Talking serpent - what is it actually

Dear All,

I would like to discuss this very commonly discussed topic. Many (including Christians) are skeptical over a talking serpent that deceived Eve in Eden. Could there be a possible rational and biblical explanation? I assume we should look at how the word serpent translates in Hebrew.

Responses are welcomed.

Thank you


I have recently finished a reading of a book @Jimmy_Sellers referred called “The unseen realm” by Michael S. Heiser.
It is packed full of content so I am going to read it again and again. He addresses your question in a link I found. I think you will find it interesting.
Would love to hear your thoughts on Michael S. Heiser’s reply to the question.


here is a link to Heiser’s website with a very detailed discussion on the nachash (serpent) of Gen 3

This is from the above link bullet point 2:

In case there is any confusion, my position on the nachash (“serpent”) of Genesis 3 is best summarized in terms of what I am saying and not saying.

  • I believe the nachash of Genesis 3 was a divine being. The New Testament makes this explicitly clear (Rev. 12:9; 20:2). The fact that the Old Testament does not use the term saṭan of the serpent in the garden does not hinder this view. Rather, it is consistent with it. My claim is not that Ezekiel 28 draws upon a tale about a being called Satan. It doesn’t because that word doesn’t occur in Genesis 3. Rather, my claim is that Ezekiel 28 draws upon a story about a divine being who rebelled against divine authority. The nachash exhibits properties of divinity familiar to anyone in the ancient world (e.g., the serpent speaks) and he obviously rebels against God’s decision to include humans in his divine abode (Eden).

  • I am not arguing that nachash should not be translated “serpent.” It is not the translation that matters, but the recognition that the story is not about a mere animal. The serpent is actually a divine being. Rather, I am suggesting that, to literate readers of the Hebrew Bible, the lemma nachash would have (intentionally so) brought to mind other elements of the cognitive framework of the original readers: the dispensing of divine knowledge (the verb form) and luminescence ( nachash is of the same root as nechoshet [“copper, bronze”] in biblical Hebrew). With respect to the latter, given the Babylonian / Aramaic context for other portions of Genesis 1-11 (see Chapters 12-15 in The Unseen Realm ), it is worth noting that Aramaic n-ch-sh also means “copper, shining bronze,” evoking the same sense of radiance or brilliance. A recent article in the Journal of Biblical Literature draws attention to one aspect of the wordplay for which I am arguing: Duane Smith, “The Divining Snake: Reading Genesis 3 in the Context of Mesopotamian Ophiomancy,” JBL 134:1 (Spring 2015): 31-49. The abstract reads in part: “With several well-attested examples of polysemy and alliteration in Gen 2–3, ancient authors and readers no doubt perceived an unstated relationship between נָחָָשׁ (“snake”) and נַחַַשׁ (“divination”).”

I would like to add that in order for this to make sense you need to understand that Heiser is a proponent of the Divine Council of God. To learn more go to this link here.

Looking forward to your comments and thoughts.

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@sig thank you for the link. That’s really an eye-opener. It really makes sense when you go by the actual language the scripture was written. So I guess most of the contradictory arguments could be resolved if the Bible is read in its original language. I mean any translations can convey the message of grace but reading it in its own language makes it more clear. It’s like watching on movie normal TV vs. 3D TV.