Study began on September 30, 2018. This study has been rather on and off as I work on it between many other projects.
I. New Testament gives insights into the Old Testament Teachings
II. Now, beginning in Genesis
I. New Testament gives insights into the Old Testament Teachings
Ga. 3:8: God preached the gospel to Abraham. When did he do this? By demonstrating that he had faith in God (offering his son-God considered that he had done it, because Abraham was in a hair’s breath of doing so when God stopped him:
“And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice” (Ge. 22:15-18).
Apparently, at this time, God preached the gospel to Abraham. Genesis 22:8: “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.” The offering of Isaac is one of the finest pictures of the offering of Christ. Although God spared Abraham’s son, God did not spare His own Son but delivered Him up for us all.
Jn. 5.33-47: The fourfold witness to Jesus: John the Baptist; the works; the Father; the Scriptures … John 5:39-47: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?”
Jn. 7:40-43 “Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? So there was a division among the people because of him.”
Jn. 8:56 “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” See Ro. 4.1-8. Lu. 10.24 “For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” He. 11.13 “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” He. 11:19 “Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.” Ge. 22:8 “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.” [Emphasis mine]
Peter preached the first sermon after Pentecost. He preached to Jews, in accord with Christ’s apostolic commission immediately prior to his ascension, to the first church, the church at Jerusalem:
Ac. 1:8-9: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.”
In accord with that commission, starting at Jerusalem, the apostles immediately began to preach, first in Jerusalem. They were filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with tongues to those “gathered at Jerusalem” Jews, as the Spirit gave them utterance (Ac. 2.1-5). Everyone heard them in their own tongue (language) (Ac. 2:8). Some, mocking, said “These men are full of new wine” (Ac. 2:13). At that time Peter stood up and began to preach to them pointing out that they were not drunk. In this first sermon on the day of Pentecost, Peter preaches that David prophesied the resurrection of Christ, the one the Jews had crucified; that the one they had crucified was risen, being now by the right hand of God exalted (Ac. 2.14-31). Peter refers to Ps. 16:10. Ps. 16 is a “Messianic” Psalm which speaks of the resurrection. Acts 2:30-31: “Therefore [David] being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.”
Ac. 8.28-32 The Ethiopian eunuch was reading from Is. 53. God sent Philip to him who, beginning in that same place, and preached unto him Jesus. The eunuch was saved, baptized, “and went on his way rejoicing (v39).”
Ac. 28.23 “And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.”
Ac. 10:43 “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
- Abbott: The whole Mosaic economy of sacrifices, with all its imposing rites and ceremonies, was a prophetic representation of an atoning Savior. The expiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ, for the sins of the world, gives a profound and affecting significance to a ritual which would otherwise be trivial and unmeaning.–Believeth in him. To believe in Christ is to believe so cordially in all that he has taught and suffered in our behalf, that our conduct shall be in accordance with our faith.
- Barnes: This was implied in what the prophets said. See Ro 10:11. It was not, indeed, expressly affirmed that they who believed in him should be pardoned; but this was implied in what they said. They promised a Messiah; and their religion consisted mainly in believing in a Messiah to come. See the reasoning of the apostle Paul in Ro 4:1-25.
- Clarke: To him give all the prophets witness – See Isa 9:6; 52:7; 53:5, Isa 53:6; 59:20; Jer 31:34; Da 9:24; Mic 7:18, etc.; and Zec 13:1. As Jesus Christ was the sum and substance of the law and the Mosaic dispensation, so all the prophets bore testimony, either directly or indirectly, to him; and, indeed, without him and the salvation he has promised, there is scarcely any meaning in the Mosaic economy, nor in most of the allusions of the prophets.  Remission of sins – The phrase, αφεσις αμαρτιων , means simply the taking away of sins; and this does not refer to the guilt of sin merely, but also to its power, nature, and consequences. All that is implied in pardon of sin, destruction of its tyranny, and purification from its pollution, is here intended; and it is wrong to restrict such operations of mercy to pardon alone.
- JFB: To him give all the prophets witness–that is, This is the burden, generally of the prophetic testimony. It was fitter thus to give the spirit of their testimony, than to quote them in detail on such an occasion. But let this apostolic statement of the evangelical import of the Old Testament writings be devoutly weighed by those who are disposed to rationalize away this element in the Old Testament.
