Verse 4. "Brake in pieces the brazen serpent." - The history of this may be seen in Num. xxi. 8, 9; see the notes there.
We find that this brazen serpent had become an object of idolatry, and no doubt was supposed to possess, as a telesm or amulet, extraordinary virtues, and that incense was burnt before it which should have been burnt before the true God.
"And he called it Nehushtan." - t¨hn . Not one of the versions has attempted to translate this word. Jarchi says, "He called it Nechustan, through contempt, which is as much as to say, a brazen serpent." Some have supposed that the word is compounded of ¨jn nachash, to divine, and t tan, a serpent, so it signifies the divining serpent; and the Targum states that it was the people, not Hezekiah, that gave it this name. ¨jn nachash signifies to view, eye attentively, observe, to search, inquire accurately, &c.; and hence is used to express divination, augury. As a noun it signifies brass or copper, filth, verdigris, and some sea animal, Amos ix. 3; see also Job xxvi. 13, and