Who is the serpent in Genesis if Lucifer had not yet rebelled and fallen?


#1

The serpent in Genesis pre-dates the fall of Lucifer/Satan.
So who is the serpent in Genesis that is tempting Adam and Eve if at this point there was not yet a "Satan" since Lucifer had not yet fallen and become the Devil/father of lies??
I mean, in Job then Lucifer is still working for God, right? In the first chapter of Job he had not yet been cast out of Heaven for rebelling against God.
So who is the serpent in Genesis telling humans to rebel against God? Some sort of entity of that pre-existing evil which existed before all of creation? Commentary that I read says that it was Satan, though Lucifer had not yet fallen.
???

I've been reading a lot of OT scripture today (Genesis and Job) for a school assignment, and now this question pops up. The answer may be obvious, but this question has popped up as a stumbling block in my research tonight.

Thanks for your feedback.


#2

From my understanding, the rebellion of the angels was outside of time. Job has Satan pitted against God. If you notice, God allows Satan to afflict Job, which is still our understanding: nothing, even evil, happens without God’s allowance. This does not mean He directly wills evil, but He does permit it to exist.


#3

According to my understanding, the angels were created when the universe was created. Satan and his fellow demons fell during the instant of their creation by rejecting the will of God. Perhaps you heard somewhere that satan fell after creation. However, I don’t see any reason from Scripture or the teaching of the Church for thinking this.


#4

Satan’s fall happened before Genesis.


#5

Yes, like others have said, the fall of lucifer happened before mankind.


#6

I don’t think that fall of satan was before time, because creation happened only with the existence of time. It can be before the creation of man or at least the fall of man


#7

What if Genesis also relates the fall of satan, as a subordinate and secondary narrative, less prominent and developed than the primary interest centered in the fall of Adam and Eve? If satan is already fallen and is doomed to eternal hell this kinda renders his punishment of belly crawling and dust eating superfluous. For what could be worse than eternal hopeless damnation? Oh, yeah, being turned into a snake and eating dirt. See what I mean. What if we are reading of two falls instead of one? It would also help account for the presence of satan in the "perfect" garden in the first place.

Just a muse.
Carry on.

Respectfully,
Peterk


#8

[quote="Fra_Angelo, post:6, topic:312285"]
I don't think that fall of satan was before time, because creation happened only with the existence of time. It can be before the creation of man or at least the fall of man

[/quote]

OUTSIDE of time. Not before time. God is not bound by time, and the decision of the angels was likely not limited in the same time-space that we are limited to. Although I don't think we know when God created the angels. It may very well have been before He created time and space. They are pure spirits, remember.

I would like to know if anyone has any information on that. What is Church dogma regarding the creation and fall of the angels?


#9

Lucifer fell and became Satan after the
Creation of Earth, but before the beginning of Time.
Adam and Eve before their Fall were outside of time.
Time doesn’t begin until the Fall.
The serpent was a creature, unpossessed, until the fallen Lucifer/Satan
possessed the serpent. But the serpent was not a snake-like being,
the serpent stood upright, although we do not know if it was a biped
or a quadraped, or in some shape unimaginable.
It was not until the serpent ate fruit of the
Forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, after which the serpent
was still not a snake, until Eve ate of the fruit, being beguiled by the
serpent to do so, and then convincing Adam to do the same, God
cursed them all, cursed Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, after this Curse
the serpent started to crawl on its belly and enmity between Satan
and humanity was the consequence. Another consequence was
the beginning of Time as we know it, corruption entered into all
creatures, including us, the serpent, the other animals, plants,
all inherited Death. Man had to work, woman had to reproduce
with pain, animals started to hunt each other, plants died, etc.
When Lucifer and his 1/3 “legion” of the Angelic Host were cast
to Earth, the Earth was already here, but it was pre-Fall and pre-Time.
God thought we would choose to Love Him enough to resist Satan.
Thus, as the Bible says, Jesus is the Redeemer of All Creation,
not just mankind, but the entirety of the Earth.


