The Original Sin
Was the original sin literally eating fruit from a tree? Did you ever wonder why the woman’s punishment for eating a literal fruit was to have increased pain in childbirth? Why does the Bible say there will be enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman? Is it possible that the record of the Original Sin is a word picture? This booklet will examine the biblical evidence to reveal the truth.
The Bible holds many truths hidden to the eyes of the wise and prudent and revealed to babes. For those who are walking in the Spirit, as little children, the Scripture says, “It is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom…” Matthew 13:11. The truth on the Original Sin is a very simple teaching, but the truth of the Original Sin will cause the Bible to open up to you in a whole new way as it did for me.
Though the majority of Scripture, especially the book of Genesis, is to be taken literally and believed just as it is written; there are certain phrases in scripture that require other passages of scripture to reveal their hidden meanings. Finding these key phrases can help us understand the doctrine of original sin more clearly.
The commonly believed interpretation of the original sin is that Eve and Adam were eating actual fruit from a fruit tree called the tree of knowledge. But based upon the context of Genesis and what is written throughout the Bible, the original sin was a sexual relationship between Eve and the Serpent resulting in the birth of Cain. Reading this may be a surprise to you, but let’s look at some of the key phrases in scriptures, the historical teaching of Judaism and the Church, and the judgments the Lord placed on Man to demonstrate that they point to this interpretation of Original Sin. Please read to the end of this booklet to understand the full context of what is being taught.
The Scriptural Keys to the Truth
Think about these hidden keys that provide context for the Fall.
- Genesis 3:15 The serpent is said to have a seed. Who was that seed?
- Genesis 3:7 Instead of covering their mouth they covered their nakedness. Why cover their nakedness if they ate actual fruit? They covered the part of the body that they sinned with.
- Proverbs 30:20 and Song of Solomon 4:16 speak of the sexual relationship as “eating.”
- Genesis 4:8 There was enmity between Cain, the serpent’s seed, and Abel, the woman’s seed.
- Genesis 3:20 Why is Eve called the mother of all living and Adam is not called the father of all living?
- Genesis 5:1-3 Why is Cain never mentioned in Adam’s genealogy? Yet Genesis keeps the line of Cain distinct from that of Adam.
- Genesis 5:3 Why does Adam state that Seth and Abel are in his own image, but never Cain?
- Genesis 3:16 Why is part of the curse having to do with conception and labor if the sin was eating food? Could it be that pain in childbearing indicates a punishment commensurate with its crime?
- 1 John 3:12 states that Cain was “of” the wicked one in the same way that a genealogy would be listed. [in Luke 3:23–38 in the original Greek there is no “son” listed. It simply says of Heli of Matthet of Levi, etc..]
10. Paul speaks of the original sin in 2 Corinthians 11:1-3 and compares it to an engaged woman betraying her fiance by having a relationship with another man.
11. Matthew 13:24-30 and 36-43 states that the tares that were sown in the field, which is the world, are the children of the wicked one.
12. John 8:31-47 When Jesus says that the Pharisees’ “father” was the devil; why was their response we are not been born of fornication?
13. Genesis 3:1-5. When the Serpent spoke to Eve she was not surprised because it was normal for her. The Serpent was not a snake or a reptile. The name Serpent signifies he is wise and deceptive. He spoke and walked upright.
14. A woman can conceive from two different men on the same day. It is called heteropaternal superfecundation.
15. In Genesis 3:15 the woman’s conceptions were multiplied. If she had not conceived yet (by the Serpent and Adam) then there would be nothing to multiply.
16. Disclaimer: this doctrine is not a basis for racial discrimination. All the human race came from Noah and his wife. There is no separate genetic race directly tied to the Serpent.
So, the question that usually comes up is this: Is this view of the original sin new or has it been believed in the past?
Amazingly, many Pre-Christian Jewish scholars have espoused the view point of the Serpent having a Seed via adultery with the woman. In Wikipedia we read this:
In Jewish tradition, Philo, Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer and the Targum Pseudo-Jonathan asserted that Adam was not the father of Cain. Rather, Eve was subject to adultery having been seduced by either Sammael, the Serpent (nahash, Hebrew: ???) in the Garden of Eden, or the Devil himself. Christian exegesis of the “evil one” in 1 John 3:10-12 have also led some commentators, like Tertullian, to agree that Cain was the son of the Devil..
