Reader: There are multiple versions of the Serpent Seed Heresy. I am simply dealing with one that is the least extreme of them. They all make assumptions that are not stated in Scripture (e.g. what is currently accepted as the Tanahk) and ignore the context of the whole of Scripture. For example, they assume the spiritual beings G-d created were created with a sexual ability and could create life through sex (nowhere is that specified in Scripture). The most extreme one (and least common today) is that Satan had sex with Eve, and produced (created) a demonic line of (hybrid) humans. That assumption fits in well with what we see in Greek and Roman mythology of their gods having sex with humans. That is why I connected it to the Sumerian religion, and was hoping you could help me out there, supporting it, and maybe going even further.
The less extreme versions cite the non-earthly messengers G-d created (which we call angels--a transliteration of the Greek LXX translation angelos) and read assumptions into one or two passages in Scripture (ignoring the rest of Scripture which call into question their assumptions). They claim that “fallen angels” had sex with humans, producing the demonic line. The less extreme version claims that the demonic line was wiped out by the flood.
Can you shed light on the sources for these views?
Rabbi: Dean, It appears that the ancient practice of understanding Rabbinic allegory and metaphor as literal fact...is not quite so ancient! This is despite those like King Solomon, Maimonides and other brilliant minds decrying this foolish practice.
Our Torah transmission includes not only fact, but riddles and metaphors which the Rabbis constructed to transmit lessons to the wise, train our minds, while concealing profound truths from the unprepared populous. Unfortunately, many with untrained minds assume the Rabbis had nothing more to teach, than a snake sexually aroused by a human, or that metaphysical angels could actually engage in physical intercourse…as if such notions are of any value in themselves. Such people view Torah in a base manner, not as the deep and profound system designed by God. They fail to recognize that the God of science, is the God of Torah. Thereby, they find an excuse to view Torah mystically (read "false") while demanding rigorous proofs and reasons for the natural world. Thus, they allow themselves to be satisfied that Torah teaches fairy tales, like other religious and cultures. In truth, they should follow the same intellectual approach in Torah study as they do regarding science. Both have one Designer.
If the masses would take the time to study our great minds, from King Solomon's "Proverbs" to the Talmudic Rabbis' riddles...they would find great insights and become quickly ashamed of previously-held infantile literal understandings.
The reason the Greek culture of myths, the Egyptian belief in reincarnation and their view of the afterlife, and why numerous other cultural fantasies became widespread, is a testament to the enticement of man's inner instinctual world. Imaginary super beings, lusts, the desire to fly and obtain fantastic powers, immortality and a host of other innate human desires fuels human fantasy, until it becomes believed as reality. Then, those born into such cultures, generation after generation, are convinced by mere mass acceptance that such beliefs are in fact truths. They never question their culture; they never engage their minds. This is how idolatry commenced, until the great man Abraham extricated himself from that belief, recognized God, and taught the masses about the Creator and dispelled all beliefs in mysticism, astrology, and all else that had become widespread, without evidence.
A belief in “fallen angels”, that they “had sex with humans”, and that “Satan had sex with Eve” are additional expressions of human fantasy. For if one engaged reason, he would know that just as the “idea” of mathematics can in no way be cut with scissors, similarly, there can be no “physical contact” between a metaphysical angel and human. Again, Satan (understood as another type of angel) cannot interact physically with a woman. I feel the error lies in a dichotomy: man’s ability to separate religion from science. The former is not subjected to a reasonable approach. In fact, the more one believes without proof, makes him even more “religious”, people feel. But Judaism says otherwise. God wants man to engage his mind in the natural word, and in his religious life equally. For it is only through wisdom that we uncover the marvels which the Creator purposefully has embedded in nature and in Torah. Only through wisdom will we realize the purpose of our exclusive faculty of intelligence, and perceive greater and greater appreciation for the Creator.
What then is meant by “sons of elohim” (Gen. 6:2) and the “Nefillim” (fallen) (Gen. 6:4)?” The “son’s of elohim” refers to the sons of the judges; those in power. Teaching that even they corrupted their ways, when they more than others, should have acted to administer justice. The reason God tells us this is to support His destruction of mankind through a Flood. That is, mankind had corrupted itself so severely, that even those assigned to administer justice had corrupted their ways. There was no recourse except annihilation. But this does not mean literal “sons of God” for God has not the ability to beget. And the “Nefillim” does not mean angels that fell from heaven. For an angel is not physical, and therefore any physical connotation like location or falling cannot apply to it. Similarly, mathematics cannot fall from anywhere. The Rabbis teach that Nefillim refers to the stature of certain men being so great, it cause the hearts of others to fall, or fail, and become terrified. This too adds to our appreciation of the Flood, the story that follows. For it was man’s great stature that contributed to his invincibility, and his unbridled appetite for sex, wealth and power, that he forcibly took anything from anyone. But the popular infantile understandings you cited about fallen angels and Satan are not supported by the Rabbis and certainly not by God’s wise Torah.
I have written extensively on metaphors and hope you will take the time to search Mesora.org so as to grasp the Rabbis’ meanings in their riddles, and on the way, become trained in their methods so you might apply their approach to new metaphors you will encounter.