[The Brazen Serpent]

Robert Anning Bell, RI AWRS 1872-1919

Photographic Reproduction of pen and ink drawing


The Studio

Scan and text by George P. Landow

John 3:14, in which Christ proclaims "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wildemess, even so must the Son of man be lifted up," taught Christians to see the brazen serpent as a divinely authenticated type of the Crucifixion, but commentators also emphasize that it is an image of saving faith. Bell's illustration for The Altar Book depicts that passage from the Book of Numbers which relates that after the Lord sent a plague of serpents to punish the Jews for their lack of faith, Moses interceded with God and was instructed: "Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live" (Numbers 21:8). [Continued below]

Image scan and text by George P. Landow

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