I was reading Luke 10:19

Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

and I said to myself: "great!", but to be honest I really don't know how to trample serpents and scorpions.

I am asking for this because I have a huge difficulty in understanding figurative language because of Asperger's Syndrome.

Can somebody help me?

I know you can talk to me about the armor of God, but here we go again: figurative language.
I need to know which kind of prayers or actions I should do, what passages should I read, but please, let me fight this battle in a practical way.

Ps: I'm lacking in using Bible's promises as a weapon. I ask for your help in this also!

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    Like any library, Christianity Stack Exchange offers great information, but does not offer personalized advice, and does not take the place of seeking such advice from your pastor, priest, or other trustworthy counselor. In particular, nobody should experiment with 'trampling on snakes and scorpions' just because there is wording on that particular subject in the bible.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 23, 2021 at 11:28
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    Your question really is not about Christianity but about autism spectrum disorder. Jesus was telling disciples they would be able to prevail over dangerous situations and people Figuratively trampling “scorpion and serpents “
    – user 14
    Nov 23, 2021 at 13:15
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    Snakes and scorpions have one thing in common, "injecting poison". Try to ponder the verse, that faithful Christian eventhough they drink poison can not be harmed, and so, Christian must not be afraid of snakes nor scorpions because, we can crush them at our feet. Genesis3:15 and Roman16:19-20. This is also related to vaxx, in some articles that sees vaxx are somehow injecting toxins or poison. If we have the blood of Christ running in our veins, we are protected. -Ex. is Quercetin in grapewine like in Holy Eucharist. Nov 23, 2021 at 21:21

5 Answers 5


If you had asked, "How do Christians view trampling on snakes and scorpions [& quoted Luke 10:19], and would those who do [or do not] take it literally please answer?" that would have fitted the criteria for a question on S.E. Christianity. As your question stands, it is liable to be removed. Please don't take that personally, for anybody not sticking to the criteria for asking questions here might have their question removed if they don't change it.

Given that you've asked Christians in general to answer, and I am a Christian who sees more of a figurative application in this day and age, I can only answer by pointing to a literal application in the first century (see Acts 28:1-6). Yet Paul did not trample on the snake that bit him. He shook it off his arm and into the fire where it was burned to death.

Nor does the promise in Luke 19:42 mean that every person who claims to be a Christian has to prove it by literally finding a snake or a scorpion, trampling on it and living to tell the tale. What would Christians in the Arctic or the Antarctic do then?

The figurative sense means that you can use spiritual insight to spot treacherous situations or people that threaten to spiritually 'bite' or 'sting' you, to your great spiritual harm, but you don't go seeking them out! You just stay aware, and if such a danger confronts you, the truth of scripture is applied by you to send them scuttling away.

It is God who crushes the serpent under-foot as the Bible states in Romans 16:20 - "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet". Satan is the serpent (Revelation 12:9). He uses his agents on earth to try to poison God's people, so we have to be alert to any such dangers, and to find our protection in God's word. We don't rattle off Bible promises - that's just superstition. But we know what God says in his word, we believe his every word and that's what guides us as we are obedient to his word. As the Psalmist said, "Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterwards you will take me into glory" (Ps.73:23). And, if we commit ALL our ways to the Lord, he will direct our every step (Ps.37:5 & Proverbs 3:5-6). We don't seek to find a ritualistic pathway of saying certain things or doing certain rituals. If you belong to the Lord by faith, you will seek to learn about him, obey him, and praise him, trusting in him for all events.

The verse itself tells you that this is about "all the power of the enemy". The enemy is Satan, that serpent of old, and ALL his power covers many kind of spiritual attacks, from martyrdom to drip-drip spiritual poison seeping into unprotected Christian minds. So, learn to see where the danger lies, and you may be sure that it's spiritual dangers Christians have to be alert to.

  • If snakes and scorpions represents Satan. Have you seen the vaxx needle technology is liken to a serpent fangs? Can we relate that passage in a literal sense, that man can be injected by poison or toxins using snake fangs or needle like snakes fangs? Nov 23, 2021 at 21:26
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    @jong ricafort Oh dear. Here's a 1921 quote from a religious group: "Vaccination... is the most barbarous practice. We are in the last days; and the devil is slowly losing his hold, making a strenuous effort meanwhile to do all the damage he can, and to his credit can such evils be placed... Use your rights as American citizens to forever abolish the devilish practice of vaccinations." That quote is 100 years old and was based on literal interpretations of Bible prophecy. Learn from history, please.
    – Anne
    Nov 24, 2021 at 10:02
  • What history? I am pointing to snakes and scorpions, how they deliver the poison or toxins, its the same with vaxx, comparing the needlle is liken to serpent fangs. Nov 25, 2021 at 20:35
  • In your mind, I can see this makes sense. And I can see it’s related to your faith. But do not be surprised if people disagree.
    – user56152
    Nov 29, 2021 at 5:32

It would be necessary to know the backdrop of the words of the Lord, as in Luke 10:1-3:

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.

Jesus did not, in fact, promise the 72 a safe journey back home, but he did protect them from harm as we see in Verse 17:

The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

But the Lord reprimands their pride in having done 'something great' (Vs 18-20):

I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

So, what Jesus is trying to say by referring to serpents and scorpions is that it was to him they owed whatever power-both physical and mental-had been conferred on them. That all the Apostles except St John would later become martyrs, attests to the fact Jesus' words are not to be taken in literal sense for all generations that followed.


