In my Study into the Israelite and Judahite salvations, I provided sources which tell us that the writers of the Creation story at Genesis 2 and 3 employed symbols associated with the Goddess Asherah, namely: Eve, Snake, and Tree.
At present, I am researching Satan and I came across the following from “The Birth of Satan” by T.J. Wray and Gregory Mobley (pages 68-69 70)
Even casual readers of the Bible have heard about the story of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2-3). …
Many casual readers of the Bible assume two things about this story: that the fruit that Eve took a bite from was an apple and that the serpent who enticed Eve to disobey the divine commandment was the Devil. Neither assumption has any basis in the Hebrew Bible. Both represent later—centuries later—interpretations. …
The identification of the serpent in Genesis 3 with the Devil, although without any foundation in the original story, emerged in the final centuries before the common era. … It was during the Intertestamental Period, between 200 B.C.E. and 200 C.E., that the Devil in all his macabre glory appears in Jewish and Christian literature. The account in Genesis 3 about the serpent in Eden, written in the Iron Age (anywhere from 300 to 700 years before the Intertestamental Period) assumes that the serpent was one of the wild animals and that the serpent was ultimately subservient to the LORD God, since God made it:
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. (Gen 3:1)
Nowhere in the Hebrew Bible is there any identification made between the serpent and the Devil/Satan; furthermore, the Hebrew Bible does not invest snakes, as a species, with any special qualities of evil. The appearance of the serpent, as opposed to some other animal, in the role of tempter in the Garden of Eden story is probably influenced by creation stories from other cultures.
But in Jewish and Christian literature of the Intertestamental Period, the serpent did come to be identified with Satan. For instance, in the Life of Adam and Eve, a rewritten account of the Adam and Eve story from the first century C.E., Eve declares, “The devil answered me through the mouth of the serpent” (Life of Adam and Eve 17:4).
In another work from the same general period, the Wisdom of Solomon, a scroll that is among the contents of the Apocrypha, the serpent is indirectly connected to the Devil: “Through the devil’s envy death entered the world” (Wisdom 2:24).
The most explicit statement of this identification of the serpent with Satan, an interpretation that has endured to this day, appears in the New Testament book of Revelation. As if to remove any doubts, the text of Rev 12:9 reads: “that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan,” and the text of Rev 20:2, “the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan.”
But this common interpretation of the Garden of Eden story, which associates the crafty serpent with the cunning Devil, is merely that, an interpretation.
In this study, we are moving through the Bible one text at a time, one era at a time, historically charting the development of the character Satan. According to that approach, we cannot say that Satan appears in Eden, any more than we can say that Eve offered Adam a bite from an apple. Both of these ideas appeared many centuries later, long after the scroll of Genesis was first committed to parchment.
1) Temptation account is not real. If real, it would mean that Satan and Jesus believed that shape of earth is flat so that both can see "all the kingdoms of the earth" if viewed from the mountain top.
2) Genesis account of Satan is borrowed from pagans, hence not worthy of analysis. Even if it is original, details does not befit the kind of Satan he should be. If Satan is so smart as to scheme against God and his children, he would definitely choose some smart method, not a sub-standard temptation as in this case. It is too obvious that Adam and Eve who had already experienced God as their unlimited benefactor would never believe God as withholding something good from them, nor He is a liar, especially when such a malicious suggestion originated from a stranger—with a strange phenomenon—a snake with speaking ability! Also Satan contradicted only the effects of their disobedience, which of course further weakens his position, because prima facie, it is the Law-giver that knows the effects of disobedience, not the spectators who have never seen a violation before.
3) “The tree of the knowledge of good and evil” planted by God too backfires because account says “when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat.” Sense of good or bad would have arisen in Eve only after eating the fruit of that tree, but here she got that sense even before eating it. Hence the question arises: Was it a literal tree?
Goddess Asherah is at times shown with a snake. At times she is symbolised as a tree. Of the 40 times she is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, it is often as a tree or a wooden pole that was erected to her, even in Solomon's Temple.
