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markdrums
Oct 16th 2008, 09:10 PM
In a different thread, this subject came up as an example, but wasn't the main question. So rather than derail that thread, I thought I'd start one here.

In Genesis, we're told that "The Serpent" beguiled Eve, speaking to her & tricking her into eating the fruit of the "Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil."
I don't believe that this is a literal "talking snake" that slithered up, opened it's mouth & actual words came out. Serpent is a metaphor describing Satan's personality- lying, crafty, smooth talking, deceiving.. etc. It's not telling us what Satan LOOKS like, but what he IS like.
(Just as today, we might call an untrustworthy persaon a "snake in the grass".... )

Why do I believe this to be the case?
Let's look at how Satan is referred to elsewhere in scripture.
"A Goat". (We know he's not a literal goat.)
"A Dragon". (Again, we know he's not a literal dragon.)
He's an Angel. Created by God. The most spendid & beautiful angel of all. And there's nothing about a snake, a goat, or a dragon that is physically linked with "beauty".

Then we get to Revelation:
Rev. 12:19 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Rev. 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Satan can't be BOTH a dragon AND a serpent. These are obviously descriptive words for his personality & demeanor.
Revelation was referencing Genesis & the description given right from the beginning, as to make no mistake that this is the same serpent that aided in the fall of Adam & Eve.

This is important to understand because, an improper interpretaion of the text will not only affect THIS subject, but throughout the rest of scripture as well. Reading this as a "literal talking snake" starts you off on the wrong foot early on, & will make other scriptures very confusing.

-Also:
Dealing with "the fruit" in the garden...... I think there's a number of people who get the idea that this was some special, magical fruit with powers to increase knowledge & understanding.
That's not the case.

It didn't have anything to do with the fruit itself, but rather the willful, disobedient act of rebellion against God's command. When Eve ate it, & Adam ate it, they KNEW they had disobeyed God. It was a concious decision to go ahead & do it anyway, despite what God commanded. THAT is when they gained the knowledge of good & evil. Not because of the fruit.... but because of the act.
(Think of a parent telling a child "No cookies before dinner". If the child eats the cookie, the trouble / problem is in the disobedient act itself... not in the cookie.)

If we try to force a literal meaning where it isn't supposed to be, we set ourselves up for more confusion later on. We'll miss the point of what was TRULY being said.... albeit in a metaphor.

:)

SIG
Oct 16th 2008, 09:38 PM
Of course, these things could be literal and figurative both.

What are we to make of the curse: "...on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust..."?

Likewise, figurative pictures of Christ became literal at His incarnation.

markdrums
Oct 16th 2008, 09:49 PM
Of course, these things could be literal and figurative both.

What are we to make of the curse: "...on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust..."?

Likewise, figurative pictures of Christ became literal at His incarnation.

Some things could be both.... but to add a literal meaning to the Genesis account of the fall concerning the serpent doesn't really fit.

God's curse of him being ".....on his belly & he shall eat dust...." meant that the status of Satan would be lower than the rest of the life forms. Angels were originally created as being "above" humans in status.... but after Lucifer's rebellion, it was reduced to the lowest of the low.
The "crawling on your belly" was used to emphasise and correspond with the "serpent description".

There's a better way to explain that... but off the top of my head, that's what I was able to get out....
:)

theBelovedDisciple
Oct 16th 2008, 09:55 PM
One often hears of the term................ 'snake eyes'..........

Well in this case I can testify to the fact that he does have just those type of eyes....

Jesus taught His diciples.. that the 'light' of the body is the 'eye'.. the 'eyes' will tell you who is in the 'house'........


The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great [is] that darkness!

Iniquity and spiritual darkness ............. DOES HAVE A FACE.......

petepet
Oct 16th 2008, 10:00 PM
In a different thread, this subject came up as an example, but wasn't the main question. So rather than derail that thread, I thought I'd start one here.

In Genesis, we're told that "The Serpent" beguiled Eve, speaking to her & tricking her into eating the fruit of the "Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil."
I don't believe that this is a literal "talking snake" that slithered up, opened it's mouth & actual words came out. Serpent is a metaphor describing Satan's personality- lying, crafty, smooth talking, deceiving.. etc. It's not telling us what Satan LOOKS like, but what he IS like.
(Just as today, we might call an untrustworthy persaon a "snake in the grass".... )

Why do I believe this to be the case?
Let's look at how Satan is referred to elsewhere in scripture.
"A Goat". (We know he's not a literal goat.)
"A Dragon". (Again, we know he's not a literal dragon.)
He's an Angel. Created by God. The most spendid & beautiful angel of all. And there's nothing about a snake, a goat, or a dragon that is physically linked with "beauty".

Then we get to Revelation:
Rev. 12:19 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Rev. 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Satan can't be BOTH a dragon AND a serpent. These are obviously descriptive words for his personality & demeanor.
Revelation was referencing Genesis & the description given right from the beginning, as to make no mistake that this is the same serpent that aided in the fall of Adam & Eve.

This is important to understand because, an improper interpretaion of the text will not only affect THIS subject, but throughout the rest of scripture as well. Reading this as a "literal talking snake" starts you off on the wrong foot early on, & will make other scriptures very confusing.

-Also:
Dealing with "the fruit" in the garden...... I think there's a number of people who get the idea that this was some special, magical fruit with powers to increase knowledge & understanding.
That's not the case.

It didn't have anything to do with the fruit itself, but rather the willful, disobedient act of rebellion against God's command. When Eve ate it, & Adam ate it, they KNEW they had disobeyed God. It was a concious decision to go ahead & do it anyway, despite what God commanded. THAT is when they gained the knowledge of good & evil. Not because of the fruit.... but because of the act.
(Think of a parent telling a child "No cookies before dinner". If the child eats the cookie, the trouble / problem is in the disobedient act itself... not in the cookie.)

If we try to force a literal meaning where it isn't supposed to be, we set ourselves up for more confusion later on. We'll miss the point of what was TRULY being said.... albeit in a metaphor.

:)

Have you considered the fact that Eve did see the snake coiled in the tree, and fascinated by it was aware of the greater serpent speaking to her?

But the curse that it would crawl on its belly did not change the outward image of the snake. It was a declaration of defeat for the greater Serpent who would be made to bite the dust.

See http://www.geocities.com/genesiscommentary/

Éσяєяυииєя
Oct 16th 2008, 10:33 PM
Right,

We are to pray God in order to know if the meaning of some verse is literal or not.

Well actually according to what I have read the serpent of that garden of Eden, was a literal, but :

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 1 Timothy 3:16


Thus even though the serpent were literal one can get lessons hidden in it.

And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: Gen 3:14

Thus if it`s said: "...upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat ...." before it was pronounced it is understood the oposite, so that serpet which we can see today crawling in nature, then the serpent of the garden of Eden didn`t crawl but flied, and was the prettiest animal of the garden, as we know Satan uses disguises, for if he would pop as he really is, who would believe him?

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 2 Cor 11.14.

Fareyewell

Oregongrown
Oct 16th 2008, 10:43 PM
In a different thread, this subject came up as an example, but wasn't the main question. So rather than derail that thread, I thought I'd start one here.

In Genesis, we're told that "The Serpent" beguiled Eve, speaking to her & tricking her into eating the fruit of the "Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil."
I don't believe that this is a literal "talking snake" that slithered up, opened it's mouth & actual words came out. Serpent is a metaphor describing Satan's personality- lying, crafty, smooth talking, deceiving.. etc. It's not telling us what Satan LOOKS like, but what he IS like.
(Just as today, we might call an untrustworthy persaon a "snake in the grass".... )

Why do I believe this to be the case?
Let's look at how Satan is referred to elsewhere in scripture.
"A Goat". (We know he's not a literal goat.)
"A Dragon". (Again, we know he's not a literal dragon.)
He's an Angel. Created by God. The most spendid & beautiful angel of all. And there's nothing about a snake, a goat, or a dragon that is physically linked with "beauty".

Then we get to Revelation:
Rev. 12:19 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Rev. 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Satan can't be BOTH a dragon AND a serpent. These are obviously descriptive words for his personality & demeanor.
Revelation was referencing Genesis & the description given right from the beginning, as to make no mistake that this is the same serpent that aided in the fall of Adam & Eve.

This is important to understand because, an improper interpretaion of the text will not only affect THIS subject, but throughout the rest of scripture as well. Reading this as a "literal talking snake" starts you off on the wrong foot early on, & will make other scriptures very confusing.

-Also:
Dealing with "the fruit" in the garden...... I think there's a number of people who get the idea that this was some special, magical fruit with powers to increase knowledge & understanding.
That's not the case.

It didn't have anything to do with the fruit itself, but rather the willful, disobedient act of rebellion against God's command. When Eve ate it, & Adam ate it, they KNEW they had disobeyed God. It was a concious decision to go ahead & do it anyway, despite what God commanded. THAT is when they gained the knowledge of good & evil. Not because of the fruit.... but because of the act.
(Think of a parent telling a child "No cookies before dinner". If the child eats the cookie, the trouble / problem is in the disobedient act itself... not in the cookie.)

If we try to force a literal meaning where it isn't supposed to be, we set ourselves up for more confusion later on. We'll miss the point of what was TRULY being said.... albeit in a metaphor.

:)

Excellent read, I am in total agreement, thank you for this. I wonder also, if when Jesus talked about surviving snakes and scorpions if He wasn't actually talking about satan and his band of cut-throats that every follower of Christ will surely encounter? There are religions that take these types of verses literally and think they can "handle" a snake and not be poisoned. I think I have learned a great deal here today, from the Lord working through you:) God bless, your sister in Christ, denise

RJ Mac
Oct 16th 2008, 10:54 PM
I'll stay with the fact that it was a serpent Eve spoke to. Satan probably
possessed the body as he was capable of doing in the NT times. The
serpent lost his legs and made to crawl on his belly, satan never did that.

The book of Genesis is to be taken literally, from creation to the famine.
Who can believe satan was a snake? Who can believe God created the
world in 6 days? Who can believe Abraham having a child at 100?

Yes some books are very symbolic, Rev. for instance but the writings of
Moses were all true events with spiritual meanings within but they were
still true. To deny the validity of the text is to deny the power of God.
Ro.1:16

RJ Mac

livingword26
Oct 16th 2008, 11:03 PM
I believe the opposite to be true. If you begin the bible attempting to throw everything into allegory that doesn't fit into the worlds view of things, then you end up doing it to the whole bible. That is where we get the gap theory, theistic evolution, and fallen angels breeding with women and creating a race of hybrids. The attack on the garden of eden destroys the continuity of the entire bible.

markedward
Oct 16th 2008, 11:47 PM
Now, just to throw this out there:

Josephus, our favorite ancient Jewish historian (he lived in the first century AD) wrote a very large account called Antiquities of the Jews. In this, he pretty much tells the exact same stories in the exact same orders we find them from Genesis up through Ezra, but with more 'details' (probably oral tradition or contemporary popular interpretation). In this light, we read his account of the first few chapters of Genesis. Josephus (and thus, I would presume, his contemporary Jewish fellows) interpreted Genesis 1 literally. But, when he begins to recount the stories we find in chapters 2 and 3, Josephus states, "Moreover, Moses, after the seventh day was over begins to talk philosophically". This would seem to indicate, to me, that perhaps Josephus and his first-century Jewish contemporaries did not take "the fall" account entirely literally. Further, the English translator of Josephus' works adds a footnote, saying that he, personally, interpreted this statement to mean that Josephus believed that following Genesis 1, Moses began to write somethings as "enigmatical, or allegorical, or philosophical."

Now, just because it may be an old interpretation of Genesis 2-3 doesn't mean it is necessarily right, but it at least gives some credence to an alternative view.

I, however, lean towards a more literal interpretation of the chapter. But that doesn't mean an "allegorical" or "enigmatical" alternative view (such as that the serpent was not literally a serpent) shouldn't be dismissed lightly.


and fallen angels breeding with women and creating a race of hybridsThis isn't an "allegorical" interpretation, as you seem to be saying. I don't believe in this view myself, but you should be careful how you make your arguments; this view is accepted by both literalists and non-literalists, and it is also rejected by both literalists and non-literalists.

Ethnikos
Oct 17th 2008, 12:14 AM
Satan can't be BOTH a dragon AND a serpent.

Dealing with "the fruit" in the garden...... I think there's a number of people who get the idea that this was some special, magical fruit with powers to increase knowledge & understanding.
That's not the case.

It didn't have anything to do with the fruit itself, but rather the willful, disobedient act of rebellion against God's command. When Eve ate it, & Adam ate it, they KNEW they had disobeyed God. It was a concious decision to go ahead & do it anyway, despite what God commanded. THAT is when they gained the knowledge of good & evil. Not because of the fruit.... but because of the act.
(Think of a parent telling a child "No cookies before dinner". If the child eats the cookie, the trouble / problem is in the disobedient act itself... not in the cookie.)

If we try to force a literal meaning where it isn't supposed to be, we set ourselves up for more confusion later on. We'll miss the point of what was TRULY being said.... albeit in a metaphor.
Can you give an example of how it would be possible to misunderstand another part of the Bible because we took the Garden story literally?

Genesis does not call the serpent Satan. Revelation does, but it also calls him a dragon. Revelation uses metaphor, not Genesis.

I believe there was a power in the fruit, just as I believe there was healing powers in the tree of life.

In your example, there is a problem with the cookie. Why else did you warn the child against it, if it has harmless?
I think God's warning was good advice. God did not punish them for ignoring the warning. He had to deal with the sin problem because they were obviously affected by the experience and were already making bad decisions (like hiding and lying).

markdrums
Oct 17th 2008, 12:21 AM
I believe the opposite to be true. If you begin the bible attempting to throw everything into allegory that doesn't fit into the worlds view of things, then you end up doing it to the whole bible. That is where we get the gap theory, theistic evolution, and fallen angels breeding with women and creating a race of hybrids. The attack on the garden of eden destroys the continuity of the entire bible.


Understanding the serpent description metaphorically doesn't make the entire garden account or the fall an allegory.

I'm the same page with you concerning the gap theory! I also don't find EVILution (heeehee) being able to fit into creation. & I totally disagree as well, with the "demon seed" teachings!!!
Angels are Created Beings. They're nonphysical, nonreproductive, nonsexual.... they can NOT interbreed with humans. PERIOD!
So we completely agree on those things!

But this is not an attack on the account of the garden. It's just a more logical (and correct) understanding.

IF you take the serpent as a LITERAL interpretation, you MUST take the "goat" literally.
You MUST take the "dragon" literally.
AND..... the "serpent AND dragon simultaneously" literally, since Satan was described as such, in the same verse in context.

A literal translation of this account leads to further problems elsewhere in the bible because, YES, there ARE metaphors used in scripture.
This is such a case.
Not an allegory, because there's no "deeper / different meaning" to the story.
But the description of Satan as a serpent is not a PHYSICAL description. There's no logical explanation to support that.

Anwyay..... that's the point I'm making.
Metaphorical descriptions don't automatically coincide with allegories. AND, you CAN have a literal event with metaphoric descriptions. They help paint the mental picture in a memorable, meaningful way.

Just like today's communication & writing.

markdrums
Oct 17th 2008, 12:36 AM
Can you give an example of how it would be possible to misunderstand another part of the Bible because we took the Garden story literally?

Genesis does not call the serpent Satan. Revelation does, but it also calls him a dragon. Revelation uses metaphor, not Genesis.

I believe there was a power in the fruit, just as I believe there was healing powers in the tree of life.

In your example, there is a problem with the cookie. Why else did you warn the child against it, if it has harmless?
I think God's warning was good advice. God did not punish them for ignoring the warning. He had to deal with the sin problem because they were obviously affected by the experience and were already making bad decisions (like hiding and lying).


Ohhh SOOOOO many problems can arise by getting off on the wrong foot from the start.
Genesis is ALL literal?
Genesis calls SATAN the serpent.... Revelation confirms that the serpent is Satan. They're one & the same my friend. ;)

The "cookie" example is to show what a BLATANT, WILFULL disobedient act is. There was nothing "wrong" with the fruit on the tree in the garden. There was nothing "magical about it either. In my "cookie" example, the cookie is just fine. (I even stated that the problem is NOT with the cookie.)
The PROBLEM & CAUSE of the trouble is Deciding to rebel against what was commanded. (In this case, the child disobeyed the parent & ate the cookie anyway.) In the garden, the children (Adam & Eve) ate the fruit despite the fact that their father (GOD) told them explicitly NOT to do so.

Does that clear things up?

To claim there are NO metaphors in Genesis is quite a bold statement.... (and an incorrect one)
There are metaphors ALL THROUGHOUT the Bible.

God didn't have a problem with Adam & Eve DISOBEYING him??? You mean, "Nevermind what GOD said, it's OK to ignore his command. We can just do what we want."???
I think that's pretty much what Satan told them.
"Come on Eve, it's *HARMLESS*... eat the cookie. I mean fruit. There's nothing wrong with it... otherwise it wouldn't be here in the first place."


WHEW!
I do apologize for being a bit rough here. But what do you think CAUSED the fall in the Garden? The fruit? Or the SIN of rebellion & disobedience?

markdrums
Oct 17th 2008, 12:41 AM
I quoted "livingword26" in an earlier response..... but I think I combined my thoughts with those intended to be in in reply to "RJ Mac" as well.

It should be easy to understand what's written in response to whom...... BUT.....

Sorry for any confusion!!!
:blush:

markdrums
Oct 17th 2008, 12:48 AM
Right,

We are to pray God in order to know if the meaning of some verse is literal or not.

Well actually according to what I have read the serpent of that garden of Eden, was a literal, but :

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 1 Timothy 3:16


Thus even though the serpent were literal one can get lessons hidden in it.

And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: Gen 3:14

Thus if it`s said: "...upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat ...." before it was pronounced it is understood the oposite, so that serpet which we can see today crawling in nature, then the serpent of the garden of Eden didn`t crawl but flied, and was the prettiest animal of the garden, as we know Satan uses disguises, for if he would pop as he really is, who would believe him?

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 2 Cor 11.14.

Fareyewell

I agee that praying for help in understanding scripture is a great thing!
But we can and are able to understand metaphors & literalisms by reading the Bible as LITERATURE. It's written communication. It's descriptive. It's no different than understanding oral communication.

Remeber, Satan's physical BEAUTY as an angel gave him a very persuasive, suggestive personality. He had to APPEAR attractive in order to make the SIN attractive.

Know what I mean?

markdrums
Oct 17th 2008, 12:57 AM
Have you considered the fact that Eve did see the snake coiled in the tree, and fascinated by it was aware of the greater serpent speaking to her?


See http://www.geocities.com/genesiscommentary/


OK, I'm just replying without checking the link you provide..... BUT.... One question:
Are you certain that scripture tells us Eve saw a snake / serpent coiled in a tree, & became fascinated by it?
Or is this something that has been derived from the imagination & speculation of someone trying to read their own meanings into it?

Because I don't recall reading anything like that IN the Bible.

