The seed of the woman

SERMON TOPIC: The seed of the woman

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 24 August 2018


Sermon synopsis: There is a prophetic sense to the passage in Genesis 3:15, called the Protoevangelium (First Gospel), the first proclamation of the Good News: for, during the punishment of the serpent, God refers to the future, that there will be one “who will crush the head of the serpent.” There is hope for the human race!

Gen 3:14-15 (NASB) The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
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Gen 2:15-17 (ESV) The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying:

You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 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.

Some have suggested that the sin in Eden was sexual, with Adam and Eve committing the “sin”.

But this makes no sense as God had already instructed the man and woman to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth” (Gen 1:28).

God created them not only with the ability and freedom to have sex, but with the instruction to do so! So there’s no implication that the mode of reproduction was inherently evil.


The phrase “forbidden fruit” refers to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They were forbidden by God to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9; 3:2). The Bible says nothing about what type of fruit it was. Tradition has identified it as an apple, but it is impossible to know with certainty what kind of fruit it was. From the text of Genesis, every indication is of a literal tree with a literal fruit. 1

The key element in the passage is not the fruit itself, but the prohibition against eating it. God gave Adam and Eve only one prohibition in His instructions… The sin was in disobeying God’s command. By eating the fruit (an act of disobedience), Adam and Eve gained personal knowledge of evil. 1

1 https:// forbidden-fruit.html



God told man “in the day [beyôm] that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

In contrast, Satan told Eve, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

So who was correct (God or Satan), considering that they didn’t die on the day they ate of the fruit?

Gen 5:5 (NASB) So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.


Some use the 1000 year-day analogy to explain the seeming anomaly. Only sometimes (not always) does beyôm refer to a literal day. Irenaeus writes:

And there are some, again, who relegate the death of Adam to the thousandth year; for since “a day of the Lord is as a thousand years,” he did not overstep the thousand years, but died within them, thus bearing out the sentence of his sin. 1

Some believe that God’s prediction was fulfilled in that man became mortal when he sinned and would eventually die. In Irenaeus’ words “[we consider] that, on account of that, they were delivered over to death, and made debtors to it”. 1

1 Against Heresies Bk. 5, Ch. 23.2


Another option is that from that day onward, man was denied access to the Tree of Life which appears to have been the source of his immortality.

Gen 3:22 (NIV) And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”


But God said, “in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen 2:17, NASB) and the context seems to suggest a 24-hour day. So why would there be a delay of over 900 years?

Death in the Bible never means extinction; it means separation:

Physical death: separation of the body and soul/spirit.

Spiritual death: separation of man from God.

Second death: permanent separation of man from God.

Adam didn’t die physically on that day but he was separated from God (spiritual death). Man became subject to “disobedience, which is death”. 1

1 Against Heresies Bk. 5, Ch. 23.2


Since the Fall, man is spiritually dead i.e. the part of man that connects to God - has died. God’s words, “You shall surely die” – referred to spiritual death i.e. separation of man from God, as they were driven from God’s presence when “the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden” (Gen 3:23).


















Man’s threefold nature.

BODY: makes us conscious of the world (through the 5 senses)

SOUL: makes us conscious of self (Mind, Will, Emotions, Memory)

SPIRIT: makes us conscious of God (Fellowship, Intuition, Faith, Conscience)

As we are dead spiritually because of sin we have lost:

Fellowship: our relationship with God has been severed.

Ps 5:4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome.

Intuition: we have lost our spiritual discernment.

1 Cor 2:14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.


Faith: We no longer have faith and rely only on what we can see with our physical eyes. This is why saving faith is a gift from God.

Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

Conscience: Our consciences have been seared and we do not realise we are sinners. This is why God has to bring conviction of sin by his Holy Spirit.

John 16:8 (NASB) “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment”


So the death referred to is both spiritual death (which happened immediately) and physical death (a process that was set in place after the sin). Furthermore this death sentence was passed on to all Adam’s descendants (what Augustine called Original Sin).

Rom 5:12-15 … just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned… Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come... For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!


At the Fall:

Man’s spirit died immediately – when he was driven from God’s presence.

His body died many years later also as a result of the Fall.

At the New Birth:

Man’s spirit is made alive immediately – when our relationship with God is restored.

Our bodies are restored and made immortal many years later at the resurrection of the righteous.


