The Brazen Serpent Lifted up in the Wilderness
James Scott Trimm
One of the most beautiful pictures of Messiah in the Torah is that of the brazen serpent lifted up in the wilderness to heal the people. We read in the Torah:
 And YHWH sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against YHWH, and against thee; pray unto YHWH, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
 And YHWH said unto Moses, Make you a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looks upon it, shall live.
 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
In the Wisdom of Solomon we are told that this "fiery serpent" represented a "sign of salvation (Yeshua)" the "Savior of all": ("Yeshua is Hebrew for "salvation")
 For when the horrible fierceness of beasts came upon these, and they perished with the stings of crooked serpents, your wrath endured not for ever:
 But they were troubled for a small season, that they might be admonished, having a sign of salvation, to put them in remembrance of the commandment of your Torah.
 For he that turned himself toward it was not saved by the thing that he saw, but by you, that are the Savior of all.
(Wisdom of Solomon 16:5-7)
In the Good News according to Yochanan , Messiah boldly identified himself as this "Savior" saying:
13 And no man has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven-- the Son of Man, who is in heaven.
14 And as Moshe raised up the serpent in the wilderness, thus the Son of Man will be raised,
15 So that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.
(John 3:13-15 NHRV)
28 Yeshua said to them again: When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He. And I did not do a thing of My own, but as My Father taught Me, so I speak.
(John 8:28 NHRV)
32 And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to Me.
(John 12:32 NHRV)
Why was this serpent a type of Messiah? Because the gematria (numerical value) of the Hebrew word for "serpent" (נחש) is 358 which is also the gematria of the word "Messiah" (משיח)
358 is also the gematria for the phrase "Shiloh comes" (יבא שילה) (Gen. 49:10). This is why the Talmud says that "Shiloh" is one of the names of Messiah (b.San. 98b) and why the Targums paraphrase the word "Shiloh" as "Messiah" in in Gen. 49:10. For more on "Shiloh comes" and its Messianic significance, see my recent blog on the topic by clicking here.
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