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"Kadesh Barnea - The City of the Serpent God?" 



And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.


Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.


And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.



And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.



This week we will attempt to solve two mysteries that have plagued Biblical scholars for generations J

1)      The solution to the serpent mystery. After all, was not one of the commandments NOT to make any graven images and what were the “fiery serpents” anyway.

2)      The origin of the root name of “Barnea” in Kadesh Barnea.  Nobody has even come up with any suggestion before.

We have already shown that Moses DID follow a pillar of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night by following the tectonic/volcanic line between  Yemen and Mecca . It is natural that after the great upheaval following  the time of the  “Exodus”  there would be a sudden increase in volcanic activity. Could it be that rocks and lava spewed out of  these volcanoes were remembered as they appeared, as nasty biting fiery serpents ?

But what you may ask, has this got to do with Kadesh Barnea ?

This is the Holy City of Barnea, but who was Barnea. There are two candidates that immediately fit in with the above thesis. One is a Vedic God, Varuna (B/V-R-N), the other a Babylonian God Nirha (Bar, the son of  n-r ) who was in actuality a serpent God.



We will write in detail about the possibility of  pre-Islamic Arabia being visited by  Indian merchants and conquerors, but it is interesting to note that Varuna, a very early god in the Vedic pantheon was described as having a rod of snakes in his hand.  Further, Joel Peter Brereton in The American Oriental Series Vol. 63 published by the American Oriental Society persuadingly argues that Varuna was the god of "commandments" from purely linguistic evidence.  He knew nothing of course of our thesis.  That Arabia even in antiquity was known for its horses and that Varuna was the god to whom one prayed for the health and vitality of one's horse, it perhaps no more than a bonus. 

When Mohammed cleaned out the Kabaa of  its 360 pagan gods, he was followed by generations of Muslims who attempted to destroy any remnant of  pre-Islamic times.  It is only through indirect clues that we can attempt to solve the puzzles.

Stay tuned……………..



[1] And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. [2] And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand ? And he said, A rod. [3] And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. [4] And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: [5] That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.

Even before the Exodus, a rod and a serpent are identified with God. The question of course is why would the turning of a rod into a serpent be proof that God had appeared before Moses.  It becomes even stranger when we compare it to the story of  the Garden of Eden where the serpent is cast as the “bad guy”.

Please see our work on possibly cometary activity at the time of the Exodus for an alternative explanation for “fiery serpents”. Those who saw the recent activity of the Leonid meteor showers will know exactly what we mean.



Michael Sanders

December 2002



Vision Video Associate

Vision Video Associate

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