The bronze snake
4 The Israelites left Hor mountain. They travelled round the edge of Edom to the Red Sea. As they travelled, the people were upset. 5 They complained to God and to Moses, ‘You should not have brought us from Egypt to die here in the desert. There is nothing to eat. There is no water to drink. We do not like this bad food, manna.’
6 Then the Lord sent snakes among the people. They bit the people and many of the Israelites died. 7 So the people came to Moses and they said, ‘We did a bad thing when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Please pray to the Lord on our behalf. Ask him to remove the snakes from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people.
8 The Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a model of a snake and put it up high on a pole. When a snake bites anyone, they must look at the bronze snake. Then they will not die.’ 9 Moses made a bronze snake and he put it on a pole. When a snake bit anyone and they looked at the bronze snake, they did not die.