Through Christ the spirit, soul and ultimately the body is made alive through renewed relationship with God:


Rom 8:10 If Christ is in you… the spirit is alive because of righteousness. (NASB)


1 Pet 1:9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.


Rom 8:23 … we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.



Gen 3:14-15 (NASB) The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

There is a prophetic sense to the passage in Genesis 3:15, called the Protoevangelium (First Gospel), the first proclamation of the Good News: for, during the punishment of the serpent, God refers to the future, that there will be one “who will crush the head of the serpent.” There is hope for the human race! 1

1 http:// First.html


Who is being addressed in the following verse?

Gen 3:15 (NIV) And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

The common opinion is that Satan is being addressed and that this verse does not have a literal fulfilment. Most consider this as being fulfilled in the events surrounding the crucifixion, where Jesus as the “seed of the woman” (i.e. born of the virgin) is betrayed and killed at the instigation of Satan (cf. Luke 22:3-4, John 13:21-27, 1 Cor 2:7-8). Even those who hold to the most rigid literal interpretation of the events in Eden, do not believe for one moment that the predicted bruising of the heel of the “seed of the woman” by the serpent—refers to a snake biting the foot of one of Eve’s children.


Similar language in terms of the underfoot-subjugation metaphor is used elsewhere of the conqueror and the vanquished.

Joshua 10:24–25 (ESV) And when they brought those kings out to Joshua, Joshua summoned all the men of Israel and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, “Come near; put your feet on the necks of these kings.” Then they came near and put their feet on their necks. And Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous. For thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight”.

The NT depicts the victory of Christ and the church over Satan in similar terms (Rom 16:20; 1 Cor 15:25-27).


While traditionally v14 has been taken literally and v15 interpreted figuratively, I believe that we must be consistent and that both verses are to be viewed figuratively - with the serpent being Satan and the seed of the woman being Christ.

Gen 3:14-15 So the Lord God said to the seraph, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all living things! You will be cast down to the earth. And I will put enmity between you (Satan) and the woman (the human race), and between your seed (the unsaved) and hers (Jesus); he (Jesus) will crush your head (the resurrection and redemption of sin), and you (Satan) will strike his heel (on the cross).”


When Satan tempts Christ to jump off the pinnacle of the Temple, he reminds him that “it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” (Luke 4:10-11, NIV). Of course, he is quoting from the 91st Psalm.


But interestingly, Satan—the ancient serpent—cuts off his quote at verse 12, leaving out the following verse.

Ps 91:13 (NIV) You will tread on the lion and the cobra [pethen]; you will trample the great lion and the serpent [tannin].

Might Satan have left that verse out because it touched a nerve? Peter tells us that “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion” (1 Pet 5:8, NIV) and God’s promise here is “You will tread on the lion”. Furthermore, Satan was the serpent that Christ—the seed of the woman—would “trample”.


Irenaeus also believed Ps 91:13 was an allusion to Gen 3:15. 1

He regarded the lion in the passage as the end time Antichrist and the dragon (or serpent) as Satan. 2

1 For this end did He put enmity between the serpent and the woman and her seed, they keeping it up mutually: He, the sole of whose foot should be bitten, having power also to tread upon the enemy’s head; but the other biting, killing, and impeding the steps of man, until the seed did come appointed to tread down his head which was born of Mary, of whom the prophet speaks: “Thou shalt tread upon the asp and the basilisk; thou shalt trample down the lion and the dragon;” -indicating that sin, which was set up and spread out against man, and which rendered him subject to death, should be deprived of its power, along with death, which rules [over men]… (Against Heresies, Book 3, Ch. 23. 7) 2 … and that the lion, that is, antichrist, rampant against mankind in the latter days, should be trampled down by Him; and that He should bind “the dragon, that old serpent” and subject him to the power of man, who had been conquered so that all his might should be trodden down. (Ibid)


The “serpent” was either a vehicle of Satan or Satan himself (the serpentine seraph). Paul says that the “Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning,” and, in the same context, he argues that “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Cor 11:3, 14, NIV). Moreover, John’s references to Satan as “the ancient serpent” (Rev 12:9; 20:2) are clearly allusions to the Genesis account.

Who is the seed of the woman?

Jesus – he was born of the virgin Mary.

