As a born again Christian, I’ve always been fascinated by the symbolism of snakes in the Bible and Theological studies in general. Therefore, I was excited and eager to learn when my Bible study group decided to tackle this topic last Sunday. The opening question to this interesting topic was, “What does the snake symbolize in the Bible?”
In the Bible, the snake symbolizes temptation, deception, and spiritual danger, as implied in Genesis 3. Also, in the New Testament, the devil is described as a “serpent of old” who deceives the whole world, as suggested in Revelation 12:9. However, snakes also represent healing and transformation, as seen in the symbol of the serpent on the staff of Moses, as implied in Exodus 4:3 and the words of Jesus in Mark 16:18. Overall, the symbolism of the snake in the Bible is complex and multifaceted, representing both spiritual danger and potential for healing and transformation.
In this article, I invite you to join me as we delve into the topic of the symbolism of snakes in the Bible. Also, if you’d like to uncover what various dreams involving snakes mean, whether they are a good or bad omen, and what the Bible generally says about these creatures, keep reading.
Where do snakes appear in the Bible?
Snakes appear numerous times in the Bible, including the Garden of Eden, as a serpent, as suggested in Genesis 3:1-5. This is perhaps the most famous appearance of a snake in the Bible, where it appears to Eve and tempts her to eat from the forbidden tree of knowledge. The snake’s deception leads to the fall of humanity, and God curses it, as implied in Genesis 3:14. In this story, the snake is commonly understood as a symbol of Satan, the ultimate deceiver.
Additionally, a snake appears in Numbers 21:8-9 as a form of healing to the Israelites after they were punished with God with poisonous snakes for complaining about their journey in the wilderness. This snake was a bronze serpent, which symbolized God’s healing power and foreshadows the healing that Jesus provides through his death on the cross, as suggested in John 3:14-15.
Also, snakes are mentioned in Proverbs 30:18-19, where their characters and agility are likened to that of an adulterous woman. To add to that, snakes are also mentioned in Matthew 10:16, where Jesus highlights their wisdom and discernment. Generally, snakes appear as a symbol of evil throughout the Bible, often associated with evil and deception, as suggested in Matthew 23:33. Also, as speculated in Revelation 12:9, Satan is described as an ancient snake who deceived the world.
Bible verses about snakes
Besides the Bible verses discussed earlier, other verses about snakes include Psalm 91:13. This verse emphasizes the power and protection of God, who can enable us to overcome even the most dangerous creatures, and encourages us to trust in God’s strength and protection, even in the face of danger and adversity. Additionally, Christians are warned against excessive drinking in Proverbs 23:32, where the imagery of a venomous snake is used to describe the harmful effects of excessive drinking.
In Isaiah 11:8, the image of a dangerous snake is used to emphasize the safety and security that will exist in the Messiah’s kingdom, and in Jeremiah 8:17, an image of a snake is also used to imply the relentless and unstoppable destruction that’s coming upon sinners. Moreover, as implied in Luke 10:19, we, as Christians, have been given authority to tread on serpents and over all the power of the enemy. This verse emphasizes the power and authority that Christians have in Christ, even over dangerous and harmful creatures.
5 symbolic meanings of snakes in the Bible
Temptation and deception
One symbolic meaning of snakes in the Bible is temptation and deception, as suggested in Genesis 3, where a snake deceives Adam and Eve. The serpent’s tactics of deception and temptation are also reflected in other biblical passages that warn against the dangers of sin and the devil’s schemes, for instance, in 2 Corinthians 11:3.
Healing and salvation
Paradoxically, snakes also symbolize healing and salvation, as speculated in Numbers 21 in the story of the bronze snake. This story is later referenced in the Gospel of John 3:14-15, where Jesus likens Himself to the bronze snake lifted in the wilderness. Snake, as a symbol of healing and salvation in the Bible, is tied to the idea of turning to God in repentance and faith for forgiveness.
Evil or Satan
To add to that, snakes also represent evil or Satan in the Bible, as suggested in Revelation 12:9. The association of snakes with evil and Satan in the Bible is linked to their deceptive nature, as well as their association with death and destruction, and as a result, snakes have become a powerful symbol of evil forces in Christian theology and iconography.
Wisdom and craftiness
Snakes also symbolize wisdom and craftiness, as implied in Matthew 10:16. However, it’s crucial to note that this verse doesn’t say that Christians should engage in deception but rather that they should be shrewd and discerning in their interactions with others.
Judgment and punishment
Additionally, snakes symbolize judgment and punishment in the Bible, as implied in Isaiah 14:29, where the prophet describes a serpent that will come to punish the people of Philistia. Amos 5:19 also suggests the same. These references to the serpent as a symbol of judgment serve as a warning to those who reject God’s truth and justice.
It’s important to know that the snake is a complex symbol in the Bible, with various meanings and associations, and not all Christians agree on every interpretation.
What Do Snakes Symbolize in Dreams?
Two-Headed Snake Biblical Meaning
As seen before, snakes are often used as symbols of temptation, deceit, and evil. Therefore, according to some, the two heads of a two-headed snake could represent a duality or conflict in one’s spiritual life, such as struggling between good and evil or between two opposing desires. Such dreams should be approached with discernment and God’s guidance. Additionally, the two-headed snake could represent a sense of ambiguity or uncertainty in one’s life, symbolizing conflicting options or paths that the dreamer may be facing, and the dream may be urging them to seek clarity and guidance from God. Another possible interpretation of a two-headed snake dream is that it represents a need for balance and harmony in one’s life. It’s also worth noting that in some cultures, the two-headed snake is seen as a positive symbol of transformation and regeneration.