- MHWBC: We have here Peter’s sermon preached to Cornelius and his friends: that is, an abstract or summary of it; for we have reason to think that he did with many other words testify and exhort to this purport. It is intimated that he expressed himself with a great deal of solemnity and gravity, but with freedom and copiousness, in that phrase, he opened his mouth, and spoke, Ac 10:34. O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open to you, saith Paul, 2Co 6:11. “You shall find us communicative, if we but find you inquisitive.” Hitherto the mouths of the apostles had been shut to the uncircumcised Gentiles, they had nothing to say to them; but now God gave unto them, as he did to Ezekiel, the opening of the mouth. This excellent sermon of Peter’s is admirably suited to the circumstances of those to whom he preached it; for it was a new sermon. Because they were Gentiles to whom he preached. He shows that, notwithstanding this, they were interested in the gospel of Christ, which he had to preach, and entitled to the benefit of it, upon an equal footing with the Jews. It was necessary that this should be cleared, or else with what comfort could either he preach or they hear? He therefore lays down this as an undoubted principle, that God is no respecter of persons; doth not know favour in judgment, as the Hebrew phrase is; which magistrates are forbidden to do (De 1:17; 16:19; Pr 24:23), and are blamed for doing, Ps 82:2. And it is often said of God that he doth not respect persons, De 10:17; 2Ch 19:7; Job 34:19; Ro 2:11; Col 3:25; 1Pe 1:17. He doth not give judgment in favour of a man for the sake of any external advantage foreign to the merits of the cause. God never perverts judgment upon personal regards and considerations, nor countenances a wicked man in a wicked thing for the sake of his beauty, or stature, his country, parentage, relations, wealth, or honour in the world. God, as a benefactor, gives favours arbitrarily and by sovereignty (De 7:7; 9:5-6); but he does not, as a judge, so give sentence; but in every nation, and under ever denomination, he that fears God and works righteousness is accepted of him, Ac 10:35. The case is plainly thus– 1. God never did, nor ever will, justify and save a wicked Jew that lived and died impenitent, though he was of the seed of Abraham, and a Hebrew of the Hebrews, and had all the honour and advantages that attended circumcision. He does and will render indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil; and of the Jew first, whose privileges and professions, instead of screening him from the judgment of God, will but aggravate his guilt and condemnation. See Ro 2:3,8-9,17. Though God has favoured the Jews, above other nations, with the dignities of visible church-membership, yet he will not therefore accept of any particular persons of that dignity, if they allow themselves in immoralities contradictory to their profession; and particularly in persecution, which was now, more than any other, the national sin of the Jews. 2. He never did, nor ever will, reject or refuse an honest Gentile, who, though he has not the privileges and advantages that the Jews have, yet, like Cornelius, fears God, and worships him, and works righteousness, that is, is just and charitable towards all men, who lives up to the light he has, both in a sincere devotion and in a regular conversation. Whatever nation he is of, though ever so far remote from kindred to the seed of Abraham, though ever so despicable, nay, though in ever so ill a name, that shall be no prejudice to him. God judges of men by their hearts, not by their country or parentage; and, wherever he finds an upright man, he will be found an upright God, Ps 18:25. Observe, Fearing God, and working righteousness, must go together; for, as righteousness towards men is a branch of true religion, so religion towards God is a branch of universal righteousness. Godliness and honesty must go together, and neither will excuse for the want of the other. But, where these are predominant, no doubt is to be made of acceptance with God. Not that any man, since the fall, can obtain the favour of God otherwise than through the mediation of Jesus Christ, and by the grace of God in him; but those that have not the knowledge of him, and therefore cannot have an explicit regard to him, may yet receive grace from God for his sake, to fear God and to work righteousness; and wherever God gives grace to do so, as he did to Cornelius, he will, through Christ, accept the work of his own hands. Now, (1.) This was always a truth, before Peter perceived it, that God respecteth no man’s person; it was the fixed rule of judgment from the beginning: If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And, if not well, sin, and the punishment of it, lie at the door, Ge 4:7. God will not ask in the great day what country men were of, but what they were, what they did, and how they stood affected towards him and towards their neighbours; and, if men’s personal characters received neither advantage nor disadvantage from the great difference that existed between Jews and Gentiles, much