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John Harmonic

Was the snake a liar?

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In the Bible the snake was the one who tempted Eve into eating from the "Tree of the knowledge of good and evil" telling Eve you will be like God if you eat it. I am wondering if the snake was a liar or telling the truth. According to articles I have read that snake is pretty much Lucifer/The Devil/Satan and he is supposedly the father of all lies and wants to lead all of humanity astray. So was the snake lying or telling the truth? Did Adam and Eve become like God in a way?

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6 hours ago, John Harmonic said:

So was the snake lying or telling the truth?

Of course he was lying:

Quote

Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

That is the lie.

6 hours ago, John Harmonic said:

Did Adam and Eve become like God in a way?

This is what God said:

Quote

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

And this the snake:

Quote

you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

So they would only be like God in this aspect: knowing good and evil. It seems that God did not like that.

On a superficial reading it is an interesting story: being able to distinguish good and evil drove us from our paradisaical lives. OTOH, as a first consequence, Adam and Eve shame themselves for their nakedness. But when God already knows about good and evil, why did he create he them naked? Why was he walking in the paradise?

Quote

 

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

 

Did he want to peep the naked Adam and Eve, knowingly, so doing evil himself? ;)

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6 hours ago, John Harmonic said:

I have read that snake is pretty much Lucifer/The Devil/Satan

This seems to be a later interpretation. When God speaks to the serpent just after Adam tells him what happened (Genesis 3:14), he indicates the serpent is but an animal.

Quote

14  Then Jehovah God said to the serpent:m “Because you have done this, you are the cursed one out of all the domestic animals and out of all the wild animals of the field. On your belly you will go, and you will eat dust all the days of your life.

 

I'm not sure when the snake became identified with Satan, but Paradise Lost would have popularised the idea, if not started it:

Quote

Th’ infernal Serpent; he it was whose guile, Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived The mother of mankind, what time his pride Had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host Of rebel Angels, by whose aid, aspiring To set himself in glory above his peers, He trusted to have equalled the Most High,

 

 

Edited by Prometheus

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9 hours ago, Eise said:

This is what God said:

Quote

“Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Adam: "We ate the apple and didn't die. And don't call me Shirley."

Surely God told the first lie then. Adam and Eve didn't die that day. 

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Did God describe the garden as paradise to Adam and Eve?

(I can't be bothered to check)

If so, having put the serpent in there, God lied.

Also, unless you say that the serpent had free will- which is debatable- then the snake was God's instrument for telling the lie. In any event God let the serpent say what it did.

It's like blaming the telephone for lying to you, rather than the person speaking at the other end of the  'phone line.

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Presumably without the snake, Adam and Eve would have spent eternity naming all the animals.

Who wouldn't be tempted by almost any chance of escape from that?

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14 hours ago, Eise said:

Of course he was lying:

That is the lie.

This is what God said:

And this the snake:

So they would only be like God in this aspect: knowing good and evil. It seems that God did not like that.

On a superficial reading it is an interesting story: being able to distinguish good and evil drove us from our paradisaical lives. OTOH, as a first consequence, Adam and Eve shame themselves for their nakedness. But when God already knows about good and evil, why did he create he them naked? Why was he walking in the paradise?

Did he want to peep the naked Adam and Eve, knowingly, so doing evil himself? ;)

But that's only a lie if you quote it out of context. In context, it's a denial of God's claim that they would die the day they ate the fruit. They ate it and lived throughout the week, so the serpent didn't lie. God did.

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I thought death was the price of believing the serpent.

But, of course, if they were told  that everything in the garden was "Good", then they would believe it.

 

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I'd say snake was telling the truth about being 'like' God.

Maybe they were just prevented from dying beforehand but were not actually immortal(Tree of Life). Perhaps God was just saying they'd die someday down the road if kicked out.

 

Personally think it makes a better allegory than anything else. Development of cultural norms and awareness of our own mortality coming with increasing intelligence. Just my own idle thoughts though.

