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Author Topic:   The Serpent of Genesis is not the Dragon of Revelations
Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4621 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 196 of 302 (296626)
03-19-2006 3:24 PM
Reply to: Message 188 by jaywill
03-18-2006 2:55 PM


Re: What About the Serpent in Numbers?
jaywill writes:

I respectfully admit that we have come to the point (Ringo and Purpledawn and possibly others) to agree to disagree on the serpent in Genesis being Satan or just a satan.

I would like to share some thoughts on this as well if possible -- that is, the possibility of the serpent in Genesis actually being the chief adversary we commonly refer to in the Apocalypse.

But if you feel this discussion shouldn't go any further, I'll repsect that and step out.

jaywill writes:

Can we move on to discuss the serpent in the book of Numbers? I think you'll find many juicy things not to agree with me on there.

Shall we move to the book of Numbers and its serpent?

Do you mean this passage?

Numbers 21:4-8 NIV writes:


They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!"

Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, "We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us." So Moses prayed for the people.

The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live."

What do you think this passage means?

Do you think Moses's staff turning into a serpent has any relevence to this discussion?

I personally do believe that pasages like this are relevent to the discussion at hand -- but I'd like hear your feedback before I proceed.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 188 by jaywill, posted 03-18-2006 2:55 PM jaywill has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 197 by jaywill, posted 03-19-2006 4:54 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has not yet responded
 Message 198 by purpledawn, posted 03-19-2006 5:18 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded
 Message 199 by jaywill, posted 03-19-2006 6:38 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has not yet responded

  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 14 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 197 of 302 (296632)
03-19-2006 4:54 PM
Reply to: Message 196 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-19-2006 3:24 PM


Re: The Bronze Serpent
What do you think this passage means?

Do you think Moses's staff turning into a serpent has any relevence to this discussion?

The Numbers 21:4-9 passage was used by Christ in His talk with Nicodemus about being "born again." The lifting of the bronze serpent was used by Christ to expound to Nicodemus the realities of regeneration in the new birth.

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that every one who believes into Him may have eternal life.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that every one who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life." (John 3:14-16)

This chapter concerns regeneration or God causing man to be spiritually reborn by the impartation of His life. But related to this is Christ terminating the evil sin poisoned nature which man received in Adam's disobedience.

Satan injected his evil nature into our flesh when man ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This act corresponds to the children of Israel being bitten by poisoness serpents in Numbers 21. When the people sinned firery serpents were sent to bite them. Correspondingly the Satanic poison was injected into man's flesh in Genesis chapter 3.

God told Moses to lift a bronze serpent on a pole on the bitten people's behalf. Bronze stands often for judgement. The bronze serpent was therefore for God's judgment, that by looking upon that judged bronze serpent all the lookers might be healed and live. The bitten people only had to look upon the bronze serpent lifted up on the pole and the snake poison would be healed and they would live.

This was a type set up in God's foreknowledge. Jesus applied the type to His coming crucifixion - "... as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up". When Jesus Christ died on the cross God judged the sin in man in His Son. To God it was as if His Son was in the form of Satan carrying all the sinful nature in Himself to be judged by God. Romans 8:3 says " ... God sending His own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh ..."

God sent His Son in the likeness of the fallen sinful humanity. Christ did not have the sin which had been injected into the descendents of Adam. But He came in the form of a sin poisoned son of Adam. Christ did not incarnate in the form of the unfallen man before Satan corrupted him. Christ came in the form of the fallen man who has been injected with Satan's nature and has "sin in the flesh".

The bronze serpent had the form of the serpent but was without the serpent's poison. Christ was made "in the likeness of the flesh of sin," but He did not participate in any way in the sin if the flesh:

"Him who did not know sdin He made sin on our behalf that we might become the righteouness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21)

"For we do not have a High Priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all respects like us, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15)

When Christ was lifted up in the flesh on the cross, by His death Satan, the old serpent, was dealt with (John 12:31-33; Heb. 2:14). This means that the serpentine nature within fallen man has been dealt with. Those who believe into the sphere and realm of Christ can experience the power of His death nullifying the serpentine nature in their living. The Satanic poison is annulled by the crucified and resurrected Christ who is dispensed into the believers.

Since Christ had only the form of the fallen Satanified man He was represented by the bronze serpent. The bronze serpent that Moses erected on the pole had only the form of a serpent but not the poison of the serpent. Christ was lifted up on His cross as being in the form of the Satan bitten human race. He was judged there by God. The wrath of God which was due us fell upon Christ on the cross.

Jesus related the looking upon the bronze serpent to believing into Christ - " ... as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that every one who believes into Him may have eternal life."

Instead of divine wrath for judgment, God dispenses to the believers the gift of "eternal life." Sin and death are enemies of God and of His eternal purpose. Eternal life is His desire for those who obey Him to believe into His Son Jesus Christ.

This message has been edited by jaywill, 03-19-2006 04:55 PM

This message has been edited by jaywill, 03-19-2006 04:57 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 196 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-19-2006 3:24 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has not yet responded

purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1530 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 198 of 302 (296637)
03-19-2006 5:18 PM
Reply to: Message 196 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-19-2006 3:24 PM


Not a General Discussion on Serpents
Hey Mr. ExN

Welcome to the discussion. I'd appreciate it though if you would keep to topic as presented in my OP.

Present what you feel is relevant to the OP which deals with the plain text or sense reading, but the verses in Numbers as presented do not deal with the OP. Please don't encourage jaywill to stray.

Thanks :)


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 196 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-19-2006 3:24 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 202 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-19-2006 8:59 PM purpledawn has responded

jaywill
Member (Idle past 14 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 199 of 302 (296648)
03-19-2006 6:38 PM
Reply to: Message 196 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-19-2006 3:24 PM


Re: What About the Serpent in Numbers?
Mr. X,

Do you think Moses's staff turning into a serpent has any relevence to this discussion?

Yes. The prophecy of God says that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent, and that the heel of the woman's seed would be bruised also.

According to the teaching of Christ that He was the reality of the type of the lifted bronze serpent, He dealt a blow to Satan. But in the process He had to give His life in crucifixion. So the crucifixion of Christ is the major part of the fulfimment of God's prediction that the woman's seed would bruise the head of the serpent.

