Examination of Genesis
Author: Mike Whitney
Creation Date: Dec 18,2007
Common Law Copyright 2007-2008
One verse that arose many times in apparent discussion of the events surrounding Christ Jesus' walk on earth and subsequent time was Gen 3:15
Gen 3:15 and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (ASV)
There are several points presented
enmity between Satan and the woman
enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of woman
the seed of woman would bruise the head of the serpent
the serpent would bruise the heel of the seed of woman
The bruising indicates a temporary harm rather than a destruction of Satan.
1. Enmity between Satan and the woman
Time of fulfillment: Time of Eve's life
Implications of the word enmity.
Enmity doesn't require active conflict but can be limited to just ill will toward each other. Eve therefore does not have to take action against the serpent in order for the prophecy to be fulfilled. The unilateral action of the serpent could be sufficient to cause the woman to have hatred of the serpent and this alone being the fulfillment of the prophecy.
The enmity seemed to occur in the inspiration of Cain to kill Abel. It shouldn't automatically be assumed therefore that Satan tempts each and every individual alive into sin.
The woman saw her first child, Abel, as seed that would carry out the judgment against the devil, yet this was not the case. Worse yet, from Eve's perspective, her favored son was killed by the younger.
Satan then seemed to be jealous of the woman's relationship with God. There was also the fear that the woman would have seed that affected the devil's rulership. The rule of Satan was manifested as a political rule seen quickly in the Tower of Babel incident. The Tower of Babel incident represented the first attempt at an one world government.
Characteristics/position of the devil
a person having existence from Gen 2 or3, at least, through Rev 20
Has political influence and activity. John 12:31 “prince of the world has been cast out.” This also connects with the idea of the power of the air – which may also refer to the influence on man.
He is described as the god of this world, from the first century perspective, in 2 Cor 4:4 and John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in the evil one
Influence on the general nature or attitude of man --- Eph 2:2. Though the devil isn't named here, it seems that the devil is the one who influences the general nature or mood of man and leads them. (We are all led, either by the spirit of the world or by the Holy Spirit.) This spirit or mood may have been what led Cain to murder Abel.
Parallel Encounters: Satan with Adam, Satan with Jesus
This thought derives from the 1 Corinthians 15 presentation of the first Adam contrasted with Jesus as the last Adam.
1Co 15:45 So also it is written, The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
Then Jesus being described as the last Adam combines with the prophecy of Gen 3:15 to introduce certain parallels, for even within Gen 3:15 parallels occur, for example first of the encounter between Satan with Eve, then between seed of Satan and seed of woman.
Now there is an obvious connection of Jesus as being the seed of woman (or Eve) discussed. Gen 3:15 may also indicate the virgin birth of Jesus (being born of woman but not of man). So, the connection of Jesus with Gen 3:15 isn't at all foreign.
The weakness (of the Parallel concept) arises out of the appearance of the prophecy as showing the initial conflict as involving Eve rather than Adam. Possibly the words of Gen 3:15 can be seen as addressing Eve as the center of the conflict for being the prime violator, the one targeted and deceived. (Note also that there was a previous antagonism of the devil as shown unilateral by the devil's scheme to trick the woman.)
It may even be that this parallel aspect became the basis for Paul's elaboration on the concept in 1 Cor 15.
Having hopefully provided sufficient explanation of the idea of extending the prophecy to include Adam as well as Eve in the scope of Gen 3:15, consider the parallels.
Adam or mankind was apparently a target of the serpent's attack at Eve. (The origin of the serpent is not being contemplated or examined at this moment – as to whether there was a past history leading to a motive for the antagonism of the serpent toward Man.) It could be seen as the effort of Satan to defeat mankind and make man subservient to Satan.
Now Jesus encountered the temptation of Satan as recorded in Luke 4. Of course this conflict and temptation arose in light of the prophesied ( Gen 3:15) conflict between the seed of the serpent and the seed of woman. Jesus, to note again, was the prophetic answer of the “seed of Eve” clause. Even elsewhere Paul speaks of the promise to Abraham's seed –where the word “seed” was singular to highlight that the fulfillment was primarily about Jesus (with maybe a residual application applying to descendants of Abraham). In the same sense, Gen 3:15 can and does point to Jesus as the seed.
But the main point to note is that the situation with Adam is repeated with Jesus.
Glossary of Words and Phrases of Gen 3:15
enmity between Satan and the woman
enmity between seed of Satan and seed of woman
the seed of woman will bruise the head of the serpent
the serpent will bruise the heel of the seed of woman
1. It is interesting to note that the woman was not named "Eve" until after the explanation/declaration of Gen 3:15
2. Now Gen 3:15 may not have been given in the nature of a "curse" -- to cause harm -- but rather likely was spoken to explain the resulting circumstances and reveal the fix.
3. The words of Gen 3:15 aren't prophecies since the words are spoken by God rather than by a prophet of God. Yet, in other aspects, such as that of being a future declaration, makes Gen 3:15 similar to words spoken by prophets. Sometimes for convenience Gen 3:15 may be referred to as a prophecy.
4. Gen 3:15 likely didn't help anyone come to expect the time or nature of Christ Jesus' walk on earth but rather only helped the believers subsequently to understand.
5. After mentioning "seed of the serpent" in one phrase of Gen 3:15, the individual action of Satan again was addressed.
The word "bruise" since "bruise" is applied regarding Jesus indicates a bruising rather than crushing. A Crushing would tend to be more final, but a bruising would be a damaging effect that would then go away. (Though, "crushing" isn't entirely wrong since a healing or restoration could occur in many situations.)
