The Serpent: Enemy of Man, Or Enlightener Of Man?
by The Gnostic Dread|Published June 1, 2014
What proper way to start off a blog dealing in Gnosticism than in the beginning…the beginning according to biblical tradition that is. Let’s discuss a major figure within the first few chapters of Genesis, the Serpent.
According to the traditional Christian thought, Adam and Eve were created by a god named Yahweh (often translated as LORD, Adonai, or Jehovah) who placed them in a garden and told them that they could eat from every tree and plant in the garden, except the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil. There then appeared the Serpent in the garden, who supposedly tempts Eve into eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Eve then goes to Adam and gives him the fruit to eat as well. Yahweh finds out what had taken place and banishes Adam and Eve from the garden while also cursing the Serpent and establishing the Serpent as an enemy. Because of this, the Serpent is always called Satan or Lucifer. However, the biblical text itself never refers to the Serpent as either title.
The identification of the Serpent as Satan or Lucifer comes from Christian theology that says that Satan was once an angel named Lucifer who rebelled against the god Yahweh and was thrown out of heaven and became Satan. That theology usually begins with the verse Isaiah 14:12-14:
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
Which is then reinforced by a verse from the New Testament Luke 10:18:
“And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”
And finally by this verse, tying Lucifer, Satan and the Serpent together, Revelation 12:9:
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
While it may seem justifiable to uphold the Christian theology when picking out and isolating these verses alone, when you go and study these verses in their original context you will see that the theology is flawed. The very first thing that must be understood is these verses all come from three separate books within the Bible, one which comes from the Old Testament section and the other two coming from the New Testament. That means they were all written at different times in history by different authors who never met each other and historically would have had different world views. For example, the Isaiah verse is found within the Old Testament which is a Jewish text. If you were to look into the Jewish theology on what that verse means, you would see that from their tradition the verse was not referring to Satan or a fallen angel, but rather was referring to a man, an unnamed king of Babylon. This becomes apparent when you continue reading the verses that follow:
“Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?” – Isaiah 14:15-17
Jewish tradition has a concept of Satan, but it is not seen as the chief force of evil or the enemy of god. The original Hebrew term, “satan”, is a noun from a verb meaning to, “obstruct, oppose,” as it is found in Numbers 22:22, 1 Samuel 29:4, and Psalms 109:6. Ha-Satan is most often translated as “the accuser,” or “the adversary.” The definite article “ha” (which is the English “the”), is used to show that this is a title bestowed on a being, versus the name of a being. Thus this being would be referred to as “the satan.” This concept goes back to Ancient Kemet (Egypt) to the divinity Set. Set was the divinity of opposition. While Set would be an opposer to Heru (Horus), in the Ancient Egyptian’s understanding he was not originally an evil deity. Set simply symbolized all opposing forces, which were necessary forces in the universe. Therefore as said previously, Satan is not a proper name but a title. It is a name given to one opposing you. When your enemies come to oppress you, they are opposing you; therefore they are satan to you. You are opposing them by defending yourself; in their eyes you are the satan. You can say our fraud governments are “Set”anic due to them being adversaries to the masses by their abuse of power.
So why was the Serpent called Satan by Christians? Because the Serpent made Adam and Eve disobey and oppose the god Yahweh. Did this actually make the Serpent evil and an enemy to man though? Let’s examine what exactly had taken place in the garden myth.
