Is Mark 16:18 Literal?

Someone asked, “Is Mark 16:18 literal?”

Mark 16:18 

they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. 
Before we make any statement concerning the verse, let’s look at the fuller text.
Mark 16:15-18
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
We can see this is discussing signs that will accompany people who believe. It does not necessarily mean everyone will have the ability to do these things.
It seems to me that Mark 16:18 decribes what happened to Paul: 
Acts 28:3-6 
3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.  
To be clear, Paul did not drink poison, but took some into his system, absorbed it. I think we can understand this in relation to Mark 16:18 by understanding the word translated as drink in that verse, pino. While pino, found in Mark 16:18, is normally translated as ‘drink’, a better translation would be ‘take in’ or ‘absorb’. we see this meaning in the usage of the same word in Hebrews 6:7,  
For ground that drinks the rain which often falls upon it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God;
This understanding of the term makes it easy to see that what was spoken of in Mark 16:18 described what Paul went through. So yes, Mark 16:18 is literal, but does not necessarily apply to everyone.

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