- Christogenea Saturdays
Addressing Charles Weisman’s What About the Seedline Doctrine? Part 9, Decoding Genesis 4:1
Once again, and right from the beginning, there were many digressions and topics discussed which did not make it into these notes. But I did add a few things we discussed extemporaneously which were related more directly to Weisman’s arguments.
In my opinion we have already destroyed Charles Weisman’s supposed refutation of Two-Seedline in several different and significant ways. But we are not even halfway through his book, and to be fair we must finish presenting all of Weisman’s arguments, and answer them all with the appropriate evidence wherever we believe they are wrong.
In our last presentation, I think we exposed three major failures in Weisman’s arguments at the end of chapter 3 where he had insisted that the giants of Genesis chapter 6 and later Scriptures were only the offspring of the unions between the sons of Cain and the daughters of Seth.
First, he failed to read the text of Genesis 6:4 properly, as it explains that giants were in the earth both before and after that event, so if the verse is read correctly, Weisman must answer how giants were already in the earth “in those days”, as Yahweh did not create any giants in Genesis chapter 1.
Secondly, he failed to explain, that if the “sons of God” were the sons of Cain, as he insisted, and if he believes that Cain was a son of Adam, as he also insisted, and if the sons of Cain were in the image of God, as he had further insisted, why that would be a sin so grievous as to cause God to destroy all the descendants of Seth for race-mixing, since Seth was also in the image of God, being in the image of Adam his father? Weisman never explained how this was a sin, but we have on many occasions explained precisely how it was a sin.
Thirdly, but not finally because there were other errors as well, Weisman lied about the definition of the word nephilim, which certainly can mean fallen ones. By presenting Gesenius’ admitted preference as if it were the only authoritative definition, Weisman purposely lied by not citing Gesenius’ entire definition. Presenting Gesenius’ entire definition of nephil, we saw that Gesenius himself explained that it could mean fallen one, or at least, faller, and that it was often interpreted in that manner, as Gesenius also admitted, but Gesenius himself chose to follow the Jews, whom he mistakenly called “Hebrews”, who insisted that it meant fellers instead, and we believe that helped to obfuscate the truth.
So Weisman lied about the text of Genesis 6:4, or perhaps he could not read it. Then he lied about Gesenius’ definition of nephil. And then he failed to see the discrepancy in his interpretation of the phrases “sons of God” and “daughters of men”, since as he insisted, if the “sons of God” were children of Cain and of Adam and they bore the image of God, which he also insisted, then where is the sin if they had mated and had children with the descendants of Seth? Weisman’s refutation of Two-Seedline is shot full of holes. We are not doing the shooting, which he himself had done. We are only pointing out the fact that his arguments do not hold water.
And now, because we are compelled to finish this expose of his supposed refutation, we will commence with Chapter 4 of his book, which he titled “The Role of Cain”, where he begins under the subtitle Cain’s Origin. Thus Weisman commences,
The question of Cain’s origin is a central issue and argument of the Satanic Seedline doctrine, since Cain is said to be the offspring of the serpent or satan. The first mention of Cain is in Genesis 4:1, which states:
And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
There have been several objections raised about this verse because by its plain reading it implies that Adam was the father of Cain. One advocate of the Satanic Seedline doctrine said, “This verse is one of the worst polluted and” poorly translated verses in the entire King James Bible. That is a rather bold and far-reaching statement, one that requires much justification. One explanation is that the word “knew” means merely to observe or perceive. They claim that Adam observed that Eve conceived, or that he saw that she was pregnant. The claim then is that the verse is not saying Adam had sexual relations with Eve which produced Cain.
Now Weisman is correct, that this was an argument posited by early Two-Seedline pastors and teachers. But it is not our argument. Weisman did have a chance to hear our argument, as it was first published by Clifton Emahiser in 2007, but I am not entirely certain that he did hear or read Clifton’s paper, The Problem with Genesis 4:1.
