A monograph entitled, Reality of the Serpent Race, by Branton, reveals, "In Genesis 3 we read about the 'Nachash'; Hebrew word for 'Serpent'. The original Nachash was not actually a snake as most people believe, but an extremely intelligent, cunning creature, possessed with the ability to speak and reason." Another significant parallel from the Holy Bible is shown in Jeremiah 8:17, "Behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices among you, which will bite you, saith the Lord." The definition of a cockatrice is a reptilian bird-like creature or winged-serpent. This could very well represent the Phoenix, described in Egyptian mythology.
This is very true.. the "serpent" of Genesis was originally depicted (in artwork) not as a "snake", but rather as an upright, "walking" man (at least, from the torso up), but from the waist down he had the body of a snake.
It's widely believed this was meant to represent a fast-talking, slick deciever (in human form), not a real snake.