Brazen, a name given by Hezekiah king of Judah to the brazen serpent that Moses had set upon the wilderness, Nu 21:8, and which had been preserved by the Israelites to that time. The superstitious people having made an idol of this serpent, Hezekiah caused it to be burned, and in derision have it the name of Nehushtan, a mere piece of brass, 2Ki 18:4. Memorials, relics, and other outward aids to devotion which men rely upon, have the opposite effect; and visible emblem hides the Savior it ought to reveal, Joh 3:14-16.
of copper; a brazen thing a name of contempt given to the serpent Moses had made in the wilderness (Nu 21:8), and which Hezekiah destroyed because the children of Israel began to regard it as an idol and "burn incense to it." The lapse of nearly one thousand years had invested the "brazen serpent" with a mysterious sanctity; and in order to deliver the people from their infatuation, and impress them with the idea of its worthlessness, Hezekiah called it, in contempt, "Nehushtan," a brazen thing, a mere piece of brass (2Ki 18:4).
("brazen"). 2Ki 18:4, "a piece of brass." The contemptuous name (so the Septuagint, Vulgate, etc.) given to the brazen serpent when Hezekiah broke it in pieces because it was made an idol of, Israel burning incense to it because of its original use in the typical miracle (Nu 21:8-9; Joh 3:14). The Targum of Jonathan, the Peshito Syriac, and Buxtorf less forcibly make Nehushtan the name by which the brass serpent had been generally known. A prescient protest against relic worship.
Name of contempt given by Hezekiah to the brazen serpent, when he destroyed it because the Israelites burnt incense to it. He called it a 'piece of brass,' as in the margin. 2Ki 18:4.
(a thing of brass), the name by which the brazen serpent made by Moses in the wilderness,
was worshipped in the time of Hezekiah.
It is evident that our translators by their rendering "and he called it Nehushtan" understood that the subject of the sentence is Hezekiah and that when he destroyed the brazen serpent he gave it the name Nehushtan "a brazen thing" in token of his utter contempt. But it is better to understand the Hebrew as referring to the name by which the serpent was generally known, the subject of the verb being indefinite-- "and one called it 'Nehushtan.'"