The Kenite Heresy
From time to time, I meet people influenced by false teachers spreading the Kenite Heresy. The Kenite teachers use the term “Kenite” to refer to everyone who does not agree with their mistaken interpretations of the Bible. They also claim that satan had sex with Eve in the Garden of Eden, and satan fathered Cain. According to the Kenite teachers, the descendants of Cain (“the serpent seed”) were controlled by the devil. Please recall that the term “heresy” (“αἱρέσεις”) means a teaching that contradicts the Bible, often promoted by a sect of people who deny the Master (Jesus Christ) who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves (2 Peter 2:1). The Bible contains many verses that completely contradict Kenite Heresy. We will examine a few of them.
The Genesis Evidence
1. Eve and the Devil. Kenite teachers mistakenly think that Eve had sexual intercourse with satan, and satan was the physical father of Cain. The descendants of Cain are Kenites, according to the Kenite heretics. Let me list a few obvious problems with this view.
1.2 Genesis 3:13. The Kenite teachers claim that satan sexually seduced Eve. Only people who have no regard for Biblical Hebrew or Biblical Greek would make such a claim. I am not a Hebrew scholar, but a brief review of the Hebrew text in Genesis 3:13 resolves all issues about satan having sex with Eve. The Hebrew text in Genesis 3:13 contains the Hebrew term (“הִשִּׁיאַנִי”) translated as “deceived me”. Nowhere in the Bible does the Hiphel form of that Hebrew verb apply to sexual contact of any type. Some Kenite teachers point to Genesis 3:13 and Strong’s Concordance, often because they lack any practical knowledge of Hebrew and may not understand standard Hebrew lexicons. Even in Strong’s note regarding Genesis 3:13 (Strong’s number 5377), Strong’s Concordance shows that, in the Bible, the term was never used in the sense of sexual seduction. Notice that the entry in Strong’s Concordance said one “Orig” meaning was moral seduction. The false teachers equate that “Orig” meaning of moral seduction to mean sexual seduction. They also do not understand English usage very well. The English term “moral” includes the concept of righteous, and so Eve lost her righteousness by eating of the fruit. The English term “moral” does not necessarily mean sexual. Furthermore, the standard Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew lexicon exhaustively reviewed every use of the root word for “deceived” and it never had a sexual connotation in the Bible. Likewise The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament never ties the root word for “deceived” to any sexual activity, no matter in what Hebrew form or Hebrew stem the root word appears. Therefore, I must reaffirm that the lexical evidence above flatly contradicts any notion that satan had sex with Eve. The evidence from the Hebrew word studies alone should be the end of all arguments that Genesis 3:13 supports the Kenite view that Eve had sex with satan. Genesis 3:13 only supports the view that satan deceived Eve and caused her to eat. Notice the context shows that the result of satan’s action was not offspring, but rather Eve ate and so sinned. The Kenite teachers also have another profound problem with Genesis 3:13. Because they see no deception at issue in Genesis 3:13, but rather sexual seduction, they must believe that satan convinced Eve to have consensual sex with something other than human, without deceiving her. Let us also consider the context of Genesis 3:14. If satan had sexual intercourse with Eve, and did not deceive her, then why did God curse Adam and Eve for eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? In fact, Genesis 3:12-19 only makes sense if the woman was deceived by the lies of satan about eating of the tree. God did not even suggest that satan and Eve had sex. God clearly stated the problem was the woman disobeyed God, and satan was the cause of her disobedience in eating from the forbidden tree. Sex with satan simply conflicts with the entire narrative presented in Genesis 3:13-19. God never said anything about not having sex with satan, but commanded the woman not to eat of the forbidden tree. Sex with satan never happened and was never mentioned as a basis for the curse of Genesis 3:14-19. Disobedience and satan’s deception of Eve were the only reasons for the curses pronounced upon them, each according to their sinful acts.