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On 9/27/2018 at 8:59 PM, John Harmonic said:

According to articles I have read that snake is pretty much Lucifer/The Devil/Satan and he is supposedly the father of all lies and wants to lead all of humanity astray.

I have never understood the father of lies title. If it is God who created all things. God created truth, lies, pain, joy, stars, moons, planets, humans, angels, and etc. It is God who created the Devil and it is God who created lies and endowed the Devil with the ability to lie. Than it is God who fathered lies. Because by simple logic of a singular creator of all things (God) neither the Devil or Lies exist less Good created them.

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1 hour ago, Ten oz said:

I have never understood the father of lies title. If it is God who created all things. God created truth, lies, pain, joy, stars, moons, planets, humans, angels, and etc. It is God who created the Devil and it is God who created lies and endowed the Devil with the ability to lie. Than it is God who fathered lies. Because by simple logic of a singular creator of all things (God) neither the Devil or Lies exist less Good created them.

 

Edited by dimreepr

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12 hours ago, Endy0816 said:

Perhaps God was just saying they'd die someday down the road if kicked out.

The why assert it would happen "this day"? And double down with surely die?

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2 hours ago, Phi for All said:

The why assert it would happen "this day"? And double down with surely die?

His days are really long and he was really sure of his Angel's flaming sword skill?

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On 9/29/2018 at 11:26 AM, Phi for All said:

Then why assert it would happen "this day"? And double down with surely die?

Ok, I'll bite.  The "double down"  makes it interesting. . .

This "double" construction or absolute infinitive form of the original Hebrew phrase "you shall surely die"  is translated literally as "dying you shall die" and appears to be idiomatic in structure.  Variants of this particular construction are juridical in tone each time they're used in the OT, emphasizing the certainty of death for the violation of a specific command.

The best example for this thread would probably be 1 Kings 2:37 - "For on the day you (Shimei)go out and cross the brook Kidron, know for certain that you shall die."
As the story goes, Shimei saddles a donkey and sets out for his servant in Gath.  He comes back and King Solomon is notified.  Solomon summons Shimei (say that 3 times fast) and says,  “Did I not make you swear by the Lord and solemnly warn you, saying, ‘Know for certain that on the day you go out and go to any place whatever, you shall die'?" Subsequently Shimei is sentenced to death.

It's doubtful that all of this would've happened in a single day.  This idea is further illustrated in Numbers 26:65 - "For the LORD had said of them, "They shall surely die in the wilderness."  Those deaths happened over the course of 40 years rather than a single day.  So from these examples, we see that the idiom is emphasizing the certainty of death rather than the immediacy of death.  

"Of all the verbal conjugations in Biblical Hebrew, the Infinitive Absolute is the simplest in form but the most complex in function, demanding the most sensitivity to its context to determine its meaning."

https://uhg.readthedocs.io/en/latest/infinitive_absolute.html

 

On 9/29/2018 at 11:26 AM, Phi for All said:

The why assert it would happen "this day"?

In your original statement earlier in the thread, you quoted "in the day," not "this day."

The original Hebrew construction is translated as "in the day" just as it is written in popular English translations from which you quoted.

This particular construction  is used elsewhere in scripture, such as 1 Kings 2:37 that I mentioned above, where it didn't necessarily mean on the day the offense took place.   It's also used in Genesis 2:4 - "in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens."   Given that Genesis lists six days of creation we can see that "in the day" is not referring to a single day.  Another example is  Numbers 7:10 where "on the day" refers to 12 days of sacrifice.

I think one of the issues is trying to translate into English a language with a limited vocabulary, making the context all the more important.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom

 


A Variety of Views

Based on some of the above, there are a number of views.

