Genesis 3:15 as an Old Testament Motif
Written by Scott Keisler for Koinonia Institute | April 29, 2013
The Old Testament (and indeed the entire cannon of Scripture) can rightly be seen as a continuation of that which is first prophesied in Genesis 3:15. It is in this verse that students of the Bible are first introduced to the seed of the woman and the seed of 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.
With the curses of creation already in place as the result of the fall of man, in this pivotal prophecy God establishes the terms of the spiritual war that continues to wage in the unseen heavenly realms even to the present day. Though the outcome was decided at the Cross of Calvary, this war will continue until Jesus Christ physically returns to establish His literal Kingdom and reign on earth. In the Second Coming of Christ, the glorified Messiah will overthrow the Satanic world order and its malevolent administration, which will have then culminated in a global empire dominated by the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. At the core Satan’s key tactics have always been two central strategies: 1) target the seed of the woman for destruction and 2) offer a counterfeit seed that will entice and deceive humanity away from the Biblical fulfillment of the seed of the Woman, the incarnate Jesus Christ. This paper will focus more on strategy one and will be limited to the Old Testament. In the Scriptures, if one considers the broad overall narrative in light of the ‘seed motif’ suggested in this paper, one gains a strategic glimpse into the interdeminsional war being waged by two antagonistic kingdoms over the coveted prize of human souls.
Genesis 1-2 tells the incredible story of creation. Conversely, Genesis 3 tells the tragic story of the fall of mankind, with verse 15 being the pivotal moment in chapter 3. It’s not complicated. It’s the seed of the Woman – the Godly seed fulfilled in the birth of the God-man Jesus Christ – verses the seed of the Shining One (Lucifer / the serpent). Genesis 4-11 is the story of how the seed of the woman was propagated from Adam to Noah in the time of the flood. And make no mistake about it, the point of this section of Scripture is that Satan attacked the seed of the woman, starting with the murder of Abel (the first possible seed candidate, replaced by Adam’s next son Seth) and climaxing in the evil that took place in Genesis 6. Genesis 6:1-4 reads:
Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
The plain meaning of Genesis 6 (cf. Jude 6-7 and 2 Peter 2) makes it clear that fallen Angels (aka Watchers) copulated with human women. This view is not novel and was clearly asserted by early Church Fathers such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian and by historians of the caliber of Josephus Flavius and Philo.(1) The culture and mythical literature of ancient Sumer, Assyria, Egypt, Greece, Persia, and India as well as that of the Druids, Incas, Mayas, Bolivians, Sioux, Hindus, and South Sea Islanders all corroborate the ‘hybrid’ view of Genesis 6. Contrast this with the Sethite view which is both less straight forward and historically novel. Additioinally the Sethite view introduces unnecessary problems into the narrative.(2) Dr. Missler rightly points that this is no side issue. In fact, one cannot rightly understand the Great Flood or Joshua’s conquest in Canaan without the context, precedent, and perspective provided by this admittedly bizarre passage in Genesis 6. Lost in the controversy of all this is the fact that the incursion of the Watchers, who had hybrid offspring with human woman, was an attack on the seed of the woman. Genesis 6:9 reads:
These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.
The KJV translates the phrase perfect in his generations – or quite literally in his bloodline. Within the direct context of this passage, the clear implication is that Noah came from a line that had not been infected by the genetic tampering and manipulation as described in Genesis 6:1-4. (Again just about all of the myths from the world’s ancient cultures have accounts of gods coming down to have sex with human women.) The Genesis record goes on to say that all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. While moral corruption is certainly in view here, human flesh had also been corrupted genetically. Noah is the seed of the woman and Satan’s scheme to infect, and therefore negate, the eligible seed came close to succeeding, but was defeated when God preserved Noah and his family through the provision of the ark.
Genesis 12 is the story of how the seed of the woman went from Noah to Abraham. Genesis 12:1-3 is key because in this prophecy the reader learns that Abraham would be the father of a chosen nation (Israel), from whom the storied seed of the woman would eventually arise (cf. Genesis 15, 17, et al.). The memorable episode with Hagar, when seen within the context of ‘seed warfare’, takes on a different dimension. Abraham and Sarah’s lack of faith in God’s provision led to the birth of Ishmael. The enemy capitalized on this faithless episode and used Ishmael’s subsequent offspring to attack Israel later on in the Old Testament. In fact it is not too much to say that Satan is still attacking Israel through Ishmael’s descendents, Arab Muslims in the modern day Middle East. God did, as promised, provide a son for Abraham and Sarah in their old age, and that son Isaac is the continuation of the seed of the woman prophecy.
The seed saga continues even in the womb of Isaac’s wife Rebekah where Jacob and Esau literally wrestled. The subsequent struggle over the birthright was all about who gain the blessing (of being the chosen line) and who would be on the outside looking in. Through trickery Jacob acquired the blessing while Esau became the father of Edom and the Amalekites, who of course later opposed Israel, even refusing to grant Israel passage in Numbers 20:14-21. Jacob went on to have 12 sons and by the end of the Book of Genesis Jacob and his family of 70 went down into Egypt where they were fruitful and multiplied, becoming a full-fledged nation that a threatened Pharaoh would soon viciously subjugate.
Astonishingly, Exodus 1:22 describes a focused genocide targeting the seed of the woman:
Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you are
to cast into the Nile, and every daughter you are to keep alive.”
