Even before recorded time the serpent has been a symbol for wisdom, fertility, creativity, and creation. It was prized for millennia. Few civilizations saw the serpent as evil. Those civilizations that viewed the serpent as a sinister miscreant were generally patriarchal and patrilineal. The other cultures and societies viewed the serpent as benevolent, intelligent, a teacher, a doctor, and a caregiver.
The serpent in the Genesis myth is not new. It had many previous Mesopotamian (Sumerian, Babylonian, Hittite, Hurrian, etc.) antecedents and ancestors among the gods and goddess of the Fertile Crescent and from Egypt and beyond. These included (1) Anu/An; (2) Dumuzi/Tammuz; (3) Ningishzida/Gishzida; (4) Ea/Enki; (5) Enlil/Ellil; (6) Marduk/Merodach; (7) Inanna/Ishtar; (8) Nergal as the equivalent of Satan “ruler” of Hell; (9) Shamhat (Ukhat). The emerging Hebrews merely recast the characters and changed their names, as they also did for such fictional beings as Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Seth, Noah, Moses, and even Yahweh.
Anu/An is a Sumerian god of the sky. Anu/An is known as the god of heaven, lord of constellations, king of gods, Consort of Antu and dwelt in the highest heavenly regions. Anu was believed to have come from “the great void” (the Milky Way star system in quest of gold and ore). Anu is a very old god, and he is a part of the Sumerian Trinity that became a foundation stone for the Christian invention of Three-Persons-in-One. Joining Anu in this theological triad are Enlil, god of the air and Enki, god of water: the basic elements that make up the planet and became bricks in the wall dividing civilizations by Habiru scribes millennia later.
Like all Mesopotamian and Mediterranean deities, Anu is especially dedicated to sexuality. Sex plays as big a role in his religion as it does in that of the tribal Habiru agricultural god Yahweh. While Yahweh was more like Zeus, having sex and then abandoning his temporary mistresses (with the one exception being the boy Ganymede whom Zeus flew to Olympus to be with him) to return to his wife Hera, Anu had several consorts. His most important temporary affair was with the goddess Ki (earth), Nammu who was technically Anu/An’s mother (and the only creatrix of the universe in Babylon) who was goddess of the primeval sea (Engur) that gave birth to An (heaven), Ki (earth) and the first gods: among whom would be Abram (Abraham from the Ur of the Chaldees–the mythological father of Isaac and Ishmael who would ultimately propagate the female deities known as the “Satanic Verses”), and Uras (another goddess of earth, primarily red soil, and mother of the goddess Ninsun and a grandmother of the Babylonian hero Gilgamesh (Kramer, Samuel N. (1998). Sumerian Mythology: a Study of Spiritual and Literary Achievement in the Third Millennium B.C. Philadelphia, PA, USA: University of Pennsylvania Press).
Dumuzi/Tammuz was another Sumerian deity who was god of food and vegetation, who died each year at autumn to rise again as a new crop. He was especially popular in Syria where his name ܬܡܘܙ (Dumuzi) meant faithful and true son: the prototype for Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem; in Sumeria, Tammuz (תַּמּוּז) was known as the Good Shepherd, and like many other gods, he was the consort of his mother (in Akkadian: Ishtar (Astarte or Asherah in Canaan; marriage occurred when sex was enacted, as became the foundation for marriage in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), the most prominent Mesopotamian female deity) and rescue Ishtar/Inanna: the Sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility and warfare. Tammuz is recognized by the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 8:14-15; cp. Edwin M. Yamauchi, Edwin M. (1965). “Tammuz and the Bible” Journal of Biblical Literature 84.3 (September, pp. 283-290), Kramer, Samuel Noah (1980). “The Death of Dumuzi: A New Sumerian Version” Anatolian Studies 30, Special Number in Honour of the Seventieth Birthday of Professor O. R. Gurney (1980:5-13), and, Wolkstein, Diane and Kramer, Samuel Noah editors/translators (1983). Inanna, Queen of Heaven & Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer. New York, NY, USA: Harper Colophon).
Ningishzida/Gishzida is either another name for Dumuzi, or a similar Sumerian god who was lord of the underworld, much like Pluto and Hades. He is commonly depicted as a serpent with a human head and is considered the son of Anu (Ira Maurice Price, Ira Maurice (1900) Notes on the Pantheon of the Gudean Cylinders, The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 17, No. 1 (October, pp. 47-53) and an ancestor to the Gilgamesh and also the son of Ereshkigal, but in those days there were no definite chronologies or genealogies. Ningishzida’s symbol of two serpents or snakes twining (possibly copulating) predates the Caduceus of Hermes, the Rod of Asclepius and the staff of Moses by more than a millennium. In the Adapa myth the serpent deity is a male god, not the female being the later Hebrews create (Turner, Frederick (2006). Natural Religion. New Brunswick, NJ, USA: Transaction Publishers).
Ea/Enki was originally a Sumerian god but was adopted into Akkadian, Babylonian, Canaanite, Hittite and Hurrian theology where he was a creator god associated with water and was among the earliest deities to be associated with numerology (his sacred number was 40). His image is a double-helix snake, or the Caduceus, very similar to the Rod of Asclepius, and is often shown with a horned crown of divinity dressed in the skin of a carp. Dating from the third millennium BCE, Ea/Enki is considered the god of wisdom, semen and magic (leading to fertility and fecundity; cp. Leick, Gwendolyn (2001), Mesopotamia: the Invention of the City. London, UK: Allen Lane/The Penguin Press, p. 20), his delight was to engage in discussions with women known to be superior to men in theological debate (Kramer, Samuel Noah (2007). Sumerian Mythology: A Study of Spiritual and Literary Achievement in the Third Millennium BC. Charleston, SC, USA: Forgotten Books). It is from the Enki story that the writers of Genesis were able to create the myths of Adam and Eve walking in the Garden, as after Ea/Enki completed his/her conversation they would make the mortal(s) into slaves for the gods. Ea/Enki were the background for what would become the myth of Noah and the Great flood (see the carvings on the rock sanctuary of Yazilikaya near Bogasköy).
