The Biblical Meaning Of Snakes In Dreams

Just like in waking life, snakes in dreams have a terrible reputation. You don’t need to look very far to see why, either. In the Bible, they are the devil’s instrument, like when the serpent tempted Eve, resulting in them being banished from the garden of Eden. 

This is the most famous example, and as such, the snake represents dishonesty, someone, or a situation you cannot trust. Maybe you are lying to yourself or someone else, or circumstances aren’t what they seem.

But the deeper you look, the more complicated this symbol becomes. Snakes are also employed by God in some instances in the Bible.

More often than not, the snakes are used to get people’s attention, to ensure that they are listening exactly at the time they should be, to a message they probably don’t want to hear.

In dream symbolism, the snake has more facets to it than you might think. Let’s take a look.

Why Do Snakes Appear In Dreams?

While snakes are usually the villain in the Bible, different cultures have different interpretations of snake dreams. Some regard them as very positive signs, seeing the snake (see also article titled ‘What Do Many Snakes Mean In Your Dream?‘) as an omen of positive change which will reorder their whole lives.

Others hold the snake as a grim manifestation of betrayal. Someone close to you may be planning to harm you in some way, and more than likely this will be someone you love and admire. 

As a dream symbol, snakes are connected to wisdom and protection. As these creatures are always in contact with the earth wherever they go, they symbolize intuition and grounding and are thought of as a protective symbol. 

Sigmund Freud theorized that the snake is a phallic symbol, and as such, is connected to sexual desire and temptation, and it appears in your dreams as a representation of the desire to cheat on your partner.

What’s The Biblical Interpretation Of Snakes Appearing In Dreams?

One of the most frequent animals to appear in the Bible is the serpent or the snake. They are usually depicted as a negative force, connected with the devil (see also article on dreaming about witches), but this is not the full extent of their symbolism.

While snakes in the Bible usually mean betrayal, fear, and an exercise in power, they have some positive symbolism, but above all, snakes represent transformation.

You only have to remember that a snake sheds its skin to make the connection. 

Let’s take a look at a few of the Biblical interpretations of snake dreams.

The Snake As The Devil

The snake often appears in the Bible as the ultimate adversary, the devil himself. In Genesis III, the first time Satan is referred to in the Bible, the devil tempts Eve to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge, and in turn, she convinces Adam, leading to their banishment.

As this is one of the first depictions of the snake acting against God’s plans, the serpent became the symbol of evil and the devil, and this symbol repeats throughout both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Dreaming of a snake represents someone or something you cannot take at face value.

Fighting Against Negative Influences

If you dream of fighting a snake, this is related to emotional suffering. In Ephesians 6:12, snakes are symbolic of temptation, darkness, and evil. 

To battle against snakes is to rise above your worst impulses and any instincts that tell you to act against your principles so that you may escape from a difficult situation in waking life for a while. 

Dreaming of a snake represents your struggle against emotional turmoil and giving into temptation, and turning away from your spiritual path. Maybe you’re tempted to give up on a long-held dream or to turn away from being generous to others.

Dreaming of many snakes implies a spiritual conflict within, where you’re tempted to go against your better nature in waking life, which could have long-reaching consequences, and a lot of regrets.

Endurance And Resilience

As the Bible has many layers of meaning, this is also true of the symbol of the snake. The snake can represent many conflicting things, from weakness to strength, betrayal, and wisdom.

By representing temptation, the snake also symbolizes resilience and endurance as its opposition, as you can’t have one without the other.

Sometimes, in dreams, the snake is a call to carry on a difficult path, no matter how hard you find it. Some things are worth all the effort in the world. 

Compassion And Empathy

In numbers 21 in the Bible, the Israelites grew impatient along the journey to the Red Sea, doubting God and Moses both, complaining of the trials they were up against, with no water and little food.

As punishment, God set snakes against them, and many of the complainers died. While this sounds rather extreme, God also gave them another chance.

Any person that had been bitten by one of the snakes could live if they looked toward the bronze snake Moses put on a pole. This tale symbolizes the actions we take and the words we choose greatly affect others.

If you have a dream of snakes, is it possible that you’ve been complaining too much lately? Are you only seeing the negative side of something? Are you sure there isn’t a positive aspect lurking underneath?

Or maybe someone you know seems only to complain and it’s getting you down. Maybe there’s a deeper reason why they’re only voicing the negative and a dream like this urges you to explore why this might be. They may need your help or support.

Secrets Coming To Light

If you dream of being bitten by a snake, this can imply that something you’ve kept secret or hidden for a long time is about to be discovered.

This piece of information lies in the deepest part of your subconscious, so maybe it’s not even something you’re aware of. Perhaps it will be you who will unearth it, leading to a better self-awareness that will help lead you on your spiritual path.

Or, the secret may involve someone else. Someone might betray you soon, and while you might have had some doubts about them, you will allow them to betray you because you will overlook your instincts.

