A Snake on a Pole
A snake on a wooden pole is a symbol recognized widely as a sign of healing. Whether carved on the wall of a Stone Age structure, adorning the side of an ambulance, or labeling the medical kit on the international space station, the symbol spans all of human history and all of its cultures.
A snake on a pole first appears in the Bible in Numbers 21:8. Then, Moses instructs those bitten by vipers to look at a brass snake on the pole and be healed.
MATTHEW SLEETH, MD, is a speaker, author, and executive director of Blessed Earth, an organization promoting stewardship of creation. His most recent book is Reforesting Faith: What Trees Teach Us About the Nature of God and His Love for Us (WaterBrook, April 2019).