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)

" . . . 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)