Genesis 3:15 Index
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
Research Material

" . . . I will put enmity . . . "

  • Here the Lord turns from addressing the literal serpent who spoke to Eve, to pronounce judgment on the old serpent the devil. This judgment, expressed in prophetic language, has even been understood by the Christian church as a prediction of the coming of the Deliverer. Even though this interpretation is unquestionably correct, it may be pointed out that the prophecy is also true literally - there is mortal enmity between the serpent and man wherever the two meet. (1BC 232-233)
  • Satan did not then exult as he had done. He had hoped to break up the plan of salvation; but it was laid too deep. And now by the death of Christ he knew that he himself must finally die, and his kingdom be given to Jesus. He held a council with his angels. He had prevailed nothing against the Son of God, and now they must increase their efforts and with their power and cunning turn to His followers. They must prevent all whom they could from receiving the salvation purchased for them by Jesus. By so doing Satan could still work against the government of God. Also it would be for his own interest to keep from Jesus as many as possible. For the sins of those who are redeemed by the blood of Christ will at last be rolled back upon the originator of sin, and he must bear their punishment, while those who do not accept salvation through Jesus will suffer the penalty of their own sins. (EW 178)
  • Plain and specific prophecies had been given regarding the appearance of the Promised One. To Adam was given an assurance of the coming of the Redeemer. The sentence pronounced on Satan, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15), was to our first parents a promise of the redemption to be wrought out through Christ. (AA 222)
  • Mighty issues for the world were at stake in the conflict between the Prince of light and the leader of the kingdom of darkness. After tempting man to sin, Satan claimed the earth as his, and styled himself the prince of this world. Having conformed to his own nature the father and mother of our race, he thought to establish here his empire. He declared that men had chosen him as their sovereign. Through his control of men, he held dominion over the world. Christ had come to disprove Satan's claim. As the Son of man, Christ would stand loyal to God. Thus it would be shown that Satan had not gained complete control of the human race, and that his claim to the world was false. All who desired deliverance from his power would be set free. The dominion that Adam had lost through sin would be recovered.
    • Since the announcement to the serpent in Eden, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed” (Genesis 3:15), Satan had known that he did not hold absolute sway over the world. There was seen in men the working of a power that withstood his dominion. With intense interest he watched the sacrifices offered by Adam and his sons. In these ceremonies he discerned a symbol of communion between earth and heaven. He set himself to intercept this communion. He misrepresented God, and misinterpreted the rites that pointed to the Saviour. Men were led to fear God as one who delighted in their destruction. The sacrifices that should have revealed His love were offered only to appease His wrath. Satan excited the evil passions of men, in order to fasten his rule upon them. When God's written word was given, Satan studied the prophecies of the Saviour's advent. From generation to generation he worked to blind the people to these prophecies, that they might reject Christ at His coming. (DA 115)
  • I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15. The divine sentence pronounced against Satan after the fall of man was also a prophecy, embracing all the ages to the close of time and foreshadowing the great conflict to engage all the races of men who should live upon the earth.

    God declares: “I will put enmity.” This enmity is not naturally entertained. When man transgressed the divine law, his nature became evil, and he was in harmony, and not at variance, with Satan. There exists naturally no enmity between sinful man and the originator of sin. Both became evil through apostasy. The apostate is never at rest, except as he obtains sympathy and support by inducing others to follow his example. For this reason fallen angels and wicked men unite in desperate companionship. Had not God specially interposed, Satan and man would have entered into an alliance against Heaven; and instead of cherishing enmity against Satan, the whole human family would have been united in opposition to God.

