Trickery. The ugly transformation from honest, positive wisdom to corrupt negative wisdom. That’s the goal of the serpent.
Trickery is rampant in today’s society. On the one hand, we admire card tricks and sleight of hand as entertainment. On the other hand, when someone tricks us into purchasing something or signing something we don’t want, we get upset with them. Such trickery, scams, and frauds don’t go over well with us. Rightfully so, even if they can be ingenious schemes.
(Agony of Humankind, chapter 1.4)
We’ve already learned that the subtlety of the Serpent indicates the presence of negative wisdom. What is negative wisdom? Could it be the absence of or a reduction of wisdom? Did the Serpent go from the top of the class to the bottom of the class? If it’s at the bottom of the class, then we can feel comforted in the fact that with our 21st-century knowledge and wisdom, we are more than a match for its cleverness. After all, in our enlightened age, we can take on anything and come out ahead. Can’t we? Don’t be so sure.
I’d like you to analyze the first phrase pronounced by the Serpent to Eve. Just read it, stop and think, what’s going on here? What is the Serpent trying to accomplish? What’s its approach? We know what the outcome will be. What tactics or methods is the Serpent using to get Adam and Eve to do something they shouldn’t do?
1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, Yea, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.
The woman’s answer helps us formulate the Serpent’s method. She replied with exactly what God told Adam. She even added an aspect, that they weren’t even to touch the tree; that goes further, or deeper into the how close can I get before it’s too close to not eating. But that’s another subject.
What is the Serpent’s tactic? He gets the woman to say YES; to give a CORRECT answer. Why would someone who is trying to get you to do an evil deed want you to provide the right solutions? The subtle but wicked being coerces the woman into a positive frame of mind offering positive information. A person who is in a confident, buoyant frame of mind is ready to listen to the follow-up. It’s a top tactic salespeople use and abuse. Get your client to say YES. Get them to agree with you two of three times. Draw them in, establish a relationship of trust and confidence.
Precisely what the Serpent did, it’s the ultimate sales guru. A lot of these ‘YES techniques are taught, often in an unsavory way for fraudulent use. One such video blatantly states: “if you feel like your persuasion skills could use some improvement, you’re about to learn some insanely powerful but simple psychological tricks to convince anyone every day.”
You can watch all sorts of videos on Youtube (that’s a manner of speaking, I’m not suggesting that!) to learn persuasion tactics. Notice the keyword in the above quote, trick. This trickery is the very first words out of the mouth of the Serpent.
“The psychology of persuasion is used by powerful politicians salespeople and even con artists. Studies show that 95% of the decisions that people make occur on the subconscious level, so the goal here is to influence the subconscious mind secretly.”
We shall discuss other persuasion skills and psychological tricks the Serpent uses. But the question today is. Is the inventor and teacher of such skills and methods at the TOP or the BOTTOM of the class?
Brimful of wisdom
As we move into this crucial chapter 3 of Genesis, the story that changes the course of humankind. Change, in the sense that humanity started with pristine pure wisdom and in no-time lost that quality. From that point, it has and will be an uphill struggle to regain a semblance of order. How to transform confusion and trickery into an ordered civilization and especially the order of the human mind. We need to understand WHO caused this disruption and HOW. We see that the WHO is the SERPENT. And the HOW is in the form of tactics of seduction, including trickery.
Before becoming the Serpent, Lucifer, which means light, was just that. We’ve seen this verse below in the representation of the king of Tyre as a type of Lucifer. We’re zooming in on a specific characteristic.
Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say to him, Thus says the Lord GOD; You sealed up (H2856) the sum (H8508), full (H4392) of wisdom (H2451), and perfect in beauty.
This verse shows the extent of the WISDOM Lucifer possessed. No less than three words witness this, sealed (H2856), sum (H8508), full (H4392). See Further Study below for more details.
Sealed The meaning to a full container, closed, so the fullness remains inside.
חָתַם châtham khaw-tham’; a primitive root; to close up; especially to seal: KJV – make an end, mark, seal (up), stop.
חָתַם châtham khaw-tham’; a primitive root; to close up; especially to seal:
KJV – make an end, mark, seal (up), stop.
Sum This word has the meaning of total. Ezekiel 43:10, measure the full quantity and depth of their iniquities. Exodus 5:18, in spite of receiving no straw, the Israelites had to deliver the full quota of bricks.
תׇּכְנִית toknîyth tok-neeth’; from H8506 (תֹּכֶן); admeasurement, i.e. consummation:
KJV – pattern, sum.
