Numbers 20–21: On Two Funerals, Charles Spurgeon’s Conversion, and a Legion of Snake-Demon Lieutenants (Bible Talk, Ep. 49)

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At this transition point in Numbers, Miriam and Aaron die, the people complain (again!), and Moses makes a grave error with even graver consequences. Oh, and there are also a fiery snakes. In this episode of Bible Talk, Alex Duke chats with Jim Hamilton and Sam Emadi about Numbers 20–21.


1:31 / What kind of transition happens in the book of Numbers in chapter 20?

4:02 / What goes down at the waters of Meribah?

6:21 / How does Moses respond to Israel’s quarreling for lack of water?

8:21 / Why does the Lord’s punishment of Moses—that he shall not enter the Promised Land—fit his crime?

11:05 / What’s significant about the events that surround the death of Aaron?

14:55 / Jim walks through the story of the bronze serpent.

19:18 / If preaching on this episode in Israel’s history, what would you say pastorally to your people?

22:13 / Israel has turned the bronze serpent into an idol by 2 Kings 18.

23:44 / How does the story of the bronze serpent better help us understand the most famous verse in the Bible?

26:33 / How does Numbers transition in chapter 21 to prepare us for the detailed story of Balaam?


29:21 / In Numbers 21:14, Moses refers to a song that’s quoted in the Book of the Wars of the Lord. Is that a Roman Catholic Apocrypha book?

Artwork: The Brazen Serpent, by Anthony van Dyck

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