"A genus of venomous serpents, they are of small size, live on dry land, and feed upon frogs, lizards, and other small animals. The tail is furnished with a horny spur at the end."-Whitney, 1902

Acanthophis

"A genus of venomous serpents, they are of small size, live on dry land, and feed upon frogs, lizards,…

A small hooded and poisonous serpent of Egypt.

Asp

A small hooded and poisonous serpent of Egypt.

"And Jehovah sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, because we have spoken against Jehovah, and against thee; pray unto Jehovah, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And Jehovah said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a standard: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he seeth it, shall live." Numbers 21:6-8 ASV
<p>Illustration of Moses holding up the bronze serpent on the staff and all of the Israelites looking upon it to be healed. Numerous people lie in various states of disease. Snakes are on the ground, coiled around arms, and biting people. Moses is pictured with horns made of rays of light. Tents and mountains can be seen in the background.

The Brazen Serpent and the Healing of the Israelites

"And Jehovah sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel…

A winged child holds an hourglass over a pair of birds. The hourglass usually represents the passing of time or mortality. The hourglass is has two snakes entwined around it. Sometimes snakes are used symbolically to represent eternity (since they can make a loop) or the cheating of death (it was commonly believed that snakes revitalized themselves by shedding their skin).

Cherub with Hourglass

A winged child holds an hourglass over a pair of birds. The hourglass usually represents the passing…

Its color is olive-gray or brown above, with black bands and spots, and checkered black and white beneath. The usual length is three feet. It is nearly related to the American water-snake, and haunts moist places, feeding on frogs, fish, and insects. The soft eggs are about one inch long, and are laid in manure heaps, in rich soil, or on heaps of weeds.

Grass Snake

Its color is olive-gray or brown above, with black bands and spots, and checkered black and white beneath.…

An illustration a man being attacked by snakes.

Man Being Attacked by Snakes

An illustration a man being attacked by snakes.

An illustration of a man riding a horse being chased by flying snakes.

Man Chased on a Horse

An illustration of a man riding a horse being chased by flying snakes.

"And Jehovah said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a standard: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he seeth it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and set it upon the standard: and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked unto the serpent of brass, he lived." Numbers 21:8-9 ASV
<p>Moses holds up the brass serpent and all those who were bitten by serpents and who looked upon the brass serpent lived.

Moses and the Serpent of Brass

"And Jehovah said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a standard: and it shall come…

Illustration of Saint Patrick on the shores of Ireland, in full papal uniform, with other clergy behind him. He is holding his hand out over several men, women, and children. Women kneel on the ground, one with a basket of fish. A little boy and girl watch the saint. A boat can be seen on the water and mountains rise in the background. Snakes slither on the ground in front of Saint Patrick.

Saint Patrick Blesses the Irish and Banishes Snakes

Illustration of Saint Patrick on the shores of Ireland, in full papal uniform, with other clergy behind…

Snakes on shelf

Snakes on shelf

Snakes on shelf