This is the translation of the Targum of Jerusalem which is essentially an ancient Hebrew “Living Translation” or similar to “The Message” translation. The Targum looks to the meaning behind the Scripture instead of just looking to the literal words. While we do not endorse this method of translation, the Targum is useful in understanding Jewish interpretation of Scripture. Regarding Original Sin they say,
“And Adam knew Hava 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. And she added to bear from her husband Adam his twin, even Habel.”
The Angel they speak of is not THE Angel of the Lord as in the personal presence of God himself, rather the fallen Angel of the Lord, Lucifer or Satan. Satan entered the form of the Serpent which was an upright animal that could speak and communicate with Adam and Eve in order to deceive and inject himself into the human race.
And now what about the early church, outside of the inspired epistles of Paul and John that are mentioned?
The early church father, Tertullian, stated in the 3rd Century, “Having been made pregnant by the devil…she brought forth a son.” – From Patience 5:15.
What About Genesis 4:1?
So let’s examine one of the main objections to this teaching. In Genesis 4:1 it reads, “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.”
In order to explain how this verse relates to serpent’s seed we need to understand Hebrew verb tenses. To do that I will reference Learn Hebrew Verbs ~ Lesson 3 Verb Tenses by Jeff A. Benner, “Each Hebrew verb also identifies the tense of the verb. In English a verb can have three tenses – past, present or future. Examples of these would be “You cut a tree” (past), “You are cutting a tree” (present) and “You will cut a tree” (future). Biblical Hebrew only has two tenses – perfect and imperfect. While the three verb tenses in English are related to time, Biblical Hebrew verb tenses are related to action. The perfect tense is a completed action while the imperfect tense is an incomplete action.”
With this understanding I want to examine Genesis 4:1 more closely. To do that I want to observe what biblical commentator John Gill states, “And Adam knew Eve his wife,….Jarchi interprets it, “had known”, even before he sinned, and was drove out of the garden; and so other Jewish writers…” The act of knowing his wife had taken place in the past tense. We will examine that more closely. Let’s look at a mechanical translation of the Hebrew, that does not take into consideration readability in English.
-and~ the~ Human he~ had~ Know At “Hhawah [Living]” Woman~ him and~she~ will~ Conceive and~ she~ will~Bring.forth At “Qayin [Acquired]” and~ she~ will~ Say i~ did~ Purchase Man At “YHWH [He exists]” -Genesis 4:1 [emphasis mine]
The perfect tense in Genesis 4:1 does not directly connect Cain to the serpent, but as a result of the perfect verb tense for “knew” (had known) it distances the act of Adam from the conception of Cain.
Since the Hebrew does not have punctuation, two thoughts are often separated by verb tenses. So this could be understood as saying “Adam had known his wife Eve. She conceived and bore a son…” So the action of knowing his wife is distinct from her action of conceiving Cain. Since they sinned in the garden they indeed had “known” each other in the garden after the act between Eve and the Serpent. To further bolster this understanding let’s review Genesis 4:17 and 25.
And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. (Genesis 4:17)
And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. (Genesis 4:25)
These are two verses that have the same pattern as Genesis 4:1, but let’s examine them in the Hebrew mechanical translation.
and~ he~ will~ Know “Qayin [Acquired]” At Woman~ him and~ she~ will~Conceive and~she~ will~ Bring.forth At “Hhanokh [Dedicated]” and~ he~ will~Exist Build~ ing(ms) City and~ he~will~ Call.out Title the~ City like~ Title Son~ him “Hhanokh [Dedicated]” Genesis 4:17
and~ he~ will~ Know Human Yet.again At Woman~ him and~ she~ will~Bring.forth Son and~ she~ will~ Call.out At Title~ him “Shet [Buttocks]” Given.that he~ did~ Set.down to~me “Elohiym [Powers]” Seed Other Under “Hevel [Empty]” Given.that he~ did~ Kill~ him “Qayin [Acquired]” Genesis 4:25
Both words are in the imperfect tense and are therefore connecting the two actions together. Cain knowing his wife is connected directly to the conception of his son. Adam knowing his wife again is directly connected to the conception of his son as well.
