Snakes and serpents in the Scriptures

1. Genesis 3 – The Garden of Eden

In what is perhaps the most consequential passage involving a serpent, Genesis 3 tells us a satanically possessed serpent spoke to Eve in order to tempt her to eat from the forbidden tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: 

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

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He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-5 ESV)

While the debate rages on over whether the snake is literal or allegorical, nearly all theologians agree that following this infamous encounter, sin and death entered into the world and with it, the need for God’s redemptive design.

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