"In Search of Isaac's Children"
Part 18 of 32
By Willie Martin
Chapter Eleven
Serpent

"Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he {serpent} said unto the woman {Eve}, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden." (1)

Snakes are to be feared, and it is not abnormal to fear them. To prove that even such Godly men as Moses were/are afraid of snakes, we present the following from the Book of Exodus. We begin with Moses standing before the burning bush: "...the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he {Moses} said, A rod. And He {God} said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it." (2)

So we can see that even Moses fled before a serpent/snake! It scared him and he fled from it. Because man has a natural fear of them. Yet here in Genesis Chapter Three, we have Eve having a discourse with a serpent/snake! With no fear. I do not believe it for a minute. I don't know about you, but I do not believe that Eve was having a conversation with a literal snake! Not for a minute. That is simply to far-fetched to be believed literally. If a snake had come up to Eve she would have ran for Adam to protect her from it. She would not have simply stood or sat there and had a casual conversation with it. No! A thousand times No!!! She would not have just sat there and said: "Hello how are you?" or some such nonsense. She simply would not have done that at all.

Serpent is a strange word when we look at it in the scriptures. It is translated from many different words, but it is used 38 times in the Old Testament. And is translated, basically, from four different words. But let's only deal with one #5175 in Strong's Concordance. It appears 31 times and every time it is translated serpent. Now keep in mind there are three other words that are also translated serpent in the Scriptures. And the total words are used some 71 times in all the Scriptures. 38 times as serpent and about 24 times as dragons. What is a dragon, you ask. Well this presentation is about serpents not dragons and to get into a long discussion about dragons would take us away from our intended subject. So we shall leave that for others to contemplate. This is because we have a problem here in Genesis 3:1 with Eve talking with this thing called a serpent.

Now the scriptures say the serpent was more subtil. Well what does this word mean. To arrive at a proper answer we will turn to Strong's Concordance again. Which says the word "serpent" is "Nachas" or "naw-khawsh" (#5175). Which is a non-Israelite name according to (#5176) "Nachash;" the same as #5175; the name of two persons appar. non-Isr. It also means according to #5175 a snake (from its hiss): serpent. From the #5172 which means to hiss, i.e. whisper a (magic) spell; gen. to prognosticate; enchanter, learn by experience, diligently observe.

Also, we find the following from the Second College Edition, New World Dictionary of the American Language, p. 1300: 1. A snake, esp. a large or poisonous one. 2. A sly, sneaking, treacherous person. 3. Bible Satan, in the form he assumed to tempt Eve. 4. Music an obsolete, coiled, brass wind instrument of wood covered with leather. The American Dictionary of the English Language, by Noah Webster 1828, Facsimile First Edition, published by the Foundation For American Christian Education relates that serpent means among others: a subtil or malicious person. The word prognosticate means to: 1. To foretell or predict, esp. from signs or indications. 2. To indicate beforehand. (3) The 1828 American Dictionary relates: 1. To foreshow; to indicate a future event by present signs. A clear sky at sunset prognosticates a fair day. 2. To foretell by means of present signs; to predict. "I neither will nor can prognosticate To the young gaping heir his father's fate." So now we can see that the word "nachash" is linked to foretelling things. Or its linked to witchcraft (whisper a magic spell) and humanism. It's linked to anything, other than the Word of God.

Now let's look again at this word serpent, and we will see that every time it appears in the Bible, it does not mean a serpent-snake. That sometimes it means either a person or a nation. For example when Jacob-Israel was relating the gifts which were given to the various tribes of Israel we find the following: "Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder {snake} in the path, that biteth the horse heels..." (4) Is someone going to try to convince us that Dan was to become a snake. I don't think so. Do you? It is merely a figure of speech. It means that the tribe of Dan would, or the people of the tribe of Dan would display the attributes of being sly, cunning, deceitful. The wicked are described as serpents/snakes: "The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a Serpent: They are like the Deaf Adder that stoppeth her ear." (5)

Evil and violent men are described as serpents: "Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war. they have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah." (6) Thus we can see by these verses, anyone who is evil or wicked is described as being a serpent or snake.

Now let's examine nations because they are also very important to this presentation. Turn to the Book of Isaiah where we find: "In that day the Lord with His sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea." (7) We see here that the Leviathan is a crooked and piercing serpent. It appears this is an allegory, talking about the enemies of Israel. The nations that came against Israel are compared to this thing which is also described as a serpent. And it appears that this would be a reference to the Grecian, Turkish and Roman Empires of that day. This is generally accepted when one looks at the narratives of the Bible.

Now let's look at Jeremiah 8:17 for another: "For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the Lord." Here again we are not talking about actual serpents/snakes. Not at all. We are talking about nations which will becoming against Israel. They will not be charmed and they will bite you. At this point some will ask what do you mean they will not be charmed.

