Tosefta on Soytah (Liehbermann):

"הנחש בקש להרוג את אדם ולישא את חוה"

Rashi on Shabbos 146a:

"כשבא נחש על חוה - כשנתן לה עצה לאכול מן העץ בא עליה
דכתיב (בראשית ג:יג) הנחש השיאני לשון נשואין"

I understand that the snake wanted Chava and that the snake was very cunning.

Why didn’t the snake advise Chava to eat from the tree of life and feed the tree of knowledge to Adam so that he would die and that snake and Chava will live happily ever after?

  • Heavily related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/31193.
    – DonielF
    Feb 19, 2019 at 19:17
  • 1
    I don’t get it. You want the snake to have Chavah eat only the Tree of Life and feed Adam from only the Tree of Knowledge? Why would Chavah go along with it? Do you want her to eat from both trees and give Adam from only the Tree of Knowledge? Again, why would she only give Adam from the one tree once she knows the benefits of both of them?
    – DonielF
    Feb 19, 2019 at 19:19
  • 2
    ...Why was this voted as off-topic?
    – DonielF
    Feb 20, 2019 at 15:47
  • 1
    This is exactly the reason not to question Midrashim (you refer to as "I understand". They are rarely consistent and comprehensive - you run into a contradiction very fast. THerefore the only question you can ask is whether somebody tried to elaborate on this point or not.
    – Al Berko
    Feb 20, 2019 at 20:10
  • This is an interesting summary on the Snake (Hebrew) : aspaklaria.info/050_NUN/…
    – Al Berko
    Feb 20, 2019 at 20:36

3 Answers 3


Rav Yom Tov Glaser has an amazing shiur online which deals amongst others with this topic. Basically, as far as I comprehend it, the snake had no interest in either Chava nor Adam. Sure as hell no sexual desires. It was basically an unavoidable predestined setup that had to happen. According to Glaser, Adam and Eve would say 'if we had the chance to rewind time, we would eat from the forbidden tree again and again and again'. Free will and power of choice was born back then.

Source: https://youtu.be/sNG0IIls38Q

  • Looking forward Feb 20, 2019 at 23:30
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    @Daniel ross: argh screw it, did the quick search right now. It's an amazing watch and a truly amazing person, I'd say: youtu.be/sNG0IIls38Q . I'd recommend you to make some tea and prepare some biscuits. Don't know the exact time frame that is relevant (even though the entire video is relevant in one way or the other) and it is 45 min long.
    – user16556
    Feb 21, 2019 at 0:09
  • All due respect to the Rav, but this goes against the Michtav MeEliyahu's understanding of the incident.
    – DonielF
    Feb 21, 2019 at 2:07

Well a few reasons one can suggest.

  1. That Adam was immortal before eating from the Eitz hadaas. It's a machlokes in achronim if that means he was naturally immortal or couldn't be killed as well.
  2. If Adam didn't sin, he can't be killed. Because you need to sin to be punished.

However what is asked in the body paragraph, seems to be a different question. I heard pshat in the snakes plan was for both of them to eat. However the snake thought that Chava won't get punished since nashim daitan kalos. So he would keep her to himself.


Some answers that came to mind:

  1. When the Tosefta says the snake wanted to kill Adam, it is non-literal and just means it was in competition with Adam. The way we would picture such competition in a human scenario is that A would even want to kill B.
  2. Hava loved Adam so she would not agree to do such a thing.
  3. The snake did not know that would kill Adam.
  4. The time delay (1000 years until the Tree of Knowledge would kill Adam) was enough to render this an ineffective way of killing Adam. (The Yetzer Hara' always works when you want something now, with no delay.)
  5. The snake would not go so directly against the Creator's will by killing Adam on Day 1.

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