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The two different images of the biblical snake

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While traveling enroute to the Promised Land – as we continue and read this week Moses’ farewell address to the Israelites in the Ekev Torah portion — he reminds them of the gratitude they owe God for having led them safely “through the great and awesome wilderness of viper snakes and scorpions” (Deuteronomy 8:15), yet, with no adverse incidents related to snakes (or scorpions). The only time that the Torah reports about a bout of deadly snake bites was instigated by God, but not otherwise. It happened as we read in the Hukat portion, after the Israelites began to grumble about the lack of ‘’normal’’ bread and water in the wilderness when they walked the long way around........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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