A Snake In The Garden Of Eden?

Snake

It’s Not What You Think

Oftentimes, I hear mentioned that the serpent in Genesis 3 is merely a talking snake, that, somehow Lucifer spoke though (ventriloquism?), or it was actually him in the form of a slithery snake, something along these lines. After all, some Bible translations do in fact say snake and is mentioned as being more subtle or crafty than any beast of the field. The vernacular seemingly alludes to just another animal in the garden that’s just a little bit more clever than the others. Is this the case though?

Lets look at the Hebrew. To accurately determine what this snake was, it’s beneficial to cite the language that the Old Testament was mostly written in, Hebrew. I don’t speak, read, or write Hebrew, but I’ll introduce you to someone that does. His name is Dr. Michael Heiser. Dr. Heiser is a Ph. D. in Hebrew Bible and Semitic Languages and the Academic Editor of the Logos Bible Software. He says that the root of the nachash can be rendered three ways according to its use of noun, verb, and adjective. [1]

Noun: serpent
Verb: to deceive or to divine = practice of divination
Adjective: to shine, shining one

So, when we put this all together we have, a serpentine being, that shines, who is a deceiver. Does this describe a talking garden snake? I think not. A cross reference to this serpentine being that shines is in Isaiah 14:12 where there’s mention of Lucifer, meaning bright and morning star. In Numbers 21:8 God told Moses to make a “fiery serpent” (saraph) and in verse 9 it mentions him making a nachash of brass [2]. The two words appear to be interchangeable, or at least in a similar class.

According to one of the Hebrew definitions, a saraph means fiery, as in poisonous coming from the root to burn or set on fire. It also says that a saraph, seraphim plural, are majestic beings with 6 wings, human hands or voices in attendance upon God. [3] Another concordance says that a saraph is a symbolical creature who’s burning (shining) is as the color copper. [4] In the ancient world there are numerous legends of people talking to serpentine beings that shine. Perhaps we’ll discuss this in a later article.

 

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Endnotes

1. Mike Heiser: Genesis 6 Hybrids, Sons of God, Nephilim (Ancient of Days Conference, date unknown)

2. (King James Version) Numbers 21:8-9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent (śârâph), and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent (nâchâsh) of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of  brass, he lived.

3. Brown-Driver- Biggs’ Hebrew definitions (on eSword)

4. Strongs Concordance (on eSword)

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