 

1.  Some take the literal translation of "dying you shall die" to mean that the dying process started on that day and obviously continued till they inevitably died.  However, while that may make sense, some say that that is an improper usage of the juridical idiom, suggesting that it  simply refers to the certainty of death as it pertains to breaking a specific law.

 

2. Regardless if one views "in the day" as ambiguous or not, some believe that "spiritual death" occurred on that day in the form of separation from God.  While some argue that the idea of "spiritual death" is not found here in Genesis, it does fit the whole of scripture, especially when one considers NT ideas of spiritual death.

 

3. Another view maintains that the death penalty was to be carried out on that same day, however, God being God and Judge, it's His perogatvie to show leniency.  As Exodus 33:19 states: "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."

 

4. The next view expounds a bit more on the preceding view held in #3 above. This view holds that the animal skins God used to cover Adam and Eve's shame are seen as the first animal sacrifice for a provision to cover one's sin that we see throughout the OT.  

However,  Isaiah 1:11  states: “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats."

Furthermore, in Proverbs 21:3 - "To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice."  However, in Psalms 53:3 - "They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good,not even one."

From this it appears that relying on sacrifice and the ability of man to do righteousness and justice is rather futile.

This view holds that just as God provided the initial provision to cover the sin of Adam and Eve, It was up to Him to provide a provision for all mankind.

Therefore, God leads by example:
Philippians 2:5–8: "Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."

In addition, John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
In light of all this, believers should strive to live in obedience.

I'll conclude this view by quoting from Genesis 4:6-7: "The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”

 

5. Another view holds that, strictly speaking, the serpent didn't lie. (Nor did God.)  It focuses on illustrating the differences found in the original Hebrew constructions between God, Eve, and the serpent as it pertains to the penalty of death.  Basically, it's saying that the serpent, as "wise" and "subtil" was merely taking advantage of Eve's apparent misunderstanding or naiveté of what the penalty for disobedience actually entailed.  Personally, I think this view imposes a bit more on the text than one might want to, but the argument is interesting nonetheless, which is why I decided to include it here.

 

Helpful Links/Sources:

https://uhg.readthedocs.io/en/latest/infinitive_absolute.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom

https://biblehub.com/interlinear/genesis/2.htm

https://biblehub.com/hebrew/beyom_3117.htm

https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4191.htm

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?t=kjv&strongs=h4191

https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/2011/12/dying-you-shall-die

https://answersingenesis.org/death-before-sin/genesis-2-17-you-shall-surely-die/

No Place for Sovereignty: What's Wrong with Freewill Theism - R. K. McGregor Wright

In the Beginning: Commentary on Genesis 1-3

The Sound and the Fury in the Garden of Eden: William Faulkner's the Sound and the Fury and the Garden of Eden Myth - John P. Anderson

 

 

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On ‎28‎/‎09‎/‎2018 at 1:59 AM, John Harmonic said:

 So was the snake lying or telling the truth?

Neither - it didn't happen. Snakes don't talk - it is clearly a myth. 

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On 9/29/2018 at 8:34 AM, Ten oz said:

I have never understood the father of lies title. If it is God who created all things. God created truth, lies, pain, joy, stars, moons, planets, humans, angels, and etc. It is God who created the Devil and it is God who created lies and endowed the Devil with the ability to lie. Than it is God who fathered lies. Because by simple logic of a singular creator of all things (God) neither the Devil or Lies exist less Good created them.

Perhaps the ability to lie is just an inherent possibility of self awareness combined with the ability to create and think for oneself?

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Perhaps it was an idiom and or simile that got lost in the translation? You could ignore the snake and be made aware of your own mortality the moment you became too comfortable dealing with what can kill you. Occasionally you catch a glimpse of the snake and are reminded by the glimpse of the snakes pressence. The snake doesn't have to talk. The sound of slithering movement,  the occasional hiss and, or a sudden squeal from a mouse will do.

You know that if you ignore the danger one day you will face your own mortality. Yet, you become comfortable. Then one day like any other, you reach for the forbidden fruit, and the snake strikes. It's what snakes do.

