Gnostic Doctrine

Saturday, 6 April 2019

What is the Serpent

What is the Serpent?

 the word “serpent” immediately suggests an animal, so it Is NATURALLY taken LITERALLY. Understood SPIRITUALLY it is a FIGURE OF SPEECH.

XV. (53) "And they were both naked, both Adam and his wife, and they were not ashamed; but the serpent was the most subtle of all the beasts that were upon the earth, which the Lord God had Made:"{11}{#ge 2:25; 3:1.}--the mind is naked, which is clothed neither with vice nor with virtue, but which is really stripped of both: just as the soul of an infant child, which has no share in either virtue or vice, is stripped of all coverings, and is completely naked: for these things are the coverings of the soul, by which it is enveloped and concealed, good being the garment of the virtuous soul, and evil the robe of the wicked soul. (54) And the soul is made naked in these ways. Once, when it is in an unchangeable state, and is entirely free from all vices, and has discarded and laid aside the covering of all the passions. Philo of Alexandria

XVIII. (71) "Now the serpent was the most subtle of all the beasts which are upon the earth, which the Lord God Made."{21}{#ge 3:1.} Two things having been previously created, that is, mind and outward sense, and these also having been stripped naked in the manner which has already been shown, it follows of necessity that pleasure, which brings these two together, must be the third, for the purpose of facilitating the comprehension of the objects of intellect and of outward sense: for neither could the mind, without the outward sense, be able to comprehend the nature of any animal or of any plant, or of a stone or of a piece of wood, or, in short, of any substance whatever; nor could the outward sense exercise its proper faculties without the mind. Philo of Alexandria

the aforesaid serpent is the symbol of pleasure, because in the first place he is destitute of feet, and crawls on his belly with his face downwards. In the second place, because he uses lumps of clay for food. Thirdly, because he bears poison in his teeth, by which it is his nature to kill those who are bitten by him.

The serpent In whose mouth Is the poison of death, signifies a sinful person according to God's definition (given in Psalm 140:1-3; Romans 3:12-13; Matthew 12:34).

 The name “serpent” was attributed to those MEN who Jesus and John the Baptist had encountered (Matthew 3:7; 12:34; Luke 3:7).  Hence when the word serpent is used to indicate an intelligent  reasoning creature having guile (deceit) in his mouth, It SIGNIFIES a man exhibiting such characteristics.


The serpent a symbol of the Sense consciousness or the desire of unspiritualized man for sensation. He seeks satisfaction through the appetite. By listening to the serpent of sense, man falls to his lowest estate.

The "serpent" of the garden of Eden is the outward senses of consciousness or the carnal mind. The serpent is the symbol of pleasure. It may also be called desire, and sensation, or the activity of life in an external expression, apart from the Source of life.

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