1.2 Genesis 4:1-2. The Kenite teachers also erroneously claim that Genesis 4:1 shows that Cain was the evil twin of Abel. The Kenite teachers falsely teach that not only were Cain and Abel twins, but Adam fathered Abel and the devil fathered Cain. The Kenites again demonstrate their ignorance of the Hebrew text. In the Hebrew text of Genesis 4:1, Adam had relations (“יָדַע”) with Eve his wife (“אֶת-חַוָּה אִשְׁתּוֹ”), and she conceived (“וַתַּהַר”), and gave birth to Cain (“וַתֵּלֶד אֶת-קַיִן”). Nothing could be clearer in the Hebrew text than Adam was the father of Cain. This same Hebrew construction regarding paternity occurs in the same chapter in Genesis 4:17 to refer to Cain: “And Cain had relations (“וַיֵּדַע”) with his wife (“אֶת-אִשְׁתּוֹ”) and she conceived (“וַתַּהַר”) and she gave birth to Enoch (“וַתֵּלֶד אֶת-חֲנוֹךְ”). The Hebrew sign of the direct object identifies Enoch as the son of Cain, just as the same sign of the direct object identified Cain as the son of Adam. No reasonable doubt can remain that Adam was the father of Cain. Some Kenites also try to show from Genesis 4:2 that Cain and Abel were twins, but with different fathers. The Kenite teachers mistakenly claim that the Hebrew term translated “again bore” (“וַתֹּסֶף”) in Genesis 4:2 means “continued” in the sense of bearing twins. The Kenite teachers demonstrate their complete ignorance of Biblical Hebrew and twist the entry in the Strong’s Concordance for #3254 to fabricate a claim of twins. In the Old Testament, the only other occurrence of the same Hebrew word for “again bore” (“וַתֹּסֶף”) is in Genesis 38:5. In that verse, Shua conceived and bore a son named Shelah. When Kenite teachers argue that the the term “again bore” (“וַתֹּסֶף”) in Genesis 4:2 means bearing twins, they must likewise translate the same Hebrew term (“וַתֹּסֶף”) the same way. Therefore, in Genesis 38:5, following their own crazy translation of the same Hebrews term, the verse would mean that, Er and Onan, both the sons of Judah, were twins, even though they were apparently born at different times and apparently at different geographical places. Actually, nothing in Genesis 4 shows that Cain and Abel were twins. Genesis 25:24 and Genesis 38:27 both show that Hebrew has a well-known term for twins (“תוֹמִם”) in the womb, which was not used in Genesis 4:2. Therefore, the entire basis for any notion that “Kenites” came from the devil’s sexual union with Eve contradicts the clear teaching of the Bible and should be rejected as heresy.
1.3 Satan Never Took Human Form. The Kenite heresy rests upon sexual seduction by satan. Of course for satan to seduce Eve, satan must have had the physical ability to impregnate her. Genesis 3:1 identifies satan as the serpent (“הַנָּחָשׁ”), and appeared to be a beast of the field (“חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה”). Furthermore, in cursing satan, God linked satan to the cattle (“הַבְּהֵמָה”) and all the beasts of the field (“חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה”). God did not link satan to human appearance or suggest that satan had human form. Therefore, we may understand that Genesis does not depict satan as having a physical human form, but rather an animal form. Therefore, the ability to impregnate a human has no support in the Biblical account.
1.4 Genesis 3:15. Some Kenite teachers claim that Genesis 3:15 proves that the serpent seed still exists today. In that verse, God said that he would put enmity between the serpent and the woman (Eve), and between her seed and the serpent’s seed; the seed of the woman will bruise the head of the serpent, and the serpent shall bruise the heel of the seed of the woman. The Kenite heretics leap to the conclusion that the serpent seed must be physical, just as the seed of the woman must be physical. In doing so, they fall into another problem. If the “serpent seed” in Genesis 3:15 means human offspring like Cain, then satan himself must have been a physical man able to impregnate Eve. But Genesis 3:1 described satan as a serpent and in the class of the beasts of the field. So, if the Kenite heretics claim that the serpent seed of Genesis 3:15 means the spiritual seed of the serpent, then satan must have been spiritually present in Genesis, but again, the text in Genesis 3:1 indicates that satan had the physical body of a serpent, like the beasts of the field. The conclusion must be that Kenite heretics must decide how they wish to deny the Bible to support their own preconceived ideas. Genesis 3:15 does not teach the serpent seed were physical beings, but rather they participated in the sin of Cain by living in faithless disobedience to God. In a spiritual sense, the devil is the father of all liars (John 8:44). The seed of the woman particularly refers to Jesus Christ, and His spiritual descendants (1 John 3:9; Romans 8:16-17).
The New Testament Evidence
2.1 1 Timothy 2:14. Furthermore, the New Testament in 1 Timothy 2:14 indicates Eve was deceived, not sexually seduced. In 1 Timothy 2:14, Paul described Eve as “deceived” (“ἐξαπατηθεῖσα“), and so Paul would not allow a “woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet” (1 Timothy 2:12). Notice also that Paul indicated that Adam was not “deceived” (“ἠπατήθη”). Therefore, the New Testament Greek text shows that Eve was deceived, and never had sex with satan.
2.2 2 Corinthians 11:3. Likewise, 2 Corinthians 11:3 indicates the serpent deceived (“ἐξηπάτησεν”) Eve by his craftiness. Again, the entire context of 2 Corinthians 11:3 and the verb itself indicate that the serpent deceived Eve and never had sex with Eve. The New Testament provides inspired and authoritative commentary on Genesis 3:13. That commentary contradicts any notion that satan sexually seduced Eve, but fully supports the teaching that satan deceived Eve and so she fell into the transgression of eating the forbidden fruit.
The Kenite heresy comes from false teachers pretending to understand Biblical Hebrew, but no passage in the Bible actually supports the Kenite heresy. All false teachers distort the clear teaching of Scripture to their own destruction.