Rom 16:20 shows that Satan would be bruised under the feet of the Roman believers.
a) connection with Gen 3:15
b)the serpent to be Satan
c) the connection of heel and head
i) roughly that Satan is bruised on the head by the heel of Jesus
ii) that Jesus was a bit injured by stepping on the head of the serpent
(the bruising of the heel may refer to the death of Jesus, which was only of temporary effect)
iii) the upper reach of the serpent was still only at the foot of Jesus
iv) a snake mostly has his head at the ground and that is where people's feet are -- the focus
though is specifically of Jesus (or analogically of Jesus' feet)
d) the Roman believers to be connected with Jesus. The serpent who was bruised under the
feet of Jesus was also bruised under the feet of the Roman believers.
The concept of a bruising also has a connection with the Rev 20 in the sense that one who is bruised will at some point recover. The restoration after a multiple 1000s years period then reasonably indicates that recovery time.
Therefore Gen 3:15 didn't focus on the destruction of the devil but only focused on the time of Christ Jesus.
"seed of woman"
Of essence here it is observed, without much proof, that Jesus is the seed of woman being presented herein.
1) By the complementary existence of the seed of the serpent in John 8:44
2) By the common reference to Jesus being the seed, but of course more so as being the seed of Abraham, but also the default identification of "seed" as being Jesus. (This default use is shown in Matthew 13, for example.)
3) Matt 13 shows the seed as the "word of the kingdom" which also is the "Word of God" which is Jesus. [This is obtained through a complex solution of Matthew 13 mysteries.]
4) The conflict between the seed sown of Jesus and that of Satan in the Wheat and Tares parable of Matt 13 also shows the enmity
5) The "seed of woman" rather than "seed of mankind" also hints toward the virgin birth.
The bruising of the heel indicates a minor wound.
Several points are important to "clarify" the use of "heel" here:
a) "heel" and "head" relationship. In that Satan is at the heel of Jesus, Jesus rulership is of much higher than Satan ever had.
b) the height difference therefore may essentially have to do with the comparison of rulership (extent of ability, power, domain) rather than of different body parts being the focus.
Bruising of the heel likely is a reference to the death of Jesus in the sense that the death or bruising was only temporary. The limit of the death of Jesus, limited by time, indicated the extent or reach of the devil in trying to stop Jesus.
"seed of the serpent"
The seed was described in Joh 8:44 as being the Judeaens of that period of time, of those who were following the doctrine and ideas of the serpent.
A broader analysis of the nature of being a "seed of the serpent" shows that Satan influenced more in an indirect influence -- a cultural influence rather than acting directly against individual people. The serpent never was described as having direct action upon multiple individuals at the same moment which especially makes sense in that only God has omnipresence. Eph 2:2 mentions "power of the air"
along with "course of the world" and "spirit of disobedience"
The Matthew 13, in the Wheat and Tares parables, showed by a rough parallelism that the "seed" could be seen as doctrine, especially when combined with Luke 11:52 that shows that the Pharisees were holding back knowledge. (compare to Matt 23:13)
So the seed was the "word of the kingdom" which could be seen as true knowledge or true doctrine ("true" as being that which is of Christ, not a gnostism concept of reaching a spiritual point to discover mysterious or hidden knowledge). Therefore the seed of the evil man consisted of false doctrines.
The Wheat and Tares parable though tends to emphasize the first century people distinquished by those who were of Christ Jesus (the "seed" were His true followers) from those who were followers of the devil's doctrine ( seed of the serpent). [That this was regarding the first century AD was shown by the fact that it was a specific crop as planted by Jesus and as violated by Satan's seed -- as being of the first century per John 8:44 and as coming before the kingdom -- see Matt 13:43, and the kingdom as having to come in one generation Luke 21:31-32]
Note that the seed were different from the serpent. The children are not one and same with their father in that the children exist as many separate entities only being related by nature to their father. In John 8:44 the connecting attributes are the nature to lie and murder. The lying words also relate to the false doctrine and the murdering nature was connected with the effort of the Pharisees to have Jesus crucified. (John 11:49-53)
But it was the serpent himself who bruised the heel of Jesus. This may be reflected in the fact that Satan entered Judas' heart to betray Jesus. And there may be some attention given to the efforts of Satan to tempt Jesus away from His rulership (Luke 4).
Only Jesus was so situated to be able to reveal the nature of the seed of the serpent.
"Head" indicates rulership but also was used to show relative position of power when contrasted with the heel of the seed of woman. The headship of the serpent was below that power of the seed of woman to come, that of Christ Jesus.
The Book of Job shows some sort of subjected rule or power of Satan. Job 1:12
Consider the scriptural associations of Satan with political power or rulership:
a) Rev 20:7-8 Satan is released and deceives the nations and gather them to battle. Hence, the association with nations may indicate a rulership.
b) Rom 16:20 showed that Satan would soon be under the feet of the Roman believers which shows a near event that had implications of judgment against the nations. (Matt 25:31-46 and see Matt 24:30 "Son of Man coming in the clouds with power and great glory" as connected with Dan 7:13-14 inauguration of the king)
c) John 12:31 "prince of this world shall be cast out" (KJV+) This verse alone doesn't show well Satan as the entity but when combined with Rev 20:1-2 showing the devil being bound.
Note like a bruising, the casting out of the prince can be a temporary effect.
The binding, the casting, and the bruising all are the same event or occurring concurrently. And the same series of connections shows the political power.
A bit of the weakness of this idea of rulership is found if looking at Rev 20 alone wherein the emphasis seems to be on the deception of people against Christianity.
The questions arise "What happens after the recovery of bruising of the serpent?" and "What happens after the recovery of the bruising of the seed of woman?" Rev 20 then answer the first question involving the binding with a future release. Also, John 12:31 shows a casting out. The resurrection likely answers the latter question.