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The Fall of Adam


Cold Steel

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I'd really like to know. It's kind of like the dove and the Holy Spirit. What really happened in the Garden of Eden? Why was Satan identified with the serpent, and why is Christ also associated with the serpent? (The graven image of a serpent on a staff healed the people who looked on it in Moses' day.)

This Mosaic symbol also was known among the Greeks. Apollo's son, Asclepius, carried a single staff with a serpent entwined around it. (The American medical establishment goofed by adopting the staff of Hermes when they should have adopted the staff of Asclepius.)

I know that snakes are slimy, sneaky, crawly things, but God cursed the serpent because of its instrumentality in the fall. But what does it mean? Was it symbolic?

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I'd really like to know. It's kind of like the dove and the Holy Spirit. What really happened in the Garden of Eden? Why was Satan identified with the serpent, and why is Christ also associated with the serpent? (The graven image of a serpent on a staff healed the people who looked on it in Moses' day.)

This Mosaic symbol also was known among the Greeks. Apollo's son, Asclepius, carried a single staff with a serpent entwined around it. (The American medical establishment goofed by adopting the staff of Hermes when they should have adopted the staff of Asclepius.)

I know that snakes are slimy, sneaky, crawly things, but God cursed the serpent because of its instrumentality in the fall. But what does it mean? Was it symbolic?

If you have ever handled a snake you would know that they are not slimy, but dry to the touch. And fine fellows for all that.

You forgot Quetzlcoatl, the feather-serpent.

As to the rest: good questions all. I await learned response.

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Just a small correction: the American Medical Association's logo is actually a stylized staff of Asclepius, as is the logo for the Collegium Aesculapium (the LDS physicians society). On the other hand, the US military Medical Corps uses the staff of Hermes.

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I'd really like to know. It's kind of like the dove and the Holy Spirit. What really happened in the Garden of Eden? Why was Satan identified with the serpent, and why is Christ also associated with the serpent? (The graven image of a serpent on a staff healed the people who looked on it in Moses' day.)

This Mosaic symbol also was known among the Greeks. Apollo's son, Asclepius, carried a single staff with a serpent entwined around it. (The American medical establishment goofed by adopting the staff of Hermes when they should have adopted the staff of Asclepius.)

I know that snakes are slimy, sneaky, crawly things, but God cursed the serpent because of its instrumentality in the fall. But what does it mean? Was it symbolic?

I don't know if this helps or makes for more questions. I was reading Josephus's 'Antiquities of the Jews' recently, and found this interesting:

"He also deprived the serpent of speech, out of indignation at his malicious disposition towards Adam. Besides this, he inserted poison under his tongue, and made him an enemy to men; and suggested to them, that they should direct their strokes against his head, that being the place wherein lay his mischievous designs towards men, and it being easiest to take vengeance on him, that way. And when he had deprived him of the use of his feet, he made him to go rolling all along, and dragging himself upon the ground. And when God had appointed these penalties for them, he removed Adam and Eve out of the garden into another place."

http://sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/ant-1.htm

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First of all, snakes are not slimy. They are actually quite pleasant to handle. They are not sneaky,they are single minded. They do not crawl( maybe the originals did on what are now vestigial legs) . Considering the way most other creatures move,a snake is a marvel of locomotive engineering.

The Mesoamerican Quetzalcoatyl combines heavenly motion with earthly motion.

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First of all, snakes are not slimy. They are actually quite pleasant to handle. They are not sneaky,they are single minded. They do not crawl( maybe the originals did on what are now vestigial legs) . Considering the way most other creatures move,a snake is a marvel of locomotive engineering.

The Mesoamerican Quetzalcoatyl combines heavenly motion with earthly motion.

Didn't I just say that? Or most of it? Why is everyone always restating what I say as if it were their original idea? :P

If you have ever handled a snake you would know that they are not slimy, but dry to the touch. And fine fellows for all that.

You forgot Quetzlcoatl, the feather-serpent.

As to the rest: good questions all. I await learned response.

