Updated: Apr 15
“And the naḥash was more crafty than all the lives of the field which יהוה Elohim had made, and he said to the woman, “Is it true that Elohim has said, ‘Do not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1)
In Genesis 3:1, we read about the Nahash who was craftier than all the creatures of the field created by Elohim. He is also known as the serpent who deceived Eve into eating from the Tree of Knowledge. But was the Nahash just a mere snake or something else entirely?
The Hebrew word used for Nahash can be translated as serpent, snake, image (of serpent), or fleeing serpent (mythological/ or perhaps more than myth). In Numbers 21:6 and Deuteronomy 8:15, we see the same word translated as fiery serpents, which were sent by Yahweh to punish the Israelites for their rebellion.
“And יהוה sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people. And many of the people of Yisra’ĕl died.” (Numbers 21:6)
“Who led you through that great and awesome wilderness – fiery serpents and scorpions and thirst – where there was no water, who brought water for you out of the flinty rock, (Deuteronomy 8:15)
In Isaiah 27:1, Nahash is also used to describe Leviathan, a creature far superior in terms of size and ability than the average snake. Here, Leviathan is referred to as a fleeing serpent (nahash).
“In that day יהוה with His severe sword, great and strong, punishes Liwiathan the fleeing serpent, Liwiathan that twisted serpent. And He shall kill the monster that is in the sea.” (Isaiah 27:1)
Interestingly, the root word for Nahash, nâchash, naw-khash', means to practice divination, observe signs, learn by experience, practice fortunetelling, whisper a spell, take as an omen. It implies that Nahash is associated with supernatural abilities and may not be just an ordinary creature.
In 1 Samuel 15:23, rebellion is compared to the sin of divination, which is rooted in Nahash, which also means serpent. This suggests that Nahash has a deeper spiritual connotation beyond its physical meaning.
“For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and stubbornness is as wickedness and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of יהוה, He also does reject you as sovereign.” (1 Samuel 15:23)
In the book of Revelation, Satan is referred to as the dragon, the serpent of old, who deceived or enchanted Eve in the Garden of Eden. This means that Nahash, the serpent who deceived Eve, was Satan in disguise.
“And there came to be fighting in the heaven: Miḵa’ĕl and his messengers fought against the dragon. And the dragon and his messengers fought, but they were not strong enough, nor was a place found for them in the heaven any longer. And the great dragon was thrown out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who leads all the world astray. He was thrown to the earth, and his messengers were thrown out with him.” (Revelation 12:7-9)
“And I saw a messenger coming down from the heaven, having the key to the pit of the deep and a great chain in his hand. And he seized the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,” (Revelation 20:1-2)
Hasatan is still able to go to Heaven, as seen in the aforementioned verses and in Job 1:6, where he presented himself before Yah alongside the sons of Elohim. The significance here, is that contrary to popular belief, Satan has not been exiled from heaven doomed to never return, but still has the ability to walk in the Set-apart land of Yah’s domain.
“And the day came to be that the sons of Elohim came to present themselves before יהוה, and Satan also came among them.” (Job 1:6)
The fiery serpents mentioned in Numbers and Deuteronomy are also described as Saraph, which means serpent, fiery serpent, poisonous serpent (fiery from burning effect of poison), seraph, seraphim, majestic beings with 6 wings, human hands or voices in attendance upon Elohim. It also refers to a class of angels. In Isaiah 6:6, one of the Seraphim is described as working in the slaughter-place of heaven. This raises the question of whether the fiery serpents mentioned earlier could be fallen Seraphim living in the wastelands, or if they were simply poisonous snakes.
“And one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the slaughter-place.” (Isaiah 6:6)
In 2 Corinthians 11:14, we read that Satan masquerades as a messenger of light, indicating that he still looks like a righteous messenger, despite his true nature. So his appearance is not one of red skin, horns and a forked tail, but one of majesty befitting a messenger of Elohim. This also might have played into the deception of Eve, as Hasatan would have looked like a proper emissary of Yah, but was working his whispers of deception.
“And no wonder! For Satan himself masquerades as a messenger of light!” (2 Corinthians 11:14)
In Genesis 3:14, Yah curses the Nahash by making it crawl on its belly and eat dust all the days of its life. This punishment implies that Nahash was not a normal snake, as they already crawl on their bellies.
