning), kindle, utterly.

#H5175 nachash - a serpent or snake.

As you can see, the Hebrew word “saraph” has more than one meaning. It’s no different than if we were to look up the word “football,” in the English dictionary, but the word “ball” appears as a separate entry. A football is more specific, while a ball is more general. A “ball” can mean a basketball, a soccer ball, a baseball, etc.

Similarly, the Hebrew word “saraph” can simply mean “to burn, or burning” (without the word snake or serpent included); but it can also mean “a fiery serpent.” However, it can also mean a six-winged heavenly creature that appears to be on fire, because he radiates light from the throne of Elohiym.

An example of this can be found in Isaiah chapter 6:

Yeshayahuw (Isaiah) 6:2 Above it stood the seraphims [saraph]: each one had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he did fly. 

Yeshayahuw (Isaiah) 6:6 Then flew one of the seraphims [saraph] unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

I am going to go deeper into the definition of these words as we progress in this study, so please bear with me.

But first, let’s examine the verses in question:

Bamidbar (Numbers) 21:6 And YHWH sent fiery serpents [saraph nachash] among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Yisrael died.  

Bamidbar (Numbers) 21:7 Therefore the people came to Mosheh, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against YHWH, and against you; pray unto YHWH, that he take away the serpents from us. And Mosheh prayed for the people.  

*Hint: the people were speaking against Moses, and they were speaking against YaHuWaH. This was the main reason why YaHuWaH sent the fiery serpents to bite them. If Moses disobeyed (when he fashioned the bronze serpent on a pole), he would’ve been considered a serial rebel, because he had just disobeyed in the previous chapter, and still had not learned his lesson. But we know that Moses is described as one of the most humble and meek people on the earth:

Bamidbar (Numbers) 12:3 (Now the man Mosheh was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

The word “meek” is defined in the Hebrew Concordance as follows:

#H6035 `anav aw-nawv' or (by intermixture with 6041) Aanayv {aw-nawv'}; from 6031; depressed (figuratively), in mind (gentle) or circumstances (needy, especially saintly):--humble, lowly, meek, poor. 

#H6031 `anah aw-naw' a primitive root (possibly rather ident. with 6030 through the idea of looking down or browbeating); to depress literally or figuratively, transitive or intransitive (in various applications, as follows):--abase self, afflict(-ion, self), answer (by mistake for 6030), chasten self, gentleness, humble (self), submit self.

Moses messed up (only once) that Scripture records, and it was when he was commanded to speak to the rock, but he instead, he struck the rock in Numbers 20:10. And we know that YaHuWaH immediately judged Moses, and told him he would not see the Promised Land because of this one act of frustration towards the people for their murmuring. We can hardly blame him, because many of us would have probably done the same thing in his circumstances. I am not justifying his disobedience, just recognizing that we are weak human beings.

Even though he was meek and humble, he was still human, and one impulsive act does not mean that he had a disobedient heart. It was Satan who is called “The accuser of the brethren” in Revelation 12:10, therefore, to falsely accuse Moses of a second act of disobedience, (when Scripture is silent about this), is to cast doubt on the validity of Moses and his Towrah. 

And furthermore, our Messiah quoted Moses more than any other prophet, therefore, if we cast doubt on Moses, this leaves room to cast doubt on our Messiah! Do you see how this is a very slippery slope?

If Moses had acted in disobedience, (even after being chastised in the previous chapter), this would have displayed a rebellious attitude which is a serious character flaw. We could hardly blame the people for speaking against Moses if he repeatedly displayed rebellious behavior. And if that were the case, how could Moses effectively pray for the people to be healed? 

Are we expected to believe that the people were being judged for speaking evil against Moses, even though he was supposedly a two-time offender at disobeying Yah? Are we also expected to believe that even though he blatantly disobeyed (a second time), the people were healed when Moses prayed for them with an unrepentant heart? Do you see how troublesome this is? Lets continue reading these verses:

Bamidbar (Numbers) 21:8 And YHWH said unto Mosheh, Make you a fiery serpent, [saraph nachash] 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.  

Bamidbar (Numbers) 21:9 And Mosheh made a serpent of brass [nachash nechosheth], and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Another serious flaw that is being made, is with the Hebrew word for “pole” in Numbers 21:8-9. Because this word also has more than one synonym, some have postulated that Moses was told to make a seraphim on a bannerrather than a bronze serpent on a pole.

Here is the Hebrew word for “pole” as follows:

#H5251 nec nace from 5264; a flag; also a sail; by implication, a flagstaff; generally a signal; figuratively, a token:--banner, pole, sail, ensign, standard.