Enlil/Ellil and Ninlil were the gods of creation (as recorded on clay tablets in the third millennium BCE, long before any Torah or Bible was even thought of), and the account of the birth of Nanna is the foundation for Genesis 1-3 (cf. George Aaron Barton (1918). Miscellaneous Babylonian inscriptions. New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press, p. 52). The conception took place in a “heavenly city” never occupied by mortals–who were later introduced to work for the gods on 22,000 square feet of cultivated fields. The goddess Nun-bar-ce-gunu warns her daughter Ninlil not to approach the river, fearing that she would want sex with Enlil. She disobeys her mother, goes to the river and is raped by Enlil. This violence conceives
Suen-Acimbabbar, the moon-god in a “ritually impure” manner–which lead to the arrest and exile of Enlil (completing the myth of the exile of Adam and Eve from the Garden).
Marduk/Merodach is from the third millennium to the eighteenth century BCE and the era of Hammurabi (Jastrow, Jr., Morris (1911). Aspects of Religious Belief and Practice in Babylonia and Assyria, G.P. Putnam’s Sons: New York and London. pp. 217-219). Originally, Marduk was considered the sun of Ea (Sumerian Enki) and Damkina and connected with water, vegetation, judgment, and magic (C. Scott Littleton (2005). Gods,
Goddesses and Mythology. Tarrytown, NY, USA: Marshall Cavendish. Vol. 6, p. 829). Literally, Marduk means “bull calf of the sun-god Utu”, giving rise to the cow deities of India and Egypt, and to the golden calf fantasy of Exodus. Marduk is historically pictured with his dragon-snake Mušḫuššu, and is commonly found on Babylonian cylinder seals. By 1000 BCE, Marduk’s name becomes a title: Bel (Lord; it would in time be synonymous with master and husband). As Babylon’s power grew, the Enûma Elish was written, culminating in an apocalyptic battle between good and evil, giving rise to the Babylonian myth of Daniel and His Companions and laying the foundation for John of Patmos’ nightmare, the Apocalypse.
Inanna (a Sumerian goddess; the name means “Queen of Heaven”) / Ishtar (the Akkadian counterpart) is the goddess of sexual fertility, love, and warfare and was the most prominent and popular female deity in Mesopotamia 4000 – 3200 BCE. The famous Uruk Vase (found in a deposit of cult objects of the Uruk III period; Ralf B. Wartke, “Eine Vermißtenliste (2): Die “Warka-Vase” aus Bagdad”, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 26 April 2003, Nbr 97, page 39; it was stolen from the Bagdad Museum during the April 2003 invasion of Iraq and broken into fourteen pieces by three unidentified young men on motorcycle determined to steal it; it was more than 5000 years old; from then on looting has been regular, including by allies (UK and USA soldiers and contractors), so the museum has been bricked up and covered over with cement) depicts a row of naked men carrying various objects, bowls, vessels, and baskets of farm produce, and bringing sheep and goats, to a female figure facing the ruler. The
nudity of the men, abhorrent to contemporary Christian conservatives and Islamic fundamentalists and has been signaled out as a “devilish corruption” of the individual, signified their place in purity and subservience to the ruler in the same way that the mythological Adam and Eve were nude until the gods of Gan Eden. It was for this reason that the Hebrew gods of Genesis took time to sew for the first people on earth aprons before expelling them from the garden. The unique aspect of the Hebrew gods terror at seeing the nudity of the first people was that there were no other people in the Garden (according to Genesis). This indicates that either the gods were afraid to look at the nude bodies that they had “created in their own image” or that the penis and vagina/clitoris had not been created by the gods and that they were the invention of the serpent who knew that without the sex organs full knowledge would not be obtainable or useable. Knowledge in the ancient world was equated with sex. To this end all early religions had “sex priests” (the Hebrews referred to them as “dog priests”: kedeshah (קדשה) meaning “to set apart” from mortal to perform rituals for the [pagan: non-Hebrew] gods; they were never homosexuals; cf. Thus Deuteronomy 23:18-19, but this practice continued into the fourth century CE: Eusebius, Vita Constantini, 3.55, 58) to perform fertility rituals in honor of the gods and goddesses of creation where creation was the result of sexual orgasm.
Nergal as the equivalent of Satan “ruler” of Hell is the son of Enlil and Ninlil and ruler deity of the city of Cuth (Cutha): “And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal” (2 Kings 17:30). Nergal was sometime god of the sun, but primarily god of war, fire and pestilence, thus earning him a place in Hebrew and Christian mythology as being the Satan of Hell.
Shamhat (Ukhat) was a temple prostitute in the age of Gilgamesh (Dalley, Stephanie (2000). Myths from Mesopotamia, Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh and others. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press, revised edition, p.137.). Shamhat appears on Tablets I/II and VII of the Epic of Gilgamesh from which the Hebrews found the legend of the Deluge (the Great Flood). On Tablet I she plays the integral role in taming the wild man Enkidu, who was created by the gods as the rival to the mighty Gilgamesh by tempting the wild man and civilizing him through continued sexual intercourse that he enjoys “six days and seven nights” until his former companions, the wild animals, turn away from him in fright, at the watering hole where they congregated. Uncertain what to do, and wanting to be with his friends, Shamhat persuades him to follow her and join the civilized world in the city of Uruk, where Gilgamesh is king. Enkidu rejects his former life in the wild become the best of friends with Gilgamesh with whom he has many adventures. Because Shamhat used sex to entice Enkidu, women from that time on in Hebrew lore were considered devils and temptresses and purity laws (Leviticus) were written to help man avoid the evils of women.
In the Middle East, from which the Abrahamic religions spring, serpents were considered senior deities, and are found with favor among the ancient Canaanites/Palestinians (Rosen, Arlene M. (1995). “The social response to environmental change in Early Bronze Age Canaan,” Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 14(1):26-44) in the Bronze Age—who would be transmogrified by later invading mercenaries known as Habiru/Hebrews as שרף meaning “burning” and originally as a term for an enlightened being/god. While Canaan (כנען; Oswalt, John N. (1980). “כנען,” in R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer and Bruce K. Waltke (eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Chicago, IL, USA: Moody, 1980. Pp. 445–446) had a highly advanced and sophisticated society; the invaders were at best mercenaries and more precisely barbarians (Redford, Donald B. (1993) Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press).
