Let’s read Genesis 3:1, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” (NASB) We need to make two clear and emphatic statements: 1) The serpent was a literal animal; and 2) The serpent was also Satan (he either “possessed the animal” or he “assumed the form of the serpent” as a disguise).

We know that he was an actual animal for our verse says of him, “which the LORD God had made.” But to be clear, he was NOT the “snake” that we see today. When the serpent was cursed he BECAME the snake that we are accustomed to seeing. inn Genesis 3:14 we read, “And the LORD God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life.” It is quite possible that BEFORE the serpent was cursed he was the most beautiful and intelligent animal in the animal kingdom, and that’s why Satan chose him to deceive the woman. His “beauty” is reflected in the meaning of serpent, for in Hebrew it is the word NACHASH which means “shining one” (it is striking that the name Lucifer…Satan’s name before he fell into sin…also means “bright-shining one”). His intelligence is seen in the word “crafty” which means “wise.” So, Satan used an animal that was, like himself, beautiful and wise (see Isaiah 14:12-14 with Ezekiel 28:12-17).

Yet Satan is also called the “serpent” in Revelation 12:9 and 20:2, “So the great dragon was cast out, that SERPENT OF OLD, called the Devil and Satan…He laid hold of the dragon, that SERPENT OF OLD, who is the Devil and Satan.” These verses (and others in Scripture—see 2 Corinthians 11:2, 14) teach us beyond the shadow of a doubt that Satan was behind the serpent’s deception in the Garden of Eden.

Those who try to debunk the Bible often refer to this real, historical account of the fall of man as a myth or an allegory, but as we have seen the serpent was a REAL ANIMAL and he was also used by SATAN to tempt the woman and thus to lead her into sin. Which leads us to your two questions: Why did Satan tempt Eve and not Adam, and where was Adam during the temptation? We are not told specifically why Satan chose to tempt the woman or where Adam was during the temptation, but we do know that Adam was NOT deceived. 1st Timothy 2:13-14 declare, “For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.” In saying that Adam was “first created,” the truth of Adam’s headship over the woman is implied. Perhaps Satan approached Eve when she was in the “vulnerable position” of being ALONE and thus not able to consult with Adam. If that is the case, she still should have gone to Adam and told him what the serpent had said and allowed him to guide her as to what to do. If she was alone she acted INDEPENDENTLY of Adam and as a result she was deceived.

Others believe that Adam was present with his wife. They base this on verse 6 where it speaks of Adam being “with her” (but Adam could have joined her later). If he was present he failed to “step in” and guide his wife and keep her from being deceived. Whether he was with her or not, we read that after Eve gave him the forbidden fruit “he ate.” In other words, he “sinned with his eyes wide open!” This made his sin greater than that of the woman. In essence, he determined that he loved her more than God and thus he would rather sin and be with her in the transgression than to be alone without her. (278.1) (DO)