What is the Serpent?


“Now the serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God had made.” Genesis 3:1

What was the serpent, which was in the Garden, with Adam and Eve? :smiley:


I suppose the traditional answer is that the serpent is Satan. I would make the assertion that the serpent refers more to the abuse of free will in general, though, as opposed to the specific being of the Devil.


I thought that the Serpent was symbolic of the ‘enticer’, the lure, the bait, symbolizing original sin of Satan and of man…or are they one and the same? That original sin being arrogance.

And that battle of good and evil is what must be faced at death in the unbeliever. Love is the only defense.


There is some latitude within orthodoxy for considering parts of the Eden story allegorical, though certain elements must remain, like there can only be one Adam and one Eve and they chose to disobey God. I am not 100% sure if the serpent can simply be made a voice in Eve’s head - though then again, there are some who equate all evil thoughts with the Devil, so in that sense I suppose it could be. You would probably need to ask someone with a bit more knowledge of tradition and theology.


This might help

From CCC

Man’s first sin

397 Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command. This is what man’s first sin consisted of.278 All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness


Revelation 20:1 Then I saw an angel come down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a heavy chain.

2 He seized** the dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the Devil or Satan,** and tied it up for a thousand years

3 and threw it into the abyss, which he locked over it and sealed, so that it could no longer lead the nations astray until the thousand years are completed. After this, it is to be released for a short time.

He shows up in the beginning and defeats the children of God. In the end, though he seems to have grown greater and bigger, he gets tied up (and worse later) not after a few more “victories” though. :frowning:


I am so sorry but I can’t help my self, The Serpent is in Hyde Park, London, UK. And what is it. A small “lake” between Hyde Park and Kensington if my memory serves my right.


I have understood that the ‘Serpent’ at the start of the bible is the same ‘Dragon’ at the end of the bible. That is, satan.



I see most of the replies focus in on the serpent traditionally being Satan. I wonder, since the serpent is placed in the same sentence with “beasts;” thus an animal? Perhaps the word “subtle” in the original languages (Hebrew, Greek, and Latin) might reveal something more? Could subtle be a reference to spirit? The dictionary uses words like elusive, and cunning; or to work secretly or imperceptibly. :shrug:


For close reading I suggest a concordance:


It provides alternative translations, etymologies, and cross-references in an organised layout, so you’ve a broader picture of a term than its simple meaning.

To answer your question, it’s easier to describe what the serpent is not than what the serpent is. Obviously we are not talking about your garden snake (pun intended). This is the only creature in Eden that rivals Adam and Eve with its intelligent speech and rational mind, rather than its might (e.g., venom, size). At the same time, if mankind had dominion over all the animals, Adam and Eve should have been capable of rejecting the serpent’s proposal. It seems that the serpent represents internal temptation, or perhaps free will as another member suggested, but I’m not sure.


I suppose that I am lost. From the sounds of this it is as though one does not believe that ‘negative thought’ or thought contrary to that which is good, is ‘evil’. Do you believe there is more than one Satan, devil, demon? I do believe there’s a type of hierarchy that works in reverse of the heavenly if heaven is top and hell were bottom.

And at judgment day for guys, since they’re responsible for marriages, will it be just a matter of ‘what’s your excuse this time Adam’? Is it a call for the establishment of an idea of marriage? A huge reality check (the entire Bible) of what can happen if a couple has a kid!!! :slight_smile: Is it freudian symbolism of physical temptations? Other than that story, do not ever go there…there will be some who might try to lead you wrongly regarding King James and Elizabethan english…walk away then. Do not pass go, do not collect.

In our thoughts on Revelation…odd about the beast…if each person took care of the beast within themselves, would there be any fear or problem with other beast or the beast…would it even have any strength but what we give it out of our weakness and wrong decision making?


You mean the Serpentine. :wink:


I’m as perplexed about the ‘where’ as much as the ‘who’ and ‘what.’ In other words, is the Serpent an internal threat or an external threat? Is he both?


I checked “Google Earth”, but found no snake in the lake. There is a row of boats tied together … serpentine like.


So the next question to ask is … the serpent intelligent because of natural ability; or because Satan spoke through the serpent to tempt Eve?


I agree that thoughts can be sinful, but we shouldn’t confuse temptation with sin. Yes I believe in demons; but many sins come from the abuse of our freewill.


If the serpent is an internal threat, then you mean perhaps possession? Maybe, a portion of our brain; like the portions that are the source of our passions? :newidea:


The text suggests that the snake was created that way.

If the serpent posessed Adam and Eve, they would would not have been accountable for their disobedience. When I say the serpent is an internal threat, I mean he can communicate to Adam and Eve on a subconscious, mental level.


If you claim to be the Serpent, shouldn’t you tell us? But so much for your credibility here?


Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich in her visions claims the following. The Serpent represented the will of Adam and Eve; it’s nature is entangled or in ours.


                                    ... The Serpent is a instrument of Freewill ...


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