GEN 3:14-19



[Gen 3:14-19]:


The vast majority of people believe that the earth has always been as it is today. They maintain that in order to determine what happened in the past, one must presume that the earth always functioned basically as it does in the present - with conflict and death, vastly different climates, radical changes in the weather, catastrophic natural disasters, survival of the fittest, etc.

The Bible, however refutes this false presupposition. When God completed His 6 day creation process, He declared that it all was "very good", (Gen 1:31). But then when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, mankind and the earth were decreed by God to reflect mankind's fallen condition. Genesis 3:14-19 is one of the key passages in Scripture which teaches that God decreed such a fallen condition to mankind and earth alike.


At first Adam was warned by God that disobedience would lead to physical and spiritual death:

[Gen 2:16-17]:

(Gen 2:16 NKJV) And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, 'Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;

(Gen 2:17 NKJV) but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.' "

(Gen 2:17b Hebrew Interlinear)

"kî ..........beyôm ............'akolekA ......mimmennû .môt ....tAmût"

"because on the day of .your eating ..from it.........dying .you are dying

.....................................................................................[inf] ....[imperfect]


"For the day of ..[your] eating of it - ..........dying ..[you do] die.' " in the YLT.

This Hebrew phrase, "môt tAmût" appears in 1 Sam 14:44; 22:16 and 1 Ki 2:37 as well. In all of these instances, the meaning intended is one of emphatically declaring the death of an individual, i.e., "you will surely die!" And because of the two natures of the man who was created in the image of God - physical and spiritual, this emphatic certainty of death implies two kinds of death, evidently immediate spiritual death; then eventually, physical death. For man was breathed into by the LORD God with the breath of lives, plural; receiving a physical and a spiritual life, (ref. Gen 2:7 ).

Adam did not immediately die physically but began to gradually die. He lived to be 930 years old (Gen 5:5). Adam's immediate spiritual death ...i.e. spiritual separation from evident in Scripture when he and Eve attempted to hide from God Who they used to understand as omniscient, i.e., all knowing - from Whom no one can hide:

[Gen 3:8]:

"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day...[God appearing to them as usual in a form such that they could more intimately communicate with Him]...and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden."

So, "on that [very] day," (Gen 2:17), Adam and Eve died spiritually as evidenced by their trying to hide from an omniscient God...thus showing an ignorance and an alienation, (separation), from Him whereas before they were in an intimate relationship with Him.

And "on that day" Adam, as the federal head and representative of the human race, insured that all of humanity would be born spiritually dead and that all new born babies would inherit a sin nature and spiritual death through his seed as it passed on from generation to generation.

[Morris, cont., p.113]

"...Because Adam had the sentence of death imposed as an actual operational feature of his biological life, his descendants also have inherited a life principle which involves a built-in death principle. The moment a child is conceived he begins to die, and eventually the death principle wins out over the life principle and he does die."

[Compare Ro 5:12-19]:

(v. 12) "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned "

[Morris, cont., p. 113]

"As the tendency toward death is inherited by all men, so also is the tendency toward sin. No descendant of Adam has ever lived to an age of conscious awareness of right and wrong without actually choosing wrong. He has become a deliberate sinner because he has inherited a sinful nature, which leads him to sin in practice. Thus, 'death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.'

[Ro 5:12] Each person continues under the divine judgment of death, not only because of Adam's sin, but because of his own deliberate sin."

(v. 13) for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

(v. 14) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of Adam's offense, who is a type of Him who was to come.

(v. 15) But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

(v. 16) And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.

(v. 17) For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

(v. 18) So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men; even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.

(v. 19) For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous."

The New Testament verifies the doctrine of spiritual death, especially in Paul's letter to the believers in Ephesus:

[Eph 2:1]:

"And you He made alive when you were dead in your trespasses and sins."

["And you" who must be physically alive in order for you to hear this message, "He", Jesus Christ, "made" spiritually "alive when you were" spiritually "dead", (obviously not physically dead) "in your trespasses and sins."] So spiritual death became a reality, as testified to in Genesis 3:8 and Ro 5:12-19.

And so mankind and nature were sadly changed. Man's offspring would now reflect this change so that no longer could God treat man as He did before:

[Gen 3:22-23]:

(v. 22a) "And the Lord God said, 'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil."

[Man has experienced evil thereby contaminating his nature and in this sense knows of evil. God Who is sovereign and omniscient knows of evil without experiencing it and without contaminating His nature. Note that the singularity of God in this passage is expressed - that there is only one God - as expressed in the singular form of the verb "said" in the verse above. And notice the plurality of the Godhead in this verse - that there is more than one Personality that makes up Who God is - as indicated by the word "Us" and by the Hebrew word "Elohim" = "God, plural].

(v. 22b) "He [man] must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever [in such a depraved rebellious condition as he is now in]. (v. 23) So the Lord God banished him from the garden to work the ground from which he had been taken."


Then everything was changed, mankind, all living things and the whole earth itself.


Henry Morris states, ("The Genesis Record", Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1976, pp. 109-110, 113):

"The fact that great physiological changes took place in both the plant and animal kingdoms at the time of the curse, as well as in man himself, is obvious from Genesis 3:14-19, and it is obvious also that changes of such degree are quite within the capabilities of God to produce.

In cases of doubtful meanings of Scripture, one must not be dogmatic; but, at the same time, he should not forget the cardinal rule of interpretation; the Bible was written to be understood, by commoner as well as scholar. Therefore it should normally be taken literally unless the context both indicates a nonliteral meaning and also makes it clear what the true meaning is intended to be.

It is at least possible (as well as the most natural reading) that the higher animals could originally communicate directly with man, who was their master. These were possibly the same as the animals to whom Adam gave names, and over whom man was to exercise friendly dominion.

It is further possible that all these animals (other than the birds) were quadrupeds, except the serpent, who had the remarkable ability, with a strong vertebral skeleton supported by small limbs, to rear and hold himself erect when talking with Adam or Eve. After the temptation and fall, God altered the vocal equipment of the animals, including the structure of the speech centers in their brains, He did this in order to place a still greater barrier between men and animals and to prevent further use of their bodies by demonic spirits to deceive men again in this fashion. The body of the serpent, in addition, was altered even further by eliminating his ability to stand erect, eye-to-eye with man as it were.

Again it should be emphasized that the above interpretation is not intended dogmatically. The Bible is not explicit on these matters and such explanations no doubt are hard to accept by the 'modern mind.' Nevertheless, they are not impossible or unreasonable in the context of the original creation and, indeed, appear to follow directly from the most natural and literal reading of the passage....


So the passage of Gen 3:14-19 which is now under consideration, starts with God's pronouncement on the serpent which serves the purpose of reminding future generations of Satan's continual deceptions and mankind's fallen condition. Part of this pronouncement includes God's curse on mankind, as well as on plant and animal life and on the earth itself:

[Gen 3:14]:

"And the Lord God said to the serpent, 'Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly shall you go, And dust shall you eat All the days of your life."

[Notice that serpents, i.e., snakes changed physically as did all of nature and mankind]

[Henry Morris states, op cit, p. 118-119]:

"The serpent, as an animal, was cursed 'above all cattle, and above every beast of the field,' not because of direct culpability on its part, but rather as a perpetual reminder to man of the instrument of his fall and of the final destruction of Satan himself. Whatever may have been its beauty and posture before, it would henceforth glide on its belly and be an object of dread and loathing by all.

It would not 'eat dust' in a literal sense, of course, except in the sense that its prey would have to be consumed directly off the ground in front of it. The expression is mainly a graphic figure of speech indicating its humiliating judgment and fall.

Lest anyone complain at God's injustice, since the serpent as an animal was not to blame for Satan's corrupt possession of its body, he should remember that the 'potter hath power over the clay.' Each animal had been made for a specific mode of life and with specific structures appropriate to such a mode. There were many other 'creeping things,' and God now made the serpent to join this group, for reason of the symbolism involved; but snakes, as animals, are no more capable of resentment at this lot than are moles and worms.

It should be noted also that all other animals were brought under the curse at this time, though none of them had 'sinned.' The serpent was merely cursed 'above all' the rest, but 'every beast' henceforth had the 'sentence of death' in its members. Each was a part of man's dominion and it was by man's sin that death came into the world, infecting everything in that dominion."

[pp. 464-465]:

"...the serpent was possessed of four legs like other 'beasts of the field.' But the fact that Satan had used this creature as an instrument for deceiving Eve brought the curse of God upon the instrument as well as upon the deceiver himself...

