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Fyodor Bruni (1801-1875)  Nehushtan Oil on canvas, 1841  565x852 cm  The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
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Title: Nehushtan
Description:
Fyodor Bruni (1801-1875)
Nehushtan
Oil on canvas, 1841
565x852 cm
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

The Nehushtan (or Nehustan, Hebrew: נחושתן or נחש הנחושת) was a sacred object in the form of a copper snake upon a pole. In the seventh century BC, King Hezekiah instituted a religious iconoclastic reform and destroyed the Nehustan (2 Kings 18:4). It is identified with the bronze snake mentioned in the biblical Book of Numbers, which was said to have been used by Moses to cure the Israelites snake bites.
The creation of a bronze snake (the Nehustan) is attributed to Moses in the Book of Numbers.

Then the LORD sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD to take away the serpents us." So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses, "Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live." So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.

The documentary hypothesis attributes these passages to the Elohist source recounting a folk tradition concerning a northern cult image.[citation needed]

Archaeological excavations at sites associated with Midianite ware at the ruins of Seti II's temple to Hathor at Timna, in Edomite Seir, have unearthed copper statues of serpents. Whether these were cult images similar to the Nehushtan is unknown.

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Fyodor Bruni (1801-1875)  Nehushtan Oil on canvas, 1841  565x852 cm  The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, RussiaFyodor Bruni (1801-1875)  The Virgin and Child  Oil on canvas, 1858  63x46,7 cm  The Ivanovs's association of art museums, Ivanovo, RussiaFyodor Bruni (1801-1875)  Saint Cecilia  Oil on canvas, 1825  164x124 cm  The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
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