Why King Hezekiah Destroyed the Brazen Serpent

2 Kings 18:4

4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

A CES (Church Educational System) Old Testament manual states:

“During their forty-year journey in the desert, the ancient Israelites often murmured against God and His prophet, Moses. The Lord sent among the people ‘fiery serpents’ that threatened great destruction as a punishment. As a means of physical salvation and as a type of the spiritual salvation to be wrought by Jesus Christ (see John 3:14–15; 2 Nephi 25:20; Helaman 8:13–15), Moses made a serpent of brass, placed it on a pole, and taught his people that if they would gaze upon the serpent when they were bitten, physical healing would follow (see Numbers 21:4–9). The brass serpent was preserved in Israel and, in time, became an object of adoration and was worshipped by the Israelites much as they worshipped idols. In his zeal to eradicate all forms of idolatry in Judah, King Hezekiah had the brazen serpent destroyed along with the idols.

“The word nehushtan comes from the Hebrew and means an object made of brass. The implication may be that Hezekiah was speaking contemptuously of the object being worshipped, saying it was merely a ‘thing of brass’ and nothing more.”

(Old Testament Student Manual: 1 Kings–Malachi, 3rd ed. [Church Educational System manual, 2003], 127.)

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