'In Genesis 1:31 it may well be that it is said of the whole work of creation and not of the creation of the earth alone that God saw what He had made, and, behold, it was very good. If so, the rebellion and the disobedience of the angels must have taken place after the sixth day of creation.'

[Herman Bavinck, Our Reasonable Faith (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1956), p. 221]

From the earliest times it has been recognized as a psychologically valid principle of pedogogy that sub-human creatures which have been used as instruments of sin be included in the punishment of the offender. Biblical examples of this are found in Genesis 6:7, 7:21; Exodus 21:28; Leviticus 20:15, 16; Joshua 7:24, and elsewhere.

But the important thing to notice, so far as our discussion is concerned, is not why the serpent was punished as the instrument of Satan but how it was punished. Observe carefully the wording here: 'cursed art thou above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life' (3:14). Surely to be deprived of limbs involved far greater structural transformations in this creature than would have been involved in changing herbivores into carnivores, and the serpent's transformation took place after the Creation Week. C. F. Keil concludes:

'If these words are not to be robbed of their entire meaning, they cannot be understood in any other way than as denoting that the form and movements of the serpent were altered, and that its present repulsive shape is the effect of the curse pronounced upon it, though we cannot form any accurate idea of its original appearance.'

[Keil, op. cit., p. 99]

...Bernard Ramm completely misses the point by asking, 'Are we to believe... that the sharp claws of the big cats and the magnificent array of teeth in a lion's mouth were for vegetarian purposes only?' [Bernard Ramm, (The Christian View of Science and Scripture, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1954, p. 335; cf. p. 209]

The point is that such specialized structures appeared for the first time after the Edenic curse."


[Gen 3:15 NIV]:

"And I [God] will put enmity between you [the serpent, i.e., Satan] and the woman, And between your offspring [lit., "seed" = unbelievers] and hers [lit., "her seed" = Jesus Christ & believers] He [Jesus Christ] will crush ["shup"] your head, And you [Satan] strike ["shup"] his heel."

Upon close examination, one will find that this verse cannot be taken as a literal 'blow by blow' description of a battle between an individual referred to as the "The seed of the woman" and another individual to which God spoke to as He addressed the serpent. On the other hand, there are a number of figures of speech in this verse which DO have literal meanings and which provide the meaning of the passage.

[And I will put enmity [hostility] between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed..." = This phrase is a statement of God to the agent controlling the serpent: Satan. This can be determined because God is addressing the serpent as if it were a highly intelligent person with power, who is to be battled and defeated.

[Compare Rev 12:9; 20:10]:

(v. 12:9) "And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

(v. 20:10) And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."

From other passages we learn that it was Satan who usurped the dominion and power of man at this time and himself became ruler of the earth in place of man:

[Compare Lk 4:5-7]:

(v. 5) "And he [Satan, v. 2] led Him [Jesus Christ, v.1] up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

(v. 6) And the devil said to Him, 'I will give You all this domain and their glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish."

[Compare 1 John 5:19]:

"We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one."

And the "evil one" who now has power over the whole world, having gained it from Adam and Eve, i.e., mankind, is Satan himself:

[Compare 2 Cor 4:3-4]:

(v. 3) "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,

(v. 4) in whose case the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God."

[Compare Jn 12:31]:

"Now [Jesus is speaking just before His crucifixion and victorious resurrection] judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out."

[Gen 3:15 NIV cont.]:

"And I [God] will put enmity between you [the serpent, i.e., Satan] and the woman, And between your offspring [lit., "seed" = unbelievers] and hers [lit., "her seed" = Jesus Christ & believers]

He [Jesus Christ] will crush ["shup"] your head,

And you [Satan] strike ["shup"] his heel."

"between your [Satan's] offspring [lit., "seed"] = The spiritual offspring of Satan, i.e., all unbelievers including the demonic angels:

[Compare Jn 8:42-44]

(v. 42) "Jesus said to them, 'If God were your [scribes, Pharisees and other UNBELIEVING Jews] Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.

(v. 43) Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.

(v. 44) "You [unbelieving scribes and Pharisees and Jews, vv. 2, 3, 13, 31, 42, i.e. unbelievers in general] are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies."

[Compare Eph 2:1-3]:

(v. 1) "And you [believers, v. 1:1] were dead in your trespasses and sins,

(v. 2) in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. [unbelievers]

(v. 3) Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest."

[Gen 3:15 NIV cont.]:

"And I [God] will put enmity between you [the serpent, i.e., Satan] and the woman, And between your offspring [lit., "seed" = unbelievers] and hers [lit., "her seed" = Jesus Christ & believers] He [Jesus Christ] will crush ["shup"] your head, And you [Satan] strike ["shup"] his heel."

"enmity" = hostility, hatred = God decreed an adversarial relationship between the woman and her seed, representing Jesus Christ and all believers and Satan and his seed representing unbelievers, who, by rejecting God's sovereign plan of salvation for them unwittingly enslave themselves to their own sin natures and enable Satan to manipulate them to oppose God's people.

[Compare Rev 12:17]:

"And the dragon was enraged with the woman, [i.e., Israel for giving birth to Jesus Christ Who defeated him and ascended to heaven victoriously, vv. 1-13] and [so Satan] went off to make war with the rest of her offspring who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus."

"and hers" = lit., "her seed" = Jesus Christ & believers. Scripture refers to the spiritual offspring of Abraham, i.e., all believers of all ages; all of whom in spiritual essence relate all the way back in human history to Eve who was born again spiritually on the basis of faith alone in Christ alone as Savior:

[Ro 4:9-11, 13, 16]:

(v. 9) "Is this blessing [of being reckoned righteous by God, i.e., receiving eternal life] then upon the circumcised, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say, 'FAITH WAS RECKONED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.'

(v. 10) How then was it reckoned? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised:

(v. 11) and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be reckoned to them,

(v. 12) and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.

(v. 13) For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.

(v. 16) For this reason it is by faith, that it might be in accordance with grace, in order that the promise may be certain to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, [the spiritual father, obviously, not the physical father]

"Many have interpreted the seed in this verse as the Messiah, including the Jewish Targums, hence the Talmudic expression ‘heels of the Messiah’. This verse hints at the Virginal Conception, as the Messiah is called the seed of the woman, contrary to the normal Biblical practice of naming the father rather than the mother of a child (cf. Gen. ch’s 5 and 11, 1 Chr. ch’s 1–9). The pronoun hû’ (he will crush your head (NIV), it shall bruise thy head (KJV)) can be translated ‘he’, ‘it’ or ‘they’. A feminine pronoun (‘she’) would have the consonants hî’. The Septuagint (LXX) translated the pronoun hû’ as autós, although the antecedent spérmatos is grammatically neuter. This suggests that the LXX translators had a messianic understanding of the passage. The Latin Vulgate mistranslates hû’ as ipsa (‘she’), which is followed by the Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims English translation of the Bible. Some Roman Catholics use this to teach that Mary would crush the serpent’s head. Their main justification is that some Hebrew manuscripts pointed the consonants of hû’ to pronounce the word in the feminine way. However, basing dogma on rare vowel-pointing (which is uninspired anyway) is unwise. "

In the same way - by faith - Eve is the spiritual mother of all believers throughout the ages. First of all Eve herself is a believer having trusted in God's plan of salvation:

[Gen 3:20]:

"Now the man called his wife's name Eve [Lit., "Living" or "Life"] because she was the mother of all the living."

[Henry Morris states, op. cit., p. 129]:

"As God pronounced the great curse, with all its aspects and implications, He had also given the even greater promise of the coming redeemer. When Adam and Eve heard His proclamation of this 'first gospel,' promising salvation in spite of their sin and the resulting curse, this time they believed God's Word, instead of doubting and rejecting it.

Adam called his wife's name Eve (meaning "life") because she was the "mother of all living." He thus indicated his faith in God's promises, not only that they would have children but also that through this means God would send the "Seed of the woman" to bring salvation."

And as a result of the faith expressed by Adam and Eve in God's plan of salvation, i.e., the coming Messiah Jesus Christ, God provided His born again children, Adam and Eve, animal skins which symbolized their acceptance of the sacrifice that God alone would make for the sins of all mankind:

[Gen 3:21]:

"And the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them."