RJ Mac
Oct 17th 2008, 02:37 AM
But this is not an attack on the account of the garden. It's just a more logical (and correct) understanding.

To me that is a dangerous reason, "its more logical and correct" - to think
God said this but He really meant that. Show the logic in creating the
sun,moon and stars on day 4 and the light on day 1. Your interpreting
the text to fit man's logic? 1C.1:18ff where is the wise man?


IF you take the serpent as a LITERAL interpretation, you MUST take the "goat" literally.

Sorry, could you point out the goat scripture reference please.


You MUST take the "dragon" literally.
AND..... the "serpent AND dragon simultaneously" literally, since Satan was described as such, in the same verse in context.

Why must Rev. be interpreted literally, just because they both speak of
Satan doesn't mean they both have to be literal. Is the difference between
a dragon and a serpent, LEGS?


A literal translation of this account leads to further problems elsewhere in the bible

Could you show where this happens, please?


You mentioned somewhere concerning it wasn't a fruit but it was only a
disobedient act - yet God drove them from the garden so they couldn't
eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life and live forever. God drove them out
so they would be disobedient forever?

RJ Mac

SIG
Oct 17th 2008, 02:38 AM
Re the serpent eating dust: This is figurative, as humans were made from the dust. Satan "eats" people...

Dani H
Oct 17th 2008, 02:46 AM
Re the serpent eating dust: This is figurative, as humans were made from the dust. Satan "eats" people...

More specifically ... our sinful nature.

Éσяєяυииєя
Oct 17th 2008, 03:00 AM
Re the serpent eating dust: This is figurative, as humans were made from the dust. Satan "eats" people...

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8


I agee that praying for help in understanding scripture is a great thing!
But we can and are able to understand metaphors & literalisms by reading the Bible as LITERATURE. It's written communication. It's descriptive. It's no different than understanding oral communication.

Remeber, Satan's physical BEAUTY as an angel gave him a very persuasive, suggestive personality. He had to APPEAR attractive in order to make the SIN attractive.

Know what I mean?

Understood my friend.

Go well

Ethnikos
Oct 17th 2008, 03:14 AM
There are metaphors ALL THROUGHOUT the Bible.

I think that's pretty much what Satan told them.
"Come on Eve, it's *HARMLESS*... eat the cookie. I mean fruit. There's nothing wrong with it... otherwise it wouldn't be here in the first place."

But what do you think CAUSED the fall in the Garden? The fruit? Or the SIN of rebellion & disobedience?Here is this story from Genesis being used by Paul in a simile:

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

The above simile, is based on Eve saying,"The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat." In response to this, God curses the serpent. He then says He will cause the woman to have greater sorrow than she would have had normally. God tells her that there are implications to what happened to her. He did not further condemn her with a list of guilty actions.
God turns to Adam and says, "Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree...". God is spelling out what the consequences were of his actions. His life was going to be tough. The reason for his future hard life was that he was being kicked out of the place God planted and he was going to have to start, himself, from scratch, to create an environment that would sustain him.
The reason for this was that he was infected by the workings of the fruit and could not be allowed to live forever in that corrupted condition. Evidence for this is that God knew something was wrong with them and was able to identify the cause. This is found in His saying,"Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree...?".
The word used in Genesis for "command" can be translated as appointed, meaning everything was allowed, but one tree was appointed to Adam not to eat. Going back to Paul's interpretation, the reason he could make the comparison between the Church and Eve is because there was no Law. Compare this verse to 1 Corinthians 8:9 "But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak." And also, Galatians 2:4 "And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:"
...the enemyís main objective was: They were trying to convince the new convert that believing in Jesus was not enough, they were saying that you had to Also be circumcised and keep the law of Moses. This is what Paul was standing against. http://www.stayinthefray.com/Bible_Study_6_13_2008.pdf (http://www.stayinthefray.com/Bible_Study_6_13_2008.pdf)As for the mention of the serpent in Revelation being proof that the devil and the serpent are one in the same; it is a metaphor that is being used in John's vision. He is comparing what happens to the figures in this great sign in heaven with what happened to the serpent. The thing represented in the vision is cast to the ground, as the serpent was, as a punishment for deceiving Eve. Thinking this is proof that Satan is the serpent is like saying Isaiah is proof that Lucifer is the planet Venus.

Diggindeeper
Oct 17th 2008, 05:06 AM
Genesis 3:1
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

I rely a lot on Strongs Concordance because in Strongs I often look up words that I think are simple and easy to understand. Many times Strongs shows me in the original Hebrew or Greek what the word meant in the original language. Take the word beast above. When I see the word beast, I automatically think of some monster, like the Loc Ness monster.

According to Strongs, the word beast, also used the same way in Genesis chapter 1 and 2, is a living thing, an animal.

Strongs gives credence to the word serpent as being interpreted more for the hissing of the serpent's vioce rather than it's physical form. Remember Genesis 3:1 tells us this serpent is a BEAST--a living thing, an animal.

But, this living animal was subtil, more subtil than any other beast! Subtil, today spelled subtile, meant cunning or crafty in a bad way. The same word is used about the chief priests, the scribes and the elders who consulted with each other how to subtilty take Jesus and kill him. (matt. 26:3-4) Paul used the same word in addressing Elymas the sorcerer. Paul said to him, "O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? (Acts 13:10)

What a precise definition of the serpent. Whatever we say the serpent was-- the snake, the vile thing, evil fallen angel--or whatever, the Bible decribes him as a male living animal! And it WAS
1- Cunning and crafty in a evil way
2- Manipulative
3-a child of the devil
4- an enemy of righteousness
5- a living thing that delighted in perverting the command given by God
6- a liar, indeed, the father of lies

The word subtil also means a trick or bait, deceit, guile. It is trickery or shrewdness, cunning craftiness. Eve said, "The thing BEGUILED me." How right she was! Every dictionary I have says beguile means to deceive or cheat.

Strongs goes farther. The origianl meaning was:
to lead away mentally; to seduce morally; to deceive greatly and utterly.

The thing, the beast, the serpent (or whatever we choose to call him) tricked her by perverting the word of God, deceived her with promises of god-like wisdom (telling her she could be as wise as a god), and it cheated her of life when it told her, "You shall NOT surely die." (Genesis 3:4)

As for the word serpent, Strongs uses the word more for the hissing of the serpent. The WAY IT USED ITS VOICE! The original word for serpent was nachash, which carried the meaning:

1- to hiss, as in whisper a spell! (As a magical spell!)
2- to prognosticate! (Meaning predict, which he did falsely, say "You're NOT going to die.)
3- to divine! (meaning foretell or prophesy.)
4- to use enchantment! (Meaning to bewitch or cast under a spell)

For far too many years, I only saw the serpent as a physical thing, which it was. It was a BEAST. But at the same time, I ignored the method and his motivation in the first few chapters of the Bible. I am grateful to Strongs for giving me more understanding of the original use of the word serpent.

If we can rely on Strongs Concordance, the serpent was a living beast there in the garden of Eden, and it had a voice and it used that voice to manipulate, deceive, trick, BEGUILE Eve.

crossnote
Oct 17th 2008, 05:56 AM
In a different thread, this subject came up as an example, but wasn't the main question. So rather than derail that thread, I thought I'd start one here.

In Genesis, we're told that "The Serpent" beguiled Eve, speaking to her & tricking her into eating the fruit of the "Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil."
I don't believe that this is a literal "talking snake" that slithered up, opened it's mouth & actual words came out. Serpent is a metaphor describing Satan's personality- lying, crafty, smooth talking, deceiving.. etc. It's not telling us what Satan LOOKS like, but what he IS like.
(Just as today, we might call an untrustworthy persaon a "snake in the grass".... )

Why do I believe this to be the case?
Let's look at how Satan is referred to elsewhere in scripture.
"A Goat". (We know he's not a literal goat.)
"A Dragon". (Again, we know he's not a literal dragon.)
He's an Angel. Created by God. The most spendid & beautiful angel of all. And there's nothing about a snake, a goat, or a dragon that is physically linked with "beauty".

Then we get to Revelation:
Rev. 12:19 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Rev. 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Satan can't be BOTH a dragon AND a serpent. These are obviously descriptive words for his personality & demeanor.
Revelation was referencing Genesis & the description given right from the beginning, as to make no mistake that this is the same serpent that aided in the fall of Adam & Eve.

This is important to understand because, an improper interpretaion of the text will not only affect THIS subject, but throughout the rest of scripture as well. Reading this as a "literal talking snake" starts you off on the wrong foot early on, & will make other scriptures very confusing.

-Also:
Dealing with "the fruit" in the garden...... I think there's a number of people who get the idea that this was some special, magical fruit with powers to increase knowledge & understanding.
That's not the case.

It didn't have anything to do with the fruit itself, but rather the willful, disobedient act of rebellion against God's command. When Eve ate it, & Adam ate it, they KNEW they had disobeyed God. It was a concious decision to go ahead & do it anyway, despite what God commanded. THAT is when they gained the knowledge of good & evil. Not because of the fruit.... but because of the act.
(Think of a parent telling a child "No cookies before dinner". If the child eats the cookie, the trouble / problem is in the disobedient act itself... not in the cookie.)

If we try to force a literal meaning where it isn't supposed to be, we set ourselves up for more confusion later on. We'll miss the point of what was TRULY being said.... albeit in a metaphor.

:)

I hate to be crass but it seems like you are offering to us exactly what the snake/metaphor offered Eve (I hope she wasn't also a metaphor of all the living)...namely "Did God say....?"
Typical theologically Liberal hoopla.

livingword26
Oct 17th 2008, 10:38 AM
As for the mention of the serpent in Revelation being proof that the devil and the serpent are one in the same; it is a metaphor that is being used in John's vision. He is comparing what happens to the figures in this great sign in heaven with what happened to the serpent. The thing represented in the vision is cast to the ground, as the serpent was, as a punishment for deceiving Eve. Thinking this is proof that Satan is the serpent is like saying Isaiah is proof that Lucifer is the planet Venus.

Does Isaiah say that "Lucifer" is the planet Venus? I must have missed that. Jesus, however, does say:

Rev 12:9
(9) And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

This verse very clearly says that Satan, the devil and the serpent are one and the same.

markdrums
Oct 17th 2008, 12:55 PM
I hate to be crass but it seems like you are offering to us exactly what the snake/metaphor offered Eve (I hope she wasn't also a metaphor of all the living)...namely "Did God say....?"
Typical theologically Liberal hoopla.

No, I'm not saying Eve was a metaphor. I'm not saying the fall was a metaphor or an allegory.

Let me try to clarify:
Adam & Eve were LITERAL REAL people. They literally ate of the tree that they were commanded not to eat of. The "fall" was a literal event.
However, I'm trying to explain that the "serpent" shouldn't be interpreted as a literal snake that talked to Eve. Satan spoke to Eve & with his smooth talking, cunning, crafty style & persuaded her to go ahead & eat the fruit. Satan was / is an angel. Not an animal. Not a shape-shifter.
Genesis describes him as a "serpent" to emphasize just how sneaky & crafty he is.
That's why we still use metaphoric phrases like "snake in the grass" or "speaking with a forked tongue".... Not to describe the PHYSICAL attributes of someone, but to describe their PERSONALITY.

You can use metaphors to describe literal events. We do it all the time.
For instance. If I describe a literal event, like a camping trip I was on & I'm telling you that it rained like cats & dogs on the last day I was there, you're not going to be confused by the combination of my metaphoric description of a literal rain storm on my literal camping trip.

I know some people totally get what I'm saying.
I realize some people think this is a "new twist" on scripture... but it's not. It's the context & meaning that was intended to be understood.

The Bible wasn't written to be confusing. It wasn't written to be taken completely literally. It's also NOT all metaphors. It's literature. Meaning, it was written to teach us about God, the creator of EVERYTHING, so that we might know him. It teaches us about his love & grace. And it tells us about REAL, LITERAL events, and REAL LITERAL people. But it often uses descriptive words & phrases to add impact, and to emphasize the characteristics of people, places, & things.

When you force literalism into as much as you possibly can, and into things that aren't meant to be taken literally, you end up with questionable results.

divaD
Oct 17th 2008, 01:52 PM
However, I'm trying to explain that the "serpent" shouldn't be interpreted as a literal snake that talked to Eve. Satan spoke to
Eve & with his smooth talking, cunning, crafty style & persuaded her to go ahead & eat the fruit. Satan was / is an angel. Not
an animal. Not a shape-shifter.





Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?


Here we see that the serpent was a beast of the field made by God. When and how did did God make the beasts of the field?


Genesis 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed EVERY beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

We see that God formed EVERY beast of the field out of the ground, and this would have to include the serpent in Gen 3, because it was identified as a beast of the field.


Genesis 2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.


Here we see it is Adam that named the serpent. What could this then mean? It might mean that Adam had authority over the serpent, since he named him.
Clearly the serpent was a living creature that could talk, lol. I realize that's somewhat not believable. Perhaps if it were a parrot that talked to and deceived Eve, it might be more believable, lol. No one can deny that parrots can talk. But talking snakes..I admit..that's a hard one to swallow..but apparently it was true.

The funniest interpretation I've come across yet, was when someone else in another forum suggested that the tree of knowledge of good and evil was really satan, and the tree was merely throwing it's voice, making it appear the serpent was really talking, lol. This person really believed that nonsense. No one could convince him he wrong.

markdrums
Oct 17th 2008, 02:34 PM
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?


Here we see that the serpent was a beast of the field made by God. When and how did did God make the beasts of the field?


Genesis 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed EVERY beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

We see that God formed EVERY beast of the field out of the ground, and this would have to include the serpent in Gen 3, because it was identified as a beast of the field.


Genesis 2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.


Here we see it is Adam that named the serpent. What could this then mean? It might mean that Adam had authority over the serpent, since he named him.
Clearly the serpent was a living creature that could talk, lol. I realize that's somewhat not believable. Perhaps if it were a parrot that talked to and deceived Eve, it might be more believable, lol. No one can deny that parrots can talk. But talking snakes..I admit..that's a hard one to swallow..but apparently it was true.

The funniest interpretation I've come across yet, was when someone else in another forum suggested that the tree of knowledge of good and evil was really satan, and the tree was merely throwing it's voice, making it appear the serpent was really talking, lol. This person really believed that nonsense. No one could convince him he wrong.

Hey divaD! :)

It's true that serpents ARE literal living creatures, created by God.... but we have to remember that it was SATAN who deceived. Satan is also a creature created by God. (He's definitely the most "subtle" & sly of them all. ) But that's his NATURE... Not his physical form.

What would it take to persuade someone who was, at the time, PERFECT & without sin to rebel against God? It would take someone / something beautiful, & well spoken. Someone crafty & proud. Satan is ALL of these things. He STILL makes sin look "oh soooo sweet!!".

To take the serpent literally, would mean one of 2 things.
Satan either IS a real snake, or he "possessed" the snake.
The problem that arises now is this: Why would God "curse" an entire species of animal, just because ONE of them was possessed & used in this manner?
He didn't curse PIGS when the demons were cast out of the girl & driven into them. He didn't curse PEOPLE because some had been demon possessed....
Besides, the pigs were "innocent by-standers" (LOL!) It wasn't THEIR fault the demons were driven into them. SO, why would the actual "snake" be responsible for something it wouldn't have done on it's own?
Know what I mean?

We know it was SATAN who tempted Eve. And we see him described as Serpent, Goat, Dragon, a roaring Lion, The bad sower-in the wheats & tares parable.... etc.
These descriptions are meant to tell us WHO Satan is & HOW he is, concerning his personality. Not to tell us what he looks like.

;)

divaD
Oct 17th 2008, 04:02 PM
Hey divaD! :)

It's true that serpents ARE literal living creatures, created by God.... but we have to remember that it was SATAN who deceived. Satan is also a creature created by God. (He's definitely the most "subtle" & sly of them all. ) But that's his NATURE... Not his physical form.

What would it take to persuade someone who was, at the time, PERFECT & without sin to rebel against God? It would take someone / something beautiful, & well spoken. Someone crafty & proud. Satan is ALL of these things. He STILL makes sin look "oh soooo sweet!!".

To take the serpent literally, would mean one of 2 things.
Satan either IS a real snake, or he "possessed" the snake.
The problem that arises now is this: Why would God "curse" an entire species of animal, just because ONE of them was possessed & used in this manner?
He didn't curse PIGS when the demons were cast out of the girl & driven into them. He didn't curse PEOPLE because some had been demon possessed....
Besides, the pigs were "innocent by-standers" (LOL!) It wasn't THEIR fault the demons were driven into them. SO, why would the actual "snake" be responsible for something it wouldn't have done on it's own?
Know what I mean?

We know it was SATAN who tempted Eve. And we see him described as Serpent, Goat, Dragon, a roaring Lion, The bad sower-in the wheats & tares parable.... etc.
These descriptions are meant to tell us WHO Satan is & HOW he is, concerning his personality. Not to tell us what he looks like.

;)




Hi markdrums, the confusing thing about it, I can't find much to disagree with what you're saying here, yet that still doesn't dismiss the fact that a literal serpent could actually talk with Eve, lol.

Notice what God cursed.

Genesis 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life


Why would God curse the serpent above all cattle, and above every beast of the field, if the serpent wasn't representing the animal kingdom itself? Are we misinterpreting what cattle really are? What message should we be learning from Gen 3:14? What do animals have to do with anything if the serpent wasn't represented as an animal?

markdrums
Oct 17th 2008, 04:42 PM
Hi markdrums, the confusing thing about it, I can't find much to disagree with what you're saying here, yet that still doesn't dismiss the fact that a literal serpent could actually talk with Eve, lol.

Notice what God cursed.

Genesis 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life


Why would God curse the serpent above all cattle, and above every beast of the field, if the serpent wasn't representing the animal kingdom itself? Are we misinterpreting what cattle really are? What message should we be learning from Gen 3:14? What do animals have to do with anything if the serpent wasn't represented as an animal?

Actually that's a good question!
Remember still: it was SATAN who tempted Eve... Not a serpent. Satan is still being described as a serpent.
He IS a created being.. (or creature, or "beast" if you will.) His ORIGINAL place with God & in status was the highest of all created angels, beasts, creatures, animals, humans..... God cursed SATAN above all others, reducing his "status" to LOWER than ALL the rest of God's creations.
The crawling on your belly is a metaphoric image / description of exactly how low Satan's rank & status became.

Even the lowest life form like snails, (or whatever other "insignificant" thing you can think of) would be held "higher" & "above" Satan from that day forward.
(*I realize snails ARE important in the grand scheme of things, & DO have a purpose... but hopefully you know what I was getting at...*) LOL!

Eating dust .....
Even more of a picturesque image of just how bad Satan made things for himself.

Kind of like, adding insult to injury....
(That's just my own little interjection of humor for my own entertainmnet. Heehee!)