less from any less difference of sentiments and practices that may happen to be among Christians themselves, as those about meats and days, Ro 14:1-23. It is certain the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; and he that in these things serveth Christ is accepted of God, and ought to be approved of men; for dare we reject those whom God doth not? (2.) Yet now it was made more clear than it had been; this great truth had been darkened by the covenant of peculiarity made with Israel, and the badges of distinction put upon them; the ceremonial law was a wall of partition between them and other nations; it is true that in it God favoured that nation (Ro 3:1; 9:4), and thence particular persons among them were ready to infer that they were sure of God’s acceptance, though they lived as they listed, and that no Gentile could possibly be accepted of God. God had said a great deal by the prophets to prevent and rectify this mistake, but now at length he doth it effectually, by abolishing the covenant of peculiarity, repealing the ceremonial law, and so setting the matter at large, and placing both Jew and Gentile upon the same level before God; and Peter is here made to perceive it, by comparing the vision which he had with that which Cornelius had. Now in Christ Jesus, it is plain, neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, Ga 5:6; Col 3:11. II. Because they were Gentiles inhabiting a place within the confines of the land of Israel, he refers them to what they themselves could not but know concerning the life and doctrine, the preaching and miracles, the death and sufferings of our Lord Jesus: for these were things the report of which spread into every corner of the nation, Ac 10:37, &c. It facilitates the work of ministers, when they deal with such as have some knowledge of the things of God, to which they may appeal, and on which they may build. 1. They knew in general, the word, that is, the gospel, which God sent to the children of Israel: That word, I say, you know, Ac 10:37. Though the Gentiles were not admitted to hear it (Christ and his disciples were not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel), yet they could not but hear of it: it was all the talk both of city and country. We are often told in the gospels how the fame of Christ went into all parts of Canaan, when he was on earth, as afterwards the fame of his gospel went into all parts of the world, Ro 10:18. That word, that divine word, that word of power and grace, you know. (1.) What the purport of this word was. God by it published the glad tidings of peace by Jesus Christ, so it should be read–euangelizomenos eirenev. It is God himself that proclaims peace, who justly might have proclaimed war. He lets the world of mankind know that he is willing to be at peace with them through Jesus Christ; in him he was reconciling the world to himself. (2.) To whom it was sent–to the children of Israel, in the first place. The prime offer is made to them; this all their neighbours heard of, and were ready to envy them those advantages of the gospel, more than they ever envied them those of their law. Then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them, Ps 126:2. 2. They knew the several matters of fact relating to this word of the gospel sent to Israel. (1.) They knew the baptism of repentance which John preached by way of introduction to it, and in which the gospel first began, Mr 1:1. They knew what an extraordinary man John was, and what a direct tendency his preaching had to prepare the way of the Lord. They knew what great flocking there was to his baptism, what an interest he had, and what he did. (2.) They knew that immediately after John’s baptism the gospel of Christ, that word of peace, was published throughout all Judea, and that it took its rise from Galilee. The twelve apostles, and seventy disciples, and our Master himself, published these glad tidings in all parts of the land; so that we may suppose there was not a town or village in all the land of Canaan but had had the gospel preached in it. (3.) They knew that Jesus of Nazareth, when he was here upon earth, went about doing good. They knew what a benefactor he was to that nation, both to the souls and the bodies of men; how he made it his business to do good to all, and never did hurt to any. He was not idle, but still doing; not selfish, but doing good; did not confine himself to one place, nor wait till people came to him to seek his help, but went to them, went about from place to place, and wherever he came he was doing good. Hereby he showed that he was sent of God, who is good and does good; and does good because he is good: and who hereby left not himself without witness to the world, in that he did good, Ac 14:17. And in this he hath set us an example of indefatigable industry in serving God and our generation; for we came into the world that we might do all the good we can in it; and therein, like Christ, we must always abide and abound. (4.) They knew more particularly that he healed all that were oppressed of the devil, and helped them from under his oppressing