The salvation of Adam and Eve is also verified when Eve described her third son Seth:

[Gen 4:25]:

"And Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, 'God has appointed another offspring [lit., "seed"] in place of Abel; for Cain killed Him.' "

Eve's statement indicates her understanding that it would be through her seed that a Savior would come, Seth now being the son through whom our Lord would be born. Eve said, "God has appointed me another seed in place of Abel". In other words, Eve understood Abel to be the seed through whom her salvation would come, but who was slain. So Eve stated that Seth was God's appointed replacement for Abel, not just another son. Eve was a believer.

Just as it states in Gen 3:15, other Scripture passages also indicate that there is tremendous enmity between believers and Satan throughout all the ages:

[1 Peter 5:8]:

"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your [believers', v. 1] adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."

So Eve's offspring in Gen 3:15 refers to Abel who was the first of Eve's children to become a believer, (cp Heb 11:4), and men of all ages who are believers in God's provision of salvation. Her offspring most significantly includes Jesus Christ the Savior Who will defeat Satan:

[Gal 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."

So God refers to this Adversary of Satan as being the Seed of the woman - a human being born of a woman's seed. Since the man provides the seed, this will be a supernatural birth - none other than Jesus Christ - the only One Who was so born.

[Gen 3:15 NIV cont.]:

"And I [God] will put enmity between you [the serpent, i.e., Satan] and the woman, And between your offspring [lit., "seed" = unbelievers] and hers [lit., "her seed" = Jesus Christ & believers] He [Jesus Christ] will crush ["shup"] your head, And you [Satan] strike ["shup"] his heel."

He will crush ["shup"] your head, And you strike ["shup"] his heel." =

The description of the battle is a figurative one which has a literal meaning. For Scripture does not mention a literal striking of our Lord's heel, nor a specific head wound to Satan who is a spirit being -a fallen angel - who does not possess a human head to be wounded in the first place. So these expressions are figures of speech representing a literal meaning:

[Compare Job 9:17]:

"He [God in His sovereignty] would crush ["shup] me [Job] with a storm and multiply my wounds for no reason."

[Compare Ps 139:11]:

"If I say, 'Surely the darkness will overwhelm [shup] me, And the light around me will be night,.' "]

[Compare Ro 16:20]:

"And the God of peace will soon crush [Gk = "suvtripsei"] Satan under your feet."

"crush" = Greek = "suvtripsei" = In accordance with the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich editors, translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1992. p. 1124:

"The image of smashing Satan in Rom. 16:20 (cf. Gen 3:15...) ...suggests both present victory over the powers of darkness and the imminent eschatological destruction of Satan."

[Compare Rev 20:10]:

"And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."

So "He [Jesus Christ] will crush your head" = "He" = literally from the Hebrew, the Seed, singular, i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ. For Christ is in essence the only One Who embattles Satan, is bruised and Who defeats Satan. The battle is already won for all mankind. In ancient Hebrew the term "crush your head" meant to deal one a mortal blow such that that person was destroyed. So this phrase is saying that Christ will deal Satan a mortal blow - by paying the penalty for sin and resurrecting from the dead thus wrestling rulership over mankind from Satan and condemning Satan and his offspring of unbelievers to be under the eternal destruction of the Lake of Fire, (Satan's offspring = demonic angels and all unbelievers - spiritual offspring who are slaves to Satan).

"And you [Satan] strike ["shup"] his heel." = In ancient Hebrew, the term to strike one's heel meant to wound but not mortally. So this phrase is saying that Satan will wound our Lord but not mortally in the sense of not totally destroying Him. History and Scripture then reveal that Jesus Christ was crucified but this did not destroy Him, for He rose from the dead triumphantly - this resurrection being a sign of our Lord's victory over sin and death and Satan, (Ro 1:1-4; Phil 3:10-11).

[Compare Isa 53:5-6, 10-11]:

(v. 5) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities, The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

[" we are healed" = we are healed of our iniquities - our sins - we are healed spiritually]

(v. 6) All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity [the sins] of us all To fall on Him.

(v. 10) But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring [lit., "seed"] He will prolong His days,

[Our Lord will indeed rise from the dead]

And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

(v. 11) As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities."

[And Jesus Christ will pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world, I Jn 2:2]

[Henry Morris states, (op. cit., pp. 119-122)]:

"Though the curse was outwardly pronounced on the serpent, its real thrust was against the malevolent spirit controlling its body and its speech, 'that old serpent called the Devil" (Revelation 12:9). The earth had been originally placed under man's dominion. By persuading them to follow his word instead of God's word, Satan probably believed that he had now won the allegiance of the first man and woman and therefore also of all their descendants. They would be allies of himself and his host of evil angels in their efforts to dethrone and vanquish God. Satan was now the 'god of this world' (II Corinthians 4:4), and the woman especially, who was to bear the earth's future children [Satan thought], would readily follow him. She had already demonstrated her control over the man, who had eaten of the fruit when she told him to, even though he himself was not deceived. With the wonderful potentialities of human reproduction under his control, Satan could, as it were, in time 'create' an innumerable host of obedient servants to do his bidding.

But if such thoughts as these were in Satan's mind, he was not only the deceiver of the whole world (Revelation 12:9), but he himself was deceived most of all. The woman, in the first place, would not become his willing ally...

...Neither would she rule over her husband. 'Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.' Conception and childbirth would not be easy and rapid. 'I will greatly multiply thy sorrow, and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children.'

Not only would victory not be as easy as he thought, but ultimately he would be completely defeated and destroyed. 'There will come One who will not be of the man's seed, and who therefore will not be under your dominion. He will be uniquely the Seed of the woman, miraculously conceived and virgin-born. Though you will succeed in grievously injuring Him, He will completely crush you and all your evil ambitions.'

This great promise in Genesis 3:15 has long been known as the Protevangelium (the 'first gospel''), promising the ultimate coming and victory of the Redeemer. It obviously entails far more than a trivial reference to the physical enmity between men and snakes, though this may be included as a sort of secondary pictorial parallel. The prophecy clearly looks forward to the time when Satan will be completely crushed beneath the feet of the woman's triumphant Seed [the Messiah Jesus Christ].

But first there is seen a time of conflict and even apparent victory on the part of the serpent, who is able to 'bruise the heel' of the woman's seed. This predicted conflict is reflected in the legends and mythologies of the ancients, filled as they are with tales of heroes engaged in life-and-death struggles with serpents and dragons and other monsters. The star-figures by which early peoples identified the heavenly constellations repeat the same story, especially in the so-called signs of the zodiac and their accompanying 'decans.' There is the picture, for example, of Hercules battling with the serpent. The constellation Virgo, with the spike of wheat in her hands, may refer to the promised 'seed of the woman.' The king of animals, Leo, is shown clawing the head of a great fleeing serpent. The Scorpion is illustrated as stinging the heel of the great hero Ophiuchus.

These and many similar representations in the ancient myths are most likely merely distorted remembrances of this great primeval prophecy. Mankind, from the earliest ages, has recorded its hope that some day a Savior would come who would destroy the devil and reconcile man to God.

But who, or what, is meant by the 'seed' - both the 'seed of the serpent' and the 'seed of the woman?' The term 'seed' of course has a biological connotation, but this is not strictly possible here. Neither Satan, who is a spirit, nor the woman would be able to produce actual seed; only the man was created physically to do this. These two seeds, therefore, must refer primarily to spiritual progeny.

Specifically, it appears that Satan's seed consists of those who knowingly and willfully set themselves at enmity with the seed of the woman. They partake in a very specific sense of the character of the Adversary (John 8:44; Ephesians 2:2, 3) and seek to oppose God's purposes in creation and redemption.

The 'seed of the woman' on the other hand, would refer in the first place to those in the human family who are brought into right relationship with God through faith, children of the Father. The prophecy forecasts the agelong conflict between the children of the kingdom and the children of the wicked one, beginning with Cain and Abel (Matthew 13:37-40; I John 3:8-12), and continuing to the end of the age (Revelation 12:17).

There is obviously another meaning as well, in addition to the above plural and corporate meaning of the two seeds. There is one primary seed of the serpent and one primary seed of the woman. The former is the soon-coming 'son of perdition' (II Thessalonians 2:3), the antichrist, to whom the Dragon gives his power and throne and authority (Revelation 13:2).

The primary seed of the woman is, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ...

[Gal 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." and it is not the seed of the serpent, but Satan himself, who battles and is destroyed by this Seed, according to verse 15."]

