Learning Biblical Hebrew
8/24/09 at 01:06 PM 0 Comments

Who was The Serpent in Garden of Eden?

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We all know the story of Garden of Eden and the forbidden fruit of the Tree Of Knowledge (see "The power of temptation-Seductive women in the Bible" blog). However, there are a few interpretations to the question:" who was the Serpent?"

The first and the most known interpretation can be found in The Book of Genesis chapter 3. The Serpent is described as an evil snake that seduces Eve to taste from the forbidden fruit of the Tree Of Knowledge, and as a result Eve and Adam were expelled from the Garden of Eden and the snake was cursed by God to crawl on his belly and eat dust for all his life.

Genesis 3:4-6-

" וַיֹּאמֶר הַנָּחָשׁ, אֶל-הָאִשָּׁה: לֹא-מוֹת, תְּמֻתוּן. כִּי, יֹדֵעַ אֱלֹהִים, כִּי בְּיוֹם אֲכָלְכֶם מִמֶּנּוּ, וְנִפְקְחוּ עֵינֵיכֶם; וִהְיִיתֶם, כֵּאלֹהִים, יֹדְעֵי, טוֹב וָרָע. וַתֵּרֶא הָאִשָּׁה כִּי טוֹב הָעֵץ לְמַאֲכָל וְכִי תַאֲוָה-הוּא לָעֵינַיִם, וְנֶחְמָד הָעֵץ לְהַשְׂכִּיל, וַתִּקַּח מִפִּרְיוֹ, וַתֹּאכַל; וַתִּתֵּן גַּם-לְאִישָׁהּ עִמָּהּ, וַיֹּאכַל"

"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it."

According to Kabalistic legends, after Lilith (see" Lilith-Queen of the demons "blog) left Garden of Eden returned to the garden as the Serpent whom tempted Eve.

The Talmud states that Samael (see" Demons in Jewish Mythology- Samael" blog), the Angel of Death, is made equivalent to the Biblical Serpent of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Also according to the Talmud, Satan and Samael are the same, which means that the Serpent is Satan...

Main phrases of the post + transcription + translation
Hebrew        Transcription    Translation
גַּן עֵדֶן            Gan 'ēden        The Garden of Eden
פְּרִי               pərî                  Fruit
תַּאֲוָה            Ta'ăwāh             Craving, lust
נָחָשׁ              nāhāš              Snake,serpent


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