Ethnikos
Oct 17th 2008, 05:17 PM
Does Isaiah say that "Lucifer" is the planet Venus? I must have missed that. Jesus, however, does say:Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
This verse very clearly says that Satan, the devil and the serpent are one and the same.
Lucifer is the Latin Vulgate for the planet, Venus.
Rev. 12:9 also says that this thing John saw in a vision was the great dragon and goes on to say, "15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood."
Obviously, the different elements of the vision are not to be taken literally. How can you justify taking one part out of it and say that one thing has to be literal? I gave you the verse from Paul where he takes the Genesis version as literal.

Ethnikos
Oct 17th 2008, 05:21 PM
Remember still: it was SATAN who tempted Eve... Not a serpent. Satan is still being described as a serpent.
Can you prove that? You just say it is so, as if it is an established fact. Can you describe how you know what you say is true?

markdrums
Oct 17th 2008, 05:47 PM
Can you prove that? You just say it is so, as if it is an established fact. Can you describe how you know what you say is true?

Hmmmmm.... I'm just curious as to why you wouldn't think it was Satan who tempted Eve.

It was Satan (Lucifer) who's pride cause him to rebel against God. His boasting & bragging got him cast out of Heaven & down to Earth.
Satan was the cause of the original rebellion in Heaven. He's also responsible for the original rebellion between Man & God. It was his beauty, & his well spoken ways that allowed him to persuade Eve. Nobody else had that ability.
Adam & Eve had dominion over ALL the animals of Earth. A simple "snake" would not have had the ability to trick Eve into eating the fruit, & disobeying God's command. It took something (or SOMEONE to be more accurate) far more crafty & sly. Someone extremely well spoken & knowledgable in order to pull that off!

Why else would God be so explicit in his judgment & punishment that awaits Satan? Because Satan was the one who's beautiful temptation got the best of Eve, & brought sin into the world.

That's why I say:
Satan tempted Eve. Not a real snake.

divaD
Oct 17th 2008, 06:21 PM
Actually that's a good question!
Remember still: it was SATAN who tempted Eve... Not a serpent. Satan is still being described as a serpent.
He IS a created being.. (or creature, or "beast" if you will.) His ORIGINAL place with God & in status was the highest of all created angels, beasts, creatures, animals, humans..... God cursed SATAN above all others, reducing his "status" to LOWER than ALL the rest of God's creations.
The crawling on your belly is a metaphoric image / description of exactly how low Satan's rank & status became.

Even the lowest life form like snails, (or whatever other "insignificant" thing you can think of) would be held "higher" & "above" Satan from that day forward.
(*I realize snails ARE important in the grand scheme of things, & DO have a purpose... but hopefully you know what I was getting at...*) LOL!

Eating dust .....
Even more of a picturesque image of just how bad Satan made things for himself.

Kind of like, adding insult to injury....
(That's just my own little interjection of humor for my own entertainmnet. Heehee!)



You managed to do it yet once again, lol..you presented things that I can't find disagreement with. So let's try another route.

First of all I would like to say this, I have never entertained the thought that satan literally looked like a literal snake, but if being a serpent was merely describing his personality, etc, does that then mean that he wasn't literally being described as a beast of the field that the Lord God made, but he was being compared to one instead?

When the woman was being deceived, what do you imagine the one deceiving her to look like? There's no doubt that satan himself was behind the deceiving, but did he have a form that was recognizable to the woman, or are you merely suggesting that the woman was questioning and answering her conscience so to speak? Personally, I don't see how the latter is supported by the text, so that only leaves the literal.

markdrums
Oct 17th 2008, 07:59 PM
You managed to do it yet once again, lol..you presented things that I can't find disagreement with. So let's try another route.

First of all I would like to say this, I have never entertained the thought that satan literally looked like a literal snake, but if being a serpent was merely describing his personality, etc, does that then mean that he wasn't literally being described as a beast of the field that the Lord God made, but he was being compared to one instead?

When the woman was being deceived, what do you imagine the one deceiving her to look like? There's no doubt that satan himself was behind the deceiving, but did he have a form that was recognizable to the woman, or are you merely suggesting that the woman was questioning and answering her conscience so to speak? Personally, I don't see how the latter is supported by the text, so that only leaves the literal.

:) GREAT QUESTIONS!

I believe Satan is being compared to the rest of the beasts of the field, and keeping in context with calling him a serpent. Satan, just like ALL the other beasts and creatures, was ALSO "created" by God.
And since GOD has the ULTIMATE authority over ALL creation, is making it clear that Lucifer / Satan's status & rank, has been taken away. He is just as common as any other "beast".... (then cursed to the status of the LOWEST of ALL creatures).

In the garden originally, it was perfect! It WAS PARADISE. Adam & Eve being pure, & completely sin free at first, were able to walk with God personally. I would imagine that being able to walk with him & see him, they ALSO would have been used to seeing angels.

So, Eve is in the Garden..... The most beautiful, magnificent angel of ALL, sees her, & begins to talk to her. He would have looked just as he always has.. & still does, if we were to "see him".
Not being anything out of the ordinary to see angels in the garden, Eve would not have been frightened. Nor would she ever have had a reason to be. Everything she had ever known, was PERFECT.
It was with his beauty, & charm, & being the "Father of Lies" he made it sound too good to resist. He was able to outwit her. Telling his beautiful lie, & persuading her into the VERY FIRST willfull disobedient act from mankind against God.

To sum it up:
Satan in his normal, created, beautiful angelic body was what Eve would have "seen". In the "Perfect Garden" she was deceived by the "perfect" fallen angel. It was Satan who spoke to her, with his beautiful, suggestive voice. That deadly combination of "Brains & Beauty".... As evil as it was.

markdrums
Oct 17th 2008, 08:22 PM
One quick addition:
Go read the account of the fall again. (Genesis 3) And as you read it, picture the most beautiful angel you can imagine whenever you read the word "serpent". That will give you the proper "imagery" of how Satan looked. & think of his voice being as sweet as the wind... (That's the best figure of speech I can think of at the moment)
You'll be able to see why Eve fell for the trap that was being set.
Had he been repulsive looking, Eve may not have been as captivated by him as she was. His appearance itself made it easier for her to be drawn in.

THEN-
Read it again, & imagine the most vile, disgusting, evil thing you can imagine when you read the word "serpent". (Don't picture a "snake" but something more wicked & wretched.) THAT will give you a better idea of his personality, & true demeanor.

It's that combination that makes Genesis 3 so incredible! On the outside, he looks beautiful & perfect. Everything about his appearance is amazing! But on the the inside... rotten to the core.

Smooth & deadly.....

Satan has a certain way of making sin look sooooo attractive. Because HE himself, is physically "attractive".

Éσяєяυииєя
Oct 17th 2008, 08:46 PM
Hello world ^^,

Just to describe another point.

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.Genesis 3:4-5.

Not that the Serpent be an angel or a literal beautyfull animal back then, said just lies, true he is the Father of Lies as Mark said, but one the best poisonous cookies, he uses is the lie blended together with the truth

Ye shall not surely die:

The instant man accepted the temptations of Satan, and did the very things God had said he should not do, Christ, the Son of God, stood between the living and the dead, saying, "Let the punishment fall on Me. I will stand in man's place. He shall have another chance" (Letter 22, Feb. 13, 1900). {1BC 1085.2}

Lie:

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods

Lucifer describing our loving God as a tyrant, so Satan attribute his own characteristics to God.

True:
..knowing good and evil.
But the knowledge of good, was enough, and God had seen it was the best for them. They didn`t need the other kind of knowledge, but they were to choose.

-God created man for His own glory, that after test and trial the human family might become one with the heavenly family. It was God's purpose to re-populate heaven with the human family, if they would show themselves obedient to His every word. Adam was to be tested, to see whether he would be obedient, as the loyal angels, or disobedient. If he stood the test, his instruction to his children would have been only of loyalty. His mind and thoughts would have been as the mind and thoughts of God. He would have been taught by God as His husbandry and building. His character would have been moulded in accordance with the character of God (Letter 91, 1900).

Be good

petepet
Oct 17th 2008, 09:32 PM
OK, I'm just replying without checking the link you provide..... BUT.... One question:
Are you certain that scripture tells us Eve saw a snake / serpent coiled in a tree, & became fascinated by it?
Or is this something that has been derived from the imagination & speculation of someone trying to read their own meanings into it?

Because I don't recall reading anything like that IN the Bible.


What an extraordinary statement. If Eve did not see the snake coiled in the tree why would it make her think of the tree of knowing good and evil. And if she was not fascinated by it why should she seek to communicate with it? Neither requires any imagination. It is commonsense. Or do you have to have everything spelled out for you?

markdrums
Oct 17th 2008, 09:54 PM
What an extraordinary statement. If Eve did not see the snake coiled in the tree why would it make her think of the tree of knowing good and evil. And if she was not fascinated by it why should she seek to communicate with it? Neither requires any imagination. It is commonsense. Or do you have to have everything spelled out for you?

DID she see a snake "coiled in a tree"? I still find that nowhere in scripture.
Besides, what would have been so fascinating about that anyway? Adam & Eve had seen ALL the creatures, AND walked with GOD in the Garden. What would make a "snake" so alluring?

What made her "think" of the Tree of "Knowledge of Good & Evil"? It was SATAN that made her think about it. He set her up, ooooh so cleverly. He knew what God's command was. He was using his wit, & deceptive talents to lead her right into his temptation. Testing her, Asking about being able to eat "......ALL the fruit in the Garden?"
To which she replied, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die".

God never said "don't touch". He said "Don't EAT". Eve added her OWN words to the command, which Satan knew immediately. And THAT is what he played on.
He knew he could out-wit & out-think Eve. She was already beat.

To think that a literal coiled snake in a tree was fascinating, & then it spoke to Eve.....? THAT is what takes imagination.
Especially when the Bible doesn't give us that description.

You have to keep in mind everything we KNOW about Satan. Beauty, smarts, charm, the voice,... everything "appealing" physically... But again, Inside- Wicked & Evil.

Ethnikos
Oct 17th 2008, 11:33 PM
Hmmmmm.... I'm just curious as to why you wouldn't think it was Satan who tempted Eve.
Satan tempted Eve. Not a real snake.There is a story of a serpent. In order to have metaphors elsewhere, the basis for the comparison has to be real and not a metaphor. You turn the whole thing backwards by saying something in the metaphor is real and literal and what the reality that the metaphor is based on, is a metaphor itself.
The reason I think it was a serpent is that the Bible says so.
You have a serpent that brought the downfall of man. Once you establish that as a literal fact, you are free to make comparisons from that, to other things or persons. The fact that it may be used as an analogy for something, you choose to label as Satan, does not modify the fact that it was originally an accurate description of something specific. Because you do not understand what that thing or person is, that does not leave you free to turn it into whatever suites your fancy.

markdrums
Oct 18th 2008, 12:00 AM
There is a story of a serpent. In order to have metaphors elsewhere, the basis for the comparison has to be real and not a metaphor. You turn the whole thing backwards by saying something in the metaphor is real and literal and what the reality that the metaphor is based on, is a metaphor itself.
The reason I think it was a serpent is that the Bible says so.
You have a serpent that brought the downfall of man. Once you establish that as a literal fact, you are free to make comparisons from that, to other things or persons. The fact that it may be used as an analogy for something, you choose to label as Satan, does not modify the fact that it was originally an accurate description of something specific. Because you do not understand what that thing or person is, that does not leave you free to turn it into whatever suites your fancy.


I'll give you that it WAS an accutate description of something specific... Specifically, Satan's PERSONALITY.

How would a "serpent" on it's own accord bring the downfall of man? Adam & EVE had dominion over ALL the creatures. THEY were in controll over the animals. Saying that a snake did it, & that it's a literal fact is incorrect. Sorry.

The story is NOT about a serpent. The story is how Satan deceived Eve in the Garden. It's our first look at what Satan is like, & who he is. Yes, Moses refers to him as "the serpent" in his writing, but we still know who he is; the fallen angel who dared to exalt himself above God.

You said: "In order to have metaphors elsewhere, the basis for the comparison has to be real and not a metaphor. You turn the whole thing backwards by saying something in the metaphor is real and literal and what the reality that the metaphor is based on, is a metaphor itself."

Nothing in that statement makes a bit of sense..... If you can clarify, that would be helpful.

I also must ask you, what is it about what I've said, that is either soooo confusing, or soooooo bizarre?
Is it because you've just grown up being taught, or just always thought that there's a real talking snake that caused the problem?
I admit, I always wondered about this story too. So I decided to dig deeper into it, & read as much as I could. FINALLY I found an explanation that REALLY fit. One that stood out with clarity above the rest.
One that stays within the confines of scripture itself.
:)

maasive10
Oct 18th 2008, 12:54 AM
DID she see a snake "coiled in a tree"? I still find that nowhere in scripture.
Besides, what would have been so fascinating about that anyway? Adam & Eve had seen ALL the creatures, AND walked with GOD in the Garden. What would make a "snake" so alluring?

What made here "think" of the Tree of "Knowledge of Good & Evil"? It was SATAN that made her think about it. He set her up, ooooh so cleverly. He knew what God's command was. He was using his wit, & deceptive talents to lead her right into his temptation. Testing her, Asking about being able to eat "......ALL the fruit in the Garden?"
To which she replied, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die".

God never said "don't touch". He said "Don't EAT". Eve added her OWN words to the command, which Satan knew immediately. And THAT is what he played on.
He knew he could out-wit & out-think Eve. She was already beat.

To think that a literal coiled snake in a tree was fascinating, & then it spoke to Eve.....? THAT is what takes imagination.
Especially when the Bible doesn't give us that description.

You have to keep in mind everything we KNOW about Satan. Beauty, smarts, charm, the voice,... everything "appealing" physically... But again, Inside- Wicked & Evil.



I think this is an interesting topic - and I have some thoughts I would like to add.

> I find it interesting that we don't know how long time passed before Satan tempted Eve - we know that they had had no children yet, but we are not sure how long it was that they lived in Paradise, maybe a few hours or maybe a few days.

> Adam was the one to pass on the knowledge of the Tree of Good and Evil - it was his first role as head over his wife to pass on this knowledge -Adam was told in Gen 2:16,17: "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Later in verse 22 Eve was made. So Eve did not hear the command from God directly - this means that when she said " [I]neither shall ye touch it," did she add to the command or is this what Adam told her???? -

> We all agree that Satan is ruthless, sneaky and will use any means to get what he want - he used the fact that Eve heard this command second hand against her! Why not go after Adam? It is like us when we here a command second hand from a friend, brother or co-worker - eg. You have a child who was told by his mother to not eat a candy - then little brother comes along and wants the candy - the child says, "No, mom says no candy!!" the little brother then says - "Mom didn't tell me no!!!" Even though the older child was telling the younger child on behalf of his mother.

>Satan turns God's positive command into a negative one - Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it.
The Lord let them eat of every tree but one. Satan however uses that one tree as his empahasis - " You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Here he points out the one tree they cannot eat of - not all the others ones that they can eat from.

> We do not know if Adam was with Eve at this time - or if he found her by the tree and then she gave him the fruit or if she sought him out and brought the fruit to him.

markdrums
Oct 18th 2008, 02:11 AM
I think this is an interesting topic - and I have some thoughts I would like to add.

> I find it interesting that we don't know how long time passed before Satan tempted Eve - we know that they had had no children yet, but we are not sure how long it was that they lived in Paradise, maybe a few hours or maybe a few days.

> Adam was the one to pass on the knowledge of the Tree of Good and Evil - it was his first role as head over his wife to pass on this knowledge -Adam was told in Gen 2:16,17: "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Later in verse 22 Eve was made. So Eve did not hear the command from God directly - this means that when she said " neither shall ye touch it," did she add to the command or is this what Adam told her???? -

> We all agree that Satan is ruthless, sneaky and will use any means to get what he want - he used the fact that Eve heard this command second hand against her! Why not go after Adam? It is like us when we here a command second hand from a friend, brother or co-worker - eg. You have a child who was told by his mother to not eat a candy - then little brother comes along and wants the candy - the child says, "No, mom says no candy!!" the little brother then says - "Mom didn't tell me no!!!" Even though the older child was telling the younger child on behalf of his mother.

>Satan turns God's positive command into a negative one - Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it.
The Lord let them eat of every tree but one. Satan however uses that one tree as his empahasis - " You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Here he points out the one tree they cannot eat of - not all the others ones that they can eat from.

> We do not know if Adam was with Eve at this time - or if he found her by the tree and then she gave him the fruit or if she sought him out and brought the fruit to him.

Great addition!! :)

You pointed out one thing that I think is KEY in the this event; Whether Adam told Eve "don't touch", or Eve added that on her own is not important. What IS though, is the fact that something was added to God's command. That opened the door, & gave Satan the opportunity to pounce so to speak.

Also- I've wondered before how long Adam & Eve lived in the "perfect" garden too. It could have been MANY MANY YEARS. It may have been a much shorter time. We just don't know for sure.
But, "how long" isn't the important detail. Knowing what happened, how it happened, & why it happened is the real issue.
And, it sets the scene for the rest of the Bible; God's plan of redemption!
;)

Thanks again for adding your thoughts!! They're welcomed here!!!

livingword26
Oct 18th 2008, 03:30 AM
Great addition!! :)

You pointed out one thing that I think is KEY in the this event; Whether Adam told Eve "don't touch", or Eve added that on her own is not important. What IS though, is the fact that something was added to God's command. That opened the door, & gave Satan the opportunity to pounce so to speak.



The tree had always been there. Adam and Eve had both seen it many times. It took the someone to whisper temptation to them to get them to try it.

Gen 3:6
(6) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Interesting word, "pleasant". Here it is in the Hebrew:

H8378
תּאוה
ta'ăvâh
tah-av-aw'
From H183 (abbreviated); a longing; by implication a delight (subjectively satisfaction, objectively a charm): - dainty, desire, X exceedingly, X greedily, lust (ing), pleasant. See also H6914.

Satan tempted her to lust after something she never had lusted after before, even though she had seen it before. It was the dark ones words of temptation, and implication that God had lied to them, that caused her do lust after the fruit. Satan is still doing this today.

crossnote
Oct 18th 2008, 07:45 AM
Markdrums,
Why can't you take it as a literal created serpent possessed or domineered by satan?

livingword26
Oct 18th 2008, 02:54 PM
Markdrums,
Why can't you take it as a literal created serpent possessed or domineered by satan?

That is the most obvious conclusion in my opinion.

petepet
Oct 18th 2008, 04:21 PM
DID she see a snake "coiled in a tree"? I still find that nowhere in scripture.
Besides, what would have been so fascinating about that anyway? Adam & Eve had seen ALL the creatures, AND walked with GOD in the Garden. What would make a "snake" so alluring?

What made her "think" of the Tree of "Knowledge of Good & Evil"? It was SATAN that made her think about it. He set her up, ooooh so cleverly. He knew what God's command was. He was using his wit, & deceptive talents to lead her right into his temptation. Testing her, Asking about being able to eat "......ALL the fruit in the Garden?"
To which she replied, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die".