Only in the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) does the serpent represent sexual desire, as in other religions that are far older the serpent (or snake) is seen as the ouroboros: a symbol of eternity and continual renewal of life as found in Buddhism. The ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail and was a common motif used for rings, handles, dishes, and so forth. The word/term originates from within Greek language; οὐρά (oura) meaning “tail” and βόρος (boros) meaning “eating”, thus “he who eats the tail” (cp. Plato, Timaeus, 33: πᾶν ἔξωθεν αὐτὸ ἀπηκριβοῦτο πολλῶν χάριν. ὀμμάτων τε γὰρ ἐπεδεῖτο οὐδέν, ὁρατὸν γὰρ οὐδὲν ὑπελείπετο ἔξωθεν, οὐδ᾽ ἀκοῆς, οὐδὲ γὰρ ἀκουστόν: πνεῦμά τε οὐκ ἦν περιεστὸς δεόμενον ἀναπνοῆς, οὐδ᾽ αὖ τινος ἐπιδεὲς ἦν ὀργάνου σχεῖν ᾧ τὴν μὲν εἰς ἑαυτὸ τροφὴν δέξοιτο, τὴν δὲ πρότερον ἐξικμασμένην ἀποπέμψοι πάλιν. ἀπῄει τε γὰρ οὐδὲν οὐδὲ προσῄειν αὐτῷ ποθεν—οὐδὲ γὰρ ἦν—αὐτὸ γὰρ ἑαυτῷ τροφὴν τὴν ἑαυτοῦ φθίσιν παρέχον καὶ πάντα ἐν ἑαυτῷ καὶ ὑφ᾽. According to the second century Yoga Kundalini Upanishad 1.82, “The divine power, Kundalini, shines like the stem of a young lotus; like a snake, coiled round upon herself she holds her tail in her mouth and lies resting half asleep as the base of the body”).
The serpent of Genesis 1-3 is of recent vintage, and the concept that the serpent represents evil is an invention, as found in linguistic studies. Nahash (a word that means “serpent” in Hebrew, comes from the root nshs and it should be translated as “to find out” or “discover” by conversing with more intelligent gods and goddesses, especially the Mother of All Gods (it appears in all languages: Θεοτόκος, Աստուածածին, Богородица, ღვთისმშობელი, and so forth; it is not reserved for one language, religion, or people) in the ancient Jewish world: Eve. Technically she was a helpmeet (not a helpmate): one who guided those subservient (“created from dust” to her, as was the inferior Adam who was Kohen (officially this word denotes a descendant of Aaron and a
Jewish priest. However, long before the fable of Moses and Aaron appeared, it meant “serpent priest”) who in ancient Egypt was Sato (“son of the earth”).
The figure of Eve is based upon much older mythology and is traceable to the ancient Mother Goddess or World Mother and the serpent cults of the pre-Biblical period before there were Jews, Hebrews or Israelites—people of a later invention. Closer examination of the name ‘Eve’ revealed her serpent origins, for the Hebrew for Eve is havvah (חַוָּה, Ḥawwāh in Classical Hebrew, Khavah in Modern Israeli Hebrew, and in Arabic: حواء) meaning ‘mother of all things.’ Outside of the Abrahamic use it also translates as ‘serpent’ as found in the Egyptian Book of the Netherworld. Likewise, the Arabic words for ‘snake,’ ‘life,’ and ‘teaching,’ are closely related to the word or name “Eve’ (cf. Gardiner, Philip; and Osborn, Gary (2005). The Serpent Grail: the Truth behind the Holy Grail, the Philosopher’s Stone and the Elixir of Life. London, UK: Watkins, cp. Philip Gardiner (2007). Secret societies: Gardiner’s forbidden knowledge: revelations about the Freemasons, Templars, Illuminati, Nazis, and the serpent cults. Franklin Lakes, NJ, USA: New Page Books).
When discussing the serpent that appears in Genesis 1-3, who is not a disfavored nor a disfigured being, but an equal with the gods as shown in the dialogue with Eve. According to CE translations of Genesis, the serpent was “cursed” (actually “blessed”) by the senior deities (a plural noun in the original) who allowed it to debate the Mother of All Creation (it must be remembered that Genesis is a work of recent vintage—coming at the end of the Torah—not at the beginning; it is placed at the beginning of the Hebrew and Christian bibles only because of its name, which means “First” or “In the Beginning”).
Genesis is a series of short stories that were plagiarized from far older works from India (Śrī Brahma-samhitā 5:1: īśvarah paramah krsnah, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahah anādir ādir govindah, sarva-kārana-kāranam), Mesopotamia (Enûma Eliš). Egypt predating Genesis and the arrival of Habiru/Hebrews, being written 2780 – 2250 B.C.E (Hart, George (2004). Egyptian Myths. Austin, Texas: University of Texas. p. 9.), Ethiopia with the god Wak being the creator and throughout Africa, and so forth—showing that communication by people was in progress and only when education ceased was there the need to fantasize the fable of the Tower of Babel in an effort to explain the lack of dialogue. This can be seen in a drawing by Colonel Coombs, of a sculptured column in a cave-temple in the South of India, representing the first pair of mortals at the foot of an ambrosial tree, and a serpent entwined among the heavily laden boughs, presenting to them some of the fruit from its mouth (cf. Jackson, John G. (1988). Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth. Austin, TX: American Atheist Press). I use the pronoun its to denote the position but not the sex, as the drawing, now in the British Museum Department of Oriental Antiquity, has the serpent portrayed as a woman and heralds a distinct Babylonian influence.
In other cultures, the first people were not Adam and Eve (male and female) but rather two males (compare the Norse legend of two male gods creating the first two people out of two pieces of wood: with genderless beings in the religions of India and Asia). The serpent is seen as the wise god giving them knowledge, and accomplished this by swallowing them (feet forward, indicating fellatio), so that they could be “born again.” As noted by Mircea Eliade: the ritual swallowing by the Snake is to be interpreted as a return to the womb- on the one hand because the Snake is often described as female, on the other, because entering the belly of the divine also carries a symbolism of return to embryonic state…It represents not so much a ritual death followed by resurrection as a complete regeneration of the initiate through his gestation and birth by the Great Mother.
Mircea Eliade (1983). Rites and Symbols of Initiation: the Mysteries of Birth and Rebirth New York, NY, USA: Harper & Row, an abridgement (chapter 2)
from the 1958/1959 edition Naissances mystiques; essai sur quelques types d’initiations. [Paris, France]: Gallimard. A Romanian and Italian translation exists. This was found to be the situation everywhere; outside of Abrahamic religions, as the serpent/snake represented wisdom and knowledge as was the ultimate symbol of wisdom and salvation: being born again (reincarnation) or being allowed to enter a garden of delights. (cf. Bushby, Tony (2003). The Secret in the Bible. Maroochydore, Qld: Stanford Publishing Group).
