And Jehovah God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, cursed art thou 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: (ASV)
Although snakes might look as if they eat dirt, they are actually predators, noted for swallowing their prey whole.
This verse also leaves open the question of how that snake moved around before that event. Did it have legs? Did it hop on its tail like a pogo stick? Did it bounce around in a spring shape like certain Q-bert characters? At any rate, it seems like a Just So Story for why snakes crawl on their bellies.
PRO misreads the verse. It does not say that the snake will eat dirt but that it will eat dust. This is the consequence of the snake having to move on its belly and be engulfed by, and unable to escape, the dust thrown up through any number of causes. It is not condemned to eat dust to survive but to do so because it would not be able to avoid doing otherwise.
The verse tells us nothing regarding the form of the snake prior to its being cursed. While we can speculate about the original form of the serpent, the Bible's silence on this point does not entail error and is not proof of error of any kind. PRO offers the personal opinion that "it seems like a Just So Story for why snakes crawl on their bellies." That personal opinion proves nothing.
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