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I'd really like to know. It's kind of like the dove and the Holy Spirit. What really happened in the Garden of Eden? Why was Satan identified with the serpent, and why is Christ also associated with the serpent? (The graven image of a serpent on a staff healed the people who looked on it in Moses' day.)

This Mosaic symbol also was known among the Greeks. Apollo's son, Asclepius, carried a single staff with a serpent entwined around it. (The American medical establishment goofed by adopting the staff of Hermes when they should have adopted the staff of Asclepius.)

I know that snakes are slimy, sneaky, crawly things, but God cursed the serpent because of its instrumentality in the fall. But what does it mean? Was it symbolic?

The usage of the snake in the garden scene is extremely old. This artifact was found at Gobekli Tepe, a 12000 year old site,...

gobekli-tepe-seal-stone.jpg

There might be a certain corruption of the Genesis story at least as presented in the Hebrew account. The point in the Hebrew account is not to be 100% factual, but to present an image of information being given to man. In Sumerian literature this seems to be better explained. "Nin-Gish-Zida" is a major character who is represented as the wise serpent who brings Adapa or Adam to the knowledge of the gods. NingishzidaGudeaSealBlackGreen.jpg

Note on the god-petitioner, ", stands before Enki, the god of wisdom holding Adapa or Adams hand. On Nin-Gish-Zida's shoulders are the serpents. An interesting aspect of the name is that it has a double meaning, Nin usually means "lady" while En means "lord." So can alternately be translated "Lady of the good tree" instead of the usual "Lord of the Good Tree". Some have suggested that Nin-gish-zida represents not only the serpent but Eve as well!

Again, it is not the literalness we should be looking at, but the overall message and nuance of the story. When coupled with much older traditions the Genesis story reveals itself a bit better.

There is also another story in the Epic of Gilgamesh that speaks of the serpent stealing the "flower of eternity" from Gilgamesh while he is sleeping. (see my signature below).

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It's interesting that the was Serpent used in Mosaic Era as a symbol of Christ. The Deceiver appeared in the form of 'a serpent', or in other words, appeared to imitate the person or qualities of Christ (elsewhere referred to as an Angel of Light). Thus in the Garden narrative and Eden story, it was not literally Snakes that were cursed, but imitators and impersonators of Deity.

In the words of Margret Barker, “Re-arranging the symbols or retelling the story, with slight changes, was how the debate proceeded. We must not be put off by talking snakes, but rather listen carefully to what the snake said, recognizing that in this tradition the snake was the deceiver. Or rather, that the one who appeared as the snake was the deceiver. The snake may have been a symbol of something good, and so chosen by evil as its means to deceive.”

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I know that snakes are slimy, sneaky, crawly things, but God cursed the serpent because of its instrumentality in the fall. But what does it mean? Was it symbolic?
I personally somewhat doubt that an actual serpent did the tempting but that when Satan did it, he was cursed to be like the serpent and that "dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life". Specifically, Satan was cursed to remain on this planet - he would not be allowed to go and try this same trick on other planets. Transmission of the story then ended up with Satan being/using the serpent - that and what nackhadlow said.
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I'd really like to know. It's kind of like the dove and the Holy Spirit. What really happened in the Garden of Eden? Why was Satan identified with the serpent, and why is Christ also associated with the serpent? (The graven image of a serpent on a staff healed the people who looked on it in Moses' day.)

This Mosaic symbol also was known among the Greeks. Apollo's son, Asclepius, carried a single staff with a serpent entwined around it. (The American medical establishment goofed by adopting the staff of Hermes when they should have adopted the staff of Asclepius.)

I know that snakes are slimy, sneaky, crawly things, but God cursed the serpent because of its instrumentality in the fall. But what does it mean? Was it symbolic?

Christ is symbolized by a "flying" or a raised serpent on a rod (the Gospel) saving people; the devil is symbolized by a serpent crawling upon its belly, eating dust.

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Christ is symbolized by a "flying" or a raised serpent on a rod (the Gospel) saving people; the devil is symbolized by a serpent crawling upon its belly, eating dust.

