Skip to comments.Question about the serpent in Genesis chapter 3 [Ecumenical]
Posted on 07/17/2012 12:35:09 PM PDT by Thermopylae
Genesis 3:1-15 "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, 'Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?' The woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'' 'You will not surely die,' the serpent said to the woman. 'For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and that you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'....So the Lord God said to the serpent, 'Because you have done this, 'Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.'"
I would be interested to hear anyones opinion of the nature of the serpent. Was the serpent an actual animal or was the serpent simply a disguise for the devil? I have been told growing up that the serpent was really the devil. If that was true, then why does God punsh the serpent (the animal) and not the devil in verse 14 and 15? We are told in Numbers 22:28-30 that the Lord opened the mouth of Balaam's donkey. Is it possible that before the fall, Adam and Eve could speak to animals freely and understand what the animals were saying back to them?
I doubt seriously that wildlife “talked” in a human voice to Adam and Eve except in this instance. Satan possessed a snake, which at the time had wings and flew, and tempted Eve.
I'm pinging some Religion Forum posters who may have insights for you.
I bet there is much more contained in those words then we suspect. Our DNA must have been altered and the Earth “changed”
I like snakes. Obviously, the “serpent” who tempted Eve was not a natural snake, any more than “the dragon, that ancient serpent” is an Australian Bearded Dragon. There is symbolism going on.
The natural environment, in its fallen state - fallen because of the choice of humans, not animals - includes all kinds of predators. They are neither good nor evil, but are simply part of the natural order as it stands. Be kind to snakes. They only want to eat a rodent!
The Bible also uses the lion (among other animals) as a symbol of sin, of danger, of a threat to the soul, and yet, God is not calling on us to exterminate all natural lions. Balaam’s ass, if we take that very interesting episode as literally true, speaks as one might expect an animal to in context. This is not comparable to the action of the “serpent” in Genesis.
I would be more interested in knowing more about this tree...
Why would God make a garden, populate it with fruit trees, and then tell them they could eat all of them except from this one tree...
Why not stick the tree out somewhere where they couldnt reach it?
I know, I know “God wanted to test them” yeah yeah... forget that- that is NOT mentioned in the bible, that it was a test- it is someone’s guess as to god’s intentions
So... nevermind about whether they should have eaten from it or not- WHAT WAS THIS TREEE?
This gives me an opportunity to vent about God’s failings.
If Adam and Eve had the federal government back then this whole fall thing could have been avoided. First, we would have had decent labeling laws and each tree would have been clearly labeled along with a warning from the Surgeon General.
Second, the Department of Agriculture would have had strict regulations on the use of the fruit from the various trees. Fruit from trees causing death would surely be banned from the market place.
Third, the serpent is clearly an illegal alien and as such would not have been allowed across the border. What? Oh- never mind about that point.
Finally, Adam and Eve were totally dependent on God- the equivalent of food stamps. If the Federal Government was running things they would not have been married in order to qualify for increased benefits. If they were not married then they would not have been together. Adam would not have been tempted and everything would be as it should be.
Animals were created or changed at the fall of man.
Previously, no animals ate each other because
there was no pain in that time. Animals gained
the ability to eat flesh at the time. God sacrificed
(hurt) his own beloved animals to make a covering for
the first humans. This covering foreshadowed the
sacrifice of Christ thousands of years later.
The serpent similarly changed and crawled on
his belly as punishment. Snakes themselves
are not evil. But they do represent the punishment
of the serpent. Snakes crawl on the belly. We have
knees and backs that are easily damaged and in pain.
All are consequences of the first sin.
Why would God punish the serpent?
Again, it’s a way to remind us of the past and to
show us the way forward, which is that Christ is
the savior of the world. God had to punish everyone
involved or else He would compromise his perfect
righteousness, and we know He cannot go against His
own nature. The Israelites were punished later, but
the nations around them were also punished, even
though they were doing God’s will in inflicting damage
on His people. Everything works together for the good
of those who love him and are called according to His
The trees (not one) represent a choice.
These were not to be eaten of. Otherwise the first
humans would not be free. If God made us free
but we had no real choices, he would be a liar.
God created the United States through Christians.
Not a test but a choice. There is a difference.
Love is a choice. God desired that man love Him. We showed we are unable to choose love over our own desires therefore we fell.
God’s love for us is so great he can and has made up for our shortcomings by the sacrifice of his Son.
I think the snake is symbolic of our ego.
How can you have free will, if there is no choice? They only had one thing that they were forbidden, the tree. Remove the tree, and they no longer have a choice.
What if Genesis 3 is a metaphor.?.
What if Geneisis 1-3 is a metaphor.?..
A story representing things nobody at that time could practically conceive of.. The science of which they could not possibly understand.. All legends have some point to them..
Understanding what a GOD can/could do is beyond the science of that day or this one.. Why not a metaphor.. Jesus used metaphors a lot.. Who can/could understand building a Universe.. let alone a solar system..
Those wanting literal explanations about things to great for them are exhibiting hubris.. and arrogance.. Which are conditions Not rare among humans..
All told expecting the third human on earth to come from other than two originals would take a huge Yarn to explain it.. But that Yarn was indeed invented.. Sometimes a good story (they are) but alas it is only a Yarn(evolution).. The metaphorical tale works for me..
A helpful way to understand both modernism (as opposed to post modernism)and Genesis is to compare Descartes’ Tree of Knowledge — with Genesis Tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Here is the real problem. Eve ate the apple, so did Adam. How come neither of them lived forever ?
I think the whole story is about ‘man’ choosing what he ‘wants’ over what he ‘needs’(that which God gives us). Eve used her ‘free will’ to disobey God. Lucifer ‘opened’ her eyes to a new world where she could ‘do as she pleased’. She apparently wasn’t aware of it until then. God wasn’t pleased.
The serpent asked Eve what God said. After she misquoted God, adding that 'we are not to touch the fruit', when God had never said do not touch it, the devil then insinuated doubt about God, saying, 'No', (it is OK to eat it, to touch it, by implication). (Man is forever adding to the word of God). Then the devil offered up that age old seduction of godhood, saying, "...for God knows that in the day that you eat thereof, your eyes will be open, and you will be like God." So implied in the statement is the long desired position of godhood, and that derived from Mother Earth (fruit of the ground). Finally the promise of eternal life through our own acts...that one eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge (in the original....gnosis...meaning knowledge) we attain to godhood.
Here you have the essence of the New Age Movement, Hinduism, Mormonism, all eastern mysiticism, most of the cults.
1. Cast doubt on the inerrency of the Word of God.
2. Slighyly reallign the word of God, add or taking away.
3.Rely on the Knowledge of man rather than the Truth of God.
4. You will become like God.
It is the same old package that comes around each generation to pervert the truth of God. It is easy to sell the idea of Godhood. If you are god,....to whom are you accountable? What moral code of behavior is wrong , if you are god, you can do whatever you wish...you make it up as you go along. And you get to tell everyone how much knowledge you have, and if they just acquire that secret knowledge which God kept from man,.....if you just get in touch with Mother Nature (a witchcraft term or that of Nature Worship. It is the cult of Self. Had Eve denied self and Jesus said, "..deny yourself, Take up the Cross and Follow Me", this would be a different world.
If the fruit was the knowledge of good and evil, then how was Eve to know that what she was doing was wrong, (evil), BEFORE she ate it? That has always bugged me.
After Eve ate the fruit she knew evil experientially.
Beforehand she had only experienced temptation which isn't evil. Committing the act made her "know" (experience) evil.