Bringing the Text to Life

Stink Bugs and Serpents Numbers 21:4-9

Stink Bugs and Serpents

Pests are invading the United States and destroying crops and wildlife, forcing researchers to come up with innovative solutions. How about a serpent of bronze on a pole?

At a Glance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, not to speak of other federal agencies, continually worries about organic material or animals that may slip into or ship onto our borders and invade the country, often wreaking havoc with our natural ecosystem, crops and habitats. In the past, we've somehow invited mitten crabs, ash borers, fruit flies and other creatures to join our world, and now the latest development is the brown marmorated stink bug. We bring this up because you can imagine the surprise of the Hebrews when they found themselves besieged by "fiery" serpents from whose bite they often died.

Editors' Pick

For material based on this same text, see "Snake on a Stake,"March 30, 2003, at

Invasive species.

Asian tiger mosquitoes. Chinese mitten crabs. Asian emerald ash borers. Northern snakeheads. Mexican fruit flies. Asian reticulated pythons.

All these creatures have come from overseas and invaded the United States, causing extensive damage to our...

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