12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave me, she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it.” 13 So the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman replied, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.” 14 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the cattle and all the living creatures of the field! On your belly you will crawl and dust you will eat all the days of your life. 15 And I will put hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your labor pains; with pain you will give birth to children. You will want to control your husband, but he will dominate you.”
15 “As in the days when you departed from the land of Egypt, I will show you miraculous deeds.” 16 Nations will see this and be disappointed by all their strength; they will put their hands over their mouths and act as if they were deaf. 17 They will lick the dust like a snake, like serpents crawling on the ground. They will come trembling from their strongholds to the Lord our God; they will be terrified of you. 18 Who is a God like you? Who forgives sin and pardons the rebellion of those who remain among his people? Who does not stay angry forever, but delights in showing loyal love? 19 Who will once again have mercy on us? Who will conquer our evil deeds? Who will hurl all our sins into the depths of the sea?
Notes and References
"... Victor Hamilton arrives at a similar conclusion by observing that “snakes do not eat dust, and no ancient writer ever thought they did. One has to take this passage symbolically, not literally.” ... Hamilton appeals that “it is fruitless to see in this particular verse an etiology of why snakes no longer walk on legs and why they lost their legs” (Genesis Chapters 1-17). “The writer clearly intends these two facts to be expressions of humiliation and subjugation (as in Psalm 72:9; Isaiah 49:23; Micah 7:17)”. Contra Robinson, who insists: “Ancient zoology is often strange to us, and there is other evidence to show that the old Hebrew believed that earth was the normal food of snakes” ..."
Ojewole, Afolarin Olutunde The Seed in Genesis 3:15: An Exegetical and Intertextual Study (p. 26) Andrews University, 2002
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