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Although Genesis does not mention the name “Satan” as controlling the serpent in the Garden of Eden, we can ascertain who this serpent was.
In your [July 15] feedback you wrote "according to the scriptural record only God, Adam, Eve, Satan, and the two Cherubim placed there to guard it were ever in Eden." I have read Genesis and it does not say anything about Satan or a being known as Lucifer being in the Garden of Eden. There was a serpent but except for the fact that it talked there is nothing in a plain reading of Genesis to indicate that this serpent was anything but a snake that was clever and could speak. A talking animal would have to be regarded as somehow involved with the supernatural but nowhere in Genesis does it say that Satan or Lucifer disguised themselves as a serpent or took the form of a snake to trick Eve. When God found out what had happened he did not punish Satan or Lucifer. He condemned all snakes to crawl on their bellies but if all created "kinds" have not changed since creation they must have been doing that anyways, so mankind were the only ones punished.
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In your [July 15] feedback you wrote "according to the scriptural record only God, Adam, Eve, Satan, and the two Cherubim placed there to guard it were ever in Eden." I have read Genesis and it does not say anything about Satan or a being known as Lucifer being in the Garden of Eden. There was a serpent but except for the fact that it talked there is nothing in a plain reading of Genesis to indicate that this serpent was anything but a snake that was clever and could speak. A talking animal would have to be regarded as somehow involved with the supernatural but nowhere in Genesis does it say that Satan or Lucifer disguised themselves as a serpent or took the form of a snake to trick Eve. When God found out what had happened he did not punish Satan or Lucifer.
You are correct when you say that the book of Genesis does not mention the name or title “Satan,” nor does it specifically state that Lucifer or any demonic being controlled the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Having said that, however, we can ascertain who this serpent was (or rather who was controlling and speaking through this serpent) from other passages of Scripture, and from the context of Genesis 3 itself. As mentioned in the feedback article, Lucifer and Sin, Ezekiel 28:13 states that the being addressed was listed as being in Eden, the Garden of God. If this passage is talking about Satan, as I argued in that previous article, then there is a clear reference to Satan being in the Garden of Eden. Since Satan was a created being, and since Eden was guarded by cherubim after the Fall, he must have been in Eden between his creation and the Fall of man. Many scholars believe, based on Job 38:7, that all the angels, including Lucifer, were created on or before Day 4 of creation week along with the Sun, Moon and Stars, only two days before the creation of Adam and Eve.
Secondly, Satan is called a serpent, not once but three times in the book of Revelation (Revelation 12:9, 12:15, 20:2). When combined with Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 11:3, the identification of the serpent in Genesis 3 with Satan is unmistakable. Revelation 12:9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3).
We see an obvious parallel here with Genesis 3. Revelation 12:9 says that Satan is called “that serpent of old,” that he was punished (cast out), and that he presently deceives the whole world (remember that Adam and Eve were even the “whole world” of humanity at the time of the Fall). Revelation 20:2–3 also calls Satan a serpent and speaks of his punishment again. This time he will be bound and thrown into the bottomless pit for 1,000 years, so that he will not be able to deceive the nations. Satan’s work of deception began in the Garden of Eden and has continued worldwide ever since then. Only Christians can escape Satan’s deceptions by simple and pure devotion to Christ (i.e., trusting and obeying His Word by His Spirit).
Finally, in Genesis 3:14-15 we read of God’s curse upon the serpent and the promise of a Savior from the seed of the woman.
So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”
The prediction of enmity (hatred and warfare) between the seeds (in some sense offspring or descendant) of the woman and of the serpent makes no sense if the serpent was merely a physical animal. The seed of the woman is a future male child. If only serpents and natural human descendants are in view here, then that means that snakes are doomed to go around biting men in the heels and then getting their heads crushed. Given the verses in Revelation and 2 Corinthians, this obviously is not the intent of the prophecy.
Orthodox Christians have always understood this to be the first prophecy of the Messiah, who would be the savior of the world. Satan did bruise Jesus on the heel (so to speak), by moving men to crucify Him. But it was only a temporary wound, for He rose from the dead. But the same act by which Satan thought he had defeated Jesus Christ, was the very act by which Jesus destroyed the power of Satan, and His resurrection was the proof and seal of that victory. One day the full results of that victory will be realized when Satan’s head will be crushed in the sense that he will be cast into the Lake of Fire where he will be tormented day and night, forever (Revelation 20:10).
He condemned all snakes to crawl on their bellies but if all created "kinds" have not changed since creation they must have been doing that anyways, so mankind were the only ones punished.
Creationists do not say that the original created kinds have not changed since Creation. It is clear from Scripture and from the study of living things that God implanted a great capacity for change and adaptation in the DNA of created kinds. We see this, for example, in the great variety within the cat and dog kinds or the variety within mankind. So there is great variation within each kind but one kind does not change into a different kind. Cats reproduce cats, dogs reproduce dogs and people reproduce people. But Genesis 3 also makes it clear that because of God’s curse on all of creation, the serpent was physically changed (to crawl on his belly), the woman was changed physically (increased pain in childbirth), and both man and woman were changed physically so that their bodies began the process of decay leading to eventual death. Given that God also cursed the other animals (Genesis 3:14), they undoubtedly were changed physically in some ways also, e.g., some herbivores became carnivores sometime after the Fall.
So, Genesis 3 is teaching us about Satan’s deception of Eve, the sin of Adam, God’s judgment of the whole creation, and His first promise of the coming Messiah to overcome the work of Satan and the sin that infects us all, inherited from Adam. That freedom comes to us when we turn from our sin and put our trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. If you haven’t done that, I would urge you to find out more and do so.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.