NLT - 14 Then the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live.
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
Perhaps the serpent crawled on its belly prior to the Fall, but its use by Satan as an agent for temptation specifically turned its means of locomotion into a curse at God's direction, in somewhat the same way that man would have worked before the Fall, but could have come to regard that work as a curse and a hardship rather than a joy, which yielded results only "by the sweat of his brow", once he had fallen (even though the work's nature remained the same), due to changes in creation itself.
I believe the Hebrew word for "serpent" (nachash) referred to any reptile that moved in a slithering fashion and hissed, even though it might also have legs. This would include the crocodile, for example. All of these serpentine species exhibit similar behavior patterns. According to Jewish legend (Ginzberg, pg. 38), the serpent of Genesis originally walked on two feet, something like a dinosaur, rather than moving like a snake. God's final judgment of this serpent species was for it to become extinct. However, the spirit continued on, perhaps through the countless legends of the dragon across the earth, man's perennial enemy, which even with four feet, did crawl on its belly like a snake. We can't give Jewish legends full credibility, but they shouldn't be peremptorily rejected without sufficient proof.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.