The serpent was created by God. It couldn't be Lucifer since it is listed as a "wild animal...God has made." And Lucifer isn´t an animal. What kind of serpent are we talking about here?

Gn 3:1a (NIV): "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made."

Was the serpent possessed? Is this fair to blame an irrational animal for "allowing" possession? Why was it "cursed"?

Gn 3.14 (NIV) "So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,“Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life."

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    Just out of curiosity, why are you referring to the serpent as a "she"? The Hebrew noun is masculine.
    – user6503
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 21:23
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    Nothing in the text of Genesis 3 mentions 'the satan', 'the devil', or 'Lucifer'. As far as Genesis 3 is concerned, it's just a talking snake.
    – user2910
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 1:06
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    @Bʀɪᴀɴ I am not an english speaker and it always confuses me about she or it (we don´t have it in portuguese) -- e.g. when addressing vessels (ships) english speakers call them by "she" despite being a "thing". I suppose that since the vessel has a name, it (she?) is no longer an common noun_ but proper. Well, in our case if this is indeed a very uncommon serpent, isn´t she (it?)? Thanks. Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 17:39
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    Thanks for clearing that up. In English it is somewhat common to refer to certain inanimate objects (cars/ships) as 'she'. But this is not the case for living things. Always use 'it' for a living thing unless you are sure of the gender. Also, there is a certain set of occult beliefs that Lilith (a female) was the serpent who seduced Eve before Eve had sexual relations with Adam.
    – user6503
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 22:00
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    For those who take the Bible as a whole, the serpent was somehow, in some sense, Satan. See Genesis 3:15; Rev 12:1-5;12:9; (Gen 2:17; 3:4); Wisd 2:24. Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 15:28

6 Answers 6


It seems the story of temptation can only be explained in one of three ways: a talking snake, Satan disguised as a snake, or the whole story was a creation of man. Snakes are physically and intellectually incapable of speech, yet the biblical serpent was certainly not Satan. For Satan to have used the serpent means that Satan was able to deceive God, because God punished the serpent and all his descendants, instead of Satan. This is a theologically untenable assumption, and therefore Satan did not possess the serpent.

Revelation 12:9 calls Satan a dragon and old serpent, saying he deceived the whole world, which is suggestive of a connection beginning to be drawn between Satan and the snake in the Garden of Eden, although the Garden of Eden snake actually only deceived Eve and possibly not even her (tricking Eve is not the same as deceiving her). Jeffrey B. Russell says, in The Prince of Darkness, page 63, it was Justin who established the connection between the Devil and the serpent of Eden.

The third alternative I propose is that the whole story was a creation of man. Leon R. Kass agrees, saying in The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis , page 58, that we can learn most from the story of the Garden of Eden by regarding it as a mythical yet realistic portrait of permanent truths about our humanity, rather than as a historical yet idealised portrait of a blissful existence we once enjoyed but lost.

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    Good answer, Dick, though the phrase “creation of man” is imprecise – all scripture, while inspired, was written by humans. I think you mean ‘mythic’ or ‘fabled’. And why then is the serpent punished, within the myth? Also, please put directly quoted phrases in quotation marks (e.g. Kass). Thanks!
    – Schuh
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 20:09

Simple Answer: It was used for evil.

Gen. 1:31,

"And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."

The serpent was created good, therefore, when it 'spoke', which no snake can do, it was used by Satan, who is evil. Everything in the Garden was good, except Satan, and the "evil", on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God did not create evil, evil is the very antithesis of God. Through the snake, Satan convinced man to commit evil, in disobeying God's command. That warranted punishment by God, to both the man, who through a conscious choice of his will, disobeyed, and the snake, who has no 'will' to punish, nevertheless was the instrument of evil.

Satan was already under punishment,

Matt. 25:41,

"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

The fact that "The old serpent",(Rev. 21:2)

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

wasn't bound yet, and cast into Hell is a testimony to God's mercy and goodness; if Satan were cast then and there, then man would also be cast into Hell with him, then and there.

Rather, it is the mercy of God that God came up with a plan to redeem all mankind, and through that plan crush Satan's plan to destroy mankind.

Gen 3:15,

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.


I think the reason that you may be struggling with this passage is that you are proceeding from a false premise:

The serpent was created by God. It couldn't be Lucifer since it is listed as a "wild animal...God has made." And Lucifer isn´t an animal.

The serpent motif is an Archetype which appears in numerous creative texts in the Levant and serpent features in the following stories:

In all of the above texts, the serpent is a malevolent force and the god of the underworld.

As such, in the context of a creation story, a mischievous serpent - especially one who is conspicuously similar to the serpent in the Creation Myth of Atem - would have been understood to be a mischievous underworld creature.

In fact, neither the fact that the serpent was created by God nor the fact that the serpent was an animal necessarily precluded the serpent from being a god in ancient thought. For example, in the creation myth of Atem-Re, the serpent is a god [created by] the goddess nit. Similarly in most of Egyptian, Babylonian and Roman mythology, most deities are personified as animals.