God never said "don't touch". He said "Don't EAT". Eve added her OWN words to the command, which Satan knew immediately. And THAT is what he played on.
He knew he could out-wit & out-think Eve. She was already beat.

To think that a literal coiled snake in a tree was fascinating, & then it spoke to Eve.....? THAT is what takes imagination.
Especially when the Bible doesn't give us that description.

You have to keep in mind everything we KNOW about Satan. Beauty, smarts, charm, the voice,... everything "appealing" physically... But again, Inside- Wicked & Evil.

I find your argument quite amusing. You challenge my suggestion abaout the snake being in the tree which is at least based on what the Bible actually says. Yours is all based on your own imagination. The passage mentions a snake. It does not mention Satan in any way. Indeed it avoids going beyond the snake. So all that you say unquestionably comes from your own imagination and is ON THE BASIS OF YOUR OWN STATEMENT unreliable. :thumbsdn:

On the other hand the likelihood of the snake being coiled around the branch is based on practical experience.

livingword26
Oct 18th 2008, 04:43 PM
You challenge my suggestion abaout the snake being in the tree which is at least based on what the Bible actually says. The passage mentions a snake.



The bible does not even imply that the serpent was in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.




It does not mention Satan in any way.

And yet the serpent has been equated with Satan

Rev 20:2
(2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,




On the other hand the likelihood of the snake being coiled around the branch is based on practical experience.That is an interesting statement. What is the practical experience that says the serpent was coiled around the tree?

Equipped_4_Love
Oct 19th 2008, 12:42 AM
Understanding the serpent description metaphorically doesn't make the entire garden account or the fall an allegory.

I'm the same page with you concerning the gap theory! I also don't find EVILution (heeehee) being able to fit into creation. & I totally disagree as well, with the "demon seed" teachings!!!
Angels are Created Beings. They're nonphysical, nonreproductive, nonsexual.... they can NOT interbreed with humans. PERIOD!
So we completely agree on those things!

But this is not an attack on the account of the garden. It's just a more logical (and correct) understanding.

IF you take the serpent as a LITERAL interpretation, you MUST take the "goat" literally.
You MUST take the "dragon" literally.
AND..... the "serpent AND dragon simultaneously" literally, since Satan was described as such, in the same verse in context.

A literal translation of this account leads to further problems elsewhere in the bible because, YES, there ARE metaphors used in scripture.
This is such a case.
Not an allegory, because there's no "deeper / different meaning" to the story.
But the description of Satan as a serpent is not a PHYSICAL description. There's no logical explanation to support that.

Anwyay..... that's the point I'm making.
Metaphorical descriptions don't automatically coincide with allegories. AND, you CAN have a literal event with metaphoric descriptions. They help paint the mental picture in a memorable, meaningful way.

Just like today's communication & writing.

I might agree with you, if it weren't for Gen. 3:1

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made......

It appears that the word serpent here is used comparitively. The Bible is comparing the serpent with the other animals in the garden, which seems to indicate that the serpent was also some sort of beast.

If the serpent was used only as a metaphor for Satan, than why would the Bible compare him with the other animals in the garden? Satan was not created an animal....he was an angel. It would be like someone saying "Banana cream pie is a lot more fattening than any of the other kinds of chocolate cake." It wouldn't make sense.

So, then, it seems to me like Satan took the form of a serpent in order to communicate with Eve.

Equipped_4_Love
Oct 19th 2008, 01:02 AM
DID she see a snake "coiled in a tree"? I still find that nowhere in scripture.
Besides, what would have been so fascinating about that anyway? Adam & Eve had seen ALL the creatures, AND walked with GOD in the Garden. What would make a "snake" so alluring?

To think that a literal coiled snake in a tree was fascinating, & then it spoke to Eve.....? THAT is what takes imagination.

Especially when the Bible doesn't give us that description.



....but that's just it. The Bible DOES give us that description.

The original language clearly states that it was a literal serpent that deceived Eve. I suggest that you go back and re-read DigginDeeper's excellent post re: the original meaning of this text.

Equipped_4_Love
Oct 19th 2008, 01:10 AM
The reason for this was that he was infected by the workings of the fruit and could not be allowed to live forever in that corrupted condition.

Hey, Ethnikos;

Is it your assumption, then, that there was some property in the fruit that caused their eyes to be opened, or was such a condition merely a natural result of their rebellion instead?

Levin
Oct 19th 2008, 08:00 AM
Hey Markdrums,

I really appreciate your argument about the garden episode, but I see a couple of flaws that no one has such produced.

The problem lies in authorial intent and the ability of the audience to understand what was written. Israel at this time had no concept of Satan as we now do. The word "satan" does not occur in the canon until Job, which was written (depending on your tradition) at least 400 years after Genesis. Even then it can simply be translated as "the accuser." Our theology of Satan does not come full bore until the writing of the NT. Moses had no idea of the kind of Satan we now know of. I think that it would be deceitful to insert "serpent" for "Satan" in the midst of a narrative that was meant to be interpreted literally. I also find it disturbing that you accept all other details of this narrative except for this one.

As for your treatment of Genesis 3:14:

Actually that's a good question!
Remember still: it was SATAN who tempted Eve... Not a serpent. Satan is still being described as a serpent.
He IS a created being.. (or creature, or "beast" if you will.) His ORIGINAL place with God & in status was the highest of all created angels, beasts, creatures, animals, humans..... God cursed SATAN above all others, reducing his "status" to LOWER than ALL the rest of God's creations.
The crawling on your belly is a metaphoric image / description of exactly how low Satan's rank & status became.

Even the lowest life form like snails, (or whatever other "insignificant" thing you can think of) would be held "higher" & "above" Satan from that day forward.
(*I realize snails ARE important in the grand scheme of things, & DO have a purpose... but hopefully you know what I was getting at...*) LOL!

Eating dust .....
Even more of a picturesque image of just how bad Satan made things for himself.

The word here used as "livestock" is not used to describe "angels, beasts, creatures, animals, humans." It is a word specifically used to define those creatures created on the 6th day of creation before man. This word references its use a couple chapters ago:

Genesis 1:25:
And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

This word is never used for anything not created here on Day 6 and never used of mankind. In the creation narrative Angels, Animals, and Men are separated. Angels are not mentioned: they were created earlier. Animals were created differently from plants. The word used for "create" for animals was used 3 times for man, and man was created from the dust by the hand of God; he is unique.

When I AM curses the serpent, He is referring to him as one of these livestock. The serpent is one of the "animals" in the three levels of creation present in the text.

On these grounds I reject the idea that there was not a literal serpent present in the garden. This would be extremely decietful to the original audience and author, and the vocabulary of the text does not support it in lew of verse 14.

Looking for feedback,
Levin

divaD
Oct 19th 2008, 03:06 PM
Hey Markdrums,

I really appreciate your argument about the garden episode, but I see a couple of flaws that no one has such produced.

The problem lies in authorial intent and the ability of the audience to understand what was written. Israel at this time had no concept of Satan as we now do. The word "satan" does not occur in the canon until Job, which was written (depending on your tradition) at least 400 years after Genesis. Even then it can simply be translated as "the accuser." Our theology of Satan does not come full bore until the writing of the NT. Moses had no idea of the kind of Satan we now know of. I think that it would be deceitful to insert "serpent" for "Satan" in the midst of a narrative that was meant to be interpreted literally. I also find it disturbing that you accept all other details of this narrative except for this one.

As for your treatment of Genesis 3:14:


The word here used as "livestock" is not used to describe "angels, beasts, creatures, animals, humans." It is a word specifically used to define those creatures created on the 6th day of creation before man. This word references its use a couple chapters ago:

Genesis 1:25:
And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

This word is never used for anything not created here on Day 6 and never used of mankind. In the creation narrative Angels, Animals, and Men are separated. Angels are not mentioned: they were created earlier. Animals were created differently from plants. The word used for "create" for animals was used 3 times for man, and man was created from the dust by the hand of God; he is unique.

When I AM curses the serpent, He is referring to him as one of these livestock. The serpent is one of the "animals" in the three levels of creation present in the text.

On these grounds I reject the idea that there was not a literal serpent present in the garden. This would be extremely decietful to the original audience and author, and the vocabulary of the text does not support it in lew of verse 14.

Looking for feedback,
Levin



Levin, I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to imply here. Are you saying the serpent in the garden wasn't satan? Doesn't Rev ch 12 identify satan as that old serpent? Also, what do we do with Genesis 3:15, since God clearly puts enmity between the woman and the serpent? Shoudn't we interpret the woman as the godly line that Christ will come thru? And shouldn't we interpret the serpent as the ungodly line that will try to prevent that from happening?

Ethnikos
Oct 19th 2008, 05:17 PM
Hey, Ethnikos;

Is it your assumption, then, that there was some property in the fruit that caused their eyes to be opened, or was such a condition merely a natural result of their rebellion instead?
Adam was prevented from going to the tree of life by guards that God left there. That was done to keep him from eating from it and living forever. If you can accept that there was a quality in that fruit, why not accept that there is also a quality in the fruit they did eat?
I do not think that they fell, automatically, from just eating the fruit. It says their eyes were opened. It is how they reacted to that new awareness, that was their fall. They became evasive, deceptive and selfish.

BroRog
Oct 19th 2008, 05:47 PM
I'm thankful that Mark has raised this issue because I often wondered about the account of a talking snake. Why don't we see more talking snakes today?

I wonder if we would be having this discussion about the literal aspect of say, "The Chronicles of Narnia", in which animals talk?

I don't mean anything by asking the question. Speaking of authorial intent, I feel compelled to ask these kinds of questions. And I'm not saying I have the answer. But I'm thankful that others are asking the same questions.

Did Balaam's donkey really talk?

BroRog
Oct 19th 2008, 05:51 PM
Hey Markdrums,

I really appreciate your argument about the garden episode, but I see a couple of flaws that no one has such produced.

The problem lies in authorial intent and the ability of the audience to understand what was written. Israel at this time had no concept of Satan as we now do. The word "satan" does not occur in the canon until Job, which was written (depending on your tradition) at least 400 years after Genesis. Even then it can simply be translated as "the accuser." Our theology of Satan does not come full bore until the writing of the NT. Moses had no idea of the kind of Satan we now know of. I think that it would be deceitful to insert "serpent" for "Satan" in the midst of a narrative that was meant to be interpreted literally. I also find it disturbing that you accept all other details of this narrative except for this one.

As for your treatment of Genesis 3:14:


The word here used as "livestock" is not used to describe "angels, beasts, creatures, animals, humans." It is a word specifically used to define those creatures created on the 6th day of creation before man. This word references its use a couple chapters ago:

Genesis 1:25:
And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

This word is never used for anything not created here on Day 6 and never used of mankind. In the creation narrative Angels, Animals, and Men are separated. Angels are not mentioned: they were created earlier. Animals were created differently from plants. The word used for "create" for animals was used 3 times for man, and man was created from the dust by the hand of God; he is unique.

When I AM curses the serpent, He is referring to him as one of these livestock. The serpent is one of the "animals" in the three levels of creation present in the text.

On these grounds I reject the idea that there was not a literal serpent present in the garden. This would be extremely decietful to the original audience and author, and the vocabulary of the text does not support it in lew of verse 14.

Looking for feedback,
Levin

Is it possible that the Lord opened the mouth of the Snake, as he did with Balaam's donkey?

Given that the snake was a literal beast of the field, did snakes have legs before the fall?

Ethnikos
Oct 19th 2008, 05:59 PM
And yet the serpent has been equated with Satan.
Rev 20:2(2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
When Jesus said,"Get behind me, Satan." he was not saying that Peter was Satan, but that he was saying the words of Satan.
Revelation describes the progress of the vision. The Beast and the image are destroyed. Then the dragon, that was who gave the beast its power, was held. This is still speaking in a symbolic mode. The next verse explains why the dragon was held. "...to keep him from deceiving the nations...". The allusion to the serpent was a description of how the dragon operated towards the nations.

Levin
Oct 19th 2008, 06:38 PM
Levin, I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to imply here. Are you saying the serpent in the garden wasn't satan? Doesn't Rev ch 12 identify satan as that old serpent? Also, what do we do with Genesis 3:15, since God clearly puts enmity between the woman and the serpent? Shoudn't we interpret the woman as the godly line that Christ will come thru? And shouldn't we interpret the serpent as the ungodly line that will try to prevent that from happening?

Sorry I wasn't clear. Yes, I would say that the serpent does represent or embody the being known to us as Satan. However, that does not mean that a literal serpent did not talk to Eve.

Hislove04
Oct 20th 2008, 06:11 AM
First of all, the serpent was not as snakes are today in that he did not crawl on his belly, as that happened after he was cursed for deceiving Eve. As to the talking part, yes, it does seem likely that it was satan speaking through the serpent, but why was the serpent cursed? If we look at the New Testament as someone did when they brought up Jesus telling Peter to get behind him, we also must look at the account in Acts, of Annanias and Sapphira. (interestingly it was Peter, the one who Jesus told to get behind him, who confronted them)Annanias, I believe, was asked why satan had filled his heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, right before he was judged, and his life was taken. So we see a responsibility on the part of Annanias to guard his heart from satan filling it. Was the serpent in the garden also held responsible for satan filling his heart with a lie? I really don't know, but it's something to think about.

markdrums
Oct 20th 2008, 03:24 PM
Here's the problem with a literal snake....

We have to remember that BEFORE THE FALL everything was PERFECT.
No SIN.

In order for a "snake" to trick Eve, the snake would have to be under the "sin curse". This is impossible, because the garden was STILL sin free.

To suggest Satan "changed his physical appearance & took the form of a snake" is also not Biblical. Satan is an angel.. nothing more.
He has NO "creative powers" & cannot change the way he looks. He's not a shape-shifter, & doesn't possess the power to appear in a different form.

Also, to suggest the GOD himself opened the mouth of the snake & made it talk is Blasphemous! That's saying GOD tempted Eve...
GOD does not TEMPT. God will TEST us, & test our faith, but never will he TEMPT us! ESPECIALLY where SIN is concerned.

All of the opposing arguments so far have no Biblical foundation to stand on.

But back to the "snake" being literal, & tempting Eve....
I've already pointed out that the garden was PERFECT. There was NO SIN.
How could a "literal snake / serpent" have a sin nature, & tempt Eve to eat the fruit that God commanded her & Adam NOT to eat? SIN had not entered into the Earth UNTIL Eve took that bite. So, a "literal snake" could not have had the ability to tempt Eve. The snake would have to have a sin nature BEFORER EVE DID....

How would THAT be possible????

Rullion Green
Oct 20th 2008, 03:55 PM
serpant = nacash can be interperated as 3 different things

noun adjective or verb

the hebrew word is nachash and it can mean snake, shining, deviner

i heard a scolar say that this is a triple entandre ( spelling ?)

but the main meaning is shining as we can corrolate the verses in job and ezikle that talk about the advasary that was in the garden with Gen to back the theory up , with the advesary described as wearing shining jewels and such. but it is possible the being had a serpantine apperance as seraphim is the hebrew name also relates to burning / shining. and the being decievied also to complete the triple entandre.

So Eve in the garden would not have been talking to a snake of the animal kingdom imo, but a shining one of the heavenly host. It's an unfortunate translation as it has been set in stone in the imagination of the masses but isn't the case that the nacash was a snake.

markdrums
Oct 20th 2008, 04:06 PM
I find your argument quite amusing. You challenge my suggestion abaout the snake being in the tree which is at least based on what the Bible actually says. Yours is all based on your own imagination. The passage mentions a snake. It does not mention Satan in any way. Indeed it avoids going beyond the snake. So all that you say unquestionably comes from your own imagination and is ON THE BASIS OF YOUR OWN STATEMENT unreliable. :thumbsdn:

On the other hand the likelihood of the snake being coiled around the branch is based on practical experience.


I've looked & looked..... yet I'm STILL unable to find BIBLICAL reference to a snake being "coiled in a tree". Help a brotha' out & point me to the passage. ;)

markdrums
Oct 20th 2008, 04:34 PM
I might agree with you, if it weren't for Gen. 3:1

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made......

It appears that the word serpent here is used comparitively. The Bible is comparing the serpent with the other animals in the garden, which seems to indicate that the serpent was also some sort of beast.

If the serpent was used only as a metaphor for Satan, than why would the Bible compare him with the other animals in the garden? Satan was not created an animal....he was an angel. It would be like someone saying "Banana cream pie is a lot more fattening than any of the other kinds of chocolate cake." It wouldn't make sense.

So, then, it seems to me like Satan took the form of a serpent in order to communicate with Eve.


You might be over-emphasizing the wrong words ....

Genesis doesn't say the serpent was more cunning / subtle than any other beast of the field....

Rather than putting emphasis on the words YOU put in bold... see how it changes slightly when you read it like this:
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made......

OR:
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made......

Perhaps Genesis isn't implying that the serpent itself was a beast of the field, but rather it/he was more cunning THAN anyof them.???

:hmm:

Again, I can't go along with a "literal snake" causing Eve to eat the fruit, when the garden would have been perfect, & free of sin. Because SIN only entered the world after she ATE the fruit; disobeying God's command.
The only source / possibility for an influence of SIN, would have to come from the original fallen angel himself.
Ya know?

:)

markdrums
Oct 20th 2008, 06:58 PM
....but that's just it. The Bible DOES give us that description.

The original language clearly states that it was a literal serpent that deceived Eve. I suggest that you go back and re-read DigginDeeper's excellent post re: the original meaning of this text.

I know what you're saying here, but I think Satan's description is being COMPARED TO a snake / serpent.
A serpent is, and was, an animal that the people of Moses' time would be familiar with. Something that would invoke a mental image to emphasise the point of how clever & sneaky Satan really is.

There's nothing to indicate the "serpent" is a physical description of Eve's deceiver. The whole context is speaking of the "serpent" being crafty, cunning, sneaky, deceptive. There's nothing PHYSICALLY subtle or cunning about a snake, but rather it's prowess & demeanor.

When we read in the New Testament, where the apostles mention the serpent deceiving Eve, they're not trying to convey the message of a literal snake either. They are referencing Old Testsmant scripture, in order to remind their readers of Satan's wickedness & the reason we're in a spiritual fight against him, and against sin.

markdrums
Oct 20th 2008, 07:55 PM
[quote=Ethnikos;1831937]When Jesus said,"Get behind me, Satan." he was not saying that Peter was Satan, but that he was saying the words of Satan.quote]

True.... But Revelation IS saying that the serpent IS Satan.

Rev. 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Ethnikos
Oct 21st 2008, 02:12 AM
.... But Revelation IS saying that the serpent IS Satan.
Rev. 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
To be trivial, in the very similar verse, Revelation 12:9, every version uses "called", not "which is". The Greek means "to give a name to".
John Gill's Commentery claims, "...it is very usual with the Jews to call the devil (ynwmdqh vxn) , "the old serpent" F15 (http://www.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=re&chapter=012&verse=009#o); wherefore John uses this phrase as a known one...". So you have a familiar Jewish term modified by two more names, that are each just as descriptive.
Which is more evil? The Devil or the Serpent? If you wanted to take this verse literally, the serpent would be more evil and powerful than Satan.

