Interplay between and Sentence of the Serpent, Man, and Woman
Scene 5: Interplay between the Serpent, Man, and Woman
The vast majority of the rest of the play dwells on this scene. As you sit back, reading this book/visualizing the play or movie in your mind, this scenario is playing out in the world around us. Scene 5 will help us better understand why the world is in the state, whereby it appears to be overwhelmed by the shady actions humans have set in motion.
(Origin of the Universe, chapter 4.6)
Adam and Eve heed the words of the Serpent and eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. Uh-oh. Eve has double-dared Adam to eat the fruit, and he isn’t smart enough to back away from the challenge. Of course, Eve herself is acting foolishly. However, she pretends she is the heroine.
… she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat…
God then makes his presence known. He knows what Adam and Eve have been up to and intervenes sternly and calmly to deal with the three protagonists. Firstly He makes a statement confirming the relationship the Serpent will continue to have with Eve and her descendants:
And I will put enmity between you (Serpent) and the woman…
I realize this is only part of the verse — to keep us focused. I’ll cover the rest of this vital verse in due course.
This context and others (which we shall quote later) reveal that the vanity and self-wisdom imbibed as a result of eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil will only be exacerbated by the Serpent down through the ages. This negative being will continue to hassle the woman and her descendants — all of humankind. And the heavy tribute paid by humans down through history in suffering, incomprehension, misery, and gloom is akin to slow death leading to ultimate physical death. What transpires here causes a large part of the sentence of both the Serpent and Humanity.
The Serpent, this negative being will continue to hassle the woman and her descendants — all of humankind down through history — who will pay a heavy tribute in suffering and incomprehension. CLICK TO TWEET
As an aside, which we shall also delve into in much more detail, let’s say here that this ‘vanity and self-wisdom’ was not ‘passed on’ by Adam and Eve — or inherited by their descendants. Each human being that has set foot on this earth has succumbed to their vanity and self-wisdom. We shall also discuss the future of babies that unfortunately die, for whatever reason, soon after birth, and are not responsible for their acts. They do have a future.
This ‘vanity and self-wisdom’ was not ‘passed on’ by Adam and Eve — or inherited by their descendants. Each human being that has set foot on this earth has succumbed to their vanity and self-wisdom.CLICK TO TWEET
May I remind you that we are talking about humankind in general — remember, there is also goodness associated with the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, and this, thankfully, has given some respite with calm and serenity.
But we need to look at the real state of the world in more detail than we did in Audit of the Universe, and it is not pretty. The next scene ramps up the intensity of the action, and triggers a value change, in drama talk. The value change is from bad to worse, as perceived by humans, and by the audience.
Scene 6: Sentence pronounced
Following the temptation by the Serpent and the succumbing of Adam and Eve, God pronounces sentence. No comment on the nature of the consequences right now; I will do this later. Just notice that there is a penalty for infringement of God’s instruction.
Adam and Eve are defiant but afraid. Even in their vanity and self-wisdom, they know they’ve made a mistake. There’s no pleading with God. No reprieve. No commutation of sentence. Not even community service.
14 And the Lord God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon your belly shall thou go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life:
15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
16 To the woman he said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in sorrow, you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.
17 And to Adam he said, Because you have hearkened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it: cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are, and to dust shall you return.
- God pronounces sentence both on the Serpent and on Humans.
- Humans have nothing to retort to their reprimand.
- Note that the Serpent has absolutely nothing to come back with either. He has to consent to both his condemnation and his sentence,
- God is running the show; He’s in total control of the situation, He issues the sentence,
- Notice a couple of essential aspects of the sentence:
> The Serpent will cause havoc with the seed of the woman and bruise his heel.
> The seed of the woman will bruise the Serpent’s head.
A bruise to the head is much more unpleasant than a bruise to the heel, although both hurt. As we shall see, the bruise to the Serpent’s head is a fatal bruise that ultimately takes him out of circulation. Although the Serpent will provide crushing adversity, there is overriding hope. That is the message God gives humans through Eve: Humans will triumph — after difficult times and multiple injuries — but they will prevail in the end.
Humans are never left without hope and a future. And as we ponder the state of our earth and develop the rest of the play — which will get very ugly — this hope of a bright uplifting future needs to be clearly kept in mind.
God never leaves humans without hope and a future. And as we ponder the ‘state of our earth’ and develop the rest of the play — which will get very ugly — keep this hope of bright, uplifting future in mind.CLICK TO TWEET
This play is not one of doom and gloom; it has a magnificent ending, but the road will very likely appear long and convoluted, full of back-breaking bumps, perplexing potholes, confounding hairpin curves and devastating precipices.
Humanity bumps, thuds, and jolts along. Frequently very uncomfortably, losing loved ones, and not understanding why mayhem and havoc hit even good people. Please keep in mind that the real instigator of woes will be definitively wounded and that humans will end up on a peaceful highway.
This story has a happy ending. Still, the road leading to this ultimate harmony and serenity is paved with boulders, hardship, and adversity — for solid and understandable reasons, as the story reveals.
Let’s get a glimpse of Scene 7, the consequences of Adam and Eve’s non-compliance with the life of obstacles that lies ahead.
Adam and Eve wonder what they will do next; this is the worst outcome they could have imagined, but they are united. For now, they don’t quarrel. They hold each other tightly.
This article is an excerpt from chapter 4.6 of Origin of the Universe
There are many stories, myths, and legends about serpents.
In some myths like Naga and Jormungandr, the Serpent is presented as a benign being, sustaining and protecting the world–a blessing for humankind. Other cultures picture him as an evil being. However, in all myths and legends, he is always presented as an influential central figure. If you like, do some research to see what this being represents.
What is fiction? What is the truth? Is the Bible presentation just another myth? Is it the basis for all the other tales? The Explanation will answer all these questions and many more as we get to them in the correct context. Right now, I suggest continuing reading as the plot thickens.
You can read all of the book Origin of the Universe online. Sam blogs weekly at TheExplanation.com The Explanation masters Biblical Hebrew to help you unlock more in-depth Bible meaning. Free tools to read and study the Bible online.