power. By this it appeared not only that he was sent of God, as it was a kindness to men, but that he was sent to destroy the works of the devil; for thus he obtained many a victory over him. (5.) They knew that the Jews put him to death; they slew him by hanging him on a tree. When Peter preached to the Jews, he said whom you slew; but now that he preached to the Gentiles it is whom they slew; they, to whom he had done and designed so much good. All this they knew; but lest they should think it was only a report, and was magnified, as reports usually are, more than the truth, Peter, for himself and the rest of the apostles, attested it (Ac 10:39): We are witnesses, eye-witnesses, of all things which he did; and ear-witnesses of the doctrine which he preached, both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, in city and country. 3. They did know, or might know, by all this, that he had a commission from heaven to preach and act as he did. This he still harps upon in his discourse, and takes all occasions to hint it to them. Let them know, (1.) That this Jesus is Lord of all; it comes in in a parenthesis, but is the principal proposition intended to be proved, that Jesus Christ, by whom peace is made between God and man, is Lord of all; not only as God over all blessed for evermore, but as Mediator, all power both in heaven and on earth is put into his hand, and all judgment committed to him. He is Lord of angels; they are all his humble servants. He is Lord of the powers of darkness, for he hath triumphed over them. He is king of nations, has a power over all flesh. He is king of saints, all the children of God are his scholars, his subjects, his soldiers. (2.) That God anointed him with the Holy Ghost and with power; he was both authorized and enabled to do what he did by a divine anointing, whence he was called Christ–the Messiah, the anointed One. The Holy Ghost descended upon him at his baptism, and he was full of power both in preaching and working miracles, which was the seal of a divine mission. (3.) That God was with him, Ac 10:38. His works were wrought in God. God not only sent him, but was present with him all along, owned him, stood by him, and carried him on in all his services and sufferings. Note, Those whom God anoints he will accompany; he will himself be with those to whom he has given his Spirit.
- One can also see other commentators.
N1 to Ro. 3:24, p. 1195: Romans 3:24 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” ([Note. The King James Bible is sufficient, without getting into the Greek.] Ro 3:24 1 Redemption Redemption, “to deliver by paying a price.” The N.T. doctrine. The N.T. records the fulfilment of the O.T. types and prophecies of redemption through the sacrifice of Christ. The completed truth is set forth in the three words which are translated redemption (1) agorazo, “to purchase in the market.” The underlying thought is of a slave-market. The subjects of redemption are “sold under sin” Ro 7:14 but are, moreover, under sentence of death Eze 18:4, Joh 3:18-19; Ro 3:19; Ga 3:10, and the purchase price is the blood of the Redeemer who dies in their stead Ga 3:13; 2Co 5:21; Mt 20:28, Mr 10:45; 1Ti 2:6; 1Pe 1:18. (2) exagorazo, “to buy out of the market.” The redeemed are never again to be exposed to sale; (3) lutroo, “to loose,” “to set free by paying a price” Joh 8:32; Ga 4:4-5; 5:13; Ro 8:21. Redemption is by sacrifice and by power See Scofield “Ex 14:30” Christ paid the price, the Holy Spirit makes deliverance actual in experience Ro 8:2. Cmt. on Isa 59:20. Cmt. on Ro 1:16. Margin: grace Grace (in salvation), Ro 4:4-16; 3:24. Cmt. on Joh 1:17. )
N2 to Ro. 3:25, p 1195: Romans 3:25 “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” ([Note. The KJB is sufficient without getting into the Greek.] 2 propitiation Lit. a propitiatory sacrifice, through faith by his blood; Gr. hilasterion, “place of propitiation.” The word occurs, 1Jo 2:2; 4:10 as the trans. of hilasmos, “that which propitiates,” “a propitiatory sacrifice.” Hilasterion is used by the Septuagint, and Heb 9:5 for “mercy-seat.” The mercy-seat was sprinkled with atoning blood in the day of atonement Le 16:14 in token that the righteous sentence of the law had been (typically) carried out, so that what must else have been a judgment-seat could righteously be a mercy-seat Heb 9:11-15; 4:14-16, a place of communion Ex 25:21-22. In fulfilment of the type, Christ is Himself the hilasmos, “that which propitiates,” and the hilasterion, “the place of propitiation” –the mercy-seat sprinkled with His own blood–the token that in our stead He so honoured the law by enduring its righteous sentence that God, who ever foresaw the cross, is vindicated in having “passed over” sins from Adam to Moses Ro 5:13 and the sins of believers under the old covenant Cmt. on Ex 29:33 and just in justifying sinners under the covenant. There is no thought in propitiation of placating a vengeful God, but of doing right by His holy law and so making it possible for Him righteously to show mercy. Margin: remission passing over of sins done aforetime, i.e. since Adam. Cf. Heb 9:15.)
