Serpent meaning of God’s judgment. Serpents don’t eat dust. Is this at best folklore, at worst a Bible lie? What’s the real meaning?
The Serpent meaning of what God told it in Genesis 3:14 is one of those mysterious Bible statements that readers choke on. You shall eat dust all the days of your life. What is the meaning? There is dust from the ground on the food they swallow. But serpents do not survive on dust. Is this just a folkloric fabulation?
(Agony of Humankind, chapter 3.1)
In the last article, we explained that following the eating incident, God questioned the man and the woman to hear their point of view. This probe is the beginning part of applying justice correctly. We’d call it the interrogation. Each passed on the responsibility to another, the man to the woman and the woman to the Serpent. She admitted the Serpent beguiled her, leading to God directly addressing the Serpent with its judgment for what it had committed. The Serpent didn’t need interrogation; it was GUILTY; that’s the bottom line.
The next six verses (Genesis 3:14-19) are crucial texts to understand what happens for the upcoming 6000 years. They are the judgment pronounced by God following eating from the forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I remind you that we are not discussing stealing a forbidden fruit, which did happen. The issue here is the CHANGE OF MINDSET that occurred with the man and woman—their switch from God’s way of thinking to their human way of thinking and reasoning. Please read what took place.
This mindset transformation of humankind is the primary issue. The human mind (that is a tautology because only humans possess a mind. But, I added human to emphasize the humankind aspect and that every human being is endowed with their own mind) switched channels, from God-centered to self-centered. God’s pronouncement affects all peoples worldwide.
In Gen. 3:14-19, we have a description of the future of the Serpent and the future of humankind in the person of the first man and woman. We are going to spend some time here because these verses summarize the Agony of Humankind, the title of book 6 in The Explanation series. Grasping the meaning of the pronouncements of God to the Serpent, the woman and the man set the stage for the aftermath of the Garden of Eden. What we are going to witness in these six verses is a DESCRIPTION OF THE WORLD TODAY. How can The Explanation affirm this?
Because of what God says in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you (the Serpent) and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it (the woman’s seed) shall bruise your head…” I will explain the fullness of this pronouncement later, suffice for now to say, the woman’s seed has NOT thoroughly bruised the head of the Serpent. When it does, the Serpent will no longer have sway over human minds. That is NOT yet the case; it is for the future. What is described in these six verses is the state of the Serpent and humanity, represented by the man and the woman, right now in 2020.
When you hear or watch the news on your phone, the TV, or read a newspaper or magazine, what you see is the accomplishment of this pronouncement by God. Concerning humanity, it is the ultimate result of their change of mind orientation, away from God’s wisdom and towards their human wisdom.
As you read this text, it is vital to keep in mind key 3 to master Biblical Hebrew. Words have both literal and figurative application. We have seen clearly that the translators did not consider this key when translating cool of the day (vs. 8), which is better rendered “spiritual light,” the more profound spiritual meaning. And, throughout this entire chapter, Bible readers take nakedness and clothing literally, thus missing all the spiritual implication. Likewise, in these next verses.
13 And the LORD God said to the woman, What is this that you have done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
14 And the LORD God said to the serpent (H5175), Because you have done this, you are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon your belly (H1512) shall you go, and dust (H6083) shall you eat (H398) all the days of your life:
15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shalt bruise his heel.
The word serpent does not just refer to a long slithering reptile with a forked tongue. This word is a name that is always a description in Biblical Hebrew (key 5 to master the Bible language). A name identifies the character and personality of the being that carries the name. Here is the serpent meaning.
נָחָשׁ nâchâsh naw-khawsh’; from H5172 (נָחַשׁ); a snake (from its hiss):
KJV – serpent.
נָחַשׁ nâchash naw-khash’; a primitive root; properly, to hiss, i.e. whisper a (magic) spell; generally, to prognosticate:
KJV – ⨯ certainly, divine, enchanter, (use) ⨯ enchantment, learn by experience, ⨯ indeed, diligently observe.
We’re dealing with an enchanter who diligently observes (it definitely knows its stuff and what it’s doing), has learned from experience, and therefore is a master of enchantment. We have dealt at length with the downfall from grace to disgrace of Lucifer transformed into the Serpent. It is a master manipulator of angels and human minds.
The Serpent has only ONE goal, ONE focus; it is the destruction of humankind. If it can’t be numero uno, number one, sitting on God’s Throne (which it tried and failed, Ezekiel 28:14), then it will pull out all stops to barricade anyone else from ascending to such a lofty and prestigious position. God holds that position for humankind. You will be Kings and Priests and REIGN on Earth (Revelation 5:10). We don’t have time to go into this incredible potential every human possesses and how it will happen.
