One of the remarkable Messianic prophecies is found in Genesis 3.
Here, in the immediate aftermath of Adam and Eve’s defiance of God’s commandment and subsequent Fall from righteousness, the question becomes, “what will God do now? Will He destroy Man and start over? Will He merely abandon Man and the world as some great failed experiment? The answer is not long in coming.
In verses 14 and 15, the Lord answers through His addressing Satan, the serpent. Satan is judged, condemned to slink through the dust. Then, the substance affecting Man.
God will put enmity between the serpent and the woman. Seldom in Scripture is lineage given through a woman. We would expect to see it through the man. This is a gracious act toward Eve, a statement that her role in the Fall is forgiven.
We also have here the first foreshadowing of the Virgin Birth.
Then, the seed of the woman experiences a wounded heel, painful but not deadly. He undoes what has occurred by suffering.
However, the serpent experiences a crushing of the head, which clearly is deadly.
The essence of the prophecy is that the seed of the woman undoes what has just occurred in the Garden of Eden by suffering, destroying the work of the serpent and restoring Man. The rabbis in the Targums, Aramaic paraphrases of the Biblical text, attribute the object of the prophecy to occurring in the days of King Messiah.
What a wonderful prophecy!
Rabbi Jeffrey Adler is president of the Board of HaShomer and also Rabbi of Sha’arey Yeshua in Indianapolis, IN.