Image Credit: Jafar
Video Credit: Snake Jafar
Jafar in Aladdin alludes strongly to the Old Testament through the representation of evil through a snake, and the power he wields in his staff. Throughout Aladdin, Jafar holds a staff, a symbol of power as derived from the Old Testament. Firstly, the staff is in the form of a snake, alluding to Exodus 4:2-4, where Moses threw down his staff, and it became a serpent, but when he picked it up again, it turned back into a staff. When it departed Moses, it was serpentine, but with him, it was a normal staff. With Jafar, the staff is a serpent, revealing not that without Jafar the staff is a serpent, but because of the evil in Jafar’s heart, the staff in in the likeness of a serpent, which is the symbol of evil derived from Genesis 3. Later in the movie, Jafar uses his staff to exercise his magical powers. This is clearly an allusion to Exodus 4:17, which says, “take in you hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs.” Moses used the staff through his talks with Pharaoh, making it a snake again, turning the river into blood, bringing in the plagues, and then also when he parted the Red Sea. Likewise, Jafar’s power came from his staff: putting jasmine in an hourglass, turning the monkey into a toy, turning the carpet into thread etc. In an ultimate consummation, Jafar became like his staff, and took on the body of a massive snake, which is, of course, evil. This serpent, however, isn’t the crafty, subtle serpent in Genesis 3, but is more like the vicious, powerful serpent who became a dragon in Revelation. The dragon wars against the angels in heaven, but is cast down and defeated. Likewise, even with all his power, Jafar at the end of the movie is defeated and cast down into a lamp where he will be held forever more. Clearly then, Jafar’ very person as evil has a strong background based off the Bible.