1 Fruit After Its Kind Whose Seed Is In Itself
And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me [Gr., Septuagint; "seduced me"],1 and I did eat.
And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed . . .
We find in the curse pronounced by God, that the serpent had offspring. The NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament:
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers.2
The serpent's seed of Gen.3:15 then, cannot be conveniently "spiritualized" as mere followers of Satan, nor did the seed exist only in potential form (in the serpent's body as a sperm cell) but was an actual blood line (joined with an egg) that would be a continual oppression to the woman's genetic offspring:
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; and it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Gen.3:15).
In Singer's Jewish Encyclopedia we find this verse in paraphrase:
The serpent was cursed because he had tempted the woman, and between his and her descendants there was to be perpetual enmity.3
Scripture bears this pattern out etymologically. Throughout the Old Testament the word "seed" is used to indicate progeny. As an example, we find in the Levitical Law the prohibition of worshipping Molech: "a Semitic deity whose worship was characterized by parents' sacrificing their children by compelling them to pass through or into a furnace of fire."4 The passage forbidding this practice reads:
And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shall thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. (Lev.18:21)
"Seed" and "children" (i.e., offspring or progeny) are therefore synonymous throughout much of the Old Testament. This becomes even more apparent in the Gospels where, for instance, in John chapter eight there is a discussion between "the Jews" and Jesus regarding "Abraham's seed,"5 and those who our Lord identifies as "of [their] father the devil."6 The word seed is defined as follows:
4690. sper'-mah; from G4687; something sown, i.e. seed (including the male "sperm"); by implication offspring . . .7
We also find the same word -- "seed” -- in the Lord's parables where, in Matthew, the "good" seed are the children of the kingdom, but the tares are the children of the wicked one."8
Paul, Peter, and John use the word "seed" to identify those who are children of God, demonstrating a distinct difference in the two lineages: Paul; of "seeds, as of many . . . the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus,"9 Peter; of those "being born again, not of corruptible seed . . . ,"10 and John; of he who is "born or God . . . [whose] seed remaineth in him . . . because he is born of God."11
Since the male of all species produces seed and the female does not, it is the prevailing interpretation of Bible scholars that the reference in Gen.3:15 to the woman's seed speaks of the eventual Messiah, of whom Isaiah prophesies:
Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Emmanuel. (Isa.7:14)
William Branham reminds us that:
. . . the seed of the woman was the Christ who came by the instrumentality of God, apart from human intercourse . . . There at the cross Christ would bruise the head of Satan, while Satan would bruise the heel of the Lord.12
Most Bible ". . . commentators rightly called this verse [Gen.3:15] Protevangelium, i.e. the first proclamation of the gospel of redemption. Despite sin and death there is the promise of victory. Christians see in Christ the fulfillment of [the Genesis writer's] dim hope: the Son of Mary has delivered from the power of 'the Serpent' the fallen sons of Eve."13 Eve, then -- as we shall find particularly in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers -- becomes Mary's Old Testament counterpart; losing her virginity to the serpent by means of Satan (a fallen angel), as Mary offers hers to God by means of Gabriel (an archangel)!
This enmity "between . . . [the serpent's] seed and [the woman's] seed . . ."14 reaches its apex when the woman's seed (the Christ-child; i.e., God's Son), planted in the womb of Mary, is "wounded for our transgressions . . . [and] bruised for our iniquities."
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons . . .
"[Martin] Luther," claims Ludwig Kohler, "wrote in the margin of his Bible [beside Gen.3:15], in [the year] 1534, 'this is the first promise of Christ; Adam with his descendants believed the promise, therefore he was blessed of God from the Fall.' "15 Kohler also makes clear the fact that:
The beast [i.e., serpent; a primate], according to the oldest account of creation, is a creature that failed to fulfill its purpose. God wanted to make a help meet for Adam for whom it was not good that he should be alone. Had God then formed the woman out of his rib there would have been no beasts. But God meant one of the beasts to be the counterpart [help meet; Heb. 'ezer] to man. Man gave every beast a name, i.e. he knew the nature of the beast but he found no beast that was a help meet for him, Gen.2:18-20.16
This very fact may well explain how the serpent's seed could mix with a human egg and produce an offspring through Eve. Here in the Genesis account is the insinuation that some of the beasts must, in fact, have been very close to man in terms of biological and psychological compatibility.17 Otherwise we make Jehovah a vain God. Why, for instance, would Adam have spent the time naming, and God the time creating creatures that could not possibly have been -- even remotely -- adequate as a helper to Adam? As N.P. Williams notes:
It is clear that the physical and mental state of the first man is not conceived as being very far exalted above that of the beasts, because the sole object of the creation of animals, according to the Yahwistic narrative of Gen.2:18-25, is to provide Adam with a suitable companion, and the various existing species of brutes represent so many unsuccessful experiments made to this end by the Creator.18
If the male serpent was an upright being, certainly there was a female beast (i.e., primate or "serpent") as well since God created all creatures by twos: male and female (Gen.1:21,22; 6:19,20). However, the female serpent was not found suitable for Adam. Evidently Adam had already passed the same test Eve was later to fail. Kohler continues by reminding us that "the serpent is deprived of legs and made to go on his belly as punishment . . . The passage is therefore," concludes Kohler, ". . . a story to explain an existing state of affairs."19 That present condition of which Kohler speaks is the continued conflict between two actual gene-lines, the source of one being a literal beast: a primate with spiritual hereditary links to Satan.
From An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, William Branham makes the following case:
If the Seed of the woman was a man-child apart from the man [the grafting of God's "spiritual heredity"20 into the human race via Mary], then the seed of the serpent will have to be in the same pattern . . . another male must be born apart from human male instrumentality [by which a "spiritual . . . inheritance of Satan"21 grafted into the human race as well].22
1 Curtis Vaughan, The Word The Bible From 26 Translations, Moss Point, 1991, p.4; The Septuagint: "... The serpent seduced me and I did eat." The word beguile as translated in the Authorized Version comes from a primitive root, nasha, according to Strong's #5377, which means, "to lead astray, i.e. (mentally) to delude, or (morally) to seduce."
2 John R. Kohlenberger, The NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament, Vol. I. Genesis-Deuteronomy, Grand Rapids, 1979, p.7.
3 Isadore Singer, The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. I, New York, 1901, p.174.
4 Madeline S. Miller & J. Lane Miller, Harper's Bible Dictionary, New York, 1961, p.453. [Emphasis mine].
7 James Strong, The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, (Greek Dictionary of the New Testament), Nashville, 1990, p.66.
9 Gal.3:16b, 26b.
10 I Pet.1:23a.
11 I Jn.3:9.
12 William Branham, An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, Tucson, 1965, p.99. Emphasis mine.
13 G. Henton Davies, Alan Richardson, Charles L. Wallis, Twentieth Century Bible Commentary, New York, 1955, p.107. [Emphasis mine].
15 Ludwig Kohler, Old Testament Theology, Philadelphia, 1957, p.248. [Emphasis mine].
16 Ibid., p.156. [Italics Kohler's].
17 We find in several sources a reference to the "beasts having speech before the fall:
- W.D. Davies, Paul And Rabbinic Judaism, Philadelphia, 1980, p.39. As a result of Adam's sin, "wild beasts acquired their ferocity and obstinacy and lost their speech."
- Henri Rondet, Original Sin, New York, 1972, p.17. Adam's "expulsion from paradise, which among other consequences brought about loss of speech for the animals."
- Flavius Josephus, The Works of Josephus, (Antiquities of the Jews, I, 4.), Translated by William Whiston, Lynn (Massachusetts), 1981, p.26. â€œ[before the fall]...all the living creatures had one language."
- Rather than writing this off as mere folk-lore and legend, it may be wise to consider that the very discoveries now being made of 'higher primates' by paleontologists and anthropologists, are evidence -- not of early man -- but of a very high order of beast, those who could communicate with man through the use of language.
18 Norman Powell Williams, The Ideas of the Fall and of Original Sin, New York, 1927, p.41.
19 Kohler, p.157.
20 Rondet, p.20.
21 Piet Schoonenberg, Man And Sin, A Theological View, (Translated by Joseph Donceel), Paris, 1965, p.129.
22 William Branham, An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, Tucson, 1965, p.99. [Emphasis mine].