I was trying to find a reference for this, but as I recall, the ouroboros, which is a snake in a circle biting its own tail is also sometimes depicted as two snakes one white one black (one good one evil) representing duality. So in the garden we have the "good snake" and the "bad snake". That has been knocking around in my brain for awhile, but I couldn't find any good references in the time I had

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The usage of the snake in the garden scene is extremely old. This artifact was found at Gobekli Tepe, a 12000 year old site,...

gobekli-tepe-seal-stone.jpg

There might be a certain corruption of the Genesis story at least as presented in the Hebrew account. The point in the Hebrew account is not to be 100% factual, but to present an image of information being given to man. In Sumerian literature this seems to be better explained. "Nin-Gish-Zida" is a major character who is represented as the wise serpent who brings Adapa or Adam to the knowledge of the gods. NingishzidaGudeaSealBlackGreen.jpg

Note on the god-petitioner, ", stands before Enki, the god of wisdom holding Adapa or Adams hand. On Nin-Gish-Zida's shoulders are the serpents. An interesting aspect of the name is that it has a double meaning, Nin usually means "lady" while En means "lord." So can alternately be translated "Lady of the good tree" instead of the usual "Lord of the Good Tree". Some have suggested that Nin-gish-zida represents not only the serpent but Eve as well!

Again, it is not the literalness we should be looking at, but the overall message and nuance of the story. When coupled with much older traditions the Genesis story reveals itself a bit better.

There is also another story in the Epic of Gilgamesh that speaks of the serpent stealing the "flower of eternity" from Gilgamesh while he is sleeping. (see my signature below).

I have seen the Gobekli Tepe stuff before, and I had seen the image of Enki et al before too, but this time I really see the parallels. I hadn't seen the Gobekli Tepe image as related to fertility before, but now looking at that snake and "tree" I see it as pretty unmistakable, which relates very nicely to the "Lady of the Good Tree" and the link to Eve which also fits with the "flower of eternity" notion. Very interesting! Never saw those parallels before.

So this possibly brings up the notion that sex was the "forbidden fruit" again?

edit: And of course there is the "fleur de lis" in there in the seated figure's hand - symbol later for Mary etc-- pretty interesting!

edit 2: I just keep seeing more: Note that the overall figure of Nin-Gish-Zida is overall in the form of a "fleur de lis" too, with the snakes forming the outer plumes

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edit 2: I just keep seeing more: Note that the overall figure of Nin-Gish-Zida is overall in the form of a "fleur de lis" too, with the snakes forming the outer plumes

In fact, visually all through the piece you see this theme which will try to represent sideways with my keyboard: {--

In other words a central core with a point, and two curves on both sides curving downward, mirroring eachother around the central point, in other words- the "fleur de lis" repeated in the head and shoulders of the seated figure with the curving streams (water? from the jars?) forming the curving portions. So the head and shoulders of both the standing and seated figure echo the shape of the fleur de lis in the hand of the seated figure, and even the little jars also echo this basic shape.

In the Middle Ages the symbols of lily and fleur-de-lis (lis is French for "lily") overlapped considerably in religious art. Michel Pastoureau, the historian, says that until about 1300 they were found in depictions of Jesus, but gradually they took on Marian symbolism and were associated with the Song of Solomon's "lily among thorns" (lilium inter spinas), understood as a reference to Mary. Other scripture and religious literature in which the lily symbolizes purity and chastity also helped establish the flower as an iconographic attribute of the Virgin.

The fleur could also draw its design from Jewish tradition. The design is very similar to a lulav, made with a palm frond which sticks up straight and the branches of willow and myrtle trees, which are not as rigid.

In medieval England, from the mid-12th century, a noblewoman's seal often showed the lady with a fleur-de-lis, drawing on the Marian connotations of "female virtue and spirituality".[22] Images of Mary holding the flower first appeared in the 11th century on coins issued by cathedrals dedicated to her, and next on the seals of cathedral chapters, starting with Notre Dame de Paris in 1146. A standard portrayal was of Mary carrying the flower in her right hand, just as she is shown in that church's Virgin of Paris statue (with lily), and in the centre of the stained glass rose window (with fleur-de-lis sceptre) above its main entrance. The flowers may be "simple fleurons, sometimes garden lilies, sometimes genuine heraldic fleurs-de-lis".[23] As attributes of the Madonna, they are often seen in pictures of the Annunciation, notably in those of Sandro Botticelli and Filippo Lippi. Lippi also uses both flowers in other related contexts: for instance, in his Madonna in the Forest.

