Flying, Fiery Serpents
Ok. What are these things?
There may be 2 kinds:
(1) serpents who have a fiery bite
Num 21:6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
Deu 8:15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, [wherein were] fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where [there was] no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
(2) Serpents who have a fiery bite, or nature, and fly
Isa 14:29 Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit [shall be] a fiery flying serpent.
Isa 30:6 The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence [come] the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people [that] shall not profit [them].
Numbers used the word nachash for snake, which is a natural snake.
The Hebrews in the desert were being bit by snakes. Moses put a serpent on the end of his rod, and told people to look at it, to get healed. Repentance was an implied requirement as they looked.
The serpent here may have been the Saw Scale Viper.
Is there a naturally occurring flying snake?
Here is one source which thinks so.
New Snake Footage Uncoils Mystery of Flying Serpents
for National Geographic News
August 7, 2002
There is a snake that actually launches itself from trees or other high places. It is theorized that perhaps the snake makes its body aerodynamically flat to glide through the air. Another possibility is that the snake prepares itself in some way just before launching itself into the air. The snake has been observed moving in an “S” pattern as it glides through the air.
Along the west coast of India and in parts of Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka, some snakes slither through the jungle, bite with venom, and glide from tree to tree.
Research shows that the snakes flatten and undulate their bodies to glide through the air. Undulation is key to their ability to stay aloft.
There are five species of flying snakes, all of the genus Chrysopelea. Adults average about three feet (one meter) long, and though not lethal, some have a pretty testy temperament, said Socha.
“They do have small fangs in the back of their mouth and inject a small amount of venom when they eat, but they’re harmless to humans,” he said. “I’ve been bitten many times with no effect.”
Like more familiar gliders, such as flying squirrels, flying snakes are not actually able to fly upward. Their flight is actually the ability to glide considerable distances from the high branches of trees.
A video of a flying snake
Does this match the Bible account?
1. I would conclude from this video that these snakes do not actually fly, but glide as they fall.
2. They cannot ascend into the air and travel.
3. They just fall downwards.
4. And as they say, most are only green, nonpoisonous, and harmless to humans, with some exceptions.
5. they are reported in jungles, not deserts
Isaiah uses the word שרף seraph for serpent, which can be either a natural, venomous snake, or a supernatural being.
1) serpent, fiery serpent
a) poisonous serpent (fiery from burning effect of poison)
2) seraph, seraphim
a) majestic beings with 6 wings, human hands or voices in attendance upon God
The word here for “fly” can mean either to fly, or to “hover over.”
These flying fiery serpents – from the Bible – have certain characteristics:
1. found in the desert wilderness
2. they really fly
3. they look like serpents
4. they have a fiery nature – their venom can cause death
5. they have “riches” to carry (Isaiah 30:6)
6. They may have the ability to “hover” over an area.
Is there anything else in the world that fits the “Isaiah snake” description better?
Those that fit the Isaiah definition are a little stranger.
This one has a fire color, and remains suspended in air, without falling. It “hovers”
over New York
sky serpent associated with lightening (electrical “fire”)
NASA confirms serpents found in outer space
“alien” web site
Conclusions from current “Isaiah serpent” videos
1. the serpent like creatures do fly
2. they seem to be found anywhere
3. they live more in the sky than on the ground
4. they may, or may not, be venomous.
5. What they carry (“riches” of Isaiah 30:6) with them remains to be seen.
6. They can “hover”
History of flying serpents
English: The Flying Serpent. Or: Strange News out of Essex. Being: A true Relation of a Monstrous Serpent which hath divers times been seen at a Parish called Henham-on-the-Mount within 4 miles of Saffron Walden. Showing the length, proportion and bigness of the Serpent, the place, where it commonly lurks, and what means hath been used to kill it. Also a discourse of other Serpents, and paticularly of a cocatrice killed at Saffron Walden.
Pamphlet about the Henham Dragon.
El Castillo, the famous pyramid of Chichen Itza, symbolised the Snake Mountain – the place of origin.
Each religious site had a representation of the “Snake Mountain”; in Teotihuacan, this role was performed by the Quetzalcoatl pyramid.
Their god, Quetzalcoatl, was the “flying serpent”.
The serpentine connotation of El Castillo is visible through the serpent carved on its side.
On the equinoxes, the sun plays a light and shadow game, bringing the snake alive.
Many scholars now believe that the “Flying Serpent” is the “Vision Beast”. Like many religions, the Mayan priests tried to induce visions.
One methodology used was bloodletting, whereby the resulting trance was visualized as the “victim” being eaten by the Vision Beast: he entered the Otherworld.
Quite often, this “shamanic voyage” occurred on top of the pyramid, where the god himself voyaged from this to other realities – and back.
North America, and other countries
(3) Serpent here has a supernatural quality:
These Children of the Sun adore the Plumèd Serpent, who is the messenger of the Sun. He was the God Quetzalcoatl in Mexico, Gucumatz in Quiché; and in Peru he was called Amaru.
From the latter name comes our word America. Amaruca is, literally translated, ‘Land of the Plumèd Serpent.’
(4) These seem to be “natural” flying snakes:
A slightly larger and more alarming specimen was observed over St. Charles, Missouri, not far from the Mississippi River in 1911. Mrs. John Bishop and her children were startled from their work and play by an odd sound evocative of a monoplane.
This buzzing though was not from an engine, but rather from the highly rapid fluttering of a sizeable pair of wings attached to a three-foot-long spotted snake passing over their residence.
The awe that overtook the unsuspecting family quickly transformed into terror however, as the airborne snake turned and approached the terrified group of witnesses.
The mother hastily herded the children into the home where they watched in safety as the creature performed various aeronautic feats for almost twenty minutes before it disappeared over the horizon in the direction of Alton, Illinois.….. ( Washington Post; Washington DC, 10/29/1911)
Farm hands working on what was one of the most renowned plantations in King George, Virginia, “Berry Plain”, did battle with a winged snake in September of 1905 and emerged victorious. The enigmatic reptile had been seen many times on the plantation—always in flight or arboreal, never terrestrial—prior to its demise.
The beast was five feet long, one inch in diameter and possessed wings “of good size” covered with something that resembled feathers. The plantation was located on the banks of the Rappahannock River; thus, locals surmised that the creature must have “come from an impenetrable marsh of the river or some neighboring creek”.….. ( Wisconsin Valley Leader, Grand Rapids WI, 9/28/1905)
In 1914, an American Indian of the Seminole tribe named Jim Sanitu traversed the country with his “trophy”, the fully mounted skeleton of a large winged snake that he claimed to have bested in a battle in the Everglades…. ( Decatur Review, Decatur IL, 10/17/1914)
We have a history of both small and large versions of flying, fiery serpents.
Some appear to be purely natural snakes, except they have wings, and fly.
Other legends point to creatures with a supernatural quality. Some peoples have made gods out of them.
Are some of the strange UFO-like appearances related to this “supernatural” version?
If all accounts are true, then we should be prepared for anything, if it happens to come about.