Nehushtan

A male deity at the time of the Old Testament

Nehushtan is a term found in 2 Kings 18:4 in the Bible, which refers to a bronze serpent that had become an object of idolatry among the Israelites. The verse states: He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan). (2 Kings 18:4, NIV)

In this context, Nehushtan was not a male deity, but rather an object that had been created by Moses at God’s command during the time of the Israelites’ wilderness journey. The bronze serpent was originally meant as a symbol of God’s healing and deliverance, as recounted in Numbers 21:4-9. However, over time, the people began to worship and offer incense to the bronze serpent, turning it into an idol.

King Hezekiah’s actions in destroying the bronze serpent Nehushtan were in line with the commandments against idolatry in the Old Testament. The removal of Nehushtan was a necessary step to purify the worship of the Israelites and redirect their focus back to the true worship of God alone.

From a biblical point of view, Nehushtan serves as a cautionary tale against the dangers of idolatry and the worship of created objects rather than the Creator. It underscores the importance of staying true to the commandments of God and not allowing anything to take His place in our hearts and worship.

In conclusion, Nehushtan was not a deity but a symbol that had been corrupted by idolatry. Its destruction by King Hezekiah serves as a reminder of the need to worship God alone and avoid the temptation of idolizing created things.

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