#10

Satan had been opposing God before his final fall from Heaven when him and a third of the angels were kicked out of Heaven by Michael and the good angels, as we see in Revelation 12. The Devil was allowed do evil things even before he lost his heavenly rank. Some of the ancient commentators understood the serpent to be a real serpent being possessed by Satan to speak and deeive Eve. The serpent was cursed by this actions, though it never harmed the serpent but did change the way the serpent lived such as crawling and his eating habits. Theodoret says this was done for us so when people throughout time see a snake it is a reminder of what happened to our first parents.


#11

[quote="Snowball7, post:9, topic:312285"]

Adam and Eve before their Fall were outside of time.
Time doesn't begin until the Fall.

[/quote]

Don't think so. This kinda breezes by the seven 'day' creation sequence, a few of which literally had to have transpired before the fall. Besides, only God is ever outside of time. All else has a beginning and is thus 'timed'. To begin is to enter time. Only God has never began, but always was/is.

Are these your original ideas or can you cite some source(s)? Just curious.

Respectfully,
Peterk


#12

[quote="Nigel7, post:1, topic:312285"]
The serpent in Genesis pre-dates the fall of Lucifer/Satan.
So who is the serpent in Genesis that is tempting Adam and Eve if at this point there was not yet a "Satan" since Lucifer had not yet fallen and become the Devil/father of lies??
I mean, in Job then Lucifer is still working for God, right? In the first chapter of Job he had not yet been cast out of Heaven for rebelling against God.
So who is the serpent in Genesis telling humans to rebel against God? Some sort of entity of that pre-existing evil which existed before all of creation? Commentary that I read says that it was Satan, though Lucifer had not yet fallen.
???

I've been reading a lot of OT scripture today (Genesis and Job) for a school assignment, and now this question pops up. The answer may be obvious, but this question has popped up as a stumbling block in my research tonight.

Thanks for your feedback.

[/quote]

The text says "serpent."


#13

[quote="PeterK, post:11, topic:312285"]
Don't think so. This kinda breezes by the seven 'day' creation sequence, a few of which literally had to have transpired before the fall. Besides, only God is ever outside of time. All else has a beginning and is thus 'timed'. To begin is to enter time. Only God has never began, but always was/is.

Are these your original ideas or can you cite some source(s)? Just curious.

Respectfully,
Peterk

[/quote]

They are not my original ideas. Creation was perfect, animals, plants, Adam/Eve,
none of these died before the Fall. Death entered the world at the Curse of God.
The "time" in "days" mentioned to describe Creation does not mean that Time
existed as we understand it and see it today. The "trees" present in the Garden
were not trees such as we see today.


#14

[quote="PeterK, post:7, topic:312285"]
What if Genesis also relates the fall of satan, as a subordinate and secondary narrative, less prominent and developed than the primary interest centered in the fall of Adam and Eve? If satan is already fallen and is doomed to eternal hell this kinda renders his punishment of belly crawling and dust eating superfluous. For what could be worse than eternal hopeless damnation? Oh, yeah, being turned into a snake and eating dirt. See what I mean. What if we are reading of two falls instead of one? It would also help account for the presence of satan in the "perfect" garden in the first place.

Just a muse.
Carry on.

Respectfully,
Peterk

[/quote]

God wasn't punishing the devil by making him crawl around like a snake, He was cursing the snake species because it was used by the devil to temp Adam & Eve. Before the devil entered into the snake, snakes had legs like all other animals.


#15

I also believe the fall of the fallen angels was outside time. Heaven is outside time and the fall happened in Heaven.

I agree with most of what you said, but in Genesis when God created the sun and the moon and the stars, He said let them be for seasons, so that means He created time when He created the world. Mankind did not age originally and we were made to live forever on this perfect earth, but time did exist from the beginning of the world. I think you are thinking about how mankind did not age originally which is why not too far from the fall people lived to be 500 yrs old and stuff like that and as time went on and moved farther from the fall, the lifespan of man got shorter and shorter. But time always did exist on the earth. :slight_smile:

But I do agree that the serpent had legs and the Bible described him as one of the most beautiful of animals which is probably why satan chose to possess the snake. Once he possessed the snake, the snake species was cursed by God and had their legs removed.


