I wanna be the snake!
I wanna be the snake!
You are absolutely correct. There is no "Satan" in the Eden story. And as for the encounter in Job, the satan there is not the personification of evil. Rather, he is an agent carrying out YHWH's permissions and instructions. This satan is simply the Prosecutor in a court and God negotiates with him.
Every modern concept of Satan (aka Azazel, Belial, Mastema, Diabolos/Devil, etc., etc.) is derived from the 3rd century BCE and later (1 Enoch, Jubilees, etc.). Knowledge of the dates of the 6th century neo-Babylonian captivity and exile will quickly show that the rise of Satan as the personification of evil arose much later than the vast bulk of the Hebrew Scriptures. The only major writing that came after the 3rd century BCE is Daniel, and that book makes reference to the The Watchers.
Not only was "snake" seen as the wisest of the beasts, it was commonly associated with the gods, including EL's wife Asherah. (Google Images with: Asherah snake as well as with Asherah serpent)
As the Hebrew scriptures show, those writers were very much against Asherah, The people erected poles in her honour within the temple, so I am not surprised the writers referenced serpent in their story of the deception of Eve.
Then there is the whole other argument as to whether Satan actually lied to Eve about the consequences of eating the fruit.
Their eyes were opened and they came to a knowledge of good and bad. They would have continued to live if they ate from the tree of life, according to the bible.
Did Satan know God was going to restrict access to the tree of life, or was that a curve ball thrown by God that no one expected?
Also, why have a tree of life????
Critical biblical scholarship allows us—perhaps even forces us—to see Genesis 1:1-2:4a and 2:4b-3:24 as two distinct stories that should be interpreted separately. … We might believe that its main theme is the curse received by the woman (and all women), yet the word "curse" is absent in God's comments to her (Gen. 3:16), while it is present in God's statements both to the serpent (3:14) and to the man (3:17). Moreover, the doctrines of the Fall of Man or original sin are nowhere to be found in this passage, though they appear in early Christian interpretation of the text. The Garden Story is about immortality lost and sexuality gained. …
As immortal beings, they were asexual; in the Garden story God does not tell them to "be fertile and increase" as they were told in the first creation story (Gen. 1:28). Sexuality is discovered only after eating from the tree, when "they perceived that they were naked" (3:7). In fact, the divine command of 2:17 should not be understood as often translated—"for as soon as you eat of it, you shall die" (so the JPS translation)—but rather "for as soon as you eat of it, you shall become mortal." The connection between (procreative) sexuality and mortality is compelling and was well understood even in antiquity—if people were to be both sexually procreative and immortal, disastrous overpopulation would result. …
The tree that is first forbidden is (literally) "the tree of knowledge of good and bad." Here, "knowledge" is being used in a sense that it often has in the Bible: intimate or sexual knowledge. "Good and bad" is being used here as a figure of speech called a "merism": two opposite terms are joined by the word "and"; the resulting figure means "everything" or "the ultimate." (A merism is likewise used in Genesis 1:1, "heaven and earth," which there means the entire world.) The words "good and bad" have no moral connotation here.
Only after the primordial couple eats from the tree do they gain sexual awareness. … Eating from the tree of "knowledge" leads to a very specific type of "knowing." Nowhere in the text is this knowledge depicted as intellectual or ethical.
This reading also explains why the tree of life is mentioned only toward the end of the story (Gen. 3:22). Early in the story, people were immortal, so that tree offered no advantage, and thus was not mentioned. However, only after eating from the tree of ultimate "knowledge," becoming sexual, and becoming mortal, does the tree of life come into focus. Eating from this tree would allow people to become both immortal and sexual, creating an overpopulation problem. The first couple was expelled not as punishment, but so that they might not "take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever!" (3:22). …
God's response to the woman after she eats from the tree is not a curse. The words "And to the woman He said, / 'I will make most severe / Your pangs in childbearing; / In pain shall you bear children. / Yet your urge shall be for your husband, / And he shall rule over you'" (Gen. 3:16) are a description of women's new state: procreative, with all the "pains" connected to procreation in the premodern world, including the natural pain of childbirth. This verse is not stating (as a harmonistic reading of Genesis 1-3 might imply) that before eating the fruit women gave birth painlessly, but now they would have labor pains. Furthermore, it notes that women will not do what most people do—try to avoid pain at all cost—because "your urge shall be for your husband, / And he shall rule over you." The meaning of this last section is ambiguous. … The context of this verse suggests that it means merely that men will determine when couples engage in sexual intercourse. …
The Bible (in contrast to much of Victorian and post-Victorian society) has a generally positive attitude toward human sexuality, as may be seen most clearly from the Song of Songs. …
Genesis 1:1-2:4a and 2:4b-3:24 are two separate stories, written by different authors using different styles. … Neither aims primarily at offering a scientific description of "the earth and everything upon it" (Neh. 9:6). They are metaphors on the story level, traditional tales dealing with issues of collective importance. As such, they are "creating" worlds. (Excerpts from “How to Read the Jewish Bible” by Jewish Bible scholar Marc Zvi Brettler)
There is no "satan" in either Creation story. It is reckoned that the story that appears later (the Yahwist account starting at Genesis 2:4b) was written earlier than the Elohist account (Gen 1:1-2:4a).
Many Jews say that the first sin originated with Cain, not with Adam and Eve. The concept of Original Sin is very late, coming with the early Church Fathers in the context of arguing about the need for infant baptism.
The narrative of Adam and Eve does not feature in the Hebrew Scriptures following its initial appearance.
Talking snakes, magical fruit, lost innocence, vengeful gods.
It sounds like any other myth of any culture of its era when it is read from our historical perspective.
Of course my intention in the OP was to draw attention to how JW`s view the scriptures and that their reasoning didn`t make any sense.
Thankfully the replies received opens up other problems with the way WT has interpreted the scriptures.
Thanks for all your input guys and I thank Doug M. for giving the Jewish reasoning on the Hebrew scriptures .
After all who better to understand the Old Testament than the Jews who wrote it .? Certainly not the Catholics or Protestant religions who have their own agenda`s to push.
My eyes have been opened up even more about the Bible that I didn`t appreciate before.
That`s why I love this site , you learn something every day.
I`m interested to know your take on Gen.1: 26 " And God went on to say let us make man in our image according to our likeness"
The key words here being us and our , my conclusion is that God is talking to his peers , other Gods that co-exist with him
Does that fit in with his wife ? A God Ashtoreth ?
Not that I believe in the Bible , just that I`m trying to get my head around what the Scriptures actually say.
The JW dogma is even worse that we think. They believe Jeehoober can read hearts. As a matter of JW factoid, Jeehoober will instantly destroy anyone who strays after the Thousand Year Reign has ended. It doesn’t matter who it is. If King David sins after passing the final test ( Is it really?? ) then he will cease to be, and there is no chance that he can corrupt anyone.
So if Jeehoober will do that after the “Final Test”, why didn’t he read the heart of the angel who became “Satan The Devil”, and destroy him before Satan corrupted 1/3 of the Angelic Sons Of God and Mankind, thereby leading to untold ages of suffering?
Why intentionally allow Satan to live when your all-knowing power tells you how it will play out?