Serpent seed

Serpent seed

For the Christian concept of the "seed of the serpent" see Seed of the Woman

Serpent seed, dual seed or two-seedline is a controversial [1][2] The idea has also existed in several other non-racial contexts, and major proponents include Daniel Parker (1781–1844)[3] and William M. Branham (1909–65).[4]:98

The doctrine that Eve mated with the serpent, or with Satan, to produce Cain also appears in early Gnostic writings such as the Gospel of Philip (c. 350); however, this teaching was explicitly rejected as heresy by Irenaeus[5] (c. 180) and later mainstream Christian theologians. A similar doctrine appeared in Jewish midrashic texts in the 9th century and in the Kabbalah. It is considered a false doctrine by mainstream Protestants.[6] Catholic theologians point to the fact that the Bible states that the original sin is that of Adam and Eve eating a forbidden fruit.[7]


  • History 1
  • The doctrine 2
  • Christian Identity movement 3
  • William Branham 4
  • Arnold Murray 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7


The Serpent Seed idea appears in a 9th-century book called Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer.[8] In his book Cain: Son of the Serpent, David Max Eichhorn, traces the idea back to early Jewish Midrashic texts and identifies many rabbis who taught that Cain was the son of the union between the serpent and Eve.[8] Some Kabbalist rabbis also believe that Cain and Abel were of a different background than Seth. This is known among Kabbalists as "The Theory of Origins".[9]

In The Scofield Study Bible Scofield says, "The serpent, in his Edenic form, is not to be thought of as a writhing reptile. That is the effect of the curse (Gen 3:14). The creature which lent itself to Satan may well have been the most beautiful as it was the most "subtle" of creatures less than man".[10] Scofield's notes are silent as to the idea of Cain being the serpent's seed, however in Genesis 6:2 his notes claimed that while it was an "error" to believe that the offspring mentioned were the product of supernatural unions, it was instead the intermarriage of the "godly line of Seth" with the "godless line of Cain" being referred to.[11]

The doctrine that Eve mated with the serpent, or with Satan, to produce Cain, has been taught in various forms for thousands of years, and it finds its earliest expression in Gnostic writings (e.g., the Gospel of Philip) and especially in Manichaean doctrines; however, it was soundly rejected by mainstream Christian theologians such as Irenaeus.[5]

The doctrine

Some proponents believe that the serpent was Satan himself.[12] Others believe that the serpent was an animal being influenced by Satan.[13] Another key difference is in the descendants of Cain. Some believe that the two lines remained separate and that eventually Cain's descendants were all destroyed, others believe that Cain's descendants became completely mixed with the descendants of Adam (meaning that all humanity is partially descended from Cain),[14] and still others believe that the two lines remain separate to this day.[15] Finally others disagree whether sex itself was the [13]

  • The Two Trees. The starting point of the discussion is usually on the two trees, the [13][16]
  • The Serpent. (Gen 3) The serpent in its original form was a creature capable of speech, and it had not yet at that point been cursed to go "upon [its] belly"; thus some proponents claim that the "serpent" was originally an upright human-like creature.[17][18] The chapter states that the serpent "beguiled" Eve. In Early Modern English this word literally meant to seduce or lead astray.[19]
  • The Punishment. (Gen 3) Proponents also point to the punishment to show that the act was sexual. When Adam and Eve sinned they covered their genitals, not their mouths, indicating they sinned not with their mouths but with their genitals. The punishment God put on them also affected sexual reproduction: He caused the woman to have menstrual cycles and to have increased pain in childbirth. God's curse also put enmity between the descendants of Adam (e.g., Abel) and the descendants of the serpent (e.g., Abel's murderer Cain).[20]
  • The Two Lines of Descent. (Gen 4-5) Some proponents claim that because the two lines of descent are recorded separately it indicates they were somehow different. It notes how the developments in Cain's sides were all negative (e.g. Lamech's declaration in Gen 4:23 that "I have slain a man to my wounding".[21]) But in Seth's line (Gen. 5) nothing is mentioned of anything evil, and each patriarch "begat sons and daughters". Ultimately, the two lines intermarry (Gen 6:4 "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."), and God then destroyed the world with a flood.[22]
  • Christ. Ultimately Seth's line leads to [13][16]