First, the second half of Genesis 4:1 can scarcely be translated, because it contains a gloss. Clifton’s paper on the subject cited The Interpreter’s Bible in reference to that gloss, where he wrote:
The Interpreter’s Bible, a twelve volume collaborative work of 36 ‘consulting editors’, plus 124 other ‘contributors’, makes the following observation on this verse, vol. 1, page 517:
“Cain seems originally to have been the ancestor of the Kenites ... The meaning of the name is ‘metalworker’ or ‘smith’; here, however, it is represented as a derivation of a word meaning ‘acquire’, ‘get’ — one of the popular etymologies frequent in Genesis — hence the mother’s words I have gotten a man. ‘From the Lord’ (KJV) is a rendering, following the LXX and Vulg., of ’eth Yahweh, which is literally, ‘with Yahweh’, and so unintelligible here (the help of [RSV] is not in the Hebrew). It seems probable that ’eth should be ’oth — so, ‘the mark of Yahweh’ — and that the words are a gloss ...”
Secondly, The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary On The Bible, edited by Charles M. Laymon, makes the following comment on this passage, on page 6: “... under circumstances which are obscure (vs. 1b can scarcely be translated, still less understood). His younger brother was named Abel, which suggests the Hebrew word for breath.”
Here it is recognized that the second half of Genesis 4:1 contains a gloss, that there is an error in the grammar which was most likely caused by an early scribe. So The Interpreter’s Bible tried to correct the gloss, but we do not necessarily have to agree with the correction, as even they can only conjecture.
But it can be established that this gloss is indeed quite old. In the first half of the 3rd century AD, the Alexandrian Christian scholar Origen created a work called the Hexapla, wherein he sought to compare the text of the Hebrew Old Testament, as he knew it, with the various Greek translations available in his time, and also with a pre-Vulgate Latin translation. Here I will reproduce an addendum which I made to Clifton’s original article in 2016:
The following short addendum is being added by William Finck on April 25th, 2016.
Origen's Hexapla, a work of the 3rd century AD which placed his own Greek translation of the Hebrew, the Latin, and various other extant Greek translations of the Bible all side-by-side in columns, shows many variant readings in the Greek versions of Genesis 4:1, which help to elucidate the problems that the earliest translators had with this verse. The fragment on display here is from Volume 1, page 17 of Origenis Hexaplorum, an edition of the existing fragments of Origen's Hexapla by Fridericus Field of Trinity College, published at Oxford's Clarendon Press in 1875. The PDF facsimiles of the two-volume set as well as a screenshot of the entire page containing this fragment can be downloaded at the links below.
The image on the right shows the various translations of part of the text of Genesis 4:1 into Greek. I am not yet ready to ascertain exactly why the entire first half of the verse is wanting, however the Hexapla did not survive to us completely, this is a volume of fragments, and it is written entirely in Latin, in which I am not proficient. The author reproduced both the Hebrew and Latin texts at the beginning of each verse, and then gave all of the readings from various Greek translations. Translating the various Greek interpretations of the Hebrew into English, the following readings are found (all translations are my own, possible variations are in brackets):
Latin: "I got a man to help Yahweh"
First Greek reading: "I have acquired a man through [by] God" (Definite article indicates "the God", or a particular God [so we capitalized the word].) [This is the reading found in the Septuagint.]
Second Greek reading: "The Hebrew and Syriac: I have acquired a man with [by] a god." (No article would indicate no particular god, indefinite article added.) [This notation seems to be Origen’s own translation into Greek from his Hebrew and Aramaic sources.]
Third Greek reading: "I have acquired a man with a lord" (Again, no definite article, no definite Lord, indefinite article added.)
Fourth Greek reading: "I have acquired a man, a lord" (the two nouns each being singular and in the accusative case with no prepositions are both the object of the verb, and therefore they refer to the same object, a man who is a lord)
While these readings do not directly support Clifton's entire thesis presented in this paper, they do support the assertion that the text of Genesis 4:1 was rather problematic to the earliest translators of the Hebrew into Greek [or Latin]. For that reason, Clifton turned to the Aramaic Targums for an indication of how the Hebrew scribes of that same era understood the passage.
Now before we discuss the Targums, it must be noted that the divergent readings of Origen’s Hexapla for the second half of Genesis 4:1 also suggest a divergence of interpretations for the first half of the verse, but unfortunately, the copies we have want the first half of the verse completely. Even more unfortunately, the copies of Genesis found in the Dead Sea Scrolls are also evidently all wanting the text of Genesis 4:1.