The root word indicates that this was a prophetic sign for us to look upon for our healing and deliverance:

#H5264 nacac naw-sas' a primitive root; to gleam from afar, i.e. to be conspicuous as a signal; or rather perhaps a denominative from 5251 (and identical with 5263, through the idea of a flag as fluttering in the wind); to raise a beacon:--lift up as an ensign.

Here are a few examples of how the word #H5251 nec is used elsewhere in Scripture:

Bemidbar (Numbers) 26:10 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up together with Korach, when that company died, what time the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men: and they became a sign [H5251].

Yeshayahuw (Isaiah) 5:26 And he will lift up an ensign [H5251] to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly.

Confirmation bias has caused those who are making these claims about Moses to choose the word “banner” or “flag,” and to ignore the word  “pole, sign, or flagstaff.” However the presence of the “Aleph, Taw & Waw,” (the red heifer, the two crossed sticks, and the nail), tell us that YaHuWaH commanded Moses to make something that was a prophetic picture of our Messiah, who would later-on be the ultimate healer for us sinners:

Yahuwchanon (John 3:14) And as Mosheh lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.

As you can see, the ancient pictograph letters of the Aleph & Taw represent the Red Heifer & Two Crossed Sticks!

In Numbers 19, the priests are instructed to take a perfect and spotless red heifer, and to kill it; they are then instructed to burn it down into ashes, to cleanse the defiled altar in the Temple. When the nation of Yisrael was guilty of shedding innocent blood, this ordinance was to be enacted. 

Not only was our Messiah the Passover Lamb (1st Corinthians 5:7), but he also performed the ordinance of the Red Heifer, because the nation of Yisrael was indeed guilty when they shouted “Crucify him!” (Mark 15:13-14; Luke 23:21; John 19:6). Now, I know what some of you are thinking. You are saying to yourselves “But our Messiahs body was not burned down into ashes like the red heifer.”

Well, I am happy to show you something will enlighten you! In my research into the Temple ordinances, I discovered that the priests took the ashes of the heifer and literally “crushed” it down into a fine powder, using rods and hammers, so that any remaining fragments that did not turn to ash, were now completely pulverized. This goes right along with the prophecy in Isaiah 53:

Yeshayahuw 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised [crushed] for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  

*Hint: you will notice that the ashes of the burned [saraph] red heifer were beaten and crushed, so that by his stripes we are healed. The same thing is true of those who beheld the coppery-red serpent on the pole in Numbers 21:8-9. They would live and not die.

Yeshayahuw 53:10 Yet it pleased YHWH to bruise [crush] him; he has put him to grief: when you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of YHWH shall prosper in his hand.  

The Hebrew word for bruised in the above passages are as follows:

#H1792 daka' daw-kaw' a primitive root (Compare 1794); to crumble; transitively, to bruise (literally or figuratively):--beat to pieces, break (in pieces), bruise, contrite, crush, destroy, humble, oppress, smite

#H1793 dakka' dak-kaw' from 1792; crushed (literally powder, or figuratively, contrite):--contrite, destruction.

Bemidbar (Numbers) 19:5 And one shall burn [saraph] ALEPH & TAW the heifer in his sight; ALEPH & TAW her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn: 

Bemidbar (Numbers) 19:6 And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning [saraphah] of the heifer. 

*Explanation: the cedar wood is a picture of the cross, and the hyssop is a reminder of the Passover Lamb that is to be sprinkled on the door of our homes. The scarlet is a prophetic picture of the blood of the lamb.

Bemidbar (Numbers)19:8 And he that burns [saraph] her shall wash his clothes in water, and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until the evening.

Bemidbar (Numbers) 19:10 And he that gathers the [ALEPH & TAW] ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening: and it shall be unto the children of Yisrael, and unto the stranger that sojourns among them, for a statute forever.  

Bemidbar (Numbers) 19:17 And for an unclean person they shall take of the ashes of the burnt [saraphah] heifer of purification for sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel.

The Hebrew word for “burnt,” in the above passage is as follows:

#H8316 srephah ser-ay-faw' from 8313; cremation:--burning.

#H8313 saraph saw-raf' a primitive root; to be set on fire:--(cause to, make a) burning, up, kindle.

Even though our Messiah’s body was not literally burned like the ashes of the red heifer, his body had to be completely consumed and destroyed, thus causing the sins of the humanity to be consumed and utterly destroyed with him:

Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

The Ashes of the Burnt Red Heifer nailed on Two Sticks were Meant to be Looked Upon!

Another connection I would like to make at this point is with the Hebrew word “nabat,” which means “To look upon, to behold.”

