The Serpent as a Christian
Symbol represents Satan, a deadly, subtle, malicious
The Easton Bible Dictionary provides the following
definition, meaning and emblem for the Serpent
Christian Symbol in the Bible. More than forty
species are found in Syria and Arabia.
The poisonous character of the serpent is alluded to
in Jacob's blessing on Dan (Gen. 49:17; see Prov.
30:18, 19; James 3:7; Jer. 8:17).
This word is used symbolically of a deadly, subtle,
malicious enemy (Luke 10:19).
The serpent is first mentioned in connection with
the history of the temptation and fall of Adam and
Eve (Gen. 3).
Gen. 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of
the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to
the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat
from any tree in the garden'?"
It has been well remarked regarding this temptation:
"A real serpent was the agent of the temptation, as
is plain from what is said of the natural
characteristic of the serpent in the first verse of
the chapter (3:1), and from the curse pronounced
upon the animal itself. But that Satan was the
actual tempter, and that he used the serpent merely
as his instrument, is evident (1) from the nature of
the transaction; for although the serpent may be the
most subtle of all the beasts of the field, yet he
has not the high intellectual faculties which the
tempter here displayed.
In the New Testament it is both directly asserted
and in various forms assumed that Satan seduced our
first parents into sin (John 8:44; Rom. 16:20; 2 Cor.
11:3, 14; Rev. 12:9; 20:2)."