To answer this question, let’s look at how dinosaurs link to Lucifer chronologically, representatively, theologically, etymologically, historically, scientifically, and geologically. Note that we will not visit the probability that this Luciferian-dinosaurs theory also connects to the aforementioned two-floods or Snowball Earth theories (inherent in many Gap theory outlines) since dinosaur fossils have been connected to so many Ice Age and glacial layers that it goes without saying.
(As for Behemoth and Leviathan—the possible references to dinosaurs [or dinosaur-like animals] spoken of in Job 40–41, Isaiah 21:1, Psalm 74, 104:26, and others—scholars are still divided about these creatures. When we compare the biblical descriptions of these beasts to what we know of the animal kingdom today, the closest match to Behemoth is a rhinoceros or a large hippopotamus [both can be extremely dangerous and quite fierce to look upon], and Leviathan resembles a giant crocodile [among a few other guesses]. We cannot study the active behaviors of the dinosaurs today, but we can look at their fossilized anatomy and compare them to the details we find in the biblical narrative to eliminate almost all dinosaurs as a match to these characters. But apart from that angle, a vast number of scholars believe both Behemoth and Leviathan were personifications of something spiritual—metaphors used by God to further instruct and warn His people. Of course, this would account for the bizarre details that don’t match any real, historical animal. Leviathan, for instance, is a “dragon” described as a “piercing…crooked serpent” with multiple “heads” [Isaiah 27:1; Psalm 74:13–14]. Let me go ahead and give you a spoiler here, so you can keep it in the back of your mind as you read on: The “dragon” language associated with Leviathan puts me in the same pool as most other scholars who view that cunning sea beast as both a metaphor for, and a variant reference to, Lucifer/Satan, who later appears in the book of Revelation as a dragon, also sporting multiple heads. Whether Behemoth or Leviathan were literal members of the historical, earthly dinosaur family is speculation.)
Right away, I’d like to draw attention to something stated in an article in the May 2023 issue of Prophecy Watcher Magazine, written by well-known and respected Bible scholar and prophecy expert, Gary Stearman. First, he explains that Lucifer is known by four other names throughout the Word: “Satan,” meaning “accuser”; “the devil,” meaning “slanderer”; “a dragon,” which is a “physical description of Satan in his original glory”; and “the serpent,” which refers to his “reptilian physical shape.” Stearman goes on to explain that, when Lucifer was the dragon, he was “beautiful, wise and powerful,” but when he fell, he became the “serpent.”[i] It hasn’t escaped Stearman that all four of Lucifer’s other names are grouped in one verse, Revelation 12:9, referring to only one evil character: “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (emphasis added). Biblically, then, there is no way around admitting that these terms, in the context of a figurehead of evil, all refer to one individual who was, as the Bible says, both a dragon and a serpent. Whether we should take that figuratively or literally—and how important it is that we stick to one or the other of those conclusions—is, for the new book Before Genesis, not a deal-breaker (though I believe the literality of the applied terms are clear, as I will show in the coming pages). If Satan, also known as Lucifer, is a representative reptile, serpent, dragon, etc., the argument for his link to dinosaurs still stands. “He is a reptile,” Stearman says, “in fact, king of the reptiles,” who, as a result of his role in humanity’s Fall, was “transformed into a repulsive serpent” after Adam and Eve took a bite of that which God had forbidden.[ii]
Chronologically, It Fits
Since: 1) God, in His “good” Creation, formed only animals that ate greenery and cohabitated Earth peacefully; 2) sin was the condition that altered the state of the animal kingdom to involve carnivores; and 3) the future Second Coming of the “Second Adam” (Jesus; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:45–49) is that Almighty Power that removes the curse of “the savage nature of the beasts of the field” and the predatory, carnivorous nature of the present animal kingdom, restoring it to its perfect state wherein the “wolf also shall dwell with the lamb” and so forth—then we know that what God originally intended for animals to be is not reflected in what we know dinosaurs to have been (savage, carnivorous, etc.).
