Ipsissima Vox: A Defense of Eve’s First Response to the Serpent

The majority of commentators interpret Eve’s first response to the Serpent as the inception of a sinful attitude toward God. They base their negative reading of Eve’s initial response on the fact that she fails to quote verbatim the prohibition God gave to Adam (2:17), which, presumably, Adam had communicated to Eve. In their estimation, Eve’s “reformulation” of God’s word casts God and his prohibition in a negative light. But is this a responsible way to interpret Eve’s response? Did the first human sin begin at Genesis 3:2-3 or at 3:6? Continue reading

Snake or Seraph? The Identity of the Serpent in Genesis 3

Genesis 3:1 introduces a new character into the Eden narrative and signals a shift in the plot. He is introduced as “the serpent.” Initially, the reader may picture nothing more than a legless reptile (suborder: serpentes). The Hebrew term נחש is generally used to refer to a type of a reptile, usually a legless reptile such as a snake (Num 21:6; Deut 8:15; Ps 58:4; Prov 23:32; Isa 65:25; Jer 8:17; Amos 5:19; Mic 7:17). But additional information in the account suggests that this entity is more than a mere snake. Continue reading