So, did the snake lie? Was the reality of talking snakes the point of that particular telling?

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Did the snake lie, or was he just not telling all of the truth? Meaning, would eating the apple make Eve like god in every way, or just in some ways, e.g, having knowledge of good and evil, but not being godlike.

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On 9/28/2018 at 3:52 AM, Prometheus said:
On 9/28/2018 at 12:44 PM, Phi for All said:

Adam: "We ate the apple and didn't die. And don't call me Shirley."

Surely God told the first lie then. Adam and Eve didn't die that day. 

This seems to be a later interpretation. When God speaks to the serpent just after Adam tells him what happened (Genesis 3:14), he indicates the serpent is but an animal.

 

I'm not sure when the snake became identified with Satan, but Paradise Lost would have popularised the idea, if not started it:

 

 

They lost their eternal life in that day, so they did die, though their flesh lived until that too died outside the garden.  They will not have eternal life again until the resurrection when they will eat of the tree of life which was also in the midst of the garden, but which they could not eat of because the cherubims and flaming sword guarded the entrance.   Genesis 3:24   "And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever:  Therefore the Lord God sent him forth out of the garden of Eden ..." Genesis 3:22, 23    

Also .. their nakedness was not of the flesh, but of the spirit.  They had betrayed God and knew it, because they knew good and evil.  They hid themselves because they were ashamed they had disobeyed God.   

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Almost everyone involved in this discussion considers the Bible ( and certainly the Old Testament ) works of fiction.
Yet here you all are trying to find the actual truths of these fictional allegories.

Shall we discuss whether Pinocchio's nose actually grew when he told a lie, next ?

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4 hours ago, MigL said:

Almost everyone involved in this discussion considers the Bible ( and certainly the Old Testament ) works of fiction.
Yet here you all are trying to find the actual truths of these fictional allegories.

Shall we discuss whether Pinocchio's nose actually grew when he told a lie, next ?

It sounds more to me like EVERYONE here is wanting to believe in the bible instead of in Pinnocchio because we know that unlike Pinnocchio's nose our time on earth is short, and what's next?  We want to know what's next?  And subconsciously we know the bible knows what's next.  So it's discussed.  If you are totally convinced the bible is fiction what are you doing here Mig?    

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!

Moderator Note

Please get back on topic. 

coffeesippin: this is a science forum for the purposes of discussion. We do not permit members to simply preach the Bible here. Discussion of its contents and its interpretations from an intellectual stand point is permissible, but that is where we draw the line. If you cannot comply with this, your posts will be removed. 

 

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8 hours ago, MigL said:

Almost everyone involved in this discussion considers the Bible ( and certainly the Old Testament ) works of fiction.
Yet here you all are trying to find the actual truths of these fictional allegories.

Shall we discuss whether Pinocchio's nose actually grew when he told a lie, next ?

I often do discuss such nuances in fiction: was the last thing in Pandora's box hope or deceptive expectation?  was Smeagol smiling as he fell into Mount Doom ? whether the dark side really is stronger than the light side (Yoda never really answers that question). Fiction has much to offer us without being literally true. The Bible is one of the best collections of fiction and deserves its place amongst literary great works.

 

As Hemingway put it: 'All good books have one thing in common - they are truer than if they really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.'

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13 hours ago, MigL said:

Almost everyone involved in this discussion considers the Bible ( and certainly the Old Testament ) works of fiction.
Yet here you all are trying to find the actual truths of these fictional allegories.

 
 

it's a story designed to teach why/how knowledge interferes with contentment.

how can we sin without knowledge?

4 hours ago, Prometheus said:

I often do discuss such nuances in fiction: was the last thing in Pandora's box hope or deceptive expectation?

deceptive expectation, surely hope was there before the box was opened?

my dog doesn't know the difference.

Edited by dimreepr

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