In Disambiguating the serpent seedline of Satan theory in Genesis 3, part 1 of 2 I noted that the serpent seed of Satan theory certainly qualifies a fable such as that referenced in Titus 1:10-16 which notes that:
…many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers…Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake…Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
Herein, I will provide some references to such fables (and I have already written much about the Targum Pseudo-Johnathan’s employment of this fable, see Serpent Seed of Satan theorist on the original text of Genesis 4:1, part 1 of 2).
B.Z. Goldberg wrote the following in his 1930 AD book The Sacred Fire, pp. 109-110, Chap. V, “Love’s Hidden Ways”:
In Sunday school, we learn of the serpent in his glory. He did not crawl over the surface of the earth but had legs to stand upon. In fact, he walked erect like Adam and Eve and was equal in height to the camel. He could talk and was in the habit of conversing with the first woman on earth. He was clever enough to meddle in the life of the first humans and to offer them the benefit of his counsel.
To be sure, it was bad advice; slyly he induced Eve to desire the fruit of the forbidden tree. Gently and cleverly he pointed the way to disobedience of the divine command. And as the woman slid downward, she pulled man down with her. It was by the guile of the serpent that Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden to a life of toil and pain. Like Samson of a later day, the serpent itself shared the ruination it caused. By the fall of man, it was crushed and left to spend its days crawling upon the earth.
There is more to the story than is told to the Sunday school class. The serpent was in love with Eve. He had seen Adam and Eve in their conjugal act and was animated by a passion for the woman. He hoped to get Adam out of the way and to take Eve for himself. The serpent is the first illicit desire of sex, the first thwarted passion of love, the first struggle of the male with the male for the female.
The reference to the Genesis 3 serpent was equal in height to the camel surely plays off of Rabbi Moses ben Maimon aka Maimonides aka Rambam’s circa 1190 AD book Guide for the Perplexed, Chap. XXX which actually does not refer to the serpent’s height:
…noteworthy Midrashic remark of our Sages is the following: “The serpent had a rider, the rider was as big as a camel, and it was the rider that enticed Eve: this rider was Samaël.” Samaël is the name generally applied by our Sages to Satan…In describing how the serpent came to entice Eve, our sages say: “Samaël was riding on it, and God was laughing at both the camel and its rider.”
The Palestinian Targum aka Targum of Jonathan Johnathan ben Uzziel aka more accurately Targum Pseudo-Johnathan (600s AD) is not a simply translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into Aramaic but a paraphrase which includes much Rabbinic folklore. In its rendering of Genesis 3 it has Samael “the angel of death” in place of the serpent. However, Satan is not Samael as Satan is not the “the angel of death” and, in fact, is not even an Angel but rather, is a Cherub (Ezekiel 28:14).
Well, in any case, it seems to me that as is specified in Revelation, chaps 12 and 20, most succinctly “that old serpent” is “called the Devil, and Satan” (for another aspect of this see On satan, divination and metal.
Now, you will note a tinge of the serpent seed of Satan theory added in by asserting that “The serpent was in love with Eve” had “a passion for the woman” wanted “to take Eve for himself” and this lead to “the first illicit desire of sex.” We are not told that the serpent had sex with Eve but that there was some rivalry for her between the serpent and Adam (at least in the serpent’s mind).
Also, note that Goldberg seems to misidentify an illustration of that which he terms, “Serpent worship in early Christian art” (no citation is provided). It appears to simply depict making his offering to God with the serpent looking on as “Cain offered, of the fruits of the earth” which was rejected by God (Genesis 4:3).
The circa 400-500 AD Talmud Bavli aka Babylonian Talmud states the following (I am bracketing the Talmud’s footnotes):
R. Johanan stated: When the serpent copulated with Eve [In the Garden of Eden, according to a tradition], he infused her [I.e., the human species] with lust. The lust of the Israelites who stood at Mount Sinai [And experienced the purifying influence of divine Revelation], came to an end, the lust of the idolaters who did not stand at Mount Sinai did not come to an end.
Abodah Zarah 22b:
R. Johanan said: When the serpent came unto Eve he infused filthy lust into her. If that be so [the same should apply] also to Israel! — When Israel stood at Sinai that lust was eliminated, but the lust of idolaters, who did not stand at Sinai, did not cease.
Why are idolaters lustful? Because they did not stand at Mount Sinai. For when the serpent came upon Eve he injected a lust into her:
Rabbinic Jewish mysticism’s text Zohar (H. Sperling and M. Simon trans., The Soncino Press, New York, 1933 AD):
Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field, etc. (Genes. III, 1.) “More subtle” that is towards evil; “than all beasts” that is, the idolatrous people of the earth. For they are the children of the ancient serpent which seduced Eve.
At that time the mixed multitude shall pass away from the world [***] The mixed multitude are the impurity which the serpent injected into Eve. From this impurity came forth Cain, who killed Abel…Various impurities are mingled in the composition of Israel, like animals among men. One kind is from the side of the serpent…there is none so cursed among them as Amalek, who is the evil serpent, the “strange god”…his twin-soul is the poison of idolatry, the two together being called Samael (lit. poison-god). There is more than one Samael, and they are not all equal, but this side of the serpent is accursed above all of them.
The Jewish Encyclopedia’s entry for “Eve” by Emil G. Hirsch, Solomon Schechter, Hartwig Hirschfeld notes various and sundry bits of Jewish fables from which I will glean:
Midrash Genesis Rabbah, circa 425 AD, XII:
Eve became pregnant, and bore Cain and Abel on the very day of (her creation and) expulsion from Eden.
Yalkut to Genesis, 12th century AD, XXV; comp. Flavius Josephus, “Antiquities of the Jews,” 93 AD i. 1, § 4; Ab. R. N. i.; Pirke De Rabbi Eliezer, 830 AD, XIII:
Samael, prompted by jealousy, picked out the serpent to mislead Eve, whom it approached, knowing that women could be more easily moved than men.
Pirke De Rabbi Eliezer XXI., XXII, XX:
Cain’s real father was not Adam, but one of the demons…Seth was Eve’s first child by Adam.
[Of course, Satan is not a demon]
Soṭah (treatise in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Babylonian and Palestinian aka Jerusalem aka Yerushalmi Talmuds) 9; Genesis Rabbah XVIII:
…the serpent was induced to lead Eve to sin by desire on its part to possess her.
[I am unsure if “possess” is meant in the manner of demonism or as in have her sexually—or, both]
Yalḳut Genesis 28, 130 and Talmud tractates Yevamot 103b and Avodah aka Abuda Zarah 22b and Shabbath 146a:
…it [the serpent] cast into her [Eve] the taint of lust.
A plea: I have to pay for server usage and have made all content on this website free and always will. I support my family on one income and do research, writing, videos, etc. as a hobby. If you can even spare $1.00 as a donation, please do so: it may not seem like much but if each person reading this would do so, even every now and then, it would add up and really, really help out. Here is my donate/paypal page.
Due to robo-spaming, I had to close the comment sections. However, you can comment on my Twitter page, on my Facebook page and/or on my Google+ page.
Twitter: #SerpentSeed, #Seedlines, #Bible
Facebook: #SerpentSeed, #Seedlines, #Bible
Continue reading →