...There is clearly an inference of human birth here; in fact, verse 16 mentions the sorrow that would attend conception of the woman's children. It is also clearly implied that someday one would be supernaturally conceived and born of a virgin. This promised Seed would not partake of the inherited sin nature of Adam's children, but would nevertheless be a man. He would not be born under Satan's dominion as would other men, and would thus be able to engage the Serpent in mortal combat. Finally, though bruised in the conflict, He would emerge as victor, 'bruising' (literally crushing) the Serpent's head, destroying the works of Satan and setting the captives free!

This promise is, of course, fulfilled in Jesus Christ. He appeared to be mortally wounded when He died on the cross, but He rose again and soon will return to cast the devil into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). And in His very dying, 'bruised for our iniquities' (Isaiah 53:5), He satisfied the just requirements of God's holiness. He died for the sin of Adam, and therefore also for the sin of all who were 'in Adam.' 'For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive' (I Corinthians 15:22).

There is an implied reference to this great prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, which should read: 'Therefore the LORD Himself shall give you a sign: behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.' The definite article before 'virgin' (ha almah in the Hebrew text) indicates one that was previously promised. Similarly in Jeremiah 31:22: 'For the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.' An ordinary conception would not be a new thing.

The great sign which John saw in heaven (Revelation 12:1-17) points to the final fulfillment of the prophecy. The woman in this passage seems to represent the chosen nation Israel in general, and Mary the mother of Jesus in a specific sense, although she may also be understood to symbolize all the true people of God. The man-child is Christ and the Dragon is that old Serpent waiting to destroy Him. But He is caught up into the heavens, and the Serpent, defeated in his attempt to destroy the true Seed, angrily continues to 'make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.' [Rev 12:17] Finally, the Dragon is to be bound in the abyss for a thousand years, and eventually cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:2).

The promised Seed would one day be born of a human woman, but Satan was left in the dark as to which woman and at what time. Both he and Eve may have thought initially it would be her firstborn son. Later on, as the centuries passed, Satan continued his attacks against all the males born in the promised line, particularly those who were objects of special prophetic interest (e.g., Noah, Abraham, Jacob, David), in case one of them might be the promised Seed."


[Gen 3:16]:

"To the woman He [God] said, 'I will greatly multiply Your pain [lit., 'and your pregnancy, conception'] in childbirth, In pain you shall bring forth children;

[cp 1 Tim 2:15]

Yet your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you."[cp. I Cor 14:34]

[So now, Eve and all women will have pain when giving birth to their children]

[Henry Morris states, op. cit., pp. 122-124]:

"Although God's grace was manifest in this particular way toward woman - despite her being the vehicle through which Satan gained control over the world - she was nevertheless to be the subject of special judgment, though even this would be for the ultimate good of humanity. Eve shared in the curse on Adam, since she was also 'of the man'; but in addition a special burden was placed on her in connection with the experience of conception and childbirth, the pain and sorrow of which would be 'greatly multiplied.' It had been appointed to her to be the 'mother of all living' (Genesis 3:20), but now her children to all generations would suffer under the curse. Their very entrance into the world would be marked by unique suffering, serving as a perpetual reminder of the dread effects of sin.

The function of reproduction and motherhood, originally given as the joyful fruition of God's purpose in her creation, but now marred so severely by her 'lust' for withheld knowledge, which conceived and brought forth sin and death (James 1:15), would thus be marked by unique suffering in its accomplishment. Furthermore, she who had acted independently of her husband in her fateful decision to taste the desired fruit, must henceforth exercise her desire only to her husband and he would bear rule over her...

[Furthermore, Eve had acted independently of her husband in her disastrous decision to eat of the forbidden fruit. So God stated that the sin in the Garden would effect men and women such that the woman would henceforth tend to struggle to control her husband but that her husband would nevertheless rule over her.

[Gen 3:16 cont.]:

"To the woman He [God] said, 'I will greatly multiply Your pain [lit., 'and your pregnancy, conception'] in childbirth, In pain you shall bring forth children;

[cp 1 Tim 2:15]

Yet your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you."[cp. I Cor 14:34]

"Yet your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you." =

[John MacArthur states in his book entitled 'The Family', pp. 44-45]:

"Most commentators say that 'your desire' simply refers to the normal strong sexual and psychological attraction a woman has for her husband, and the normal function of the husband to rule over his wife. But in most cases that truth is that a man has a much stronger desire for sexual fulfillment than does a woman. That fact contradicts the traditional interpretation. Also, historically women have not loved their role of submission to their husbands. There isn't a period in history when women haven't chafed under male authority. One more thing: if this were simply a normal desire it would not involve a curse. Whatever verse 16 means, it has to be something different now from what it was before the Fall.

The key to understanding this passage is the word translated 'rule,' which is masal in Hebrew. In the Septuagint the word used is kathist emi, which means 'to install in an office' or 'to elevate to an official position.' So as part of the curse God said to the woman, 'You were once co-regents, you ruled together as a team...

[but nevertheless with Adam in headship, cp. I Tim 2:11-15]

...but from now on the man is installed over you.' This is a new kind of ruling that had not been known before. The man's authority was never intended to be despotic, but in the Fall it became just that. Eve usurped the headship of her husband when she took the fruit - and fell into sin. The curse on her is that the man is going to have to rule over her for the rest of human history. But that's only part of the picture.

The rest is found in the latter part of verse 16: 'Yet your desire shall be for your husband.' The word translated 'desire' is used only one other time in the Pentateuch, in Genesis 4:7. It comes from an Arabic root that means 'to compel, to impel, to urge, to seek control.' In Genesis 4:7, God is speaking to Cain: '[Sin's] desire is for you, but you must master it.' In other words, sin will desire to control or to master Cain. It is the same word that appears in Genesis 3:16, in the identical form, in the same grammatical structure. So whatever it means in 4:7 it would also mean back in 3:16, because it is in the same context. So Genesis 3:16 would rightly read: 'To the woman He said... Your desire shall be to control your husband, but he shall rule over you.' Adam would subdue Eve's tendency to control him. And because Adam followed her lead in sinning willfully (3:17), God adds to the curse and says to men, in effect, 'From now on women will seek to control men.' That is the curse. And therein lies the battle of the sexes. Women trying to rule (women's liberation) and men trying to crush the revolt (male chauvinism)."

[Henry Morris states, op. cit., pp. 122-124, cont.]:

...The long sad record of human history has confirmed the accuracy of this prophetic judgment. Woman's lot has been one of pain, pain in many forms - physical, mental, spiritual, and especially in her experience of conception and birth (the emphasis is warranted in the original language). Generally speaking, man has subjugated woman with little regard for her own personal feelings and needs. In non-Christian cultures and religions, such subjugation and humiliation have been almost universal, until very recent times her husband often having even the power of life and death over her.

Such harsh 'rule,' of course, went far beyond God's intention. Though the husband was to be the head of the house, he was to love and cherish his wife, considering her to be 'one flesh' with himself, 'clinging to his wife' (Genesis 2:23, 24). Those involved in the modern 'women's liberation' and other feminist movements are well justified in fighting against the injustices and cruelties long associated with male-dominated governments and customs; but they should avoid carrying such movements to anti-Biblical extremes, demanding absolute equality in all legal, political, cultural, and personal relationships.

It is surely true that, in the Israelite economy outlined in the Mosaic code, and even more in the Christian relationships enjoined in the New Testament, the role of the woman is eminently conducive to her highest happiness and fulfillment, as multitudes of Christian women have testified. In nominally Christian countries, of course, and even in many Christian homes and churches, the proper roles of husband and wife have often been distorted in one direction or another. This can best be corrected by simple obedience to God's revealed Word on such subjects (see Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-21; I Peter 3:1-7; I Corinthians 7:1-40; I Timothy 2:8-15; 3:11-12; 5:14; Titus 2:4-5; Hebrews 13:4; Matthew 19:3-12; etc.).

The special curse on woman associated with child-bearing can, in fact, be turned to a blessing for a woman yielded to the will of God. Jesus said: 'A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world' (John 16:21). Somehow, in spite of the suffering, the joy of motherhood has for most normal women been their greatest happiness... ...Each experience of birth, therefore, can be a beautiful picture and reminder of God's promise of 'deliverance' from the awful curse on man and all his dominion. The entire world, in fact, is 'groaning and travailing in pain,' awaiting the great delivery and birth of a new world, heir to all God's glorious purposes and promises to the first world, in 'earnest expectation... of the manifestation of the sons of God,' at which great day 'the creature [creation] itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of decay into the glorious liberty of the children of God' (Romans 8:19, 21, 22).