The following prophecy is about the end of days, when our Messiah will land and his feet on the Mount of Olives, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, aka the House of David (the Kingdom of Judah) will finally behold their Messiah.

Zecharyahuw (Zechariah) 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), the spirit of grace and of supplications: and THEY SHALL LOOK UPON [NABAT] ME [ALEPH & TAW] whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourn for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.  

*Explanation: the word “ME” in this above passage does not exist in the original Hebrew text! What is there instead of the word “ME” is the Aleph & Taw! See my other blog entitled: They Shall Look Upon “ME” Whom They Have Pierced!

As you can see, the Hebrew word “nabat” means to behold, or to look upon:

#5027 nabat naw-bat' a primitive root; to scan, i.e. look intently at; by implication, to regard with pleasure, favor or care:--cause to behold, consider, look (down), regard, have respect, see

We see the same word being used in Bamidbar (Numbers):

Bamidbar (Numbers) 21:8 And YHWH said unto Mosheh, Make you a fiery serpent [saraph nachash], and set it [ALEPH, TAW, WAW] upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten [nashak, to strike], when HE LOOKS UPON [NABAT] it, shall live.

*Explanation: YaHuWaH instructed Moses to make a fiery serpent on a pole, not a banner or a piece of cloth with an image a 6-winged angel. The instructions are to set it upon the Aleph, Taw & Waw, which is a prophetic picture of Messiah who portrayed the Red Heifer being nailed to two trees or two sticks.

As I already illustrated from Numbers 19 (only two chapters earlier) the Red Heifer was to be burned into ashes! Do you think it is purely a coincidence that Moses was instructed to make a fiery serpent on a pole, when only two chapters earlier, we see a prophetic picture of Messiah in the ashes of the burnt Red Heifer? To learn more, see my other blog The Red Heifer Ordinance Fulfilled in Messiah.

The Taw represents Two Crossed Sticks or Two Trees, for Two Houses of Yisrael. The Waw is the nail, which nailed him to the cross. The English word “bitten” is the Hebrew word “nashak” which means “to strike!” 

This reminds us of the previous chapter in Numbers 20:10-11, where Moses was commanded to speak to the rock, but instead he “smote” the rock. Only this time, Moses did obey, when he fashioned the brass or copper serpent to be placed on a pole, so that the people would “LOOK UPON HIM WHOM THEY HAVE PEIRCED!” 

The next verse conveys the same meaning:

Bamidbar (Numbers) 21:9 And Mosheh made a serpent of brass, [nachash necosheth] and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten [nashak, to strike] any man, [ALEPH & TAW] when he BEHELD [NABAT] the serpent of brass [nachash necosheth], he lived. 

*Explanation: Unlike Numbers 20:10-11, Moses obeyed this time, when he fashioned a bronze serpent on a cross or a pole (Aleph & Taw), to remind the people of the ugliness of their sin. It also reminds us of a Messianic prophecy in Genesis 3:15.

Bereshiyth (Genesis) 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel

The Hebrew word for “bruise” in the above passage is “shuph” which means “to break.” This prophecy means that the serpent would attempt to break our Messiah’s people or his inheritance. The heel is an allusion to when Jacob grabbed his twin brother’s heel in the womb, and thus claimed the inheritance of the firstborn son. However, our Messiah would crush (break) the head of the serpent, meaning his authority.

Thus, in the garden, we have the “first mention” of the serpent attempting to usurp our Messiahs authority and losing. This time, in Numbers, we have YaHuWaH wanting to remind us of this prophecy from Genesis 3:15, which is why he instructed Moses to make a bronze serpent on a pole. The people who claim that Moses disobeyed, also claim that YaHuWaH instructed Moses to make an image of a seraphim (a six-winged angel) on a banner or a flag. However, this totally destroys the prophetic shadow picture of our Messiah as the one who “CRUSHED THE SERPENT ON THE CROSS!”

If we are expected to believe that Yah instructed Moses to make an image of a six-winged seraphim on a flag or a banner, there is no prophetic reason to have the Aleph, Taw & Waw embedded into the text of Numbers 21:6-9. Also, Zechariah 12:10, corroborates, because the Aleph & Taw is there instead of the word ME!

The fact that YaHuWaH has given us these prophetic signs to look for with the Aleph & Taw, means that he wants us to LOOK UPON HIM who crushed the serpent on the cross!

In Numbers 21:6 & 8, we see two Hebrew words “saraph nachash” (fiery serpent). These two words are together to describe what bit the people, and what YaHuWaH commanded Moses to create. However, in verse 9, Moses made a “nachash necosheth” (serpent of brass), but the word “saraph” (burning) is missing.

