The serpent’s punishment has three aspects: (1) consignment to crawling on its belly, (2) the eating of dust “all the days of your life” (v. 14), and (3) its ultimate destruction by the wounded “seed” of the woman (v. 15). Several elements in the oracle echo the temptation (3:1–5). “Cursed” (ʾārûr) is another wordplay on the earlier “crafty” (ʿārûm; cf. 3:1). Both verses describe the serpent’s distinction within the animal world. Ill-use of his shrewdness resulted in divine censure. “Eating” dust reflects Eve’s temptation to “eat” of the tree and the couple’s subsequent fall by eating. Also the retaliation of the woman’s seed over against the viper’s offspring (v. 15) answers the snake’s first triumph. His triumph will not be the last word.
Mathews, K. A. Genesis 1-11:26. Vol. 1A. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996. Print. The New American Commentary.