H8506 (See Exodus 5:18)
תֹּכֶן tôken to’-ken; from H8505 (תָּכַן); a fixed quantity:
KJV – measure, tale.
Full Used in Ecclesiastes 11:5 where it is compared to the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child (H4392): The idea is how the bones reach full development during the fetus stage of growth.
מָלֵא mâlêʼ maw-lay’; from H4390 (מָלֵא); full (literally or figuratively) or filling (literally); also (concretely) fulness; adverbially, fully:
KJV – ⨯ she that was with child, fill(-ed, -ed with), full(-ly), multitude, as is worth.
We come to the focal point of this verse and of Lucifer. And especially the Serpent. You see, most people don’t believe in the existence of the Devil, here called the Serpent. Even less do they believe in a FULLY WISE SERPENT. Just like Bible readers miss the comprehension of God, Yahveh Elohim, His Spirit, Humankind, the mind-neshama, so they miss the real identity and character of the assailant of humankind, the Serpent. When you get down to it, that’s a lot missing. Is it any wonder that humankind cannot fathom the full depth of the story of humankind unfolding on Earth? Even here, humanity is fraught with trickery.
Here’s the meaning of wisdom.
חׇכְמָה chokmâh khok-maw’; from H2449 (חָכַם); wisdom (in a good sense):
KJV – skilful, wisdom, wisely, wit.
חָכַם châkam khaw-kam’; a primitive root, to be wise (in mind, word or act):
KJV – ⨯ exceeding, teach wisdom, be (make self, shew self) wise, deal (never so) wisely, make wiser.
Strong points out in a good sense (H2451), we’ll see another type of wisdom shortly. But, the type that characterized this being was good. That’s why it carries the name Lucifer (Isa 14.12). We already discussed the meaning of morning and its association with the bringing of light and life. Lucifer cast light on everything he came in contact with, he was uplifting, inspirational, an edifier, in every sense of the term, for his entourage.
הֵילֵל hêylêl hay-lale’; from H1984 (הָלַל) (in the sense of brightness); the morning-star:
KJV – lucifer.
הָלַל hâlal haw-lal’; a primitive root; to be clear (orig. of sound, but usually of color); to shine; hence, to make ashow, to boast; and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave; causatively, to celebrate; also to stultify:
KJV – (make) boast (self), celebrate, commend, (deal, make), fool(-ish, -ly), glory, give (light), be (make, feign self) mad (against), give in marriage, (sing, be worthy of) praise, rage, renowned, shine.
This last Strong’s entry and especially the KJV translations are VITAL to comprehend what happened to Lucifer. And this can and will happen to anyone who follows this same path. H1984 contains BOTH, GOOD, and BAD characteristics. It’s color-coded to drive home this point. This single term incorporates the entire process starting with Lucifer and ending with the Serpent. Please stop and meditate this principle. It is impossible to understand this in your native language. Only when we apply the 7th Key to mastering Biblical Hebrew can we unlock Bible meaning. Biblical Hebrew words tell stories. And this one tells us the story of Lucifer turned Serpent.
Notice the feign self; this is the TRICKERY that characterizes the Serpent. You can read the only Biblical context using this interpretation in 1 Samuel 21:13, And he (David) changed his behavior before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard. David might’ve won an Oscar for his performance. I can tell you that the Serpent certainly can win multiple Oscars for his feigning, impersonations, disguising identity-thieving, and the likes. It’s trickery at its utmost. The Serpent is the master of these practices.
God created a perfectly beautiful, skillful, wise spirit being and placed it in His Garden of Eden (Ezek. 28:13). Sound familiar? Again, just like Adam. Lucifer transformed itself in the Garden into the Serpent. In Genesis 3, we see the Serpent in known territory trying to and succeeding in doing to Adam and Eve what it had accomplished itself.
These passages in Ezekiel and Isiah summarize what happened to this exquisite cherub, very revealing, Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of thy brightness.
You have corrupted your wisdom, possibly one of the most important puzzle pieces for getting to the bottom of why our world is the way it is today. There are two major concepts in these five short words.
What is corrupted wisdom?
שָׁחַת shâchath shaw-khath’; a primitive root; to decay, i.e. (causatively) ruin (literally or figuratively):
KJV – batter, cast off, corrupt(-er, thing), destroy(-er, -uction), lose, mar, perish, spill, spoiler, ⨯ utterly, waste(-r).
For I (Moses) know that after my death you will utterly H7843 corrupt H7843 yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; you will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.
For emphasis, this corruption is repeated twice in Hebrew. The Serpent was at work.
