Numbers 21

Israel was murmuring against the Lord.

Numbers 21:4 -9

NUM 21:4   Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient because of the journey.

NUM 21:5 And the people spoke against God and Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food."

NUM 21:6 And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.

NUM 21:7 So 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.

NUM 21:8 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 shall live."

NUM 21:9 And 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.


This was a foreshadowing of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Why use a serpent?


Deadly and destructive power of sin.



Gen 3:15

Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel. "



The reason why you have a serpent made of bras and not the real serpent is because on the Cross there wasn’t a real sinner.


Romans 8:3

ROM 8:3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,



Jesus Christ was not a sinner.


The sinners savior was sent in the likeness of the sinners flesh.


How could a serpent fitly symbolize the Lord Jesus Christ?


God uses many symbols to lead us to Christ.


Even the Bible is a symbol to lead us to the person of JESUS CHRIST .


A serpent is one of the last things you would think would be used to represent our Lord.


The serpent foreshadowing JESUS CHRIST  only as He was lifted on the cross.



The serpent spoke of the cross.


Gal. 3:13

GEN 3:13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" And the woman said," The serpent deceived me, and I ate. "



It was a serpent that caused the curse.


The serpent accurately prefigured the crucified savior being made a curse for us.


Why was it a serpent of brass?


In the scriptures brass symbolizes judgement.


The Jews had a brazen alter.


The serpent represented the sinner, the brass represented judgment of God coming upon man.


Revelation 1 Jesus Christ is seen as a judge.


Jesus is seen inspecting the seven churches.


His feet are made of brass.


John 3:14

JOH 3:14 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;



Spoke of the curse which sin produced.





Nicodemus should have known this but like most religious people he didn’t look into the scriptures.


The brazen serpent is a beautiful representation of mankind being judged in the person of JESUS CHRIST  and the brass speaking of the beautiful judgement of God falling upon His son.


Isa 53… It pleased the Father to bruise the Son.


Brass is stronger than iron, silver or gold. Brass spoke of the mighty strength of our Lord Jesus Christ.


It was a supernatural Man that could endure that kind of pain our Lord endured.


Jesus was able to see the divine judgement of God come upon Him and He was able to be sustained.


SAM Take out 11:30-12 – the HS did not forsake JESUS CHRIST .


Bible Doctrine can sustain you through any tragedy or difficulty in life.



It is evident that when God told Moses to make a serpent of brass and to put it on a pole, and He told the Jews to look at it, He was actually showing and preaching the Gospel of Grace.


All the Jews had to do was look.


Learn the principle to look unto Christ and no one else.



Some things the Jews were told not to do:


  1. They were not told to manufacture some ointment as the means of healing their wounds.




Your head is sick and your heart is deceitful…

Jeremiah 17:9


JER 17:9   "The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?



The woman in Mark 5:26



MAR 5:26 and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse,



  1. They were not told to minister to others who were wounded.


The cure for people is learning the principle of looking on to JESUS CHRIST  and no one else!


Psalm 119:165

PSA 119:165 Those who love Thy law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble.


You need to reveal to them that a person cannot change a person, only Christ can change a person.


True witness begins with your life not your lips.


  1. They were not told to fight the serpents.


Don’t fight with sin.


Take your eyes off of sin and put them on Christ.


Take your eyes off of self and put them on Christ.


  1. They were not told to make an offering to the serpent on the pole.


God did not ask any payment from them in return of their healing.


Grace ceases to be grace if any price has to be paid for what it brings.


God blesses you because of who and what He is not who and what you are.



  1. They were not told to look at Moses.


Moses represented the Law giver to the children of Israel.


Don’t depend on your own works look unto Jesus.


  1. They were not told to look at their wounds.


To be occupied with self is to be occupied with that which God has condemned.




  1. Moses was commanded by God to make a serpent of brass.


God provided the remedy even though man is so rebellious.


God provides a solution for His people even though they are rebellious.



  1. Moses was commanded to fix this brazen serpent upon a pole.


Publicly exhibited for all to see it.



  1. The Lord’s promise in Numbers 21:8 was that it shall come to pass that everyone that is bitten, when he looks upon it will be saved.


All they had to do is simply look…


No matter how bad we are, if we are still alive there is hope.



Numbers 21:8


NUM 21:8 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 shall live."




XXX Eve picture in the garden XXX


Gen 3:6

Gen 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.



Isa 45:22

Isa 45:22 "Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other.



Phil 3:20

PHI 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;


Psa 92:14

Psa 92:14 They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green,




Do not take the things of God and not allow those things of God to cause you to look unto Christ.




2 Kings 18:1 – 4


2KI 18:1 Now it came about in the third year of Hoshea, the son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah became king.


2KI 18:2 He was twenty‑five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty‑nine years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah.


2KI 18:3 And he did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.


2KI 18:4 He removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah. He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel burned incense to it; and it was called Nehushtan.




700 years after Numbers 21 we have 2 Kings 18


The healing is never to be worshiped it must be the healer.


The things that God uses in the past can be a curse for you in the present.


You choose a church based upon the pastor teacher.


Even the things which God has ordained to be a blessing can also be used as a curse.





John 3:16


JOH 3:16   "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.




To listen to more of this series please go to:



Consider the following before you begin your study:


If you are a born-again believer, you are commanded to be filled with the Spirit.


Be filled with the Spirit. (Eph 5:18b)




If we acknowledge [name and cite] our sins, He is faithful and righteous, with the result that He forgives us our sins [known sins] and purifies us from all unrighteousness [unknown sins]. (1Jo 1:9)


If you are an unbeliever, the issue is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. You must be born again.


“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (Joh 3:3)




“Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved.” (Act 16:31)


The Word of God is meant to be taught according to isagogics (historical background), categories of doctrine (comparing scripture with scripture), and exegesis (the study of the original languages—Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek).


Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Eph 3:20-21)



Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (Phi 4:6-7)


Many years of Bible doctrine classes taught by Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin are available on C.D.’s. by request.


Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries

P.O. Box 128

Seekonk, Ma 02771




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