Friday, September 5, 2008

Did The Serpent That Spoke To Eve Have Legs? (Watchtower Wisdom)

Did the serpent lose legs or feet as means of movement as a result of the divine curse recorded at Genesis 3:14? Watchtowr, June 1964
At Genesis 3:14 we are told: "And Jehovah God proceeded to say to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this thing, you are the cursed one out of all the domestic animals and out of all the wild beasts of the field. Upon your belly you will go and dust is what you will eat all the days of your life.’" This is the only place in the Bible where any indication is given that the serpent did not at one time travel on its belly.
What is said here is, of course, directed principally to the invisible spirit creature who used the literal serpent as his mouthpiece. It foretells his debasement. But for the symbolic application of this judgment upon the wicked spirit creature who became Satan to have any force there must be a fulfillment of it in the literal serpent, which has come to symbolize Satan. It, therefore, is reasonable to conclude that before God cursed it the serpent possessed legs that elevated it above the ground. As he had the power to create the serpent in the first place, God had the power to transform its body so that it ceased to have legs and was able to move about on its belly.
Oops! New Light Alert
Did the serpent that spoke to Eve have legs? Watchtower, November, 2007
As recorded at Genesis 3:14, Jehovah God addressed the serpent that had deceived Eve in the garden of Eden. God said: "Because you have done this thing, you are the cursed one out of all the domestic animals and out of all the wild beasts of the field. Upon your belly you will go and dust is what you will eat all the days of your life." The Bible does not specifically state that the animal used in tempting Eve had previously had legs but lost them. While the wording of Genesis 3:14 might lead some to think so, we need not necessarily conclude that prior to this curse, serpents had legs. Why not?
Principally because the real object of Jehovah’s judgment was Satan—the invisible spirit who had misused that lowly animal. The Bible describes Satan as "the father of the lie" and "the original serpent." Both of these expressions apparently point back to Satan’s using a visible animal, a serpent, as his mouthpiece to induce Eve to disobey God’s command.—John 8:44; Revelation 20:2.
God created serpents, and Adam had apparently given serpents their name before Satan’s deceptive act. The unreasoning serpent that spoke to Eve was not to blame. It would have been unaware that Satan was manipulating it, and it could not understand the judgment that God rendered against the disobedient parties.
Why, then, did God speak of the serpent’s physical abasement? The behavior of a serpent in its natural environment, crawling on its belly and flicking its tongue as if to lick up dust, fittingly symbolized Satan’s debased condition. Having previously enjoyed a lofty position as one of God’s angels, he was consigned to the lowly condition referred to in the Bible as Tartarus.—2 Peter 2:4.
Further, as a literal serpent might wound a man’s heel, Satan in his debased state would ‘bruise the heel’ of God’s "seed." (Genesis 3:15) The primary part of that seed proved to be Jesus Christ, who temporarily suffered at the hands of Satan’s agents. But the symbolic serpent’s head will, in time, be permanently crushed by Christ and his resurrected anointed Christian companions. (Romans 16:20) Thus, God’s directing his curse toward the visible serpent aptly pictured the debasement and ultimate destruction of the invisible "original serpent," Satan the Devil.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, that was a very good explaination.

The "new Light" is much more reasonable....don't you love how Jehovah helps us readjust our thinking on even the small matters.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, that was a very good explaination.

The "new Light" is much more reasonable....don't you love how Jehovah helps us readjust our thinking on even the small matters."

It's a good thing he doesn't just give you the correct understanding in the beginning. That would make way too much sense.

Ronde said...

"The Bible does not specifically state that the animal used in tempting Eve had previously had legs but lost them. "

I am not sure your point of this.

In the past the writers were more dogmatic on things. But now we take a more open approach to it.

It is not new light.

It is just looking at the issue from a fresh perspective.

The appeals process is the same way. A judge makes a ruling; the appeals court, looking at the legal issues reverses that, then the supreme court looking at broader issues, reverses the lower courts. It is all perspective.

The US supreme court has even reversed itself many times. The flag salute case with Gobitis and then it reversed itself with the Barnette case.

Stephan said...

That's interesting. For many years, JWs taught that the original serpent had legs.

Right after scientists discovered that this seems to be true (in 2006, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Najash), JWs changed their teaching so that the original serpent did not have legs.

Ronde said...

No, it is that we don't know whether the serpent had legs or not.

I think it did as it was a serpent and not a snake as there were different words.

The 2007 article does not state that it did not have legs or it did. It just goes for ambiguity. Thus it is not about new light.

Anonymous said...

"only place in the Bible where any indication is given"

"said here is directed principally to the invisible spirit creature who used "

"It, therefore, is reasonable to conclude"

Nothing wrong with that as a commentary said on that "God commanded the serpent to slither on the ground instead of walking on legs like any other animal."

In the seventies and 90's COs gave talks on this and did not indicate that the serpent lost it's legs.

Then the 2007 W 6/15 not November as you always get things wrong, said the same. Thus it is not about new light. Since the words "reasonable to conclude", were used, it was a reasonable conclusion that the writer made.

Anonymous said...

Who are you? Are you a wolf in sheeps clothing?

Anonymous said...

Do you have a job?