Judges through Poets- 1a: The Foundation of Redemptive History

This course will focus on the historical and wisdom literature found in scripture.
We will be approaching the literature in a thematic way. The course should enable us to apply scripture to all areas of our lives.

Genesis 3:15
‘And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.’

God is proclaiming a new order for the universe. Because of sin the whole of the universe has been re-ordered. God is formally cursing the serpent in Genesis 3:15. God is did not announce the first prophecy, it is announced by God Himself.

The normal Hebrew structure of sentences: verb, subject, direct objects and nouns.
God re-organises this. He starts with the object: enmity. This term means ‘to be an enemy’. God is setting up a situation where He will set hostile intent between the serpent and woman. The word enmity is only used 5 times in the OT. On of them is found in Ezekiel 25:15:

‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because the Philistines dealt vengefully and took vengeance with a spiteful heart, to destroy because of the old hatred’

The Philistines have a hostile intent towards the Israelites.

Another example Ezekiel 35:5:
‘Because you have had an ancient hatred, and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, when their iniquity came to an end’

Another, Numbers 35:21-22:

‘or in enmity he strikes him with his hand so that he dies, the one who struck him shall surely be put to death. He is a murderer. The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when he meets him. ‘However, if he pushes him suddenly without enmity, or throws anything at him without lying in wait’

The verse is speaking about murder. The author is showing a distinction between killing someone with or without enmity. Hostile pre-meditated intent is involved in enmity.

The new order in Gen 3:15 is due to God’s desire and sovereign purpose. The enmity is ordained between the woman and the serpent. Jesus equates Satan’s acts as an act of murder (John 8:44).

The enmity is also between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. The Hebrew term for seed is most often used for lineage and decent. This is not referring to physical lineage but a spiritual lineage. Satan can’t bear children. He’s a fallen angel. ‘You are of your Father, the devil’ (John 8:44) those who are in spiritual communion and union with the devil are His children.

The next example of lineage in scripture features murderous intent between Cain and Abel. Esau and Jacob also have enmity. The theme continues becoming broader. Enmity is Genesis is seen through individuals. In Exodus we see enmity between nations; Israel and Egypt.

Rev 12:13-17:
13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring [seed], who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

The serpent continues on in trying to murder the woman and the seed.

Humanity is divided into one of two camps: Satan seed and the woman’s seed.

Gen 3:15
‘He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.’

The battle will reach its climax between two individuals: A third masculine singular and a second muscular singular. The seed of the woman is a man.

In the first half of the verse the serpent was mentioned first. In the second half we see the primacy of the serpent-bruiser. The blow to the serpent is to the head. It’s deadly wound. The serpents harming of the seed of the woman is minimal. His heel is bruised.

Luke 3 gives a genealogy referring Jesus back to Adam and Eve. After Luke 3 we see Christ going off to do battle against the devil.

How does our understanding of Gen 3:15 influence our understanding of the historical books?
The rest of scripture is the unfolding of Genesis 3:15. Redemptive history starts stems from Gen 3:15. Scripture traces the development of Gen 3:15- it places the meat on the bones of Gen 3:15.

The historical books point out the failure of human Kings and the need of Israel for the promised one of Gen 3:15. Israel are encouraged to trust in this King above all others.

Gen 3:15 is direct verbal prophecy as a means of God revealing the unfolding of redemptive history.

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