Scorpions of the Bible-
And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. (Ezekiel 2:6 -)
He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. [Deuteronomy 8:15-18]
He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
(Luke 10:18-19 )
Scorpions throughout Biblical literature were feared and not held in a favorable light. The scorpion has been mentioned in Deuteronomy as an animal that inhabited the desert the Israelites wandered through. It has been symbolic of the wicked and evil doer in the time of Ezekial the prophet to describe the nature of the people the prophet was dealing with and lastly Jesus refers to the spiritual forces of Satan as being like that of a scorpion.
Scientifically they are very fascinating animals. In fact, they will eat eachother provided one has an opportunity to do so. They often will grab prey with claws and then inject venom from a stinger attached to the tail they use as their most formidable weapon. When mating the male is not by any means safe himself since the female scorpion may sting him and devour him in his attempt.
Scorpions like snakes, reptiles of other kinds, arachnids and insects of other varieties are cold blooded. This means their body temperature is dependent on external sources of heat to be maintained for their survival. Thus they fair best in warmer climates that have a steady temperature that does not drop significantly enough.
The following picture is a “Israeli Palestenian Deathstalker scorpion” and may indeed be the species that Jews in the days of Jesus and Biblical times had come across.
In the article by Toni Staff, in the Israeli Times-
“The Israeli yellow scorpion, also commonly known as the deathstalker, is a highly venomous species common in southern Israel’s Negev Desert.While its venom is not lethal for adults, it can be deadly for the young, elderly and infirm.”
Though possibly not fatal to be stung by a majority of scorpions, some species are very venomous and can prove fatal.
In the United States there is a species that can kill a human adult and is known as
The Arizona bark scorpion. Arizona has desert so it is one of a scorpions favorite habitats.
When we see all this in Biblical light we must realize Jesus is using the nature of the scorpion as a metaphor. Also so is the book of Ezekial. The rebellious untamed nature of sin makes it’s hosts unpradictable and hostile by nature. And as it says in the New Testament book of Galatians, chapter 5-
—-You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. [Galatians 5:13-15 -]
The Apostle Paul is warning people in the Galatian church that claim to follow Christ that they must put off the worldly ways they are succumbing to. He then gives us a list to discern whether we are acting in the renewed man or the old nature-
—So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:16-21)
What he then does is show us what we should be living like as people who claim to follow Christ.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:22-26)
We are not to behave out of fleshly ways and “Eat or be eaten” but rather behave as people remade again in God’s image to reflect His likeness and behave like the people of God, not wild animals. Human beings were created for more then survival and preying on eachother yet sin makes us by nature become like the wild beasts yet having no excuses to justify us in doing so! Christ died to redeem us from the ways of the Scorpion.