Gal 4:4 (NASB) But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman

Irenaeus: “… until the seed did come appointed to tread down his head which was born of Mary…” 1

1 Ibid


So this view of Gen 3:15 was the understanding from early times, stemming from Irenaeus in the 2nd century:

He has therefore, in His work of recapitulation, summed up all things, both waging war against our enemy, and crushing him who had at the beginning led us away captives in Adam, and trampled upon his head, as thou canst perceive in Genesis that God said to the serpent, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; He shall be on the watch for thy head, and thou on the watch for His heel.” For from that time, He who should be born of a woman, [namely] from the Virgin, after the likeness of Adam, was preached as keeping watch for the head of the serpent.

Irenaeus interprets Gal 3:19 in the light of Gen 3:15.

This is the seed of which the apostle says in the Epistle to the Galatians, “that the law of works was established until the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” 1

He does the same with Gal 4:4.

This fact is exhibited in a still clearer light in the same Epistle, where he thus speaks: “But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman.” 1

1 Against Heresies, Book 5, Ch. 21. 1.


Luke is believed to have used Mary as one of the sources for his Gospel. In an account that would have been relayed to him by Mary, he confirms the virgin birth of Jesus:

Luke 1:26-35 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth… to a virgin pledged to be married


to a man named Joseph… The virgin’s name was Mary... But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus…”

Isaiah prophesied, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14, NIV)

This was fulfilled in Jesus, who was born of a virgin:


Matt 1:22-23 (NIV) All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” - which means, “God with us.”

Do people still believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus? A recent survey (Pew Research, 2013) found that 73% of Americans believe in the virgin birth, but surprisingly, so do 32% of self-proclaimed non-Christians. 1

Is a Virgin Birth possible?

Ever since invitro fertilization and embryonic transfer came on the scene in 1978 (not to mention artificial insemination), it is quite possible for a woman who has never experienced sexual intercourse to give birth. 2

1 fact-tank/ 2013/ 12/ 25/ most-americans-believe-in-jesus-virgin-birth 2 https:// q-aiia/ virginbirth.html


Invitro fertilization

But this only occurs with medical intervention. Does it ever happen naturally? Yes – Asexual reproduction occurs in certain animals, but not mammals. There’s no male or sperm, only a female and an egg and eventually a baby. This is called parthenogenesis (from Greek, “virgin creation”), and it happens when an embryo develops by itself without fertilization of an ovum (egg cell).

The resulting baby is called a parthenogen and a number of animals can reproduce this way. E.g. marmorkrebs, a type of crayfish, produce parthenogens that are genetically identical to their mother. Some researchers have figured out how to induce this in other animals while others have even tried to make it happen in humans. 1

1 http:// article/ 20413/ are-there-really-virgin-births


While there are no known cases of parthenogenesis occurring naturally in mammals in the wild, scientists have successfully induced it in rabbits, mice and monkeys. The resulting embryos ran into problems, however, because of biological phenomenon in mammals (and some flowering plants) known as genomic imprinting. 1

During the formation of sperm and egg cells, certain genes necessary for embryo development are shut down by chemical marks, or imprints. Some of these imprints are in sperm, others are in the egg. All the key genes are there only when a sperm and an egg meet, so without paternally imprinted genes, a mammalian embryo created by parthenogenesis develops abnormally. 1

1 http:// article/ 20413/ are-there-really-virgin-births


Could a human naturally be produced by virgin birth? In theory, yes, if a number of biochemical events occur by chance or genetic defect in close succession and the egg doesn’t complete meiosis (when an egg does this, it loses half of its genetic material to make room for the paternal DNA in the sperm. 1

But without the sperm, each half of the divided egg would come up short on genetic material). The chances of all that happening are almost zero. But even if nature found a way, we run into genomic imprinting again, so we wouldn’t wind up with a viable embryo. 1

1 http:// article/ 20413/ are-there-really-virgin-births


HOW then was a Virgin Birth possible?

That’s why we call it a miracle – it doesn’t normally happen.

In response to Mary’s query, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” Gabriel replies “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”

Matthew states that the virgin Mary “was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit” (Matt 1:18, NASB).

The angel encourages Joseph to marry Mary by saying “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt 1:20, NASB).