Here are verses relevant to Christ's death dealing with Satan. Here Jesus speaks of His upcoming crucifixion on the cross:

"Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself. But He said this signifying by what kind of death He was about to die" (John 12:31-33)

His death was a judgment of the sin filled world which developed commencing with the poisoning of Adam and Eve. And His death was also a casting out of the ruler of that sin filled world. This victory is unto those who have faith and like the overcomers in Revelation 12 "loved not their soul life even unto death". In other words rather than cling to the Satanified soul-life received from the fall they allow Christ's life to transform them to overcome that sinful nature.

Here again Christ's death is taught as a bruise upon the evil world ruler Satan:

"Since therefore the children have shared in blood and flesh, He also Himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death He might destroy Him who has the might of death, that is, the devil" (Heb. 2:14)

The seed of the woman bruise the serpent's head in casting the ruler of the world out. The seed of the woman bruised the serpent's head in through death He destroyed him who has the might of death, the devil.

These truths are made real subjectively by faith in those who live in the sphere and realm of the Son of God as their life. This the connection to the overcoming corperate manchild in Revelation 12:

"And she brought forth a son, a man-child, who is to shepherd all the nations with an iron rod; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne ... And they over him [the ancient serpent, Satan the Devil who deceives the whole inhabited earth (v.9)] by the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they loved not their soul-life even unto death"

Now it is also important to realize that this way of interpreting the Old Testament through the revelation of the New Testament was ordained by God before the ages of the world. This illuminating wisdom of the apostles upon the Hebrew Bible was ordained by God and not their invention as an afterthought. This we can see from Paul's word in First Corinthians:

"But we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom which has been hidden, which God predestinated before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age have known; for if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory" (1 Cor. 1:7,8)

Before the ages God ordained a certain wisdom concerning the death and resurrection of Christ to the New Testament apostles. John was one and so was Paul. Their illuminating comments on Genesis was of divine wisdom ordained for God's servants before Judaism or the Christian faith came into existence.

Paul continues his comment saying that what God had planned for those who love him had not entered into their hearts. Therefore neither the writer of Genesis, nor Adam, nor Eve could have fully understood the salvation God had planned for man in Jesus Christ:

'But as it is written, "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not come up in man's heart; things which God has prepared for those who Him."

But to us God has revealed them through the Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God' (1 Cor. 2:9,10)

As students of the Christian apostles, we may safely and boldly say of Genesis and of the whole Old Testament, that this is our book.

This message has been edited by jaywill, 03-19-2006 06:39 PM

This message has been edited by jaywill, 03-19-2006 06:41 PM

This message has been edited by jaywill, 03-19-2006 06:47 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 196 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-19-2006 3:24 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 50 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 200 of 302 (296664)
03-19-2006 8:21 PM
Reply to: Message 199 by jaywill
03-19-2006 6:38 PM


the serpent in exodus
Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

Do you think Moses's staff turning into a serpent has any relevence to this discussion?

jaywill writes:

Yes. ...

and then the rest of your post say nothing about moses's staff transforming into a serpent. (just the standard preaching)

i would however be interested in your thoughts on why god uses a serpent in this instance? the word in hebrew, btw, is the same word from genesis 1, taniynm. does moses's staff turn into a whale?

god also uses a graven image of a serpent in numbers, as you mentioned. why does god keep using serpents?


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 199 by jaywill, posted 03-19-2006 6:38 PM jaywill has not yet responded

arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 50 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 201 of 302 (296666)
03-19-2006 8:55 PM
Reply to: Message 194 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-19-2006 1:35 AM


Re: satanim
Just curious: A mockery of what?

The reason why I ask is because the king of Tyre is depicted as residing within Eden, the garden of God.

I think no one here will dispute the fact that the king of Tyre was not in the garden of God. However, it does raise the interesting question of exactly who was in the garden of God in the first place?

In other words, who is the king being compared too?

Who is the king of Tyre a mockery of?

when god kicks adam and eve out, he places gaurds at the gate:

quote:
Gen 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

since the imagery in the passage of ezekiel is that of protectorship, the cherub he refers to is probably one of these. it brings up an interesting point, though, and one which people usually overlook. if this cherub is satan, satan cannot also be the snake. why would god set up someone to protect the most precious thing on earth, if that someone just got done betraying his trust?

in other words, at best, it's one or the other. if ezekiel 28 refers to satan, genesis 2 does not. and vice versa.

The Hebrew word Kerub is translated by some scholars as "one who intercedes" and by others as "knowledge." The original Karibu were the terrible and monstrous guardians of the temples and palaces in Sumer and Babylon. There were also similar guardians in the Near East, and there were winged, eagle-headed deities that guarded an Assyrian Tree of Everlasting Life.

Doesn't this sound awefully similar to the Scriptural account of the snake sitting next to the tree of tife -- and leading humanity to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil instead?

no. not really. it sounds exactly like the cherubim that god placed to keep man out of eden, to protect the tree of life. but you raise a good point. i was not aware of the similar mythologies of other middle-eastern cultures. it would further explain why a bunch of hebrew sounding mythological references were addressed to the king (or prince) of tyre: maybe the imagery was common.

I'll note that if the a word similar to gaurdian cherub is actually in present there, then one has to wonder who this cherub was, why he was in the garden of God, and why this garden of God sounds suspiciously like the Garden of Eden noted in the first accounts found in Genesis?

well, it is eden, it says so. but i have another thought: maybe this is about politics. i mean, entirely about politics. look at how ezekiel refers to assyria a few chapters later:

quote:
Eze 31:9 I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him.

the whole chapter uses references to a forest in eden, which is in lebanon (according to ezekiel). now, part of the problem is that ezekiel is very cryptic. plain reading only reveals so much. we can read the bits about the head-bone connecting to neck-bone and so forth, and miss that it's actually about bringing israel back from exile. so taking a plain reading, and trying to wedge it into some later prophetic reinterpretation won't work nicely. you have to know the context.

the problem is that i don't know the context. but my impression is that "eden" is being figuratively used (throughout the book) to refer to middle east as a whole, including phoenicia and assyria. the bits about falling from favor, or betrayal, may in fact be ezekiel saying that they're going to end an alliance where tyre was supposed to protect israel.

but that's just a stab in the dark -- i haven't really researched much about ezekiel, so i don't know. but i think it's more consistent with what's on the page than trying to fit demons and devils into it.

anyways. back on topic.

Similarly, as I already brought up in Message 169 of this thread, in Zoroastrinism we have a concept very similar to the devil employing "snakes" as his servants around the time (or before) Judaism recorded the concept of the the "snake in the garden" -- testing humanity much like an adversary would go against God. Zoroastrianism is a religion which perceived snakes as being the messengers and servants of an ultimately evil deity.