Each 'birth' day is a picture and promise of such a day. For the instructed and trusting woman, the experience of childbirth, therefore, can be - and always should be - a time of blessing, of closeness to God (and to her husband). The suffering is submerged in the rejoicing, and this in itself goes far toward mitigating the physical pain. No wonder the apostle Paul says: 'Notwithstanding, she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and love and holiness with sobriety' (I Timothy 2:15).

[ p. 466]:

"(Gen 3:16). In the light of this verse, it would be precarious indeed to argue that the Edenic curse was confined to purely moral and spiritual realms: for we are clearly told here that an important change took place in Eve's body. Whereas she would have borne children without pain before the Fall in accordance with the Edenic command to 'be fruitful and multiply' (Gen 1:28), the very structure of her body was now altered by God in such a way that childbirth would be accomplished henceforth by severe pain. While it is true that this case does not prove a similarly drastic change in the animal kingdom at the time of the Fall, it serves as an important illustration of how God could have introduced significant changes in the physical make-up of His creatures without at the same time eradicating their identity and producing thereby newly created 'kinds.' "



[Gen 3:17-19]:

(v. 17) "Then to Adam He said, 'Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it'' Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil ["sorrow"] you shall eat of it All the days of your life."

(v. 18) Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you shall eat the plants of the field'

(v. 19) By the sweat of your face You shall eat bread, Till you return to the ground,[cp Ps 90:3] Because from it you were taken; [cp Gen 2:7] For you are dust, And to dust you shall return."

[Compare Ro 8:19-22]:

(v. 19) "The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed [cp I Jn 3:2]

(v. 20) For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope

(v. 21) that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

(v. 22) We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time."

Henry Morris states, (op cit, p. 125-128):

"The full force of the curse fell on Adam, but this of course included all men and women 'in Adam' (even Eve, who was 'of him', as well as his entire dominion, and indeed the 'whole creation' (evidently the sidereal realms [heavenly bodies] were also involved in God's judgment...).."


[Henry Morris states, (op. cit., p. 125-128):

...'Cursed is the ground [same word, actually, as earth, and meaning the basic material of the physical creation] for thy sake.' The elements themselves, the 'dust of the earth,' out of which all things had been made, were brought under the bondage of decay and disintegration.

The earth which had previously cooperated readily as the man 'tilled' and 'dressed it' (Genesis 2:5, 15), now became reluctant to yield his food. Instead it began to yield thorns and noxious weeds, requiring toil and sweat and tears before man could 'eat of it.' And finally, in spite of all his struggle, death would triumph and man's body would return to the dust form which it was taken.

It seems unlikely that God actually either created or 'made' thorns and thistles at this time. He did not 'create' death in the direct sense, but rather withdrew that extension of His power which had maintained a 'steady state' of life and order, thus allowing all things gradually to disintegrate towards disorder and death. In like manner, though there is necessarily a good deal of uncertainty on such matters, it seems more in character that God merely 'allowed' certain plant structures which previously were beneficent to deteriorate into malevolent characteristics. It may be assumed (as characteristic of most 'decay' processes observed today) that deterioration at first was rapid, later gradually tapering off into a much more gradual process.

In terms of modern genetic knowledge, such changes probably were in the form of mutations, or random changes in the molecular structure of the genetic systems of the different kinds of organisms."

[ pp. 466-468]

"Turning our attention now from the animal kingdom to the plant kingdom, we read of further important effects of the Edenic curse:

'Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat of the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground...' (Gen. 3:17-19).

Once again, it becomes evident that uniformitarianism can find no place in its scheme of things for such a transformation of nature at the time of the Fall; and, therefore, its advocates have been compelled to eliminate this curse from the text of Scripture by various stratagems of exegesis and logic. A recent example of such an effort may be found in the following statement by Bernard Ramm:

'Part of man's judgment was that he was turned out of that park and into the conditions prevalent in the rest of the creation... Ideal conditions existed only in the Garden... Outside of the Garden of Eden were death, disease, weeds, thistles, thorns, carnivores, deadly serpents, and intemperate weather. To think otherwise is to run counter to an immense avalanche of fact. Part of the blessedness of man was that he was spared all of these things in Paradise, and part of the judgment of man was that he had to forsake such a Paradise and enter the world as it was outside of the Garden, where thistles grew and weeds were abundant and where wild animals roamed and where life was only possible by the sweat of man's brow.'."

[Ramm, op. cit., pp. 334 f., cf. p. 209]

The principal objection to this approach to the problem is that it lacks a single shred of Scriptural support in its favor and runs counter to an immense avalanche of revelation. Let it be carefully noted that the text in question reads: 'Cursed is the ground for thy sake... thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.' This is certainly an opposite concept from that advocated by Dr. Ramm and others of like persuasion, who presumably could wish that the author of Genesis had written the verse in the following manner: 'Cursed art thou from the Garden; from henceforth shalt thou be removed to the thorns and thistles.' But the Bible states that the earth outside of the Garden had to be cursed by God before it could bring forth thorns and thistles for Adam's sake. Uniformitarians insist that the earth has experienced such conditions for hundreds of millions of years and thus did not need to be cursed by God subsequent to the appearance of man in order to become overrun with thorns and thistles.

But in opposition to this view, we not only have the testimony of Romans 8:19-22 but also an important statement by Lamech, the father of Noah. Speaking many centuries after the Edenic curse, Lamech looked upon his new-born son with a hope implanted in his heart by the Lord Himself that Noah would somehow be instrumental in bringing to men a measure of release from the awful drudgery and toil of life:

'This same [Noah] shall comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, which cometh because of the ground which Jehovah hath cursed.' (Gen 5:29).

Now if this statement be not robbed of all its meaning, it indicates rather conclusively that the earth outside of the Garden of Eden had experienced a stupendous transformation as a result of the Fall. As a matter of fact, it implies quite clearly that the Flood was to bring a measure of relief from the bitter effects of the Edenic curse. For these reasons, among others, Christian have been entirely justified in thinking of the whole earth before the Fall in terms of Edenic conditions."


[Henry Morris, op. cit., p. 125-128]:

"If deteriorative mutational changes occurred in plants, it seems reasonable and even probable that they also would occur in animals. As smoothly rounded structures deteriorated to thorns in plants, so perhaps teeth and nails designed for a herbivorous diet mutated to fangs and claws which, in combination with a progressively increasing dietary deficiency of proteins and other essentials, gradually generated carnivorous appetites in certain animals.

Similarly, bacteria and other microorganisms, designed originally to serve essential functions in soil maintenance, purification processes, and so forth, underwent mutational changes which, in many cases, proved harmful and even lethal to other organisms into which they were ingested. Parasites and viral systems may also have developed in some such way."

Henry M. Morris states, (Impact periodical, Sept. 1994 issue, in article entitled, 'The Wolf And The Lamb'):

"There is a beautiful picture given in the Bible of the divinely intended relationships in God's animal kingdom:

'The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." (Isaiah 11:6-9; see also Isaiah 65:25; Ezekiel 34:25; Hosea 2:18; etc.).....

...this passage describes conditions in the earth in the coming kingdom age after Christ returns to Earth... [this]...must...[also]...describe the ideal conditions intended by God for His animal creation. Therefore, this must have been the way it was in the beginning, after God had completed His creation work, and surveyed it with deep satisfaction. "God say every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good' (Genesis 1:31). Therefore, 'God ended His work which He had made; and ... rested from all His work which God created and made' (Genesis 2:2, 3).

God cared for the animals, placing them under man's stewardship, even authorizing Adam to examine and name them (Genesis 2:19,20). Furthermore, there was an abundance of food for all of them (Genesis 1:30), and definitely no 'struggle for existence.' The 19th century depiction of a 'nature red in tooth and claw') (Tennyson) was diametrically opposite to the true picture of the primeval creation as revealed in God's word. At that time, all the animals were herbivorous and at peace with one another and with man. [Thus refuting evolution in yet another way]

Henry M. Morris, Impact periodical, Sept. 1994 issue, cont:

That is not the way it is now, of course, for 'sin entered into the world, and death by sin,' so that 'the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now' (Romans 5:12; 8:22). God had to tell Adam: 'Cursed is the ground [same as earth] for thy sake' (Genesis 3:17), and Adam's whole 'dominion' (Genesis 1:28) came down with him.