Let me add a thought to this, does this wasted, decayed astuteness mean this spirit individual is no longer wise, that it no longer has knowledge, intelligence, and understanding? Absolutely not. It still has all that unique shrewdness and insight, but, and this is the key, it’s the misuse of those characteristics, the upside-down reasoning, characterized by trickery, its direction to devise detrimental rather than beneficial outcomes for both self and others that is the real issue. Instead of edifying it is demolishing, instead of bringing light, it’s bringing dark. There’s an about-face of the use of the incredible resources it has at its disposal.
Here’s a real-life example of this. Hyper-intelligent serial killers as well as certain world leaders down through history who have wreaked havoc with their elaborate but diabolical plans. We covered this in Audit of Humankind with some disastrous examples of leadership in various fields.
Ted Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, had an IQ of 167, and is probably the ultimate serial killer genius. A math prodigy, he was accepted into Harvard at just 16. But he had a big problem with modern technology. To take a stand against it he mailed bombs, mostly to professors, and between 1978 and 1995, these killed three and injured 23.
He would leave messages encrypted with mathematical codes that not even the FBI could crack. He managed to escape capture for 17 years, a feat showing genuine intelligence. What finally did him in? When his manifesto was released, his brother and sister-in-law recognized the writing style and tipped off the FBI. Who knows if he would have been caught otherwise.
Wisdom of God’s way and wisdom of trickery
We find this same double nature of wisdom in the New Testament. Christ even tells His servants to have the wisdom of a serpent but withOUT the negatives. He recognizes the wiles and trickery of the Serpent.
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise G5429 as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Here again, this time in Greek, Strong highlights the good and bad senses of applying wisdom.
φρόνιμος phronimos fron’-ee-mos; From G5424; thoughtful that is sagacious or discreet (implying a cautious character; while G4680 denotes practical skill or acumen; and G4908 indicates rather intelligence or mental acquirement); in a bad sense conceited (also in the comparative):
KJV – wise (-r).
Matthew 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise G5429 servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind Gone toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise G5429 in your own conceits.
The 2nd rule of mastering Biblical Hebrew, how the same word can have contradictory meanings, applies in Greek as well. Followers of God’s way should beware of trickery that encourages them to do the right thing, the wrong way.
The first words of the Serpent to Eve affirmed the RIGHT WAY, but it was trickery, to gain an advantage and cause her to trip up. It is a master of deceit.
Lucifer didn’t go from wisdom to dumbness. It went from positive wisdom to negative wisdom. Its character decayed and became corrupted, but its misdirected wisdom stayed and remains intact. We’ll get to Genesis 6:12, but here’s a preview, “And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt H7843; for all flesh had corrupted H7843 his way upon the earth. The Serpent’s horrific character was everywhere present. That’s why God intervened with a flood; He had no alternative but to clean up the mess humankind got itself into, allowing itself to come under the trickery and influence of the Serpent.
Lucifer became the Serpent. It maintained every bit of its wisdom, but it is totally misdirected. Trickery is now the name of its game. Telling the truth, as it did to Eve, seduction to gain trust, and then the plunge. It’s much deeper than you might suspect, as we shall see.
This blog post is an excerpt from chapter 1.4 of the book Agony of Humankind
Sealed: Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end (H8552 and H2856) of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up (H2856) the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
This verse has TWO Biblical Hebrew words for end. The KJV only rendered ONE end. In essence, the text states, end, end, for emphasis. The other end is H8552 תָּמַם tâmam taw-mam’; a primitive root; to complete, in a good or a bad sense, literal, or figurative, transitive or intransitive:
KJV – accomplish, cease, be clean (pass-) ed, consume, have done, (come to an, have an, make an) end, fail, come to the full, be all gone, ⨯ be all here, be (make) perfect, be spent, sum, be (shew self) upright, be wasted, whole.
Notice the translations, to the full, sum, whole. Lucifer had total wisdom. Did you see that Strong’s annotation indicates in a GOOD or a BAD sense? This corresponds to Key 2 of mastering Biblical Hebrew that the same Hebrew word can have contrary meanings. In Lucifer, who became the Serpent’s case, total good wisdom or total bad wisdom.
This same verse also uses sealed up (H2856), referring to the final fulfillment of prophecy.
Sum: H8508, Ezekiel 43:10 is the only other verse with this Hebrew word, here translated pattern. We should understand the nature of sin to which, I suppose, pattern refers. However, in line with sum, a better concept would be the extent or fullness of sin.
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