Gerald Massey wrote:
…it was the Serpent of Wisdom that first offered the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge for the Enlightenment of Mankind; whether this be Egyptian, Akkadian, or Gnostic, it is the Good Serpent. And as Guardian of the Tree set in Heaven it was the Good Serpent, or intelligent Dragon, as keeper of the treasures of Astral knowledge. It was the later Theology, Persian and Hebrew, that gave the character of the Evil One to the Serpent of Wisdom, and perverted the original meaning, both of the temptation and the Tempter who protected the Tree; which has been supplemented by the theology of the Vitriol-throwers who have scarified and blasted the face of nature on earth, and defiled and degraded the starry Intelligencers in heaven…
Massey, Gerald (1887). The Hebrew and Other Creations Fundamentally Explained. London, UK: privately printed, a second edition was printed in London by Villa Bordighiera of New Southgate as a response to Archibald Henry Sayce’s Hibbert Lectures, an annual series of non-sectarian lectures on theological issues. (1–see footnote below).
A careful reading of the “Eve” story in Genesis does not show an ignorant, haughty nor prevaricating evil woman. On the contrary it shows a wise woman capable debating a god, citing scripture (that later day Hebrews would rewrite, indicating that Eve’s story of being a wise sacerdotal priestess was impossible) while debating the fine hermeneutic (διερμηνεία: interpreting) points of Genesis 1-3, theologians for centuries deliberately or ignorantly misunderstood.
There are many problems with current (mis)translations of the original scrolls. Even worse is the plethora of misinterpretations of the narrative. “Eve” was created last so that she could be first, as was the custom in ancient civilizations: the servants arrived first to herald the ruler. Woman was the crowning glory of the narrative.
The Hebrew narrative is poorly written and can easily be exposed as fraud. According to the contemporary era story of Genesis, the gods (אֱלהִים: a plural noun) “created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without shape and there was nothing on it except for darkness … so the gods said ‘let there be light’…” (Genesis 1:3). No where does the scroll tell us where the light comes from–the gods would not create the sun and moon and stars until much later (Genesis 1:16-17).
There is also the contradiction between the earth “bringing forth living creatures” (Genesis 1:24) and then the gods creating living creatures (Genesis 1:25). The “creation” of man appears at Genesis 1:26. One verse later “man” is “male and female”.
In the second story (Genesis 2), the gods create woman from a rib (verse 22). This does not appear in the first story (Genesis 1). The omission is significant. A rib is decidedly stronger than dust: woman is created of a superior substance, and is the stronger person, and the story actually comes from the Gilgamesh that tells of the creation by the gods of a genderless earth creature, Enkidu. Originally destined to be the nemesis of the semi-divine King Gilgamesh of Uruk, Enkidu becomes Gilgamesh’s companion on a great adventure, travelling the length and breadth of the known world. In one particular encounter on that journey, Enkidu beds a woman and is transformed into a human male when the gods grant Enkidu a penis. From that penis the mortal race is conceived. The writer(s) of Genesis 2 are in open conflict with the author(s) of Genesis 1.
Neither school of writers seem to have been aware of the work of the other school. The accounts are dramatically different; the unity is broken. Genesis 1 and 2 were not only written by different people, but during different time periods. They were spliced together only as the community of scribes approached the impending work required for the Septuagint bible.
Order is made out of this chaos only with the advent of wisdom (the Tree of Knowledge and its fruit, being reserved only for the gods, a copy of ancient Sumerian theology). The serpent/ snake of Genesis 2:3 is heralded as subtle/ crafty–having the power of speech (third account, Genesis 3:1; the New American, English Standard, and New International translations use the word “crafty”, while the New Living Translation uses “shrewdest”, while the King James, American Standard, and Douai-Rheims uses “subtle” [in various spellings] the original meaning was “skillful” or “ingenious” and understood as mental acuteness and discernment) and thus interpolated as a woman (although it is woman who is in control of the serpent/snake).
The serpent (נחש or nachash, which means to “observe attentively”; modern mistranslations use the word as if it signified “brazen” or “chains” “fetters of brass” and other attributes of slavery, but this does appear in the Genesis fable; those terms appear only in 2 Samuel 22:35, Job 20:24, but in Job 26:13 it is further misused as נחש ברח, or nachash bariach, as something that passes through a gate or door or through rings, as with the Norse and Babylonian concept of the serpent swallowing its tale, but in each case it is a symbol of eternity of being and eternal life, and Psalm 18:34, with it being considered filthy or a form of fornication in Ezekiel 16:36; Ecclesiastes 10:11) is marked as “the babbler”: an old Hittite concept brought to Mesopotamia from Egypt.
The “babbler” was a bird Egyptian in origin that reiterated “everything good and pure” at the time a person died and stood to be judged on whether or not he or she deserved eternal life. The babbler later became a crocodile that was also Egyptian in origin. It can be seen in Isaiah 27:1 and 65:25. In these references it is clearly the god crocodile (the Egyptian god Sobek who offered power, protection, and fertility who in the Middle Kingdom was associated with the sun-god Ra; he would destroy sinners but debate the just and good who sought or obtained wisdom having come out of “the waters” (the ocean) of chaos and created the world; read: Harris, Geraldine and Pemberton, Delia (1999). Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt.Lincolnwood, IL, USA: Peter Bedrick Books, pp.142-143. From 1991 – 1650 BCE, Sobek’s influence extended far and became one of the foundations
for the Genesis myth that dropped his depiction with the ankh, representing his ability to undo evil and cure illnesses, so as to degrade him from his divine status as if he were inferior to the gods of the Garden) or alligator who swallows the hearts of unbelievers.
In the Hall of Judgement Ma’ at weighs the hearts of the dead against her feather. If the heart weighs heavier it is thrown to the crocodile-headed Ammut to devour as it holds numerous sins that weigh down the heart. If the heart weighs lighter than the feather the soul that is not burdened with many transgressions may cross into the kingdom of Osiris, into paradise.
Isaiah’s use of the crocodile exposes the Isaiah account as plagiarised. In spite of its many flaws, this tale is picked up and used later in Amos 9:3 where the serpent (נחש hannachash) rests at the bottom of the “seas” and remains the primal/primordial source of knowledge: נחשתי nichashti. It is erroneously translated in the Septuagint, or Greek version of the Old Testament, as οφις; it has greater wisdom than the gods of the garden, as the serpent states “the gods know that on the day you eat of the fruit, your eyes shall be opened [you will have acquired knowledge] and you shall be equal to the gods.” (Genesis 1:5). This happens two verses later. The serpent walks erect and has feet, reaching out, for it has arms and hands–it does not “slither” on its belly (meaning “all four members) until the unmerciful garden keeper casts an evil spell upon it (Genesis 3:14b), but only after the serpent engages the mortal (female) in theological discourse.
