Question: I am taking a university course titled: The Bible
as Literature. Our professor teaches there is nothing prophetic
or Messianic about Genesis 3:15. However, I have been taught from
my youth that this passage has something to do with Jesus Christ.
Which view is right?
Answer: Genesis 3:15 is both prophetic and A Messianic
in its teaching. Traditionally, Genesis 3:15 has been viewed by
Christians as the first word of promise-in a future prophetic
sense-of man's deliverance from sin.
In this verse, God speaking to Satan declares: "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
This verse proclaims that this future confrontation is not an
accident of history, but that God is the producer of putting enmity
between Satan and the woman's seed.
The prophesied hostile opposition was to characterize the relationship
of the "seed" of Satan and the "seed" of the
woman. The word translated "seed" is an interesting
Hebrew word, and can be used to designate an entire lineage of
descendants, or it can be used to denote only one person out of
a specific lineage. In Genesis 3:15 that one seed, the Messiah,
is from the line of woman (Isa. 7:14), as contrasted with the
opposing seed which is the line of Satan's followers. These followers
of Satan would include the Jewish religious leaders of Jesus'
day (Matt. 3:7; Mark 7:6-7).
Genesis 3:15 is a direct prophecy of the virgin birth.
While this seed prediction could have been fulfilled in the first
generation to be born, its consummation was, in the plan of God,
to be realized only after at least four thousand years of human
history. The line of the seed was forecast and is traced faithfully
through the genealogies recorded in the Bible.
Special importance is attached to five men in this Messianic line:
Abraham, to whom the promise of a
glorious seed was given (Gen. 12; 15; 17); Isaac, the firstborn
of Abraham and Sarah, pointing toward the Messianic line; Jacob,
the progenitor of the 12 Bribes; Judah, the chosen of the twelve
sons of Jacob, through whom the Messiah was to come (Gen. 49:10);
and David, to whom was covenanted an everlasting kingdom, an everlasting
throne, and an everlasting kingly line (2 Sam. 7:16; Psa. 89:2-37;
In this prediction, it was asserted that when Christ crushes Satan's
head, Satan would also crush Christ's heel. This prediction relative
to the crushing of Satan's head is an anticipation of that judgment
which Christ secured against Satan by means of His death on the
cross (cf. John 16:11; Col. 2:14-15). When God declared that Satan's
head would be crushed, that prediction was fulfilled perfectly
in Christ given victory over sin and death. When God foretells
that Satan will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10), that,
too, will be perfectly accomplished.