Genesis 3:15
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

King James Bible
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.

American Standard Version
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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

Genesis 3:15 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The sentence follows the examination, and is pronounced first of all upon the serpent as the tempter: "Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed before all cattle, and before every beast of the field." מן, literally out of the beasts, separate from them (Deuteronomy 14:2; Judges 5:24), is not a comparative signifying more than, nor does it mean by; for the curse did not proceed from the beasts, but from God, and was not pronounced upon all the beasts, but upon the serpent alone. The κτίσις, it is true, including the whole animal creation, has been "made subject to vanity" and "the bondage of corruption," in consequence of the sin of man (Romans 8:20-21); yet this subjection is not to be regarded as the effect of the curse, which was pronounced upon the serpent, having fallen upon the whole animal world, but as the consequence of death passing from man into the rest of the creation, and thoroughly pervading the whole. The creation was drawn into the fall of man, and compelled to share its consequences, because the whole of the irrational creation was made for man, and made subject to him as its head; consequently the ground was cursed for man's sake, but not the animal world for the serpent's sake, or even along with the serpent. The curse fell upon the serpent for having tempted the woman, according to the same law by which not only a beast which had injured a man was ordered to be put to death (Genesis 9:5; Exodus 21:28-29), but any beast which had been the instrument of an unnatural crime was to be slain along with the man (Leviticus 20:15-16); not as though the beast were an accountable creature, but in consequence of its having been made subject to man, not to injure his body or his life, or to be the instrument of his sin, but to subserve the great purpose of his life. "Just as a loving father," as Chrysostom says, "when punishing the murderer of his son, might snap in two the sword or dagger with which the murder had been committed." The proof, therefore, that the serpent was merely the instrument of an evil spirit, does not lie in the punishment itself, but in the manner in which the sentence was pronounced. When God addressed the animal, and pronounced a curse upon it, this presupposed that the curse had regard not so much to the irrational beast as to the spiritual tempter, and that the punishment which fell upon the serpent was merely a symbol of his own. The punishment of the serpent corresponded to the crime. It had exalted itself above the man; therefore upon its belly it should go, and dust it should eat all the days of its life. If these words are not to be robbed of their entire meaning, they cannot be understood in any other way than as denoting that the form and movements of the serpent were altered, and that its present repulsive shape is the effect of the curse pronounced upon it, though we cannot form any accurate idea of its original appearance. Going upon the belly ( equals creeping, Leviticus 11:42) was a mark of the deepest degradation; also the eating of dust, which is not to be understood as meaning that dust was to be its only food, but that while crawling in the dust it would also swallow dust (cf. Micah 7:17; Isaiah 49:23). Although this punishment fell literally upon the serpent, it also affected the tempter if a figurative or symbolical sense. He became the object of the utmost contempt and abhorrence; and the serpent still keeps the revolting image of Satan perpetually before the eye. This degradation was to be perpetual. "While all the rest of creation shall be delivered from the fate into which the fall has plunged it, according to Isaiah 65:25, the instrument of man's temptation is to remain sentenced to perpetual degradation in fulfilment of the sentence, 'all the days of thy life.' and thus to prefigure the fate of the real tempter, for whom there is no deliverance" (Hengstenberg, Christology Genesis 1:15). - The presumption of the tempter was punished with the deepest degradation; and in like manner his sympathy with the woman was to be turned into eternal hostility (Genesis 3:15). God established perpetual enmity, not only between the serpent and the woman, but also between the serpent's and the woman's seed, i.e., between the human and the serpent race. The seed of the woman would crush the serpent's head, and the serpent crush the heel of the woman's seed. The meaning, terere, conterere, is thoroughly established by the Chald., Syr., and Rabb. authorities, and we have therefore retained it, in harmony with the word συντρίβειν in Romans 16:20, and because it accords better and more easily with all the other passages in which the word occurs, than the rendering inhiare, to regard with enmity, which is obtained from the combination of שׁוּף with שׁאף. The verb is construed with a double accusative, the second giving greater precision to the first (vid., Ges. 139, note, and Ewald, 281). The same word is used in connection with both head and heel, to show that on both sides the intention is to destroy the opponent; at the same time, the expressions head and heel denote a majus and minus, or, as Calvin says, superius et inferius. This contrast arises from the nature of the foes. The serpent can only seize the heel of the man, who walks upright; whereas the man can crush the head of the serpent, that crawls in the dust. But this difference is itself the result of the curse pronounced upon the serpent, and its crawling in the dust is a sign that it will be defeated in its conflict with man. However pernicious may be the bite of a serpent in the heel when the poison circulates throughout the body (Genesis 49:17), it is not immediately fatal and utterly incurable, like the cursing of a serpent's head.

