3.11) The Serpent was the Most Cunning Mammal

Starting with this section, we are now entering a series of discussions examining the various Biblical evidences identifying Lilith as the infamous Serpent of the garden.  The first evidences we shall discuss are those that dispel the myth that the serpent must be a reptilian snake demonically inhabited by Lucifer.  This is a rather big hurdle to overcome for some people, as in certain circles this popular notion may be quite entrenched.  The popularity of the notion no doubt began with the KJV’s choice to render the Hebrew word nachash as “serpent”, thereby invoking the image of a snake to the reader.  Dispelling this popular identification is made more difficult because a snake also seemingly explains God’s curse upon the serpent to crawl upon its belly and eat dust (as the flicking tongue of snakes appear to taste the ground).  However, as we shall see, the passages quite clearly state that the serpent was a mammal.  Moreover, it was the most intelligent and cunning of all mammals.  This indicates that the Serpent must have been a human, albeit one with some defect of spirit or soul that caused God to classify it as an animal and not a man.  Lilith best explains this most cunning non-man.

The first indication that the Serpent was not a snake comes from a simple logical exercise.  If it was God’s curse that transformed the Serpent into a snake that must go upon its belly and eat dust, then the Serpent could not have been a snake before the curse.  Otherwise, God’s curse for it to go upon its belly would have been pointless, as it would have no detrimental impact upon the creature.  The Scofield Study Bible takes this same position.  Scofield writes, “The serpent, in his Edenic form, is not to be thought of as a writhing reptile.  That is the effect of the curse (Gen. 3:14).  The creature which lent itself to Satan may well have been the most beautiful as it was the most ‘subtle’ of creatures less than man.”  Therefore, even under the most entrenched position that the post-curse Serpent refers to a snake, the pre-curse Serpent must have been something else that walked on legs.  The position that the post-curse Serpent was a snake provides absolutely no clue to suggest what it might have been before its cursing. 

Note that I do not hold that the Serpent was transformed into a snake at its cursing.  Rather, God’s cursing of its belly and its eating of dust refer to the curses of the bitter water trial to which God is subjecting the Serpent Lilith.  In the bitter water trial, a priest forced a wayward adulterous woman to eat dust suspended in water.  If she was guilty, her belly would swell and her thighs (i.e. legs) would rot and fall.  This critical ceremony shall be discussed in detail in section 3.16, and more details on the mystical cursing will be investigated in section 3.20.

Does the Biblical text provide any clue as to who or what the Serpent was?  Yes it does.  Ge 3:1 states that that the Serpent was the most cunning “beast of the field”, or chayot ha’sadeh.  The chayot ha’sadeh are the final creatures created by Jehovah on creation day 6.  Except for Adam, they are the highest life forms on the planet.  This is so because Genesis describes God as continuously creating more and more complex life throughout each creation day.  The beasts of the field are the culmination of this creation event.  These would essentially be mammals – mice, cats, dogs, wolves, bears, etc.  They have large complex brains and are soulish creatures who have the ability to display emotion.  This emotional capability is confirmed in Job 40:20, which says the chayot ha’sadeh “play” with each other when food is plentiful and there is no want.  The characterization of chayot ha’sade as higher mammals is confirmed throughout the Bible.  The term appears 24 times in the Bible, and in each appearance is obviously applies to mammals who eat crops and/or hunt humans (lions, etc).  The emotional and intellectual capacity of the chayot ha’sade is why only they and birds were brought before Adam as potential companions in Ge 3.  Only with these soulish creatures could Adam hope to have any type of emotional co-relationship. 

A literal translation of Ge 3:1 is provided below, as well as the KJV version.  A breakdown of the word-by-word Hebrew is provided in Table 3‑11.  It is quite clear from the passage that the Serpent is a member “from” all the beasts of the field.[1]  Thus, the serpent could not be a snake.  It must be a mammal. 

Ge 3:1 (KJV)

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. …

Ge 3:1 (My Literal)

And the serpent became crafty from all beasts of the field which the Jehovah God had made. …

from all
and the serpent
of the field

Table 3‑11: A Transliteration of Ge 3:1

At this point, it is fascinating to realize that Lilith would logically be classified as the most intelligent beast of the field.  She would not be fully classified as human, because that requires she bear the image and spirit of God like Adam.  Lilith bore the image and spirit of her father Lucifer.  Thus, she would be more beast than human.  Nevertheless, she would definitely be classified as the most cunning of these beasts.  She possessed a complete human body and mind, and she would have access to the amazing animating spirit of Lucifer within her.  To call her the most crafty and subtle creature from all the beasts of the field would be very apt. 

Lilith alone appropriately fulfills the stringent requirements of the Serpent being declared as a beast of the field.  Otherwise, one must conclude that the Serpent was a primate (chimp, orangutan, etc) possessed by Satan, as these are generally considered the most intelligent mammals on the earth, outside of man.  However, all animal possession theories suffer logical consistencies after a little thoughtful scrutiny.  God’s curses against the Serpent were directed at its physical body.  However, if the Serpent were merely some poor innocent animal possessed by Satan, then God’s curses against the body would be no punishment to Satan, who is a spirit.  Satan would simply flee the body once he was finished with it.  In order for God’s cursing against the Serpent’s physical body to have a punishing effect upon Satan, that spirit must be innately fused with the Serpent’s physical body and unable to be released from it.  This is precisely the situation with Lilith.  She is animated by the spirit of her father Lucifer, which cannot depart from her. 

[1] The mem (m) inseparable preposition attached to chol (lk, meaning “all”) clearly indicates the serpent came from all the beasts of the field.