Now, revisiting all we possibly can regarding the chronology of their existence, we can’t assign the dinosaurs’ extinction to the Fall during Adam’s time…because they are millions of years older than Adam, scientists say. According to the United States Geological Survey website, dinosaurs had roamed Earth for 165 million years before their demise more than 60 million years ago.[iii] One who accepts the scientific dating methods of these monsters must also accept that they were not here during Noah’s day, either, as he came after Adam, so they may not have been victims of the Flood (despite Young Earthers’ insistence that they were). In view of the age of their bones and fossils scattered about Earth and in museums today, biblically, they would be dated to the “void” era, linking them to a sin condition of that time under Lucifer and the fallen ones that stretched over at least 165 million years, giving the evil one plenty of time to devise the strange schemes he had planned for them that we will look at in this chapter.
So far, the chronology supports this theory, placing the origin of dinosaurs to the epoch of Luciferian rule between the very first state of Earth and the latter re-Creation. Thankfully, we do not have to rely solely on how the timing of this fits. There is more to the picture.
Representatively, Theologically, and Etymologically, It Fits
Recall what we covered in chapter 6 regarding Lucifer’s pre-fall status. He was an anointed cherub adorned with the precious gemstones of the high priests of the Temple whose dwelling place was the Garden of Eden (Ezekiel 28:13). The fact that Lucifer had a “kingdom” (Earth) means he was king over some brand of “subjects,” be they angelic, pre-Adamic (but not “human” in the sense of Adam), animal, or a combination of all the above. So far, we have in view a king-priest and ruler of the highest biblical ranking. (A cherub who “covereth” would be even higher status than the human kings or priests of the Old Testament. The only exception to this would be if Melchizedek was, in fact, an appearance of the preincarnate Christ [a Christophany], as many scholars believe.)
I’d like to turn back for a moment to research shared in my last book series, The Mystery of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation (showing that Jesus was all three—King, Judge, and Prophet—over all of Israel in Old Testament foreshadowings). This will assist help us understand not only who Lucifer was (as that was partly covered), but just how powerful he could have been had he not wasted his calling on self-aggrandizement, and what that God-assigned power may have overseen.
The Hebrew term hammashiach, or, mashiach YHWH (the lengthier version of the term involving the tetragrammaton, the unspeakable name of God), means “Yahweh’s Anointed.” (It is from the truncated appearance of this term, mashiach, that we derive “messiah.”) After the anointing of Israel’s first king, Saul, hammashiach gained an added layer of meaning. Though there were certainly evil kings—and though Israel most definitely served other gods—hammashiach was the moniker for any reigning king of Israel.
When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek (the translation known today as the Septuagint), the term hammashiach became the Greek christos, which simply means “anointed.” Though the Greek christos is the term from which we would later derive “Christ,” it did not originally have anything to do with the risen Jesus of Nazareth…at least not in human history (God was not surprised). It would not be until after the New Testament writers reflected on Israel’s back story and considered Jesus in that framework that He would be called “the Anointed.”
More simply, the Greek christos meant “God’s Anointed One,” and this term was a title for the king over all of Israel.
In a literal sense, to be anointed for a special office or duty of God meant that one knelt and received a pouring out of the sacred oil, which was carefully brewed with four fragrant substances. The first time we read of an anointing in Scripture is in Exodus 30:30–32, when Aaron, Moses’ brother, became Israel’s first priest:
And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, “This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations. Upon man’s flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you.”
Initially, it seems odd that God just told the Israelites to pour the oil on Aaron and his sons, and then said not to pour it on them (“Upon man’s flesh shall it not be poured”), but this faux discrepancy is easily explained: The word “man” in this passage is the Hebrew adam, which, outside the context of the first man in the Garden of Eden whose proper name was Adam, adam simply meant “man,” generically. Although priests, prophets, and kings were also “man” in the sense of “mankind” or “human,” in the Hebrew context, “man” was a broad word referring to “men” generally. Think in our own terms, and you might see “guy” or “chap” in its place. In other words, and meaning no disrespect to Scripture (just putting together a simplified word picture), God basically said, “This sacred oil is not to be poured onto the flesh of regular guys.” The ESV (English Standard Version) translation renders this: “It shall not be poured on the body of an ordinary person.” This oil was reserved only for the anointing of those whom God had justified and approved to be his utmost trusted leaders over all His people, acknowledged by all as the holder of the holiest of positions. They were consecrated, which, understandably, means to be declared before all as “sacred.”
This act of anointing marked the official beginning of service for priests and kings always, and for prophets sometimes. Therefore, Israel’s leaders received an anointing as opposed to a coronation with crowns and scepters or whatever other imagery comes to mind when we think of the beginning of a historical king’s reign. The symbolism of the act represented the indwelling of the Spirit of God. We can see this in Psalm 89:19b–21:
I have exalted one chosen out of the people. I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him.
Some may naturally note that not every king was indwelt with the Spirit of God, both because there were wicked kings and, though it wasn’t God’s plan, the throne was passed to sons who inherited the throne by birthright, not because they had been chosen by God. However, when David became king, as this passage shows, he was “chosen out of the people,” which had been God’s ideal in the first place before the demands of the people messed it up. (It’s little wonder, when God was no longer doing the choosing, that Israel produced many terrible leaders.) God’s model, therefore, is that a man whom “His hand has established” as king would have God’s “arm also” to strengthen his kingship; i.e., God would be “with” and “in” the king (so to speak), and that king would be “indwelt” with the Spirit of God.
This is why, as stated a few paragraphs ago, hammashiach (or “messiah”), and therefore the Greek christos, gained an added layer of meaning when kings entered Israel’s history. The word “anointed” (hammashiach/christos) didn’t just mean “one appointed by Yahweh to lead His people”; it also meant “king” to Israel (the original recipients of the Word).
Lucifer, before his arrogance and pride contributed to the most epic of all failed efforts in the history of the cosmos, was an anointed priest-king; established by the hand of God; adorned in the gemstones found on the breastplates of the high priests of the Temple (Exodus 28:17–20; Ezekiel 28:13); ruled over all Earth as his kingdom (some scholars believe that what Lucifer “covered” in references to the cherub who “covereth” was the surface of Earth, though it may also have been a figure of speech denoting his place at the throne of God, since the cherubim are associated to “covering” the place where God dwells [for example, the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant]); inhabited the Garden of Eden (likely as the location of his throne; see Ezekiel 28:13); and, if scholars are correct about Ezekiel’s vision of Lucifer’s musical abilities, he possibly even led the first worship service in the heavenlies when the morning stars and sons of God shouted for joy at the Creation of the universe.
What a being he originally was!
(Crucial warning: Though it’s one of the most heretical teachings I’ve ever heard, the parallels between Lucifer and Jesus are the foundation of the Mormon concepts that assert Lucifer was Jesus’ brother. There are so many holes in this “theology” that cancels it out—especially the claim that both Christ and Lucifer were created beings, since we know Jesus shares His Father’s eternality—so if you find yourself taking in those teachings, be aware that they embrace countless fallacies. When comparing Hebrew terms in relation to Christ and Lucifer, Mormon teachings attempt to prove their “sibling rivalry” from the beginning of time. At most, Lucifer may be seen as a “type” or “figure” foreshadowing the coming Messiah before he fell, like many other Old Testament characters, but in no way can they have ever been born from the same hypostatic union [God’s “substance,” addressed in the early Church councils], because Lucifer was a created being and Christ was/is eternal. Christ and Lucifer were not “brothers.” Period.)
As to who may have been his royal subjects prior to his fall (and the possible Snowball Earth Ice Age that occurred simultaneous to the “void” era, addressed in chapter 3), we know: 1) he had a congregation of angels that followed him; 2) we can view his perverted “creation” from Genesis 6 as a potential successor to an earlier “without form, and void”-era race of inhuman, pre-Adamic beings; and 3) we likewise have reason to believe dinosaurs—whose characteristics do not match the animals God called “good” during Creation week—could have been this musically talented lizard-king’s prized pets.
Hold up a sec. What was that about a “lizard king”?
Etymologically, “dinosaur” comes from two Greek terms: deinos, meaning “fearfully [or “terribly”] great,” and sauros, meaning “lizard.” Thus, the English “dinosaur” is literally translated from “fearfully great lizard” or “terrifyingly great lizard.” But the emphasis here is not just upon the etymological history of a young English word. In order to connect Lucifer to lizards, we would have to see if the Word of God identifies this king in reptilian terminology…and it does so in spades.
Earth has, to this point, experienced two Creations: the initial epic recorded in Genesis 1:1 and the latter re-Creation from Genesis 1:3 through Creation Week. There is yet a third Earth—called the “New Earth”—that will be established in the future. It’s written about in John’s book of visions called Revelation (chapter 21). This New Earth is re-created yet again out of preexisting matter (from our current Earth) because it will have “passed away” by that point. The inauguration of our brand-new and restored planet of the latter days shortly follows the introduction of a wicked character named “Satan,” also identified as a “serpent” and a “dragon” (Revelation 12:9; 20:2).
Are you seeing a pattern? I hope so, because that’s pretty crucial to where we’re going: Every time Lucifer/Satan shows up to wreck Earth, God brings judgment and re-creates it. He did so in Genesis 1:3–31 when Lucifer made Earth “without form, and void”; He did so again by Flood in Genesis 6:9–9:17 when Lucifer’s band of fallen angels created Nephilim offspring with the daughters of men to cut off the messianic bloodline; and He will do so again in the end times of Revelation when Lucifer fuels his satanically inspired son, Antichrist, to mislead many of Earth’s inhabitants to follow the deceiver and all Hell breaks loose on Earth (literally) through God’s judgments. If we can look at what happened in the past that led to God’s wrath, we should be able to see similar movements coming in the future and delay that awful Revelation judgment. Keep that in mind as we proceed.
Now that we’re getting a bit deeper into the study of what Lucifer is responsible for, we must address a conundrum.
Scholars, for millennia, have debated whether Lucifer and Satan are the same entity, which flows into all sorts of variations regarding what or who was in the Garden of Eden the day Adam and Eve gave into the enemy’s temptation. For our purposes in viewing Old Earth, its judgments, and the link between Lucifer and dinosaurs (our present effort), it isn’t necessary to establish a solid conclusion. Why? Because if it wasn’t Lucifer, himself, the tempter in Eden would have been one who followed in Lucifer’s footsteps (his servant, perhaps): Theologically, there were no enemies of God prior to Lucifer, and when he fell and took a third of the angels with him, this band was the “bad guys” in the scenario of the “void.” When we arrive at the point in the biblical narrative that Earth is re-created the first time and the Garden of Eden is occupied by Adam, Eve, and the animals, the evil, tempting “serpent”—a being represented by reptilian terminology—is already there. So, the serpent may have been Lucifer, himself, or one of his fallen sidekicks, but the spirit of iniquity is the same.
However, throughout history, many scholars have chosen to view Satan and Lucifer as the same being primarily for the following reasons: 1) Jesus saw “Satan” fall from Heaven (Luke 10:18); Lucifer also fell from Heaven (Isaiah 14:12); 2) “Satan” can transform into an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14); Lucifer, a cherub angel, is literally named after light (as I will show in a moment), and there is no doubt that he appears as one of the good guys to anyone willing to lend him an ear.
Then why is it even a question whether they are separate entities?
Apart from being a name, “Satan,” the Hebrew word satan also means generically “adversary” or “accuser.” But not every “adversary” in the Hebrew Bible was evil. For instance, when studying Old Testament Christophanies, Numbers 22:22 (the story of Balaam’s donkey) comes into the picture quite regularly. The text, in English, states: “And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the Angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him.” This Angel of the Lord is, many scholars teach, Jesus, Himself, in His eternal nature prior to the Incarnation. In close proximity, even the English makes it clear that this being is sent by the Father to intervene upon an act of evil. Therefore, this character cannot be the same “Satan” that appears as the enemy of God in the New Testament. However, the “adversary” in Numbers 22:22 is, in fact, the Hebrew word satan. This angel may have been an “enemy” or “adversary” in his opposition to Balaam or his donkey, but his purpose was to accomplish a righteous task God had sent him to do, negating the idea that every time satan appears in Hebrew, it’s one of the bad guys. So, let’s take a look at a word that is more relevant to reptiles.
The word “serpent” in the narrative of Eden is from the Hebrew nachash. As a noun, it is translated “serpent” or “snake.” Its verb use, however, means “deceiver,” “diviner with divine knowledge,” or “to practice divination,” and the adjective use translates “shining one.” Angels and divine beings are often described as shining or luminescent in the Bible, and the proper name of the fallen cherub, “Lucifer” (Hebrew Helel ben-Shachar), literally translates “Shining One, son of the Dawn.” Many of the studies therefore consider Lucifer to be a shining, serpentine deceiver associated with the Divine Council mentioned in the Old Testament that God pronounces judgement upon (Psalm 82:1; 1 Kings 22:19; all of Job).