The following is taken from The Targum Of Palestine, commonly entitled The Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, on the Book of Genesis, for Genesis 4:1. The date of this work is highly debated even among Jews:
IV. And Adam knew Hava [Eve] his wife, who had desired the Angel; and she conceived, and bare Kain; and she said, I have acquired a man, the Angel of the Lord.
Likewise, Clifton cites a medieval rabbi, and although the work of any Jew is questionable, this is from the 9th century and shows that long after Christ, there remained questions as to the original meaning of Genesis 4:1. So he wrote:
In another Rabbinic work: Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer, 21: “And she saw that his likeness was not of earthly beings, but of the heavenly beings, and she prophesied and said: I have gotten a man from the Lord.”
Now we do not esteem the Targums as canon, and they are not even authoritative. But they compliment other works which are certainly of early Christian provenance and which have alternate interpretation of whatever text they had for Genesis 4:1.
First, there is the Protevangelion of James, which I consider to be an early Roman Catholic work, and not authentic Scripture, but it reflects what at least some early Christians, who lived before the 5th century BC, had thought about Genesis chapters 3 and 4. There, speaking of Joseph after he realized that Mary, a virgin whom he betrothed, was with child, it reads in chapter 10:
1 And when her sixth month was come, Joseph returned from his building houses abroad, which was his trade, and entering into the house, found the Virgin grown big: 2 Then smiting upon his face, he said, With what face can I look up to the Lord my God? or, what shall I say concerning this young woman? 3 For I received her a Virgin out of the temple of the Lord my God, and have not preserved her such! 4 Who has thus deceived me? Who has committed this evil in my house, and seducing the Virgin from me, hath defiled her? 5 Is not the history of Adam exactly accomplished in me? 6 For in the very instant of his glory, the serpent came and found Eve alone, and seduced her. 7 Just after the same manner it has happened to me.
A more authentic piece of Christian literature is the early book known as 4 Maccabees, which is esteemed to have been written in the 1st or 2nd century AD, but possibly may have been written even earlier. There, in chapter 18, a pious woman of seven children recounts how she lived her life and it reads:
7 And the righteous mother of the seven children spake also as follows to her offspring: I was a pure virgin, and went not beyond my father's house; but I took care of the built-up rib. 8 No destroyer of the desert, or ravisher of the plain, injured me; nor did the destructive, deceitful snake, make spoil of my chaste virginity; and I remained with my husband during the period of my prime.
So we see certain Christian works which questioned the common versions of Genesis 4:1, and these writings are earlier than the Jewish works which do that same thing. So there are several ancient sources and several ways of showing that there are problems with this verse as it is generally understood in the Septuagint and Masoretic Texts. First, it contains a gloss in its second half, the translation of which may also raise questions about the veracity of the first half. Then there is a collection of early writings, both Christian and Jewish, which offer challenges to the conventional reading of the first half.
So if Genesis 4:1 is a corrupt witness, which we have demonstrated here, then it is unreliable by itself. And if it is by itself, if it is the only witness supporting the claim that Cain was the natural son of Adam, then without other witnesses it certainly cannot be used to formulate a doctrine. As Christ Himself had said, in Matthew chapter 18, “in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” There are many more witnesses that either indicate or even insist that Cain was not the natural son of Adam. But for now we shall continue with Weisman:
This idea is supported by pointing out that nowhere in Scripture does it say Adam begat Cain. This is believed to be critical because progeny are usually stated in the Bible by the term begat. This reasoning and interpretation for nullifying Adam as the father of Cain is not in accord with Scripture, for we read in the same chapter that, “Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch” (Gen. 4:17).
We are not splitting hairs over the presence or absence of the term “begat”, so that is a straw man argument in relation to our position. Neither is this argument even relative to the issue, because upon examining the Hebrew of these early chapters of Genesis, the words bare and begat are both translated from the same Hebrew word, yalad, Strong’s # 3205. So Weisman is stupid for not checking that before he wrote trying to argue about the distinction! If yalad is used of a man, the King James Version translated it as begat, and of a woman, as bare, an archaic spelling of bore as a past tense of bear. But like we have said, we do not make any argument concerning these words.
