God said to Moses, 'Make yourself [the image of] a venomous snake, and place it on a banner. Everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.' Vayomer Adonay el-Moshe aseh lecha saraf vesim oto al-nes vehayah kol-hanashuch vera'ah oto vachay.
shall look at it and live They would then think of God and repent (Targum Yonathan; Rosh HaShanah 29a; Rashi). Some say that they would meditate on the copper serpent (HaKethav VeHaKabbalah). According to others, the snake would be a reminder for the people not to leave the camp (Yehudah HaChasid), or not to speak against God (Ralbag).
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