THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD
We ate not of the tree of good and evil but rather of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. The knowledge itself must be handled. God meant for us to eat of it first and then He says again (Deuteronomy 30:19) "So choose life."
As Jews we have been taught to choose wisely and to properly handle understanding and knowledge. Understanding absorbs knowledge, which when handled correctly will produce wisdom.
We believe that it was God's omniscient plan to teach us contrasts without which we are unable to choose and for this very mission God chose His own created being called Nechash. Unlike pagan curses Hebrew ARROR speaks of something bitter versus something sweet, just as RAH means bad and TOV means good; between these two lies our choice. No curse is permanent. Repentance (T'SHUVAH) a complete return to God and His righteousness removes all curses.
As intriguing as it may sound this beautiful shining being spoke with an intelligent and legible voice. It was always in God's omniscient plan to use one of His created being who created a desire for no other tree but the Tree of Knowledge wherewith Eve had reached for the fruit. Without the Tree of Knowledge none of us today would have been able to choose and be blessed thereby. God wanted to be loved by a free choice and never under compulsion. Just as Balaam's donkey spoke with legible voice, because God's angel spoke through it, so it was with the shining being.
From this shining being "Nechash" evolved "Nehushtan" a serpent like being. Moses made a brass serpent called Nehushtan and raised it up on a post (Hebrew NES, a tree or standard) that whoever would have looked upon it would have been healed of the snake's venom wherewith the Israelites were bitten; and so it was. Jesus alluded to this by saying, [John 3:14-15] “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life."
The true understanding of Nechash and Nehushtan comes from this verse, [John 4:22] “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews" Jesus said.