The Truth About Eden
Did Satan seduce Eve in the garden of Eden? And is there therefore a race of “Satan's Seed” upon the earth today?
There is a teaching gaining rapid momentum in South Africa at the moment. It says that the correct interpretation of Genesis reveals that Satan seduced Eve in the Garden of Eden and the product of their sexual relations was Cain. Able, on the other hand, was the product of Eve’s relations with Adam. Thus they conclude that two separate bloodlines exist on the earth today, one from Adam (the righteous line), the other from Satan (the defiled line), and that the peoples of these two bloodlines have been, should be, and always will be, at war.
Let's put this argument to the test of scripture.
Note: for easy reference we will simply call this teaching the Serpent-seed doctrine.
Before we discuss this doctrine itself, let's find out where it comes from. To do that we have to go back to a quote from Kabbalistic writings.
Serpent-seed in Kabbalism
Kabbalism is an ancient form of mystical Judaism. Its earliest roots go back to Israel's captivity in Babylon, where a Babylonian method of interpretation was applied to the Jewish scriptures. So while Judaism understood the text on its face-value meaning, the Kabbalists searched for a mystical (or hidden), layer of meaning in the text. They believed a secret doctrine lay imbedded in the text, hidden from the unworthy. Only an enlightened one could decode this knowledge and those who made a literal interpretation, were simple fools, unworthy of illumination. So let us look at a Kabbalistic interpretation of the events in Eden:
“Others say it was the serpent himself who seduced Eve, for after he saw Adam and Eve coupling, the serpent conceived a passion for her. He even imagined killing Adam and marrying Eve. So he came to Eve when she was alone and possessed her and infused her with lust. That is how the serpent fathered Cain, who was later to slay his own brother. And that is how Eve was infected with his impurity. As a result, all of Israel was impure from that time until the Torah was given on Mount Sinai. Only then did Israel’s impurity cease. When Cain was born, Adam knew at once that he was not of his seed, for he was not after his likeness, nor after his image. Instead, Cain’s appearance was that of a heavenly being. And when Eve saw that his appearance was not of this world, she said, I have gained a male child with the help of Yahweh (Gen. 4:1). It was not until the birth of Seth that Adam had a son who was in his own likeness and image. From Seth arose all of the generations of the righteous, while all the generations that descended from the seed of Cain are wicked, until this very day.”
As you can see, the Kabbalist version of the Eden story is almost identical to the Serpent-seed version. It becomes clear then that the Serpent-seed doctrine has its roots in Old Testament Kabbalism and not in Judaism (which holds a more literal interpretation of the text).
Serpent-seed in Gnosticism
If we fast-forward to the first few hundred years after Christ, again we find an almost identical story to the Serpent-seed one, this time in a religion called Gnosticism. The Gnostics were a kind of New Testament Kabbalist. While the Kabbalists practiced mystic “Judaism”, the Gnostics practiced mystic “Christianity”. The word ‘gnosis’ means ‘knowledge of spiritual mysteries’ (or secrets). The Gnostics learned their methods from the Kabbalists, they just applied it to New Testament scriptures.
“Serpent seed, dual seed or two-seedline is a controversial religious belief which explains the biblical account of the fall of man by saying that the serpent in the Garden of Eden mated with Eve, and that the offspring of their union was Cain. This appears in early Gnostic writings such as the Gospel of Philip (c. 350).”
Let's have a look at this teaching as found in the Gnostic, so-called, ‘Gospel of Philip’.
“First, adultery came into being, afterward murder. And he (Cain) was begotten in adultery, for he was the child of the Serpent. So he became a murderer, just like his father, and he killed his brother. Indeed, every act of sexual intercourse which has occurred between those unlike one another is adultery.” – Gospel of Philip
So even this Gnostic quote perfectly aligns with the Serpent-seed doctrine.
But for clarity we should point out that this manuscript, “The Gospel of Philip,” has nothing to do with the Apostle Philip of the Bible. The manuscript does not have a title, but was simply called that after it was discovered in 1945. Its only real connection to the Apostle Philip is a quote it attributes to him:
“Philip the apostle said, "Joseph the carpenter planted a garden because he needed wood for his trade...” – Gospel of Phlip
What it is, in fact, is a single, partially damaged manuscript, buried in the 4th Century with nothing to identify or validate it except that it was buried with other Gnostic writings. So all we can be sure of is that it teaches Gnosticism and not Christianity. For example, the Gnostics hated God the creator, they believed He was an oppressor and this manuscript echos that view:
“The world came about through a mistake. For he who created it wanted to create it imperishable and immortal. He fell short of attaining his desire... God is a man-eater. For this reason, men are sacrificed to him.” – Gospel of Philip
Another distortion of the Gnostics is that – according to them – the Holy Spirit is composed of women who ascended to deity. This belief in a female Holy Spirit makes sense of the next quote from the “Gospel of Philip.”
