Snap! Bruising in Genesis

When God curses the Serpent in Genesis, we get this mysterious passage which has mystified many:

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman,
and between thy seed and her seed;
it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel
– Genesis 3:15 (KJV)

Now according to Strongs, shuph derives from gape, that is, to snap at.
The image is of the snake snapping at a man’s heel as he attempts to stamp on its head.
If we render this differently in the two instances of shuph, we get

And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her seed;
he shall bruise your head, and you shall snap at his heel
– Genesis 3:15 (my translation)

Maybe this is why the Norwich dragon is called Snap!

I’m also reminded that in England, Antirrhinums are called snapdragons.


~ by scalambra on March 10, 2011.

3 Responses to “Snap! Bruising in Genesis”

  1. Now there’s a v. interesting interpretative thought to contemplate further. I like the connection of dragon and flower too !

    Achille’s vulnerable heel also springs to mind and, perhaps somewhat tenuously, this odd quote by C.G. Jung ( I’m equating the snapping of Crab-claws and Cancer’s feminine, emotional qualities here).

    “De Grubernatis says: “ the crab… causes now the death of the solar hero and now that of the monster.” (from snapping at the hero’s heel)?

    As De Grubernatis thinks, the crab stands now for the sun and now for the moon, according to whether it goes backwards or forwards.”’
    CW 9 i. 605

    • Tarot 18 - La Lune (The Moon)Hydriotaphia, I agree – this is a bit off-beam 🙂
      Your reply makes me think of Tarot 18, The Moon. The Marseilles deck depicts a crayfish in a moat. Crayfish are relatives of the crab, and the words have the same root.

      In Jung and Tarot, An Archetypal Journey, Sallie Nichols writes:

      [The hero] is as wholly submerged in the watery unconscious as the prehistoric crawfish imprisoned in the moat… the regressive pull of Mother Nature is symbolized by the crawfish who walks backwards [my emphasis]

      Now the crab walks sideways; what does that symbolize do you think?

  2. Yet more interesting correlations and a far from off-beam observation of yours to introduce card 18, more bouncing off each other’s specialist learning !
    Yes I’d like to read the Sallie Nicholls book very much, but it’s a bit expensive on Amazon.

    I’m having to brush up understanding my anima projections, right now.

    Maybe the crab going sidewards symbolizes the feminine nature of the emotions and their volatile, watery ebb and flow with a dash of a snappy nip to the solar hero’s progress.

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