Genesis 3:1 introduces the serpent as “More cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” The KJV uses the word subtle instead of cunning. Either way, the emphasis is on his extraordinary craftiness. What form this creature took is debatable. Again, logic says that it was not ugly or hideous, or else it would not have been attractive to Eve. It is also relevant to note that Eve had not experienced fear, and had no reason to fear..
This creature spoke directly to Eve, asking a question, deliberately trying to engage her in conversation. “Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?'” The purpose of this was to plant doubt in Eve's mind as to exactly what God did say. Eve's first mistake was participating in a discussion, pondering the enemy's question. Her response was a version of the original, but with critical flaws. “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'”
A close look back at Genesis 2:16 and 17 expose her errors. She omitted the word “freely,&rdquo added the words “nor shall you touch it,&rdquo and she changed the absolute “you shall surely die&rdquo to “lest you die.&rdquo Eve's misquote of God's command was all the adversary needed to entrap her. The stage was set for the serpent to strike. His next statement was the exact opposite of what God had said. “You will not surely die.” And then the supporting proof: “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” She was sold. She was mesmerized. She was captivated. It was too irresistible to walk away. She didn't say another word. She didn't ask Adam for advice. She followed her senses right into sin. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.”
Thousands of years later, when Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil, He quoted Scripture perfectly. There was no discussion, no friendly conversation. Straight Scripture -- the sword of the Spirit. Likewise, the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” The only way to resist the enemy is with exact words of God, spoken from an obedient and believing heart.