#16

[quote="Nigel7, post:1, topic:312285"]
The serpent in Genesis pre-dates the fall of Lucifer/Satan.
So who is the serpent in Genesis that is tempting Adam and Eve if at this point there was not yet a "Satan" since Lucifer had not yet fallen and become the Devil/father of lies??
I mean, in Job then Lucifer is still working for God, right? In the first chapter of Job he had not yet been cast out of Heaven for rebelling against God.
So who is the serpent in Genesis telling humans to rebel against God? Some sort of entity of that pre-existing evil which existed before all of creation? Commentary that I read says that it was Satan, though Lucifer had not yet fallen.
???

I've been reading a lot of OT scripture today (Genesis and Job) for a school assignment, and now this question pops up. The answer may be obvious, but this question has popped up as a stumbling block in my research tonight.

Thanks for your feedback.

[/quote]

...actually, Lucifer presents himself to God (as he did to Jesus) and challenges God's Sovereignty... since they are both spiritual creatures we can deduce that the encounter is in a different plane of existence (not the actual earth)--and God tolerates him for the sake of Job (to demonstrate Job's fidelity)...

While the battle depicted in Genesis 3:15 demonstrates an ongoing-till-end-of-times war, I believe that Lucifer's failed coup d'etat actually took place right at the Beginning of Creation:

3 God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. 4 God saw that light was good, and God divided light from darkness. (Genesis 1:3-4)

...light and darkness does not only mean "day and night."

Maran atha!

Angel


#17

[quote="PeterK, post:7, topic:312285"]
What if Genesis also relates the fall of satan, as a subordinate and secondary narrative, less prominent and developed than the primary interest centered in the fall of Adam and Eve? If satan is already fallen and is doomed to eternal hell this kinda renders his punishment of belly crawling and dust eating superfluous. For what could be worse than eternal hopeless damnation? Oh, yeah, being turned into a snake and eating dirt. See what I mean. What if we are reading of two falls instead of one? It would also help account for the presence of satan in the "perfect" garden in the first place.

Just a muse.
Carry on.

Respectfully,
Peterk

[/quote]

Hi, PeterK!

...but we can see that Lucifer/Satan has already fallen since he is quick to counter and challenge Yahweh God's Word... 'you will certainly not die!' and 'He is afraid you'll be His equals!'

It would not be possible for a servant of God to challenge His Authority or to attempt to derail His efforts!

Maran atha!

Angel


#18

Over the years I have read the passage Satan in Job 1:6-12 and wondered what was going on without really looking into it. The book "The Book of Job," by Father Richard Kissane (p. 8) raises some interesting possibilities about this passage. He says that for one thing this scene may simply be imaginary. (There are stories elsewhere in the Bible that are not meant to be taken as fact, like Jesus' parables.) But he speaks of another possibility--that this may not be Satan at all. The original Hebrew for this word, satan, simply means "the adversary." Since this word has the article "the" it is not a proper name, Kissane says. Later, he says, it became a proper name to designate the instigator of sin. He says "the title the adversary is given to the angel whose function it was to observe the conduct of man, and to accuse them before God if they sinned," an angel who was not who we now call Satan.


#19

[quote="Skye_Ariel, post:15, topic:312285"]
I also believe the fall of the fallen angels was outside time. Heaven is outside time and the fall happened in Heaven.

[/quote]

That's not possible. Time is change, therefore any actualization of a state of affairs is subject to time.


#20

We have to assume that the fall of the angels happened before the temptation of the serpent and interpret Job accordingly. There is no official teaching on when, but St. Thomas makes a convincing argument for the fall of the angels happening immediately after the first instant of their creation. See newadvent.org/summa/1063.htm#article6.


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