How can I trample on snakes and scorpions?

Behold, I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall hurt you. - Luke 10:19

Do not know about others, but this seems to be more a question of remaining in total friendship with God.

Christ will protect us as long as we pray for his assistance and try to remain faithful to his commandments. Scorpions and serpents are not our enemy. The Devil is our enemy par excellence.

For example, God placed Adam in the Garden to tend it and warned Adam not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." The serpent tempts Eve to eat of the tree, but Eve tells the serpent what God had said. The serpent replies that she would not surely die (Genesis 3:4) and that if she eats the fruit of the tree "then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:5) Eve ate the fruit, and gave some to Adam who also ate. God, who was walking in the Garden, learns of their transgression. To prevent Adam and Eve from eating the fruit of the Tree of Life and living forever, they are banished from the garden upon which God posts an angelic guard. The serpent is punished for its role in the fall, being cursed by God to crawl on its belly and eat dust.

3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring[a] and hers; he will crush[b] your head, and you will strike his heel.” - Genesis 3: 1-15

Fervent prayer asking protection from Christ’s power is the best remedy against serpents, scorpions and the Devil.

The Devil, like scorpions and serpents should be avoid at all cost.

One of the Church Fathers stated that it is only when a scorpion shows it ugly head out that we are able to kill it by stamping on it.

I would not council someone to tramp on poisonous snakes. It might end in disaster.

Rattlesnakes will generally only strike when provoked. That is the very reason we hear them rattle. Keep in mind a rattler cannot produce more venom quickly, so they too prefer to flee rather than bite. Young snake tend to be more aggressive and do not know how to control their venom. If you hear one close to you, back away slowly. Once far enough away they will go their own way. It that simple. Not every bite is envenomed and keep in mind that their teeth are somewhat fragile. Stepping on a snake will get you bitten for sure. Here are a few tips I use in areas where rattlesnakes are present.

  1. Walk in the middle of a path.

  2. Wear high leather boots as most bites are just above the ankle.

  3. Avoid walking in tall grasses. Not all rattlers will make a noise before striking. If you step on one, you cannot see, you will be bitten for sure.

  4. Be extra careful in hot evening if you are near water. They are more likely to be out and about as the heat of the day dissipates in order to cool down in the water. - When will a rattlesnake strike?

St. Augustine likens the Devil to a wild dog.

For as a chained dog, can bite none but those who go near him, so the devil cannot harm with his temptations those who do not consent to them. Like the dog he can bark at you, but cannot bite you against your will. - St. Augustine

God protection will be given to us in times of need. We will nevertheless have to implore Jesus to aid us in our daily trials. It is that simple. The Church will aid those in need also.

They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover. - MARK 16:18

Remember how St. Paul was saved when a snake bite him on the Island of Malta?

Paul on the Island of Malta

28 Once we were safe on shore, we learned that we were on the island of Malta. 2 The people of the island were very kind to us. It was cold and rainy, so they built a fire on the shore to welcome us.

3 As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand. 4 The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.” 5 But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. 6 The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god.

7 Near the shore where we landed was an estate belonging to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us and treated us kindly for three days. 8 As it happened, Publius’s father was ill with fever and dysentery. Paul went in and prayed for him, and laying his hands on him, he healed him. 9 Then all the other sick people on the island came and were healed. 10 As a result we were showered with honors, and when the time came to sail, people supplied us with everything we would need for the trip. - Acts 28 1-10

To this day, the Church in Malta celebrates the Feast of the Shipwreck of St. Paul on February 10th each year.

The Feast of St Paul’s Shipwreck in Malta is one of the major public holidays and a religious feast on the island. The feast is to celebrate St Paul who is said to have been shipwrecked on Malta in 60AD. This event is celebrated every year on the 10th of February.

In the long run let impose Jesus to help and protect us, while invoking the Holy Spirit’s aid at the same time. Let us meet God half way and Our Heavenly Father will not leave us abandoned.


I said to myself: "great!", but to be honest I really don't know how to trample serpents and scorpions.

That in itself is the first clue that this perhaps shouldn't be taken literally, but as figurative language.

You might also wonder, "Why would I even want to trample them?". Then think of circumstances where your really would want to, and how you might have gotten into that situation.

Serpents and scorpions are things that can hurt you, but they do so only after creeping up on you at ground level where you normally aren't paying much attention.

Think how you would feel when you did notice them; that's when you would want to do the trampling.

Then realize that the serpents and scorpions are symbols of something else in your life that might sneak up on you and hurt you before you are even aware of them.

And notice that the verse continues with "and over all the power of the enemy", which implies that these creatures are given as an example of an attack by the enemy, sneaking up on you almost undetected.

In literature, and especially in poetry and other art forms, images are often used to convey an emotion, to make you feel the same emotions that the author/painter/etc. felt. Art isn't about saying "this is what a mountain and stream look like", it is about saying this is how I felt when I saw this mountain and stream".

Similarly here, Luke isn't talking about literal snakes and scorpions; he is trying to make you experience the feeling you would have upon discovering yourself in that situation (fear, disgust, anger, guilt, who knows?), and is letting you know that just as you could stomp them to death in this allegory, you can repel and overcome Satan's advances in real life.

  • I'll pay that...
    – steveowen
    Nov 30, 2021 at 0:00

Here's a short version: The "Serpents, scorpions, and all the power of the enemy" is referring to the devil and his power. Jesus is saying that he has given us the power to defeat and overpower the devil.

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