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Join the conversation! There are now 7 comments on this chapter's page 108. Inventing God and Law: Yahweh Takes Over. What are your thoughts?
  1. Anonymous says

    Regarding the whole “why do snakes represent birth, rebirth, and healing” part – from what I can tell, there are at least a few sources from a cursory source.

    One is that snakes shed their skin – to some early cultures, a snake coming out of a dead husk of itself could easily be mistaken for being reborn. Another is the “ouroboros” symbol of a snake eating its own tail, which brings to mind an unending cycle.

    Hell, we STILL use snakes as a healing metaphor. Look at the caduceus.

  2. Ryan Z Nock says

    The caduceus probably originally represented a physician drawing out a guinea worm, or dracunculiasis. It’s a burrowing parasitic worm that you can’t tug out too fast or else it’ll snap, so the traditional treatment was to pin the worm’s head to a stick and, over the course of days, gradually rotate the stick to coil the worm around it until it finally comes out.

    Which is a lot like how a caduceus looks.

  3. B.J. says

    I’m sure that Asherah and snakes won’t be demonized as part of making Yahweh a solo deity.

    • Um, about that…

      (Although on the “nicer” side, there’s growing archaeological evidence suggesting that Asherah’s tree of life/wisdom morphed into the Menorah, which is about as comfy a religious symbol as one can imagine.)

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