The Seed of the Woman: Genesis 3:15

Ashley Anderson September 24, 2021


A while back I gave a communion meditation on Genesis 3:15 in which I had said that the seed of the woman who would be at enmity with the seed of the serpent were the descendants of Eve who would not remain in their alienation to God. While the Bible does teach that mankind is divided between those who are alienated to God and those who have been reconciled with God, that is not the primary meaning of the seed of the woman in this verse. The end of the verse clarifies for us what is meant by the “seed of the woman”. The seed of the woman is the single male individual who will bruise the serpent on his head. Seed is singular throughout this verse, but “seed” can be collective as “descendants” or it can have reference to a single individual. Paul points this out, referring to the seed of Abraham, in Galatians 3:16: Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many but rather to one. “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. Most of the references to Abraham and his seed in Genesis are the collective seed, that is his descendants. Examples are that his seed will be as the dust in number (Gen 13:16), and as the stars (Gen 15:5), and your seed will be strangers in a land that is not theirs (Gen 15:13). But there is biblical evidence that God meant a singular descendant of Abraham by other references in Genesis. For instance, Genesis 22:17 ends by saying, “And your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.” “His” is the reading of the Hebrew text and in a number of translations other than the NASB. Then verse 18 reads “And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed…”

In Galatians 3:8 Paul indicates that Scripture foresaw the justification of the Gentiles by faith and that it preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.” These evidences seem to indicate that God’s promises to Abraham that “in him” or “in him and his seed” all the nations of the earth will be blessed are pointing to Christ. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed (literal translation), heirs according to promise.” (Gal 3:29)