Ro. 9:24-33: “Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”
1 Co. 10:1-4: “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”
Ga. 3:6: “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” This is a quote from Genesis 15:6, which is also quoted in Romans 4:3. Abraham is a great example of justification by faith. Paul uses him as an example in both Romans and Galatians. The law was not given until 400 years after Abraham. Abraham was justified before God gave him the commandment of circumcision. Circumcision was the badge and evidence of Abraham’s faith, just as baptism is the badge and evidence of a believer’s faith today. Neither can save. They make no contribution to salvation, but are simply outward evidences of an inward work.
In Genesis 15, after Abraham rescued his nephew Lot from the kings of the East and returned the booty from the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, God appeared to him to assure him he had done right. Abraham reminded the Lord that He had promised him a son. God tells him Abraham that he cannot count the stars and that he will not be able to count his offspring. Genesis 15:6 “And he [Abraham} believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” Abraham believed God, and at that moment God declared him righteous. Not because of his works. His works were imperfect. Paul will develop this a little later on. Although he did not have perfection at that time, afterwards he did because his faith was counted for righteousness.
Abraham, in effect, asked God to put it in writing (Ge. 15:8). We read in Ge. 15:9-21 of the covenant God then made with Abraham. In those days, they cut a sacrifice into two parts and put half on one side and half on the other side, then they joined hands and walked between the two halves. That sealed the covenant. We are told that God put Abraham into a deep sleep. Why? Because Abraham is not going to walk with God between the two halves. Abraham is not to promise anything. God is doing the promising. God is making the covenant. Abraham’s part is only to believe God. If the covenant depended on Abraham’s faithfulness, he might miss one night, and the promise would be no good. The covenant depended on God’s faithfulness alone.
2000 years ago Christ came to the cross to pay for your sins and mine. God is asking you to do nothing to be saved. He is asking you to trust His Son who died for you. He makes the covenant. The old covenant he made with Abraham. Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. God is still asking us to believe Him. Put yout trust in Christ and you will be saved.
Ga. 3:8 “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.”
Ga. 3:10-18 “… 17 And this I say, that the covenant [to Abraham], that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”
2 Ti. 3:15-4:4: “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
He. 3:16-19: “For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”
1 Pe. 1:9-12: “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”
II. Now, beginning in Genesis
- On Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
- A gracious promise is here made of Christ, as the deliverer of fallen man from the power of Satan. Though what was said was addressed to the serpent, yet it was said in the hearing of our first parents, who, doubtless, took the hints of grace here given them, and saw a door of hope opened to them, else the following sentence upon themselves would have overwhelmed them. Here was the dawning of the gospel day. No sooner was the wound given than the remedy was provided and revealed. Here, in the head of the book, as the word is (Hebrews 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.), in the beginning of the Bible, it is written of Christ, that he should do the will of God. By faith in this promise, we have reason to think, our first parents, and the patriarchs before the flood, were justified and saved and to this promise, and the benefit of it, instantly serving God day and night, they hoped to come. Notice is here given them of three things concerning Christ:– (1.) His incarnation, that he should be the seed of the woman, the seed of that woman; therefore his genealogy (Lu 3:1-38 (the lineage of Mary)) goes so high as to show him to be the son of Adam, but God does the woman the honour to call him rather her seed, because she it was whom the devil had beguiled, and on whom Adam had laid the blame; herein God magnifies his grace, in that, though the woman was first in the transgression, yet she shall be saved by child-bearing (as some read it), that is, by the promised seed who shall descend from her, 1Ti 2:15 (1 Timothy 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.). He was likewise to be the seed of a woman only, of a virgin, that he might not be tainted with the corruption of our nature; he was sent forth, made of a woman (Ga 4:4), that this promise might be fulfilled. It is a great encouragement to sinners that their Saviour is the seed of the woman, bone of our bone, Heb 2:11,14. Man is therefore sinful and unclean, because he is born of a woman (Job 25:4), and