Moses’ Rod/Snake

A simple piece of wood, a tool of Moses’ occupation, but it would become part of miracles¸ signs, and wonders.  It became the symbol of spiritual authority for the Israelites and a bane to the gods of Egypt.

This piece of wood is introduced in Exodus 4 where God tells Moses to throw it on the ground and it becomes a nachash (from hiss) or snake.  Moses ran from it.  Since this was not in Egypt but in Midian, I am choosing the Black Desert Snake or Desert Cobra asSinai-Desert-Cobra the snake.  Since Moses was to go to Egypt with this “sign”, I don’t think it would have been an Egyptian Cobra.  No, I cannot prove that.  Either snake is poisonous, the Black Desert Snake has an LD50 or lethal dose that kills 50% of people bit with a 0.4 mg/kg; an Egyptian Cobra’s LD50 is 1.15 mg/kg but probably delivers more venom per bite. That would make the Black Desert Snake more poisonous.  I don’t really hold it against Moses for running, if it was a Black Desert Snake, he knew that they were deadly.  He did brave it up and grabbed the tail which is something that not many people would do.  Can you imagine carrying that rod around for the next several years?  I personally would have been very careful not to drop it on the ground, just in case.

In Exodus 4:3 and 7:15 it is just a snake, but in 7: 9, 10, 12 Moses does not use the word nachash but instead calls his rod and the magicians’ rods tanniym or monster.  (I would think the magicians’ rods were paralyzed Egyptian Cobras and Egyptian cobrathe throw brought them out of their trance.)   This word tanniym is translated in other passages as whale, dragon, and jackal.

Another thing I found was instead of saying that Aaron’s snake swallowed the other snakes; Scripture says his ROD swallowed the other rods.  The importance in that change of words says that Aaron’s spiritual authority, as the servant of God, defeated the authority of the magicians.

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4 thoughts on “Moses’ Rod/Snake

  1. Not necessary!! it could have been the arabian cobra that is also native to the Midian regian and is close related to the egyptian cobra!!! the arabian cobra has a copper coloration and it´s a long snake much longer than the black desert cobra and more agressive and is known to be active during the day and night and it is usualy found near oasis that are usualy used by people as stopping points during travels even today!

    • Thank you for sharing your knowledge/research with the Study! You are correct, it could have been another type of snake. Your choice is a formidable animal. I would love to give you all of the reasons why I choose the Black Cobra. Honestly, I do not remember all of my logic at the time I wrote the post. So, here are some thoughts.
      The LORD GOD was making a statement! He was about to insult all of the gods of Egypt. My personal experience with snakes and people told me a black one creates more emotions (fear). If it was a smaller snake and it swallowed a large one (or two) that would be an “in your face” statement. Given the arrogance of Pharaoh, he would have to harden his heart to that display.
      The important thing here is the miracle, not my choice of snakes. Wood became a snake and then wood again. The imagery is good also, a snake swallowed a lie, thinking back to the Garden. It also shadows Nehushtan (a different snake).

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