- 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. - Genesis 3:15
This is known as the protoevangelium (i.e., first gospel) or first messianic prophecy of Scripture. This Savior would be from the seed of the woman (i.e., her seed). The term seed (zeraʿ) is a singular, masculine noun meaning offspring. According to Strong’s Concordance, the term seed, “Designates the whole line of descendants as a unit, yet it is deliberately flexible enough to denote either one person who epitomizes the whole group (i.e., the man of promise and ultimately Christ), or the many persons in that whole line of natural and/or spiritual descendants. Precisely so in Genesis 3:15. One such seed is the line of the woman as contrasted with the opposing seed which is the line of Satan’s followers.”
Biologically, seed always traces through the male lineage. Hence, in Scripture, the genealogies trace the male lineage. That the seminal emission is associated with the woman, in Genesis 3:15, indicates something unusual happened in the conception process. A woman conceiving a child without copulating with a male partner is miraculous.
The seed of the woman (i.e., her seed) denotes one son who would bruise the serpent on the head. Satan bruising Jesus’ heel refers to Satan’s seeming victory at Jesus’ death. Bruising Satan’s head refers to his ultimate defeat by Jesus. Ironically, Satan’s seeming victory at the cross was the means of Jesus’ complete and permanent victory over Satan.
- Walter C. Kaiser, “582 זָרַע,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 253.