“And יהוה Elohim said to the naḥash, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all livestock and more than every beast of the field. On your belly you are to go, and eat dust all the days of your life.” (Genesis 3:14)
In Genesis 3:15, we see that there is enmity between Messiah and those of Hasatan, not biological snakes. This is confirmed in Matthew 13:37-39, where the good seed represents the sons of the reign, while the darnel represents the sons of the wicked one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. Further more in John 8:44, Yeshua states that the devil is the father of lies, meaning he is the first to lie. That first lie occurred between himself and Eve.
“And I put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed. He shall crush your head, and you shall crush His heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
“And He answering, said to them, “He who is sowing the good seed is the Son of Aḏam, and the field is the world. And the good seed, these are the sons of the reign, but the darnel are the sons of the wicked one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. And the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the messengers.” (Matthew 13:37-39)
“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you wish to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it.” (John 8:44)
To conclude this thought, while the Nahash is often translated as serpent, its root meaning suggests that it is associated with supernatural abilities and divination. The use of the same word to describe Leviathan, fiery serpents, and fallen Seraphim, implies that Nahash may not be just an ordinary creature. Instead, it may represent a class of divine beings, such as Hasatan. Ultimately, the Nahash represents the spiritual battle between good and evil, between Yahweh and Hasatan.
The Prince of Tsor
“You were in Ěḏen, the garden of Elohim. Every precious stone was your covering: the ruby, topaz, and diamond, beryl, shoham, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald and gold. The workmanship of your settings and mountings was prepared for you on the day you were created. “You were the anointed keruḇ that covered. And I placed you, you were on the set-apart mountain of Elohim. You walked up and down in the midst of stones of fire.” Ezekiel 28:13-14
The mention of the prince of Tsor in Ezekiel 28 has been a topic of debate for centuries. While some have claimed that this prince is a reference to Satan, the context of the chapter suggests otherwise. In fact, Ezekiel 28 makes it clear that the prince of Tsor is a man:
“Son of man, say to the prince of Tsor, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה, “Because your heart is lifted up, and you say, ‘I am Ěl, I sit in the seat of Elohim, in the heart of the seas,’ whereas you are a man, and not Ěl, though you set your heart as the heart of Elohim!” (Ezekiel 28:2)
In the book of Ezekiel, the prince of Tsor and other earthly kings are associated with Eden. However, this association is not meant to suggest that these kings are equivalent to Satan or other demonic entities, or were even in Eden. Instead, Yah through Ezekiel places foreign kings “in Eden” metaphorically to ridicule their self-perceived glory, highlighting the inadequacy of earthly rulers before El Shaddai.
For example, soon after speaking of Tyre’s king being “in Eden,” Ezekiel asks the king of Egypt,
“To whom are you to be compared in esteem and greatness among the trees in Ěḏen? But you shall be brought down with the trees of Ěḏen to the depths of the earth, lie in the midst of the uncircumcised, with those slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his crowd,’ declares the Master יהוה.” (Ezekiel 31:18)
Of course, Pharaoh was never literally among the trees of Eden, nor were Eden’s trees ever recorded as being cut down.
Tyre, or Tsor, was a city in Lebanon that was part of the Canaanite empire, located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It was a powerhouse in the commerce business, and its wealth and splendor were the subject of admiration and envy.
The reference to the prince of Tsor as a "kerub" or "cherub" is also significant. This term is typically associated with angelic beings that serve as protectors, and the city of Tsor was known for its treasure and defensive capabilities. Through its richness in trade, it could supply the entire region with supplies. In a sense Tsor could have acted as a caretaker of Israel, if they had chosen to follow Yah. They do not, which will lead to their destruction which is mentioned in Isaiah 23: 1-6, Ezekiel 26:1-8, and here in Ezekiel 28:16-17
“By the greatness of your trade you became filled with violence within, and you sinned. So I thrust you from the mountain of Elohim, and I destroyed you, O covering keruḇ, from the midst of the stones of fire.“Your heart was lifted up because of your loveliness, you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendour. I threw you to the earth, I laid you before sovereigns, to look at you.” (Ezekiel 28:16-17)
The stones of fire mentioned above could be alluding to the fact that the city of Tsor decorated its walls with gold shields imbued precious stones, which would light up when reflecting sunlight, giving them and the city wall a fiery appearance. This prophesy came to pass when Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great (at different times), both conquered and burnt the city of Tsor. It’s splendor and wealth laid desolate to invading Kings.
In conclusion, while the mention of the prince of Tsor in Ezekiel 28 has been the subject of much debate and interpretation over the years, the context of the chapter and the description of the prince suggest that he was a mortal ruler rather than a reference to Satan’s rebellion.
Continue to test all things, including this article, and may the Ruach Hakodesh lead you into all truth.
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