therefore his days are full of trouble, Job 14:1. But the seed of the woman was made sin and a curse for us, so saving us from both. (2.) His sufferings and death, pointed at in Satan’s bruising his heel, that is, his human nature. Satan tempted Christ in the wilderness, to draw him into sin; and some think it was Satan that terrified Christ in his agony, to drive him to despair. It was the devil that put it into the heart of Judas to betray Christ, of Peter to deny him, of the chief priests to prosecute him, of the false witnesses to accuse him, and of Pilate to condemn him, aiming in all this, by destroying the Saviour, to ruin the salvation; but, on the contrary, it was by death that Christ destroyed him that had the power of death, Heb 2:14. Christ’s heel was bruised when his feet were pierced and nailed to the cross, and Christ’s sufferings are continued in the sufferings of the saints for his name. The devil tempts them, casts them into prison, persecutes and slays them, and so bruises the heel of Christ, who is afflicted in their afflictions. But, while the heel is bruised on earth, it is well that the head is safe in heaven. (3.) His victory over Satan thereby. Satan had now trampled upon the woman, and insulted over her; but the seed of the woman should be raised up in the fulness of time to avenge her quarrel, and to trample upon him, to spoil him, to lead him captive, and to triumph over him, Col 2:15. He shall bruise his head, that is, he shall destroy all his politics and all his powers, and give a total overthrow to his kingdom and interest. Christ baffled Satan’s temptations, rescued souls out of his hands, cast him out of the bodies of people, dispossessed the strong man armed, and divided his spoil: by his death, he gave a fatal and incurable blow to the devil’s kingdom, a wound to the head of this beast, that can never be healed. As his gospel gets ground, Satan falls (Lu 10:18) and is bound, Re 20:2. By his grace, he treads Satan under his people’s feet (Ro 16:20) and will shortly cast him into the lake of fire, Re 20:10. And the devil’s perpetual overthrow will be the complete and everlasting joy and glory of the chosen remnant.
Poole: I will put enmity between thee and the woman; and the man too, but the woman alone is mentioned, for the devil’s greater confusion.
- The woman, whom, as the weaker vessel, thou didst seduce, shall be the great occasion of thy overthrow.
- Because the Son of God, who conquered this great dragon and old serpent, Re 12:9, who came to destroy the works of the devil, 1Jo 3:8, was made of a woman, Ga 4:4, without the help of man, Isa 7:14; Lu 1:34-35.
Thy seed; literally, this serpent, and, for his sake, the whole seed or race of serpents, which of all creatures are most loathsome and terrible to mankind, and especially to women. Mystically, that evil spirit which seduced her, and with him the whole society of devils, (who are generally hated and dreaded by all men, even by those that serve and obey them, but much more by good men), and all wicked men; who, with regard to this text, are called devils, and the children or
seed of the devil, Joh 6:70; 8:44; Ac 13:10; 1Jo 3:8.
And her seed, her offspring; first and principally, the Lord Christ, who with respect to this text and promise is called, by way of eminency,
the seed, Ga 3:16,19; whose alone work it is to break the serpent’s head, i.e. to destroy the devil, Heb 2:14. Compare Joh 12:31; Ro 16:20.
Secondly, and by way of participation, all the members of Christ, all believers and holy men, who are called the children of Christ, Heb 2:13, and of the heavenly Jerusalem, Ga 4:26. All the members whereof are the seed of this woman; and all these are the implacable enemies of the devil, whom also by Christ’s merit and strength they do overcome.
The head is the principal instrument both of the serpent’s fury and mischief, and of his defence, and the principal seat of the serpent’s life, which therefore men chiefly strike at; and which being upon him ground, a man may conveniently tread upon, and crush it to pieces. In the devil this notes his power and authority over men; the strength whereof consists in death, which Christ, the blessed Seed of the woman, overthroweth by taking away the sting of death, which is sin, 1Co 15:55-56;
and destroying him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, Heb 2:14.
The heel is the part which is most within the serpent’s reach, and wherewith it was bruised, and thereby provoked to fix his venomous teeth there; but a part remote from the head and heart, and therefore its wounds, though painful, are not deadly, nor dangerous, if they be observed in time. If it be applied to the Seed of the woman, Christ, his heel may note either his humanity, whereby he trod upon the earth, which indeed the devil, by God’s permission, and the hands of wicked men, did bruise and kill; or his saints and members upon the earth, whom the devil doth in diverse manners bruise, and vex, and afflict, while he cannot reach their Head, Christ, in heaven, nor those of his members who are or shall be advanced thither.