However it is true that nowhere else in Scripture besides Genesis 4:1 is Cain supposed to be a son of Adam, and furthermore, the tribe of the Kenites are never reckoned as sons of Adam. When Seth was born, he was a replacement for Abel and the father’s line continued through him. Later in Scripture, Seth’s descendants are called the sons of Adam and their line is counted, but not Cain’s, for example in Jude 14 and Deuteronomy 32:8, which refers to Genesis chapter 10. That helps to establish that the inheritance of Adam never belonged to Cain in the first place, as the line continued through Seth as a replacement for Abel.
Where in Scripture does a man kill a brother and if he is not found liable to death and executed, is he deprived of his inheritance? Yet without question, Seth is accounted the heir to Adam, as a replacement for Abel. Cain was not replaced, but the line of Adam was continued through Seth and not through Cain. David was a murderer, and kept his inheritance and the promises which God had made to him. David’s son Absalom killed his own brother Amnon, but had a cause and was later restored to his father. Ultimately David’s son Solomon, the son of the woman whose husband David had killed, received the inheritance and blessings of his father. Manasseh king of Judah reigned for 55 years, the longest of any Old Covenant king. He was also a murderer, who "shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another" (2 Kings 21:16). Yet Mannaseh’s son took his inheritance, and he is mentioned in the genealogy of Christ, at Matthew 1:10. So why was the son of Cain not listed as an heir of Adam?
Note that the word “knew” is used here in the same way it is used in Genesis 4:1. Also note that it does not say Cain begat Enoch, but uses the word “bare,” as was also used in Genesis 4:1 to describe the birth of Cain. [We have already discussed yalad] The account of Seth’s birth also reveals the true interpretation of Gen. 4:1.
And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth (Genesis 4:25).
This does not prove anything concerning Genesis 4:1, especially because that passage is corrupt, as we have demonstrated. Now we are going to omit the next two paragraphs, where Weisman continues his article concerning this word for knew, and get to his conclusion:
The terms knew or known are commonly used in reference to sexual relations (Gen. 24:16; 38:26; Jgs. 11:39; 19:25). Genesis 4:1 merely states that Adam had sexual relations with Eve which resulted in the birth of Cain.
Also note that in the above verse [in one of the paragraphs which we omitted] it does not say that Elkanah begat Samuel, nor does it say so anywhere in Scripture. There are many instances in the Bible where offspring are not described by the term “begat.” Nowhere does it say that Adam “begat” Abel, or that Adam was the father of Abel.
We omitted some of his evidence because we do not argue this use of the word knew in Genesis 4:1. So Weisman’s arguments are not incorrect concerning the word, but it is irrelevant to our position. Rather, we know that verse is corrupt, as we have already demonstrated, and that it is therefore an unreliable witness. Being the only witness to Weisman’s assertion, we cannot use it for doctrine.
But it must be noted, that Weisman went to great lengths to show that the word know could be a reference to sexual relations, and also remember that earlier in his book he denied this use for the words touch and eat, although we found sufficient scriptures to show that those words could also be used of sexual relations. So he uses such word studies which are convenient for him, and he discards those which do not support his arguments.
Now he states:
The terms “bare,” “conceived,” “children,” “knew,” “went in unto her,” “seed,” “son,” or “daughter” are all used to convey sexual relations or offspring.
Yet Weisman also denied that the serpent had seed which were offspring, so now he contradicts himself once again. Later in this chapter he will deny that fathers are literal fathers, and that children are literal children. Continuing with Weisman:
As mentioned, another argument to counter the plain meaning of Genesis 4:1 involves genealogy. Their argument is that Cain is not listed anywhere in Adam’s genealogy. It is said he is missing because he is not Adam’s son, but is the son of Satan. Reference is sometimes made to Genesis 5 or the genealogy listings in 1 Chronicles 1 or Matthew 1. The fact is that cursed or rejected people, such as Cain, are never included in the true genealogy of Adam, Noah, and Abraham. Esau was a true Hebrew and descendant of Abraham, but is not included in genealogy listings because he was rejected by God. Canaan was an Adamite, but is not listed in Adam’s genealogy because he was cursed. Ishmael was Abraham’s son, but is not in Abraham’s genealogy as he was not of the chosen seed. Also, people who died without having children, such as Abel, or who married into a another lineage are not listed in the genealogy of Adam, though they were true descendants of Adam. The fact that Cain or others are not listed in the genealogy of Adam does not necessarily mean they were not descendants of Adam.