But even in this sentence there is an unmistakable allusion to the evil and hostile being concealed behind the serpent. That the human race should triumph over the serpent, was a necessary consequence of the original subjection of the animals to man. When, therefore, God not merely confines the serpent within the limits assigned to the animals, but puts enmity between it and the woman, this in itself points to a higher, spiritual power, which may oppose and attack the human race through the serpent, but will eventually be overcome. Observe, too, that although in the first clause the seed of the serpent is opposed to the seed of the woman, in the second it is not over the seed of the serpent but over the serpent itself that the victory is said to be gained. It, i.e., the seed of the woman will crush thy head, and thou (not thy seed) wilt crush its heel. Thus the seed of the serpent is hidden behind the unity of the serpent, or rather of the foe who, through the serpent, has done such injury to man. This foe is Satan, who incessantly opposes the seed of the woman and bruises its heel, but is eventually to be trodden under its feet. It does not follow from this, however, apart from other considerations, that by the seed of the woman we are to understand one solitary person, one individual only. As the woman is the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20), her seed, to which the victory over the serpent and its seed is promised, must be the human race. But if a direct and exclusive reference to Christ appears to be exegetically untenable, the allusion in the word to Christ is by no means precluded in consequence. In itself the idea of זרע, the seed, is an indefinite one, since the posterity of a man may consist of a whole tribe or of one son only (Genesis 4:25; Genesis 21:12-13), and on the other hand, an entire tribe may be reduced to one single descendant and become extinct in him. The question, therefore, who is to be understood by the "seed" which is to crush the serpent's head, can only be answered from the history of the human race. But a point of much greater importance comes into consideration here. Against the natural serpent the conflict may be carried on by the whole human race, by all who are born of a woman, but not against Satan. As he is a fore who can only be met with spiritual weapons, none can encounter him successfully but such as possess and make use of spiritual arms. Hence the idea of the "seed" is modified by the nature of the foe. If we look at the natural development of the human race, Eve bore three sons, but only one of them, viz., Seth, was really the seed by whom the human family was preserved through the flood and perpetuated in Noah: so, again, of the three sons of Noah, Shem, the blessed of Jehovah, from whom Abraham descended, was the only one in whose seed all nations were to be blessed, and that not through Ishmael, but through Isaac alone. Through these constantly repeated acts of divine selection, which were not arbitrary exclusions, but were rendered necessary by differences in the spiritual condition of the individuals concerned, the "seed," to which the victory over Satan was promised, was spiritually or ethically determined, and ceased to be co-extensive with physical descent. This spiritual seed culminated in Christ, in whom the Adamitic family terminated, henceforward to be renewed by Christ as the second Adam, and restored by Him to its original exaltation and likeness to God. In this sense Christ is the seed of the woman, who tramples Satan under His feet, not as an individual, but as the head both of the posterity of the woman which kept the promise and maintained the conflict with the old serpent before His advent, and also of all those who are gathered out of all nations, are united to Him by faith, and formed into one body of which He is the head (Romans 16:20). On the other hand, all who have not regarded and preserved the promise, have fallen into the power of the old serpent, and are to be regarded as the seed of the serpent, whose head will be trodden under foot (Matthew 23:33; John 8:44; 1 John 3:8). If then the promise culminates in Christ, the fact that the victory over the serpent is promised to the posterity of the woman, not of the man, acquires this deeper significance, that as it was through the woman that the craft of the devil brought sin and death into the world, so it is also through the woman that the grace of God will give to the fallen human race the conqueror of sin, of death, and of the devil. And even if the words had reference first of all to the fact that the woman had been led astray by the serpent, yet in the fact that the destroyer of the serpent was born of a woman (without a human father) they were fulfilled in a way which showed that the promise must have proceeded from that Being, who secured its fulfilment not only in its essential force, but even in its apparently casual form.

Genesis 3:15 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

enmity.

Numbers 21:6,7 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died...

Amos 9:3 And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out there...

Mark 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick...

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give to you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy...

Acts 28:3-6 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand...

Romans 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

thy seed.

Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said to them, O generation of vipers...

Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Matthew 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

Matthew 23:33 You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning...

Acts 13:10 And said, O full of all subtlety and all mischief, you child of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness...

1 John 3:8,10 He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested...

her seed.

Psalm 132:11 The LORD has sworn in truth to David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of your body will I set on your throne.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Jeremiah 31:22 How long will you go about, O you backsliding daughter? for the LORD has created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.

Micah 5:3 Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travails has brought forth...

Matthew 1:23,25 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is...

Luke 1:31-35,76 And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS...

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

it shall.

Romans 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Ephesians 4:8 Why he said, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.

Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Hebrews 2:14,15 For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same...

1 John 3:8 He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested...

1 John 5:5 Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Revelation 12:7,8,17 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels...

Revelation 20:1-3,10 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand...

thou.

Genesis 49:17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that bites the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.

Isaiah 53:3,4,12 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him...

Daniel 9:26 And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself...

Matthew 4:1-10 Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil...

Luke 22:39-44,53 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him...

John 12:31-33 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out...

John 14:30,31 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world comes, and has nothing in me...

Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.

Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh...

Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried...

Revelation 12:9-13 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world...

Revelation 13:7 And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues...

Revelation 15:1-6 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues...

Revelation 20:7,8 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison...

Cross References
Luke 24:27
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

Romans 16:20
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Revelation 12:17
Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

Jump to Previous
Bruise Crush Crushed Enmity Foot Head Heel Hers Offspring Seed Strike War Wounded
Jump to Next
Bruise Crush Crushed Enmity Foot Head Heel Hers Offspring Seed Strike War Wounded
Links
Genesis 3:15 NIV
Genesis 3:15 NLT
Genesis 3:15 ESV
Genesis 3:15 NASB
Genesis 3:15 KJV

Genesis 3:15 Bible Apps
Genesis 3:15 Biblia Paralela
Genesis 3:15 Chinese Bible
Genesis 3:15 French Bible
Genesis 3:15 German Bible

Bible Hub

ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Genesis 3:14
Top of Page
Top of Page