The three petals of the heraldic design reflect a widespread association with the Holy Trinity,[24] a tradition going back to 14th century France,[25] added onto the earlier belief that they also represented faith, wisdom and chivalry.

"Flower of light" symbolism has sometimes been understood from the archaic variant fleur-de-luce (see Latin lux, luc- = "light"), but the Oxford English Dictionary suggests this arose from the spelling, not from the etymology.[26]

Of course Wikipedia is not the best source, but when I want to show that a symbol is well known, it is a great source because it in essence says "Everybody knows that ______" (fill in the blank)!

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There are some really interesting thoughts on this thread. I've always been kind of stymied by the symbolism of the serpent--except for it being portrayed as the arch nemesis of the female. I interpret much of early Genesis symbolically, but I haven't quite come to terms with the whole serpent thing. Why would a woman be tempted by such a dreadful creature--except maybe to show that she was completely innocent before her eyes were opened to all knowledge; so innocent that she didn't even know that serpents are supposed to scare us, not seduce us...

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I was trying to find a reference for this, but as I recall, the ouroboros, which is a snake in a circle biting its own tail is also sometimes depicted as two snakes one white one black (one good one evil) representing duality. So in the garden we have the "good snake" and the "bad snake". That has been knocking around in my brain for awhile, but I couldn't find any good references in the time I had

OK found one. the site is flaky, but at least you will see the image

ouroborostree.jpg

The caption reads "The Ouroboros and the Tree of Life"

Note in the image that one serpent, the one in the air, has wings and a crown, as symbolic of the savior perhaps, while the other is a regular snake, completely earth bound.

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And as far as the winged "good" serpent in the above orobouros, there are more links, specifically to the phoenix, long known as a symbol of resurrection. Of course the winged snake is on the caduceus.

Michael W. Holmes points out that early Christian writers justified their use of this myth because the word appears in Psalm 92:12 [LXX Psalm 91:13], but in that passage it actually refers to a palm tree, not a mythological bird.[1] However, it was the flourishing of Christian Hebraist interpretations of Job 29:18 that brought the Joban phoenix to life for Christian readers of the seventeenth century. At the heart of these interpretations is the proliferation of richly complementary meanings that turn upon three translations of the word chol (חול) — as phoenix, palm tree, or sand — in Job 29:18. [2]

Originally, the phoenix was identified by the Egyptians as a stork or heron-like bird called a benu, known from the Book of the Dead and other Egyptian texts as one of the sacred symbols of worship at Heliopolis, closely associated with the rising sun and the Egyptian sun-god Ra.

The Greeks identified it with their own word phoenix φοίνιξ, meaning the color purple-red or crimson (cf. Phoenicia). They and the Romans subsequently pictured the bird more like a peacock or an eagle. According to the Greeks the phoenix lived in Phoenicia next to a well. At dawn, it bathed in the water of the well, and the Greek sun-god Helios stopped his chariot (the sun) in order to listen to its song. Featured in the painting Heracles Strangles Snakes (House of the Vettii, Pompeii Italy) as Zeus, the king of the gods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(mythology)

Anyone who is a fan of the Book of Abraham will recognize the benu bird.

And then of course we have:

Mal. 4: 2

2

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I was trying to find a reference for this, but as I recall, the ouroboros, which is a snake in a circle biting its own tail is also sometimes depicted as two snakes one white one black (one good one evil) representing duality. So in the garden we have the "good snake" and the "bad snake". That has been knocking around in my brain for awhile, but I couldn't find any good references in the time I had

Here's a whole bunch of stuff:

http://mi.byu.edu/search/?fulltext=serpent...xwell+Institute

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It's interesting that the was Serpent used in Mosaic Era as a symbol of Christ. The Deceiver appeared in the form of 'a serpent', or in other words, appeared to imitate the person or qualities of Christ (elsewhere referred to as an Angel of Light). Thus in the Garden narrative and Eden story, it was not literally Snakes that were cursed, but imitators and impersonators of Deity.

