I have yet to meet a person who loves snakes. Aside from the fangs, venom, and ability to suffocate, snakes are peculiar creatures because they are one of the few creatures in nature that lack limbs. I am not going to get into an evolutionary answer for why snakes slither on the ground. What I am going to do is examine the connection between the theme of snakes in the Bible and how a contextual reading of Genesis and Revelation opened my eyes to the genius of the Holy Spirit in ordering and confirming the biblical canon.
According to Genesis 3:14 God places the following curse on the serpent, “Because you have done this [led Eve into sin], cursed are you above all cattle, and above all wild animals; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.” The immediate next verse I mentioned last week shows a foreshadowing of Satan’s animus towards Mary. When we fast forward to the end of the Bible in the book of Revelation a similar opposition occurs.
Revelation 12 describes in vivid symbolic language a battle between a woman and a dragon. The writer of Revelation identifies the dragon as the Devil and Satan in verse 9. It is interesting to note that the bible is book-ended by this theme of the battle between a woman [Mary] and the dragon [Satan]. According to Alice Camille in her U.S. Catholic article In the Garden of Good and Evil, “In the Bible, snakes appear at the launch of creation and again just before the apocalypse. The first serpent is really a proto-snake: He only loses his legs after enticing the first couple to sin. The final serpent is a full-blown dragon, which in ancient mythology was just a snake with wings. These biblical book-end snakes are no accident. The story in Revelation of the woman snatched away from the dragon’s harm is a conscious reenactment of the creation story, with happier results the second time around” (U.S. Catholic September 2014, page 45).
Without reading the Bible through an A.D.D. contextual lens, I would not notice the perfect book-ending of theme. There is a logical flow and order to the canon of Scripture and it is an amazing experience to discover. I hope that you found today’s topic to be interesting and I continue to challenge you to find connections between the Old and New Testaments!