Christian Identity movement

Adherents of the [1][2][26][27]

William Branham

Branham taught that Eve and the serpent had sexual intercourse and Cain was born.[4]:98 Consequently, every woman potentially carried the literal seed of the devil.[4]:111 Cain's descendants were today masquerading as the educated and the scientists,[4]:113 who were "a big religious bunch of illegitimate bastard children."[4]:125 The serpent was the "missing link" between the chimpanzee and man, who was perhaps ten feet tall and looked just like a man.[4]:124

The central sins of modern culture - immoral women and education - were a result of the serpent's seed. Branham's attitude toward culture was a very extremist perspective of "Christ against Culture". Education was Satan's snare for intellectual Christians who rejected the supernatural. Education was Satan's tool for obscuring the "simplicity" of the messenger and his message (i.e. William Branham and his message).[4]:114

Arnold Murray

Arnold Murray (1929–2014), founder of The Shepherd's Chapel, taught the serpent seed doctrine. He accepted that the Jews (Kingdom of Judah) were descended from Adam through Seth, as described in the Bible. However, his view was that the Kenites (rather than the Jews) were the offspring of Cain, and infiltrated the northern kingdom of Israel.[12] Murray's teachings are disputed by Protestant apologetics ministries CARM and CRI.[6][28]

See also


  1. ^ a b Borgeson, Kevin; Valeri, Robin (2008). "3: Christian Identity". Terrorism in America.  
  2. ^ a b Martin, Gus (2006). Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives, and Issues (2, illustrated ed.). SAGE. pp. 453–454.  
  3. ^ "Primitive Baptists". Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Weaver, C. Douglas (2000). The Healer-Prophet: William Marrion Branham (A study of the Prophetic in American Pentecostalism). Mercer University Press.  
  5. ^ a b "ANF01. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus - Christian Classics Ethereal Library". 2005-07-13. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  6. ^ a b Matt Slick, The serpent seed and the Kenites, criticizing the teaching of Arnold Murray and the Shepherd's Chapel. Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  7. ^ The Woman, The Seed, and The Serpent. James Akin, Catholic Answers
  8. ^ a b Cain: Son of the Serpent. Rossel Books. 1985.  
  9. ^ Rabbi Donmeh West. "Kabbalistic Genetics". 
  10. ^ Scofield, C. I., The Scofield Study Bible, Oxford University Press, 1996, p8
  11. ^ Scofield, C. I., The Scofield Study Bible, Oxford University Press, 1996, p13
  12. ^ a b The Shepherd's Chapel Answers Page. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  13. ^ a b c d R.M. Jackson. "The Two Laws of Eden". Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  14. ^ "Serpent Seed. W.M Branham"., Review of the Message and Ministry of William Branham. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  15. ^ Views on the Two Seeds, Daniel Parker (1826)
  16. ^ a b c The Serpent's Seed, sermon number 58-0928E preached by William Branham, 28 September 1958 at the Wayback Machine (archived February 12, 2012)
  17. ^ "Just WHO are These Giants in Genesis 6:4?!",
  18. ^ "The Two Laws of Eden" (second page): "Neither was he a worm, nor a snake; he was the most intelligent creature of all the animal kingdom; and he carried on a vocal conversation with Eve. He was a servant creature; endowed with that ability."
  19. ^ "Beguile", "Middle English Lexicon"
  20. ^ R.M. Jackson. "The Two Laws of Eden" 3. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  21. ^ I.e., Lamech killed a man who did Lamech injury. Genesis 4:23, New International Version
  22. ^ "Genealogy of Cain". Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  23. ^ "Extremism in America: Dan Gayman".  
  24. ^ "Christian Identity". Watchman Fellowship. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  25. ^ Lewis, James R.; Jesper Aagaard Petersen (2005). Controversial New Religions (illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press US. pp. 394–395.  
  26. ^ Dobratz, Betty A.; Shanks-Meile, Stephanie L. (2000). The White Separatist Movement in the United States (illustrated ed.).  
  27. ^ Barkun, Michael (2006). A Culture of Conspiracy (illustrated ed.). University of California Press. p. 124.  
  28. ^ Arnold Murray and the Shepherd's Chapel, criticisms by the Christian Research Institute. Retrieved November 17, 2013.