However, the Author of Genesis does use polemic to make some theological claims (some proverbial "power moves") about the serpent who would have been understood as the enemy of Yahweh (since the serpent was the enemy of the hero-god in most of the other creation stories of the area). One important feature of that is the fact that the serpent was created by God. Typically the creator-god was regarded as the more powerful and as subsequent generations of gods are created, they become weaker - eventually devolving into demigods and so forth - so this note makes an important theological and hierarchical statement about God in relationship to the serpent.

Secondly, and most importantly, in Genesis Adam is given dominion over all of the animals - in contrast to Babylonian myths where mankind is created to serve the gods and provide them food. Instead of man being created to serve gods of various natural forces depicted as animals, in Genesis nature and animals are created to serve and feed man. As the serpent is an animal, this means that Adam is given power over even the god of the underworld. This thereby completely robs the serpent (and Satan) of his power. He is at best equal to men if not subject to them according to the polemic of Genesis.



The “serpent” speaks of the ministers of Satan who come forth to deceive us as one did with the woman in the garden. These are people with an “animal” characteristic that Adam had named. Some people are like “wolves” or “sheep”, “goats”, etc.

These people happen to be “serpents” who come forth to deceive us from following Christ in singleness with their fine-sounding words of supposed “wisdom” as they twist the Scriptures …reversing the meanings of the Scriptures to our ears and minds…contradicting God’s words…as they move along their “belly” that they are serving.

2 Corinthians 11:3-5 KJV (3) But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (4) For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (5) For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.

The “serpent” crawls upon the belly as judgment…. Upon the belly you shall go…as they only serve (preach) for their belly and are not serving our Lord.

Genesis 3:13-14 KJV (13) And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. (14) And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

The “serpent” preachers go upon their belly as they are only minding earthly things as they “preach”…twisting the Scriptures to their own destruction (eating dust is destruction).

They do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ as they say they do but instead serve their own belly as they are minding only earthly things: how to get their earthly necessities met by “preaching” for the purposes of what to eat, what to drink, what to wear.

Romans 16:17-18 KJV (17) Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (18) For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

Again, the “serpent” preacher goes upon his belly…preaching for the purpose of getting his earthly needs met only. Their “god” is their belly as that is all that they are really minding. They have no understanding of the glorious good news as the serving for the belly blinds their minds from it. They come forth preaching themselves in their own authority as they walk in craftiness....handling the Word of God deceitfully for their own gain.

2 Corinthians 4:2-5 KJV (2) But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. (3) But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

**Their end is destruction….**as they eat “dust” all of the days of their lives. They are going to bite the dust eventually as God’s judgment for their sly activities are upon them as we speak. Their judgment is not idle nor is their destruction sleeping as they eat dust all of the days of their lives here. Again, their end is destruction from off this earth.

Philippians 3:18-19 KJV (18) (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: (19) Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

They eat dust all of the days of their lives….destruction…as the judgment now of a LONG TIME (the judgment of God that is found in Genesis 3:14) does not linger nor does their destruction slumber as this judgment of God upon the serpent is upon them as they go about speaking feigned words through their covetousness in order to make merchandise of His sheep.

2 Peter 2:1-3 KJV (1) But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2) And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (3) And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

Their glory is in their shame: “thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field:”

Their glory is in their shame as the rest of the outside world (the people outside of the church in the world are the “cattle” and every beast of the field”) sees these deceitful things happening inside the churches and they (the world) publicly shame them for their activities. “thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field”

They perceive themselves as being persecuted for Christ and glory in it as the outside world publicly shames them for what they see…covetous pastors fleecing the sheep….making merchandise of the sheep.

They know no shame but glory in the public shaming of them by the world. The outside world sees this as the lowest profession a man can be involved in: thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field.

Genesis 3: (14) And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

Jesus made a “scourge of small cords”…the tongues (small cords) of the outside world that publicly shame (the “scourge”) those who are making merchandise of the sheep inside the churches.

John 2:13-16 KJV (13) And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, (14) And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: (15) And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; (16) And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.


You seem to be asking a lot of questions about the nature of the serpent in the garden. My answer will just focus on your question, 'what kind of serpent are we talking about here'?

The author starts by saying that the serpent was the most intelligent animal the LORD God made. Then in the very next verse, the author tells us that the serpent was so intelligent, he could hold a conversation with a human; 'and he said to the woman'. Lastly, he says that the serpent was cursed for his deception, and now has to get around on his belly.

So what does the author want us to know about the serpent? Several things.

  1. The serpent once had a humanoid form

  2. The serpent was very intelligent

  3. The serpent could talk to humans

  4. The serpent was against the LORD

  5. The serpent walked like a human, but was cursed to get around on his belly.

Given the clues from the author, the serpent was not a snake or any other creeping reptile. He was humanoid in appearance.

The Harry Potter series provides a good visual of the type of serpent the author could be describing. Picture Lord Voldemort in your head, and then place him in the garden of Eden.


Although the first commandment of God which is not to eat 'that' particular fruit was given to Adam and Eve only, all of creation also knew about it. Genesis 3:1 says: "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made." Being crafty, the serpent probably was 'open' to the general idea of deception. Its willingness opened the doors for the evil one to possess it and use it. Being an instrument of evil and acting as an accomplice, God had to punish the serpent. Its original dragon form was changed by God by removing its wings and legs and now it had to crawl on its belly and eat dust all the days of its life. - Genesis 1:14

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