- Isaiah 14:29: "Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia, because the rod that struck you is broken; for out of the serpent's roots will come a viper, and its offspring will be a fiery flying serpent."
- Isaiah 30:6: "The burden against the beasts of the South. Through a land of trouble and anguish, from which came the lioness and the lion, the viper and the fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys, and their treasures on the humps of camels, to a people who shall not profit;"
References without flight
References lacking a mention of "flight" to the "fiery serpents" can be found in several places in the Old Testament.
- Deuteronomy 8:15 "Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, (see Scorpion pass) and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;"
- Numbers 21:6-8 "(6) And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. (7) 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. (8) 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."
Other scriptural references
- The Book of Mormon: 1Nephi 17:41 "...he sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed;"
Some Young Earth Creationists claim it is a real animal that represents the existence of Pterosaurs in modern times. They say that the adjective "fiery" implies bioluminescence, which is similar to reports of the Ropen.
Fiery flying serpents have also been compared to Seraphim.
Saw Scale Viper
A more prosaic explanation is that the serpent is a mundane animal, the saw scaled viper. The viper has highly toxic venom and it has been known to leap up while striking, which is suggestive of flight.