The Fall Part I

Temptation scene, Sistine Chapel Ceiling – Michelangelo, 1508-12

Genesis 3: 1-5 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of  it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil (ASV 1901).

The serpent (Hebrew nachash) is here introduced into Scripture for the first time as the one who brings temptation. The serpent is an actual serpent which Satan the adversary of God and mankind indwelt to communicate with the woman. We see the same intimate pairing of Satan and the serpent in the New Testament in at least three locations (II Corinthians 11:3; Revelation 12: 9 and 20: 2). Rabbinical theology affirms the truth of this actual pairing of Satan and the serpent. This is not some quaint myth. This further instructs us to the Wiles of the Devil. He comes in disguise to tempt. In Hebrew, words are formed from a root of three letters. The foundation of the “root” for many Hebrew words yields words that are similar in nature. For example the Hebrew words to rule malach, king, melech and kingdom, malkoot all have the same three-root letters  Mem, Lamed and Kaf Sofiet. The word nachash is the same with the following three letters as the root נָ חָ שׁ: Nun Chet and Shin. From these three root letters the Hebrew language morphs into many words that have a similar nature in addition to the exact same root. The Hebrew word for bronze is nechoshet. In Numbers 21: 9 Moses made a bronze serpent to put and end to the snakes that were killing the children of Israel because they spoke out against Gods plan for them. The Hebrew word nechoshet nachash means a bronze serpent. Jesus referred to this life saving nechoshet nachash in John 3: 14-15 when He identified with it was as Himself being the savior of the world. We see how the various terms have multiple ties to different passages in the Bible. The serpent is no different. It has the quality for the etymology of the Hebrew words as being shiny or luminous. The Hebrew word for the bronze serpent became nechushtan in II Kings 18: 4, which also has the same three root letters. This idea is carried out into the New Testament where Satan is cast as an angel of light (II Corinthians 11: 14). The root letters (word) also morph into a verb meaning, “to practice divination” or “observe astrological signs” as in Genesis 30: 27, 44: 5, 15; Leviticus 19: 26; Deuteronomy 18: 10). This gives us further insight of the nature of the serpent and Satan first introduced in the plain text. Ancient pagan Near Eastern divination frequently made use of a serpent.

Read more

1 2 3