Because the word “saraph” is missing in verse 9, certain people are coming to the erroneous conclusion that Moses disobeyed by making a bronze serpent. The Aleph, Taw & Waw are embedded in Numbers 21:8 & John 3:14 to show us that the power of serpent was to be destroyed by our Messiah! 

Because the word “saraph” (burning or fiery serpent) is missing from Numbers 21:9, some are confused, and therefore, they are missing out on seeing this prophetic picture that is being painted for us in these verses.

Once we understand the definition of these Hebrew words, (and how these words are used in other passages of Scripture), the confusion disappears, and we can clear Moses of any wrong-doing. 

For some people, the image of a serpent on a pole hardly seems like an accurate representation of our Messiah while he hung on the tree. However, the Apostle Yahuwchanon (John) recognized in John 3:14, that these instructions given to Mosheh were meant to be a prophetic picture of our Messiah, who would later-on in history, allow himself to become a sacrifice for the sins of the world. 

There was also a time in history when King Hezekiah had to destroy these images of the bronze serpent on a pole, because the people of Yisra’el began using this image as an idol (2nd Kings 18:4). They failed to understand that this image was meant to paint a prophetic picture of their future savior, whose body would literally become a host for the sins of the world; and then be destroyed.

Because of how difficult it is for some to grasp these concepts, they  have postulated that Mosheh (Moses) made this image out of sheer disobedience. However, there are several reasons why this is not the case. Let’s examine all the evidence. 

What follows is a list of six reasons why Moses was not guilty of disobedience for fashioning the bronze serpent on the pole: 

Reason #1 In Numbers 20:12, Moses was disqualified from the Promised Land for striking the rock. Only one chapter later, (Numbers 21), no punishment or consequences ensued for Moses fashioning the bronze serpent, especially since he was obeying the instructions given to him by Yah.

Reason #2 When Aaron fashioned the molten calf, Moses broke the stone tablets in anger, and what followed was severe judgement that came upon the people. However, with the bronze serpent, the people were healed, and no punishment, nor any consequences were felt by Moses, or the people of Yisra’el. 

Reason #3 If the bronze serpent was fashioned in disobedience, Moses & Yisra’el would’ve been punished the same way as they had been with the molten calf. But instead, the people received healing, when they looked upon the bronze serpent.  

Reason #4 If Moses had disobeyed a second time, (after striking the rock), he would’ve been no better than the rebellious King Saul, and he would have lost his anointing, accordingly. 

Reason #5 If the bronze serpent was an act of disobedience, the Apostle John would not have likened it to a prophetic picture of Messiah’s obedience in John 3:14. 

Reason #6 The bronze serpent on the pole is validated by the presence of the Aleph & Taw in the Hebrew text of Numbers 21:6-9, and also in the Hebrew translation of John 3:14. 

Why is a Serpent a Prophetic Picture of Messiah? 

Some people have difficulty understanding why Yah would use a serpent (which was obviously a manifestation of Satan in the garden), to represent our Messiah’s sacrifice.

However, once we understand the prophetic purpose of his suffering and dying on the tree, it all comes into focus. Obviously the first sin entered into the world when the serpent tempted Eve in the garden, and she obeyed him. Therefore, the serpent represents the sinful nature that was passed on to humanity from that first act of disobedience. 

Although our Messiah never sinned during his earthly life, his mortal body had to be put to death, because his body literally became sin. And because his body became sin, when he died, the power of sin died with him! And this is the reason why the bronze serpent on the pole is a prophetic picture of our Messiah, who destroyed sin in the flesh!

2nd Corinthians 5:21 For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of Elohiym in him.

Colossians 2:11 In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Messiah:  

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, Elohiym sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.

In Numbers 20:10-12 Moses disobeyed YaHuWaH when he was instructed to speak to the rock, rather than smiting the rock. Immediately following that act of disobedience, Yah harshly judged him, and told him that he would not enter the Promised Land, because of it. 

In the following chapter, (Numbers 21:6-9), Moses was instructed to make a bronze serpent on a pole, (as a sign for the people to look upon), so that they would be healed from their deadly snake bites. See my other blog entitled: That Rock Was Messiah!

If the bronze serpent was an act of disobedience, and if Yah instructed Moses to make an image of an seraphim on a banner, this does not fit the prophetic pattern of the prophecy in Genesis 3:15, where we are told that “The seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent!

In order for our Messiah to destroy the works of the devil, his body literally had to “become sin!

Yahuwchanon Aleph (1st John) 3:8 He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of Elohiym was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Do you see this? Four times in the book of Revelation, and also in Isaiah 41-48, YaHuWaH referred to himself as “The Aleph & Taw, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last!

