According to the Gospel of John, Jesus said the son of man must be lifted up like the bronze serpent which Moses made in the wilderness:

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up (John 3:14, NKJV)

So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived. (Numbers 21:9, NKJV)

Over time, the serpent came to be worshipped and given offerings to. So King Hezekiah destroyed the serpent:

He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan. (II Kings 18:4, NKJV)

This strongly seems to suggest the bronze serpent was only to be looked upon, not worshipped. It seems that what Moses made was good in what was intended by God, but later on the Israelites worshipped it like an idol and was therefore destroyed by King Hezekiah.

Following the logic of Jesus referring to himself as Nehushtan, according to the Gospel of John, it seems to suggest that Jesus was to be looked upon and not worshipped. What is the Christian logical continuation of Numbers to II Kings in relation to Jesus as Nehushtan? What does this mean for Christianity today?


The analogy between type (the serpent) and anti-type (Jesus Christ) is only similar, not identical.

To answer your question, King Hezekiah destroyed the brazen serpent because it became an idol, a false god, which the Israelites worshipped, and idolatry is forbidden according to the Law of Moses (Exo. 20:3).

On the other hand, according to orthodox Christianity, Jesus is the true God, and the worship he receives is properly due to him.

Now, if indeed the relationship between type and anti-type were identical (if that were even possible), then Jesus Christ would have been destroyed for being worshipped. Yet, Jesus Christ lives forever (Rev. 1:18).

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  • @Bye, this is the type of answer I'm looking for. H3br3wHamm3r81 is dealing with the logical continuity of the prophecy. – EhevuTov Dec 9 '14 at 2:27
  • H3br3wHamm3r81, in other words, I'm stating there is continuity between the two references of the bronze serpent and you're saying there is no continuity or not the right kind of continuity. Is that correct? – EhevuTov Dec 9 '14 at 11:49
  • Obviously there's continuity. But not identity. Only similarity. For example, Jesus is said to be our Passover lamb. A Passover lamb was roasted on a wooden spit. Jesus wasn't roasted on a wooden spit. Simply put, you're taking the analogy too far. – user900 Dec 9 '14 at 19:31

You did a great job of answering your own question until you got to the final paragraph. you have taken a small verse out of John' passage and in doing so have missed the meaning not only of that verse, but also the complete passage:

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

This statement gets its meaning from these other verses:

John 3:15 through 18 NKJV That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John is alluding to the fact that those who were snake bitten, and then looked at the snake Moses made gained victory over death. John is then saying that Just as trusting in looking to the snake and believing that they would not suffer death gave them a new life, so looking to Christ and believing he will give you eternal life, will remove the pain of the first death.

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  • I'm not asking for the meaning of the verse. I'm asking about the logical continuation of the connection with the prophecy. – EhevuTov Dec 9 '14 at 2:23

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