Evolutionists, however, have long regarded this groaning and struggling in nature as the basic means of evolutionary progress. The very conclusion of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species even seems to glory in this state of suffering and death:

'Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life,...' (Last paragraph of Origin of Species, 1859).

Now, strange and sad to say, a number of leading evangelicals - those espousing either theistic evolution or progressive creation - in their wistful attempt to hang on to the vast geological 'ages' of the evolutionists, evolutionists, seem to agree in general with 'this view of life.' That is, they explain suffering and death in the animal kingdom not as a result of God's curse on the creation because of sin, but as a necessary component of the balance of nature. For For example, physicist Don Stoner says:

'There is scientific evidence that many creatures, from before the time of men, ate other animals. The evidence says there was animal death before Adam. (A New Look at an Old Earth, Shroeder Publishing, 1985, p. 47).

Of the many modern progressive creationists who hold similar views, one of the most influential is Hugh Ross. In his most recent book (which is mainly a polemic against 'young-earth creationists,' especially us at I.C.R.), Dr. Ross says:

'An organism's place in the food chain determines its capacity for efficient work... Considering how creatures convert chemical energy into kinetic energy, we can say that carnivorous activity results from the laws of thermodynamics, not from sin... we cannot realistically compare the suffering and death of animals to the suffering and death of humans' (Creation and Time, Navpress, 1994, pp. 62, 63).

Thus, progressive creationists see no theological or Biblical problems with having animal death prior to human sin, nor in the idea of billions of animals suffering and dying long before God got around to placing them under man's dominion (whatever that could mean, after the animals had already been around for a billion years).

We literal creationists do see problems in this idea, however. The concept of an omnipotent, omniscient, loving, caring God devising such a scheme somehow seems to stick in our mental throats whenever they ask us to swallow it.

Knowledgeable evolutionists have difficulty with it, too. For example, Dr. Holmes Rolston III, distinguished professor of philosophy at Colorado State University, has addressed this question in a recent article in a journal devoted to the interface between science and religion.

'The real problem is with the Fall, when a once-paradisiacal nature becomes recalcitrant as a punishment for human sin. That does not fit into the biological paradigm at all... There was struggle for long epochs before the human arrival.... nature is also where the fittest survive, 'red in tooth and claw, fierce and indifferent, a scene of humger, disease, death. And nature is what it is regardless of human moral failings, indeed regardless of humans at all' ('Does Nature Need to be Redeemed?' Zygon,

June 1994, pp. 205, 206).

Rolston finds it completely impossible to harmonize the Biblical record with the standard concept of biological history.

So does Stephen Jay Gould, probably the nation's most influential evolutionist. He stresses not only the cruelty of natural history, but also its randomness, with no indication of direction or purpose.

'Moreover, natural selection, expressed in appropriate human terms, is a remarkably inefficient, even cruel process. Selection carves adaptation by eliminating masses of the less fit - imposing hecatombs of death as preconditions for limited increments of change. Natural selection is a theory of 'trial and error externalism' - organisms propose via their storehouse of information, and environments dispose of nearly all - not an efficient and human 'goal-directed internalism' (which would be fast and lovely, but nature does not know the way). ('The Power of this View of Life,' Natural History, June 1994, p. 6).

Dr. Hugh Ross tries to mitigate the harshness of the process by saying that some kind of 'mini-creation' process is activated every time a new species appears, maintaining that these millions of mini-creations, which he postulates make him a creationist.

It is obvious, however, that such a system is merely theistic evolution under another name. In any case, it does not do away with the utter cruelty and randomness of the whole monstrous system. How can we dare blame God for such a thing? Gould's atheism is much more logical than so-called 'progressive creationsim'! As Dr. David Hull, professor of philosophy at Northwestern University says:

'Whatever the God implied by evolutionary theory and the data of natural history man be like, He is certainly not the sort of God to whom anyone would be inclined to pray (Nature, August 8, 1992, p. 486).

Or as Dr. Gould said, in an earlier article:

'You can hardly blame the divine Paley for not even imagining such a devilish mechanism ('Darwin and Paley Meet the Invisible Hand,' Natural History, November 1990, p. 14).

The God of the Bible is neither capricious nor cruel, and it is a mistake to think He would use the 'devilish mechanism' of billions of years of trial-and-error variation, struggle, suffering, and death in the animal world as prologue to His great plan for creating and redeeming men and women.

His creative purpose, instead, was that 'they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain.' Anything other than that can only be rightly understood as a later intrusion into God's 'very good' creation."

[ pp. 454-455]

"Uniformitarian paleontology, of course, dates the formation of the major fossiliferous strata many scores and hundreds of millions of years before the appearance of human beings on the earth. It assumes that uncounted billions of animals had experienced natural or violent deaths before the Fall of Adam; that many important kinds of animals had long since become extinct by the time God created Adam to have dominion over every living creature; and that long ages before the Edenic curse giant flesh-eating monsters like Tyrannosaurus Rex roamed the earth, slashing their victims with ferocious dagger-like teeth and claws.

But how can such an interpretation of the history of the animal kingdom be reconciled with the early chapters of Genesis? Does the Book of Genesis, honestly studied in the light of the New Testament, allow for a reign of tooth and claw and death and destruction before the Fall of Adam? If not, we have further compelling reasons for questioning the uniformitarian scheme of reading the rocks at the same time strong encouragement for finding in the great Genesis Flood the true explanation for fossil formations in the crust of our planet.

In the face of such clear-cut passages as Romans 5:12-21 and I Corinthians 15:21-22, few who accept the Bible as the word of God will deny that Adam's sin and fall introduced spiritual and physical death into the human race. In the Romans passage we learn that 'through one man' sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all sinned.. by the trespass of the one many died... the judgment came of one unto condemnation ... by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one ... through one trespass the judgment came unto all men to condemnation.. through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners...' And if such Biblical testimony were regarded as insufficient to settle the matter, we are told also in the Corinthians passage that 'by man came death' and 'in Adam all die.'

The Bible further teaches that all human beings have descended from one human pair (Gen. 3:20, 'Eve...was the mother of all living'; Acts 17:26, 'he made of one every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth' ) and that these first human beings were created directly by God wholly apart from any evolutionary development of man's body from animal forms...

[ pp. 459]

"It was at the time of the Edenic curse of Gen. 3:17-19 that 'the creation was subjected to vanity' by God. This 'vanity' (of which the Book of Ecclesiastes speaks so eloquently) is further described as 'the bondage of corruption,' which is the explanation for the fact that 'the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.' This passage teaches very clearly that some tremendous transformations took place in the realm of nature at the time of the Edenic curse; and therefore any scientific theory which purports to explain the history of life on this planet without taking into full account the effects of the Fall upon the realm of nature must be rejected...

...But there are other passages besides Romans 8:19-22 which indicate rather clearly that the Edenic curse had far-reaching effects upon nature, including the animal kingdom. In Genesis 1:28, for example, we are told that God gave to Adam 'dominion' over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth' This is the dominion of which we read in Psalm 8:6-9.

'Thou makest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.'

It was on the basis of such God-constituted dominion that Adam 'gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the heavens, and to every beast of the field' (Gen. 2:20)...

...Daily experience teaches us that dominion of this kind is no longer being exercised by the human race over the animal kingdom. Something drastic has taken place in man's relationship to the animal kingdom since the days of the Garden of Eden. The subservience and instant obedience of all classes of animals to the will of man has been transformed into a fear and dread of man that often brings with it violence and destruction.

As a matter of fact, the New Testament interprets the eighth psalm as referring to a relationship that is not now in force. After quoting Psalm 8:4-6, the author of Hebrews comments:

'For in that he subjected all things unto him, he left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we see not yet all things subjected to him. But we behold him who has been made a little lower than the angels, even Jesus..' (Heb. 2:8-9).

Since Psalm 8 refers primarily to man as originally constituted by God, and not to Christ, the author of Hebrews seems to be saying that even though we do not see man at the present time exercising his constituted dominion over the animal kingdom and the rest of nature, we do at least see one member of the human race, 'even Jesus,' Who even now exercises such dominion and that through Him redeemed men shall at last regain all that they lost in Adam, and much more besides, thus bringing into final fulfillment the statements of the eighth psalm.