Genesis 3:14 (“upon thy belly shalt thou [now] go”) has many times been the proof-text of choice for why all snakes today don’t have arms and legs, and the assumption is that the all the animals in the Garden of Eden prior to the Fall of man were able to speak and Lucifer, or a satan (“adversary”), simply possessed one of them or appeared to her as one of them. Nowhere in Scripture does it suggest that talking animals were the norm in the Garden of Eden or anywhere else before or after the Fall. (Balaam’s donkey is, of course, an exception to that norm, with highlighting the animal’s miraculous ability to talk.) And if the curse upon the serpent was merely to render all snakes armless and legless, this punishment doesn’t appear to have accomplished anything since they still thrive to this day in that form—and yes, they can still climb trees. Also, if the curse in Genesis 3:15 says there will be “enmity…between thy seed [the serpent’s offspring] and her seed [human beings],” why isn’t there enmity between snakes and humans today? Sure, snakes are territorial, but so is an enormous chunk of the animal kingdom. For the most part, unless they feel provoked or threatened, they usually mind their own business—and not every human hates or fears snakes. This doesn’t sound like enmity. Likewise, we all know that snakes don’t survive on eating dirt, even though the curse said, “and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.”
From Derek Gilbert’s The Great Inception articles, we read of Eden’s “serpent”:
Was it a talking snake?
In a word, no.
So who or what was the serpent? Most of us assume it was Satan, but maybe not. The serpent isn’t named in the book of Genesis. In fact, Satan wasn’t even a personal name in the Old Testament.
Satan means “accuser,” written ha-shaitan in the [Old Testament]. It’s a title, the satan, so it really means “the accuser.” Think of it as a job title, like prosecuting attorney.
The adversary in the Garden is the nachash, which is the word translated into English as “serpent.” It’s based on an adjective that means bright or brazen, like shiny brass. The noun nachash can mean snake, but it also means “one who practices divination.”
In Hebrew, it’s not uncommon for an adjective to be converted into a noun—the term is “substantivized.” If that’s the case here, nachash could mean “shining one.” And that’s consistent with other descriptions of the satan figure in the Old Testament.…
The bottom line is this: What Adam and Eve saw in the Garden wasn’t a talking snake, but a nachash—a radiant, divine entity, very likely of serpentine appearance.…
For centuries, well-meaning Christians have pointed to Genesis 3:14 as the moment in history when snakes lost their legs. That misses the mark entirely by desupernaturalizing the story. God didn’t amputate the legs of snakes; He was describing the punishment the nachash would suffer in figurative language. Even casual observers of the animal kingdom know that snakes don’t eat dust.…
The main takeaway of this article is this: Eden was a lush, well-watered garden “on the holy mountain of God,” which was where Yahweh presided over His divine council. The council included the first humans. They walked and talked with the supernatural “sons of God” [angels] who, based on clues scattered throughout the Bible, were beautiful, radiant beings. At least some of them were serpentine in appearance.[iv]
Suffice it to say this entity most likely was not a walking or talking snake, but a bright (perhaps luminescent), intelligent master of deception with all arms and legs intact. This thing was a being of extreme power and persuasion, most likely a “professional” accuser within the Divine Council, and he had a major agenda to reverse the beauty of what God had created. And again, if this being was not Lucifer, himself, it was a straggler of his fall. Either way, the Luciferian spirit that perpetuated the original sin (before Adam, and through to Adam’s Eden residency) is personified in both names: “Lucifer” and “Satan.” Whether it is the same entity or not, Lucifer’s fall prompted a serpentine wave of rebellion headed by him and his fallen-angel companions. (This is why, though scholars are correct when they say “Lucifer” and “Satan” are not always interchangeable names for the same entity, I believe the wicked accuser in both Testaments points back to the event of Lucifer’s fall, original sin, and, therefore, his leadership of iniquity against God. The same spirit of rebellion inhabits both.)
One key verse envisioning Christ’s victory over Lucifer/Satan on the cross well before it happened is Psalm 91:13: “Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder [a venomous snake]: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.” The Latin Vulgate translation renders this: “The asp and the basilisk you will trample under foot; you will tread on the lion and the dragon.” This is particularly fascinating reptilian language associated with our formerly anointed cherub. The asp is a venomous snake in the Nile region of Egypt, while the basilisk is a serpent-king (!!!) known for his legendary ability to kill any person through eye contact, alone. As for the lion in this verse, that causes some confusion, since Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. First, the deceiver who appears as an angel of light (Lucifer/Satan) will always mimic Christ any way he can (and that mimicry climaxes during the end times when Antichrist will position himself as the Son of God and lead many astray as a result). So, it’s not particularly unusual to see lion imagery associated with Jesus’ grandest enemy’s impersonation. Second, the lion, as a beast of the field, carries a natural threat. Saint Augustine expounded upon this verse in this way:
Ye know who the serpent is [Lucifer/Satan], and how the Church, treadeth upon him, as she is not conquered, because she is on her guard against his cunning. And after what manner he is a lion and a dragon, I believe you know also, beloved. The lion openly rages, the dragon lies secretly in covert: the devil hath each of these forces and powers. When the Martyrs were being slain, it was the raging lion: when heretics are plotting, it is the dragon creeping beneath us. Thou hast conquered the lion; conquer also the dragon: the lion hath not crushed thee, let not the dragon deceive thee.[v]
So, it is not the majestic king of the jungle in mind here, but a ferocious beast of destruction. At least that’s how the early Church interpreted it. The identity of the serpent in this verse is so clear that Augustine evidently didn’t feel the need to elaborate.
In any case, it doesn’t take a lot of digging to see the nearly countless ways King Lucifer was a reptilian king (i.e., the king of reptiles). We hear that today and think, Why would God create such an outstandingly beautiful being and anoint him for special service, yet cause him to resemble such a fierce, frightening, and evil-looking animal species? (Maybe, for some, the villain Lord Voldemort of the Harry Potter film series comes to mind: pale or bluish skin, slits where nostrils should be, no eyebrows, thin lips, and so on.) But this question is canceled out by the fact that God did not originally intend any of His precious animals to be that way. What God made was “good,” and at the time He designed them, they weren’t dangerous or threatening. Had Lucifer never fed his pride and fallen—had he never been found with iniquity in his heart and became the ultimate icon of evil in every way—we may never have landed on the concept that snakes, reptiles, dinosaurs, etc., were anything other than beautiful, magnificent, and loving creatures playing a part alongside their fellow animals and humans as participants in, and caretakers of, God’s creation. To visit this idea from another angle: Imagine that, instead of resembling serpents or dragons, Lucifer had been bovine in his appearance. Today, because of the evil long linked to Lucifer, snakes would be far less terrifying than common cows in the field. We would read articles like Gilbert’s above, and instead of referencing “serpentine angels,” they would speak of “bovine angels” and bring to mind—to our horror—cows with pointy wings and sharp, gnashing teeth. (Actually, the idea of Lucifer as a cow or bull is not terribly uncommon anyway. When we get to the upcoming look at the word “cherub” and its Akkadian equivalent, karibu, you can imagine how Lucifer as a bull materialized early on. For this reason, and a few others, some scholars believe Lucifer had bovine qualities in his external appearance at some point.)
Lucifer’s fall is what made reptilian imagery scary in the first place. So, in the beginning, as Gilbert acknowledges, a bright and shining angel of light, though also resembling a serpentine quality, could very well be the image of beauty as God designed it. Gary Stearman’s aforementioned article recognizes that Lucifer, prior to his fall, was not the “loathsome” snake we have in mind, but a beautiful divine dragon, which even the “ancient pagan histories” view to be “the wisest and most beautiful of all creatures.” Stearman then points out that, even today, the dragon is “highly revered in the country of the orient,” so, when he appears to Eve in the Garden of Eden for the first time, “he presented an attractive image of glory and wisdom, not a repugnant snake.”[vi]
I dunno, Donna. This “snake angel” thing is weird…
I know, I know…but it also happens to be biblical. Remember: The Hebrew word nachash can mean “snake” or “serpent,” but it is based on an adjective that means “brazen” or “bright,” and can describe a being who practices divination. How can one small word mean such a variety of otherwise unrelated things? Moses and the Israelites would have known the Hebrew word for “snake” could be used interchangeably with “shiny brass” or “shining one” because that described the being known as nachash who was present in the Garden of Eden at the time of the world’s first human. The concept predates the language, so the concept defines the latter words, not the other way around.