I also noted many other religions, religions which came before Judaism, and which perceived spiritual implications behind the snakes nature, such as the Canaanites for example. It seems to me that if the Hebrew culture is a convergence of Babylonian, Egyptian, and Zoroastrian influences (among others such as the Assyrian example noted above for example), then this synomony of the snake equalling a satan is almost impossible to miss.

right, and i think i mentioned before that i agree the symbolism and imagery is definitally very similar if not the same. the problem is that there is no ultimate evil deity in early judaism. maybe pre-judaism in semetic tribes (there are suggestions of polytheistic origins). but when biblical judaism first forms, there is only ONE god, and he is good, bad, and everything in between. and very human. the concept of increasing divinity and foreigness to mankind works its way in, and then the need for god to use messangers (especially for tempting) follows from that. and from there, we get the modern satan/lucifer, and opponent to god himself.

but when they wrote down genesis, it was just a snake. and it was put there by god himself. remember, eve tempts adam, and god put her there too.

One might be able to make a good argument that the "snake" was not the "Great Satan". But if one is insisting that the snake can "only" be a snake, I think a casual glance at the ancient religions that surrounded (and pre-dated) the ancient Israelites will simply cast this theory out of the garden so to speak.

The connotations, both within the Hebrew Scriptures and outside them, seems to make the case of the snake being more than a snake nearly impregnable to me.

connotations and symbolism, yes. in the story, he's just a snake. he is a satan, but there is nothing in the story to suggest that he is at all supernatural. it might be possible that the hebrews viewed snakes as half-spiritual creatures, but we lack that context. and if that's the case, then every other snake is also the same way too. and i'm not sure how well that fits. do we need an explanation of why we don't like evil spirits?


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 194 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-19-2006 1:35 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 203 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-19-2006 9:59 PM arachnophilia has responded

Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4621 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 202 of 302 (296667)
03-19-2006 8:59 PM
Reply to: Message 198 by purpledawn
03-19-2006 5:18 PM


Re: Not a General Discussion on Serpents
purpledawn writes:

Hey Mr. ExN

Hi purpledawn. :)

purpledawn writes:

Welcome to the discussion. I'd appreciate it though if you would keep to topic as presented in my OP.

Thanks pd. That's the thing though -- I do think this pertains to the topic as presented.

purpledawn writes:

Present what you feel is relevant to the OP which deals with the plain text or sense reading, but the verses in Numbers as presented do not deal with the OP. Please don't encourage jaywill to stray.

But shouldn't we look at what is intended when Christ, for example, says the following:

Matthew 23:33 NIV writes:

"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?

I suppose I could also draws allusions to John the Baptist's words in Matthew 3:7 or Luke 3:7.

Or perhaps Christ's words in Matthew 12:34 should be considered.

I'll note that Christ's response in Matthew 12:34 seems to itself be in response to other's thinking that he is himself of the prince of demons.

Matthew 12:24-28 NIV writes:

But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons."

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Seems ironic that Christ would overturn the tables on their accusations of him being of the prince of demons, overturning tables by him making even worse accusations back at them -- that they were children of the devil. He seems to be essentially holding up a psychological mirror, casting their own reflection back at them, and bluntly asking them to carefully examine what they see.

It seems to me that Christ is basically calling them "sons of devils", within a traditional Christian sense.

A similar passage could be observed here...

John 8:43-45 NIV writes:


Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!

His words seem to be referencing back to these very words...

Genesis 3:15 NIV writes:

And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.

I'll also note that Paul seems to drawing a similar picture going right back to the beginning...

II Corinthians 11:3 writes:

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

Perhaps I John 3:10 is saying much the same...

I John 3:10 writes:

This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

I'll note that John is traditionally held as being the author of these words as well...

Revelation 12:8-10 NIV writes:


But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down -— that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

"Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.

Revelation 12:14-16 seems to continue a similar theme.

Arach brough up a good point in relation to jaywill's thoughts...

arach writes:

i would however be interested in your thoughts on why god uses a serpent in this instance? the word in hebrew, btw, is the same word from genesis 1, taniynm. does moses's staff turn into a whale?

In my own thoughts, when I see Moses lifting up the snake in the wilderness, I essentially see God telling the Israelites the same thing...

"You are a brood of vipers, just like your father."

Micah 7 seems to be drawn on this analogy quite a bit, noting the usage of the word adversary/enemy in relation to family/children .

I agree that the comparison of Christ in the Christian Scriptures to the brazen serpent in the Hebrew Scriptures can be confusing at first. But I don't think one needs to get overly complicated about it -- because the message is rather simple in my opinion.

Just as Moses lifted up the serpent, Christ was lifted on the cross.

In other words, in my opinion, when God commanded Moses to lift the brazen serpent, he was essentially saying something very negative, "See this serpent? This is you! Take a good look at it and repent of your ways or else I'll allow the real serpents to claim you!"

Similarly, in inverse fashion, when Christ was lifted on the cross, he was essentially saying. "See my son? This is what you have done to him! Take a good look at him and repent of your ways or else I'll allow that old serpent to claim you!"

In other words, like a mirror, when the Israelites looked upon the brazen serpent held up by the Lawgiver, they were essentially gazing upon a reflection of themselves. This was done in the context of the Law of Moses.

Similarly, like a mirror, when humanity looks upon the image of the cruxified Christ, they are essentially gazing upon what their own actions have wrought. But, in this sense, it is done within the context of the Gospel of Christ.

Moses's stafff turning into a snake carries much the same meaning in my opinion -- and I'll explain it in depth if you like.

This is all my opinion of course. :)

purpledawn writes:

Thanks

Thank you.

But your point seemed to basically be saying that sometimes a snake is just a snake. I disagree with this. I think the usage of snake within the Scriptures is usually always a metaphor for something else -- kind of like Paul's thorn in his side.

Not always. But usually.

That's why I'm addressing these questions. I think jaywill makes some valid points. :)

This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 03-19-2006 10:08 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 198 by purpledawn, posted 03-19-2006 5:18 PM purpledawn has responded

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Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4621 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 203 of 302 (296672)
03-19-2006 9:59 PM
Reply to: Message 201 by arachnophilia
03-19-2006 8:55 PM


Re: satanim
Mr. Ex writes:

Who is the king of Tyre a mockery of?

arach writes:

when god kicks adam and eve out, he places gaurds at the gate:

Gen 3:24 writes:

So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

since the imagery in the passage of ezekiel is that of protectorship, the cherub he refers to is probably one of these.