From these passages, it is certainly clear that Jesus’ birth was the result of the Holy Spirit working within Mary’s body. The immaterial (the Spirit) and the material (Mary’s womb) were both involved. Mary, of course, could not impregnate herself, and in that sense she was simply a “vessel.” Only God could perform the miracle of the Incarnation. 1

Denying a physical connection between Mary and Jesus would imply that Jesus was not truly human. Scripture teaches that Jesus was fully human, with a physical body like ours. This He received from Mary. At the same time, Jesus was fully God, with an eternal, sinless nature. See John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; and Hebrews 2:14-17. 1

1 https://


Matthew and Luke wrote the authoritative accounts. Neither was likely to be gullible in the least. Matthew was a former tax-collector. Luke was a doctor. True—medicine has come a long way in twenty centuries, but it isn’t a recent discovery that virgins don’t have babies. From the very beginning of Jesus’ human life, his eternal Father set him apart as exceptional. The Gospel writers didn’t concoct a myth. Luke even consulted with Jesus’ mother who confirmed that Jesus’ birth was supernatural. 1

Why - if Christians were just making up these details (as some modern liberals claim) - would they say something that would offend virtually everybody in the Middle East (i.e. that Mary conceived out of wedlock). It makes no sense to make up something offensive, unless it were true.

1 https:// articles/ the-virgin-birth


WHY was the virgin birth necessary?

To fulfill the prophecy God pronounced to Satan that the promised deliverer of Adam’s offspring would be the “seed of the woman”.

It highlights the supernatural. On one end of Jesus’ life lies his supernatural conception and birth; on the other, his supernatural resurrection and his ascension to God’s right hand. Jesus’ authenticity was attested to by the supernatural working of his Father. 1

It shows that humanity needs redeeming that it can’t bring about for itself. The fact that the human race couldn’t produce its own redeemer implies that its sin and guilt are profound and that its saviour must come from outside. 1

1 https:// articles/ the-virgin-birth


The sinful nature is passed down from generation to generation through the father.

Rom 5:12 (NASB) Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men

The Virgin Birth circumvented the transmission of the sinful nature. Conception by the Holy Spirit was necessary for Christ to be the Son of God – and thus be untainted by Adam’s sin. He was not born in sin i.e. he had no sinful nature.

Heb 7:26 (NIV) Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners…


The virgin birth allows the fully human and fully divine natures to be united in one person. Wayne Grudem writes:

God, in his wisdom, ordained a combination of human and divine influence in the birth of Christ, so that his full humanity would be evident to us from the fact of his ordinary human birth from a human mother, and his full deity would be evident from the fact of his conception in Mary’s womb by the powerful work of the Holy Spirit. 1

1 Systematic Theology, 530


Most Christians understand the Seed of the Woman to be a reference to Jesus, who was born of the virgin. But who is the seed of the serpent?

One controversial idea is that Cain was the seed of the serpent through Eve. Known as the “Serpent seed” doctrine, it was popularised by the heretical William Branham. Others like Arnold Murray (1929–2014) and Daniel Parker (1781–1844) were also notable proponents.

This false doctrine often results in racism - believing that certain races are irredeemable, e.g. the belief is held by some adherents of the white supremacist theology known as Christian Identity, who claim that the Jews are descended from the serpent.


According to Branham:

“Here is what really happened in the Garden of Eden. The Word says that Eve was beguiled by the serpent. She was actually seduced by the serpent… He was so close to being human that his seed could, and did mingle with that of the woman and cause her to conceive. When this happened, God cursed the serpent.” 1

1 The Original Sin


William M. Branham (1909–1965)

The Unification Church (i.e. the “Moonies” cult), also teaches that Eve committed adultery with the devil. Sun Myung Moon writes, “The fact that Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil means that she had an illicit love relationship with Satan, and the fact that Eve gave Adam the same fruit implies that she seduced Adam to fall in the same way. Consequently, the root of human sin is not that the first human ancestors picked and ate a literal fruit, but that they had an illicit love relationship with a spiritual being, who was symbolized by the serpent.” 1

1 Divine Principle


Sun Myung Moon (1920–2012)

But it is an old 3rd century Gnostic heresy:

First adultery came into being, afterwards the murderer [Cain]. And he was begotten in adultery. For he was the son of the serpent. Because of this he became a murderer, as his father also. 1

It is also found in medieval Jewish Kabbalistic literature, which identifies the serpent with the archangel Samael.