The fact that the animal kingdom is not at the present subject to man's dominion is further confirmed by the terms of God's covenant with Noah after the Flood. Notice the contrast between this covenant and the statement of Genesis 1:28, which we have already examined. In Genesis 9:2,5, God said to Noah and his family:

'The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every bird of the heavens; with all wherewith the ground teemeth, and all the fishes of the sea, into your hand are they delivered... and surely your blood, the blood of your lives, will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it...'

Let it be noted that 'the fear of you and the dread of you' cannot be understood as the equivalent of 'dominion' in Genesis 1:28, because here we are specifically told that beasts will be capable of shedding 'the blood of your lives.' An illustration of how the shedding of human blood would be required 'at the hand of every beast' is found in Exodus 21:28: 'And if an ox gore a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be surely stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten.' Such a possibility, of course, cannot be imagined in the case of the first Adam before the Fall or the Last Adam during His earthly ministry! No animal could have harmed them, because God put all things under their feet...

[Gen 1:30]:

"To every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the heavens, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life., I have given every green herb for food, and it was so."]

One of the clearest texts in the Old Testament of the transformation of animal characteristics after the Fall is that which describes the diet which God ordained for animals before the Fall. Before the Edenic curse, this was God's provision of the food of animals: 'to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the heavens, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life., I have given every green herb for food, and it was so' (Gen 1:30). Under such conditions, there could have been no carnivorous beasts on earth before the Fall; for the animals to which God gave 'every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein is life.'

In discussing the important question of death in the animal kingdom in relation to the Fall, Dr. Edsin Y. Monsma, Professor and Head of the Department of Biology at Calvin College, makes the following observations:

'The eating of herbs, seeds and fruits implies the death of these plant parts from a biologist's point of view because they all contain living protoplasm. But there is no indication here of destructive and natural death of whole living organisms nor of the carnivorous habit upon which so many animals are dependent at present. Indeed, nowhere in the Scriptures is there any indication of natural or accidental death before the fall of man. Even immediately after the fall the natural processes which culminate in death seemed to work much more slowly than they do now, as is evident from the great age of men during the antediluvian period...

[Edwin Y. Monsma, If Not evolution, What Then? (Published by the author, 1955) p. 32]

'Also wild beasts were not originally created as carnivores. That is substantiated by the fact that they came to Adam without devouring him. Their carnivorous condition can be explained out of the curse alone. At present we distinguish between vermin, predators, and domestic animals, but that difference is not derived from creation. Then the green herb was the food of all animals.'

[Abraham Kuyper, Dictaten Dogmatiek (Kok, Kampen), II, 91-92. Quoted by Monsma, op. cit., p. 33]

'In brief, this verse [Gen 1:30] is an indication of the perfect harmony prevailing in the animal world. No beast preyed upon the other. Rapacious and ferocious wild beasts did not yet exist. This verse, then, indicates very briefly for this chapter what is unfolded at length in chapter two, that a paradise-like state prevailed at creation.'

[E. C. Leupold: Exposition of Genesis (Columbus: Wartburg Press, 1942), pp. 98-99]

Now it cannot be objected that this is a mere argument from silence and that animals may very well have been constituted by God in such a way that they could eat each other as well as 'every green herb for food'; for in Isaiah 11:6-9 we are given God's picture of ideal conditions in the animal kingdom, not only with respect to relationships between animals and men, but also between the various kinds of animals:

[Isa 11:6-9; cf 65:25]:

(v. 6) "And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the kid, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them.

(v. 7) Also the cow and the bear will graze; Their young will lie down together; And the lion will eat straw like the ox.

(v. 8) And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den.

(v. 9) They will not hurt of destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea."]

...Now if this is God's ideal plan for the animal kingdom, it is quite impossible to assume that the Bible allows for the existence of carnivorous beasts, violence, and death before the Fall; for the creation account ends with the statement that God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.'

'That originally the food of man and of the animals was, and under ideal conditions will be, vegetarian is clearly taught here and suggested by Isaiah 11:9, 65:25. Many of the so-called carnivora are largely or wholly vegetarians. It was after the Fall and the Flood that the eating of flesh was permitted to man.'

[Oswald T. Allis, God Spake By Moses, p. 13]

Some have objected that vast structural changes would have been involved in making an herbivore into a carnivore and that such a transformation would have been tantamount to a creation of new Genesis 'kinds' after the termination of the Creation Week...

But this is surely an exaggeration of the facts. Isaiah says that lions (not some totally new kind of animal) will eat straw like oxen; wolves will dwell with lambs; leopards will lie down with kids; bears will feed with cows; and deadly serpents will be pets for children."

[Henry Morris, op. cit., pp. 125-128]:

Even the earth itself, though groaning under the curse, continually gives testimony, by His grace, of the promised deliverance. Each day that passes, the world descends into darkness, and seems, as it were, to lose its light of life; yet the sun rises and the dawn always comes, providing a continual reminder that soon 'shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings' (Malachi 4:2). Every year the earth sees the plants die and the cold winter come; but soon, once again, when we 'behold the fig tree, and all the trees, when they now shoot forth,' we know that 'summer is now nigh at hand.' In a similar manner, this encourages us to know also that 'the kingdom of God is nigh at hand' (Luke 21:29-31)" [ pp. 468-469]

'''One argument that has frequently been advanced against the concept of an herbivorous animal kingdom before the Fall is that such an arrangement would have thrown the cycles of nature out of balance. It is claimed that no other balance of nature than the one with which we are familiar can be imagined, for it is necessary that certain types of creatures be devoured by others to prevent the earth from being overpopulated. Albertus Pieters expresses the argument as follows:

'So far as we can see now, the existence of carnivorous beasts (including insect-eating birds) is necessary to preserve the 'balance of nature.' Without insectivorous birds, insect life would soon destroy vegetation, and even apparently harmless little animals like rabbits may become a scourge if there are no foxes and other carnivora to keep their numbers in check, as was abundantly illustrated in Australia some years ago. This 'balance of nature' is essential to the perfection of God's creation and we are not to reckon it a blemish or an afterthought."

But who are we to say that God is limited to the 'balance of nature' which now prevails in the earth? Even if Edenic conditions had persisted for centuries, could not God have prevented thee overpopulation of the earth with insects, fish, and other animals through a different means than by mutual extermination? Such reasoning reminds us of the pessimistic and fatalistic views of Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834), who 'proved' that a certain number of people simple had to starve to death or be killed in wars each year to prevent the earth from being overpopulated. [100+ years later his reasoning of a maximum world population is now totally discredited]

After all, God can take care of His creatures, and mutual extermination does not happen to exhaust the possible methods at His disposal.

The human mind has a wonderful capacity (in its fallen state) for interpreting God's ways in its own finite terms and limiting the Supreme Being to its own little world of experience. Notice, for example, in the quotation cited above how the author leaps from his own present experience of things to the formulation of a law by which God must presumably operate in every age:

"So far as we can see now, the existence of carnivorous birds and beasts (including insect-eating birds) is necessary to preserve the 'balance of nature' ...This 'balance of nature' is essential to the perfection of God's creation."

Edward Hitchcock, one of the outstanding uniformitarian apologists of the last century, committed the same logical fallacy when he wrote"

"It would require an entirely different system in nature from the present, in order to exclude death from the world. To the existing system it is as essential as gravitation, and apparently just as much a law of nature... The conclusions from all these facts and reasonings are, that death is an essential feature of the present system of organized nature; that it must have entered into the plan of creation in the divine mind originally, and consequently must have existed in the world before the apostasy of man."

Actually, however, there is a very dangerous principle involved in this type of reasoning. By denying that the Fall and the Edenic curse had anything to do with the 'bondage of corruption' under which the whole creation now travails in pain, these scholars are driven logically to the position of ascribing the conditions of evil which we see around us, so far as the realm of nature is concerned, to the hand of the Creator.'''


[ pp. 473]

"In conclusion, we find ourselves faced with an important alternative. We must accept either the current theories of paleontology, with an inconceivably vast time-scale for fossils before the appearance of man on the earth, or we must accept the order of events as set forth so clearly in the Word of God. Both views cannot be true at the same time, any more than can a Biblical anthropology and an evolutionary anthropology be true at the same time. But if the 'bondage of corruption,' with all that such a term implies for the animal kingdom, had its source in the Edenic curse, then the fossil strata, which are filled with evidences of violent death, must have been laid down since Adam. And if this be true, then the uniformitarian time-table of modern paleontology must be rejected as totally erroneous; and a Biblical catastrophism (centering in the year-long, universal Deluge) must be substituted for it as the only possible solution to the enigma of the fossil strata."