Interesting.

So you do admit that there may have been a cherub that did "fall" much like Christian theology portrays -- but that the chronology may be in reverse?

Would it make a difference if I could point to some passages which brought this chronology into question?

arach writes:

it brings up an interesting point, though, and one which people usually overlook. if this cherub is satan, satan cannot also be the snake. why would god set up someone to protect the most precious thing on earth, if that someone just got done betraying his trust?

I don't think they've overlooked it though.

Traditional Christianity simply views the serpent as being either an agent of the primal adversary...or else the adversary himself in disguise. In other words, it's not that complicated -- the cherub placed after humanity is expelled is simply viewed as a replacement for the original cherub that failed his original protectoral assignment.

arach writes:

in other words, at best, it's one or the other. if ezekiel 28 refers to satan, genesis 2 does not. and vice versa.

Only if you're reading these passages in the most literally strict sense possible. Many people don't have a problem with the snake being the adversary in disguise or else an agent of him.

Mr. Ex writes:

Doesn't this sound awefully similar to the Scriptural account of the snake sitting next to the tree of tife -- and leading humanity to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil instead?

arach writes:

no. not really. it sounds exactly like the cherubim that god placed to keep man out of eden, to protect the tree of life. but you raise a good point. i was not aware of the similar mythologies of other middle-eastern cultures. it would further explain why a bunch of hebrew sounding mythological references were addressed to the king (or prince) of tyre: maybe the imagery was common.

Could be. Or it might be something else entirely. But I'll talk about this more below.

arach writes:

well, it is eden, it says so. but i have another thought: maybe this is about politics. i mean, entirely about politics. look at how ezekiel refers to assyria a few chapters later:

Eze 31:9 writes:

I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him.

the whole chapter uses references to a forest in eden, which is in lebanon (according to ezekiel). now, part of the problem is that ezekiel is very cryptic. plain reading only reveals so much.

The same could be said with Genesis.

But this brings up an interesting point: why is the Ezekial passage permitted to employ symbolic imagery whereas the Genesis account has to be strictly interpretted as literal?

arach writes:

we can read the bits about the head-bone connecting to neck-bone and so forth, and miss that it's actually about bringing israel back from exile. so taking a plain reading, and trying to wedge it into some later prophetic reinterpretation won't work nicely. you have to know the context.

The context seems fairly clear to me.

Ezekial writes:


In the pride of your heart you say,
"I am a god;
I sit on the throne of a god
in the heart of the seas."
But you are a man and not a god,
though you think you are as wise as a god."

....

You were the model of perfection,
full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

You were in Eden,
the garden of God;
every precious stone adorned you:
ruby, topaz and emerald,
chrysolite, onyx and jasper,
sapphire, turquoise and beryl.
Your settings and mountings were made of gold;
on the day you were created they were prepared.

You were anointed as a guardian cherub,
for so I ordained you.
You were on the holy mount of God;
you walked among the fiery stones.
You were blameless in your ways
from the day you were created
till wickedness was found in you.

Through your widespread trade
you were filled with violence,
and you sinned.
So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God,
and I expelled you, O guardian cherub,
from among the fiery stones.

It seems as though a sizable portion of this passage is drawing comparisons directly back to the actions of a cherub in the garden.

Don't get me wrong. If you're saying that these comparisons can be made to fit the tempatations of kings and political figures, then I agree with you. In fact, that that's pretty much what's going on -- the king of Tyre, in this case, being described as having fallen due to his pride in his own political power.

But the question still remains, "Who is the king of Tyre being compared to?"

I think that, technically speaking, a passage such as this might not be limited to political persuasiveness. One could trust in anything, such as their own skill in a trade, to the point that that they trust in their own skill more than the God who gave them the skill in the first place.

arach writes:

the problem is that i don't know the context. but my impression is that "eden" is being figuratively used (throughout the book) to refer to middle east as a whole, including phoenicia and assyria. the bits about falling from favor, or betrayal, may in fact be ezekiel saying that they're going to end an alliance where tyre was supposed to protect israel.

but that's just a stab in the dark -- i haven't really researched much about ezekiel, so i don't know. but i think it's more consistent with what's on the page than trying to fit demons and devils into it.

But the Israelites did have a tradition of ascribing bad behavior to unclean spirits.

arach writes:

anyways. back on topic

...

right, and i think i mentioned before that i agree the symbolism and imagery is definitally very similar if not the same. the problem is that there is no ultimate evil deity in early judaism. maybe pre-judaism in semetic tribes (there are suggestions of polytheistic origins). but when biblical judaism first forms, there is only ONE god, and he is good, bad, and everything in between. and very human. the concept of increasing divinity and foreigness to mankind works its way in, and then the need for god to use messangers (especially for tempting) follows from that. and from there, we get the modern satan/lucifer, and opponent to god himself.

but when they wrote down genesis, it was just a snake. and it was put there by god himself. remember, eve tempts adam, and god put her there too.

connotations and symbolism, yes. in the story, he's just a snake. he is a satan, but there is nothing in the story to suggest that he is at all supernatural. it might be possible that the hebrews viewed snakes as half-spiritual creatures, but we lack that context.

There's nothing in the story to suggest that snake is supernatural at all?

Snakes normally talk?

If so, why don't snakes still talk?

I've read nothing in the Hebrew Scriptures to indicate that God took this ability away.

arach writes:

and if that's the case, then every other snake is also the same way too. and i'm not sure how well that fits. do we need an explanation of why we don't like evil spirits?

No. I think we need an explanation as to why the snake has to be a snake -- and why no other interpretation is considered to be the likely interpretation.

Edit: corrected spelling.

This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 03-19-2006 10:04 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 201 by arachnophilia, posted 03-19-2006 8:55 PM arachnophilia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 204 by arachnophilia, posted 03-20-2006 12:38 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded
 Message 211 by ramoss, posted 03-20-2006 10:54 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 50 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 204 of 302 (296691)
03-20-2006 12:38 AM
Reply to: Message 203 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-19-2006 9:59 PM


Re: satanim
Interesting.

So you do admit that there may have been a cherub that did "fall" much like Christian theology portrays -- but that the chronology may be in reverse?

i don't see this particular cherub falling, no. i see the king (or prince) of tyre falling. one image is used as a metaphor for what he was. actually, several images are used. and then the description of his coming falling -- it need not pertain to the metaphors used.

