ORIGIN AND SIGNIFICANCE OF SATAN AND DEMONS: PART THREE
Satan’s Seed Doctrine:
In Part One of this series I mentioned that one theologian, the late Arnold Murray of Sheppard’s Chapel, taught that Satan had sexual relations with Eve which resulted in the birth of Cain as a fraternal twin to Abel. Fraternal twins result from two separate sperm fertilizing two separate ova in the womb. Murray teaches that Satan is the Father of Cain and Adam is the father of Able. It is believed the offspring of Cain became the Kenites mentioned in Scriptures. Because descendants of the Kenites are historically seen in Scriptures as becoming interspersed with the Israelites, it is believed these Kenites were co- mingled with the Jews of the first century and it was these Kenites who brought about the crucifixion of Christ and not ethnic Jews. This overall perspective is generally referred to as the “Satan’s seed doctrine.”
Those who subscribe to this doctrine believe the serpent in the Genesis account is only symbolic of Satan. As discussed in Part One of this series, viewing the serpent as only being symbolic of Satan has some contextual problems and remains a debatable issue. However, for the sake of our examination of the “Satan’s Seed Doctrine,” we will assume the serpent was only symbolic of Satan and it was actually Satan himself who confronted Eve in the Garden. Is there Scriptural reason to believe Satan and Eve had sexual relations? Several arguments are advanced to support this position.
Genesis 3:13: Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived (Hebrew: nasha) me, and I ate."
It is claimed the Hebrew for deceived (nasha) means “to be wholly seduced.” This claim is made based on definition 5377 in Strong’s Concordance Hebrew and Chaldee dictionary.
An examination of definition 5377 in Strong’s Concordance shows nasha to be a “prim root; to lead astray, ie, (mentally) to delude or morally to seduce - beguile, deceive.” The phrase, “to be wholly seduced” is not found in this 5377 definition. The Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament defines nasha as “to lead into error, to cause to go astray, whence - to deceive, to impose on any one”. A secondary meaning is to seduce or corrupt.
In the OT this word is mainly translated as deceive (See 2 Kings 18:29, 19:10, 2 Chronicles 32:15, Isaiah 36:14, etc). There is nothing within the known or commonly used meaning of nasha to suggest sexual intercourse. Its secondary rendering as “seduce” does not necessarily imply sexual seduction. It can also imply mental seduction. To use this word to conclude that Satan seduced Eve sexually is quite a stretch. To use this word in this manner is much removed from the basic and normal way in which this word is used in the Hebrew text of the OT.
Those who conclude the Hebrew nasha means sexual seduction refer to 2 Corinthians 11:3 to support this view.
2 Corinthians 11:3: But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived (Greek: exapatao) by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
Proponents of the “Satan’s seed doctrine” believe the Greek word exapatao means to seduce in a sexual sense. It is rendered “seduced” in the New Jerusalem Bible translation of the New Testament (NT).
2 Corinthians 11:3: But I am afraid that, just as the snake with his cunning seduced Eve, your minds may be led astray from single-minded devotion to Christ (NJB).
Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon defines this word as “to deceive.” The Arndt, Gingrich, Bauer Greek - English lexicon of the NT and other early Christian Literature concurs with Thayer’s. To deceive is this word’s only meaning. It is used five times in the NT and it is rendered “deceive” in most English translations, including 2 Corinthians 11:3.
The context of Paul’s statement clearly shows he is talking about mental deception or seduction. He is using the snake’s deceiving/seducing of Eve as an example of being led astray in how one thinks. Rather than supporting the perspective that Satan sexually seduced Eve, Paul’s statement actually dismantles this idea. The very fact Paul uses the deception of Eve to instruct the Corinthians to remain mentally focused proves the deception of Eve involved mental seduction, not sexual seduction. There is nothing in the definition of this Greek word or in its Scriptural usage to suggest seduction in a sexual sense. To use Paul’s use of this word to mean sexual seduction is totally foreign to the context of Paul’s statement and contrary to Greek usage in Scripture and other Greek literature. To use Paul’s statement to support the “Satan’s seed doctrine” is without merit.
