Any five year old who went to any type of Christian school or was carted off to Vacation Bible School to get out of their parents’ hair for a few hours (I did both) will know the story. Eve gets tempted by the snake, eats the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, gives it to Adam, yadda yadda yadda, they’re booted out of the garden and Azeraphael has to stand guard with a flaming sword.
The snake is just a snake. Snakes have always been considered wily and sneaky in the animal kingdom. This story is nothing more than an allegory to explain why humans are flawed and why the world is the way it is. This story is a ham-handed attempt to explain the world. Remember in the last chapter, God started off his relationship with man by lying to him when he told him that if he ate from the Tree of Knowledge he would surely die. The snake told Eve that the fruit would make them like the gods. That was the truth as confirmed by God in verse 22.
Then the LORD God said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—
Bibles, Harper . NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (Gen 3:22, p. 34). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Another question that I have is, who is God talking to and who is “us”? Likely this story was written while polytheism was still a thing.