When they begat children, the first born was the son of the (serpent’s) slime. For two beings had intercourse with Eve and she conceived from both and bore two children. Each followed one of the male parents and their spirits parted one to this side and one to the other and similarly their characters. 2

1 Gospel of Philip 1:42 2 The Zohar (Soncino translation), Bereishis 36b


Proponents teach that Jesus’ description of the “children of the devil” in the parable of the Wheat and Tares is true in a biological sense. The following text is used as a proof verse that Cain was Satan’s literal offspring.

1 John 3:12 (NIV) Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother.


But the Bible explicitly says that Cain was the offspring of Adam and Eve and that his conception was after the Fall.

Gen 4:1-2 (ESV) Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.” And again, she bore his brother Abel.

Furthermore Eve regards Cain’s birth as a blessing from the LORD (Yahweh).


Abel’s acceptance and Cain’s rejection was based on their faith – or lack thereof – not on ancestry.

Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings.


If Cain was part of a cursed bloodline, why does God admonish him to overcome the sin in his life and offer him acceptance?

Gen 4:6-7 (NIV) Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”


Again why does God listen to Cain when he complains that his punishment is too great and give him a mark that guarantees him protection? (Gen 4:13-15, NIV)

My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.

Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.

Furthermore Genesis (which is used to support the doctrine) teaches that the line of Cain was destroyed at flood. 1 Only Noah’s family (descendants of Cain’s brother, Seth) survived. So there is no line of Cain alive since over 4 millennia ago.

1 Pet 3:20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water

1 Unless one of Cain’s female descendants, like Naamah (Gen 4:22), married Noah or one of his sons. This, however, would be an argument from silence,



However, if eating from the tree was a sexual act, then what do we make of Gen 3:6 which says that Adam was with Eve when she ate the fruit and that he also ate? (Gen 3: 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.)

Furthermore if the sin in Eden was a sexual act between Satan and Eve, then what was Adam’s sin – because he too was judged.


In fact, the Bible holds Adam solely accountable for sin in the human race, not Eve.

Rom 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— … Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.


Some proponents of the serpent seed point to the word in Genesis 3:13 rendered in the KJV as “beguiled” as evidence of Eve being sexually seduced by the serpent. This requires us to believe that “beguiled” in this context actually means sexually seduced.

However, in contemporary translations, the Hebrew word (nasha, Strong’s 5377) that the KJV renders as “beguiled” is often translated as “deceived” (ESV, NIV, HCSB, NLT) or “tricked” (NRSV, NET), while none of these translations render the word as “seduced” or imply sexual seduction. Permutations of the Hebrew word occur 15 times in Scripture and it is never carries any sexual connotation.


Paul refers to the Edenic incident in 2 Cor 11:3 in the Greek NT using the word exēpatēsen (root exapataó, Strong’s 1818):

(KJV) But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled (exēpatēsen) Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

(NASB) But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

Paul compares the “beguilement” of Eve to our MINDS being “corrupted” or “led astray”.


The same Greek root (exapataó) is used in 1 Tim 2:14 where the KJV now also renders it as “deceived”.

(KJV) And Adam was not deceived (apataó), but the woman being deceived (exapatētheisa) was in the transgression.

(NASB) And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

Note how above it is used as a synonym for the word apataó which has the connotation “deceive, lead into error” (Strong’s 538).

In short, “beguiled” means to charm, enchant, deceive, or trick. In context, Eve is blaming the serpent for tricking her into eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. She is not stating that the serpent seduced her sexually.


Another approach to arriving at the serpent seed interpretation is Branham’s view that the Tree of Life in Genesis refers to Jesus.

Branham exposits, “If the Tree Of Life is a person, then the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is a person ALSO. It can’t be otherwise. Thus the Righteous One and the Wicked One stood side by side there in the midst of the Garden of Eden”.

By arguing that Jesus is the Tree of Life, Branham then concludes that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is Satan (the serpent). This leads Branham to conclude that the sin in the Garden of Eden involved sexual relations between Eve and Satan.


Branham 1 also taught that women still have the potential to bring forth either the serpent seed or the seed of Adam.