Another argument advanced by proponents of the “Satan’s seed doctrine” is that Eve conceived before she had sexual relations with Adam. The rational for this is based on what is stated in Genesis 3:16 and 4:1.
Genesis 3:16: To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."
Genesis 4:1: Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man."
It’s believed Eve didn’t have sexual relations with Adam until after being told by God that He would increase her pain in childbearing. In being told her pain would increase, it is believed she already was experiencing pain of child birth prior to having relations with Adam.
There is nothing in the context of Genesis 3:16 to suggest Eve was pregnant before having sexual relations with Adam. This is an assumption based on the belief that Satan had sexual relations with Eve and therefore it is assuming the thing to be proved which is the most fundamental of errors one can make in reaching a conclusion. God does not provide any time frame in connection with His statement to Eve about increasing her pains in childbearing. God simply makes a statement to Eve about what dynamics will be present in childbearing. To conclude from this that she is already pregnant is to insert a meaning into God’s statement that simply isn’t there.
After telling Eve He will increase her pains in childbearing, God tells her that her desire will be to her husband and he shall rule over her. If one could conclude anything at all about this passage relative to sexual relations, it would be that Adam was going to have the upper hand and Eve would be subject to his desires. There is nothing either explicit or implicit in this passage to suggest that Eve had become pregnant by Satan.
In Genesis 4:1-2, it’s recorded: “Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man." Later she gave birth to his brother Abel” (NIV). Proponents of the “Satan’s seed doctrine,” believe the correct translation of Genesis 4:2 is “and she continued (in labor) and bore his brother Abel.”
The Hebrew word translated “later” in the NIV is yacaph. Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon defines this word as “a primitive root; to add or augment (often adverbial, to continue to do a thing).” The Gesenius’ Hebrew Lexicon shows the basic meaning of this word to be “to add or increase something.” This lexicon provides numerous ways this word is used in the OT to mean “to do something afterwards,” to continue to do something,” “to do more,” and other such renderings.
Proponents of the “Serpent seed doctrine” selectively choose the meaning of “continue to do something” in an effort to support their belief that Cain had a different father than Able which they conclude is Satan. One could just as easily choose one of the other meanings associated with yacaph. Even if you choose to use the meaning “to continue to do something,” this doesn’t prove Eve continued in labor after giving birth to Cain and gave birth to Able. There is no time frame provided in the Genesis account whereby one can determine how long after the birth of Cain was the birth of Able. “To continue to do something” could just as easily mean that in giving birth to Able, Eve continued to have children.
By selectively using the meaning “to continue to do something,” proponents of the “serpent seed doctrine” are once again assuming the thing to be proved. As already stated, this is the most basic of errors in logical thinking. Because it is assumed Eve had sex with both Satan and Adam which resulted in twins being in her womb, it is assumed “to continue to do something” is the correct application of yacaph and that it must mean she continued in labor after giving birth to Cain. The problem with this approach should be apparent.
Genesis 4:1 clearly says that Adam had sex with his wife and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. After giving birth to Cain, Eve says,” With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man." This is very straightforward language as to what Eve was experiencing. Eve says with the help of the LORD (Hebrew YHWH) she has brought forth a man. Satan isn’t YHWH. To postulate that Genesis 4:1-2 is saying that Eve became pregnant with twins through sexual intercourse with both Satan and Adam is a rather preposterous conclusion when compared to what the text is saying.
A final argument used to advance the “Satan’s seed doctrine” is based on a passage of Scripture we have already addressed in this series. It is claimed that Satan’s offspring/seed mentioned in the following passage is a literal seed line of humans descended from Cain which came out of a sexual union between Satan and Eve.
Genesis 3:15: And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel (NIV)
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel (KJV).
And I will put hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring; her offspring will attack your head and you will attack her offspring’s heel (NET).