Yet again the Lord made provision for the Hebrew people, preserving Moses who was found floating in a basket among the reeds of the Nile. The lowly Hebrew was then raised in the very court of Pharaoh himself. Soon Moses learned that he was to be the deliverer whom God had chosen to bring His people out of the bondage of slavery.
Next, after another a faithless episode which resulted in 40 years of unnecessary wilderness wandering, Moses’ successor Joshua led God’s chosen people into the Promised Land. The only problem was that during the intervening 400 years between Jacob’s leaving Israel and Joshua’s re-arrival, another incursion of the wickedness of Genesis 6 had occurred in Canaan, this time manifesting in literal giants. And let’s just say these giants weren’t keen on giving up there territory without a fight. But through the faithful and courageous leadership of Joshua and Caleb, the Israelites were able to route even giants, taking back the land that was rightfully theirs as pronounced by Divine fiat.
Fast forward a few hundred years to the establishment of the Davidic Covenant. In the Abrahamic Covenant the Lord said, the seed of the woman shall come from my chosen nation Israel. In the Davidic Covenant the Lord said, the seed of the woman shall come from this royal line, that is the line of David. This new revelation / prophetic insight allowed the enemy to focus his attacks.
Might this have something to do with the chaos that we observe in David’s family? Adultery, murder, death, rape, incest, suicide, rebellion against the throne – and that’s just during David’s lifetime.(3) Though King David’s son Solomon was seduced by foreign woman and their idolatry, politically he was a decent king and his Kingdom was relatively strong. But under Solomon’s son Rehoboam the Kingdom was split in two, with Rehoboam over the Southern Kingdom (the House of Judah) and Jeroboam over the Northern Kingdom (the House of Israel). In the end, the Southern Kingdom survived while the Northern Kingdom did not.
The simple answer as to why the Southern Kingdom was not totally obliterated is that God had promised that He would establish David’s Throne – as an extension of the seed of the woman prophecy – forever. Sure the faithful from the Northern Tribes ‘immigrated’ south to Jerusalem and the House of Judah (not the same as the Tribe of Judah). Sure the Southern Kingdom had at least a few good Kings like Asa, Jehosophat, Azariah, Joaphin, Hezekiah, and Josiah, while the Northern Kingdom had only wicked Kings. Sure in the South the Temple worship continued whereas the North quickly degenerated into paganism, idolatry, and abject demonism. But the main point not to miss is that God graciously intervened to protect the Davidic line in the Southern Kingdom because He said He would. He is faithful. His Word does not return void.
The Jehoiachin fiasco (Jeremiah 22:30) highlights yet again God’s sovereign and gracious intervention on behalf of the Messianic Seed as prophesied in the Protoevangelion. Through his wickedness and pride, Jehoiachin managed to get the Davidic bloodline cursed, as detailed in Jeremiah 22:30:
Thus says the Lord,
‘Write this man down childless,
A man who will not prosper in his days;
For no man of his descendants will prosper
Sitting on the throne of David
Or ruling again in Judah.’
Now this presents a big problem because God has already stated that the Messiah would be a direct descendant of the line of David (1 Chronicles 17:11, Isaiah 9:6, etc.). What is interesting is that according to Matthew 1:6-16, Joseph, Jesus’ adoptive earthly father, was indeed a direct descendant of David and Jehoiachin. However, in the Virgin Birth the blood curse pronounced on Jehoiachin was circumnavigated! It is also not insignificant that Mary was also herself a descendant of David – not by way of Solomon – but rather by way of David’s other son Nathan. In this detail of the incredible Nativity Story one learns that God’s purposes cannot be thwarted, even in the face of odds that by earthly standards are quite literally impossible.
One final attempt by the enemy to obliterate the seed of the woman takes place in the lovely book of Esther. In this well-known story Haman conspired to have the King of Persia annihilate the Jews. As it turns out, Haman was an Amalekite – a son of Esau. (Actually Haman would have never been alive but for the disobedience of Saul, cf. 1 Samuel 15, 2 Samuel 1:13, Esther 3:1) Yet one more time, the Lord raised up Queen Esther for such a time and Haman’s evil plan back fired. Haman was hung (or possibly impaled) from the very gallows he had prepared for the Jews – God’s chosen people from whom the promised Messiah would arise as foretold in Scripture.
This paper has demonstrated that as God progressively revealed His plan in space-time for the seed of the woman, Satan focused his attacks accordingly, nearly succeeding in his efforts to wipe out that seed on more than one occasion. At least that’s the way it appears from a finite point of view. But God was faithful, always one-upping the enemy with His just-in-time solution.
Cain murdered Abel but Adam had another son named Seth. The genetic corruption of mankind during the Days of Noah was almost total, yet the Lord protected Noah – whose bloodline was not defiled by the seed of fallen angels. Isaac and Jacob prevailed over Ishmael and Esau. Moses was protected from infanticide by way of a simple basket. God rescued Israel from life as a slave race through a deliverer named Moses, who was a type of the Christ to come. Joshua negotiated a Satanic minefield filled with literal giants under the direction of the Lord of Hosts. The Southern Kingdom was spared despite a track record of disobedience, luke-warmness, and back-sliding. The Virgin Birth circumnavigated the blood curse on the Davidic line while Esther and Mordecai were strategically placed to rescue the Jewish people in God’s perfect and providential timing. Indeed the seed of the woman motif is absolutely critical for a complete understanding of the dramatic events of the Old Testament.
(1) Chuck Missler and Mark Eastman, Alien Encounters, 36-37, 208.
(3) Chuck Missler, Learn the Bible in 24 Hours, 82.