One day the serpent appeared to Eve. He is described as being “more cunning that any beast of the field which the Lord God had made”.
The word in Hebrew for the serpent is “nachash”, “the shining one”. The last verse of Genesis 3:24 says that “God placed cherubim at the garden of Eden”.
This juxta position of these two beings suggest they were of a similar order.
Also when God later speaks to the serpent in verses 14,15 He says “on your belly you shall go.”
This is suggestive that the serpent is perhaps not to be thought of as a snake as he is usually depicted in art etc, but rather that he stood upright – hence the later judgement that he would go on his belly. He was also a shining creature.
2 Corinthians 11:13 tells us quite clearly that “the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness”, but lower down in verse 14 we read “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light”.
However the Hebrew word used throughout the Old Testament carries the meaning, serpent or snake, and this is thought to be derived from the hissing sound of the snake. It is also used of the constellation of the serpent or dragon in the northern part of the sky.
Whatever the truth is, he was a formidable foe, albeit created by God Himself.