SIG
Oct 21st 2008, 03:55 AM
Markdrums: "But back to the "snake" being literal, & tempting Eve....
I've already pointed out that the garden was PERFECT. There was NO SIN.
How could a "literal snake / serpent" have a sin nature, & tempt Eve to eat the fruit that God commanded her & Adam NOT to eat? SIN had not entered into the Earth UNTIL Eve took that bite. So, a "literal snake" could not have had the ability to tempt Eve. The snake would have to have a sin nature BEFORE EVE DID....

How would THAT be possible????"

SIG: While I basically agree with what you stated in that post, the above raises another question:

We may assume that Heaven was also created perfect. If so, how did Lucifer fall into sin?

SIG
Oct 21st 2008, 03:58 AM
Perhaps God chose serpents to symbolize evil or sin in His Book. Remember the bronze serpent in the wilderness. Remember "generation of vipers." Remember Jacob's prophecy for Dan in Genesis 49. And so on.

Perhaps whether or not the serpent in the Garden was a literal serpent is beside the point...

Diggindeeper
Oct 21st 2008, 04:59 AM
Is it possible that the Lord opened the mouth of the Snake, as he did with Balaam's donkey?

Given that the snake was a literal beast of the field, did snakes have legs before the fall?


Here's the problem with a literal snake....

We have to remember that BEFORE THE FALL everything was PERFECT.
No SIN.

In order for a "snake" to trick Eve, the snake would have to be under the "sin curse". This is impossible, because the garden was STILL sin free.

To suggest Satan "changed his physical appearance & took the form of a snake" is also not Biblical. Satan is an angel.. nothing more.
He has NO "creative powers" & cannot change the way he looks. He's not a shape-shifter, & doesn't possess the power to appear in a different form.

Also, to suggest the GOD himself opened the mouth of the snake & made it talk is Blasphemous! That's saying GOD tempted Eve...
GOD does not TEMPT. God will TEST us, & test our faith, but never will he TEMPT us! ESPECIALLY where SIN is concerned.

All of the opposing arguments so far have no Biblical foundation to stand on.

But back to the "snake" being literal, & tempting Eve....
I've already pointed out that the garden was PERFECT. There was NO SIN.
How could a "literal snake / serpent" have a sin nature, & tempt Eve to eat the fruit that God commanded her & Adam NOT to eat? SIN had not entered into the Earth UNTIL Eve took that bite. So, a "literal snake" could not have had the ability to tempt Eve. The snake would have to have a sin nature BEFORER EVE DID....

How would THAT be possible????

I say BroRog asked a question that begs an answer. He asked this:
Is it possible that the Lord opened the mouth of the Snake, as he did with Balaam's donkey?

Listen, if we make a metaphor out of the snake in the Garden of Eden, then Balaam must have been riding a metaphor. We cannot fathom how a snake could open it's mouth and speak to Mother Eve. But well, donkeys don't talk either. If one is a metaphor, the other must be.


Mark, I want to address something you said in the post above. You said:
To suggest Satan "changed his physical appearance & took the form of a snake" is also not Biblical. Satan is an angel.. nothing more.
He has NO "creative powers" & cannot change the way he looks. He's not a shape-shifter, & doesn't possess the power to appear in a different form.

I offer that no one has come close to suggesting that Satan may have been a "shape-shifter." Now, you rightly argue that Satan is an angel, albeit a fallen one. But, there are various examples of times when angels appeared as MEN. They appeared to Abraham in Genesis 18 and to Lot for example. In the five verses below from Genesis chapter 19, notice they are called angels in verse #1, but referred to as men in verse 5.

Genesis 19:1-5
1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;

2 And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.

3 And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.

4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:

5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.




Satan himself can appear as "an angel of light." Satan can appear in different ways.

Then, I for one am offended that you could say this:
Also, to suggest the GOD himself opened the mouth of the snake & made it talk is Blasphemous!

God opened the mouth of the donkey. God is God. His ways are not our ways. My goodness, look what God did here:

1 Kings 22:23
23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.

2 Chronicles 21:18-19
18 And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease.

19 And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases.

I say its an easy thing for God to make a snake speak! And it certainly got Eve's attention when she heard him. She even answered him. Talked back with him. Had an actual conversation.

livingword26
Oct 21st 2008, 10:36 AM
I say its an easy thing for God to make a snake speak! And it certainly got Eve's attention when she heard him. She even answered him. Talked back with him. Had an actual conversation.

To suggest that God himself tempted Eve is indeed blasphemous. That means God is responsible for the fall of man. It also is unscriptural.

Jam 1:13
(13) Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

markdrums
Oct 21st 2008, 03:28 PM
To be trivial, in the very similar verse, Revelation 12:9, every version uses "called", not "which is". The Greek means "to give a name to".
John Gill's Commentery claims, "...it is very usual with the Jews to call the devil (ynwmdqh vxn) , "the old serpent" F15 (http://www.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=re&chapter=012&verse=009#o); wherefore John uses this phrase as a known one...". So you have a familiar Jewish term modified by two more names, that are each just as descriptive.
Which is more evil? The Devil or the Serpent? If you wanted to take this verse literally, the serpent would be more evil and powerful than Satan.

That's why Jscripture is saying SATAN IS the serpent.
He's "called" or "known as".... that's HIM. That's who he is.

markdrums
Oct 21st 2008, 03:29 PM
Markdrums: "But back to the "snake" being literal, & tempting Eve....
I've already pointed out that the garden was PERFECT. There was NO SIN.
How could a "literal snake / serpent" have a sin nature, & tempt Eve to eat the fruit that God commanded her & Adam NOT to eat? SIN had not entered into the Earth UNTIL Eve took that bite. So, a "literal snake" could not have had the ability to tempt Eve. The snake would have to have a sin nature BEFORE EVE DID....

How would THAT be possible????"

SIG: While I basically agree with what you stated in that post, the above raises another question:

We may assume that Heaven was also created perfect. If so, how did Lucifer fall into sin?

Free Will & Pride.
;)

markdrums
Oct 21st 2008, 03:31 PM
I say BroRog asked a question that begs an answer. He asked this:
Is it possible that the Lord opened the mouth of the Snake, as he did with Balaam's donkey?

Listen, if we make a metaphor out of the snake in the Garden of Eden, then Balaam must have been riding a metaphor. We cannot fathom how a snake could open it's mouth and speak to Mother Eve. But well, donkeys don't talk either. If one is a metaphor, the other must be.


Mark, I want to address something you said in the post above. You said:
To suggest Satan "changed his physical appearance & took the form of a snake" is also not Biblical. Satan is an angel.. nothing more.
He has NO "creative powers" & cannot change the way he looks. He's not a shape-shifter, & doesn't possess the power to appear in a different form.

I offer that no one has come close to suggesting that Satan may have been a "shape-shifter." Now, you rightly argue that Satan is an angel, albeit a fallen one. But, there are various examples of times when angels appeared as MEN. They appeared to Abraham in Genesis 18 and to Lot for example. In the five verses below from Genesis chapter 19, notice they are called angels in verse #1, but referred to as men in verse 5.

Genesis 19:1-5
1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;

2 And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.

3 And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.

4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:

5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.




Satan himself can appear as "an angel of light." Satan can appear in different ways.

Then, I for one am offended that you could say this:
Also, to suggest the GOD himself opened the mouth of the snake & made it talk is Blasphemous!

God opened the mouth of the donkey. God is God. His ways are not our ways. My goodness, look what God did here:

1 Kings 22:23
23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.

2 Chronicles 21:18-19
18 And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease.

19 And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases.

I say its an easy thing for God to make a snake speak! And it certainly got Eve's attention when she heard him. She even answered him. Talked back with him. Had an actual conversation.

Again, to say "GOD" spoke for the serpent, or had anything to do with him deceiving Eve & TEMPTING her..... goes totally against what scripture says about God.

God does not tempt. ESPECIALLY temtation leading to potential sin.

markdrums
Oct 21st 2008, 03:33 PM
To suggest that God himself tempted Eve is indeed blasphemous. That means God is responsible for the fall of man. It also is unscriptural.

Jam 1:13
(13) Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:


.........neither tempteth he any man.

...The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. ........ He leadeth me NOT into temptation.....

God "TESTS" but never "tempts".

Diggindeeper
Oct 21st 2008, 05:03 PM
Again, to say "GOD" spoke for the serpent, or had anything to do with him deceiving Eve & TEMPTING her..... goes totally against what scripture says about God.

God does not tempt. ESPECIALLY temtation leading to potential sin.

I've looked back all through this threadand no one, NO ONE, (except you)said that "God" spoke for the serpent. Not a one of us said that. That is not true.

The snake spoke. The donkey spoke. God only said, "Do NOT eat from that tree or you WILL die." But, Adam and Eve hearkened to the other voice. THAT was their sin.

Genesis 3:17
17 And unto Adam he (God) said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

markdrums
Oct 21st 2008, 09:52 PM
I've looked back all through this threadand no one, NO ONE, (except you)said that "God" spoke for the serpent. Not a one of us said that. That is not true.

The snake spoke. The donkey spoke. God only said, "Do NOT eat from that tree or you WILL die." But, Adam and Eve hearkened to the other voice. THAT was their sin.

Genesis 3:17
17 And unto Adam he (God) said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

I see what you're saying. I should have been more clear, so I apologize on that part. ;)

Anyway, the main point is, GOD would not have been involved in "opening a snake's mouth" in any way to "TEMPT" them into sin. Whether it was making a snake speak or not, GOD was NOT, nor would he be involved here.

SIG
Oct 21st 2008, 11:10 PM
Free Will & Pride.
;)

Free will is not a sin, but pride surely is. So the question remains: How did sin enter Lucifer? Scripture says he conceived it himself. Couldn't the serpent do likewise?

BroRog
Oct 22nd 2008, 02:40 AM
I see what you're saying. I should have been more clear, so I apologize on that part. ;)

Anyway, the main point is, GOD would not have been involved in "opening a snake's mouth" in any way to "TEMPT" them into sin. Whether it was making a snake speak or not, GOD was NOT, nor would he be involved here.


Mark,

What do you think? Had the serpent not been there, don't you think Eve would have eaten from the tree anyway?

markdrums
Oct 22nd 2008, 08:07 AM
Free will is not a sin, but pride surely is. So the question remains: How did sin enter Lucifer? Scripture says he conceived it himself. Couldn't the serpent do likewise?

Hey Sig,
You're right, Free Will itself is not a sin. However, it leaves open the POTENTIAL for sin, depending on individual choice.
Lucifer's pride caused him to rebel against God.

The "serpent" was Satan (aka Lucifer).

A Literal serpent (or any other animal ) does not actually have "Free Will". Nor do they have a concience or intellectual intelligence... not like humans do anyway. Animals can't plan & plot things out, They just do what they do.

markdrums
Oct 22nd 2008, 08:20 AM
Mark,

What do you think? Had the serpent not been there, don't you think Eve would have eaten from the tree anyway?

Would she have eaten anyway.......??? Hmmm.... Good question. It's hard to say for sure, because it would just be speculation. Since we aren't told how long they lived in a "perfect" garden, who knows?? They apparently had done pretty good UP UNTIL then....

But, because Satan WAS there & tempted Eve, which led her to eat from the tree, we know she did and WHY.

Remember, Eve was the first person to use the excuse, "The Devil made me do it!" (contextually speaking that is...) ;)

BroRog
Oct 22nd 2008, 02:28 PM
Would she have eaten anyway.......??? Hmmm.... Good question. It's hard to say for sure, because it would just be speculation. Since we aren't told how long they lived in a "perfect" garden, who knows?? They apparently had done pretty good UP UNTIL then....

But, because Satan WAS there & tempted Eve, which led her to eat from the tree, we know she did and WHY.

Remember, Eve was the first person to use the excuse, "The Devil made me do it!" (contextually speaking that is...) ;)

I guess that's my question. How much of a role did Satan/serpent actually play? We can't deny he played some role in the event, but as I read her dialog, it appears as if she had been contemplating it for awhile.

This goes back to your statement that God wouldn't open the mouth of a snake to tempt Eve. What if it wasn't a "temptation"? What if it was a "test"? I suppose it depends on how we look at it?

Ethnikos
Oct 22nd 2008, 07:57 PM
That's why Jscripture is saying SATAN IS the serpent.
He's "called" or "known as".... that's HIM. That's who he is.

Here is how I understand Revelation; "I John, am writing of a vision I saw of figures appearing in heaven. One of these figures was a dragon. It did various things in this vision, including using its tail to bring down a third of the stars. I identify this dragon, to people familiar with the rabbinical writings, as the spiritual entity called That Old Serpent. To the Greeks, it is called the Devil, literally the accuser; The False Accuser of God's People. To the Jews, it is called Satan, literally, the opposer; The One Who Opposes God's People."
I think it is a weak proof to use this as evidence that the serpent in the Garden was actually Satan. John is using known terms to make sure people understood this figure represents a great power that is evil and is our enemy. This is not an attempt to rewrite Genesis and to substitute the devil into it.

Ethnikos
Oct 22nd 2008, 10:57 PM
I guess that's my question. How much of a role did Satan/serpent actually play? We can't deny he played some role in the event, but as I read her dialog, it appears as if she had been contemplating it for awhile.
This goes back to your statement that God wouldn't open the mouth of a snake to tempt Eve. What if it wasn't a "temptation"? What if it was a "test"? I suppose it depends on how we look at it?
I doubt that she did think about it, other than what God had said.
It was after the serpent talked to her that it seemed appealing to her. She takes a good look at it and sees that it looks like something good to eat and the idea gets to her that it could be useful for another purpose, suggested by the serpent.
There could be a motive, inferred upon the serpent, maybe because of its apparent high status among creatures. It may have thought that it could replace the humans, if they fell. Of course it did not work because it got put into a lower status.

markdrums
Oct 23rd 2008, 01:18 PM
Here is how I understand Revelation; "I John, am writing of a vision I saw of figures appearing in heaven. One of these figures was a dragon. It did various things in this vision, including using its tail to bring down a third of the stars. I identify this dragon, to people familiar with the rabbinical writings, as the spiritual entity called That Old Serpent. To the Greeks, it is called the Devil, literally the accuser; The False Accuser of God's People. To the Jews, it is called Satan, literally, the opposer; The One Who Opposes God's People."
I think it is a weak proof to use this as evidence that the serpent in the Garden was actually Satan. John is using known terms to make sure people understood this figure represents a great power that is evil and is our enemy. This is not an attempt to rewrite Genesis and to substitute the devil into it.



I have to agree with much of what you said. The only thing I want to point out is, I don't think anyone was trying to "rewrite" Genesis.
You're right. John WAS using Old Testsment descriptions; and in doing so, he goes back to "the beginning" to explain the origin of sin, and God's plan of redemption and restoration.
The description of Satan as a dragon & a serpent, lets us know that it's the same "person" being spoken of in both instances.

Zack702
Oct 23rd 2008, 04:11 PM
Reading Genesis 3:1 it says the serpent was more subtil than any "beast".

Genesis 3:1
1Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"

Now that is a comparison of animals which were formed by God. These were the first if you will and the grandfathers of all.
It may be a little far fethched to think that in the garden of Eden we were able to communicate with animals but with God nothing is impossible.

Secondly the Lord planted the garden and created the animals there was nothing there that didn't belong to the Lord.
Regardless of the name serpent,devil,satan,dragon ect whatever we might think it means I think the lesson is about disobeying the Lord.
That is to say if we know the words of the Lord and/or his precepts and we go against them for whatever reason it is sin.

And the sin makes all kinds of emotional trouble in us that is no fun.
What is in our hearts is all we need worry about because God is the only God there is no other.

"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

markdrums
Oct 23rd 2008, 05:44 PM
Reading Genesis 3:1 it says the serpent was more subtil than any "beast".

Genesis 3:1
1Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"

Now that is a comparison of animals which were formed by God. These were the first if you will and the grandfathers of all.
It may be a little far fethched to think that in the garden of Eden we were able to communicate with animals but with God nothing is impossible.

Secondly the Lord planted the garden and created the animals there was nothing there that didn't belong to the Lord.
Regardless of the name serpent,devil,satan,dragon ect whatever we might think it means I think the lesson is about disobeying the Lord.
That is to say if we know the words of the Lord and/or his precepts and we go against them for whatever reason it is sin.

And the sin makes all kinds of emotional trouble in us that is no fun.
What is in our hearts is all we need worry about because God is the only God there is no other.

"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

It's true that the sin came from the disobedience & rebellion against God's command. That's what CAUSED the problem & the curse over the world. The willful choice to ignore what God said, and just do it anyway.

Also keep this in mind... Genesis doesn't say the "serpent" itself was a beast of the field... It says the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field.
Not, more subtil than the rest of them, or more subtil than any other..... But rather, Satan is described as being BEYOND or ABOVE any beast of the field. He (the serpent/Satan) was different altogether than they were.

Make sense?

Satan (an angel) is also a created being / creature / beast.
He was created with more knowledge, beauty & wisdom than even the rest of the angels.
So this would also make him above any animal or "field beast".

divaD
Oct 23rd 2008, 06:13 PM
Regardless of the name serpent,devil,satan,dragon ect whatever we might think it means I think the lesson is about disobeying
the Lord.


Let's look at this a little closer. What was it that really killed Adam and Eve, or in a broader sense, all of mankind? Was it from disobeying God, or eating from the tree in which they were commanded not to? I say both, but it was the actual partaking of the forbidden fruit that caused death.

Let's say that someone layed out some poison, and commanded another person to not eat of it, and if they did, they would die.

What happens if this person goes against this commandment and eats this poison afterall, and then dies, because someone has tricked them into believing this poison really wouldn't kill them? Did not disobeying this direct order by actually eating the poison, isn't this what caused this person's death? The poison itself is what killed them. They simply disobeyed this person's warnings, and as a result they died. It wasn't that this person had this poison layed out in order to kill someone. Perhaps it was layed out for rats or something. I'm just trying to illustrate intent. Just because there was a tree in the garden that caused death, this doesn't mean that it was God's intent to kill anyone. It was His intent to warn them about it so they wouldn't die. It was the serpent's intent that they would eat from it, in order that they would die.

So my conclusion would be this. Not only did disobeying God's direct order result in their death, the actual partaking of the tree is really what killed them, just like the poison is really what killed the person in the above example. I also realize in my above example that this is not a perfect comparison to what transpired in the garden, there was a lot more to what happened in the garden than what my example illustrates.

SIG
Oct 23rd 2008, 08:10 PM
John 8:44--"You are of {your} father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own {nature,} for he is a liar and the father of lies.

