The first prophecy in the Bible

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headheelIn chapter three of Genesis, God makes a statement heard both by humanity and the demonic powers:

” I will put enmity between you (the devil) and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring, he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel. ” – Genesis 3:15

This is the first plainly stated prophecy in the Bible, of course there has already been a great typological modelling of Jesus, the second Adam, by the first one: Adam had to fall asleep, get pierced in the side and wake up to receive a bride who was also his own body! And there was a hidden typological pattern: on the sixth day (Friday) God “finished it”, His work, and then “ceased” on the Seventh day, Saturday. There are even hidden references to the Aleph-Tav or first and last starting at verse 1 of the Bible and Jesus names is also encoded in the description of Creation in chapter 1. But here I want to focus on the first plainly spoken prophecy in the Bible.

mouth 2Theologians call this verse the Proto-evangelion or Proto-Evangelium meaning the primitive- (or first-) Gospel. In the context of discovering that their willful choice to ignore God and live according to what they deemed to be good has sentenced them to a frustrated and fruit-scarce existence, these words are a hope….

So the woman’s offspring will be constantly preyed on by and be in conflict with the devil’s minions, but one will arise who will crush the devil, while receiving a mortal wound himself.

It is interesting to note that in Hebrew, as in English, the word “seed” can be both singular and plural, but the focus here seems to be a singular seed who has become “he” by the last part of the verse. In fact the Greek version of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, written 200 years before Jesus came uses a singular noun for “seed” to make sure we understand that an individual in primarily in view here.

Which of course makes the word “seed” even more interesting, because it is a woman’s seed, but normally men where seen as the ones with “seed”. This then becomes the first hint of the Virgin birth, all of Jesus humanity is seeded from his Mother, he was not Joseph’s offspring at all.

God had given mankind authority on Earth in Genesis chapter 1, and the gift and calling of God can’t be taken back, Rom 11:29. If they where then they would never have been gifts in the first place… so it was not good enough for God to fix mans earthly mess up from Heaven in His divinity… He would need to become a man to fix it by the exercise of Human God-given authority. Hence the need for a fusion in Mary, fully God but fully human.

Romans 16:20, expounds the proto-evangelion from a New Testament perspective there is perhaps the “And the God of peace shall quickly bruise Satan under your feet …” making reference to the promised man, Paul equates him with “the God of Peace” and then makes us a part of him, partaking in his divine nature with our human feet that continue to crush the serpents head…

So there it is again that ambiguity between the one and the many the single seed and the multiple offspring, Christ in us, the hope of Glory!

 

Christen Forster

Christen Forster

Christen Forster is widely recognised as an original Bible teacher who brings people into a love of and confidence in scripture.

Christen has planted churches, been a youth worker, mission administrator and church leaders. The author of several books, Christen is now an itinerant minister, helping churches to step into a more deliberately spiritual experience of the Christian life while at the same time firmly rooting their practice in scripture.

© 2000 - 2017 Christen Forster
Christen Forster

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