Snake Eating Itself Dream Meaning
One of the interpretation of this dream is that the image of a snake eating itself could represent a cycle of self-destruction and self-deception. The act of devouring oneself suggests a form of self-sabotage or self-destructive behavior that could be preventing the dreamer from achieving their goals or living a fulfilling life.
This dream has also been associated with the concept of infinity and eternity, as the snake appears to be constantly renewing itself. In a spiritual context, this could represent the cyclical nature of life and the constant need for renewal and transformation or self-discovery and introspection. The act of the snake devouring itself could symbolize the need to confront one’ negative thoughts to move forward and find inner peace.
Dreaming of Snakes Attacking
The dream of snakes attacking could represent the presence of evil in the dreamer’s life or the temptation to stray from the path of righteousness. Another possible interpretation of dreams of snakes attacking is the need to confront one’s fears and anxieties. Finally, this dream could also represent the presence of spiritual warfare or attacks of the enemy in the spiritual realm.
Dreaming of Being Chased by a Snake
One of the interpretations of dreams of being chased by a snake is the presence of temptation and the struggle against sin. The serpent in the Bible is often associated with temptation, and dreams of being chased by a snake could represent the presence of sin in the dreamer’s life and the struggle to resist it.
Another possible interpretation of dreams of being chased by a snake is the need to confront one’s fears and anxieties. The fear of snakes is common and can be linked to the instinctual fear of danger and death. Therefore, dreaming of being chased by a snake could represent the need to confront and overcome one’s fears to move forward and live a fulfilling life. According to these scholars, this dream could also represent the presence of spiritual warfare or the need to trust in God’s protection and guidance, even in the face of danger and temptation.
Dreaming About a Snake Bite
According to dream scholars, dreams of being bitten by a snake could represent the presence of sin in the dreamer’s life and the need to address it or the consequences of sin, including the pain and suffering that it can cause. Additionally, dreams of being bitten by a snake could represent the presence of spiritual attack or opposition, as well as the need to be alert and vigilant against the enemy. Also, such dreams could represent the need to turn to Christ for healing and salvation.
Killing Snakes in Your Dream
Dreams about killing snakes have various symbolic meanings, depending on the context and details of the dream. Generally, killing snakes in dreams can represent the victory over temptation, sin, or spiritual attack. From a Christian perspective, snakes are often associated with Satan. Therefore, in this sense, killing snakes in a dream can represent the victory over Satan and his temptations.
However, some believe that not all dreams of killing snakes are positive because some of these dreams can represent the desire to control or dominate others or a disregard for the natural order of things. Therefore, in such cases, it may be necessary to examine one’s motives and attitudes and to seek God’s guidance and correction.
Recurring Dreams About Snakes
According to most dream scholars, recurring dreams about snakes can be a sign that there are important issues in one’s life that need to be addressed. These dreams may indicate a need for personal transformation or spiritual growth. From a Christian perspective, snakes are often associated with the devil. Therefore, in this sense, recurring dreams about snakes can be seen as a warning of spiritual danger or temptation, as implied in John 10:10.
Additionally, according to most people, recurring dreams about snakes can also represent deep-seated fears or anxieties since the snake is a powerful symbol of danger and unpredictability. Such dreams may indicate a need to confront and overcome one’s fears and to trust in God’s protection and guidance. In addition, recurring dreams about snakes can be a sign of spiritual awakening or renewal. The Bible teaches that God speaks to people through dreams and visions, as implied in Acts 2:17, and that He can use even the most unlikely symbols to convey His message. Therefore, it’s important for Christians to pay attention to their dreams and seek guidance and wisdom from God.
Spiritual Meaning of Snake in House
Many believe that if one encounters a snake in their house, it can be seen as a warning of spiritual danger or temptation, or spiritual uncleanliness or impurity, calling for spiritual cleansing and repentance. Regardless of the meaning, encountering a snake in one’s house can be seen as a reminder of God’s protection and sovereignty. Therefore, even in the midst of spiritual danger or temptation, Christians can trust in God’s protection and guidance. As Christians, we should always approach such experiences with prayerful discernment and seek wisdom and guidance from God.
Is dreaming about snakes a good or bad omen?
In Christianity, there is no single answer to whether dreaming about snakes is a good or bad omen. The meaning of a snake dream depends on various factors, such as the context of the dream, the emotions and feelings experienced during the dream, and the personal beliefs and experiences of the dreamer. Biblically, snakes are often associated with deception, temptation, and spiritual danger, as mentioned earlier. However, the Bible also uses snakes as symbols of healing and transformation. Therefore, dreaming about a snake could be seen as a warning of spiritual danger or temptation. However, it could also represent a call to spiritual transformation and renewal.
Ultimately, the meaning of a snake dream is subjective and depends on the personal beliefs and experiences of the dreamer. Some Christians believe that all dreams have spiritual significance, while others see dreams as simply a product of the subconscious mind. Regardless of one’s beliefs, it’s important to approach dreams with discernment and seek guidance from God in interpreting their meaning.
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.