Schofield: The chain of references which begins here includes the promises and prophecies concerning Christ which were fulfilled in His birth and works at His first advent. See, for line of unfulfilled promises and prophecies: “Christ (second advent)” De 30:3. Cmt. on Ac 1:11 “Kingdom” Ge 1:26-28; Zec 12:8 “Kingdom (N.T.)” Lu 1:31; 1Co 15:28 “Day of the Lord” Isa 2:10; Re 19:11.
TSK: enmity. Nu 21:6-7; Am 9:3; Mr 16:18; Lu 10:19; Ac 28:3-6; Ro 3:13
thy seed. Mt 3:7; 12:34; 13:38; 23:33; Joh 8:44; Ac 13:10; 1Jo 3:8,10
her seed. Ps 132:11; Isa 7:14; Jer 31:22; Mic 5:3; Mt 1:23,25; Lu 1:31-35,76; Ga 4:4
it shall. Ro 16:20; Eph 4:8; Col 2:15; Heb 2:14-15; 1Jo 3:8; 5:5; Re 12:7-8,17; 20:1-3,10
thou. Ge 49:17; Isa 53:3-4,12; Da 9:26; Mt 4:1-10; Lu 22:39-44,53; Joh 12:31-33; 14:30-31; Heb 2:18; 5:7; Re 2:10; 12:9-13; 13:7; 15:1-6; 20:7-8
Genesis 3.21: Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
- FBN: Skins; supposed to be of animals offered in sacrifice to God, pointing forward to the great atoning sacrifice of Christ, the promised Conqueror of Satan. Throgh faith in Christ, God would forgive men, sanctify, and save them.
When our first parents had vainly endeavored to hide their shame by a covering of their own invention, God, in his great mercy, provided for them a suitable covering. This truly shadows forth the righteousness which God gives through faith in Christ, to all who humbly ask him for it, with a hearty acknowledgement of the worthlessness of their own righteousness.
- JFB: 21. God made coats of skins–taught them to make these for themselves. This implies the institution of animal sacrifice, which was undoubtedly of divine appointment, and instruction in the only acceptable mode of worship for sinful creatures, through faith in a Redeemer (Heb 9:22).
- MHCC: God named the man, and called him Adam, which signifies red earth; Adam named the woman, and called her Eve, that is, life. Adam bears the name of the dying body, Eve of the living soul. Adam probably had regard to the blessing of a Redeemer, the promised Seed, in calling his wife Eve, or life; for He should be the life of all believers, and in Him all the families of the earth should be blessed. See also God’s care for our first parents, notwithstanding their sin. Clothes came in with sin. Little reason have we to be proud of our clothes, which are but the badges of our shame. When God made clothes for our first parents, he made them warm and strong, but coarse and very plain; not robes of scarlet, but coats of skin. Let those that are meanly clad, learn from hence not to complain. Having food and a covering, let them be content; they are as well off as Adam and Eve. And let those that are finely clad, learn not to make the putting on of apparel their adorning. The beasts, from whose skins they were clothed, it is supposed were slain, not for man’s food, but for sacrifice, to typify Christ, the great Sacrifice. Adam and Eve made for themselves aprons of fig-leaves, a covering too narrow for them to wrap themselves in, Isa 28:20. Such are all the rags of our own righteousness. But God made them coats of skin, large, strong, durable, and fit for them: such is the righteousness of Christ; therefore put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.
