Snakes eat dust?

Genesis 3:14—”Snakes don’t eat dust!”

Obviously snakes do not nourish themselves with dust, though they do smell by taking particles into their mouths on their tongues to “taste” the air. However, “eating the dust” or “licking the dust” (Hebrew: ועפר תאכל and לחכו עפר) are simply Hebrew idioms signifying humiliation and defeat:

“The desert tribes will bow before him and his enemies will lick the dust.” (Psalm 72:9)

“Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust at your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” (Isaiah 49:23)

The snake “eating dust” is a metaphor that implies that God has humbled the serpent for instigating the fall of man.

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