THE SERPENT'S TRUTH (Or, How the Lack of Modesty Is Related to a Rapid Increase in the Number of Foreigners)
The inhabitants of a modern Western city have little room, but they have plumbing.
BARRINGTON MOORE JR.
Privacy: Studies in Social and Cultural History
Despite the bad press enjoyed by Satan, if we confined ourselves to the very first words addressed by God to Adam and Eve, we would have to conclude that it was God himself, not the Devil incarnate, who was the malicious liar. When God first told them of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the Garden, He said to them quite clearly, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" ( Genesis 2:17); and, "Ye shall eat not of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die" (3:3). The serpent holds the contrary view: God's warning is false, a lie told by a worried miser. "Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (3:4-5).
Well, as everyone knows, first Eve and then Adam gives in to temptation. But what is less often noted is that everything that happens after that tends to confirm the predictions of the serpent: "And the eyes of both of them were opened" (3:7), and, far from dropping dead on the spot, Adam lives to the ripe old age of 930 (5:5). Even God has to admit the inconsistency: "Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever" (3:22). In short, it seems that God