After a brief conversation with the serpent, the woman (still unnamed) eats the fruit of the tree knowledge, and then gives some of that same fruit to Adam. Adam, being completely spineless, says nothing and eats the fruit. Adam when asked by God “What have you done” says “she did it”. God in a huff kicks the two kids out of the garden and turns on the security. Rather like a contrite parent who kicks a teenager out of the house but first makes sure the child has enough money to survive, God gives Adam and Eve clothing before barring them from re-entering the garden. And that dear reader is the “Fall of Man”.
What’s A Serpent
I conclude that the serpent is a metaphor for some as yet unknown creature. Most importantly the serpent in the garden could converse (this snake can talk) and do it slyly, artfully and with cunning. There is also the suggestion that the serpent could stand upright during the temptation of the woman. As punishment God (3.14) said to the serpent “thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life “
I may not be able to describe a serpent but there are a lifetime`s of history with images of the serpent as snake. Here is just one, This third century fresco is notable because it is such an early presentation of the story.
According to Terry Prest (http://idlespeculations-terryprest.blogspot.ca/) this is Adam and Eve: The Original Sin; Third Century; Fresco; Catacomb of St Pietro and St. Marcellino; Rome. I could not find corroboration of the locale and the date.
The serpent is revered or abhorred in many stories and myths. As a point of contrast here is an image of the Mayan Vision Serpent.
Mayan mythology describes serpents as being the vehicles by which celestial bodies, such as the sun and stars, cross the heavens. The shedding of their skin made them a symbol of rebirth and renewal. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_Serpent).
Leave and Don`t Come Back
One day you and I may return to the Brancacci Chapel in Florence Italy. The frescoes there help illustrate a wonderful evolution in renaissance art. Today I have just one illustration for you from that chapel. Below is part of a fresco by Masaccio (circa 1425), before and after restoration.
Three centuries after the fresco was painted, Cosimo III de’ Medici, in line with contemporary ideas of decorum, ordered that fig leaves be added to conceal the genitals of the figures. These were eventually removed in the 1980s when the painting was fully restored and cleaned. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expulsion_from_the_Garden_of_Eden).
Just because you think you know what you looking for that does not mean that Google understands your wishes. In hindsight I should have probably known that the search term the `Tempation of Eve` provides results that include biblical, artistic, and gay porn links.