Add parallel Print Page Options

24 Therefore, you shall not bow down to their gods and serve them, nor shall you act as they do; rather, you must demolish them and smash their sacred stones.[a](A)

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. 23:24 Sacred stones: objects that symbolized the presence of Canaanite deities. In general, standing stones served as memorials for deities, persons, or significant events such as military victories or covenant-making. See 24:4.

13 Tear down their altars; smash their sacred stones, and cut down their asherahs.[a]

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. 34:13 Asherah was the name of a Canaanite goddess. In her honor wooden poles (asherot) were erected, just as stone pillars (massebot) were erected in honor of the god Baal. Both were placed near the altar in a Canaanite shrine.

The Bronze Serpent. From Mount Hor they set out by way of the Red Sea, to bypass the land of Edom, but the people’s patience was worn out by the journey; so the people complained(A) against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in the wilderness, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!”[a]

So the Lord sent among the people seraph[b] serpents, which bit(B) the people so that many of the Israelites died. Then the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned in complaining against the Lord and you. Pray to the Lord to take the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people, and the Lord said to Moses: Make a seraph and mount it on a pole, and everyone who has been bitten will look at it and recover.[c] Accordingly Moses made a bronze serpent[d] and mounted it on a pole, and whenever the serpent bit someone, the person looked at the bronze serpent and recovered.(C)

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. 21:5 This wretched food: apparently the manna is meant.
  2. 21:6 Seraph: the Hebrew name for a certain species of venomous snake; etymologically the word might signify “the fiery one.” Compare the winged throne guardians in Is 6:2, 6; see also Is 14:29; 30:6.
  3. 21:8 Everyone who has been bitten will look at it and recover: in the Gospel of John this scene is regarded as a type for the crucifixion of Jesus (Jn 3:14–15).
  4. 21:9 King Hezekiah, in his efforts to reform Israelite worship, “smashed the bronze serpent Moses had made” (2 Kgs 18:4).

For when the dire venom of beasts came upon them(A)
    and they were dying from the bite of crooked serpents,
    your anger endured not to the end.
But as a warning, for a short time they were terrorized,
    though they had a sign[a] of salvation, to remind them of the precept of your law.
For the one who turned toward it was saved,
    not by what was seen,
    but by you, the savior of all.

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. 16:6 Sign: the brazen serpent, as related in Numbers 21, but the author deliberately avoids any misunderstanding by addressing the Lord as responsible for the healing, since he is “the savior of all” (v. 7; see also vv. 12 and 26 for the role of the “word” of God).

14 And just as Moses lifted up[a] the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,(A)

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. 3:14 Lifted up: in Nm 21:9, Moses simply “mounted” a serpent upon a pole. John here substitutes a verb implying glorification. Jesus, exalted to glory at his cross and resurrection, represents healing for all.

Bible Gateway Sponsors