It is in the context of judgment after the Fall that the LORD
God curses the serpent. Adam and Eve hear God speaking to the
"shining one." It is not a direct promise to Adam and
Eve, but a word of judgment to Satan (Rev. 12:9; 20:2). He says
to the serpent, "And I will put enmity between you and the
woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you
on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel" (Gen.
There will be an undying opposition between Satan and the generations
to follow. No doubt Adam and Even were so impressed with the message
of hope that they reinforced it in the minds of their children
and their children passed it own from generation to generation.
Then came the day centuries later when Moses under the guidance
of the Holy Spirit penned this great promise against the darkest
day in human history.
The promise of salvation was given before anyone died physically.
Here is the first word of grace in the Bible.
At the time of the giving of this promise no child had been born
to Adam and Eve. Probably with the birth of every male child there
was the hope that he would be the one who would overthrow the
evil that had been unleashed on the new world.
The promised one will "bruise you on the head." There
will be a head wound. The idea is there will be a deathblow. Satan
would have this eternal dread hanging over him that with the birth
of every male child this could be the very one who would be his
In the battle, Satan would "bruise him on the heel."
The promised seed would suffer, but he would not suffer a destructive
It is true that we do not have a great deal of information at
the on set of this promise in Genesis. Hindsight is great for
the sincere student! We have the advantage of looking back over
time and seeing the One person who fulfilled this growing hope
in the heart of sinful man.
Jesus Christ went to the cross and died on our behalf to crush
Satan (Hebrews 2:915).
Satan was crushed at Calvary. He was defeated when Jesus rose
from the dead. The final blow will be the submission of Satan
to Jesus Christ when Jesus returns in glory (Revelation 20:115).
The Apostle Paul saw this great promise being fulfilled in the
salvation and sanctification of God's people. He alludes to this
promise in Romans 16:20, "And the God of peace will soon
crush Satan under your feet. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with
you." The word for "crush" is literally to rub
together and so to shatter, to crush, to trample underfoot, break
in pieces by crushing, "to grind," "to crush,"
"to smash," "to break," "to destroy."
Paul reminds believers to draw daily strength from the blessed
promise of final victory over Satan. We are not on the loosing
team! The image of smashing Satan in Romans 16:20 (cf. Gen. 3:15;
Ps. 91:13) suggests both present victory over the powers of darkness
and the imminent eschatological destruction of Satan.
God uses some strange words when He pronounced the undying opposition
between Satan and the woman. He describes it as "between
your seed and her seed . . ." (Gen. 3:15).
It is impossible to see the fulfillment of this promise without
reflecting on and seriously considering Isaiah 7:14 and Luke 1:3035.
It is completely impossible without a miracle from God. Ever since
the Fall of Adam and Eve the sin nature has been transmitted from
parent to child from generation to generation. We are all born
in sin and this included Joseph and Mary. As King David reflected
on his sin nature he concluded, we are all "shapen in iniquity"
(Psalm 51:5). We sin because we are sinners by nature. Mary was
a sinner born to sinful parents who came form sinful parents.
If Jesus had received a corrupt sinful nature from either Joseph
or Mary He could not have been our sinless substitute dying for
our sins. He would have been in the need of a redeemer like all
other sinful men.
How did Jesus then have a sinless nature? Mary's hymen was broken
from within. She was a virgin. Mary knew this when she questioned,
"How can this be, since I am a virgin?" (Luke 1:34;
cf. Matt. 1:23; Gal. 4:4; I Tim. 2:15). The angel explained, "The
Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High
will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall
be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). The Holy Spirit overshadowed
Mary. Luke uses the figure of a cloud, the symbol of divine presence
coming upon Mary. The Holy Spirit came upon Mary and overshadowed
her with His power, through which she became pregnant. The overshadowing
presence of God causes Mary to become pregnant. It was a miracle.
Jesus was born of God, not by humans. The entire operation from
the creation in the fetus, the daily development in the womb for
nine normal months was the work of the Holy Spirit.
Because He was the "seed of the woman" Jesus was God
Incarnate. He was Godman. He was human just like you and
me, but he was not fallen sinful humanity. His humanity and divinity
were so woven together that you could not have seen the difference
except when His deity shown forth at the Transfiguration. The
Apostle Paul said, great is the mystery of the incarnation. I
The virgin birth points back to the promise in the protoevangelium
or the first glimmer of the gospel of redemption.
For further study spend some time reflecting on Christ as the
fulfillment of the promise of the "seed of the woman"
in Matthew 1:18; Galatians 3:16, 19; 4:4; Genesis 12:7; II Samuel
7:8, 12; Romans 1:1, 3; 16:20
The undying opposition is further seen in the bruising or crushing
of Satan's head in Genesis 3:21; Luke 1:2635; John 8:44;
Matthew 1:18; Isaiah 53; Galatians 3:16, 19; John 19:30; Revelation
Dr. Stigers writes, "Genesis is the record of God's work
of deliverance from the corruption of original sin resulting from
the Fall . . .. God's redemptive work began with Gen. 3:15."
Dr. Merill C. Tenny says, "It may be believed that resurrection
faith is at the center of the paradox of the Savior-man. In the
crushing of the head of the serpent, deliverance was promised:
and in order to effect that deliverance, the redeemer had to be
able to conquer death." He adds, "How could Christ (the
seed of the woman) take upon Himself the consequences of the serpent's
sting and yet live? Resurrection seems to be the answer."
Death symbolized the wounding of the heel by Satan and takes
place before the smashing of the head of Satan by the seed of
the woman. The wounding appears to be the death on the cross,
since Christ identified His executioners as the seed of the serpent.
Jesus said, "You are of your father, the devil, and you want
to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning,
and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in
him . . . " (Jn. 8:44).
This preceding death makes mandatory the resurrection of the
seed of the woman to perform the smashing of the serpent's head.
This promise was no doubt the cause of Abraham greeting the "day
of Christ" with glad assurance in John 8:54).
Genesis 3:15 is the first shining light on the horizon of eternal
life. It is the root of Abraham's obedience to the Lord to offer
Isaac as a burnt offering. Why else would he make such a sacrifice
if he did not have the hope before him that God would raise the
son of the promise from the dead? Abe probably believed the seed
of the woman was the promise of a seed through Isaac. Hebrews
11:19, Abraham "considered that God is able to raise men
even from the dead; from which he also received him back as a
type." Jesus said, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to
see my day; and he saw it, and was glad."
Genesis is more than a story. It is the record of God's work
on behalf of the redeemed. It is the history of God's redemptive
Rom. 16:20, "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under
your feet." That crushing certainly includes all the labor
of Jesus the Messiah. The hope of the resurrection is as old as
sinful men and is mighty to support them in all their pilgrimages
to heaven. Dr. Harold Stigers, "Gen. 3:15 has become the
most important verse in all the Bible." The central message
of the whole Bible, old and new covenants, are the death and resurrection
of Jesus Christ.
The greatest commentary on Gen. 3:15 is John 3:16.
No doubt, the "seed of the woman" is referring to the
virgin birth of Christ. The virgin born conquers death, hell and
the grave. Christ will give the deathblow to Satan when He returns.