People in that region suffered from a type of worm known as Dracunculus medinensis. (These worms grow under the skin, particularly in the lower extremities. Whey they push out through the skin, blisters and infected sores often arise. Their toxins can also produce general reactions such as hives, nausea, vomiting and fever.) But a way was found to get rid of the worms, which could be up to a half a metre long. They were carefully rolled up on a little peg. This may be why the Jews considered the snake a sign of victory. The brazen serpent which God commanded Moses to make (Numbers 21 ) might have been a Dracunculus worm!
Last updated by 1995 April 21