For an answer turn to the Book of Second Kings Chapter Seventeen we find Assyria came against what was left of Israel, and they told the Assyrians they would pay them a ransom if they would not come in and harm them. That's charming them is it not? But if they will not be charmed, then they will not accept their money, gold, silver or other valuables.

They will come in and bite you and destroy you. That is what Jeremiah is telling them. So we can clearly see, they are not serpents at all, they are the enemy of Israel, who will come against them. There is another like story in Amos 9:3 and another in Isaiah 14:29. Those are good stories and you should read them very carefully.

We find the allegories being used all through the Scriptures. No one has a problem with Juda being called a lion's whelp (8); Zebulun as a foal and an ass's colt (9); Issachar as a strong ass (10); Naphtali as a hind {A red deer -- one that is fully grown} (11); Joseph as a bough {branch or limb of a tree} (12); Benjamin as a wolf (13); All the tribes as a lion (14); Gad as a lion (15); Dan as a lion's whelp (16); Jesus as a Lamb (Throughout the Book of Revelation); Israel as a speckled bird (17); A nation of the East as a ravenous bird (18); Preachers as fishers (19); Pharaoh King of Egypt as a young lion and a whale (20) and Herod as a fox (21).

Then we have the false doctrine of the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herod described as Leaven (22). Thus we can clearly see that it is not at all unusual for a word to be used to illustrate something more impressively. And that is what we are talking about.

When the word "lion" is used for Judah, we are trying to really emphasize the strength of Judah. And when we use the word "serpent" we think of something sly, wicked, evil, cunning, something that hides from us, has venom, that is strong and dangerous. And that is why the word serpent is used many times as an allegory in the Scriptures. Most Christians do not have any trouble with any of these in the various verses of Scriptures until we get to Genesis 3:1.

There are many more allegories which could be presented but we believe this should suffice. Was any of these men such an animal or thing? Of course not! It is simply a description of the characteristics of these separate individuals.

For example if we go a little further we find: "...thou shalt bruise His heel." Everyone knows that Scripture. And we find another one "...It shall bruise thy head..." and no one has any problem relating that to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the evil one {which most people believe to be Satan}. Nobody has a problem with that. Then: Why is it a problem when someone comes along and says the serpent is not a snake! To some people that is a real problem: They want that serpent to be a snake! And they will scream and rant like a spoiled child if someone disagrees with them.

In our opinion that serpent never was a snake! In my opinion that serpent was a live flesh and blood person. In my opinion it was no spiritual being, and that is not meant to refute the Satan doctrine at all. We simply say this thing we had in the flesh, in the body, in the Garden of Eden, was not an invisible, negative entity, it was not a snake that walked on two feet. It was a humanoid. Just like you and I.

Let's look at some of the characteristics of this particular serpent in Chapter Three Verse One. One of the things we know, is that it is more wise than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. Is that not what it says? There word is subtil but we will deal with that a little later.

What is wisdom a trait of? Can you show us any animal in the animal kingdom which can be wise, that can be sly, that can be crafty? They only do what they do by instinct, they do not do it from reason. No animal operates from reason. Now one can condition response them, by exposing them to altering good with bad conditions depending upon what they do in response to the stimuli given them. But that is merely training them, that is not teaching them wisdom, that is not teaching them to reason. Oh, the experiments with monkeys, where some scientists say they have taught a monkey to talk; but again that is only the animal being taught to make certain sounds as a result of varying stimuli given them. That is not the same thing. That is not the same thing as being born with the ability to think and reason.

Another thing about this serpent that everybody agrees upon, is that it walked erect like a man. This is a natural human trait. It is not the natural reaction or trait of any animal, much less a snake. You cannot find this ability in snakes. They do not stand up. Oh there may be some species which have small legs or the semblance of legs but more than likely, if the scientists would be honest, they are a species of lizard and not a specie of snake. And there are some snakes which can raise their heads up quite a bit, but still, they cannot stand erect.

It has been said that apes are a form of the erectus, but that is simply not true. They spend most of their time moving about on both their (hands) and feet. Oh they can stand erect for short periods of time but their natural position is on all fours. And even when they are standing erect they are bent over, they have a slight hump to their back because that is not their normal stance. And besides that, can you imagine Eve standing or sitting in the Garden of Eden and a great harry ape suddenly dropping out of a tree beside her and speaking to her. She would have been gone like a bolt of lightening. She would not have stayed there with such an animal.

The third thing about this serpent was the ability to talk. To speak like a man. Well things are getting worse all the time for those who want that serpent to be a snake. There has never been a snake with the ability to talk: not then and not now, nor at any time in the foreseeable future. They simply cannot do so. They do not even have any vocal cords. Oh some will say what about the ass which spoke to Balaam.