Would it make a difference if I could point to some passages which brought this chronology into question?

i'm not sure, but go for it. i'd be interested.

I don't think they've overlooked it though.

Traditional Christianity simply views the serpent as being either an agent of the primal adversary...or else the adversary himself in disguise. In other words, it's not that complicated -- the cherub placed after humanity is expelled is simply viewed as a replacement for the original cherub that failed his original protectoral assignment.

but the serpent is not a cherub. at best, maybe we could draw a connection between the seraphim and the serpents. the serpents that god sends in numbers (which i hope SOMEONE will get to eventually) are הנחשים השרפים ha-nachashim ha-saraphim. but that's probably just a coincidence: "saraph" just means "burning." (strongs misidentifies this as a noun, and links it to the seraphim btw. clearly, it's being used as an adjective. don't trust strongs...) anyways, seraphim are the wrong kind of angels altogether.

Only if you're reading these passages in the most literally strict sense possible. Many people don't have a problem with the snake being the adversary in disguise or else an agent of him.

...well, an "agent of" satan might be an acceptable modification "a satan." but i think it's a bit of a stretch. and it betrays a fundamental meaning of genesis 2 and 3. god created the garden as a special place. he made is specially for adam and eve. why would he put something there that they weren't supposed to have? he could have just as easily NOT put those things there. god's not dumb.

god put the tree of knowledge there, and god put the snake there. what we have is god testing man -- or at least presenting a very curious choice to him. do we follow reason, or do we follow orders? should we follow the one who lies to us out of love, or the one who hurts us with the truth? there may not have been a right answer to this question. without man becoming free and independent and self-aware, where would christ ever come in?

but the snake and the tree were both in the garden for a reason. to think that the devil somehow crept by god's watchful and protective eye is about the same as saying that god really didn't know where adam and eve were when they hid.

(which i think you claimed before. at least you're consistent. :P)

The same could be said with Genesis.

But this brings up an interesting point: why is the Ezekial passage permitted to employ symbolic imagery whereas the Genesis account has to be strictly interpretted as literal?

because ezekiel's common and universally acknowledged mode of writting is metaphor. there have been threads here about reading genesis as metaphor -- and i agree somewhat. there ARE metaphoric levels to it. the problem is that ezekiel makes very little sense read literally. clearly, assyria is NOT a cedar in lebanon. and clearly, the king (or prince) of tyre is NOT a cherub. conviently, ezekiel spells out at least part of what he's talking about in the literal text. there are bits that SAY "this is about assyria" or "this is about the king of tyre."

ezekiel cannot be read 100% literally, without discounting these kinds of references. genesis can be.

t seems as though a sizable portion of this passage is drawing comparisons directly back to the actions of a cherub in the garden.

well, certainly not that "you are a man" part. and actually, there are only two lines that directly refer to the cherub in eden. and those are the lines that SAY "you were in eden."

Don't get me wrong. If you're saying that these comparisons can be made to fit the tempatations of kings and political figures, then I agree with you. In fact, that that's pretty much what's going on -- the king of Tyre, in this case, being described as having fallen due to his pride in his own political power.

But the question still remains, "Who is the king of Tyre being compared to?"

the next bit after the eden part refers to the high priest of israel (the stones), then the tabernacle, then the ark of the covenant, and then moses. most of THOSE references are from exodus, not genesis 3.

as for "stones of fire" i'd be interested in your thoughts, because i'm still baffled. i've heard suggestions that ezekiel was working with different/earlier texts...

so who is he being compared to? aaron, moses, an angel, and several inanimate objects.

I think that, technically speaking, a passage such as this might not be limited to political persuasiveness. One could trust in anything, such as their own skill in a trade, to the point that that they trust in their own skill more than the God who gave them the skill in the first place.

i know you of all people don't mean it this way, so i won't take offense at it. but i find that sort of bit condescending. trust god on what? do you have a direct connection to god that i lack?

i don't trust in my skill of interpretting at all. personally, i find this place a GREAT way to test it. but a lot of christians on here like to claim that they have some special and personal revelation from god where he reveals everything they ever need to know (which isn't actually all that much). i've been a christian for a while now, and i find that attitude about the same as a know-it-all teenager. usually, there's a lot they don't know, and a lot of experience they lack.

i think god wants us to question. he said "seek, and you will find." the things that are handed to us -- well, maybe those of are of the devil. i know when i go church, it sure feels to me like a lot of people are being led astray...

But the Israelites did have a tradition of ascribing bad behavior to unclean spirits.

and human beings. to no end, of course. not even god could stop our misbehaviour, all he could do was forgive us for it. well, i'm sure he could have, but he didn't.

but the running theme of the old testament is just how disobedient and "stiff necked" even god's chosen people are. every step of the way, they kvetched. they were quick to follow foreign gods, and forget their heritage.

so seeing someone fall from grace is not neccessarily a sign of something spiritual. every single king of the kingdom of israel was unrighteous, and so were most of the kings of judah. nearly every historical character in the bible fell from grace. only two were ever perfect: david and enoch. god took enoch, and david... well, you know what happened with david.

There's nothing in the story to suggest that snake is supernatural at all?

Snakes normally talk?

If so, why don't snakes still talk?

I've read nothing in the Hebrew Scriptures to indicate that God took this ability away.

ah, it's, erm, subtle.

quote:
Gen 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent ... dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

snakes constantly lick the ground. keeps them from using their tongues to tempt man.

I think we need an explanation as to why the snake has to be a snake -- and why no other interpretation is considered to be the likely interpretation.

because, inclosed in the curse is an etiology. it describes what defines a snake: it crawls on its stomach, people don't like it, and it licks the ground. these things don't fit anything OTHER than a snake.

now, like i said, it might be a possibility that the hebrews regarded ALL snakes as demi-spiritual animals, earthly representations of evil spirits. but the snake is definitally a snake. we lack the context to say that it was something else, although they might have read it differently at time.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 203 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-19-2006 9:59 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 205 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-20-2006 2:55 AM arachnophilia has responded

Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4621 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 205 of 302 (296707)
03-20-2006 2:55 AM
Reply to: Message 204 by arachnophilia
03-20-2006 12:38 AM


Re: satanim
arach writes:

i don't see this particular cherub falling, no. i see the king (or prince) of tyre falling. one image is used as a metaphor for what he was. actually, several images are used. and then the description of his coming falling -- it need not pertain to the metaphors used.

But the metaphors used are being applied to a cherub in the garden. You can wrangle the meanings whichever way you want -- the king of Tyre is being compared to a cherub that fell from God's grace.