From Matthew Henry:
(1.) He was a murderer from the beginning, not from his own beginning, for he was created an angel of light, and had a first estate which was pure and good, but from the beginning of his apostasy, which was soon after the creation of man. He was anthroĶpoktonosóhomicida, a man-slayer. [1.] He was a hater of man, and so in affection an disposition a murderer of him. He has his name, Satan, from sitnahóhatred. He maligned Godís image upon man, envied his happiness, and earnestly desired his ruin, was an avowed enemy to the whole race. [2.] He was manís tempter to that sin which brought death into the world, and so he was effectually the murderer of all mankind, which in Adam had but one neck. He was a murderer of souls, deceived them into sin, and by it slew them (Rom. 7:11), poisoned man with the forbidden fruit, and, to aggravate the matter, made him his own murderer. Thus he was not only at the beginning, but from the beginning, which intimates that thus he has been ever since; as he began, so he continues, the murderer of men by his temptations. The great tempter is the great destroyer. The Jews called the devil the angel of death.

Ethnikos
Oct 23rd 2008, 08:14 PM
I have to agree with much of what you said. The only thing I want to point out is, I don't think anyone was trying to "rewrite" Genesis.
You're right. John WAS using Old Testsment descriptions; and in doing so, he goes back to "the beginning" to explain the origin of sin, and God's plan of redemption and restoration.
The description of Satan as a dragon & a serpent, lets us know that it's the same "person" being spoken of in both instances.
God said to the serpent: "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed..."
Who is the seed of the serpent? Could it be a larger group of individuals that make up the dragon?
I think what is called Satan could be more than just one individual. Like in the Gospel, the Devil appears to Jesus in the wilderness. The word "devil" is a derivative of "evil", so it may not denote one individual as "the Devil" but a being that has a purpose for evil.
To answer your earlier question, I was not taught anything in particular about the serpent, other than it was speaking on behalf of Satan. I feel it is speculation. It may or may not be true, but I would lean towards the side of caution and not go beyond what is written. I got upset when my girlfriend's daughters came home and told me about Satan talking to Eve. I asked them if their teacher mentioned anything about a serpent and they said, "No".
My main point is that in John's vision, the woman with child is not one person and the dragon probably does not represent a single person but a kingdom of evil (notice the crowns), at odds with the Kingdom of God on Earth.

Ethnikos
Oct 23rd 2008, 09:05 PM
Now that is a comparison of animals which were formed by God. These were the first if you will and the grandfathers of all.
It may be a little far fethched to think that in the garden of Eden we were able to communicate with animals but with God nothing is impossible.
Secondly the Lord planted the garden and created the animals there was nothing there that didn't belong to the Lord.
Regardless of the name serpent,devil,satan,dragon ect whatever we might think it means I think the lesson is about disobeying the Lord.
That is to say if we know the words of the Lord and/or his precepts and we go against them for whatever reason it is sin.
...because God is the only God there is no other.
It does seem to say that the serpent was part of creation, so it would not be one of the sons of god who came later, and found the women good to look at.
Adam and Eve may have had a certain type of telepathy for understanding animals. It could be that the serpent had high enough intelligence to form thoughts of an abstract nature, about knowledge and being like gods.
God points out that Eve failed by listening to the serpent and that Adam failed by listening to his wife. They would have been better prepared to fend off the words of the serpent by keeping in mind that there is no other God to get a second opinion from.

Ethnikos
Oct 23rd 2008, 09:15 PM
...but it was the actual partaking of the forbidden fruit that caused death. I look at it as there being a choice between the fruit of the tree of knowledge and the fruit of the tree of life. They could not eat of the first and then eat of the second. Their fate was sealed when they did eat, so in that day, it was determined that they would die, eventually.

markdrums
Oct 23rd 2008, 09:25 PM
God said to the serpent: "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed..."
Who is the seed of the serpent? Could it be a larger group of individuals that make up the dragon?
I think what is called Satan could be more than just one individual. Like in the Gospel, the Devil appears to Jesus in the wilderness. The word "devil" is a derivative of "evil", so it may not denote one individual as "the Devil" but a being that has a purpose for evil.
To answer your earlier question, I was not taught anything in particular about the serpent, other than it was speaking on behalf of Satan. I feel it is speculation. It may or may not be true, but I would lean towards the side of caution and not go beyond what is written. I got upset when my girlfriend's daughters came home and told me about Satan talking to Eve. I asked them if their teacher mentioned anything about a serpent and they said, "No".
My main point is that in John's vision, the woman with child is not one person and the dragon probably does not represent a single person but a kingdom of evil (notice the crowns), at odds with the Kingdom of God on Earth.

Enmity would be Jesus; God coming in the flesh to conquer Sin & Death... the "enemy" of Satan. (The serpent).
The seed being spoken of, is the offspring of believers / born again spiritually (her seed) & nonbelievers (those who reject God).

markdrums
Oct 23rd 2008, 09:32 PM
It does seem to say that the serpent was part of creation, so it would not be one of the sons of god who came later, and found the women good to look at.
Adam and Eve may have had a certain type of telepathy for understanding animals. It could be that the serpent had high enough intelligence to form thoughts of an abstract nature, about knowledge and being like gods.
God points out that Eve failed by listening to the serpent and that Adam failed by listening to his wife. They would have been better prepared to fend off the words of the serpent by keeping in mind that there is no other God to get a second opinion from.

Satan (Lucifer) was created by God..... so he would be considered part of creation / a created being.
To infer Adam & Eve had telepathy with animals would be reading something into scripture that isn't there.
The same would be true to say that a literal snake (or any animal) possessed enough intelligence to have thoughts or self awareness, etc.

Zack702
Oct 24th 2008, 06:51 AM
To infer Adam & Eve had telepathy with animals would be reading something into scripture that isn't there.
The same would be true to say that a literal snake (or any animal) possessed enough intelligence to have thoughts or self awareness, etc.

I don't want to count it out that it is a metaphor the connection is obvious and allways has been. However it is written very literally that the serpent spoke to Eve.

There is another example of a animal speaking to humans when the man Balaam talked with his mule.
Likewise animals like the ones Noah kept and the Lions in the den with Daniel obviously can form a connection.

In my mind there is no doubt that only by the power of the Lord and only by God do we understand what a animal thinks.

markdrums
Oct 24th 2008, 10:02 AM
I don't want to count it out that it is a metaphor the connection is obvious and allways has been. However it is written very literally that the serpent spoke to Eve.

There is another example of a animal speaking to humans when the man Balaam talked with his mule.
Likewise animals like the ones Noah kept and the Lions in the den with Daniel obviously can form a connection.

In my mind there is no doubt that only by the power of the Lord and only by God do we understand what a animal thinks.


The "serpent" did speak to Eve. However, it wasn't a literal serpent. Satan is the serpent.

We can't be under the assumption that everything in the Bible must be interpreted literally. Because it wasn't written as such. It was written as a form of communication, to give us information & descriptions of events, people, places, etc.

To assume a literal serpent decided on it's own that it would try to mess things up for Adam & Eve, is problematic. There was NO SIN at the time. The garden of Eden was PERFECT.
Adam & Eve brought sin into the world WHEN they disobeyed God & ate the fruit.

To say a literal snake tempted Eve, requires a fertile imagination.
You would have to believe that the garden was already corrupted & sin was there BEFORE Eve ate the fruit. How else could a literal snake come up with an evil thought?

This whole scenario is only possible if you read your own meanings into scripture. It requires far too many "What if's, - well maybe's - it could be's - etc..." ...Too much twisting of the text & adding things to it that aren't there, nor should they be there.

Ethnikos
Oct 24th 2008, 10:12 AM
However it is written very literally that the serpent spoke to Eve.
Literally, it said the serpent answered. The word is not what we would call, "to speak".

Zack702
Oct 24th 2008, 10:33 AM
To say a literal snake tempted Eve, requires a fertile imagination.
You would have to believe that the garden was already corrupted & sin was there BEFORE Eve ate the fruit. How else could a literal snake come up with an evil thought?

This whole scenario is only possible if you read your own meanings into scripture.

But whatever it was did come up with an "evil thought" as you put it but rather a subtil thought.

I don't see the garden as being corrupted at all but rather Cain and the violent people who let sin rule them. Yet they lived very very long lives. Way longer than we do.

Didn't mean to paint a scenario just wanted to point out that it mentions beasts there not angels.

Zack702
Oct 24th 2008, 10:38 AM
Literally, it said the serpent answered. The word is not what we would call, "to speak".
Not sure if I follow did I missspell spake? speak spoke sorry.

Ethnikos
Oct 24th 2008, 11:08 AM
Not sure if I follow did I missspell spake? speak spoke sorry.
It is translated as "said" in the Bible but the Hebrew word is "answered".
My point is that it could have answered Eve, telepathically because it does not necessarily mean that it had to be audible.

Zack702
Oct 24th 2008, 11:24 AM
It is translated as "said" in the Bible but the Hebrew word is "answered".
My point is that it could have answered Eve, telepathically because it does not necessarily mean that it had to be audible.

Yea I guess so somehow they had a conversation and understood one another.
It says God brought the animals to Adam to see what he would name them but it doesn't mention language to much. So unless Adam and Eve had a understanding of a language they wouldn't even be able to talk unless they were making up words as they went. Yet they did communicate somehow with God and with that subtil one.
Which is a interesting topic on it's own did God give Adam and Eve a inspired language?

markdrums
Oct 24th 2008, 01:28 PM
But whatever it was did come up with an "evil thought" as you put it but rather a subtil thought.

I don't see the garden as being corrupted at all but rather Cain and the violent people who let sin rule them. Yet they lived very very long lives. Way longer than we do.

Didn't mean to paint a scenario just wanted to point out that it mentions beasts there not angels.

That's what I'm getting at.... to say a literal snake (or far that matter, ANY kind of animal, beast, or creature) came up with an evil thought on it's own goes against scripture.
Sin wasn't introduced into the world until Eve made the chocie to rebel against God's command. So there would have been no way for a "snake" to think evil thoughts. (I also have a hard time believing animals have thought process the same way we do...)

Cain & Abel weren't born until AFTER the fall, so when they lived the curse was already on mankind.

We have to remember as well, that Adam & Eve walked personally with God in the Garden before the fall. They were still pure & perfect. Since they could be in the presence of God, they also would have been familiar with angels. They would have seen them on a regular basis. So when Satan appeared to Eve in the garden, it wouldn't have been unusual or seemed odd to her.

The serpent is never actually called a "beast of the field". Genesis says, the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field.
Again, not more subtil than any OTHER, but more subtil than any beast of the field.
This lets us know the "serpent" was not of the field, but had a higher status, & was much more clever, crafty, knowledgable than a regular ol' common animal.

The only other "created" beasts, beings, creatures, etc. would be angels. And it was the same angel who rebelled against God in Heaven, that talked Adam & Eve into rebelling against God in the garden.

markdrums
Oct 24th 2008, 01:41 PM
It is translated as "said" in the Bible but the Hebrew word is "answered".
My point is that it could have answered Eve, telepathically because it does not necessarily mean that it had to be audible.

The problem again with this scenario is, you have to add imagination, & guesswork into the scripture to make it work. Telepathy between humans & animals is nowhere discussed Biblically.

Adam & Eve were able to communicate with each other through spoken language. They spoke with God the same way.
To think Adam & Eve had no language to communicate with, or no understanding of words, is a bit silly.

Whatever the original language was, it was given to them by God. He created them with intelligence, & would have given them the ability to speak with understanding as well.

Ethnikos
Oct 24th 2008, 07:43 PM
The problem again with this scenario is, you have to add imagination, & guesswork into the scripture to make it work. Telepathy between humans & animals is nowhere discussed Biblically.

Just trying to show that it does not say that there is a reason to think there was not telepathy, from the scripture.
Have you ever seen how a snake will stare at a mouse and hypnotize it so that it will hold still for the snake to grab it? From looking at the Hebrew use of the word, and its root and the meanings involved in whether it is a verb or a noun, my guess is that ability to enchant is where the name comes from. So, Eve could have looked at it because of its brightness (another meaning for the word) and found that it was somehow talking to her. She may have been more of an intuitive (than Adam) and receptive to silent signals. After this conversation between Eve and the serpent, she seemed fully convinced that the fruit really would give her some sort of enlightenment or special knowledge. The serpent was exhibiting its own occult knowledge and special abilities that may have helped her to agree with what she was told.
Another meaning from the word translated as "serpent", is whispering, and in a way of casting a spell or enchantment. One way of looking at it could be that it is something only heard by the one being enchanted.
This is what I came up with. I have run across some web sites that promote some other ideas but I have to stick with the idea that it literally was some sort of reptile because of the New Testament references that do not use the Hebrew.
Matthew 7:10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
This verse uses the same word for serpent as the ones in the New Testament that are associated with the Genesis story of the Garden.

Zack702
Oct 25th 2008, 12:45 AM
The problem again with this scenario is, you have to add imagination, & guesswork into the scripture to make it work. Telepathy between humans & animals is nowhere discussed Biblically.

Only by referencing deep prophetic books can you even get close to comming up with the serpent was acctually a fallen angel named satan.

If your willing to believe that God parted oceans for Moses and cause all manner of miracles throughout the bible. Then I think it is very reasonable to accept that a small chat with a animal is a light thing when it comes to God. Just have a look at Balaams little chat with his donkey and you will see that God tested Balaam and used his donkey to show him his folly. Ironic isn't it?

It is obvious that you feel very strongly about this but I think its important to remember that God is allmighty the Lord of Hosts and his angels are his messangers and they have no power except what God bids them.

Diggindeeper
Oct 25th 2008, 05:29 AM
According to the Nov. 2008 Smithsonian Magazine, that I subscribe to and received a few days ago, there were once on earth reptiles much larger and more dominate then any known dinosaurs. Scientists have proof of this.

Here is one such reptile that walked upright and grew up to 68 foot long. We have no clue as to the size of the snake in Adam and Eve's garden, but if it was anywhere close to that, or even half that size...it would not have been entwined on a tree limb. It would have broken down a large tree, much less a limb. But the Bible never says the snake was in a tree, so that is beside the point.

I'm not even hinting at the size of the snake in the garden, (because the Bible gives no hint!) but merely tossing something else out there to think about. This particular one was an ancester of the crocodile, which is MUCH smaller than its ancestors, and these ancestors, like the one below, walked upright. This one was a crurotarsan.


http://media.smithsonianmag.com/images/wildthings_nov08_3.jpg

We have never, in our life time, seen a reptile or snake anywhere near this size. But I just wanted to show more to think about.

I'll hush now, and make my exit. Markdrums, my mind is settled that the Bible says the SNAKE talked to Eve, and she answered it--and listened to it. Call it a metaphor if you like but I won't ever be convinced it was anything other than A SNAKE.

I'm leaving now, but just because I'll not insist on the last word does not mean you have convinced me Eve answered a metaphor...

Bye-bye! :wave:
http://www.smilieland.com/graphics3/tot-ziens04.gif

Ethnikos
Oct 25th 2008, 04:32 PM
Call it a metaphor if you like but I won't ever be convinced it was anything other than A SNAKE.
One thing that I learned while doing searches on the internet for info on this subject, is that you can not even prove that Satan is a fallen angel.
You can believe that and a lot of people do, but serious Bible proof is non-existent. So, if you want to substitute a fallen angel for the serpent, you have to first prove there is a fallen angel.
My personal feeling about the serpent story is that it was to counter the Sumerian belief that the serpent in the Garden was the good one and was actually man's true creator.

Mograce2U
Oct 25th 2008, 10:58 PM
One thing that I learned while doing searches on the internet for info on this subject, is that you can not even prove that Satan is a fallen angel.
You can believe that and a lot of people do, but serious Bible proof is non-existent. So, if you want to substitute a fallen angel for the serpent, you have to first prove there is a fallen angel.
My personal feeling about the serpent story is that it was to counter the Sumerian belief that the serpent in the Garden was the good one and was actually man's true creator.While Moses did not write this story until after the Sumerians had corrupted it makes sense. But the truth was known by the eyewitness who gave his account - Adam. And Noah would have been the one to carry the true story into the post flood world, since he was born some 40 years before Adam died. So the story could only have been corrupted after that. Which does not mean that the truth was not known and kept intact by the faithful.

Ethnikos
Oct 25th 2008, 11:15 PM
...does not mean that the truth was not known and kept intact by the faithful.
I am not saying there is anything wrong with the story. What I think is that the role of the serpent would be rather inconsequential, if it was not for the dominance of the serpent, in the alternative creation stories.

Equipped_4_Love
Oct 26th 2008, 06:04 AM
One thing that I learned while doing searches on the internet for info on this subject, is that you can not even prove that Satan is a fallen angel.

.....neither can we prove that Satan actually exists. We also cannot prove that the Garden of Eden, nor the trees in the Garden, nor Adam and Eve themselves, even existed.
Neither can we prove that Michael the Achangel exists, or for that matter, God Himself.
If we cannot even prove that Satan exists, then how can we prove whether or not he was an angel?

2 Cor. 11:14 .......For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but how can Satan transform himself into an angel of any sort if he were not created as some sort of angelic being? What this verse is saying to me is that he can transform himself from an angel of darkness into an angel of light.
Perhaps I'm reading this verse wrong.

Zack702
Oct 26th 2008, 08:09 AM
2 Cor. 11:14 .......For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.


I'm not sure which bible your using but the KJV reads like this...
14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

It never says anything about Satan transforming himself into anything. It says he is transformed.

Obviously Satan exists but the chapter you posted gives us more insight to who satan is/was?

Paul is explaining his current situation and how he was transformed into a minister of righteousness right ?

I think that the only solid conclusion you can draw from 2 Cor. 11:14 is that sinners can be saved.
I don't think it has anything to do with satan transforming "himself" but rather that God transforms even followers of Satanic ways through the salvation of his chosen Christ

Equipped_4_Love
Oct 26th 2008, 09:00 AM
I'm not sure which bible your using but the KJV reads like this...
14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

It never says anything about Satan transforming himself into anything. It says he is transformed.

Obviously Satan exists but the chapter you posted gives us more insight to who satan is/was?

Paul is explaining his current situation and how he was transformed into a minister of righteousness right ?

I think that the only solid conclusion you can draw from 2 Cor. 11:14 is that sinners can be saved.
I don't think it has anything to do with satan transforming "himself" but rather that God transforms even followers of Satanic ways through the salvation of his chosen Christ

I was using the NKJV. All of the other translations that I cross-referenced use the term masquerades.......Satan masquerades as an angel of light.

As far as the KJV, how would you interpret that? If Satan is transformed, then who is it that transforms him? It seems to me like he transforms himself.

I think the whole point of the verse is that, just as Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light, then his servants can also disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness....and yes, I think the passage is to give believers more insight into who Satan is.

Zack702
Oct 26th 2008, 09:06 AM
I think the whole point of the verse is that, just as Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light, then his servants can also disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness....and yes, I think the passage is to give believers more insight into who Satan is.

