Gen 3:15 (was New Subscriber)

peter_kirk at sil.org peter_kirk at sil.org
Mon Nov 29 20:37:09 EST 1999


Let's say that I was deliberately over-reacting to Michael's excesses. 
Yes, the snake (like Balaam's donkey) does show some unusual 
capabilities, in its speech and its craftiness (3:1). I'm not sure 
about knowledge of divine and human matters beyond words which it 
could have overheard (2:16-17 referred to in 3:1) and a theology of 
its own devising (3:4-5). But in my opinion any such identification as 
Cain as the seed of the snake goes beyond the plain meaning of the 
text into theological speculation or at least typology (which does not 
mean that I reject it). After all, in the text Cain is the biological 
descendant not of the snake but of the woman and her husband (4:1).

Peter Kirk


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Gen 3:15 (was New Subscriber)
Author:  <ronning at nis.za> at Internet
Date:    28/11/1999 22:21


peter_kirk at sil.org wrote:
>
>
> Who is "thy seed" in Genesis 3:15, when YHVH is speaking to Satan? 
>
> PK: Note that in Hebrew the addressee is not Satan, not even some 
> special "serpent", but an ordinary snake [NFXF$].

Peter, do "ordinary" snakes speak and have knowledge of 
divine and human matters?

> Surely the seed of
> Eve and the seed of the snake are simply all future generations of
> humanity and all future generations of snakes. I have not noticed even 
> today a general friendly relationship between humanity and snakes, the 
> latter still bite the heels of former and the former still smash the
> heads of the latter. This is I think the primary meaning of this
> passage. There may be other typological meanings, but they go beyond 
> this Hebrew text.

That would probably be Adam's initial take also, but take 
note of the next chapter where the predicted enmity is first 
found (between Cain and Abel), and Cain is modelled after 
the serpent of Genesis 3 in at least three ways (he is a 
liar, a murderer, and is cursed).  The serpent's seed is 
thus not snakes but the wicked; thus the snake is more than 
a snake (which is also indicated by several other 
considerations).

Regards,

John

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