There's no getting around this arach.

arach writes:

i'm not sure, but go for it. i'd be interested.

I'll come back to this. I think the concept of the cherub in the garden should be explored more first.

arach writes:

but the serpent is not a cherub.

How do you know that?

As I said before, like all celestial beings, an adverary flies through the air (Genesis Rabbah 19), and can assume any form, as of a bird (Talmud, Sanhedrin 107a), a stag (ibid, 95a), a woman (ibid, 81a), a beggar, or a young man (Midrash Tanchuma, Wayera, end); he is said to skip (Talmud Pesachim 112b and Megilla. 11b), in allusion to his appearance in the form of a goat.

If this is true, it doesn't seem outside the scope of the Talmudic thinking to conclude that the adversary could also assume a serpentine form.

arach writes:

at best, maybe we could draw a connection between the seraphim and the serpents. the serpents that god sends in numbers (which i hope SOMEONE will get to eventually) are הנחשים השרפים ha-nachashim ha-saraphim. but that's probably just a coincidence: "saraph" just means "burning." (strongs misidentifies this as a noun, and links it to the seraphim btw. clearly, it's being used as an adjective. don't trust strongs...) anyways, seraphim are the wrong kind of angels altogether.

Yes. But I've already explained how many traditional Christians view these passages. I realize you're Christian as well arach. Like you, I enjoy questioning the faith to get a deeper understanding of it. I consider it a challenge.

But exactly how far are we going to depart from traditional Christian thoughts in order to arrive at progressive and unique ideas?

Or are some of these ideas an continuation of Talmudic studies?

If you hold these things dear to you, I'm ok with that. It's not for me to judge. But yet you seem to be presenting these ideas as if anyone who concludes that the snake if more than a snake is absolutely wrong.

While I think you bring up interesting points, I don't think you've come close to defending these thoughts to the point that you claim.

It seems kind of ambiguous to me to be honest -- epicycles of references to metaphors within metaphors throughout metaphors.

Waterboy writes:

He gives the ball-- No, he doesn't-- He doesn't get the ball. The receiver goes all the way over there to the left. Once the quarterback has the ball, he fakes to the left. No. He fakes to the right. He doesn't fake. He thinks about faking. He pretends to fake...

As I said before, we don't see any reference to a cherub in Eden before the fall. However, we do see the snake testing man and leading him away from God. Bearing the symbolism most likely borrowed from Zoroastrianism, many would simply conclude that the snake was the fallen guardian cherub in disguise.

arach writes:

...well, an "agent of" satan might be an acceptable modification "a satan." but i think it's a bit of a stretch. and it betrays a fundamental meaning of genesis 2 and 3. god created the garden as a special place. he made is specially for adam and eve. why would he put something there that they weren't supposed to have?

It's been my opinion from the beginning that they were supposed to have it -- after they partook in the tree of life first.

I've already explained this before with the ergot analogy if I recall correctly. In other words, he forbid them to eat of it because eating from it was most likely harmful to them in that state. However, after cutting down the tree of knowledge and preparing it for medicinal purposes, it would be quite benevolent to humanity.

I'll also note that serpent is a strong symbol within medicinal circles.

arach writes:

he could have just as easily NOT put those things there. god's not dumb.

I don't think God's dumb either. I think he's the most intelligent being ever.

arach writes:

god put the tree of knowledge there...

...perhaps for good reasons.

arach writes:

...and god put the snake there.

...perhaps for good reasons.

arach writes:

what we have is god testing man -- or at least presenting a very curious choice to him.

I think what we have is God placing his trust in man. I think humanity's downfall is the result of humanity betraying God's trust -- not vice versa.

I also think that shame is the final result of their actions.

arach writes:

do we follow reason, or do we follow orders?

Was the serpent following orders or reason?

Where in the Genesis account does it say the serpent was obeying God when he did what did?

Or, was the serpent using clear reason?

Where in the Scriptures does it say this?

Or, for that matter, why does God curse the serpent so harshly if indeed the serpent was simply following orders or clear reason?

arach writes:

should we follow the one who lies to us out of love, or the one who hurts us with the truth?

We should follow the one who tells the truth out of love -- even if the truth hurts.

arach writes:

there may not have been a right answer to this question. without man becoming free and independent and self-aware, where would christ ever come in?

According to many Christian thinkers, he was already there.

Do you think it was the Father walking around with Adam and Eve?

arach writes:

but the snake and the tree were both in the garden for a reason. to think that the devil somehow crept by god's watchful and protective eye is about the same as saying that god really didn't know where adam and eve were when they hid.

(which i think you claimed before. at least you're consistent. :p )

Uh...no. I didn't claim that.

I said that the God probably couldn't see into their consciencenesses clearly because they weren't trusting in him completely. I said the same thing in regards to the adversary if I recall correctly.

Do you want me to go back and find exactly what I said?

Here's where that conversation started...somewhere around here...it goes back a few pages too if you want to check it out.

www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=6&t=476&m=166 -->www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=6&t=476&m=166">http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=6&t=476&m=166

arach writes:

because ezekiel's common and universally acknowledged mode of writting is metaphor. there have been threads here about reading genesis as metaphor -- and i agree somewhat. there ARE metaphoric levels to it. the problem is that ezekiel makes very little sense read literally. clearly, assyria is NOT a cedar in lebanon.

metaphor...

arach writes:

and clearly, the king (or prince) of tyre is NOT a cherub.

metaphor...

arach writes:

conviently, ezekiel spells out at least part of what he's talking about in the literal text. there are bits that SAY "this is about assyria" or "this is about the king of tyre."

ezekiel cannot be read 100% literally, without discounting these kinds of references. genesis can be.

But I'm not saying that Ezekial can be read 100% literally. In fact, I'm the one claming that Ezekial is using a metaphor when describing the king of Tyre.

On the other hand, it seems as if you are saying that Ezekial's contrast of the king of Tyre compared to the cherubim is a two-fold metaphor. In other words, perhaps the king of Tyre is compared to a cherub, but neither of them may have ever really existed because both of them could apparently be metaphors for other things that likewise may have never actually existed either.

What exactly are you saying? :confused:

arach writes:

well, certainly not that "you are a man" part. and actually, there are only two lines that directly refer to the cherub in eden. and those are the lines that SAY "you were in eden."

So you don't think the king of Tyre was in Eden?

If so, I don't either. It's a metaphor in my opinion.

