T. Desmond Alexander notes the significance of the phrase “beast of the field”: The serpent is elevated above every other “beast of the field,” that is, the wild animals. This comment is likely to have had a negative connotation in the minds of the first readers or listeners to this story. Wild animals presented a threat to human beings. Ezekiel 34:8 describes, for example, how a flock of sheep without a shepherd could become “meat to every beast of the field.” For this reason, the introduction of the serpent as the craftiest of the wild animals has an ominous ring to it.

Against the Darkness, Graham A Cole