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 as 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 the 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.
Pics from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walterinnesia_aegyptia and