Serpent (Bible)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Serpent is the term used to translate a variety of words in the Hebrew bible, the most common being nahash), the generic word for "snake".

The most famous biblical serpent is the talking snake in the Garden of Eden who tempts Eve to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and denies that death will be a result. The Serpent has the ability to speak and to reason, and is identified with wisdom: "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made" (Genesis 3:1). There is no indication in Genesis that the Serpent was a deity in its own right, although it is one of only two cases of animals that talk in the Pentateuch (Balaam's donkey being the other).

In Genesis the Serpent is portrayed as a deceptive creature or trickster, promoting as good what God had forbidden, and particularly cunning in its deception.(cf. Gen. 3:4–5 and 3:22) The Christian Book of Revelation identifies the Genesis Serpent as Satan, in the process redefining the Hebrew Bible's concept of Satan ("the Adversary", a member of the Heavenly Court acting on behalf of Yahweh to test Job's faith), so that Satan/Serpent becomes a part of a divine plan stretching from Creation to Christ and the Second Coming.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Serpent (Bible)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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