The word translated offspring/seed in Genesis 3, and throughout Genesis and most of the OT, is the Hebrew word zera. The Gesenius’ Hebrew Lexicon shows the basic meaning of this word to be seed, as in the sowing of seed to plant a crop. This word is also used to designate semen and therefore it can relate to offspring, progeny or decedents of man and animals. The Greek word that is translated seed throughout most of the NT is sperma. Thayer’s Greek lexicon defines sperma as “the grain or kernel which contains within itself the germ of the future plant. Sperma can also designate semen. Therefore, the Greek and Hebrew words parallel each other as to definition.
Both the Hebrew and the Greek words for seed are found extensively in Scripture. They are used in reference to the planting of seed to produce plants, in relation to the producing of offspring of both animals and humans and figuratively to get a point across. The question before us is whether this word can also apply to sexual intercourse between a spirit entity and a human entity. It is Scripturally evident that Satan is a non-physical, non-biological entity and Eve is a physical/biological entity. Satan is seen in Scripture as a “spirit” entity.
We know what human sperm is. It contains the genetic material within the male species that brings life to a female egg and begins the development of a new organism. We know this to be the case from the billions of human beings who have been born as a result of sexual intercourse between male and female humans. Is there evidence that spirit entities can cohabit with female humans and produce human offspring? We know through sexual union that male sperm units with a female ovum resulting in specific biological traits being transferred to the newborn. Since Satan is not a biological organism, how could a sexual union take place between Satan and Eve to produce Cain? It must be assumed that Satan had the biological equipment to have intercourse with Eve. There is no evidence to this effect. Furthermore, there is nothing in Scripture to indicate Cain had non human traits, something you would expect of a union between a spirit and physical entity. While it may be argued that Cain manifested psychological traits of Satan such as lying and murder, these traits are present in all humans to one extent or another.
You would think there would be some distinguishing differences from other human offspring as a result a union between a spirit entity and a human entity. Where is the evidence for such physical differences in the descendants of Cain anywhere in history? More importantly, what is the evidence for spirit beings and human beings having the ability to cohabitate? While there is a great deal of mythology that speaks of such cohabitation, what evidence is there for such mythology having any basis in fact?
Genesis 3:15 says nothing about Satan, having intercourse with Eve and getting her pregnant. This passage says nothing about Satan having human offspring. There simply is no Scriptural evidence to conclude that the hostility between the women’s seed and Satan’s seed refers to Cain and his offspring and that there exists in the world a direct seed line from Satan. It would be more Scriptural to conclude that all of humanity is of the seed of Satan and not just Cain. The Scriptures teach that all humans have sinned and in doing are in a state of hostility toward God (Romans 3:23, 8:7).
Another reference that is used to support the “Satan’s seed doctrine” is found in Matthew 13:36-42. Here we have Christ explaining the parable of the tares. The good seed is sown by Christ and shown to be the children of the kingdom. The devil is the one who sows the bad seed which lead to the tares which are shown to be the children of the devil. The Greek word for seed is sperma. Some conclude from this parable that it’s the seed line of Satan who are the children of the devil. If you’re going to interpret sperma to mean a literal biological seed line from Satan, then you’re going to have to also conclude that the children of the kingdom are a direct seed line from Christ as the same Greek word is used in reference to the good seed that Christ sows. I don’t think anyone would place such an interpretation on the children of the kingdom. It should be obvious that seed is being used in a figurative sense here.
Some will cite John 8:44 as evidence of a “seed line” from Satan existing at the time of Christ. In this verse Christ makes the statement to the Jews that they were of their father the devil. Proponents of the “Serpent seed doctrine” believe Christ was addressing Kenites who were masquerading as Jews in first century Israel. In verse 37 of this same chapter, Christ says to these same Jews that they are Abraham’s seed (Greek sperma) and in verse 56 of this same chapter Christ refers to Abraham as their father. Since Jesus is addressing these Jews as descendants of Abraham, how can they be Kenites who are believed to be descendants of Cain? Scripture reveals Abraham to be descended from Shem, son of Noah.