- MHWBC: … The wool and the flax are his, as well as the corn and the wine, Ho 2:9. 4. These coats of skin had a significancy. The beasts whose skins they were must be slain, slain before their eyes, to show them what death is, and (as it is Ec 3:18) that they may see that they themselves were beasts, mortal and dying. It is supposed that they were slain, not for food, but for sacrifice, to typify the great sacrifice, which, in the latter end of the world, should be offered once for all. Thus the first thing that died was a sacrifice, or Christ in a figure, who is therefore said to be the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. These sacrifices were divided between God and man, in token of reconciliation: the flesh was offered to God, a whole burnt-offering; the skins were given to man for clothing, signifying that, Jesus Christ having offered himself to God a sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savour, we are to clothe ourselves with his righteousness as with a garment, that the shame of our nakedness may not appear. Adam and Eve made for themselves aprons of fig-leaves, a covering too narrow for them to wrap themselves in, Isa 28:20. Such are all the rags of our own righteousness. But God made them coats of skins; large, and strong, and durable, and fit for them; such is the righteousness of Christ. Therefore put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Poole: … made coats of skins, of beasts slain either for sacrifice to God, or for the use of man, their lord and owner; and clothed them, partly to defend them from excessive heats and colds, or other injuries of the air, to which they were now exposed; partly to mind them of their sin, which made their nakedness, which before was innocent and honourable, now to be an occasion of sin and shame, and therefore to need covering; and partly to show his care even of fallen man, and to encourage his hopes of God’s mercy through the blessed Seed, and thereby to invite him to repentance
- Schofield: Coats of skins: Type of “Christ, made unto us righteousness”– a divinely provided garment that the first sinners might be made fit for God’s presence. See Righteousness, garment Ge 3:21; Re 19:8 (Revelation 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.)
Genesis 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
- JFB: 7. If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? … sin lieth at the door–sin, that is, a sin offering–a common meaning of the word in Scripture (as in Ho 4:8; 2Co 5:21; Heb 9:28). The purport of the divine rebuke to Cain was this, “Why art thou angry, as if unjustly treated? If thou doest well (that is, wert innocent and sinless) a thank offering would have been accepted as a token of thy dependence as a creature. But as thou doest not well (that is, art a sinner), a sin offering is necessary, by bringing which thou wouldest have met with acceptance and retained the honors of thy birthright.” This language implies that previous instructions had been given as to the mode of worship; Abel offered through faith (Heb 11:4: By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.).
unto thee shall be his desire–The high distinction conferred by priority of birth is described (Ge 27:29); and it was Cain’s conviction, that this honor had been withdrawn from him, by the rejection of his sacrifice, and conferred on his younger brother–hence the secret flame of jealousy, which kindled into a settled hatred and fell revenge
Ex. 14:30 and N1, p88 thereto. “Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.” (Redemption: (Exodus type) Summary. Exodus is the book of redemption and teaches: (1) redemption is wholly of God Ex 3:7-8; Joh 3:16. (2) redemption is through a person. Cmt. on Ex 2:2. Joh 3:16-17. (3) redemption is by blood Ex 12:13,23,27; 1Pe 1:18. (4) redemption is by power Ex 6:6; 13:14; Ro 8:2. Cmt. on Isa 59:20. Cmt. on Ro 3:24.
The blood of Christ redeems the believer from the guilt and penalty of sin. 1Pe 1:18 as the power of the Spirit delivers from the dominion of sin. Ro 8:2; Eph 2:2.)
Is. 59:20 and N1 and 2 thereto, p765 : Isaiah 59:20 “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.”
- Note 1: Redemption: Kinsman type, summary. The goel, or Kinsman-Redeemer, is a beautiful type of Christ. (1) The kinsman redemption was of persons, and an inheritance Le 25:48,25; Ga 4:5; Eph 1:7,11,14 (2) The Redeemer must be a kinsman Le 25:48-49; Ru 3:12-13; Ga 4:4; Heb 2:14-15. (3) The Redeemer must be able to redeem Ru 4:4-6; Jer 50:34; Joh 10:11,18 (4) Redemption is effected by the goel paying the just demand in full Le 25:27; 1Pe 1:18-19; Ga 3:13. on Ex 14:30 Cmt. on Ro 3:24
- Note 2 come to Zion. The time when the “Redeemer shall come to Zion” is fixed, relatively, by Ro 11:23-29 as following the completion of the Gentile Church. That is also the order of the great dispensational passage, Ac 15:14-17. In both, the return of the Lord to Zion follows the outcalling of the Church.
N1 to Ez. 43:19, p 890: “And thou shalt give to the priests the Levites that be of the seed of Zadok, which approach unto me, to minister unto me, saith the Lord GOD, a young bullock for a sin offering.” (Eze 43:19 1 and thou shaltDoubtless these offerings will be memorial, looking back to the cross, as the offerings under the old covenant were anticipatory, looking forward to the cross. In neither case have animal sacrifices power to put away sin. Heb 10:4; Ro 3:25.)