In the Likeness of a Serpent

 

Isaiah gives an interesting and relevant description that speaks clearly, I think, of Adam in Genesis.
‘… YeHoWaH will cut off from Israel both head and tail, … the elders and dignitaries (honorable men) are the head, the prophets who teach lies are the tail. Those who guide this people mislead them, and those who are guided are led astray (swallowed up/engulfed).’ Isaiah 9:14-16

(At first, I read this as being an animal with a head and tail but looking at the Hebrew for the word translated as ‘astray (1104)‘ I realised this as being a snake’s mode of devouring prey. Also confirming was the absence of any mention of other body parts ie legs, arms in its description. So with that in mind we continue…)

 

Isaiah portrayed a snake: consisting of the highly regarded men and those who speak false words of God -to the demise of any following, who are inevitably swallowed. The word translated ‘mislead’ (maṯ-‘îm מתעים) can also be translated – deceived or seduced. In Genesis 3, Adam is both the ‘honourable man’/elder and also the ‘prophet’ as the command (given by him to the woman) was given and accepted as being the very words of God.
Other scripture reinforces the nature of a serpent as of those with lying lips, to the ruin of others, thus doing violence to YeHoWaH Elohim’s likeness in creation.

‘…These who speak lies go astray from birth. They have venom like the venom of a serpent…’ – Psalm 58:3,4
‘…Rescue me, O YeHoWaH, from evil men; Preserve me from violent men who devise evil things in their hearts; they continually stir up wars, they sharpen their tongues as a serpent; poison of a viper is under their lips. Selah.’ – Psalm 140:1-3

(Please view here physical results of venomous snake bites – not for the faint hearted as the images are not pretty.)

As shown in my previous post – Adam did not faithfully pass on the command (as given to him) to the woman. He both added and took away information and this was the beginning of her set up, as all that was required to undermine confidence in Adam’s version of the command, was to touch the fruit and not die.

Gen 3:6 says she ‘saw‘ that the tree was good for food. It would be safe to say, for something to be ‘good for food’ would mean life (not death) was connected with its consumption, and as far as she is aware, also with the ‘touching’. To confirm this as true would require physical observation. A feeling or perception of its goodness just isn’t enough when death may be the outcome of ones actions. (Saw וַתֵּ֣רֶא occurs 30 times – in the sense of physically seeing / witnessing / observing, and from that gaining understanding / perception.)

With Adam’s words exposed as unreliable by evidence of her seeing it as untrue, the serpent’s words now bear more weight. Step one of her downfall is complete. (Step two will follow in my next post with the focus shifting from Adam’s words to the serpent’s.)

Suffice to say, Adam in omitting and adding to the word of God did not act in the ‘likeness of YeHoWaH Elohim’ but acted (as Isaiah describes above) in the ‘likeness of a serpent’. The bible doesn’t say he deceived her, but neither does it say he didn’t. We do know for sure his actions toward her were detrimental, even pivotal in her deception.

Genesis 5:3 continues and concludes Adam’s days on this earth with the incredibly sad words of his legacy: ‘…he became the father of (a son) in his own likeness, according to his image…’

Heavenly Father, YeHoWaH Elohim, thank you for sending Yeshua (the 2nd Adam) who walked not in the likeness of the first Adam, but fully after You – being the radiance of Your glory and the exact representation (image) of Your nature. May Yeshua be our focus and our strength in our walk before You. Amen.
Christine

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2 thoughts on “In the Likeness of a Serpent

  1. Thanks for this post and for the way you explain he scriptures. I was wondering….could Eve not have changed Adam’s message around in her own head and quoted back to the serpent what she thought she heard. What I mean is: what if Adam gave her a clear message but she changed it around in her own head? Thanks again.

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    • Hi Tiana, yeah I got the same thing said yesterday by a friend and I’ve heard it also in the past as an explanation as to her differing words.
      -Could it have been an innocent rephrasing of the command in her own words or understanding? -Was she paying full attention when given the command by Adam?
      Totally valid questions and as such, have been accepted by many. At surface level it’s plausable, without reference to Adam’s heart position in the hebrew root meaning of ‘alone’ in Gen 2:18 and the hebrew meaning behind ‘suitable helper’ of the same verse. We have preferred to stay vague and superficial where the Genesis account is concerned, and have adjusted our view of the woman (whom God designed specifically in light of the man’s weakness) to becoming the first of every woman after in nature ‘easily deceived’… case closed, therefore lets get on with life and all be happy. But …there are 11 verses that confirm sin entered the world by Adam, that all sinned because of him (Eve included in the ‘all’) therefore his sin came even before her eating of the fruit. We have also lengthened the period of time of the fall account with the single mention of God walking in the ‘cool'(literally – ‘wind, breeze’) of the day becoming now a daily tradition of an evening stroll …nobody knows how long they were there… speculation transforming into common knowledge because this of course gives more weight to her forgetfulness … tradition says it is really her fault – not Adams – this is Jewish tradition also. Every Shabbat and Seder meal the woman lights the candles to remind her and everyone present that it was Eve who snuffed out the light of God in Adam’s heart and ours as well. But this is contrary to what scripture says. Jeremiah 8:8 speaks of the lying pen of the scribes… appropriate even today.
      So at surface level without looking at the info supplied in scripture, it may seem plausible but dig a little and it becomes I think, too weak a position to hold. Genesis reveals her reasoning for the action taken contrasted with Adam’s silence. His presence with her throughout is clear in the Hebrew and he himself was not decieved. Job confirms he hid sin in his heart… there is more to the picture than what we have been spoon fed.

      Christine

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