The Serpent can NOT thwart God’s plan, but the Serpent meaning is that it will use every enchantment imaginable to put a halt to human ACCESS to that plan. Collectively as humanity and individually as a male or female, the Serpent diligently observes and labors for our downfall. We shall be taking a close look at some of these enchantments in the context of these six verses. But, I cannot emphasize enough how the Serpent has a fixation on its project.
Here is a prime example of Serpent meaning. Hissing as loud as it can to drive humans as far from God as it can.
And the LORD said to Satan, Whence come you? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
8 And the LORD said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil?
9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Does Job fear God for nought?
10 Have not you made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
11 But put forth your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.
12 And the LORD said to Satan, Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself put not forth your hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
Read further; Satan attacked Job on all sides and in all forms; this is a special trial God put Job through for an excellent reason, that’s there’s no space to explain here. Yes, God uses the Serpent, as He did in the Garden of Eden, but the Serpent’s power can be and is shackled by God, as is evident by the limits God placed on Satan in the Job example. Satan has no alternative but to respect God’s commands. In this example, the Serpent took control of circumstances surrounding Job’s life. It has the power and the motivation to influence and harm human beings.
Before I go any further, I will make a quick reference to a safe way to maintain the Serpent at a distance. 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. “I realize this verse addresses converted individuals, but the principle relates to every single human being. The crucial point is the mind.
Humans are NOT born with a fearful mind. They are born with a fresh open mind that gets filled up with knowledge, attitudes, and emotions. The way to stand strong is to MAINTAIN A SOUND MIND. Real health starts in the MIND. All men and women generally have the capacity for a sound mind. I agree this is not always the case, and we will be discussing those exceptions. But, a SOUND MIND is THE BEST BULWARK again Serpent misdoings.
After that reassuring interlude, let’s continue with Serpent meaning, focusing on its belly. Yes, serpents slither on their belly. And, of course, the question comes up, did they have legs before this confrontation in Genesis 3? I don’t know, and that’s not the point anyway. The belly is figurative.
גָּחוֹן gâchôwn gaw-khone’; probably from H1518 (גִּיחַ)lemma גּיחַ missing vowel, corrected to גִּיחַ; (compare H1521 (גִּיחוֹן)) the external abdomen, belly (as the source of the faetus):
KJV – belly.
גִּיחַ gîyach ghee’-akh; or (shortened) גֹּחַ; a primitive root; to gush forth (as water), generally to issue:
KJV – break forth, lab
גִּיחַ gîyach ghee’-akh; (Aramaic) or (shortened) גּוּחַ; (Aramaic), corresponding to H1518 (גִּיחַ)lemma גּיחַ missing vowel, corrected to גִּיחַ; to rush forth:
KJV – strive.
גִּיחוֹן Gîychôwn ghee-khone’; or (shortened) גִּחוֹן; from H1518 (גִּיחַ)lemma גּיחַ missing vowel, corrected to גִּיחַ; stream; Gichon, a river of Paradise; also a valley (or pool) near Jerusalem:
KJV – Gihon.
The belly represents a hunting tactic. The animal lies in wait, when the prey steps into range, it pounces out and grabs it with its incisors or claws. It’s a swift, surprise swoop.
Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say to him, You are like a young lion of the nations, and you are as a whale in the seas: and you came forth (H1518) with your rivers, and troubled the waters with your feet, and fouled their rivers. Judges 20:33 And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place, and put themselves in array at Baaltamar: and the liers in wait of Israel came forth (H1518) out of their places, even out of the meadows of Gibeah. Daniel 7:2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove (H1519) upon the great sea.
Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say to him, You are like a young lion of the nations, and you are as a whale in the seas: and you came forth (H1518) with your rivers, and troubled the waters with your feet, and fouled their rivers.
And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place, and put themselves in array at Baaltamar: and the liers in wait of Israel came forth (H1518) out of their places, even out of the meadows of Gibeah.
Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove (H1519) upon the great sea.
Are you catching the Serpent meaning? Can you feel the intense power of the winds howling across a turbulent ocean? In Ezekiel 32, Pharoah is a type of the Serpent, a ferocious lion or dominating whale. In the New Testament, another type of the Serpent is Herod.
“And he (Herod) sent them (wise men) to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appears to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be you there until I bring you word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him” (Matthew 2:8, 13).
