And the LORD God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field…
The serpent is now, so to speak, summoned into court. It would appear as if the power of fascination supposed to reside in his race had been reversed, and as if he had been compelled to draw near by the mightier fascination of justice, descended in the person of the great I AM. He has left, at least, the lurking place into which he seems to have crept after the eating of the fruit, and appears now a crushed and crest-fallen worm, writhing in the sunlight of the face of his Creator. How singular the meeting in such circumstances of the two grand foes, the archangel of darkness and the God of light! It is their first meeting, probably, since Lucifer was thrust out of heaven. And what a contrast! Then Lucifer was a powerful, magnificent, though lost being; now he is in the form of a snake, in the likeness of one of earth's basest reptiles; then he had the trace of the morning on his brow; now his eye and bearing are sunken and sullen: then he was the ruined angel; now he is the mean tempter and base deceiver: then he was striking, or had newly struck, at the throne of God; now he has succeeded in ruining the peace, and injuring the position of a happy human pair; then he was raging in defiance, and lifting up his voice against the Highest; now he is cowering in His presence, and not daring to utter a word in his own defence. It is significant that during this scene the serpent is quite silent; no question is asked of him, no reply is given; he is caught, as it were, in the fact, and there is no need of trial. Judgment is immediately pronounced. And what waves of torment, shame, self-loathing, disappointment, and fear cross his soul, as he listens, helpless, hopeless, speechless, to the words of God.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, 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:
WEB: Yahweh God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, you are cursed above all livestock, and above every animal of the field. On your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.