But it never says anything about disguising anything.
What it says is that sinners who are followers of satan can actually be saved and be transformed into righteous followers of Jesus.
That is a great question you asked who is transforming satan or who is transforming a sinner. If you ask me there is only one power which can do this and it is God.

Ethnikos
Oct 26th 2008, 01:29 PM
.....neither can we prove that Satan actually exists...If we cannot even prove that Satan exists, then how can we prove whether or not he was an angel?
What happened was that I did a lot of internet serches to find out about the serpent and if anyone believes that it was really just Satan.
I kept running across pages that were saying that the idea that Satan is a fallen Angel, in not provable from the Bible. I did not run across any pages that said they could prove from the Bible that he was.
I tend to be skeptical on things until I see good evidence. I have not researched it out ,specifically on that topic, yet and do not have a solid opinion. But I am trying to be logical and say that one thing obviously should come before the other. We should determine what Satan is, exactly, before substituting in a replacement for what, on its face, seems to be a description of a reptilian creature.

Mograce2U
Oct 26th 2008, 04:18 PM
What happened was that I did a lot of internet serches to find out about the serpent and if anyone believes that it was really just Satan.
I kept running across pages that were saying that the idea that Satan is a fallen Angel, in not provable from the Bible. I did not run across any pages that said they could prove from the Bible that he was.
I tend to be skeptical on things until I see good evidence. I have not researched it out ,specifically on that topic, yet and do not have a solid opinion. But I am trying to be logical and say that one thing obviously should come before the other. We should determine what Satan is, exactly, before substituting in a replacement for what, on its face, seems to be a description of a reptilian creature.Yet in the beginning we are shown a serpent and in the end we are told that Satan is this serpent. What more do we need for scripture to say?

(Rev 12:9) And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

(Rev 20:2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Zack702
Oct 26th 2008, 05:10 PM
"Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it."

Notice it never says anything about slithering on my belly up and down the earth it says clearly walking.

8I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.
9Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be.
10And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.

This is Satan and it mentions no serpent it mentions a manlike figure riding upon a horse and some time before that a man like figure walking.

Can we agree that calling Satan a serpent in revelations is a metaphor?

And if so why do you think they use the word serpent to describe Satan in a metaphor?
What do you think the serpent has done to gain a reputation equal to or worse than Satan?

Equipped_4_Love
Oct 27th 2008, 03:53 AM
But it never says anything about disguising anything.
What it says is that sinners who are followers of satan can actually be saved and be transformed into righteous followers of Jesus.
That is a great question you asked who is transforming satan or who is transforming a sinner. If you ask me there is only one power which can do this and it is God.

But that's exactly what the word masquerade means...to disguise.
The fact that so many translations use the word masquerade seems to indicate to me that Satan transforms himself into this angel of light.....sort of like an actor who transforms himself into the role, in order to make people think that he is something he is not.

Zack702
Oct 27th 2008, 04:03 AM
I know what the word means but it is not in my bible.
Perhaps in this case the KJV has a error?

I am not schooled in the scriptures but I have read the bible a few times and read it at times read over chapters ect. But I have never studied other translations.

Correct me if I am wrong but Paul is the author of this chapter and author of various letters to the churches and his friends that is included in the latter part of the bible right? And isn't this the same Paul who was Saul ? Who was on his way and a beam of light hit him and blinded him and spoke to him? Or am I confusing this author with another Paul?

Equipped_4_Love
Oct 27th 2008, 04:43 AM
"Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it."

Notice it never says anything about slithering on my belly up and down the earth it says clearly walking.

8I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.
9Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be.
10And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.

This is Satan and it mentions no serpent it mentions a manlike figure riding upon a horse and some time before that a man like figure walking.

Can we agree that calling Satan a serpent in revelations is a metaphor?

And if so why do you think they use the word serpent to describe Satan in a metaphor?
What do you think the serpent has done to gain a reputation equal to or worse than Satan?

If I weren't saved, and came across this discussion, I would have just one question....

Why can't the Bible just say what it means? If this is God's Word, why does He have to confuse us with so many metaphors and alternate meanings?

Zack702
Oct 27th 2008, 05:49 AM
Why can't the Bible just say what it means? If this is God's Word, why does He have to confuse us with so many metaphors and alternate meanings?

Well it does. But I do know what you mean.
Truth is we don't need to know any of this stuff. If it was a serpent a dragon a beautiful angel whatever.
All we have to do is have faith in God and treat each other right and spread the word that Jesus saves.

However the bible is interesting and always will be. I took a peak at a few latin vulgate texts that were posted online.
And after a quick glance it appears that the translation of the vulgate could be he transforms himself. However many seam to argue that the latin vulgate itself is full of errors and the greek to english which is KJV is the more accurate translation having used many documented scholars.
To me this is clearly a error either in the KJV or the Vulgate. It really doesn't change much except the meaning. Again here is the verse from KJV and its section with it.

14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 16I say again, let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.

divaD
Oct 27th 2008, 02:49 PM
What it says is that sinners who are followers of satan can actually be saved and be transformed into righteous followers of
Jesus.

2 Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

What you're saying can be possible in general, but it's unrelated to 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. These verses say nothing about followers of satan being transformed into righteous followers of Jesus. These verses tell us their fate, in which whose end shall be according to their works. Paul is talking about false apostles, whom are transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. The same way they are transfoming themselves, by being deceitful workers, this is the same way satan himself is transformed into an angel of light, by being deceiful.

If you recall in this passage, in verse 3, Paul was reminding how Eve was deceived by the serpent. So putting 2 and 2 together, and since this passage discusses Eve and the serpent, then tells us that satan himself is transformed into an angel of light, then my conclusion might be as such..the serpent deceived Eve by being transformed into an angel of light.
The angel that Eve encountered in the garden was heavenly on the outside, but a deadly serpent on the inside.

Why the mention of animals in Genesis ch 3? I'm seriously rethinking my position here, but now I tend to believe that it was to show certain things.

What's one thing that we learn of animals? Man has dominion over them. So, what does it mean when the serpent is cursed above all cattle? It means that the serpent is even lower than that, IOW, the serpent has been reduced to the lowest of lows. And since we already know that man has dominion over the animal kingdom, it now means that man also has dominion over satan, since satan has been reduced in power to that of the animal kingdom, in which man has dominion over. So, how is satan able to do anything at all? By deceit and by transforming himself into an angel of light. This is why we would need to be very careful when we trust spiritual happenings in the church as only being from God. Whoever thinks satan couldn't go to church and also perform spiritual wonders, this person is fooling themself.

Mograce2U
Oct 27th 2008, 04:00 PM
If I weren't saved, and came across this discussion, I would have just one question....

Why can't the Bible just say what it means? If this is God's Word, why does He have to confuse us with so many metaphors and alternate meanings?I think the answer is given here:

(Isa 55:8-11) For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. {9} For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. {10} For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: {11} So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

God speaks with a purity and clarity that is far above our normal base comprehension which is focused only upon earthly things tainted by sin. The metaphorical & figurative language He uses helps us to form a mental picture so that we can grasp the spiritual understanding we need to attain. To have the mind of Christ means we must gain a godly perspective about life and the things we see here - things which are not understood only by what we see in the physical realm, but have their true source in heaven.

It amazes me sometimes that I understand any of it! Which is why we are told that ears to hear and an heart that understands must be given to us by God. What a marvelous gift we are given by the Giver of Life and Light - that we might know Him!

See Ephesians 1 and Paul's prayer for the saints.

Teke
Oct 27th 2008, 04:27 PM
In a different thread, this subject came up as an example, but wasn't the main question. So rather than derail that thread, I thought I'd start one here.

In Genesis, we're told that "The Serpent" beguiled Eve, speaking to her & tricking her into eating the fruit of the "Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil."
I don't believe that this is a literal "talking snake" that slithered up, opened it's mouth & actual words came out. Serpent is a metaphor describing Satan's personality- lying, crafty, smooth talking, deceiving.. etc. It's not telling us what Satan LOOKS like, but what he IS like.
(Just as today, we might call an untrustworthy persaon a "snake in the grass".... )


The Hebrew word (nachash) "serpent" is associated with the hissing sound made. The verb sense of the Hebrew word is in relation to "divination".
I believe the point being made is that no created being has such supernatural powers such as divination (likened to fortune telling).

There is also the ancient understanding of the word in relation to "shining", such as a shining one. Which is why this serpent is also known as the devil, a shinning angel.

It is the deception we are warned of in the NT as well.


2Cr 11:13 For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

2Cr 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

2Cr 11:15 Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

markdrums
Oct 27th 2008, 05:08 PM
The Hebrew word (nachash) "serpent" is associated with the hissing sound made. The verb sense of the Hebrew word is in relation to "divination".
I believe the point being made is that no created being has such supernatural powers such as divination (likened to fortune telling).

There is also the ancient understanding of the word in relation to "shining", such as a shining one. Which is why this serpent is also known as the devil, a shinning angel.

It is the deception we are warned of in the NT as well.


2Cr 11:13 For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

2Cr 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

2Cr 11:15 Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.


That would also be an accurate description of what Satan actually says.... That "hissing sound" contextually meaning "evil" is exactly the message Satan offers. His lie to Eve in the garden is the same thing he says today.
Lies, deceit, temptation.... all the same stuff from that day in the garden.

So again, we find that "serpent" is not a literal physical description..... which is what I've been trying to point out.
:)

Mograce2U
Oct 27th 2008, 05:29 PM
The Hebrew word (nachash) "serpent" is associated with the hissing sound made. The verb sense of the Hebrew word is in relation to "divination".
I believe the point being made is that no created being has such supernatural powers such as divination (likened to fortune telling).

There is also the ancient understanding of the word in relation to "shining", such as a shining one. Which is why this serpent is also known as the devil, a shinning angel.

It is the deception we are warned of in the NT as well.


2Cr 11:13 For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

2Cr 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

2Cr 11:15 Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.Hi Teke,
The other Hebrew words translated as serpent are H5175 nachash; 8579 tanniyn and 8314 saraph. But in the Greek the word is G3789 ophis which is where a serpent is tied to divination and the idea is related as to its keen vision and ability to charm its victims with its gaze.

Just thought I'd add that for this angel of light discussion.

And speaking of shining or brightness, is also an interesting word study for this topic as it is used in scripture - in particular 2 Thes 2:8. There it is describing the brightness of the one coming by the power of Satan which the Lord destroys with the spirit of His mouth. An often overlooked interpretation because of the KJV wording. Ezek 28:7 holds the same context for this angel of light who works evil thru men.

divaD
Oct 27th 2008, 08:27 PM
And speaking of shining or brightness, is also an interesting word study for this topic as it is used in scripture - in particular 2
Thes 2:8. There it is describing the brightness of the one coming by the power of Satan which the Lord destroys with the
spirit of His mouth. An often overlooked interpretation because of the KJV wording. Ezek 28:7 holds the same context for
this angel of light who works evil thru men.



Hi Robin. Where do you get that from this verse?

2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:


Since brightness in this verse means appearance/advent, according to the context, it then only stands to reason, that it is by Christ's appearance at His coming that that Wicked will be destroyed. The last part of the verse is basically saying this, speaking about Christ of course. and shall destroy with the advent of his(Christ's) presence

In the above verse, there are 2 pronouns, namely 'his'. Both of these pronouns are referring to the same person, and that person would be Christ.

If I'm understanding you correctly, by your interpretation, you're making Christ out to be the one that is being destroyed by Christ (which doesn't make sense). You have the last part of this verse attributed to "by the one coming by the power of satan", when the last part of this verse is speaking of Christ's second advent. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you. Am I?

Also, in Ezekiel 28:7, brightness means something entirely different than it does in 2 thess 2:8.

Ethnikos
Oct 27th 2008, 09:06 PM
Just thought I'd add that for this angel of light discussion.
And speaking of shining or brightness, is also an interesting word study for this topic as it is used in scripture - in particular 2 Thes 2:8. There it is describing the brightness of the one coming by the power of Satan which the Lord destroys with the spirit of His mouth. An often overlooked interpretation because of the KJV wording. Ezek 28:7 holds the same context for this angel of light who works evil thru men.
Read Phillipians 2:6 for a good comparison between Jesus the Anti-Christ.

in the form of God (the divine essence is not meant: but the external self-manifesting characteristics of God, the form shining forth from His glorious essence). The divine nature had infinite BEAUTY in itself, even without any creature contemplating that beauty: that beauty was 'the form of God'; http://jfb.biblecommenter.com/philippians/2.htm
Lucifer of Christian myth was a cherub that would have been a sharer in this "divine brightness".
Lucifer chose to use the pride in his beauty to become a god. Jesus left that glorious state, to take the form of a servant.

Zack702
Oct 27th 2008, 10:14 PM
Let me go on here and say in verse 15 2cor 11:15.
Is this not saying that even ministers of Satan shall be converted into ministers of righteousness?
Or am I mistaken?
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

What do these two verses say about one another? Am I blind in this? Please help me.

I asked before hand and let me ask again isn't this the same Paul who was Saul?

The reason I ask is I allways thought this was the same Paul but I never studied it hard enough to know for sure but I think it is the same Paul who was Saul but the way others are interpreting this verse makes me think this is another Paul.
When I read this I tend to lean on that Paul is using himself as a example here but perhaps I am confusing who is who.

In verse 12 and 13 we see Paul is talking about false apostles who are seeking occasion agains him.
12But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.
13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

And Paul is explaining (imo) in verse 14 and 15 that this is no marvel because even the ministers of wickedness have been converted into righteous.

For me it has allways been important not to use what you think you know when reading the bible.
We fool ourselves into believeing ourselves then we add to and take away.
That is why it is important to me to know for sure that this is either the Paul who was Saul or not?

divaD
Oct 27th 2008, 10:49 PM
Let me go on here and say in verse 15 2cor 11:15.
Is this not saying that even ministers of Satan shall be converted into ministers of righteousness?
Or am I mistaken?
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be
according to their works.

What do these two verses say about one another? Am I blind in this? Please help me.




Let's go back to verse 4 first.

2 Corinthians 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.



This verse establishes the context in which Paul will be speaking. We have to interpret verses 13-15 according to verse 4.

2 Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Let me ask you this according to how you're interpreting this. If what you're saying is correct, then why would it be no great thing? Since when would be becoming an apostle of Christ be no great thing, especially if they were prev apostles of Satan? Verses 13-15 are all related to satan. Verse 15 is not saying that satan's ministers have been transformed as the ministers of righteousness by an act of God. This verse is saying just the opposite.

Truly, if I'm in error, I just don't see it.

Teke
Oct 27th 2008, 11:18 PM
That would also be an accurate description of what Satan actually says.... That "hissing sound" contextually meaning "evil" is exactly the message Satan offers. His lie to Eve in the garden is the same thing he says today.
Lies, deceit, temptation.... all the same stuff from that day in the garden.

So again, we find that "serpent" is not a literal physical description..... which is what I've been trying to point out.
:)

It is a literal physical description of one who teaches against that of God.
Another way of putting it would be, he had a charisma about him that caused Eve to believe what he said.


Let me go on here and say in verse 15 2cor 11:15.
Is this not saying that even ministers of Satan shall be converted into ministers of righteousness?
Or am I mistaken?
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

What do these two verses say about one another? Am I blind in this? Please help me.

It is saying there will be charismatic leaders who will lead people to hell. They will be so charismatic so as to deceive even the righteous into believing their lies and deception.
Haven't you ever encountered charismatic Christian leaders who confess Christ yet teach contrary to His teachings. ie. prosperity gospels
Paul is warning the Corinthians not to fall for such deception.

Zack702
Oct 28th 2008, 02:44 AM
Verse 15 is not saying that satan's ministers have been transformed as the ministers of righteousness by an act of God. This verse is saying just the opposite.
Truly, if I'm in error, I just don't see it.

This is why I have been asking you all if this Paul is the same Paul who was Saul.
The same Saul who was indeed transformed by a act of God into a minister of righteousness?
Is this Paul the same Paul who was Saul or not?

As far as this being no great thing. According to my thoughts Paul is saying that because there are righteous ministers who are wicked. Then it is no great thing that there are previously wicked ministers who are now righteous. And in so is he not using himself as the example? Else if not I am confusing this Paul with another forgive me.

Diggindeeper
Oct 28th 2008, 03:25 AM
Yes, Paul was Saul of Tarsus before he was saved, and became a devout follower of Christ Jesus.

Acts 13:6-12
6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:

7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.

8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.

9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.

10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

Zack702
Oct 28th 2008, 03:37 AM
Yea! Thats the one. This is the same author of 2corinthians right?
ACTS8:3-4
3As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
4Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
Verse 4 which is the effects of Saul's havock is that they went and scattered and preached in places that were hidden. At this time Saul was charged with the destruction of the gospel but God worked the mysterious ways.
------------
ACTS9:3-6
3And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must .

markdrums
Oct 28th 2008, 02:09 PM
[quote=Teke;1843116]
Another way of putting it would be, he had a charisma about him that caused Eve to believe what he said.quote]


THAT I agree with 100%
Satan had that beauty & charm about him. The WAY he said what he said sounded very appealing to Eve. He knew how to out-wit her, & cause her to desire something forbidden.

He's no different today than he was back then.
Satan STILL uses the same techniques with us.

markdrums
Oct 28th 2008, 06:04 PM
One other thing to point out, concerning whether the "serpent" was a literal snake or not;

Gen 3:15 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Gen&c=3&v=15&t=KJV#15) And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

We know that Gen 3:15 is speaking metaphorically about God's plan of redemption.

If we assume that the serpent in the garden was a literal, slithering snake, then we would have to interpret Gen 3:15 as Jesus defeating Satan & sin altogether, by literally stepping on the head of an animal, rather than by his sacrifice on the cross.

Know what I mean?

Equipped_4_Love
Oct 29th 2008, 04:41 AM
{10} For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: {11} So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

I don't believe that the purpose God sets out to accomplish is to confuse everyone with metaphors and symbology that no one can really agree on. Why would God use such vague symbolism in an otherwise literal book like Genesis?
Books like Revelation and Isaiah are replete with symbolism...Genesis is not. We must take things in their proper context.....to do otherwise is foolishness, IMO.


The metaphorical & figurative language He uses helps us to form a mental picture so that we can grasp the spiritual understanding we need to attain. To have the mind of Christ means we must gain a godly perspective about life and the things we see here - things which are not understood only by what we see in the physical realm, but have their true source in heaven.
Something should only be taken metaphorically when used in that context. The Genesis account of the fall of man is not a metaphorical account open to interpretation. Why must we always strive to re-interpret the meaning of Scripture? Why is it so difficult for us to take anything God says at face value?

Equipped_4_Love
Oct 29th 2008, 04:47 AM
The Hebrew word (nachash) "serpent" is associated with the hissing sound made. The verb sense of the Hebrew word is in relation to "divination".



I nachash a noun or a verb? In other words, is the word nachash speaking of the serpent itself, or of the sound that it makes? Can't the word nachash be referring to an actual serpent, while giving the connotation of the hissing sound....sort of like our equivalent of the term laughing hyena.

Equipped_4_Love
Oct 29th 2008, 05:08 AM
One other thing to point out, concerning whether the "serpent" was a literal snake or not;

Gen 3:15 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Gen&c=3&v=15&t=KJV#15) And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

We know that Gen 3:15 is speaking metaphorically about God's plan of redemption.

If we assume that the serpent in the garden was a literal, slithering snake, then we would have to interpret Gen 3:15 as Jesus defeating Satan & sin altogether, by literally stepping on the head of an animal, rather than by his sacrifice on the cross.

Know what I mean?

If I'm not mistaken, when God tells Satan:

On your belly you shall go,
and ye shall eat dust
all the days of your life

He is more or less alluding to the future conquest of Satan. It pictures a captive lying face-down with the conquerer's foot on his back, or on his neck.

He shall bruise your head
and you shall bruise His heel

The same scenario is alluded to in Lamentations 5:29:

Let him put his mouth in the dust
There may yet be hope

The one who is conquered puts his mouth in the dust....God is telling Satan that he shall be conquered, and will eat dust, as one who has been defeated.

Anyhow, I believe that is what this is referring to. Even so, this does not discount the fact that Satan took the form of an actual serpent in the Garden of Eden. Why is this so hard to comprehend, when the Bible tells us that demons possessed pigs at the command of Christ?

Why is it so hard to believe that Satan could have possessed a serpent?

Diggindeeper
Oct 29th 2008, 05:24 AM
Satan entered into Judas, who betrayed Jesus with a KISS!

John 13:2 &
2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;


21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.

23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.

24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.

25 He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?

26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.

29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.

markdrums
Oct 29th 2008, 12:40 PM
If I'm not mistaken, when God tells Satan:

On your belly you shall go,
and ye shall eat dust
all the days of your life

He is more or less alluding to the future conquest of Satan. It pictures a captive lying face-down with the conquerer's foot on his back, or on his neck.

He shall bruise your head
and you shall bruise His heel

The same scenario is alluded to in Lamentations 5:29:

Let him put his mouth in the dust
There may yet be hope

The one who is conquered puts his mouth in the dust....God is telling Satan that he shall be conquered, and will eat dust, as one who has been defeated.

Anyhow, I believe that is what this is referring to. Even so, this does not discount the fact that Satan took the form of an actual serpent in the Garden of Eden. Why is this so hard to comprehend, when the Bible tells us that demons possessed pigs at the command of Christ?

Why is it so hard to believe that Satan could have possessed a serpent?


Well, you said previously that Genesis is a book to be taken "literally".... yet you give examples of the metaphors, and understand that they ARE metaphors....

What's so confusing about "serpent" being used to describe Satan's personality & demeanor, rather than physical appearance?
Metaphors don't cloud the context of what the author is saying... they enhance it by giving a relatable comparison.
;)

Diggindeeper
Oct 29th 2008, 04:11 PM
Mark, my friend, time to give up.

markdrums
Oct 29th 2008, 04:38 PM
Mark, my friend, time to give up.

Why is that?
There's nothing unrealistic, or "way out there" that I've said.

How does John describe Satan?
Rev 12:9 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Rev&c=12&v=9&t=KJV#comm/9)And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Satan can't LITERALLY be a dragon AND a serpent. & That's not what John is implying. John is using the dragon as a metaphor and referring back to Genesis, where Moses described him as a serpent.
John is making it explicitly clear that the dragon & the serpent are one in the same. Not by "physicality" but by "personality".

How is that difficult to understand? Or; What doesn't make sense about it?

Teke
Oct 29th 2008, 07:58 PM
I nachash a noun or a verb? In other words, is the word nachash speaking of the serpent itself, or of the sound that it makes? Can't the word nachash be referring to an actual serpent, while giving the connotation of the hissing sound....sort of like our equivalent of the term laughing hyena.

Certainly. :)
What I was attempting to point out is that all of the qualities associated with the word are aspects of this created being.
There is another Hebrew word which clearly means nothing else but a snake, it's used in the account of Moses with Israel in the wilderness and describes the brass serpent on the rod they fashioned for the people to look on and be healed. The "fiery serpents" that bit the people is not the same as either of the two previously mentioned words for serpent, but associates the word "seraphim" with those serpents. And "seraphim" is also the angels which guarded Eden with the fiery swords.
May be a bit more information than you wanted, but I thought I'd provide it nonetheless for speculation of the language being used, as the Hebrew can be somewhat ambiguous in contrast to a more wooden translation in English.
I've studied the Hebrew of the KJV but left off from it to the Greek of the Septuagint. Both are quite interesting. :)

BTW, I agree with your last post before this one to me. We can take scripture at it's face value for meaning. But we do need some understanding with that as these are ancient text we are reading. With that understanding, I agree satan could have entered a snake or appeared as one, if a snake was chosen to be the created being that would deceive Eve. IOW he could take whatever form necessary to deceive us.

Ethnikos
Oct 29th 2008, 09:08 PM
...satan could have entered a snake or appeared as one, if a snake was chosen to be the created being that would deceive Eve. IOW he could take whatever form necessary to deceive us.
Why would God curse the serpent if it was just being possessed?

markdrums
Oct 29th 2008, 09:19 PM
Why would God curse the serpent if it was just being possessed?

I asked that earlier in the thread as well.
God didn't curse the PIGS, when Jesus cast the demons out of the girl who was possessed, & into them.....
In fact, he didn't curse the girl either.

So, to assume a "snake" would be cursed because Satan could have, or might have, or maybe entered it against IT'S will, doesn't seem to fit with other examples in scripture.

Ethnikos
Oct 29th 2008, 09:40 PM
So, to assume a "snake" would be cursed because Satan could have, or might have, or maybe entered it against IT'S will, doesn't seem to fit with other examples in scripture.
Well, no, but you can go two ways. Either it was not possessed, or it was not really a serpent, but something else.
I do not see any evidence for the second choice. The Bible says it was the most subtle of all the creatures. That would be pretty smart and has to be a lot more intelligent than any currently living example. Maybe God decided it was not a good idea to have something like that around.

markdrums
Oct 29th 2008, 11:27 PM
Well, no, but you can go two ways. Either it was not possessed, or it was not really a serpent, but something else.
I do not see any evidence for the second choice. The Bible says it was the most subtle of all the creatures. That would be pretty smart and has to be a lot more intelligent than any currently living example. Maybe God decided it was not a good idea to have something like that around.


The biggest problem with that idea is, it's a "maybe". And then you have God in the position of second guessing himself by "deciding it's not a good idea to leave it around". (Besides, we STILL have snakes today.. so he obviously DID leave them around.)

ANGELS would be more "intelligent" than any "beast of the field"..... which is exactly how scripture describes "the serpent".

And John says the serpent IS Satan.

So, I don't see where the confusion is.

Teke
Oct 30th 2008, 12:21 AM
Why would God curse the serpent if it was just being possessed?

I didn't say for sure it was possessed. I speculated that he can take any form, we don't know how he does it.
The curse was part of the aspect of the serpent, one held in low esteem by God.

markdrums
Oct 30th 2008, 01:05 AM
I didn't say for sure it was possessed. I speculated that he can take any form, we don't know how he does it.
The curse was part of the aspect of the serpent, one held in low esteem by God.

Quick interjection-
"Speculation" concerning scripture can lead to inaccurate interpretations.

Angels cannot take any form they choose. They "appear" to men at times, as seen thougout the Bible, but it's in accordance to what GOD has planned.
Angels have no creative or "magical" powers of their own. They are still limited by their inferiority to God, as being merely created beings.

That's why you're ending up in a self made conundrum, and not able to understand the very thing you're trying to explain.
;)

We ALL need to eliminate the "what-if's" and the "maybes" and the "well, it might be possibles" from our interpretations.

Know what I mean?

Ethnikos
Oct 30th 2008, 03:52 AM
I didn't say for sure it was possessed. I speculated that he can take any form, we don't know how he does it.
The curse was part of the aspect of the serpent, one held in low esteem by God.
I am not being critical about speculating. There is a lot of opportunity for that because of all the different ways of interpreting the word that is translated as "serpent".
It could be that God held the serpent in low esteem, and decided to put it in a low position, physically.

Ethnikos
Oct 30th 2008, 04:38 AM
The biggest problem with that idea is, it's a "maybe". And then you have God in the position of second guessing himself by "deciding it's not a good idea to leave it around". (Besides, we STILL have snakes today.. so he obviously DID leave them around.)
ANGELS would be more "intelligent" than any "beast of the field"..... which is exactly how scripture describes "the serpent".
Just like God decided it was not a good idea to leave Adam and Eve in the Garden, where they would have access to the Tree of Life. God crippled the serpent to being only a crawling thing.
In a couple of versions, it translates as "among" instead of "above".
Check it out on http://www.oldtestamentstudies.net/ they do a transliteration of the Hebrew and seem to know what they are doing.
Also the Douay-Rheims Bible translates it that way, though it comes from the Vulgate, in this example.

Hawkins
Oct 30th 2008, 08:39 AM
Of course, these things could be literal and figurative both.

What are we to make of the curse: "...on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust..."?

Likewise, figurative pictures of Christ became literal at His incarnation.

Most likely it is both.

Jude 1:9
But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"

Revelation 20:2
He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years


My theory/speculation is like this,
Hades is a space/dimension somehow surrounding/overlapping with Earth, actually "Earth" could mean "Planet Earth + Hades" (= earthly ruled by Satan, god of "this world" = earth+hades). So the serpent is biting the dust of Earth (from Hades). Moreover, your soul will be in hades naturally after leaving your body.

Teke
Oct 30th 2008, 01:51 PM
Quick interjection-
"Speculation" concerning scripture can lead to inaccurate interpretations.

Angels cannot take any form they choose. They "appear" to men at times, as seen thougout the Bible, but it's in accordance to what GOD has planned.
Angels have no creative or "magical" powers of their own. They are still limited by their inferiority to God, as being merely created beings.

That's why you're ending up in a self made conundrum, and not able to understand the very thing you're trying to explain.
;)

We ALL need to eliminate the "what-if's" and the "maybes" and the "well, it might be possibles" from our interpretations.

Know what I mean?

Yeah, and that is quite a bit of speculation you have there yourself. :lol:
I don't see myself in a "conundrum". Created beings interact, thereby, using other created beings for their purposes.

If Genesis had been written in another time, the being may have been something else. It's a pictographic example which explains aspects, but not the being itself fully. This is not unusual in ancient text, as they derived from pictographic influenced thought. As I stated in a previous post, if the writer actually intended to mean a literal snake as we see in the creatures of creation, there was a better Hebrew word that meant nothing more than an actual snake.

Sure angels appeared to people, but we have no idea what they looked like. Angels are considered messengers by a general definition. They may not have "magical powers" or "creative" powers, but they do possess a power of their own which is similar to ours in that it interacts with other created beings.

I agree as you said, "They are still limited by their inferiority to God, as being merely created beings."

I'm merely going from the "created beings" point as a foundation for the subject. The devil has been allowed to do what he does. Look at Job and Paul. In Job he "came with them" shows his dependence on God as all other created beings, though he is likely like a blind man before God, a being who can't see the sun for his blindness even though it is before him.

We know that when sin is present is his most opportune time. Scripture teaches us that there are two ways the devil influences the human heart. Through ideas or thoughts and through conceptual images (2 Cor. 10:5).
With Judas, Satan has done his work in both areas. Christians are to learn to reject thoughts and images suggested by the devil the instant they occur. Judas cooperated with the devil's will and carried it out. In his case he was not a victim, but a co conspirator.

A picture of spiritual conflict is drawn for us in scripture. We are clearly taught of this conflict, this spiritual warfare, in the NT. That the devil is present in the garden indicates that Adam and Eve had to face such spiritual conflict as well.
So would we conclude their battle as a failure. I say nay, as God was with them and helped them as He does for us all to this day. That they faced the battle is relevant. That their loss was fatal is tragic, but not without merit. Because it was their weakness which God showed mercy to, in planning to send His Son through them. Adam and Eve begin the genealogy of Jesus Christ in scripture. And they also are the beginning of mankind's part in that battle.

Paradoxical as it may seem, weakness is what God uses against such strength as that of evil. :saint:

markdrums
Oct 30th 2008, 02:17 PM
Yeah, and that is quite a bit of speculation you have there yourself. :lol:
I don't see myself in a "conundrum". Created beings interact, thereby, using other created beings for their purposes.

If Genesis had been written in another time, the being may have been something else. It's a pictographic example which explains aspects, but not the being itself fully. This is not unusual in ancient text, as they derived from pictographic influenced thought. As I stated in a previous post, if the writer actually intended to mean a literal snake as we see in the creatures of creation, there was a better Hebrew word that meant nothing more than an actual snake.

Sure angels appeared to people, but we have no idea what they looked like. Angels are considered messengers by a general definition. They may not have "magical powers" or "creative" powers, but they do possess a power of their own which is similar to ours in that it interacts with other created beings.

I agree as you said, "They are still limited by their inferiority to God, as being merely created beings."

I'm merely going from the "created beings" point as a foundation for the subject. The devil has been allowed to do what he does. Look at Job and Paul. In Job he "came with them" shows his dependence on God as all other created beings, though he is likely like a blind man before God, a being who can't see the sun for his blindness even though it is before him.

We know that when sin is present is his most opportune time. Scripture teaches us that there are two ways the devil influences the human heart. Through ideas or thoughts and through conceptual images (2 Cor. 10:5).
With Judas, Satan has done his work in both areas. Christians are to learn to reject thoughts and images suggested by the devil the instant they occur. Judas cooperated with the devil's will and carried it out. In his case he was not a victim, but a co conspirator.

A picture of spiritual conflict is drawn for us in scripture. We are clearly taught of this conflict, this spiritual warfare, in the NT. That the devil is present in the garden indicates that Adam and Eve had to face such spiritual conflict as well.
So would we conclude their battle as a failure. I say nay, as God was with them and helped them as He does for us all to this day. That they faced the battle is relevant. That their loss was fatal is tragic, but not without merit. Because it was their weakness which God showed mercy to, in planning to send His Son through them. Adam and Eve begin the genealogy of Jesus Christ in scripture. And they also are the beginning of mankind's part in that battle.

Paradoxical as it may seem, weakness is what God uses against such strength as that of evil. :saint:

:)
Nice post!!
I can agree with pretty much all of it.

However, I don't see my explanation as speculating.... Looking at the mention of Satan & "serpent" in other passages of scripture, it's a good indication of what the context of "serpent" should be.

You're correct that WE don't know what angels look like.... but I don't think that has any bearing on Biblical interpretation....

Otherwise, I fully agree with the rest.... and being in Spiritual Warfare.

We may not fully agree with what "serpent" means in Genesis 3.... but we both have the same views on the consequence of the fall.
:)

Teke
Oct 30th 2008, 02:36 PM
Full agreement isn't as necessary as mutual understanding for fellowship. :):hug:

markdrums
Oct 30th 2008, 03:11 PM
Full agreement isn't as necessary as mutual understanding for fellowship. :):hug:

So true!!
:)

There ARE things we as believers can debate without having to divide over.

God Bless you my friend!!

Hawkins
Oct 31st 2008, 01:15 AM
A picture of spiritual conflict is drawn for us in scripture. We are clearly taught of this conflict, this spiritual warfare, in the NT. That the devil is present in the garden indicates that Adam and Eve had to face such spiritual conflict as well.
So would we conclude their battle as a failure. I say nay, as God was with them and helped them as He does for us all to this day. That they faced the battle is relevant. That their loss was fatal is tragic, but not without merit. Because it was their weakness which God showed mercy to, in planning to send His Son through them. Adam and Eve begin the genealogy of Jesus Christ in scripture. And they also are the beginning of mankind's part in that battle.

Paradoxical as it may seem, weakness is what God uses against such strength as that of evil. :saint:

I agree. I think that angels are also ranked, some may be given strong power such as Michael. I even suspect that some of them may choose to leave their own position to train their own power (of various kinds) up to be more powerful, those are the fallen angels being chained in the darkness.

Moreover, it is said that the sons of God marrying human women gave birth to giants, which is also a sign that certain angels could have been trained to be physically strong.

It's not a problem for God to destroy them in any minute, physicall. The spiritual war is rather a spiritual fighting for human souls. To the devil and by his self-deceit, he thinks that he could win by getting as many human souls from God as possible, though he knew clearly that he could never win God especially physically speaking. God on the hand wants the best (wheat but not weed), that is, His Christians/Sheep to be saved through the narrow gate.

Alaska
Oct 31st 2008, 06:41 AM
The serpent that we know today must have not "gone" on his belly at the beginning after he was created. Perhaps it went with part of his body upright as the cobra does when it raises itself. 'Eating dust' and its face on the ground as it goes, would be different than the hinder part of its body slithering but the front part erect.

After the Devil, who is a spirit, entered into this created-by-God creature, the serpent, and spoke through it and was successful in his plan, the literal serpent, who Satan spoke through, was cursed to go on its belly.
This was a literal serpent going on its literal belly like the literal woman being cursed with literal sorrow in childbearing. So pain in childbearing would also not be in the world had it not been for that old Serpent's trickery to get mankind to disobey and eat the literal fruit from that literal tree that literally gave them the knowledge of good and evil.

They did not have the concept of good and evil before eating that fruit. The foregone conclusion that if they did receive that knowledge they would then sin, made the receiving it and the sentence of death upon that disobedience of eating it in the first place simultaneous.

Ethnikos
Nov 1st 2008, 02:43 PM
Here is something I found while researching the Natives of the area that I lived in, in California.


There is in existence among these Indians the following singular tradition in relation to the creation of the world; - That, previous to its creation, all was chaos, and darkness; that two beings were suspended in the air in a bag, from whence they came nothing is known. On alighting upon the dark mass, a dispute arose between them in relation to the period of man's life time. One of these beings, or Gods, called by them Mukata, contended that man should live forever; the other, Temeyota, was in favor of a limited period of life. The latter, being the most powerful, prevailed, whom they worship as their Deity, and believe to be underground in the east; the former is the evil spirit, and lives in the bowels of the earth; that Mukata took from his bosom the Sun, and Temeyota the Moon and Stars from his. These luminaries having escaped from their grasp, the dark mass immediately separated and formed Heaven and Earth, in which they took the position they now occupy. These Gods then made themselves wives of mud, and breathed the breath of life into them. One had a son, and the other a daughter, which were joined in marriage, from which source sprung the inhabitants of this earth. They next created the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, and every living creature out of mud, and breathed life into them, and bade them go and seek such food as was created for their use. They believe that the Deity Temeyota is lying under the earth, on his back, and when fatigued by his position, moves, in order to relieve himself, which movement causes the earth to quake; that should he turn entirely over the earth would be overturned and destroyed. http://www.sandiegohistory.org/journal/76winter/lovell.htm
Notice there is a dispute between these two gods about how long people should live. That is reminiscent of the serpent saying "thou shalt not surely die", and God driving them out of the Garden, so they would not live forever.