Later in Scripture we see a law which is commonly called the Levirate law for marriage. If an only son is dead, the next-of-kin takes his wife and raises seed up for his brother, or dead kinsman. This was so that no man in Israel would be without issue in his name, and also so that younger widows deprived of the possibility of a son would have an opportunity to have one. But if Cain were Adam’s son, with Abel being killed, no replacement is necessary for Adam or Eve to have issue, since Cain or his oldest son should have been in line to carry on Adam’s posterity, and there would be no need to replace Abel. Only if Cain was not Adam’s son would Abel need to be replaced, and Seth was a replacement for Abel, not for Cain, which helps to prove that Abel was the legitimate heir of Adam all along, and Cain was never considered.
Here in this paragraph Weisman lied on several occasions. The most striking lie is his claim that “Canaan was an Adamite, but is not listed in Adam’s genealogy because he was cursed.” However Adam’s genealogy is interrupted at Noah because of the account of the sin and the resulting flood, and then the account of Adam’s genealogy continues in Genesis chapter 10, and Canaan and all the tribes of the Canaanites are mentioned along with the rest of the sons of Noah from Shem, Japheth and Ham, Canaan’s father. Canaan was cursed by Noah in Genesis chapter 9, but then he is mentioned among the sons of Noah in Genesis chapter 10! How does Weisman say that “Canaan… is not listed in Adam’s genealogy because he was cursed”, when Canaan certainly is in his rightful place in Genesis chapter 10 as the youngest of the sons of Ham? How is Weisman not a liar?
Weisman lies again where he claims Esau “is not included in genealogy listings because he was rejected by God”, when in the genealogy of 1 Chronicles chapter 1 we read “ 34 And Abraham begat Isaac. The sons of Isaac; Esau and Israel. 35 The sons of Esau; Eliphaz, Reuel, and Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah.” From there, the descendants of Esau are described all the way down through the rest of the chapter, a total of 21 verses. In Genesis, Esau’s descendants are listed in chapter 36, to which the entire chapter is devoted. How is Weisman not a habitual liar?
Weisman lied a third time where he said “Ishmael was Abraham’s son, but is not in Abraham’s genealogy as he was not of the chosen seed”, but Ishmael is listed, along with the sons which Abraham had with Keturah, in 1 Chronicles 1:28-33. Ishmael’s descendants are listed again in Genesis chapter 25. So how is Weisman not a serpent, son of the father of lies?
Where in Genesis the sons of Canaan, Ishmael and Esau are listed, it is also clearly expressed who their fathers are. Genesis 10:6: “6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.” Genesis 25:12: “12 Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham.” Genesis 35:29-36:1: “29 And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him. 36:1 Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.” But in Genesis chapter 4 where the descendants of Cain are listed, and in any of the places where the tribe of the Kenites are mentioned later, there is never any direct connection to Adam.
It may be argued that Adam was mentioned in Genesis 4:1, but Cain’s descendant are listed after an account of other events, and then Cain’s descendants are listed with no connection to Adam. Later in the chapter the birth of Seth is described along with a mention of Adam as his father. Then when Seth’s descendants are described in Genesis chapter 5, it is again stated that Adam was his father, and the entire race was connected to Adam. So the patterns in the genealogies do indeed indicate that Adam was not connected to the descendants of Cain.
It is indisputable that Canaan, Ishmael and Esau came from Adam, in spite of their rejection and their curses, and they are included in the genealogies of Adam’s descendants. But Cain is never included. It is not that the writers of 1 Chronicles had forgotten about them, as we read in 1 Chronicles chapter 2: “55 And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab.” They are there, there is no escaping that, but no genealogy connecting them to Adam is ever given.
Weisman lied a fourth time in that paragraph where he said “cursed or rejected people, such as Cain, are never included in the true genealogy of Adam, Noah, and Abraham.” So aside from Canaan, who certainly is listed in Genesis chapter 10, another example of accursed men who are listed in the genealogies is the accursed king Jeconiah of Judah, who is later mentioned in the genealogy of Christ Himself in Matthew 1:11. How is Weisman not an outright deceiver?