    Satan tempted man to sin, as he had caused angels to rebel, that he might thus secure co-operation in his warfare against Heaven. There was no dissension between himself and the fallen angels as regards their hatred of Christ; while on allother points there was discord, they were firmly united in opposing the authority of the Ruler of the universe. But when Satan heard the declaration that enmity should exist between himself and the woman, and between his seed and her seed, he knew that his efforts to deprave human nature would be interrupted; that by some means man was to be enabled to resist his power. (GC 505-506)

" . . . between thy seed and her seed . . . "

" . . . it shall bruise thy head . . . "

  • "Bruise," shuph. This word means "to crush" or "to lie in wait for."
  • It is evident that crushing the head is far more serious than crushing the heel. It is important to notice that although the enmity foretold is to be between the seed of the woman, and that of the serpent, it is the head of the serpent and not its seed that is to be crushed. In retaliation, the serpent will have been able to do no more than to bruise the heel of the woman's seed. (1BC 233)
  • The "seed" is put in the singular, indicating, not that a multitude of descendants of the woman jointly shall be engaged in crushing the serpent's head, but rather that a single individual will accomplish this. These observations clearly show that in this pronouncement is compressed the record of the great controversy between Christ and Satan, a battle that began in heaven (Revelation 12:7; Revelation 12:8; Revelation 12:9), was continued on earth, where Christ again defeated him (Hebrews 2:14), and will terminate finally with Stan's destruction at the end of the millennium (Revelation 20:10). Christ did not emerge from this battle unscathed. The nail marks in His hands and feet and the scar in His side will be eternal reminders of the fierce strife in which the serpent bruised the woman's seed (John 20:25; Zechariah 13:6; EW 53). (1BC 233)
  • This pronouncement must have brought great comfort to the two dismayed offenders standing before God, from whose precepts they had departed. Adam, viceroy of God on earth so long as he remained loyal, had, by transferring his loyalty from God to the serpent, ceded his authority to Satan. That Satan was fully aware of his usurped "rights" over the earth, gained by Adam's submission, is clear from his statement to Christ on the mount of Temptation (Luke 4:5; Luke 4:6). Adam began to realize the extent of his loss, that from ruler over this world he had become a slave of Satan. Nevertheless, before hearing his own sentence pronounced, the healing balm of hope was applied to his shattered soul. To her whom he had blamed for his fall he was now to look for deliverance - for the promised seed, in whom would be power to vanquish the archenemy of God and man. (1BC 233)
  • How kind was God! Divine justice required that sin should meet it penalty, but divine mercy had already [provided] a way to redeem the fallen human race -- by the voluntary sacrifice of the Son of God (1 Peter 1:20; Ephesians 3:11; 2 Timothy 1:9; Revelation 13:8). God instituted the ritual of sacrifice by way of providing man with a visual aid, that he might be led to understand something of the price that must be paid to make atonement for his sin. The innocent lamb had to give its lifeblood for that of man, and its skin to cover the sinner's nakedness, in order that man might thus ever be symbolically reminded of the Son of God, who would have to lay down His life to atone for man's transgression and whose righteousness alone would be sufficient to cover him. We do not know how clear Adam's understanding of the plan of redemption was, but we can be certain that enough was revealed to be an assurance to him that sin would not last forever, that the Redeemer would be born of the woman's seed, that the lost rulership would be regained, and that the happiness of Eden would be restored. From first to last the gospel of salvation is the central theme of the Scriptures. (1BC 233)
  • But man was not abandoned to the results of the evil he had chosen. In the sentence pronounced upon Satan was given an intimation of redemption. “I will put enmity between thee and the woman,” God said, “and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). This sentence, spoken in the hearing of our first parents, was to them a promise. Before they heard of the thorn and the thistle, of the toil and sorrow that must be their portion, or of the dust to which they must return, they listened to words that could not fail of giving them hope. All that had been lost by yielding to Satan could be regained through Christ. (Ed 27)
  • Since the first gospel sermon was preached, when in Eden it was declared that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, Christ had been uplifted as the way, the truth, and the life. He was the way when Adam lived, when Abel presented to God the blood of the slain lamb, representing the blood of the Redeemer. Christ was the way by which patriarchs and prophets were saved. He is the way by which alone we can have access to God. (DA 663)