The evil demon gods who damn the serpent and “man and woman” expose their draconian nature by admitting the truth of the serpent’s judgment, wisdom, and words. Genesis 3:22 condemns the gods of Eden without hesitation: “And the gods said, ‘Behold’, mankind has become one of us [this is a direct indication of the plurality of unity that is inherent in the Eternal Spirit and is a reference to personal distinction]—to know good and evil—for that reason, now, lest they put forth their hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat [its fruit] they will live forever [and be gods like us]”.
The Tree of Life is found in all civilizations and in all of the world’s religions, but it is nourishing and to be sought out for food and wisdom. For example, in ancient Egyptian theology, Isis Herself also appears once as a holy tree with a breast in its branches, nursing the king, found in the grave of Tuthmosis (Thutmosis); sexuality was affirmed, and breast milk was considered the milk of the gods–the milk of life for all future and present generations. The breast was bared to receive
petitioners who sought knowledge, food, and drink. This motif appears in most artistic expressions everywhere throughout the ancient world that was not plagued with the false modesty of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. It was natural–without the forced modesty of putting on an apron to cover the sexual organs as the gods of Genesis compelled its people to wear once they stopped following orders that came without a reason (Genesis 3:21) one line in the Torah that has no equal in any of the world’s older and more enlightened religions. In other instances, the Tree of Knowledge is also the Tree of Life, as without Knowledge there is no life. This was equally the case in ancient India and Greece, where people came, the gods who were serpents rejoiced, and bade them take
from the Tree its fruit and eat. The serpent surrounds the tree to offer advice, medical care, compassion, and education. This is true everywhere from the frozen Northern regions and states, to the Buddhists in Tibet and monks moving into China and East Asia. It occurred everywhere in every scripture–except in Genesis and among the Habiru mercenaries working for the Akkadians and Hittites until they set off for their own series of conquests: Palestine, Canaan, and tributaries that were never their own property by right, but became their land by might: force of arms and brutal battles and open genocide forays (Genesis 34:25-29; That Palestine/Canaan was never the property of Israel is attested to in Genesis 37:1, cp. Deuteronomy 2:25, 3:3-6, 18; Joshua 6; the Old Testament gods are equal to Set of Egypt: blood-thirsty and vengeful, sparing no one who would cross them.
In Genesis the intent is clear. The gods of the Hebrews did not want mortals (who were “fashioned in their image” and would have been most likely demigods) to live forever for such a situation could lead to a revolt against the gods, or the rejection of the gods in favor of knowledge. If this were to happen the gods would disappear and no longer exist. The fate of all fantasies when people stop believing in them and think for themselves (cp. Revelation 2:7).
The gods of the garden were not omniscient (all-knowing). They had to ask Adam where he was (Genesis 3:9). This is the mark of an overseer, who calls out for a worker by name.
The gods of Gan Eden were not omnipresent. They were not with the “woman” when she debated the serpent.
The gods of paradise were not omnipotent. They had no power to stop woman and her debate.
The eleventh verse of this ancient tragedy opens more questions about the omniscience of the garden god—questions that any gifted deity would not have to ask. This is found repeated in verse thirteen.
“Adam” proves himself to be weak: of fashion, creation, and courage. The man blames the woman as would any cowardly bully.
Woman asserts herself. She responds affirmatively. Eve cites her source (2–see footnote below).
Far from being loving, merciful, forgiving, and generous gods, the deities are harsh, cruel, vengeful, unrelenting, and evil. They insist that the mortals suffer and glory in their suffering (Genesis 3:15-19).
Only once the woman suffers is she given a name–and then by the mortal who caused the suffering by pulling back and putting the full blame on the woman. The name Eve does not appear until line 20, with the scriptural notation that she is “the mother of all living things”: the title given to goddess throughout Sumerian history and theology, a theology carried over to Mesopotamian nations and Egypt, and only of late used in the emerging writings of Hebrew scribes. It is a title identical to that bestowed on the Goddess Isis of ancient Egypt—and, yet, there is the surprising confession that Eve is Isis in part as she is the creatrix who gave life to all things (Genesis 1:11-25 ff, 2:9-19) making Eve the creating deity over any other deity (Ide, Arthur Frederick (1982). Woman in ancient Israel under the Torah and Talmud: with a translation and critical commentary on Genesis 1-3. Mesquite, TX, USA: IHP).
The destiny of the Mother of All Things, however, changes in the fourth tale, (Genesis 4:1-2) as she no longer has the power to spontaneous create, but must regenerate laboriously: giving birth. This is quickly masked over by the scribes who created the fifth account–obviously unaware of the other records, for there are numerous generations from a single mother who had but three sons. For Cain to marry (Genesis 4:17), he would have had to marry a daughter of Seth (in Egyptian theology his name is Set and he was the god of evil and darkness, but definitely patriarchal with no respect for women), his niece, while Seth would have had to have had sex with his mother as Oedipus did in Greek lore.
While “Eve” is essential to the Abrahamic religions’ plagiarism of far older world fables on creation, the serpent in the garden is the central figure, especially concerning the Temptation beside the Tree of Knowledge. The words of the serpent are critical to understanding the significance of the “fall” (or rise) of males and patriarchy that did not exist for millennia. Nearly the serpent’s entire message is in the Third Tale (Genesis 3, which Batto, Bernard F. (1992). Slaying the Dragon, Mythmaking in the Biblical Tradition. Louisville, KY, USA: Westminster/John Knox Press, p. 60: “The Yahwist’s Primeval Myth.” rejects as original or authentic). It is the serpent-god who begins the dialogue:
vs. 1b: “Yes, [have not] the gods said, ‘you shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” The full text is: וְהַנָּחָשׁ הָיָה עָרוּם מִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה אַף כִּי־אָמַר אֱלֹהִים לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִכֹּל עֵץ הַגָּן׃. In vs. 2b-3,
the woman points out “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but the fruit of the tree that is in the among/amidst/in the center of the garden, the gods declared ‘You all shall not eat of it, neither shall anyone touch it or you will die’.” The full text reads: וַתֹּאמֶר הָאִשָּׁה אֶל־הַנָּחָשׁ מִפְּרִי עֵץ־הַגָּן נֹאכֵל׃ וּמִפְּרִי הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר בְּתֹוךְ־הַגָּן אָמַר אֱלֹהִים לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ וְלֹא תִגְּעוּ בֹּו פֶּן־תְּמֻתוּן׃ .