The god Yahweh decides to create Adam and places him in the garden of Eden:
“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” – Genesis 2:15-17
Here you can see Yahweh commanded Adam not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge and that if he did he would surely die “in the day that thou eatest thereof”. However a little while later, the Serpent appears to Eve:
“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” – Genesis 3:1-5
Here you can see the Serpent had asked Eve a question about not being able to eat from every tree, and when Eve responded that Yahweh had said she would die from eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, the Serpent informed her that wasn’t true, and that her eyes would be opened and she would be like Yahweh, knowing good and evil….and that’s exactly what happened! Genesis 3:22 says:
“And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
This verse confirms a few things. First, it confirms that Yahweh was a liar while the Serpent told the truth. Yahweh told Adam that the day they eat the fruit from the tree of Knowledge, they would die. However, the Bible tradition shows that Adam went on to live another 800 years after the birth of his son Seth (Genesis 5), an event that occurs long after what happened in the garden already. The real reason for Adam’s eventual death is revealed at the end of Genesis 3:22 “He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” Adam was from the beginning a finite being, as opposed to Christian theology that says Adam was created perfect and immortal, which has no biblical support whatsoever. If Adam and Eve had been able to eat from the Tree of Life, they would have then both been immortal, but since they were prevented from doing so they both eventually died.
This verse also confirms the natures of these two characters, the Serpent and Yahweh. Yahweh lied to Adam and Eve and concealed the truth of the nature of the tree of KNOWLEDGE, where the Serpent told them the truth. Also, the Serpent didn’t force Adam and Eve to eat from the tree, nor did it tempt them. It simply told them the true nature of the fruit and let them decide what to do. The Serpent gave Adam and Eve a CHOICE. Yahweh however used FEAR and DECEPTION to prevent Adam and Eve from eating from the tree and to submit to him blindly. He didn’t give them a choice, he wanted blind submission. When they didn’t blindly submit to him, he cursed them and prevented them from life.
Now applying this myth to real life, Yahweh prevented Adam and Eve from KNOWLEDGE and kept them blind and ignorant. Who does this today? Does not “big brother” keep the masses blind and ignorant while holding knowledge from them? And when certain people become informed about the true nature of things and don’t submit to big brother, does big brother not then try to keep that person away from life and liberty? Does not big brother use fear and lies to control the masses?
The Serpent rebelled and gave the KNOWLEDGE to Adam and Eve. This is really the only thing the Serpent is guilty of. This is like someone today who rebels against this world system and informs the masses of the true nature and intent of their corrupt government. Of course to “big brother”, someone doing such a thing is an enemy. That is why the Serpent is called Set-an. The Serpent is not called “Satan” because it is evil or did anything wrong, but rather because it is an enemy to Yahweh, in the sense that a truth speaker is an enemy or a “terrorist” to today’s corrupt governments or “big brother”.
Christians over time started to call the Serpent “Lucifer”, based on their theology revolving around the Isaiah verse I gave earlier. Though their intent for giving the Serpent the title “Lucifer” was not a benevolent one, it was still a proper one from the Gnostic point of view. Lucifer means “light bearer”, light in an esoteric sense being equated with knowledge or “gnosis”. The Serpent is the one responsible for giving the “gnosis” or knowledge of themselves to Adam and Eve. Therefore, it was their “light bearer” or Lucifer. This is why in many cultures the Serpent is not a symbol of anything evil at all, but rather a symbol of knowledge and wisdom.
The Gnostics identify the Serpent as an aspect or agent of Sophia, which means wisdom and is also feminine because the subject deals with the suppression of the Divine Feminine principle as well (something I will go into in a future post). Sophia was a revealer of gnosis who came from the true “god”, the Monad who is ultimately above simply being referred to as a “god” or “goddess” in the anthropomorphic way most are used to.
So in conclusion one must ask themselves, who is the true enemy of man? The god Yahweh, who, like our governments today, used fear and deception to make his subjects submit to his will blindly, or the Serpent who told man the truth and gave him the freedom and choice to be more than what they were being told they could be? To the Gnostic, the Serpent is mankind’s liberator and enlightener who gave Adam and Eve self-knowledge and realization. The real enemy of man is the one who would try to keep man ignorant and submissive. Who is the individual within the myth that does that? Yahweh, whom the Gnostic’s refer to as Yaldabaoth which means “son of chaos”, a fitting name for one who causes so much devastation, death and confusion within the biblical text. I will go into detail about the Gnostic’s view of Yahweh in a future post.
Peace, Love & Balance