This dream warns you not to take people at face value, and to be careful who you trust. Take some time to know someone before you trust them, as if these are your secrets, it should be you who controls when or how they are revealed to others.

Common Snake Dreams And Their Biblical Meanings

It’s worth exploring the different ways snakes can appear in dreams, as the biblical symbolism changes depending on the context of the dream.

The dream symbol of the snake can be a mixed sign of both good and evil, or one or the other. To determine what the snake means, you’ll need to take a look at your dream as a whole, and pay attention to the details. 

Snakes Biting You In A Dream

A dream of a snake biting you is a warning. Someone may move against you somewhere in your waking life or may mean to harm you in some way. 

The action of the snake biting you reveals the sting of betrayal, and the outrage this will cause you. 

In Ecclesiastes 10:8, the verse states “When you dig a well, you might fall in. When you demolish an old wall, you could be bitten by a snake.” While unclear at the first glance, this suggests that your curiosity will get the better of you, and you will pay for it.

Perhaps you’ll push someone to their limits to satisfy your curiosity about them, where you are rivals in some form, and they will retaliate. 

Or maybe you long to take something which belongs to someone else, and acting on this impulse will have grave consequences. 

Attacking Snakes In Your Dream

Dreaming of attacking snakes (see also article titled ‘Dreaming Of Snakes Attacking You Or Someone You Know‘) is an interesting image. On the one hand, the snake could represent your intuition and your faith, where you are conflicted, and you’re unsure whether to trust that you’re on the right path, or that you can trust God’s plan for you.

It can also represent how you will vanquish your temptations and any enemies, no matter what form they take in waking life or how difficult they seem. 

If you feel terrified while attacking snakes in your dream, this suggests coming illness. You might be ignoring some signs of your health getting worse, or you’ve fallen into bad habits which will affect your health unless you do something about them.

Attacking snakes in a dream may also point to being concerned about someone you love. In particular, they will become ill, and you might have to help shoulder their responsibilities or help take care of them for a while.

Attacking many snakes in a nightmare reveals future disappointment. Someone might let you down with their lies or a situation won’t turn out the way you expect.

The location is also significant. If you dream of attacking snakes in your workplace, this indicates complications in your professional life and many who see you as their competition.

Dreaming of attacking snakes in a forest suggests that you’re having trouble with your spiritual well being. If you dream of defending yourself against snakes at a school, your grades or relationships there are about to suffer.

A dream of this nature calls on you to be resilient. Don’t give anyone any means to harm you, or any weaknesses they can exploit. 

Stay strong, and you’ll find that you’ll be able to spot a horrible plan from a mile off and don’t be tempted to sink to someone else’s level of slyness or betrayal.

Killing Snakes In A Dream

Many people believe that a dream which involves killing snakes is a lucky omen. It reveals how you will vanquish the obstacles in your path, and how you will defend yourself when you need to, even if this means going against popular opinion, or your reputation suffering for it.

If in waking life, you are in competition with someone, this dream implies that you will win. Any enemies will be dealt with, but this dream urges caution against trading blows for blows. Don’t try to exact revenge on someone, as this will just come back to you, rather than them.

Alternatively, killing snakes in a dream represents your resolve and determination. You won’t give in to temptation or underhanded tactics in order to succeed, showing the well of your inner strength.

If you feel guilty while killing the snakes in your dream, or it feels like the wrong thing to do, your dream is a warning. It advises against ignoring your instincts, your experiences, and your wisdom, otherwise you may pay dearly for it.

Seeing A Dead Snake In Your Dream

A dead snake in your dream that you did not kill is a lucky sign. It indicates that you’ll soon enjoy a period of good fortune, which you should take full advantage of.

A dream like this urges you to focus on the present and the future, and let go of any hurts in the past that you’re still dragging around with you.

This will allow you to see any opportunities for what they are, instead of viewing them through a lens of past mistakes you are afraid you might repeat, so you are more likely to take them.

If you see lots of dead snakes, this is a bad sign and reveals the coming misfortune. You might run into more obstacles in trying to achieve a goal than you can handle, or someone will approach you for something you’re not willing to give them. 

This dream draws your attention to someone who takes too many risks, and they might get you tangled up in a situation you would have avoided by yourself. Dreams like this can also reveal future accidents, so be careful!

Being Bitten By A Dead Snake In A Dream

This is an interesting symbol. Being bitten by a dead snake in a dream implies a lot of negativity. Something will remind you of the difficult events you’ve been through, clouding your judgment of the present, where you’ll be unable to see things as they are.

More often than not, a dream like this points to someone you are close to reminding you of painful times. They will do this to hurt you, and they may even start to share things that you told them in confidence, so be careful!

After a dream like this, it’s worth thinking about who you have trusted with your deepest truths, and make sure that you stay vigilant. Someone may not be the friend you wished they were.