But modern DNA research has proven that we had a single male ancestor. Women have two X chromosomes, while men have an X and a Y. The Y chromosome is what makes a man a man - and it's passed from father to son. Studies of variation in Y-chromosome DNA point to a common male ancestor even dubbed “Y-chromosomal Adam" by scientists.

1 Branham’s later teachings were deemed increasingly controversial by his Charismatic and Pentecostal contemporaries. Besides the serpent’s seed doctrine, he believed in annihilationism, oneness of the Godhead, predestination and eternal security. In 1963, he preached a sermon stating that he was a prophet with the anointing of Elijah, who had come to herald the Second Coming. Following his death in a car crash in 1965, there were expectations among some of his followers that he would rise from the dead.


The biggest problem with the doctrine is that it implies that people are saved based upon their ancestry (whether they are the seed of the serpent or not). So salvation would be based on your physical bloodline (i.e. predetermined), rather than being a matter of personal faith in Christ who taught that unregenerate men can be “born again” into a new family of God.

John 1:12 (NIV) Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Hence becoming “children of God” has nothing to do with “natural descent”. The Bible repeatedly speaks of us being children of God in a spiritual sense.


Most Christians understand the “Seed of the Woman” to be referring to Jesus, not Abel or Seth. So it is a SPIRITUAL FULFILMENT - in the virgin birth (not a physical fulfilment). Jesus was the “Seed of the Woman” i.e. born of the virgin Mary.

Thus the “seed of the serpent” is also seen as having a spiritual fulfilment. While some see in it allusions to the Nephilim or the Antichrist, it is primarily a reference to unregenerate men who are the spiritual seed of Satan.

1 John 3:10 (NIV) This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.


Paul says to Elymas the Jewish sorcerer who opposed him and Barnabas when they were presenting the gospel to the proconsul at Paphos in Crete:


You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! (Acts 13:10, NIV)

Those who “do not belong to God”, but live in sin are the devil’s seed. Speaking to the Pharisees, Jesus said,

John 8:44-47 (NIV) “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”


“Belial” is a Hebrew term which means “worthless” but which became personified as the devil in Jewish and Christian texts.

2 Cor 6:15 (NIV) What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

The idiom “sons of Belial” appears 15 times in the KJV to indicate sinful people. The term is normally rendered as “worthless people” (or something similar) in most versions.

These “sons of Belial” were simply wicked men. The list includes idolaters (Deut 13:13), the sexually deviant and murderous men of Gibeah (Judg 19:22, 20:13), the adulterous sons of Eli (1 Sam 2:12) and the stingy Nabal (1 Sam 25:17).


Gen 3:15 “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; (1) he shall bruise your head, and (2) you shall bruise his heel.”

Both aspects of the Gen 3:15 prophecy were fulfilled at the cross.

You shall bruise him on the heel

A bruise on the heel is a relatively minor wound compared to a head injury. The ‘bruise’ that Jesus received was the crucifixion.


The Bible makes it clear that although Judas was the instrument used, he was prompted to betray Jesus to death by Satan himself:


Luke 22:3-4 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.

John 13:27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him.


He shall bruise you on the head.

Now, while a bruise on the heel is a relatively minor wound, a bruise on the head is a fatal wound. Scripture makes it clear that by his bruised heel (i.e. his death on the cross) Jesus defeated the powers of darkness (a fatal blow) and brought about man’s awaited redemption by God.

Col 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.


We are also told the dark rulers of our age, including Satan and his fallen angels, did not understand the significance of the cross as God’s means of salvation - or that they were unwittingly assisting in bringing about man’s redemption:

1 Cor 2:8 (NIV) None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

By the wounds sustained by the Seed of the Woman, we have our redemption.

1 Pet 2:24 (NIV) He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.


As the Seed of the Woman, Jesus shared in our humanity so that by his death (his heel being bruised) he would inflict a mortal blow to the head of the serpent (the devil) and deliver mankind from the consequences of the Fall (death).

Heb 2:14-15 (NIV) Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.


He therefore reversed the judgement of Eden, which was spiritual death or estrangement from God.

1 Cor 15:21-22 (NIV) For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

Eph 2:13-18 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility… He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.


Some see the following verse as a reference to Gen 3:15.

Rom 16:20 (KJV) And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.

Although Satan’s power was broken at the cross his ultimate complete defeat and incarceration is spoken of by Paul as in the future.

1 Cor 15:25 (ESV) For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.



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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.