Did Eve Really Speak To A Talking Snake?
The first thing we need to establish is to verify the kind of creature involved. Many pictures depict Eve chatting with a snake but the animal in question was a serpent. Although the word serpent is often used as another general word for snake, the different term opens up the field to explore the snake body having other features. If you look up images for a serpent you will find many different forms. I would suggest the correct representation of the serpent involved with Eve would be of the kind used in the Hebrew language, where serpent is translated to nachash. This nachash (serpent) was upright with legs and therefore could have eyeballed Eve in the said confrontation.
With this better image we can continue on and inspect the talking element. Now animals of course cannot speak but we should bear in mind some creative arguments that are out there. One of these is that animals can in some cases mimic speech, so there is a possibility that the one provoking the event, Satan, could have easily manipulated the nachash to mimic. Alternatively, the animal could have simply been used as a conduit for the voice of Satan, who we must remember is a spiritual being and generally if not always, needs a body to promote all his lies, deception and evil. A third possibility is that the nachash did speak itself. This third idea is, I believe, a non-starter because even if animals were more advanced in the past and even if God had made creatures with verbal capabilities, it is hard to get a handle on any being able to speak in the kind of coherent, concise and indeed intelligent manner as outlined in Genesis. And we couldn’t even argue that the serpent had telepathic abilities because the Bible is very clear that the spoken word was used.
Satan is a powerful malevolent being and would have little problem possessing an animal and speaking through it and my guess is this is what happened. Adam named all the animals, was aware of the characteristics of a serpent and, would have clued up his companion about it. So it follows that when Eve was confronted by an upstanding nachash looking directly at her face to face by the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, she was for sure intrigued by a change in the creature’s demeanour from the one she had expected, her attention caught by the sudden verbal communication being transmitted. If Eve had been in the Garden for a matter of days and indeed not experienced any childhood, she may have been innocent enough to be unaware that animals couldn’t speak. However, what if Eve was in the Garden for a long while and God, as a Loving Father, provided a beautiful childhood for her and for Adam, albeit not from a baby age.
Eve may have been surprised then when the serpent spoke but on the other hand she may have been used to seeing amazing things happen, in a perfect world in a perfect garden run by God. If a snake like creature spoke to us, we would probably just run! Eve may have had the composure to hold her ground. In fact we know that she did because she had the self-control to even reply. So in answer to our question above, yes Eve did speak and no she didn’t speak to a snake, it was a nachash with a glint in its eye.
The experience often missed is that Eve wasn’t so shocked by the serpent speaking as she was by what it was saying, it was using cunning devious mesmerizing words, in a language she clearly understood, words that were so constructed so as to make Eve pause in her trust, dependence and fidelity to God. Just for an instant, a few moments in time. For a second the serpent held sway.
Nevertheless, as I was not in the Garden of Eden myself, I have no idea whether Eve spoke to a serpent or simply chased one down the Garden path.
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