Sammael and Cain in pseudo-Jonathan.

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Ben C. Smith
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Sammael and Cain in pseudo-Jonathan.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:45 pm

Just something of interest that has struck my eye of late. English translations of the Targum slightly modified from those of Michael Maher:

Genesis 3.6: 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

Targum pseudo-Jonathan, Genesis 3.6: 6 And the woman saw Sammael [סמאל], the angel of death [מלאך מותא], and she was afraid. She knew that the tree was good to eat, that it was a cure for the light of the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to become wise therewith. And she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

Sammael has an even greater role to play than just frightening Eve:

Genesis 4.1: 1 Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild, Yahweh.”

Targum pseudo-Jonathan, Genesis 4.1 (version 1): 1 Adam knew his wife Eve, who had conceived from Sammael [סמאל], the angel of Yahweh.

Targum pseudo-Jonathan, Genesis 4.1 (version 2): 1 Adam knew Eve his wife, who desired the angel, and she conceived and bore Cain. And she said, “I have acquired a man, the angel of Yahweh.”

Cain, then, is not even Adam's progeny; he was begotten by the angel Sammael. Eve, it would seem, is into the bad boys. This whole storyline seems to arise from Seth being said to be after Adam's image, whereas no such thing is said of Cain:

Genesis 5.3: 3 When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he beget in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth.

Targum pseudo-Jonathan, Genesis 5.3: 3 When Adam had lived a hundred and thirty years, he begot Seth, who resembled his image and likeness. For before that, Eve had borne Cain, who was not from him and who did not resemble him. Abel was killed by Cain, and Cain was banished, and his descendants are not recorded in the book of the genealogy of Adam. But afterward he begot one who resembled him and he called his name Seth.

When Irenaeus asserts in Against Heresies 1.31.1 and Epiphanius in Panarion 38.1.2 that the Cainites regard Cain as being "from the authority above" (ἐκ τῆς ἄνωθεν αὐθεντίας), is this what they meant, that he had been fathered by an important angel, Sammael? Or is that a separate thing? Does anyone know?

Ben.
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Re: Sammael and Cain in pseudo-Jonathan.

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:35 pm

Philo says God impregnated all of the wives of the Patriarchs. That's why Falwell hired the pool boy.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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