Why would Yah have wanted Moses to make an image of a seraphim or a six-winged angel to look upon? Do you see that this false teaching totally destroys the gospel of Messiah? Why Yah want us to gaze upon an angel, which is a created being? In Colossians 2:18, Shaul (Paul) warned us not to allow man to beguile us into worshiping angels:

Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

But the question remains, “Why did Yah want us to look upon a bronze serpent on a pole?The answer is easy. Yah wanted us to be reminded of the Messianic prophecy in Genesis 3:15, where we are told that The seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent.” 

Those who claim that the English word “pole” in Numbers 21:8 means a banner or a flag, are not looking at the other definitions for this word. It is the word “nec,” which is an ambiguous word that has more than one meaning, as I have already illustrated. 

The presence of the Aleph, Taw & Waw next to the word pole/nec tells us that this was a prophetic picture of Messiah (who became a curse for us), because he was nailed to TWO TREES! 

Yahuwshuwa had to be nailed to TWO TREES, because it says in Deuteronomy 21:3 & Galatians 3:13 “Cursed is the man that is nailed to a tree.” Therefore, our Messiah “BECAME A CURSE FOR US!”

Galatians 3:13 Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of the Towrah (law), being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree.

What did Shaul (Paul) mean when he used the term “The curse of the law?” He was describing the curses that we come under when we disobey the commandments. These blessings for obedience, and curses for disobedience are described in Debariym (Deuteronomy) 28.

This explains why YaHuWaH wanted Moses to make a fiery-looking bronze serpent on a pole, to represent the ashes of the burnt Red Heifer, and also the cross of Messiah. 

Do you remember when YaHuWaH cursed the serpent in the garden?

Bereshiyth (Genesis) 3:14 And YHWH Elohiym said unto the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life:

Strong’s uses two different number references for this Hebrew word “saraph,” even though both of them are spelled the same way.  

#H8314 includes three other definitions: 

1.) fiery or burning.

2.) a serpent or a snake.

3.) a fiery or shiny (coppery) creature; or a seraphim (with six wings, as per Isaiah 6:1-5). 

Whereas #H8313 is the very same word “saraph,” but it simply means “burning.” 

Now, with this background information, we can see what took place in Numbers 21. 

Bamidbar (Numbers) 21:6 And YHWH sent fiery [#H8134 saraph] serpents [#H5175 nachash] among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Yisrael died. 

So you see, saraph is merely describing the word “fiery,” and not the serpent. The next word is “nachash” which is describing the “serpent.” 

Therefore, as we move on, we will understand that YaHuWaH commanded Moses to make a saraph, because that word is inclusive of a poisonous, fiery snake. 

Bamidbar (Numbers) 21:8 And YHWH said unto Moses, Make you a fiery serpent, [#H8134 saraph] 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. 

As you can see, in this passage, only the word “saraph” appears without the word “nachash.” Why? Because the Hebrew word “saraph” can also mean “a fiery serpent!” Therefore, there was no need to repeat the word “serpent” in this verse, because it was already understood with just the word “saraph.” 

Next, we see what Moses did: 

Bamidbar (Numbers) 21:9 And Moses made a serpent [#H5175 nachash] of brass, [#H5178, nchosheth, copper] and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent [#H5175 nachash] had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent [#H5175 nachash] of brass [#H5178, nchosheth, copper], he lived. 

From Numbers 21:6, we understand that it was Yah who sent the fiery serpents, represented by two words: saraph & nachash. 

From Numbers 21:8, we understand that Moses was instructed to make a “saraph” (something that burns) and then place it onto a pole or two sticks. But since the secondary definition of this word “saraph” also includes a poisonous snake, it makes sense that Moses made a fiery-looking serpent, (or a shiny serpent), because that is what was sent to the bite the people in Numbers 21:6. 

Moses also used a type of metal that looks like bronze or copper, and that word is “nchosheth.”

#H5178 nchosheth nekh-o'-sheth for 5154; copper, hence, something made of that metal, i.e. coin, a fetter; figuratively, base (as compared with gold or silver):--brasen, brass, chain, copper, fetter (of brass), filthiness, steel.

In Numbers 21:6, YaHuWaH sent poisonous serpents (#8314 saraph), which were copper-colored among the people. I believe they were called “saraph” because of their copper color, which resembles something burning or shiny. I don’t believe they were angels or seraphim. 

In Numbers 21:8 YaHuWaH instructed Moses to make an exact replica of what was sent to bite the people in Numbers 21:6. In Numbers 21:9, Moses made a serpent of brass or copper, which is the word “nchosheth” pertaining to the material that he used.

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