I neglected to mention, in my last post, that much of my material comes from the interpretation of Paul Phelps on the New Earth Inheritance web site. This especially includes the linguistic information for today’s post.
Last time, I detailed that God created dragons along with all the rest of life, although he seems to have regarded them as a crowning achievement. Based on linguistic evidence, it appears that dragons (tannin) lived in the Garden of Eden along with every other creature. Although, in the Genesis account, Eve is tempted by a serpent (nakhash), Phelps contends that the two words actually describe the same beast in different forms.
According to this interpretation, Satan took on the guise of a dragon in order to tempt Eve, because the dragon was so impressive and persuasive. The text of Genesis 3:1 states that “the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature the Lord God had made.” As we all know from Bible lore, Eve was indeed deceived, and she in turn deceived Adam into eating the forbidden fruit.
Once God discovered that his beloved couple were no longer innocent, a famous round of finger-pointing ensued. Adam said it was Eve’s fault, and Eve blamed the serpent. Here’s what happened next, from my copy of the Bible (Revised Standard Edition).
14 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
Cursed are you above all cattle, and above all wild animals.
Upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.
15 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.”
So it appears that the dragon was transformed by God’s curse and became the lowly serpent, hated and feared by generations. Indeed, the mighty had fallen!