The writers of that myth were intent on destroying the worship of the Goddess Asherah by the Israelites and Judahites, so they used those symbols of a deceiving woman, a snake, and tree for that purpose. Adam (actually Israel and Judah) were being deceived by Asherah ("Eve") and by the wisdom of Snake and the Tree that promised life -- eternal life. And when they ate of the tree they did become like the gods.
The writers, who lived around the 6th century BCE, were intent on introducing their monotheism and to destroy all the other Gods and Goddesses, such as Asherah and her son Ba'al. (EL fared a little better by being assimilated into Yahweh.)
These were the only people capable of writing and reading, so all we read is their propaganda. The situation of the Babylonian Captivity enabled their minority monotheistic opinions to prevail.
Quite ironically, the later Jews reintroduced a tree that is reminiscent of Asherah's tree, in the form of the Menorah.
The story is a contrived religious myth. Nothing in the Bible may be construed to be literal history in terms that we would understand. Seek the religious motive of the writers and of the editors as they endeavoured to influence their own immediate community.
They were not writing to us.
When the Bible writers speak of "all the nations of the world" they meant the nations around the Mediterranean.
Do not impose 21st century thinking onto the culture of a different people living centuries and millennia ago.
A quick look at Google images for "Hebrew cosmology" shows that they thought the world was a flat disc.
It is ok to say that a book of human origin should be studied from its context. But a book that claims written by God's Holy Spirit should not limit itself to Mediterranean context. It should not even unwittingly reveal erroneous belief such as earth is a flat disc.
I enjoy my Bible reading because I look for the real motive of the writer. Just like every crime betrays something of the personality of the criminal committing it, writer would unwittingly leave out something that hints at the real intention of the writer.
...a book that claims written by God's Holy Spirit should not...
...be taken seriously
Doug.....I think you should do a study on astrology....as you will find it is behind the whole bible.
The reason Eve is linked to the apple ......is this....Eve isn't/wasn't a real person....She represents the fertile female principle.....she is the planet Venus.
Venus/love is represented by the 5 pointed star pointing upwards......that is why the 5 pointed star is pointing downwards in Satanism....it represents hate.
In apples you get the 5 pointed star also.
In the above you will notice Venus has a connection to apples......and that is just Eve(nus)....Satan (the serpent) is the planet Saturn and Adam the planet Mars ...and the Sun...(the male principle).
And they all come together to make the story of the loss of the light part of the cycle....or the fall of the sun.....in the daily cycle...this is evening....in the yearly cycle....this is autumn/Libra.
The Egyptian God "Atum" is the God of autumn....(you can see his name in there).....he brings to a finish the 6 months of light...starting from the spring equinox and finishing at the autumnal equinox......called in freemasonry...."the royal arch"
"Atum" actually means "the finisher"....of course it does....he ends the suns reign on earth in the northern hemisphere.
Atum/atom/autumn/death also becomes the destroyer of worlds.....as Oppenheimer rightly said talking about the "atom" bomb.
Looks like someone's just watched Zeitgeist but hasn't yet seen any reviews
I know Fred.....what the fluck was i thinking.....I need to stop drinking before breakfast.
The story is a mish mash of Mesopotamian stories. In one story Adamu (Adam) is offered immortality by the sky gods but the god of the world Enki told him that if he ate the food offered it would kill him. Enki was a trickster god but also a god of wisdom and many scholars believe the story was telling how the god Enki did not want man to have immortality so he would not be like the gods. In the Gilgamesh story he retrieved a plant from a lake that would make him immortal but he took a nap first and a snake came along and ate it instead. Because a snake sheds its skin it’s has been associated with immortality.
In Genesis god creates Eve using a rib from Adam , in another story from Mesopotamia Enki gets healed by a female goddess which has something to do with his rib can’t remember the details but she becomes associated with a rib.
The tree of knowledge is all over the place in Mesopotamian stories. So is stories about Eden. The serpent in the story is probably not a Satan or a devil but a serpent god Ningizzida.
The writer of these stories in genesis clearly got a lot of details wrong in his attempt to put several stories in to one.