Whoa, Sherlock. He'd seen it once, in a parade of thousands of reptiles. That's all we know; there is no reason to suppose he's having any kind of relationship with any of them. (...or he wouldn't have been lonely, right?)VVilliam wrote: ↑Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:09 am To continue then.
Nevertheless the next scene we are introduced to the Serpent.
There are various interpretations re the word 'subtil' and it is generally regarded along the lines of being "cunning/of malicious intention"
As we know, Adam named the Serpent a "serpent" so we can conclude from that, that Adam was familiar with said creature.
There's just the one language, I think. Babel hasn't happened yet. No suggestion that the serpent is the only animal in Eden that speaks - only that he's more of a lateral thinker than lions and lambs.So we know that the Serpent could speak at least one language and be understood.
Sure. God probably went around telling all the creatures to leave his k-o-g-a-e tree alone, and they complied, having no particular interest in it and plenty of other food. But this new girl appears more curious; up for a shot at wisdom.So next bullet point is the words the serpent spoke to Eve.
[Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?]
From this one sentence we have some interesting evidence to examine.
Firstly: It is what is known as a "leading question" - a question that prompts or encourages the answer wanted.
Secondly: The serpent was aware that the god had given specific instructions regarding a certain fruit of a certain tree.
Eavesdropping on the gods, probably. He'd got this god's number, anyway: all bluster; no follow-through. Also, there is a suggestion here that God isn't allowed to kill them, once they become self-aware - i.e. godlike.[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 gods, knowing good and evil.]
1: Where did the serpent get this knowledge from?
Evidently.2: Was this knowledge true? [in relation to the bullet points about the story.]
Of course he has an agenda.Back to that leading question. Since we know that the serpent already had the information re the forbidden fruit, he framed his question to the Woman in order that the woman would focus upon the one tree which she had been told "not to touch or eat of" because that was the tree the serpent wanted the Woman to focus on.
You don't need quite so much subtlety. She wanted it anyway - it's the Pandora situation again. (I wonder why all the myths show women as more curious, and all cultures bar them from studying science for 2000 years.) All he did was reassure her. She had never heard a lie - didn't have any reason to doubt the last thing she was told.We can see clearly here that the Woman believed that they were not even to touch the fruit and told the serpent as much. Since the serpent knew that this was not actually part of the gods instructions, the serpent had identified a possible weakness in the Woman's argument. Therefore IF it could get the Woman to simply touch the fruit and she did not 'surely die', then she would most likely also then eat of the fruit.
Why should he want her to die? He knows God was bluffing. And he knows why: God never told the man and woman about the other, more important tree. We may be forgiven for assuming that he figured, if he could scare them off Knowledge, they'd never guess about Immortality.But what was the serpents motivation for getting the Woman to eat the fruit and die? We can examine that soon...
He's making mischief because he's bored... According one (very popular, much later) story, because he's jealous and wants to deprive God of his favourite toy. Or he's liberating captive animals. Or inventing the concepts of informed consent, choice and autonomy. Or helping a thwarted mind fulfill its potential.
... Or inventing sin, confident that God will jump at the notion of damning anybody who disobeys him; soon the barracks of the netherworld will start filling up with soldiers...Well, that's if God curses humankind with an uncontrollable sex drive and thirst for power. (Which he proceeds to do in another few verses.)
Of course, the serpent hasn't metamorphosed into Satan yet, but the readers have that image firmly in mind.