To repeat, in Hebrew there are no punctuation marks, so two different actions are separated by two different verb tenses. Genesis 4:1 has two different verb tenses and therefore the action of Adam knowing Eve is separated from the action of Eve conceiving Cain. Though it does not directly connect that act of conceiving Cain to the Serpent, the verb tenses distance the act of Adam and the conception of Cain. Adam is not connected to the conception of Cain. This bears record with the remaining context of the Bible that we have previously examined.
Therefore, the objection that Genesis 4:1 is an open and shut case disproving that Cain is the serpent’s seed has been disproven. The comparison of Genesis 4:1 with Genesis 4:17 and 25 reveals that something distinct took place in Genesis 4:1. There is not a direct connection in the verb tenses to the two acts. They are two distinct actions, separated by two distinct verb tenses.
What was Adam’s sin?
(Genesis 3:17) And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
In the teaching of serpent’s seed, we understand that the serpent gave Eve to eat of the tree of knowledge (tempting and leading her to sexual sin) and then Eve brought Adam to eat of the tree of knowledge as well. However, Eve was his wife so how can we consider Adam to have sinned. Let’s turn forward to the book of Deuteronomy.
When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
“Now I know in answering one question another one is apt to come up, and people ask me, “If Eve fell that way, what did Adam do, for God lays the blame on Adam?” That is simple. The Word of God is forever settled in heaven. Before one speck of stardust was made, that Word (God’s law) was there EXACTLY AS IT IS WRITTEN IN OUR BIBLE. Now the Word teaches us that if a woman leaves her husband and goes with another man she is an adulteress and is no longer married and the husband is not to take her back. That Word was true in Eden as it was true when Moses wrote it in the law. The Word can’t change. Adam took her back. He knew exactly what he was doing, but he did it anyway. She was a part of him, and he was willing to take her responsibility upon himself. He would not let her go. So Eve conceived by him. He knew she would. He knew exactly what would happen to the human race, and he sold the human race into sin that he might have Eve, for he loved her.” [An Exposition Of The Seven Church Ages by William Branham, (Ch 3 – The Ephesian Church Age)
The Woman’s Punishment
If you examine the punishment that Eve received in Genesis 3:16 you see within it the conception and birth process.
To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” -Genesis 3:16
If the original sin was literally eating fruit from a forbidden tree why did God punish the woman with increased pain in childbirth? Secondly, why is the desire for her husband included as a punishment unless she sinned by desiring another? A concept in the Old Testament is that the punishment should be commensurate with its crime (Exodus 21:22-25). Since Eve sinned by allowing her body to be used by the Serpent to produce an offspring, God punished her with increased pain in conception and childbearing. Again, if conception had not yet taken place why was her pain in childbearing to be increased?
The Serpent’s Punishment
The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:14-15
I will allow renowned Bible scholar Adam Clarke to explain the first part of the curse:
“The nachash [Serpent], whom I suppose to have been at the head of all the inferior animals, and in a sort of society and intimacy with man, is to be greatly degraded, entirely banished from human society, and deprived of the gift of speech. ‘Cursed art thou above all cattle, and above every beast of the field – thou shalt be considered the most contemptible of animals; upon thy belly shalt thou go – thou shalt no longer walk erect…’”
This curse is two-fold, one upon the literal physical serpent, and two upon Satan who used the serpent as his instrument. There was enmity placed between the woman and the serpent and then between their offspring. This, of course, has an immediate impact but also a prophetic impact. Immediately we find the offspring of the woman (through Adam her rightful husband) and the serpent manifesting enmity with the murder of Abel by Cain, and ultimately the enmity finds its fulfillment in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The hidden keys in the biblical context, the historical Jewish interpretation, the tenses of the verbs in Genesis 4:1, and the judgments leveled on the first family, all point to the same conclusion, that eating from the tree of knowledge was a metaphor. This is not a coincidence, but it is a revelation of what eating from the tree of knowledge actually was. The Serpent, under the influence of Satan, deceived Eve into a sexual act resulting in the conception of Cain and later that day she had a relationship with Adam resulting in the conception of Abel.
Search the Scriptures. The Bible is the final authority and we can rely on it and the Holy Spirit to direct us into all truth. As you consider what is written, I ask that you search this out in the Bible and pray for God to open your understanding.