Gen 3:15 (snakes)

John Ronning ronning at
Wed Dec 1 14:39:26 EST 1999

Noel O'Riordan wrote:
> What deception occurred, from the text it is clear that the serpent did not
> deceive anyone, he merely put a temptation in front of Eve ( and possibly
> Adam for the text could be read as inferring that he was present throughout
> the whole thing, it certainly does not rule it out. )  It is only through
> interpreting Death as being either the Death of Innocence or that one of
> Gods days was a 'thousand years' that you could argue that the Serpent
> deceived anyone.

I think you're confusing two issues.  One issue is whether
the Lord's threat "On the day you eat of it you shall surely
die" came true.  But the serpent did not say "you won't die
on the day you eat of it" but rather "you surely won't die"
or (as some might argue), "you won't surely die."  Either is
a lie from the father of lies, immitated by his "offspring"
Cain when the Lord asked him "where is Abel your brother?" 
and he answered "I don't know."

> The serpent . . . certainly did not murder, 

The serpent took premeditated, calculated action which any
rational being would know that if successful would bring 
about the death of Adam and Eve, and succeeded.  
I think that would classify him as a murderer by any
reasonable definition.

> yes he was cursed just like Adam and Eve.

Adam and Eve were not cursed, but "cursed are you" spoken to
the serpent is repeated verbatim to Cain in the next

> > and morally unlike his biological parents (he never confessed to his sin
> but only complained);
> Well when you talk of morals consider that Adam tried to shift the blame to
> Eve, and Eve shifted it to the Serpent, not exactly paragons of contriteness,
> in this you can say that Adam and Eve never confessed either.

Sorry but both Adam and Eve did confess and answered the
Lord's questions truthfully (the blameshifting I agree is
blameworthy but the contrast with Cain is nevertheless quite

To Adam "Where are you?" Answer (truthfully) "I heard the
sound of you and I was afraid and hid."
To Cain "Where is Abel your brother?"  Answer (lying) "I
don't know."

To Adam "Did you eat..."  Answer "... I ate."
To Eve "What is this you have done?" Answer "... I ate."
To Cain "What is this you have done? ..." Answer "My
punishment is too great to bear."  Quite different, don't
you agree?

John Ronning

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