Satan did not tempt Eve

Now, Satan doesn’t actually exist, but for the sake of argument, let’s just take the story as it is.

In Genesis chapter 3, we learn about The Fall of Man. Genesis 3:1 says:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

We all know what happens next! The serpent, i.e. Satan, convinces Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad which leads to the Fall of Man and is blamed as the source for all misery and awfulness in the world. Thus Satan is refered to as The Great Deceiver. All of this is standard Christian teaching.  

Question though… Why does it matter if serpents were craftier than all of the other animals? Either the serpent is just Satan in serpent form, a serpent possessed by Satan, or Satan speaking through the serpent as if it were a puppet. In none of those situations does the serpent’s intellect or craftiness matter. The serpent is just a tool of Satan in the story. The serpent doesn’t have a plan, it hasn’t hatched a scheme, it doesn’t have a goal, because the snake is an unwitting puppet of Satan… Right?

Now, when God finds out about Adam and Eve eating the fruit, He punishes all those involved. He punishes Adam with difficulty growing crops. He punishes Eve with painful birth and menstrual cycles. He punishes the serpent by making all serpents crawl on their bellies, eat dust, and have their heads crushed by humans.

Is it just me, or is something missing there? Where is Satan’s punishment?

Adam? Punished. Eve? Punished. Satan? Not punished. 

The punishment was applied to all snakes in existence and all snakes that ever would exist, but Satan walks away without a scratch. If Satan was controlling the serpent (or masquerading as a serpent), the poor serpent didn’t even have a choice in the matter! It, and all other snakes forever, are being punished because one of their kind was used as a tool of Satan in the Garden of Eden, but Satan received no punishment at all.

Does that make sense to you? Why wouldn’t God punish Satan in this story when He punished Adam, Eve, and the serpent? 

It’s because Satan doesn’t exist in the story. He’s not there. The serpent in the story is just a serpent, it’s not Satan.

Satan never tempted Eve in the Garden.

One of the most pivotal aspects of the Christian religion is based on a false premise.

In the Old Testament, “Satan” isn’t a particular person, “Satan” is merely an abstract concept. The “adversary,” the “enemy.” The generalized concept of “Satan” became personified much later on during the writings in the New Testament. Personified and magnified! Satan is changed from a generic adversary into the Ultimate Evil, the Prince of Darkness, Evil Incarnate.

Genesis 3 is not a story about how the most evil thing in the Universe tricked Eve into eating the fruit of The Tree. The story likely just originated as a folktale to explain to the next generation of kids why life sucked so much while farming and living in the desert. Snakes were crafty, dangerous creatures, so they got the play the part of the “villian” in the story. According to the Book of Genesis, Satan never tempted Eve in the Garden. The Christian version of Satan wasn’t even invented until almost 750 years after the Genesis folktales were compiled into a book.

(Header image of Eve and the Serpent courtesy of Eve Post Apple)