[Henry Morris, The Genesis Flood, op. cit., p. 125-128]:

Not all of this was bad, however, especially in view of the changed moral climate following the fall of man. As a matter of fact, God told Adam that the curse on the ground was 'for thy sake.' It was better that suffering and death accompany sin than that rebellion be permitted to thrive unchecked in the deathless steady-state economy as originally created. With no death, men would proliferate in number and wickedness without limit. The same presumably would be true of animals and plants, as far as their numbers were concerned, and the uses to which they might be devoted by the wicked angels and men who would henceforth control them.

And so God placed the curse on man and on his whole environment, thus forcing him to recognize the seriousness of his sin, as well as his helplessness to save himself and his dominion from eventual destruction. The necessity of laboring merely to keep alive would go far toward inhibiting still further rebellion and would force him to recognize that Satan's tempting promises had been nothing but lies. Such a condition would encourage him to a state of repentance toward God, and a desire for God to provide deliverance from the evil state upon which he had fallen.

In the animal and plant kingdoms likewise, limitless proliferation would be checked by these new factors of disease, predation, parasitism, and so on. Had the Fall never taken place, animal life would no doubt have remained constant at an optimum population by divinely directed constraints on the reproductive process. Now, however, God's personal presence is to be withdrawn for a time, and it is more salutary to maintain order by means of these indirect constraints associated with the curse, adding still further to the testimony that the world was travailing in pain, awaiting its coming Redeemer.

Thus, the entire 'creation was made subject to vanity.' The earth began to 'wax old, as doth a garment' and ultimately 'shall perish' (Hebrews 1:10-12). Since all flesh is made of the earth's physical elements, it also is subject to the law of decay and death and as 'grass, withereth... and falleth away' (I Peter 1:24). It is universal experience that all things, living or nonliving, eventually wear out, run down, grow old, decay, and pass into the dust.

This condition is so universal that it was formalized about a hundred years ago (by Carnot, Clausius, Kelvin, and other scientists) into a fundamental scientific law, now called the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This law states that all systems, if left to themselves, tend to become degraded or disordered. It has also been called the 'law of morpholysis' (from a Greek word meaning 'loosing of structure'). Physical systems, whether watches or suns, eventually wear out. Organisms grow old and die. Hereditary changes in species are caused by gene mutations (sudden random disruptions in their highly ordered genetic systems) which in many cases have resulted in deterioration or extinction of the species itself. Even apart from mutations, the deterioration of the environment has often led to species extinction.

Instead of all things being made - that is, organized into complex systems - as they were in Creation Week, they are now being 'unmade,' becoming disorganized and simple. Instead of life and growth, there comes decay and death; instead of evolution, there is degeneration.

This, then, is the true origin of the strange law of disorder and decay, the universally applicable, all-important Second Law of Thermodynamics. Herein is the secret of all that's wrong with the world. Man is a sinner and has brought God's curse on the earth.

The curse on man himself was fourfold:

(1) sorrow, resulting from continual disappointment and futility;

(2) pain and suffering, signified by the 'thorns' which intermittently hinder man in his efforts to provide a living for his family'

(3) sweat, or tears, the 'strong crying' of intense struggle against a hostile environment; and finally

(4) physical death, which would eventually triumph over all man's efforts, with the structure of his body returning to the simple elements of the earth.

But Christ, as Son of Man and second Adam, has been made the curse for us (Galatians 3:13). He was the 'man of sorrows' (Isaiah 53:3); acquainted more with grief than any other man, He was wounded, bruised, and chastised for us (Isaiah 53:5), and indeed wore the very thorns of the curse as His crown (Mark 15:17); in the agony of His labor, He sweat as it were drops of blood (Luke 22:44), and 'offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears' (Hebrews 5:7). And, finally, God brought Him into the 'dust of death' (Psalm 22:15).

Therefore, because He bore all the curse Himself for us, once again the dwelling of God shall someday be with men and 'there shall be no more death neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Revelation 21:4). 'And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it: and his servants shall serve him' (Revelation 22:3).

Although the complete removal of the curse awaits the return of Christ to purge and renovate the earth (II Peter 3:10; Revelation 20:11; 21:1), He has already paid the price for its redemption (I Peter 1:18-20), not with 'corruptible things' (which could never redeem anything under the 'bondage of corruption') but with His 'precious blood,' by the 'incorruptible word' (I Peter 1:23). In token, therefore, we can already appropriate the results of this deliverance by faith. We can be in sorrow, 'yet always rejoicing' (II Corintians 6:10); we can endure the 'thorn in the flesh' with His sufficient grace and perfecting strength (II Corinthians 12:7-9). Though our labor ceases not 'night and day with tears' yet there is rest in Him (Acts 20:31; Matthew 11:28); and though 'made conformable unto his death,' we know the 'power of his resurrection' (Philippians 3:10).

[Henry Morris, op. cit.. pp. 125-128]:

Though the whole creation travails in pain and sorrow, and we can never forget the curse on the earth and our necessary toil before it will yield its bread, 'nevertheless He left not himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness' (Acts 14:17). Though pain and death may accompany birth, yet new life is ever born and hope springs eternal."

The context in Gen 3:14-18 is therefore established as God's remedy of Adam and Eve's condition so that they could once more have eternal life and have fellowship with Him. It focuses on how the "seed of the woman", i.e., a descendant of Adam and Eve but One miraculously born only of the seed of the woman and NOT the seed of the man would defeat the serpent. The serpent, this passage implies, is Satan who the passage also implies has usurped control over Adam and Eve by causing them to sin. Satan and his demonic angels would then manipulate the resultant sin natures of Adam and Eve and all their offspring, (just as he did to Eve in the garden), such that he would virtually become their ruler unless they became born again. The eternal destiny of Adam and Eve to heaven or hell hangs in the balance of whether God will bring back this control by defeating Satan as a Man. This God promises to do in His statement to Adam and Eve in this passage. He states that the "seed of the woman", (Who we find out later in Scripture in one sense is Jesus Christ), will battle Satan and that the "seed" will be wounded, but not fatally: "And you [the serpent - Satan] shall bruise [i.e., "strike"] Him on the heel.". Satan, on the other hand, will be mortally wounded, his defeat thereby enabling Adam and Eve and all men to have a way back to eternal life and fellowship with God when they trust in God's plan of the Seed Jesus Christ's sacrificial provision of salvation for them:

[Gen 3:17-19 cont.]:

(v. 17) "Then to Adam He said, 'Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it''

Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil ["sorrow"] you shall eat of it All the days of your life."

(v. 18) Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you shall eat the plants of the field'

(v. 19) By the sweat of your face You shall eat bread, Till you return to the ground,[cp Ps 90:3] Because from it you were taken; [cp Gen 2:7] For you are dust, And to dust you shall return."


[Gen 3:15]:

"And I [God] will put enmity between you [the serpent, i.e., Satan] and the woman, And between your offspring [lit., "seed" = unbelievers] and hers [lit., "her seed" = Jesus Christ & believers, (Gal 3:16)], He [Jesus Christ] will crush ["shup"] your head, And you [Satan] strike ["shup"] his heel."

Genesis 3:14-19 is a passage in which God speaks to Adam and Eve about their condition of sin - of being separated from Him. Adam and Eve were spiritually dead and now would die physically as a result of their disobedience in the Garden of Eden and be separated from God for all eternity. But God has provided a remedy for the situation as indicated in verse 15 so that they could once more have eternal life and have fellowship with Him. It focuses on how the "seed of the woman", i.e., a descendant of Adam and Eve but one miraculously born only of the seed of the woman and NOT the seed of the man would defeat the serpent. The serpent, this passage implies, is Satan who the passage also implies has usurped control over Adam and Eve by causing them to sin. The eternal destiny of Adam and Eve to heaven or hell hangs in the balance of whether God will bring back this control by defeating Satan as a Man. This God promises to do in His statement to Adam and Eve in this passage. He states that the "seed of the woman" will battle Satan somehow and though the "seed" will be wounded. Satan will be mortally wounded thus defeating him and in the process enabling Adam and Eve and any of their descendants to have a way back to eternal life and fellowship with God - if they trust in God's plan of a coming Savior to do it all for them: the Seed of the woman Who would be the Seed of Abraham:

[Gal 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."