However, what he's being compared to doesn't appear to be a metaphor.

arach writes:

the next bit after the eden part refers to the high priest of israel (the stones)...

Were the stones a non-existent metaphor...or did they really exist?

arach writes:

then the tabernacle...

Was the tabernacle a non-existent metaphor...or did it really exist?

arach writes:

then the ark of the covenant...

Was the Ark of the Covenant a non-existent metaphor...or did it really exist?

arach writes:

and then moses...

Was Moses a non-existent metaphor...or did he really exist?

arach writes:

most of THOSE references are from exodus, not genesis 3.

So what is the fallen cherubim a reference to?

Was the fallen cherubim a non-existent metaphor...or did it really exist?

arach writes:

as for "stones of fire" i'd be interested in your thoughts, because i'm still baffled. i've heard suggestions that ezekiel was working with different/earlier texts...

Could be. It might some odd reference to the stones worn by the high priest. I tend to think it's some kind of obscure reference to stars in the heavens...

For example, Anaxagoras, who lived in Athens, Greece, around 450 BC (about 2450 years ago), thought that the Sun and stars were fiery stones, that the stars were too far away for their heat to be felt, and that the Sun was perhaps more than a few hundred miles in size. With that Anaxagoras was, as far as we know, the first one to suggest that the Sun is a star. His ideas were met with disapproval and he was finally imprisoned for impiety, because his ideas did not fit the prejudices of the time.

References: http://solar-center.stanford.edu/FAQ/Qsunasstar.html

Other's claim that they are gems that are somehow linked with the fiery stones of the zodiac.

Astrological Quote writes:

To the zodiac the same authorities assigned the following gems and stones: To Aries the sardonyx, bloodstone, amethyst, and diamond; to Taurus the carnelian, turquoise, hyacinth, sapphire, moss agate, and emerald; to Gemini the topaz, agate, chrysoprase, crystal, and aquamarine; to Cancer the topaz, chalcedony, black onyx, moonstone, pearl, cat's-eye, crystal, and sometimes the emerald; to Leo the jasper, sardonyx, beryl, ruby, chrysolite, amber, tourmaline, sometimes the diamond; to Virgo the emerald, camelian, jade, chrysolite, and sometimes the pink jasper and hyacinth; to Libra the beryl, sardius, coral, lapis lazuli, opal, and sometimes the diamond; to Scorpio the amethyst, beryl, sardonyx, aquamarine, carbuncle, lodestone, topaz, and malachite; to Sagittarius die hyacinth, topaz, chrysolite, emerald, carbuncle, and turquoise; to Capricorn the chrysoprase, ruby, malachite, black onyx, white onyx, jet, and moonstone; to Aquarius the crystal, sapphire, garnet, zircon, and opal; to Pisces the sapphire, jasper, chrysolite, moonstone, and amethyst

Anyway, I'm not sure what to make of this quoted astrological aspect. I can say that some astrologers believed that gems were formed by stars falling from heaven.

I will also note that, according to the ancient Israelites, angels were often compared to stars in the celestial heavens. For example, according to Wikipedia, the identification of the "hosts" with the stars comes to the same thing; although not the same things, the stars were thought of as being closely connected with angels.

Job writes:

On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone-
while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

Scholastic theologians taught that angels were intermediaries to some forces that would otherwise be natural forces of the universe, such as the rotation of planets and the motion of stars.

There is, or course, the reference to Lucifer the fallen/morning star found within Isaiah. A similar reference to Christ seems prevalent within the Christian Scriptures as well.

Just as Moses lifted the snake, Christ was lifted on the cross.

arach writes:

so who is he being compared to? aaron, moses, an angel, and several inanimate objects.

Could you point out these references in Ezekial 28? Looking through it, I'm not immediately seeing them.

arach writes:

i know you of all people don't mean it this way, so i won't take offense at it. but i find that sort of bit condescending. trust god on what? do you have a direct connection to god that i lack?

i don't trust in my skill of interpretting at all. personally, i find this place a GREAT way to test it. but a lot of christians on here like to claim that they have some special and personal revelation from god where he reveals everything they ever need to know (which isn't actually all that much). i've been a christian for a while now, and i find that attitude about the same as a know-it-all teenager. usually, there's a lot they don't know, and a lot of experience they lack.

i think god wants us to question. he said "seek, and you will find." the things that are handed to us -- well, maybe those of are of the devil. i know when i go church, it sure feels to me like a lot of people are being led astray...

You kind of lost me on this one arach. :confused:

I thought we were debating ideas here.

I'm not talking about you personally. I'm just saying that this passage in question can be applied to politics -- but it can also be applied to many other things as well.

arach writes:

and human beings. to no end, of course. not even god could stop our misbehaviour, all he could do was forgive us for it. well, i'm sure he could have, but he didn't.

but the running theme of the old testament is just how disobedient and "stiff necked" even god's chosen people are. every step of the way, they kvetched. they were quick to follow foreign gods, and forget their heritage.

so seeing someone fall from grace is not neccessarily a sign of something spiritual. every single king of the kingdom of israel was unrighteous, and so were most of the kings of judah. nearly every historical character in the bible fell from grace. only two were ever perfect: david and enoch. god took enoch, and david... well, you know what happened with david.

I tend to agree with this. I'm quite sure that even if the adversay were locked up for a thousand years humanity would still tend to take a long time to filter out the wrongs.

qs writes:

ah, it's, erm, subtle.

Quite.

arach writes:

snakes constantly lick the ground. keeps them from using their tongues to tempt man.

Hmmm...I think that's a bit of a stretch to be honest. But let's run with it for a moment and see where the Spirit leads.

A casual glance through the Scriptures doesn't seem to imply that this phrase strictly means to silence an opponent. It seems to imply that an adversary has been thoroughly humbled though -- so I can see this in a round-a-bout way I guess. But I'll also note that the adversaries are presented as being in rebelion against God's will whenever that phrase "lick the dust" appears -- so this doesn't seem to reinforce the idea that the serpent was following God's orders in my opinion.

arach writes:

because, inclosed in the curse is an etiology. it describes what defines a snake: it crawls on its stomach, people don't like it, and it licks the ground. these things don't fit anything OTHER than a snake.

now, like i said, it might be a possibility that the hebrews regarded ALL snakes as demi-spiritual animals, earthly representations of evil spirits. but the snake is definitally a snake. we lack the context to say that it was something else, although they might have read it differently at time.

I think some Talmudic references I quoted above seem to indicate that the Israelites did not think it inconceivable for an adversary to appear as an animal.

