25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
The serpent (Nachash) was even given a name by Adam. Genesis 2:19-20
This beast was made with “reasoning ability” as it was more cunning than ANY creature and it was ABOVE all other created beasts. It could Speak and had the necessary organs to allow it to do so. Plus, it was able to WALK erect and had (at a minimum) at least FOUR limbs.
These are amazing facts for us to think about concerning the appearance and ability of Nachash’s original physical and mental abilities. Bible Study Tools states the following.
“…the woman (Eve) no doubt having often seen him (the Nachash) walk erect, talk, and reason, and therefore she testifies no kind of surprise when he accosts her in the language related in the text..” (Adam Clarke Commentary on Genesis 3:1)
“Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on Genesis 3:14 shares: “If these words are not to be robbed of their entire meaning, they cannot be understood in any other way than as denoting that the form and movements of the serpent (Nachash) were altered..”
John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes share, “Upon thy belly shalt thou go – No longer upon feet, or half erect,, but thou shalt crawl along..”
Whatever the Nachash was that deceived Eve, it certainly does line up with what we know as a snake or serpent in our world today.
I also have questions about whether Satan entered the Nachash or the Nachash was just in agreement with Satan. I don’t believe that Satan manifested himself as the Nachash, however, I am reminded of the verse in Matthew 16:23:
Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of men.” WEB
Another version, God’s Word Translation says this:
But Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get out of my way, Satan! You are tempting me to sin. You aren’t thinking the way God thinks but the way humans think.”
Peter was not Satan, but this implies the things he was thinking and saying were being influenced by the thoughts of Satan. Could the same thing have happened to the Nachash or more importantly, could the same thing happen to us?
Rembrandt, the famous painter from the 17th century Renaissance did an etching in 1638 which portrays a slightly more accurate Biblical scene of the “temptation of man” than the depiction we are most familiar with. He shows an animal, with legs, tempting Eve.
The most compelling reason for us not to believe Eve was tempted by a being that we call the snake today is, it would mean Yahweh’s CURSE upon this beast would be meaningless! Going to Genesis 3:14 HBFV
“Because you have done this you are cursed above all livestock, and above every animal of the field. You shall go upon your belly, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life….”
God cursed this creature with a punishment that was ABOVE all the livestock and animals of the field (which by the way all had limbs) by having it’s means of transporting (moving) itself CHANGED to crawling on it’s belly;
If the beast who deceived Eve was a snake, then wouldn’t the curse it received be redundant and meaningless, as it was already slithering on the ground to move! Think about that. It would also mean that Yahweh originally created a “cursed” land animal, when it says He made all creatures good (Genesis 1:21-25). God declared ALL the animals he made were “very good”, meaning “all livestock” and “every animal of the field” were not cursed in anyway.
So, the beast that deceived Eve could not have been a snake. The Nachash Satan used had the natural ability to speak, had certain reasoning (cunning) abilities, and could transport itself using its limbs.
The enemy of our souls know the perfect means to encourage disobedience and sin in humans (us). With Judas:
Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. Luke 22:3.
And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; John 13:2
The punishment which the “Nachash” received dramatically changed it from a walking, talking and reasoning creature to one that slithers, hisses and has only brute instinct. To my knowledge in our world today, there is no animal which represents the Nachash. It could well be, the Nachash who spoke in the Garden of Eden to Adam and Eve, has ceased to exist. What do you think?
Next Part Two: What About Genesis 3:15
Filed under: by Becca Card
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