Who created the serpent in Genesis?

Did God create the serpent in Genesis? Was it created just to deceive man?
Or had the serpent coexisted with God all along?

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@Shanti There are some things we do not know in regard to this story. What we do know is that the serpent was a creature created by God that chose to deceive. I do not think that the serpent was created specifically to deceive. Some believe that the accuser, the satan, was working through the serpent. Others believe that the serpent was the satan.

You may find some of the following resources helpful :slight_smile:

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Hi @Shanti, thank you for the question. My grandson asked me this question a few weeks ago.
I found this article interesting, hope it helps :slightly_smiling_face:

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I have often wondered why no one thought that a talking snaking was a bit usual but a talking snake that that could challenge the intellect is really amazing. Unless I am mistaken the only other incident of a talking animal was Balaam and the donkey Numbers 22 and it was Yahweh that opened the mouth of the donkey. There is another view of who or what the serpent was. keep in mind I am not in any way casting doubt on the fall just trying to understand it in context.

The Serpent in Genesis

The word satan does not occur anywhere in Genesis 3; rather, the word translated “serpent” is nachash. Hence, the two terms are never co-identified in the Old Testament. But just because the serpent (nachash) is not called satan does not mean that the serpent was not a divine being. The Hebrew term satan may refer to either a human or a divine being, depending on the context. Likewise, nachash—though typically referring to a snake—has nuances which allow for multiple meanings.

When nachash functions as a noun, it means “snake.” But the root consonants of the word also form the Hebrew verb that means “to conjure” or “practice divination” (see 2 Kgs 21:6; Gen 30:27; 44:5). Nachash in Genesis 3 can be interpreted in this light, and understood as “the conjurer.” Since the practice of divination aimed to solicit and dispense divine knowledge, the context of Genesis 3 is consistent with this possibility. However, technical grammatical reasons make this interpretation unlikely.

The root consonants are also the basis for words that refer to shining metals, such as bronze—a description used elsewhere in the Old Testament for divine beings (see Ezek 1:14–16, 27–28; Dan 10:6; compare Matt 28:3; Rev 10:1). For example, Ezekiel 28:13 contains an “anointed cherub” figure, who inhabits the garden of Eden. If this figure is a divine being, there may be a link between that figure’s brilliant, shining appearance and the root consonants of nachash in Genesis 3. Consequently, the word nachash may refer to a “shining one” in the garden of Eden—a divine being who conversed with Eve and deceived her.

Since Eden seems to be God’s temple and abode, the “shining one” option represents a viable interpretation. It also helps explain why Eve is not surprised when the nachash speaks to her. The primary obstacle to this perspective is the possible inter-relationship between Genesis 3, Ezekiel 28, and Isaiah 14: both Ezekiel and Isaiah describe Eden and the cosmic rebellion without reference to a snake.

New Testament Conflation of Terms

In the book of Revelation, the term satan and the serpent (nachash) of Genesis 3 are conceptually merged. The correlation is logical: The serpent was the original “opposer” (“adversary”; satan) of God’s kingdom on earth. As such, the nachash was perceived as the original enemy, the Grand Adversary (satan). However, when this correlation developed is less apparent. A number of non-biblical Jewish writings prior to the birth of Jesus developed a rich tradition about the Grand Adversary. Some of these texts used “Satan” as a proper noun in referring to that enemy; New Testament writers did as well.

MICHAEL S. HEISER

Heiser, M. S. (2012, 2016). Satan in the Old Testament and the Serpent of Genesis 3. In Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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Thank you @Jimmy_Sellers @sig @SeanO
I took some time to read and listen to the sources that you’ve shared. They’ve all been really helpful. :blush:

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