In the words of Margret Barker, â??Re-arranging the symbols or retelling the story, with slight changes, was how the debate proceeded. We must not be put off by talking snakes, but rather listen carefully to what the snake said, recognizing that in this tradition the snake was the deceiver. Or rather, that the one who appeared as the snake was the deceiver. The snake may have been a symbol of something good, and so chosen by evil as its means to deceive.â?

It is interesting my son and I were discussing this, this weekend. As stated above the serpent was a symbol of Christ and satan apeared as Christ and deceived Adam and Eve. It is something that I need to do more research before getting into any discussions but it makes that part of the Adam & Eve story clearer to me.

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Didn't I just say that? Or most of it? Why is everyone always restating what I say as if it were their original idea? :P

Thanks for all the comments. Sometimes people comment before reading the posts of others, so they can say the same things and not be aware that someone said the same thing.

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In the words of Margret Barker, â??Re-arranging the symbols or retelling the story, with slight changes, was how the debate proceeded. We must not be put off by talking snakes, but rather listen carefully to what the snake said, recognizing that in this tradition the snake was the deceiver. Or rather, that the one who appeared as the snake was the deceiver. The snake may have been a symbol of something good, and so chosen by evil as its means to deceive.â?

Interesting. Just as there are aggressive, poisonous snakes, there also are beneficial, benign snakes. Perhaps there's something to be said for that. Despite the poisonous snakes' danger to humans, Joseph Smith told the brethren not to harm them. He urged them to move them out of the way and not to otherwise molest them.

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Thanks for all the comments. Sometimes people comment before reading the posts of others, so they can say the same things and not be aware that someone said the same thing.

One more thought, then: the snake symbol also covers the very small (intertwining DNA strands, or even "strings" in quantum physics) and the "cosmic serpent" (the Milky Way and larger formations), like no other animal. Also plays out in the principle of the faith-knowledge spiral.

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See now, that's just not fair. ;) Here I go re-inventing the wheel again just because I don't have a clue about this Mormon stuff!

(thanks- that's good for a week or two...) :P

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So again and again we have the savior depicted as a serpent or bird or combination of both. And don't forget the "hen" who would have gathered us under her wings!

The serpent as represented in myth and legend has for a long time been of interest to me. The Ouroboros which you showed above is just one example of how the serpent is seen as a symbol of resurrection, but more of the cyclical nature of life. All cultures have seen the serpent as a symbol of wisdom and prophecy rather than something of evil and derision. Even in the garden narrative the serpent is shown not so much as an evil entity, but a creature willing to bring wisdom and learning to the primeval parents.

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One more thought, then: the snake symbol also covers the very small (intertwining DNA strands, or even "strings" in quantum physics) and the "cosmic serpent" (the Milky Way and larger formations), like no other animal. Also plays out in the principle of the faith-knowledge spiral.

I suppose most who are interested in this thread are aware of the other currently running on symbolism, but this post is really germane to this discussion:

0013729e44e1091dd76f00.jpg

This is a painting of the Astana Statuary from the Astana tombs in China. It dates from the 3rd Century AD, so it predates Mormonism and Freemasonry. Its intereesting that it pertains to creation, also note the placement of the square and compass. Its also interesting how the creation story is important to Mormonism and Freemasonry as well.

I think someone else on here mentioned this a few months ago, but I thought it would be something neat to take a look at. You can read up on it here:

http://www1.chinaculture.org/library/2008-...ntent_39479.htm

Here you have the spiral serpents, male-female, compass and square,(in the figures hands) sun moon stars, circles triangles and squares- about every creation symbolic reference you can come up with in one place-- and in China

Boy that Joseph Smith was pretty good at making this stuff up wasn't he, considering his extensive education and all. He must have gotten it all from wikipedia.

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