| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 39 - Page 45 of 234 Index | Zoom | |
(1) The Serpent.
pp. 35 - 38
While no one can read the record of Gen. 1: and 2: without being impressed with the
wonder of creation, and the evidence of purpose that the creation of man in the image of
God implies, we soon realize as we commence the third chapter, that it is here that the
supreme purpose of the Bible is revealed, the conflict between Good and Evil, the nature
of the enemy and the form of his attack, the countermove of the Creator and the opening
up of the great Redemptive purpose that from Gen. 3: to the last chapter of the book of
Revelation characterizes the whole teaching of Scripture.
Before attempting to explain any one feature of Gen. 3:, it will be wise to see the
chapter as a whole, and to indicate the trend of its argument, which trend is best
visualized by noting the literary structure of the passage.
A | 1-5. The SERPENT (cf. "living creature", verse 1).
Procuring man's downfall.
B | 6. Tree of knowledge.
C | 7. Human covering--LEAVES
D | 8-13. God's enquiry of the man and the woman.
E | 14. Serpent cursed.
E | 15. Seed promised.
D | 16-19. God's answer to the man and the woman.
C | 21. Divine covering--SKIN.
B | 22-24-. Tree of life.
A | -24. The CHERUBIM (cf. "living creature", Ezek. 1: 5)
Pledge of man's restoration.
In his first epistle, John declares that Christ was manifested (1) to take away our sins,
and (2) that He might destroy the works of the devil (I John 3: 5, 8).
We assume, it will be observed, that "The Serpent" is the Devil, but we must not
forget the Berean attitude which is commended by the Lord. We therefore examine the
Scriptures to see if this is "so". In the summing up of the six days creation found in
Gen. 1: 31, we read "And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very
good". If the Serpent of Gen. 3: belonged to the six days creation, then it was included
in the "everything" that was "very good". But as the teaching of Scripture consistently
affirms that this Serpent is evil, we are forced to the conclusion that it belonged to a
previous creation, associated with the judgment indicated in Gen. 1: 2 and is represented
as an intrusion into the state of affairs indicated in Gen. 2: It is the last book of the
Bible, the book that corresponds with Genesis, the first book of the Bible, that contains
the explicit statement:
"That old serpent, called the Devil and Satan."
"That old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan" (Rev. 12: 9; 20: 2).