Researchers have discovered a possible cure for COVID embedded in the venom of one of the most feared snakes of South America. This cure, coming from a serpentine source of death, is hinted at in the Bible and is also predicted to play an essential role in the final redemption.
Reuters reported on Monday that Brazilian researchers discovered a molecule in the venom of a snake that inhibited coronavirus reproduction by 75% in monkey cells. The discovery is being touted as the first step in developing a drug effective against the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
“We were able to show this component of snake venom was able to inhibit a very important protein from the virus,” said Rafael Guido, a University of Sao Paulo professor and an author of the study. “It’s the first step in a long journey. The process is a very long one.”
The specific molecule is a peptide, a short chain of amino acids linked by peptide bonds, that can bond with an enzyme of the coronavirus called PLPro which is essential to the reproduction of the virus. The antibacterial properties of the snake peptide are already known to scientists.
“We were able to see that the peptides in the venom not only inhibited the development of the virus in vitro, inside the cell, but we were also able to see here in the lab that it was able to inhibit one of the proteins that is very important for the virus’s ability to multiply,” Guido said.
Unfortunately, the jararacussu pit viper is a highly venomous species endemic to South America. It is one of the most dreaded snakes in South America and can grow up to 2.20 meters.
Snake equals Messiah
Rabbi Eyal Riess, Director of the Tzfat Kabbalah Center, was not surprised that a possible cure had been discovered in such a deadly snake venom.
“Adam was supposed to live forever but death was brought into the world via the snake, what we call the kiss of the snake,” Rabbi Riess said. “The root source of death is the snake as it brought sin and impurity into the world. The root of all healing was contained in the snake, the source of all death.”
“Modern medicine uses this Biblical concept to make vaccines which are derived from the disease,” Rabbi Riess noted. “Similarly, anti-venoms are made from the venoms they are intended to combat.”
It is also interesting that the two symbols of medicine, the Caduceus and the Rod of Asclepius feature snakes.
“This is also hinted at in the Para Adumah (Red Heifer),” Rabbi Riess said. “Para Adumah (פרה אדומה) is the same letters as refuah domah (רפואה דומה healing is similar) implying that the cure comes from the same source as the disease.”
The rabbi referred to the episode in the desert following the Exodus from Egypt in which the Children of Israel complained about the manna (Numbers 21). A plague of venomous snakes was sent and many of them died. As a cure, Moses placed a copper snake on a staff and anyone who was bitten by a snake would gaze at the copper snake and be cured.
“Of course, the cure was not due to looking at the image,” Rabbi Riess said. “The cure was from the prayer and faith invoked by the image.”
Rabbi Riess noted that the word for snake (נחש, nachash) is essentially repeated in the word for copper (נחושת nechoshet).
“The gematria (Hebrew numerology) of nachash is 358, the same as Messiah (משיח moshiach),” Rabbi Riess said. “When the Moshiach is revealed in its entirety, the ultimate healing for every ailment in the world. But this will be acheived through faith in the One God and not through the intermediary of medicine.”
The Zohar (the basis of Jewish mysticism) explained that the evil inclination, personified by the snake in Eden, will make a resurgence in the days before Messiah, tempted to come and drink sustenance from the enormous levels of holiness that will appear in the world in the end-of-days.
Another connection between the lowly snake and holiness is implicit in the Hebrew words. The letters of the word נחש (nachash; snake) can be rearranged to spell חושן (choshen; breastplate), worn by the high priest in the Temple. The Zohar states that the tikkun (fixing) of the snake’s sin in the Garden of Eden would be accomplished in the Third Temple by way of the breastplate. Embedded in the breastplate were 12 precious stones, each representing a tribe of Israel. When faced with a difficult situation, the kings of Israel could inquire and the stones of the breastplate would shine in sequence, providing them with a divine response to their question. This was a tikkun for the snake which gave a deceitful response to Eve.
No need to catch the snake
Fortunately, the researchers have discovered a method for synthesizing the peptide in the laboratory, precluding the need for going into the wild to hunt the viper.
“We’re wary about people going out to hunt the jararacussu around Brazil, thinking they’re going to save the world … That’s not it!” said Giuseppe Puorto, a herpetologist running the Butantan Institute’s biological collection in Sao Paulo. “It’s not the venom itself that will cure the coronavirus.”
Researchers will evaluate the efficiency of different doses of the molecule and whether it is able to prevent the virus from entering cells in the first place, according to a statement from the State University of Sao Paulo (Unesp), which was also involved in the research. The next stage of the testing will be to test the substance in human cells.