by Christopher Fredrickson from Brutal Planet
Sometimes we tend to see the enemy as being an entity that is solely external with a pitchfork a tail and some horns. This is what we have become accustomed to, an ideal of something purely external. Yet, I find it interesting considering that in Genesis 1:31 it says, "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." And in Ephesians 6:10-12 it says "Finally, my Brothers, be strong in our Master (Y’shua), and in the energy of his power: And put on the whole armor of Elohim so that you may be able to stand against the strategies of the Accuser. For our conflict is not with flesh and blood but with principalities and with those in authority, and with the possessors of this dark world, and with the evil spirits that are under heaven."
When we then look at the story of the nechash (serpent) in the garden, we see that yes indeed there is an external force just as we see in the book of Job as well. The thing we must get at is look at the history as to why a serpent and not an elephant or that of an alligator or a spider, what is so special of the nechash that would cause this external force to take the body of the said animal in the historical account? What do we know about a serpent? What does it do? It is a cunning creature as we know as well from the Scripture in Matthew 10:16, "Behold, I send you as lambs among wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves." the serpent also has another aspect that is physical as well. It interjects venom. A bite from a highly poisonous snake can cause a person to fall to an agonizing sickness and then die. Romans 6:23 tells us "The wages of sin is death" . We then start to see what essentially happened in the Garden when we look at Ecclesiastes 10:1 which states, "A fly placed in the perfume causes the whole bottle to stink".
There was a venom (which is symbolic of the serpent) that was placed into Adam and Hava when they ate of the tree of good and evil in HaGan Edhen (The Garden of Eden) also known as the Garden of God in the Hebrew. The sages say that when Adam and Hava ate of the fruit their skin became callus and tangible, because they were essentially beings of light before they ate of the fruit. Which makes sense considering in Romans 6:23 it is noted that "The wages of sin is death". So what we see is that there was an external force which influenced the internal. And we can prove this from what it is we noted previously in Genesis 1:31, because upon creation it was said that it was tov (good). Mark 10:18 says, "And Y’shua said to him, “Why do you call me good? There is no one good, except Elohim.". We see in the book of Bereishis, in the first parsha of the Chumash cycle, we see how quickly us as human beings fall, how quickly we can become influenced by the external. The external forces can take root and grow within a person to where the external is no longer needed. We see this very same concept of the yetzer tov and the yetzer hara within that of the historical, biblical account of Essau and Jacob. We have the original Jekyll and Hyde story. Considering it says in Genesis 25:23-25 that we have both in the womb at the same time and in Hosea 12:3 it says they fought in the womb, we see there is a message of a spiritual condition between that of the yetzer tov and the yetzer hara. The enemy is actually not exclusively external after he injected the human race with his venom. The enemy is within. Now do I mean in terms of possession? No psychologists explain it the best they can with the thought process known as the id, the ego and super-ego. In psychology they say the id wishes to be pleased and the ego then gives options that are polar opposites (good and bad), and the super ego carries it out. We in the Torah where the book of Bereishis it says, "The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her,“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.” (Genesis 25:22-23). The Torah reveals to us the two entities, one of which being the product of the venom passed down from the serpent that is within each human being. This is why this history played out like it did. This was a story of the satan that is within each of us, the yetzer hara that must be killed and defeated daily.
A person must fight against their inner satan, their own adversary that is the venom of the serpent each and every day. It is easy to say that the enemy is only external and comes from no where to attack us at random. It takes away personal responsibility and makes a person the victim as opposed to allowing one to grow and and starve their yetzer hara, because then it is no longer their fault for all the bad that happens in their life. Let us remember there is the external enemy at the same time but most of curses brought upon us we bring on ourselves. Not all of them, but most. The mature person will look at their situation, their failure, their misdeeds and say first, "what did I do wrong?" as opposed to blaming everything on "the devil" like Christians do.
Theological Insights from Rabbi Eved Banah the North American Rebbe of Ani Judaism