New Study began on September 30, 2018. This will be a continuing study to be added to as time permits.
1. 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
2. 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.)
3. 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