The serpent retorts (vs. 4b=5): “Surely you will not die. For the gods know certainly that on the day that you eat [of the fruit of the tree], your eyes shall be opened and you shall be equal to the gods: knowing good and evil.” The full text reads: וַיֹּאמֶר הַנָּחָשׁ אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה לֹא־מֹות תְּמֻתוּן׃ כִּי יֹדֵעַ אֱלֹהִים כִּי בְּיֹום אֲכָלְכֶם מִמֶּנּוּ וְנִפְקְחוּ עֵינֵיכֶם וִהְיִיתֶם כֵּאלֹהִים יֹדְעֵי טֹוב וָרָע׃
The serpent is recognizing different forces. The serpent is not the betrayer, nor is the serpent an enemy of gods for the woman is a god (the creatrix) and the serpent is working to increase her knowledge. This knowledge led to sex with the “first man” and from their union came Emesh and Enten (Cain [literally it means “the Shining One” and was later accorded to Lucifer; in the Greek New Testament, Cain is referred to as ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ: “the evil one” 1 John 3:12] and Abel, which in Hebrew means “breath”, “vanity”, and “waste”, but in Akkadian, Abel means “son”, and in Arabic Abel translates as “herdsmen” of camels, while Cain translates as “metal smith” indicating their professions: farming and industry and their “battle” was between the two professions, not between two men: Richard S. (1993). Studies in the Personal Names of Genesis 1-11. Kevelaer, Germany: Verlag Butzon & Bercker ; Neukirchen-Vluyn, Germany: Neukirchener Verlag, pp. 24-25) two Mesopotamians who fit into Sumerian theology.
The serpent demonstrates that it (since in fact there is no actual reference to the gender of the serpent as male or female) is in fact a deity. It is not a demon as demons at this time in history did not recognize the existence of good but, like Marduk of Persia, were preoccupied with murdering messengers of light
(Ahura Mazda) in a great (and final) battle for control of the earth.
In India, the serpent-god was the guide to heaven, his erect phallus a symbol of peace and love and direction toward god. This is seen graphically in the Shiva Pashupati (“lord of cattle”) seal, a famous terracotta seal excavated from the Mohenjo Daro (Mound of the Dead) in the Indus Valley dated approximately 2000 BCE depicting a horned (divine) yogi figure in lotus position with an erect phallus: a symbol of the way to heaven. Shiva, frequently depicted in yogi form, is commonly venerated in
the form of the male organ of procreation or lingam. The lingam, upon which devotees focus their prayers that is usually located at ground level, the vertical configuration of the icon symbolizes ascent, pointing to heaven. Shiva lingam is usually found in the innermost sanctuary of Shiva temples. Reference to the Shiva lingam (लिङ्गं in Sanskrit) is noted in ancient Hindu scriptures, including the Puranas and Mahabharata.
Yoga practices rest on awakening the “kundalini,” a Sanskrit word meaning “serpent power.” Only when the “coiled serpent” (the phallus) is awakened the real (subconscious) Yogi becomes the creator and destroyer of the universe, like God. Yoga is motivated by a spirit that inspires self-deificationin the practitioner with a promise of
reincarnation through regeneration (sexuality and sexual active intercourse). As Hindu theology ebbed into Mesopotamia, with an intensive emphasis on the divine qualities of the phallus and phallic worship that had long played a role in Canaanite and other Palestinian religions, the Habiru began to fight the innovative ontology and form schools to battle it by inventing evil to be the hallmark of the Celestial Advocate (Satan). The reality of human sexuality was repressed by the ignorance of a few that such activity, if left unguarded and unchecked, would lead to transgressions against the laws of the deities they worshipped
and such transgressions would become unforgivable sins unless punished to the ultimate extent. Thus stoning for adultery or effeminacy was demanded by the numerous authors of Leviticus, and from there carried to other tracts that never existed. While the Hindus, Canaanites and other Palestinians had no problem, and in fact rejoiced in the display of the phallus as a symbol of the deities love for mortals, such a display was forbidden among the early emerging Habiru who considered the organ to be a work of the serpent that they would in time refer to as The Devil. All images of the phallus would be forbidden among the wandering nomads/mercenaries, and any reference was prohibited under pain of offending the tribal god Yahweh–who would avenge himself by causing those who dared mention it to suffer. All symbols, common in Hinduism, Asherahism of the Canaanites, and others, were destroyed. Religion had become the warlord over choice and wisdom was denied.
All religions have stories of serpents that become staffs, rods, pillars, and even the phallus. The ancient Egyptians created legends of magicians (magi) who turned serpents into rods (cf. Exodus 7:10-12) to warn pharaohs of impending dangers, mass famine and pestilence, leading ultimately to the invention of Moses, from the tale of the priest On (Ide, Arthur Frederick (1992). Moses : making of myth & law : the influence of Egyptian sex, religion, and law on the writing of the Torah ; with an introduction by Decherd Turner; cp. Loud, Gordo, Megiddo II: Plates plate 240: 1, 4, from Stratum X (dated by Loud 1650–1550 BC) and Statum VIIB (dated 1250–1150 BC), noted by Karen Randolph Joines, “The Bronze Serpent in the Israelite Cult” Journal of Biblical Literature 87.3 (September 1968:245-256) p. 245 note 2.),
a symbol that even appears on Moab and Mesoamerica cave walls (cp. Exodus 7:9-12). Scholars have found this iconography regarding the serpent going back to the legend of Kukulcan/ Quetzalcoatal (first documented in Teotihuacan in the first century BCE or first century CE), represented as a feathered serpent. Quetzalcoatl was associated most intriguingly with legends of a white bearded hero arriving by boat from the sea, teaching the people, and then leaving, with the promise to return again in the future. This long-lived legend permitted the quick and easy overthrow of the Aztec Empire by Spanish invaders, who troops encouraged by their clergy quick martyred the Aztecs to steal their gold and claim their land for their pagan god and king. The brutal atrocities committed by the clergy far outdid the carnage capped by the soldiers in service to their kings: secular and divine (cp. Matthew 10:34).
