ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Who is the serpent in Genesis?

Updated on January 23, 2016

An examination of a literal interpretation:

It is common to believe that Satan was a literal snake who lost it's legs and had to crawl on it's belly for the rest of it's life, on the other hand, it is surprising to find an uncommon interpretation with a thorough analysis. If everything that God made is good, why would the embodiment of evil dwell within a snake? It would not be harmful to carefully study our belief's to see if it is undoubtedly in accordance with God's word.

Our study begins in Gen. 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?" The word "Serpent" (Strongs #5175) in Hebrew is "nachash." It's root word is "nachash" which means "to practice Divination, to hiss a magic spell." In the ancient near east, Serpents were symbols of chaos and evil, but also symbols of wisdom. It is also noted that there is a common motif throughout the history of humanity. For instance, the phrase "You're a snake!" means that the person is a cunning and dishonest person. Does this mean that it is derived from a literal snake? Lets examine the literal interpretation.

We shouldn't strictly interpret it literally because it isn't consistent with other passages of scripture. Our conclusion would be that Satan is a snake who deceived man and was lost it's legs as a punishment. This is in complete contradiction with other verses depicting him as a spiritual being.

An alternate interpretation is that the serpent was possessed by Satan, but this is also not biblical because the text says that the serpent was more crafty than all of god's creatures which means that God did not create it. It also would not be the serpent's fault for causing man to sin since animals do not have a soul or a conscience.

Moreover, Genesis 3:15 says "And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel." This is speaking about Jesus who would descend from the physical line of Adam. The serpent's offspring would be those who are spiritually against God's elect as explained in 1 John 3. It is not speaking about a physical breed of evil snakes. God did not create animals with the natural ability to speak in human language, except in numbers 22:28. There is more evidence that the serpent was an allegorical figure.

In conclusion:

The serpent in genesis was never a literal snake, but the malicious conjurer of deceit identified as Satan. The snake was a motif used to symbolize his craftiness and treacherous nature in creating lies because he is the father of lies (John 8:44.)


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)