Gen 3:15 (snakes)

Noel O'Riordan nor at iol.ie
Wed Dec 1 14:49:52 EST 1999


In responce to George and Dave


> Excuse me?  God says "Eat it and you will die" and the snake
> says "No you won't."  That's about as flagrant a deception as there
> is.

'For in it the day that you eat of it you shall die' Gen. 2:17  The text
tells us that they will die 'on that day'

God did not say that on that day you will become mortal, or that
'eventually' you will die, he clearly states that they will die 'on that
day'

This did not happen, it is only with later interpretation that this problem
has been removed by considering the day to be one of Gods days,
traditionally put at 1000 years, or as being some symbolic statement.

That Adam and Eve were Immortal at any time is not attested to anywhere in
the text, the texts concerning the tree of life suggest to me that they were
not.

In fact to Adam and Eve God must have seemed like the Liar, the prohibition
may not have meant all that it has become to mean today, maybe they thought
that the fruit was poison and would kill them there and then, this of course
making it easier for Adam to eat as he saw that it had not killed Eve.

When God does get down to Adam and Eves punishment, he concentrates on Adams
labors with the soil and Eve's pains of childbirth.  The idea of death here
seems secondary.  Plus when you factor in the tree of life and Gods fear
that they might eat of it then we move further away again from the idea that
2:17 must  not be read literally.

That 2:17 and what transpired are in opposition to each other does cause
problems, but it is only if you push a theology onto the text that you can
resolve the conflict and even then there is no agreement as to what the
theology is.

We are reading this text with the complex theological background that has
enveloped it in the back of our minds, some of these interpretations are no
doubt correct but lets be careful about investing the text with too much
symbolism

I may be accused of being over simplistic, a charge that in many ways I also
level at myself, but the claim that the Serpent deceived is certainly more
than open to question


Oh by the way, I admire your affection for snakes Dave, but Im afraid you
are in the minority :-)  There's none here in Ireland, St Patrick got rid of
them years ago, he must have changed the climate or something:-)


Regards
Noel O Riordan





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