“Some said, ‘Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit.’ They are in error. They do not know what they are saying. When did a woman ever conceive by a woman?” – Gospel of Philip
Again we must point out that the idea of people being able to ascend into godhood is an ancient occult (meaning secret or mystery religion), doctrine that goes all the way back to Babylonian times. In fact, it goes back to the very beginning. It was in the garden of Eden where Satan first introduced this lie, “you will become like God” (Genesis 3:5). And that same lie lurks at the heart of every version of the occult to this day. It is truly, as the Apostle Paul put it, “the doctrine of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1).
Our point thus far is simply this: the Serpent-seed doctrine has roots in both Kabbalism and Gnosticism which are two occult (or secret knowledge) religions. So now its time to move on and compare the Serpent-seed argument directly with the scriptures and see what we discover.
THE SERPENT-SEED DOCTRINE
The building blocks of the Serpent-seed argument are as follows:
The ‘trees of the garden’ are in fact not trees, but individuals or family-trees.
Satan ‘deceived Eve,’ actually means he seduced her.
‘Eating the fruit’ means having sexual relations.
Eve’s ‘desire’ to eat the fruit actually means she lusted after Satan.
When God said ‘do not touch the fruit’ He actually meant not to inter-marry or mix with the defiled lineage of Satan and thus put enmity between the two bloodlines.
Evidence of this enmity is seen in Cain (the son of Satan) killing Able (the son of Adam).
As you can see, a hidden meaning (not found in a literal reading of the text), has been assigned to each of these points. So let’s test their interpretation.
THE TREES ARE PEOPLE
The Serpent-seed argument quote the following two texts (from Jeremiah and Daniel), to prove that the “trees” in the Garden of Eden must actually mean “people”. Here is the first passage where God calls the children of Israel, a “Green Olive Tree.”
“The LORD called your name, Green Olive Tree... the LORD of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced doom against you for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah” – Jeremiah 11:16a, 17a
In the next passage, Daniel is interpreting a dream Nebuchadnezzar had, saying that he (and therefore his kingdom), were great on the earth.
“The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong, whose height reached to the heavens... it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth.” – Daniel 4:17, 19
But the simple fact that two verses compare people to trees does not mean that every time the Bible talks about trees it actually means people. If we were to use that sort of logic, then we could make the Bible say just about anything we wanted it to.
Let's give an example to show what distortion we could produce with two other verses, by applying the Satan-seed method of “interpretation”. Both of the following verses speak of water coming out of someone:
“So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.” – Revelation 12:15
“He who believes in Me... out of his belly will flow rivers of living water.” – John 7:38
So by Serpent-seed logic, we could now argue that the serpent (or Satan), in Revelations is actually a disciple of Jesus. Since those who follow Jesus have water coming out of their bellies and Satan spewed water out of his like a flood – Satan must therefore be a believer. Clearly this is a ridiculous conclusion because it contradicts everything else the scriptures say. But that same test must be applied to every interpretation of the Bible. The purpose of cross-checking our interpretation against the balance of scripture keeps us from falling into these errors. Especially since we know that we have an enemy who trades in ‘corruptions of wisdom’ (Ezekiel 28:17) and would like to sell us one of his lies. Rather, let’s go back to the account of Eden in Genesis and see what the text actually says.
If the Trees are people, why was Adam alone?
“The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” – Genesis 2:8-10a
Adam was set in a garden amongst many trees. So if these trees are indeed people, why does God then say:
“It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” – Genesis 2:18
How could he have been alone if the trees were people? The only explanation we can imagine they would use is to say that all the trees were men, therefore God was offering to make a woman for Adam. But then we have a new problem, because God says:
“Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” – Genesis 2:16b-17
If the trees are all men, and eating the fruit of the trees is having sex (as we will discuss in point 3), then God had apparently said to Adam, “God ahead and have sex with any of these men.” But Romans 1:26-27 teaches us that men having sexual relations with men is “vile” and “shameful”. Therefore this cannot be a correct interpretation.
Is Satan the Snake or the Tree
There is another problem, you see their argument goes that Eve was tempted to eat of (have sex with), the forbidden tree (Satan). But if all the trees are actually people – how is ‘the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ then Satan? Satan is not a human. In fact he already appears in the story as the serpent. And if he is the serpent who brings Eve to the tree to tempt her, how can he also be the tree she was tempted to eat from?
Conclusion of point 1: There is no actual Biblical evidence that the trees were ever meant to represent people. And if you argue they are, then as soon as you bring in the surrounding verses, the logic of the argument falls apart. Therefore we have no good reason to believe the trees are anything other than actual trees, just as the Bible says.
Let's go on to their next point:
SATAN SEDUCED EVE
“And the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’ ” – Genesis 3:13
According to the Serpent-seed doctrine, the word ‘deceived,’ in the above verse means ‘to seduce’ in the original Hebrew. To prove this they cite the Strong's number H5377, followed by its apparent definition – “to seduce”. Then they give us the English definition of the word ‘seduce’.