All ancient religions, including that of the Habiru/Hebrews saw the serpent is co-equal with the gods. The serpent is the source of wisdom (the Levi, or priestly class, had to destroy that concept, even though Moses had the serpent on his staff as did all medical practitioners, educators, and even priests and royalty). With that the conversation is finished, and the diminishing of woman initiated–to be made complete with the rise of “Christianity” and Islam–both that demand that mortals submit to cruel gods and their priests and prophets.
Paulinity, the usurper of initial community of believers in Jesus of the New Testament and the actual root of what would become confessional Christianity that had nearly nothing in common with the Sayings of Jesus (referred to by Papias of Hierapolis in Anatolia (c. 60-130 CE): fragmentary logia texts appear on two Oxyrhynchus papyri discovered in 1897 and 1904; cf. Cross, F. L., ed. (2005). The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press, read articles Logia and Sayings of Jesus; Papias, Exposition on the Oracles of the Lord survives only in quotations made by Irenaeus and Eusebius; Oxyrhynchus was a city in Egypt (in ancient Egypt it was Per-Mejed the capital of the Upper Egypt Nome and rebuilt after the conquest by Alexander the Great in 332 BCE and renamed Οξυρρύγχου Πόλις : “town of the sharp-snouted fish”) on the
west of the Nile. From this site came an enormous collection of papyrus texts dating from the time of the Ptolemaic and Roman periods of Egyptian history were found. It was also the trove for Gnostic writings, especially the Gospel of Thomas, which many sawn as a threat to the emerging Paulinity church and sacerdotal priests committed to Saul of Tarsus) or any original text (most of which were destroyed by Constantine I and his subservient bishops determined to weed out heresy, deliberately, in the fourth century CE, further twisted the story as recorded by the schools of scribes in ancient Israel, to make the serpent appear as evil: “like sheep (a word that is both singular and plural, here used in the plural format; those that were found at Oxyrhynchus were written, or copied from older originals, between the third and fourth centuries CE. Many were written on the back of old government and accounting records as papyrus and paper were expensive) among wolves” (a symbol of evil) in Mathew 10:16. 2 Corinthians 11:3 actually admits, reluctantly, that inquisitiveness is a virtue yet one that could lead to “being led astray” from blind obedience to the madness of the creators of Paul (“pure devotion to Christ”: a title Jesus of the New Testament never claimed).
The universality of the serpent as a part of the waters and ring of life, as in Hindu theology it is affirmed that Lord Vishnu sleeps while floating on the cosmic waters on the serpent , and antecedent to the Torah is found in Babylonian and other texts where the serpent is a prized and wisdom giving god is found in Revelation 12:15. It is not until Revelation 20:2 that a mysterious saviour (not named Jesus) seizes the serpent and at that point calls it a devil, and then adds the name “Satan” (that does not mean “evil” but translates as “celestial advocate” and was a Babylonian son of the gods: Job 2:1). The Babylonian Satan, sourced from the Sumerian Satan (“Divine Advocate”) was a god in mortal shape.
The BM 122847 cylinder seal shows a humped bull standing before a palm-tree (Tree of Knowledge), feeding from a round manager (or a bundle of fodder symbolizing the promised birth of a warrior [“messiah”: מָשִׁיחַ meaning “anointed”; cp. سيح that is translated in the Greek Septuagint as Χριστός (Khristós), cp. Book of Enoch (xxxvii.-lxxi.) of the first century BCE]; behind the bull (a god, called Apis in Egypt where the calf was known as Yah, Marduk is the “bull of Utu”. Shiva’s Hindu steed is Nandi, the Bull.various names in Mesopotamia; Aurochs are depicted in many Paleolithic European cave paintings such as those found at Lascaux and Livernon in France, while the earliest survivals of a bull cult are at neolithic Çatalhöyük: southern Anatolia (Turkey), which existed from approximately 7500 BCE to 5700 BCE and while most agree it was a matriarchal society, there are those who argue it was gender-nuetral: Hodder, Ian. “Women and Men at Çatalhöyük,” Scientifi American Magazine, January 2004 (update V15:1, 2005) and Hodder, Ian (2006). The Leopard’s Tale: Revealing the Mysteries of Çatalhöyük. London; New York: Thames & Hudson), is holy scorpion and two snakes; above this scene is a human figure (placed horizontally) who has long arms and legs and rays (“horns”) about his head (antedating Moses of the Torah) who is the overseer. The serpent is the one who imparts knowledge, discusses Truth with “creatures” and is the senior aid to the human figure (cuneiform Gadd Seal 1). The serpent is the prototype of “all things good” and wisdom.
The strangest part appears in verse 15b: “it [the serpent] shall bruise your head, and you both shall bruise his heel.” This has met little discussion, but the fact that the serpent had a head, arms, hands, and legs, and walked upright (it is only later it crawls on its belly: Genesis 3:14) is indicative not that it was necessarily a person shaped, formed, and endowed like a mortal, but rather that it had a head indicating that it had a brain and was wise—there is no record within the Third Tale that the gods had a head (none is mentioned), nor were the omnipresent or omnipotent as was the serpent who displayed both characteristics (Matthew 10:16, John 3:14-15; the Torah devolution of the serpent was slow and only transmogrified to separate Israelites from other mortal communities: Kelly Satan: a biography, p. 360 “However, the idea of Zoroastrian influence on the evolution of Satan is in limited favor among scholars today, not least because the satan figure is always subordinate to God in Hebrew and Christian representations: Kelly, Henry Ansgar (2006). Satan: a Biography. Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press), for the serpent was
“subtle” (Genesis 3:1). Furthermore, the serpent was not a traditional snake, for the text reads that “you shall bruise his heal” and only non-serpentine (not snakes) have heels, the passage reminiscent of Achilles whose heel was unprotected in combat (a final combat: an apocalyptic End Time); the Satan, allegedly, created the genitals.
To protect the Abrahamic religions, and after Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, a concerted attack on the recognition and worship of the serpent as a source of knowledge broke out with ferocity.
The Emperor Constantinus II in 356 CE ordered the Egyptian temples of Isis-Osiris closed and forbade the use of Egyptian hieroglyphics as a religious language while stealing Egyptian gold for his own use. The Emperor Theodosius in 380 CE declared Christianity to be the official Roman state religion, forbade the existence of all pagan cults with especially attention to destroying the records of ancient Egyptian culture and religion, attacking the Egyptian language and the writing systems of Egyptian priests, destroying manuscripts in a way similar to the burning of Arian records by Constantine I, in favor of an illiterate emerging priestly class that changed Christianity into Paulinity favoring a few over the many.