Well let's look at it for just a moment. "And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his Ass, and went with the princes of Moab. And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the Angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ASS, and his two servants were with him. And the ASS saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way..." (23)

According to Strong's Concordance the word "ass" or "attuwn" #860 which is the same as "eythan" or "ethan" which means: "from an unused root (mean, to continue); permanence; hence (coner) permanent; spec. A CHIEFTAIN: hard, mighty, rough, strength, strong." So Balaam was riding upon a strong Chieftain. Not a Jackass as we know. We also find that the word "ass" can also mean a #2544 "chamowr" or "Canaanite."

As black men were used to carry burdens and people in ancient times; and some of the Canaanites were black, it is quite possible that Balaam was being carried by a strong black Canaanite Chieftain. Which would explain the "ass'" ability to talk. Now if we are going to attribute the talking in Genesis Chapter Three of a snake, then it would appear that in this respect Satan has more power than God in that he was able to make a serpent, who has no vocal cords, nor any organs capable of making or forming words, speak.

The fourth thing about this serpent, was his gift of reason; which is expressed by his statement "...hath God said." That's reasoning. That's questioning. That's showing an ability to think, to reason. Thus, the serpent had four attributes:

(1) He was wiser {more subtil} than any beast of the field;
(2) He could walk erect;
(3) He could speak, and;
(4) He had the ability to think and to reason.
One does not find those things in snakes: Not then and not now. Those traits cannot be found in any animal or snake which has ever existed upon the face of the earth. They are found, only in what we call today, the humanoid species. Then there is the problem of a snake or an ape coming up to Eve and speaking to her without her running away. It is simply more than we can accept. It could not, it did not happen that way. But he was, whatever he was, more cunning and wiser than any beast of the field. Or any other species of beast.

We can solve all these problems if we recognize that Adam and Eve were the first of the White Race {which we will explain later}. Which would not preclude the existence of other so-called humanoids existing along with them. With this, the problem simply goes away. It does not exist any more, because it would make it possible for another humanoid to exist at the same time as Adam and Eve. This would also make it possible for someone to appear before Eve and not frighten her away. Because she has seen him before, and has probably talked to him before. It would not be a mystery to her, it would be no surprise either.

Suppose that Adam and Eve were the only two people in the whole world and Eve walks around a tree and there is someone there. And it's not Adam! What is she going to do. She is going to scream for Adam and tell him; Adam you are not going to believe what I have found. She would be concerned. No matter what it was, unless it was someone she had seen before. Now if we assume that the serpent is another humanoid and not a snake, then the problem goes away. Because the other races of the world can walk, talk, think, reason and have wisdom. The only thing left is what does the word "subtil" mean.

Once again let's turn to Strong's Concordance for an explanation. It is #6175 "aruwm" or "aw-room" and means: cunning (usually in a bad sense), crafty, prudent, subtil. This word "aruwm" has been translated only one time as subtil (24) and the other ten times it has been translated as crafty or prudent.

Webster's gives a little different spelling, it spells "subtil" as "subtle" and gives the following definitions:

(1) Thin, rare; tenuous; not dense or heavy [a subtle gas].
(2.a) Capable of making or noticing fine distinctions in meaning, etc. [a subtle thinker]

(2.b) Marked by or requiring mental keenness [subtle reasoning].

(3) Delicately skillful or clever; deft or ingenious [a subtle filigree].

(4) Not open or direct; crafty; sly.

(5) Delicately suggestive; not grossly obvious [a subtle hint].

(6) Working insidiously; not easily detected [a subtle poison]. (25)

Webster's 1828 Christian Dictionary gives the following:
(1) Thin; not dense or gross; as subtil air; subtil vapor; a subtil medium.

(2) Nice; fine; delicate. "I do distinguish plain Each subtil line of her immortal face."

(3) Acute; piercing; as subtil pain.

(4) Sly; artful; cunning; crafty; insinuating; as a subtil person; a subtil ADVERSARY.

(5) Planned by art; deceitful; as a subtil scheme.

(6) Deceitful; treacherous.

(7) Refined; fine, acute; as a subtil argument.

Had Eve come into an adversary situation. You bet your boots she did. She had met with a wise adversary; a deceitful and treacherous adversary.

Notes:-

1. Genesis 3:1.

2. Exodus 4:2-3.

3. Second College Edition, New World Dictionary of the American Language, p. 1135.

4. Genesis 49:17.

5. Psalm 58:3-4.

6. Psalm 140:1-3.

7. Isaiah 27:1.

8. Genesis 49:9.

9. Genesis 49:11.

10. Genesis 49:14.

11. Genesis 49:21.

12. Genesis 49:22.

13. Genesis 49:27.

14. Numbers 23:24; 24:9.

15. Deuteronomy 33:20.

16. Deuteronomy 33:22.

17. Jeremiah 12:9.

18. Isaiah 46:11.

19. Jeremiah 16:16.

20. Ezekiel 32:2.

21. Luke 13:32.

22. Matthew 16:12.

23. Numbers 22:21-23.

24. Genesis 3:1.

25. New World Dictionary of the American Language, Second College Edition, p. 1420-21.

 
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