In addition to this, animals that creeped on their belly (like snakes) were also considered unclean according to Mosaic Law. Certainly, the references to snakes and serpents within the Hebrew Scriptures do not present them as generally good for them. Many passages contrast the speech of a liar* to the effects of a serpent's venom; ie., a vile poison.

*Editted for clarification

This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 03-20-2006 04:00 AM

This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 03-20-2006 07:01 PM

This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 03-22-2006 01:13 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 204 by arachnophilia, posted 03-20-2006 12:38 AM arachnophilia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 227 by arachnophilia, posted 03-22-2006 12:44 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1530 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 206 of 302 (296733)
03-20-2006 7:01 AM
Reply to: Message 202 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-19-2006 8:59 PM


Re: Not a General Discussion on Serpents
If you notice the OP, I’m discussing plain text or plain sense of the text. I’m not looking at homiletics Message 38. Many allusions in the Bible can be gleaned to generate lessons and sermons. This topic is not looking at lesson and sermon possibilities. It is looking at the plain text or plain sense meaning.

Matthew 23:33 isn’t relevant to this discussion. This is not a general discussion on serpents/snakes. The OP is very specific.

As far as Eve’s deception mentioned by Paul see Message 7. The point of Paul’s lesson doesn’t turn the serpent in Genesis into Satan (a supernatural enemy of God).

Yes the point Arach made concerning Moses staff turning into a whale is interesting, but the plain text of that story and the bronze serpent used to heal don’t point to the serpent in Genesis as being Satan (a supernatural enemy of God).

quote:
… Similarly, like a mirror, when humanity looks upon the image of the cruxified Christ, they are essentially gazing upon what their own actions have wrought. But, in this sense, it is done within the context of the Gospel of Christ….
That’s a very nice lesson, but really has nothing to do with this discussion. The serpents in Numbers don’t deal with Satan (a supernatural enemy of God).

quote:
But your point seemed to basically be saying that sometimes a snake is just a snake. I disagree with this. I think the usage of snake within the Scriptures is usually always a metaphor for something else -- kind of like Paul's thorn in his side.
metaphor - A direct relationship where one thing or idea substitutes for another.

There are instances, but not all uses of the word snake or serpent are metaphors. The usage in the staff story and the bronze serpent story is not a metaphor. The way it is used in the Genesis story is not a metaphor. In Revelation, a vision, everything is symbolic. The dragon there represents an adversary. After a closer look since this thread started I don’t think it represents Satan (a supernatural enemy of God) but an earthly adversary of whoever the woman represents.

Now the way Jesus used it in John 3:14 is more of a simile (An indirect relationship where one thing or idea is expressed as being similar to another.). Jesus was teaching and trying to give a visual.

While a nice discussion on the different uses of the word serpent/snake, it doesn’t address the OP.

On several occasions people have stated in various ways that the ancient serpent/dragon in Revelations that symbolizes Satan/Devil refers back to the serpent in Genesis 3:1 which means that the serpent in Genesis 3:1 is Satan.

I disagree. IMO, the plain text reading does not support that the serpent of Genesis is the same as the serpent/dragon in the vision of Revelation.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
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 Message 207 by Phat, posted 03-20-2006 7:08 AM purpledawn has responded

Phat
Member
Posts: 12157
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 207 of 302 (296734)
03-20-2006 7:08 AM
Reply to: Message 206 by purpledawn
03-20-2006 7:01 AM


Re: Not a General Discussion on Serpents
PD writes:

After a closer look since this thread started I don’t think it represents Satan (a supernatural enemy of God) but an earthly adversary of whoever the woman represents.

Wow! All this purple logic! Dazzling! :)

OK so if the walking snake is an "earthly adversary of who the woman represents, could we surmize that she represented no one?

  • She was not able to represent God as she was unaware of His Spirit.
  • She may have represented herself, but did she really understand who she was in life---apart from the "helpmate" of Adam?

    This message has been edited by Phat, 03-20-2006 05:09 AM


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 206 by purpledawn, posted 03-20-2006 7:01 AM purpledawn has responded

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  • purpledawn
    Member (Idle past 1530 days)
    Posts: 4453
    From: Indiana
    Joined: 04-25-2004


    Message 208 of 302 (296737)
    03-20-2006 7:20 AM
    Reply to: Message 207 by Phat
    03-20-2006 7:08 AM


    Dragon in Revelation
    quote:
    Wow! All this purple logic! Dazzling!
    Some would say dizzying. Purple Smiles

    quote:
    OK so if the walking snake is an "earthly adversary of who the woman represents, could we surmize that she represented no one?
    I was speaking of the dragon in Revelation as an earthly adversary. IMO, the woman represents the nation of Israel.

    I'm not really sure what you are asking about the plain text of the Genesis story.


    "Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 207 by Phat, posted 03-20-2006 7:08 AM Phat has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 209 by Phat, posted 03-20-2006 7:28 AM purpledawn has responded

    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 12157
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.3


    Message 209 of 302 (296738)
    03-20-2006 7:28 AM
    Reply to: Message 208 by purpledawn
    03-20-2006 7:20 AM


    Plain Text meanings
    PD writes:

    I'm not really sure what you are asking about the plain text of the Genesis story.

    That brings up a good point.

    What were the authors intending to convey?

  • Were they drawing on the stories and legends that they heard from others? (Much as many of us do today as well...second hand traditions, interpretations, and information)
  • If they were drawing on such sources, can we gather that a cohesive zeitgeist was being discussed? Or was there controversy even then?

    This message has been edited by Phat, 03-20-2006 05:29 AM


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 208 by purpledawn, posted 03-20-2006 7:20 AM purpledawn has responded

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     Message 210 by purpledawn, posted 03-20-2006 7:40 AM Phat has responded
     Message 218 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-20-2006 7:13 PM Phat has not yet responded

  • purpledawn
    Member (Idle past 1530 days)
    Posts: 4453
    From: Indiana
    Joined: 04-25-2004


    Message 210 of 302 (296741)
    03-20-2006 7:40 AM
    Reply to: Message 209 by Phat
    03-20-2006 7:28 AM


    Re: Plain Text meanings
    Sorry I'm so dense this morning, but I still don't understand what you are asking in relation to the OP or what I've already stated.

    :confused:


    "Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 209 by Phat, posted 03-20-2006 7:28 AM Phat has responded

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     Message 265 by Phat, posted 03-25-2006 9:03 AM purpledawn has not yet responded

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