Deceived = H5377
Definition: to seduce
SEDUCE - (English Dictionary), means: “To entice someone into sexual activity. To make someone feel attracted to you and to have sex with you, often someone younger or less experienced.”
The number H5377 comes from the Strong’s Concordance. It is a cataloging system which assigns a number to each word which appears in the original text of the Bible. Numbers beginning with 'H' are for Hebrew words from the Old Testament, and those beginning with 'G' are for New Testament Greek words.
If you look at the verse above, you will find that H5377 is the correct reference number. But when you look at its definition, it is not what the serpent-seed argument claims. (Note that you can click the picture or the number to see it for yourself):
To beguile, to deceive
So the word does in fact mean to beguile or to deceive. It does not mean to seduce. We do not know where they got the definition of “to seduce” from, but it was not from the Strong's Concordance (as they claimed). For clarity here is the meaning of beguile and deceive:
Beguile: charm or enchant someone, sometimes in a deceptive way.
Deceive: cause someone to believe something that is not true, typically in order to gain some personal advantage.
Cross-checking the definition
We are fortunate to have another way to check the meaning of the word. You see, the New Testament refers to Eden again, and this is helpful because it is forced to use a different word, since it is written in Greek not Hebrew.
“And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” – 1 Timothy 2:14
What is the original meaning of the underlined word above? Was Eve deceived, or was she seduced? Let's go back to the Strong's Concordance:
To cheat, beguile, deceive
So Satan’s temptation was deception, not seduction. Eve was deceived by the trickery of the serpent who was said to be “more cunning than any beast” (Genesis 3:1). That word ‘cunning’ means: subtle, shrewd, crafty and sly.
The same ancient deception
So if Eve was not seduced, then why does the Bible say she wanted to eat the fruit? What was the temptation?
“For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” – Genesis 3:5-6
She ate because Satan offered her forbidden wisdom, the ‘knowledge of good and evil’. She believed it would make her wise. This same ancient lure still catches people to this day and is the very same hook that pulls people into the occult.
How did Adam fall?
After eating the fruit, the Bible says Eve offered it to her husband. Now according to the Serpent-seed doctrine, this means that after Eve had sex with Satan she then went on to have sex with Adam. But that argument also has problems. You see, the Bible says that Adam himself ate of the forbidden fruit:
“ ‘Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?’ Then the man said, ‘The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.’ ” – Genesis 3:11b-12
When Eve ate from the forbidden tree, the Serpent-seed doctrine claims she had sex with Satan. So when Adam ate of the tree, why does that not also mean that he had sex with Satan? Adam could not have eaten the forbidden fruit by having sex with Eve – because Eve was never forbidden to him. So for him to have taken of the forbidden fruit and eaten it, the only possibility would be for Adam to have sex with the serpent as well. But him having sex with the serpent would not have made Eve pregnant with another son.
Conclusion of point 2: Not only have they given a false definition of the word “deceived”, but their argument falls apart when it is tested against the surrounding text. Therefore the only interpretation that is faithful to the text is that Eve was deceived, just as the Bible says, and not seduced.
EVE HAD SEX WITH SATAN
“but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” – Genesis 3:3
The Serpent-seed doctrine goes on to say that the word ‘touch’ in the above verse means ‘to lie with a woman.’ Thus when Eve took the fruit it means she slept with Satan.
Touch = H5060
Definition: “To lie with a woman”
Again we have to ask where they are getting their definitions from. It is clearly not the Strong's definition they claim it to be. Here is the Strong's definition which you can check for yourself:
to touch, reach, strike, to extend to, to be stricken, be defeated.
Are you beginning to see just how much trouble is being taken to distort the text so that they can give it the meaning they want it to have – a meaning which simply isn't there?
Conclusion to point 3: The Serpent-seed argument is deceptive. There is no evidence to suggest the word “touch” means anything other than “touch”, just as the Bible says.
EVE'S DESIRE WAS LUST
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.” – Genesis 3:6a
Once more we are offered a definition, this time the word ‘pleasant’ apparently means lust. After which they offer us the English dictionary definition of ‘lust’.
Pleasant = H8378.
LUST - (English dictionary): “Strong sexual desire”
Synonyms: sexual desire, sexual appetite, sexual longing, sexual passion, lustfulness, libido, sex drive, sexuality, have strong sexual desire for someone.
Desire, wish, longings of one’s heart, lust, appetite, covetousness
Thing desired, object of desire
For once their chosen definition actually does appear as a possible meaning of the word. But the word could also mean simple desire, wanting something without the undertone of sexual appetite – for example the way someone might desire a new car or pair of shoes.
So to find out which of the possible translations is the intended and correct interpretation of the text, we use the context (the surrounding information in the passage). Go back just a few verses earlier and you find the exact same word used by God.
“And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” – Genesis 2:9