SYMBOLS from the Bible and Mythology
The Medical symbol has always intrigued to me and I had wondered how it came about...especially the use of the rod and snakes. Then last year while reading the Bible, I again came across the story about Moses, the pole, staff and a serpent that healed the Israelite...I have read this story many times, however this time a flash came into my head and I asked myself, "is this where the medical symbol came from?"
Moses and the serpent
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.
Of course there are many more Biblical stories related to poles/staffs and serpents...and outside of the Bible I found many connections with Greek Mythology and Greek god Hermes.
So here I'm covering just a few stories of the origination of this Symbol...I'm sure there are many more out there, and I will be adding them to the Links listed as I find them.
Stainglass by Chantel Pare
Aesculapius ~ single serpent
The most popular symbol of medicine around the world is the staff with a single serpent (snake) wrapped around it, the staff is called Asklepois (Latin ~ Aesculapius) it was the staff of Asklepois the ancient Greek god of medicine.
In Europe, most Medical Doctors and Clinics use the Aesculapius symbol staff/rod with the wingless one serpent entwined around the staff. The British Royal Army Medical Corps, American Medical Ass. and the Royal Canadian Medical Corps use this symbol of medicine as well as the emblem.
Asklepios ~ double serpent
This staff Asklepios (the Asklepian)which has the coiled double serpents with wings ascending to the top is called the Caduceus, both being popular medical symbols in the United States.
The medical Symbol the Caduceus is usually described as the Medical Symbol and equivalent to the Ancient Caduceus with a double serpent, this being of the Greek god Hermes (Latin ~ Mercury)
Actually the medical caduceus is quite modern in origins it's obtained idea was from a well known 19th Century medical publisher's printers mark and not from the ancient caduceus of Hermes.
The Caduceus symbol is frequently designated as the Medical Caduceus and is described as equivalent with the ancient caduceus with the double serpent staff of the Greek god Hermes Latin ~ Mercury...as noted above for Asklepios module, the design was not from the ancient caduceus. Surprisingly it was adopted by the US Army Medical Corps in the early 20th Century making it then popular.
I also found that the Word Caduceus (Latin) has origin from a Greek word Karykeion (Karyx or Keryx meaning Herald)
The double snake baring caduceus even has a certain resemblance to the DNA symbol called the double helix which is like a coil like twisted-ladder.
an infulence from caduceus
You will even find this symbol used by the American Veterinary Medical Association...interesting!
Link List for medical Symbols - more information on this subject...
- Rod of Asclepius - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rod of Asclepius The rod of Asclepius (also known as the rod of Asklepios, rod of Aesculapius or asklepian is an ancient Greek symbol associated with astrology[
- Asclepius - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Asclepius From Wikipedia
- Caduceus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the Greek symbol. For the medical symbol often mistakenly referred to as a caduceus, see Rod of Asclepius.
- Aesculepius, Asculapius (Latin); Asclepius, Asklepios (Greek), Part 1 of 2 + - Word Information
Information about English words derived from Latin and Greek sources
- Medical Symbol History | eHow
Medical Symbol History. The use of the medical symbol stems thousands of years. It has two representations. One is the staff of Asclepius, and the other, the caduceus of Hermes. Medical organizations have adopted the Asclepius...
According to the Hebrew text
My Internet friend LaraineRose shared this interesting and informative research she had done, and I have added it to my lens, word for word. Thank You Laraine!
I decided to do a bit of research on this interesting subject and here is what I found. I hope that you find it interesting. You may add it to your lens if you want to.
The Israelites kept the copper serpent and later improperly began to worship it, making sacrificial smoke to it. Hence, as part of his religious reforms, Judean King Hezekiah (745-717 B.C.E.) had the more than 700-year-old copper serpent crushed to pieces because the people had made an idol of it. According to the Hebrew text, the account at 2 Kings 18:4 literally reads, "he (one) began to call it Nehushtan." Some translations leave the word "Nehushtan" untranslated. (AT; Ro; RS) In Koehler and Baumgartner's lexicon, suggested meanings of the Hebrew term nechushÂ·tan′ are "bronze serpent" and "serpent-idol of bronze." (HebrÃ¤isches und AramÃ¤isches Lexikon zum Alten Testament, Leiden, 1983, p. 653) The New World Translation appropriately says that the copper serpent "used to be called the copper serpent-idol." Jesus Christ made clear the prophetic meaning of the wilderness event involving the copper serpent when he told Nicodemus: "Moreover, no man has ascended into heaven but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man must be lifted up, that everyone believing in him may have everlasting life." (John 3:13-15) Like the copper serpent that Moses placed on a pole in the wilderness, the Son of God was impaled or fastened on a stake, thus appearing to many as an evildoer and a sinner, like a snake, being in the position of one cursed. (De 21:22, 23; Ga 3:13; 1Pe 2:24) In the wilderness a person who had been bitten by one of the poisonous serpents that God sent among the Israelites evidently had to gaze at the copper serpent in faith. Similarly, to gain everlasting life through Christ, it is necessary to exercise faith in him.
Jehovah Witness site
this research was found at a Jehovah Witness site http://wol.jw.org/zu/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200001031
I realize this is an odd subject, but thought it interesting....and just maybe you at one time thought, how did this symbol come about.
* I'd like to mention that there are many myths, conceptions and misconceptions, some towards evil, other faiths and Masonic belief. My page and research are mostly based on the Bible and meanings in Greek and Latin.
What you are is God's gift to you, what you do with yourself is your gift to God: Danish Proverb