In 391 C.E. the pandering, predatory Patriarch of Alexandria, Theophilus (d. 412 CE), one of the most evil and illiterate patriarchs in Church history: “Seiz[ed] this opportunity, Theophilus exerted himself to the utmost … he caused the Mithraeum to be cleaned out… Then he destroyed the Serapeum [the greatest library in the world of that day]… and he had the phalli of Priapus carried through the midst of the forum. … the heathen temples… were therefore razed to the ground, and the images of their gods molten into pots and other convenient utensils for the use of the Alexandrian church” (written by Socrates Scholasticus, The Ecclesiastical History 16) having summoned his venal and blood-thirsty monks to arms and sent them as a barbaric horde against the city of imperial Memphis, which had a reputation similar to today’s Vatican and its libraries, and the great shrine of Serapis, the Serapeum, the main temple of the Osirian-Isis religion where more records were kept than could be found in any Christian church or convent. The object, an open secret, was to steal all gold of non-Christians to adorn the Christian churches and starve the masses.
This violence and carnage was repeated by the Christian community when the female philosopher Hypatia (350/370 – March 415), a noted mathematician and librarian who was head of the Platonist school at Alexandria where she taught philosophy and astronomy, was lynched and flayed by a mob of Alexandrian Coptic monks who acclaimed Theophilus’s nephew and successor Cyril as “the new Theophilus, for he had destroyed the last remains of idolatry in the city”, as recorded in the Chronicle (only a translation in Ethiopian in 1602 survives) by John of Nikiu, an Egyptian Coptic bishop, in the seventh century (“La Chronique de Jean de Nikioû”, ed. and translated into French by H. Zotenberg in Notices et Extraits des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Nationale, t. XXIV, I, pp. 125–605 (Paris, 1883) and also separately (Paris, 1883). The death of Hypatia ( Toohey, Sue (2003). “The Important Life & Tragic Death of Hypatia”. Skyscript.co.uk.) marked the beginning of the decline and end of education in the Christian world, that substituted memorization of myths for learning and the conduct of inquiry, more interested in turning out bigoted clerics than producing intelligent leaders, scientists, mathematicians and inventors (Wider, Kathleen (1986). “Hypatia”, Women Philosophers in the Ancient Greek World: Donning the Mantle. Indianapolis, IN, USA: Indiana University Press, p. 49–50). Schools were closed, libraries destroyed, and the mythology of Paulinity became the only acceptable religion until Islam took over Arabia and began its march to conquer the world.
More violent than the armies of the legendary Joshua, more bloodthirsty than the Cossacks (Казаки) of Imperial Russia, and more deadly than Lynndie England and her gaggle of goons at Abu Ghraib prison (2004-2005; for her role in and torturing Iraqis England was indicted on of one count of conspiracy, four counts of maltreating detainees and one count of committing an indecent act, England received only a three-year prison sentence), the Christian terrorists from Alexandria massacred Egyptian priests in their shrines and in the streets. The ferocity of the violence consumed priests, followers, and the Egyptian intellectual elite of Alexandria, Memphis, and other cities of Egypt who were murdered and their temples and libraries destroyed and a motley crew of scribes were assigned to rewrite (“revise”) history and create a fiction supporting Alexandria’s concept of Christianity that would be buttressed by the Arian bishop of Caesarea, Eusebius, who was commissioned by Constantine to create and write a Bible in 385 CE (Eusebius, Vita Constantini, IV,36-37). The institutional structure of Egyptian religion, then more than four millennia old, was demolished in less than two decades (cf. Gabriel, Richard A (2005). Jesus the Egyptian: the Origins of Christianity and the Psychology of Christ. [S.I.] Iuniverse Inc).
The conclusion in the nineteenth century, and not ignored until the rise of evangelical fundamentalism among the new emerging sects, was that the serpent was neither demon nor devil, but a god sent to educate and elucidate wisdom. This came from a study of serpentine figures from all ancient civilizations that used the image of the serpent to hallmark medical corporations, technical and educational institutions, and government think tanks employing the symbol of the serpent on their emblems and logos.
(1) Sayce was a pioneer British Assyriologist and linguist who held the chair as Professor of Assyriology at Oxford University (1891-1919), publishing transcriptions and translations of cuneiform texts for the Society of Biblical Archaeology (see vol. 3, part 1). Sayce argued that the Hittites existed centuries before the age of Old Testament patriarchs, debunking the common thought that the Old Testament was the earliest history of the region; it was but a plagiarism. His Hibbert Lectures on Babylonian religion and showed how it was far older than any Jewish writing or the Torah (cf. Sayce, Archibald Henry (1887). The Hibbert Lectures, 1887. Lectures on the origin and growth of religion as illustrated by the religion of the ancient Babylonians. London, UK: Williams & Norgate). Sayce’s goal was to find the Rosetta stone to unlock all ancient languages. Cf. Archibald Henry Sayce (1875). An elementary grammar: with full syllabary and progressive reading book, of the Assyrian language, in the cuneiform type. London, UK: Samuel Bagster and Sons, I have a copy of the second edition, but no date was printed on the book; Sayce, Archibald Henry (1887). Lectures on the Origin and Growth of Religion as Illustrated by the Religion of the ancient Babylonians. London: Williams and Norgate; and, Sayce, Archibald Henry (1888-. Records of the Past: Being English translations of the ancient monuments of Egypt and Western Asia. New Series; 6 vols. London: Bagster & Sons).
(2) Although contemporary versions read that she claims “the serpent beguiled me” meaning to “suggest” or “impose upon” (James 1:22) even “lecture” but the concept of “deceit” is of later origin and at first was understood to me “to cheat” from giving full details as in Romans 7:11, 16:18 (where it is to “encourage” or “offer”, and 1 Corinthians 3:18; as a verb transitive, “beguile” means “to make time pass without notice” indicating that the dialogue lasted for some time and various points debated). In 2 Corinthians 11:3, it is the offering of serious scholarship to the exclusion of accepting “the simplicity that is in Christ”—or accepting the least complicated answer in favor of ignorance, also inserted in 2 Thessalonians 2:3; it is a commandment to obey the priests (Isaiah 37:10) who work for the good of their particular god(s) and not for the good of people, as noted in Jeremiah 29:8.