Eve and Mary — enemies of Satan
(Genesis 3:15) And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
These pairs are enemies:
Note: the pronouns "it" and "his" do not imply gender (male) or number (one person vs. many people or a community of people.)
The word "serpent" refers to Satan.
(Revelation 20:2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan.
Therefore, these pairs are enemies:
Why in the world would Satan and Eve be enemies? I'll come back to this in a moment.
Phrases to be reckoned-with:
The woman's seed of Genesis 3:15 is Jesus Christ, who is the son of Mary. Here is the linkage of ideas:
(Revelation 12:9) And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.
(Revelation 12:4,5) The dragon [serpent, v.9] stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she [the woman] brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
(Revelation 12:1,2) And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
From Genesis 3:15, these pairs are enemies:
Note: there is no verse in the Bible we can use to identify "the seed of the woman" of Genesis 3:15 with Christ without the link through Mary as the mother of Christ. The passages referring to Christ as the promised seed of Abraham cannot be used because we have no way to cross-link Abraham's promised seed with the woman's seed of Genesis 3:15 unless we first identify Christ as this seed.
Therefore, in identifying Jesus as the seed of Genesis 3:15 we are confronted with Mary as "the woman" who was the mother of Jesus; Mary and Jesus cannot be separated if we limit ourselves to using only the Bible. This provides the basis for certain Catholic Marian doctrines such as Mary as the New Eve, Mother of the Church, Queen of Heaven, Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate.
The word "seed" refers to a physical descendant. All humans are seeds of Eve, physical descendants of Eve. In Genesis 3:15, the seed of Eve is Jesus (as we saw above).
In Satan's case the word "seed" can only refer to a person (or people) who are spiritual descendants of Satan, who are excluded from God's family, who are unredeemed. As an example, those who killed Christ (who bruised his heel) were seeds of Satan.
In highlighting the spiritual seeds of Satan, Genesis 3:15 introduces us to two groups of people: the unredeemed (seeds of Satan) and the redeemed (seeds of the woman, of Christ). This theme pervades the entire Bible.
(1 Peter 1:23) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
(Revelation 12:17) And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 12:17 introduces us to the faithful followers of Christ called the "remnant of the woman's seed" (in the context of Mary as the mother of Christ the Redeemer.) Therefore, in Genesis 3:15 these pairs are enemies:
This raises a few questions:
Genesis 3:15 introduces us to two races of humans: those who are righteous (the woman's seed), and those who are wicked (Satan's seed).
Satan is not permanently destroyed (crushed) at the resurrection of Christ:
After Satan harms Christ by orchestrating his crucifixion, Christ's resurrection destroys Satan. But this is not the end of Satan until the end of the world when Christ returns to finally defeat Satan once and for all. Once the head of Satan is crushed he is no longer able to destroy those who Christ has come to redeem (those in Abraham's bosom who Christ redeems and those who receive Christ in faith after the resurrection).
The woman's seed destroys the serpent's head, not the serpent itself. Thus, the woman's seed destroys Satan's head, not Satan himself.
What does it mean that Satan bruises the heel of Eve's seed?
From the New Testament we learn that Satan bruised the heel of Jesus who was Eve's descendant.
The word "bruise" is used to indicate harm that is not permanent. Examples:
(2 Kings 18:21) Now, behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt.
(Isaiah 42:3) A bruised reed shall he not break.
(Matthew 12:20) A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench.
(Isaiah 53:5) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
(Isaiah 53:10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
(Daniel 2:40) And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
(Romans 16:20) And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.
(Luke 4:18, from Isaiah 61:1) The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.
Using Genesis 3:15 to identify the seed of the woman as Abraham's promised seed can only be done by first identifying Christ as the woman's seed. Only then can we discover that the faithful redeemed of Abraham's seed are also the seed of the woman.
(Galatians 3:16) Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
This is a problem versebecause the word "seed" is clearly used in the book of Genesis in the context of Abraham's promised seed as referring to a multitude of peoples, yet Paul insists that this word refers only to Christ.
(2 Corinthians 11:22) Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
(Romans 9:8) That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
(Galatians 3:19) Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
Even those who killed Christ were the physical descendants of Abraham. The question is whether they were also the seed of Satan? It appears that the physical descendants of Abraham can also be the seed of Satan, therefore, the phrase "seed of Satan" refers to the spiritual condition of a person. In like manner, the phrase "seed of the woman" refers to the spiritual condition of the descendants of Eve, which is the entire human race.
(John 8:37) I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
It appears that Jesus distinguishes between their being the physical descendants of Abraham, the chosen seed, and the seed of Satan.
(John 8:33-35) They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
This covenant between God and the seed of the woman (the faithful redeemed of all ages) extends back from Abraham even to Noah's time. The wicked were killed in the flood and after that some of the descendents of Noah would be numbered among the redeemed, not because they were physical descendants of Noah, but because of their faithfulness to God.
(Genesis 9:9) And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you [Noah], and with your seed after you.
There is a sense in which all the physical descendants of Abraham are his promised seed.
(Genesis 15:5) And he brought him [Abraham] forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
But the true promised seed consists only of the faithful redeemed of all ages.
(Romans 4:13) For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
(Romans 9:7,8) Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
(Galatians 3:7) Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
Some of the Early Church Fathers mentioned Mary as the mother of Jesus when considering Jesus as the woman's seed. Thus, the word "woman" can refer to Mary in addition to Eve.
(John 2:4) Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
(John 19:26,27) When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
(Genesis 3:15) And I will put enmity between thee [Satan] and the woman [Eve], and between thy [Satan's] seed [the wicked of all ages] and her [Eve's] seed [Christ the redeemer / the faithful redeemed]; it [Christ the seed / the church] shall bruise thy [Satan's] head, and thou [Satan] shalt bruise his [Christ's / the church's] heel.
It is hard to leave Mary out of this equation. If Eve is the woman from whom Christ comes as the seed, and if the word "seed" also refers to the redeemed in Christ, it is difficult to exclude Mary from this. Therefore, "the woman" of Genesis 3:15 is Mary the mother of Jesus.
Once we establish this then we must make the connection that Satan and Mary are enemies. Implications of this:
(Matthew 2:13) And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
(Matthew 2:16) Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
What is Satan's head? Does Satan even have a head at all?
What does it mean that Eve's seed will bruise Satan's head?
Genesis 3:15 has some striking implications: