What Is an Asp in The Bible?
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What Is an Asp in The Bible?

The asp is mentioned several times in the Bible, often in a symbolic or metaphorical sense. Here we will examine the biblical references to the asp, what it represents, and what we can learn from these passages.


The asp is a venomous snake found in the Middle East and parts of Africa. It is a member of the cobra family and known for being extremely dangerous. In the Bible, the asp is sometimes translated as “adder” or “viper.”

The asp was greatly feared in ancient times due to its lethal venom. A bite from an asp could lead to severe pain, paralysis, and death. There was no effective treatment or antidote at the time. This made the asp a powerful symbol of danger, evil, and spiritual poison.

In this blog post, we will explore the biblical symbolism of the asp. We will look at key passages that mention the asp and analyze what they teach us spiritually. Understanding the meaning behind the biblical asp can help us avoid spiritual traps and walk more closely with God.

Key Takeaways:

  • The asp represents spiritual poison, wickedness, and demonic influence.
  • God can protect His people from the “bite” of the asp.
  • Avoiding wicked counsel and influences helps prevent falling into depravity.
  • Christ’s victory over death frees us from the “sting” of sin’s poison.
  • We must be wise to identify and avoid asps in our lives.

The Asp as Spiritual Poison

The most common symbolic meaning of the asp in the Bible is that of spiritual poison, malice, and demonic influence. Their lethal venom represents the destructive effects of wickedness and evil. Here are some key verses that present the asp in this light:

Deuteronomy 32:24

They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust. (KJV)

This verse describes one of the curses God pronounces on His people when they turn away from Him to worship false idols. The “poison of serpents” here refers to the asp and other venomous snakes of the desert. It signifies the spiritual poisoning that comes from rebellion against God.

Deuteronomy 32:33

Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps. (KJV)

Here the asp’s venom is associated directly with spiritual wickedness, along with dragons (symbols of Satan and spiritual enemies). Poison and venom often symbolize the corrupting influence of depravity and violence.

Psalm 58:4

Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear; (KJV)

This psalm compares the malicious words and lies of the wicked to the poisonous venom of an asp. Just as asp poison can kill the body, evil words and false teachings can kill the soul.

Psalm 140:3

They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. (KJV)

A similar idea is presented here. The deceitful words and malicious lies of the wicked are compared to the deadly poison an asp secretes under its lips. This metaphor teaches us the power of words for good or evil.

These verses clearly symbolize the asp’s venom as spiritual poison – things that are sinful, depraved, demonic and destructive to the soul. This poison represents the opposite of God’s truth and righteousness.

God’s Protection from Asp Poison

Though the asp’s poison represents very real spiritual dangers, the Bible also shows how God can protect His people from its harmful effects. Here are some verses that give hope of deliverance:

Psalm 91:13

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

This assurance of God’s spiritual protection includes triumph over the adder and its poison. Believers have victory through Christ over the “poison” of sin and the Enemy.

Isaiah 11:8

And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.

This beautiful messianic prophecy foretells a future time when even little children will be safe from venomous snakes like the asp. This signifies Christ’s coming redemption from spiritual poison.

Mark 16:18

They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them…

Jesus gave His disciples power and authority over serpents, including the asp’s deadly venom. This is fulfilled spiritually when believers experience victory over sin, temptation and spiritual attacks through faith in Christ.

These passages provide hope that in Jesus we can overcome the most potent spiritual “poisons” through divine protection and the Holy Spirit’s power. Jesus’ death and resurrection nullified the lethal sting of sin’s poison.

Avoiding the Path of the Asp

The Bible warns that avoiding wickedness and foolishness helps prevent falling into the deadly trap of the asp’s poison. Here are some relevant verses:

Proverbs 23:32

But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of hell.

Here, the seductive trap of drunkenness leads ultimately to “bitterness”, a metaphor for the asp’s venom. Staying free of addictions avoids this end.

Psalm 140:5

The proud have hidden a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set traps for me.

This depicts wicked people secretly setting “traps” like an asp which can poison the soul spiritually through sin and depravity. Avoiding their company prevents this.

Proverbs 19:27

Cease listening to instruction, my son, And you will stray from the words of knowledge.

Straying from Godly wisdom and counsel causes one to wander into the domain of the asp and its poison. Staying grounded in truth protects us.

Proverbs 13:20

He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.

Here we see the importance of choosing good company, rather than foolish companions who spread spiritual poison. Our associations influence our lives immensely.

The Bible urges us to avoid the paths and lifestyles that give the “asp” openings to infect us with its venom. Staying grounded in God’s truth and righteous community provides an antidote to poison.

The Asp and Christ’s Redemption

A final significant theme is how Christ’s death and resurrection provides the ultimate antidote to the asp’s poisonous sting. Here are some verses that reveal this truth:

1 Corinthians 15:56

The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.

Sin’s deadly venom is compared to the lethal sting of the asp. But Christ’s death removed its power.

Romans 8:2

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

Through Jesus, the law’s deadly poison is replaced by the life-giving Spirit that sets us free.

Hebrews 2:14

that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,

By dying, Jesus broke the power of “spiritual asp” of Satan who once held the power of death through sin’s poison.

Revelation 20:2

He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;

Ultimately, Christ will crush the “serpent of old” (Satan), destroying his ability to poison souls with sin forever.

Praise God that through Jesus’ victory on the cross, the lethal sting of the asp has been overcome forever! His resurrection provides the antidote to sin’s deadly poison, freeing us to live in righteousness, power and victory by His Spirit now.


In summary, the poisonous asp serves as an important biblical symbol of the destructive and lethal effects of wickedness, depravity, and demonic influences. Its poison represents the pervasive danger of sin and rebellion against God.

Thankfully, God provides protection and escape from the “bite” of the asp through His wisdom, truth, and empowrment by the Holy Spirit. Trusting in Christ, the Cross, and Resurrection allows believers to walk in freedom and authority over the corrupting “venom” of sin.

By learning discernment to avoid the paths and associations where the “asp” lurks, and relying fully on Jesus’ redemption, we can experience complete protection and victory in our lives. Let us embrace the freedom from sin’s poison Christ purchased, follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and walk in the newness of life as God’s redeemed people.

Pastor Duke Taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.