Was the serpent

Was the serpent’s subtlety (Gen 3:1) due to its native ability or Satan’s powers?

Three clues suggest the subtlety was due to the prudence or sense God had given it. First, the comparison of the serpent to "any beast of the field which the Lord God had made" indicates that not just this one serpent, but the entire species of serpents was "more subtle." Second, the curse on the serpent (v 14) extends to all its kind, not just the serpent Satan used; and God’s judgments are just. Again, addressing the serpent, God moves (v 15) to the instigator behind the scenes and is actually speaking to Satan. That relates to the third clue. Without assigning a human will to the serpent, we note that Satan easily finds allies among those specially enriched with advantages (see previous answers). Satan spoke through the serpent, but in some way took advantage of its native subtlety, so that neither Eve nor Adam expressed surprise that a serpent should approach them as he did.

D. Oliver