Gilbert and his wife, Sharon, coauthored a book titled, Giants, Gods & Dragons: Exposing the Fallen Realm and the Plot to Ignite the Final War of the Ages. In this work, after showing how the original Hebrew allows for the likely translation of nachash into “shining one,” which is “consistent with other descriptions of the Satan figure in the Old Testament” (such as the example of the angel who battled the prince of Persia in Daniel 10:5–6: “his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze”[vii]), these authors immediately go on to say:
Another example occurred about nine hundred years before Daniel, when the Israelites began to complain (and complain and complain) on their way out of Egypt. In response, God sent saraph nachash (“fiery serpents”) to torment them. Saraph is the root word of seraphim, which roughly means “burning ones.” The Hebrew words saraph and nachash are used interchangeably, so rather than “fiery serpents,” the actual translation should read “saraph serpents.”
Deuteronomy 8:15 praises Yahweh for bringing Israel through “the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents,” reinforcing the interchangeability of saraph and nachash.
Now, if the mental image of flaming snakes isn’t weird enough, the prophet Isaiah twice referred to flying serpents (saraph `uwph, in Isaiah 14:29 and 30:6). And in his famous throne-room vision, Isaiah saw:
…the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. (Isaiah 6:1–2)
Again, the root word of “seraphim” is saraph, the same word translated “serpent” in Numbers and Deuteronomy. In fact, aside from the Isaiah 6 passage above, every single mention of “seraphim” in the Old Testament refers to serpentine beings![viii]
So, even apart from Lucifer—the bright, shining, anointed cherub/priest-king enthroned in Eden—the celestial, angel-like beings called seraphim who guard the throne of God in Heaven were serpentine in their appearance as well, according to Isaiah and many of the linguistic experts that interpret him, including my favorite late Hebrew master, Dr. Michael S. Heiser:
As I noted in The Unseen Realm, “It is more likely that seraphim derives from the Hebrew noun sarap (“serpent”), which in turn is drawn from Egyptian throne guardian terminology and conceptions.” As recent research demonstrates, the Egyptian Uraeus serpent, drawn from two species of Egyptian cobras, fits all the elements of the supernatural seraphim who attend Yahweh’s holy presence in Isaiah 6. The relevant cobra species spit “burning” venom, can expand wide flanges of skin on either side of their bodies—considered “wings” in antiquity—when threatened, and are (obviously) serpentine. As Joines notes, the protective nature of the uraeus cobra is evident: “A function of the uraeus is to protect the pharaoh and sacred objects by breathing out fire on his enemies.”[ix]
Thus, shiny, “serpentine or snakelike angels” is not only an admissible translation, it’s the direct description of the beings God created to have the highest level of authority just under the Godhead—and they stand in His very throne room! Gilbert also points out that “the cherubim Ezekiel saw [in Ezekiel 1:5–14] looked like something from a nightmare,” showing in Scripture that “they sparkled like burnished bronze” and “darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning.”[x]
UP NEXT: Rewind to the Garden of Eden
[i] Stearman, Gary, “The Dark Prophecy: Satan’s Long, Long Story,” Part 1,” 4.
[ii] Ibid., 4–6; emphasis added.
[iii] “When Did Dinosaurs Become Extinct?” United States Geological Survey, last accessed April 25, 2023, https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/when-did-dinosaurs-become-extinct#:~:text=Dinosaurs%20went%20extinct%20about%2065,for%20about%20165%20million%20years.
[iv] Gilbert, Derek “NEW ONLINE SERIES: The Great Inception Part 1: The Mountain of Eden,” January 28, 2017, SkyWatch Television Online, last accessed December 5, 2017, https://www.skywatchtv.com/2017/01/28/new-online-series-great-inception-part-1-mountain-eden/. Though this article has now been removed, many of Derek Gilbert’s other works delve into this subject as well. I chose this source as it succinctly represented the nachash issue in a way most suitable for this book.
[v] Augustine of Hippo, “Expositions on the Book of Psalms,” in Saint Augustin: Expositions on the Book of Psalms, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. A. Cleveland Coxe, vol. 8, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1888), 451; emphasis added.
[vi] Stearman, Gary, “The Dark Prophecy: Satan’s Long, Long Story,” Part 1,” 5.
[vii] Gilbert, Derek and Sharon, Giants, Gods & Dragons: Exposing the Fallen Realm and the Plot to Ignite the Final War of the Ages (Crane, MO: Defender Publishing; 2020), 25–26.
[viii] Ibid., 26.
[ix] Heiser, PhD, Michael S., Angels, Kindle location 761.
[x] Gilbert, Derek and Sharon, Giants, Gods & Dragons, 28.