Alternatively, being bitten by a dead snake suggests coming to blows with someone you view as an enemy or someone you’ve never got on with. The underlying conflict will come to a head.

Or, a dead snake biting you in a dream refers to how you feel taken advantage of in some form in waking life. Someone intends to use you in some way, or you feel someone keeps taking and taking from you, without giving anything back in return.

This also points to an imbalance in a current relationship, which threatens to overwhelm you and destroy your connection beyond repair. Make sure you stand up for yourself and don’t let anyone take what you’re not willing to give.

Dreaming Of A Snake In The Grass

No prizes for guessing this one. Dreaming of seeing a snake in the grass reveals that someone isn’t who you thought they were, and this will become painfully clear soon. 

Someone who looked kind and generous, to begin with, will show you their true nature, where they are anything but. 

Seeing A Coiled Snake In Your Dream

Dreaming of a snake coiling around your body implies that your weaknesses are getting worse. You might be indulging your insecurities or your fears in some way, allowing them to become the loudest voices in your head.

This is holding you back from the life you dream of, as everything you want lies beyond your fear. 

It could be that someone in your life is trying to dismantle everything you’ve built, and worked so hard for. Your dream urges you to defend yourself, and not to let anyone bully you.

Or, a dream of a snake coiled around you represents a problem in a close relationship, one that you may not even be aware of. Maybe your partner is incredibly jealous of the time you’re spending with someone, or they have a very possessive nature.

Whatever the cause is, it points to a great imbalance, which in itself is a tipping point. You’ll need to talk it out with your partner to determine if you still want this relationship or not.

Colorful Snakes In Your Dream

Brightly colored snakes in dreams are warnings. Just like the bright markings of a snake in waking life, these snakes symbolize danger.

These snakes reveal an error in your judgment or perception. Who you believe to be good and just may turn out to be the opposite, and who you might consider evil could be a big mistake.

While the ‘snakes’ in your life will look pretty interesting, those exact traits that you feel drawn to will be your downfall. 

Holding A Snake In Your Dream

Dreaming of holding a snake suggests that you’re focusing on all the wrong things, or something has become an obsession, taking over the other parts of your life. 

Perhaps you’re focusing on a new hobby or something as a distraction from the aspects of life that you really need to work on.

A Psychological Interpretation Of Snake Dreams

Some believe that snakes in dreams represent your shadow self or the deepest secrets in your soul. Seeing a snake in your dream can be a call to do some introspection, and to get to know yourself better.

Sometimes snakes can also represent an unknown. You’re not certain about someone or a situation in waking life, and your dream implies that it’s time to find out more in order to make an informed choice.

A two-headed snake represents your sense of strength, but it can also signal a spiritual crossroads in your life.

Recurring snake dreams can imply stress, anxiety, indecision, failure to trust others, or a fear of the unknown. If you have these dreams often, it may be worth exploring how you might regain control over your fears.

What To Take From A Dream Of Snakes

Dreams of snakes call on you to pay close attention to your relationships and the people around you. Someone may mean you harm in some way, especially a person that you would least expect. 

Dreams of snakes that signal betrayal suggest the person who will deceive you or betray you knows which of your buttons to press, and what will hurt you the most, so it makes sense that this individual would have to be close to you.

You will have trouble reconciling the actions of this person with who you thought they were, as their actions will scream of a disloyal, scheming person which doesn’t match up with your impression of them. 

Dreams of snakes also point to accidents, misfortune, and bad luck. Your job performance might suffer, leading to a demotion or even being fired. 

Someone may take the credit for all of your hard work in your professional life, leaving you with nothing but frustration and anger.

Your other half might decide that they don’t love you anymore. Maybe you’ll struggle to meet your bills this month, or something you value greatly will be taken from you.

Whatever this bad luck might be, your dream stresses the importance of carrying on, and not avoiding your problems. Stand your ground where you can, but don’t try to exact your revenge on others, as all things balance out eventually. 

A small snake appearing in your dreams may be a symbol of your intuition, or a smaller betrayal, depending on how you felt when you saw the snake, and if there was any violence involved in the dream.

It can also reveal risky behavior, where you or someone you love hasn’t considered the full implications of a decision, and you may need to step in to make sure no silly chances are taken.

If you feel glad when you see a snake in your dream, this reptile (see also article on dreaming of crocodiles) signifies protection and wisdom.

Final Thoughts

Dreams about snakes are usually interpreted as negative, but there are a whole myriad of meanings that can also be positive, such as wisdom, protection, and insight.

Snake dreams may demonstrate your own resolve when you feel your waking life is going to pieces, or a solution that your subconscious has found where your conscious mind comes up with only blanks.

As snake dreams can be a warning sign, this does not mean that the symbol itself is bad luck. In fact, your subconscious may alert you to dangers you were consciously unaware of, allowing you to be better prepared for them in waking life.

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