There are a lot of things I do not understand about the snake story in Genesis three. Chief among them is why the woman does not seem to find it incredible that a snake would talk to her. But another is why she carries on a conversation with the serpent in the first place.
But think about it like this: When Moses wrote this book, Israel knew who the devil was, and they already identified him with a serpent. So, perhaps Satan was not a snake when Eve talked with him. Perhaps he appeared to her as a spirit being. After all, it is after this conversation that Satan is condemned to crawling on the ground (vs. 14).
But I digress.
What is important is how Satan distracts Eve. He first misrepresents God. “Did God really say not to eat of any tree in the garden?” He is incredulous, and he wants Eve to question whether she has heard God correctly, thus sowing doubt. Of course, Satan knew God had commanded no such thing. Eve was quick to defend God, as if God was some weakling who needed defending. And as she does, she overstates the case: Not only can’t they eat of the tree in the middle of the garden, but they cannot touch it. If God actually told her that, it’s new to the story because it has not appeared before.
Then, Satan contradicts God, accuses God of duplicity (being deceitful), and promises her quite the opposite of “you will surely die.”
Note the tactic, often used by Satan’s henchmen in the world. They get us to doubt God. Then they get us to defend God. In our zeal, we go further than God goes and because we have stepped beyond what He has actually said, we find ourselves vulnerable to advice contrary to God’s will. The next thing we know, we are trusting our own senses and making our own decisions without consulting God, believing we’ve misheard God and our way must be right because it sounds right. At least to us.
Eve’s problem was that she fell for Satan’s tricks. Adam wasn’t even tricked. He just bit at whatever Eve was offering without due consideration for the consequences. It’s a particularly male weakness that will arise repeatedly throughout the Bible story.