This intrigue wraps up all the Serpent meaning. Herod’s well-meaning lies, the diligent search ( serpent = diligently observe, H5172), his intent to destroy the newborn child, the descendant of the woman.
Then, in the last book of the Bible, Revelation, the parallel to Genesis, the first book, we read in chapter 12:15, “And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.;” Here the Serpent’s belly is portrayed by the Serpent gushing out a flood to destroy the woman, who represents God’s Church. From the beginning to the end of God’s plan for humankind, the Serpent is on the prowl 24/7/365.
For interest and contrast, I added H1519, related to H1518, because the River Gihon has H1518 as its Biblical Hebrew root. This majestic waterway ran from the Garden of Eden to present-day Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan. Imagine the gushing outflow to maintain moving water over that distance. That is the symbolic meaning of belly. We are talking about the power of both God and the Serpent. Of course, God’s power is always greater. But the Serpent possesses and uses its power to bruise the seed of the woman.
With this word, we think more about peacefully eating, maybe sitting at a table. Even a Serpent eats slowly. But, again, look at the Biblical Hebrew to understand the contrasting meanings of this feeding action.
אָכַל ʼâkal aw-kal’; a primitive root; to eat (literally or figuratively):
KJV – ⨯ at all, burn up, consume, devour(-er, up), dine, eat(-er, up), feed (with), food, ⨯ freely, ⨯ in…wise(-deed, plenty), (lay) meat, ⨯ quite.
Two verses, among many to illustrate frenzied eating. Go over to UnlockBibleMeaning.com and search for others to realize the depth of what the Biblical Hebrew is telling us. Biblical Hebrew words tell stories.
Psalms 79:7 For they have devoured (H398) Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place.
That’s the Serpent meaning of eat, to burn us up, consume and devour human beings; This is the Agony of Humankind. And the Serpent is good, very good at what it does.
Serpent eats dust
Dust shall you eat. Some Bible scholars and detractors read that with a smirk on their face. After all, everyone knows serpents don’t eat dust. Well, this passage is not talking about serpents, but rather the Serpent. This passage is another of the multitude of examples of the figurative use of Biblical Hebrew. Just how deep it is in expressing God’s meaning and plan. Serpent = enchanter, belly = gush out, eat = devour. It should be no wonder that dust also has a figurative meaning, and it does.
This second use of the word dust in Genesis, refers back to the first use in Genesis 2:7. God formed man from the dust of the ground. The Serpent eats humans (the dust) all the days of its life. The Enchanter gushes out its venim and devours humans until God crushes its head.
When you understand Genesis 3:14 and the judgment pronounced by God on the Serpent, you know that it is ongoing. That means it describes the year 2020 and its events. Hence the illustration accompanying this blog post. That of a serpent devouring a human being. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying the Serpent is responsible for every wrong, far from it, as we’ll see in God’s judgment of the man and the woman. We humans have plenty of responsibility for the mess of our planet.
Is there coherent completeness in this comprehension of Serpent meaning? Does the New Testament indicate this identical concept? Yes, there are numerous verses in the New Testament referring to this abysmal attitude of the Serpent devouring humankind. A crucial one is:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour (G2666):
There’s a lot of action, worth meditating, in the above verse. Notice the significance of devour.; that this action is symbolic as well as literally swallowing a mouthful of food. This video illustrates a serpent eating dust, not that of a human being, but a small alligator. You get the point.
καταπίνω katapinō kat-ap-ee’-no; From G2596 and G4095; to drink down that is gulp entire (literally or figuratively): KJV – devour drown swallow (up).
πίνω πίω πόω pinō piō poō pee’-no pee’-o po’-o; The first is a prolonged form of the second which (together with the third form) occurs only as an alternate in certain tenses; to imbibe (literally or figuratively):
KJV – drink.
This Biblical Hebrew word covers the gamut: from imbibing, that means little by little until satiated, all the way to gulping down whole! In other words total Serpent meaning. It has and uses every single tactic in its gamebook to put down God’s plan for humankind.
Here’s a perfect example of the Serpent’s tactics. This context is in a prophetic setting, which means it is in the future. No time to explain it now, just understand that this is and will be the nature of the Serpent, that humankind has to contend with now and in the future.
3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon,
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
Here the Serpent is the red Dragon, casting its demons to devour the child as soon as it’s born. The equivalent of gushing water, going on its belly, destroying humans, eating them alive. Once a Serpent, always a Serpent.
The Serpent not only has tactics but strategy as well. We are going to see HOW the Serpent devours
This blog post is an excerpt from chapter 3.1 of the book Agony of Humankind.
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