Furthermore, these Jews can’t have both Satan and Abraham as their father at the same time. They can’t be of Satan’s seed and Abraham’s seed at the same time. A careful reading of John 8 will show that Christ is speaking spiritually when He refers to the Jews having Satan as their father. Christ made this statement because of their attitude and behavior and not because they were literal descendants of Satan. The evidence points to Christ addressing ethnic Jews and not Kenites.
Who are the Kenites?
There is evidence the Kenites are the descendants of Cain. The Gesenius’ Hebrew Lexicon reports the Hebrew for Kenite is derived from the Hebrew for Cain. On the other hand, there is no Scriptural or historical evidence Cain or the Kenites are literal offspring of a sexual union between Satan and Eve. It is argued that it was descendants of the Kenites living among the Jews who were responsible for having Christ put to death. Revelation 2:9 and 3:9, where John speaks of those who claim to be Jews and are not but are of the synagogue of Satan, is cited as support for this conclusion.
These passages in Revelation say nothing about these Jews being Kenites. There is nothing in these passages that shows those being referred to are descendants of a sexual union between Satan and Eve. This is another example of assuming the thing to be proved. Those who advocate the “Satan’s seed doctrine” assume these claiming to be Jews are Kenites and then use these passages to “prove” their view. This is classic circular reasoning and therefore proves nothing. This is a non-sequitur argument where the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premise.
In these two passages in Revelation, spiritual dynamics are being addressed, not physical descendancy. The Jewish persecution against the Christians in the first century was relentless. There were Jews masquerading as Christians with the intent of subverting Christianity. These passages in Revelation appear to pertain to false Christian Jews who were not Christian Jews at all but were instead subversives who were out to destroy Christianity from within.
There is some historical evidence linking present day “Jewish” residents of the nation of Israel, and other parts of the world, with the descendants of the Khazar Empire of Eastern Europe during the seventh to the eleventh centuries A.D. There is much controversy as to whether these Khazarian Jews are descendants of the tribes of Israel or are of other stock. Regardless of their heritage, this has no bearing on the proposition that the Jew’s of the first century were Kenites. The Khazar’s are not historically linked to the Kenites and the Christ event took place hundreds of years before the Khazar Empire came on the seen.
What can we know about the Kenites? In the Scriptures we see that Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, appears to have been related to the Kenites (Judges 1:16 & 4:11). Jethro was a Midianite. In 1 Samuel 15:6, it’s recorded that King Saul of Israel spared the Kenites because they were kind to Israel when Israel came out of Egypt. In 1 Samuel 30:25-29, we see King David sharing with the Kenites the spoils of his victory in war over the Amalekites. It is apparent from these reports that the Israelites had a good relationship with the Kenites. If the Kenites were descendants of Satan, you would think they would have been adversarial to Israel. The Scriptures show just the opposite.
Unger’s Bible Dictionary shows the Kenites to be descendants of the Midianites. The Scriptures indicate this is the case because of the Kenite association with Jethro. The name Kenite actually pertains to being a copper smith. Unger reveals that the Kenites developed extraordinary skills in metal work. The Illustrated Dictionary & Concordance of the Bible also shows the Kenites to be metal workers and provides some archeological evidence for this as well.
The “Satan seed doctrine” is based on the perspective that Satan had sexual relations with Eve in the Garden of Eden which resulted in the birth of Cain as a fraternal twin to Able. Satan is seen as the father of Cain from whose “seed line” came the Kenites. The religious leaders who were involved with condemning Christ to death are seen not as ethnic Jews (descendants of the tribe of Judah) but as infiltrators who were descendants of the Kenites.
All these conclusions are problematic because an examination of the Scriptures and secular history reveals no real evidence that these conclusions are valid. There is no sound Scriptural evidence showing Satan had sexual relations with Eve. Therefore, there is no sound Scriptural or historical reason to believe Cain is the progeny of Satan or Cain’s descendants, who are believed to be the Kenites, are the progeny of Satan. There is no Scriptural reason to believe it was descendants of the Kenites who were responsible for the death of Christ. The “Satan seed doctrine” appears to be based on speculation and innuendo rather than sound Scriptural and historical evidence.