אַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים (acharit-hayamim) – Genesis 3:14-15
And the Lord (Heb. יְהֹוָ֔ה YHVH) God says to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the livestock, and above every beast of the field: on your belly you go, and dust you eat, for all days of your life; and I put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He bruises your head, and you bruise His heel.”
What happened in Genesis 3 marked the beginning of human sufferings here on Earth because of sin and transgression against God’s words.
From this incident forward humanity have been thrown into series of unwanted conflicts and warfare until the Mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ) is revealed and enthroned in Zion in the acharit-hayamim (אַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים) and the start of the Messianic Era.
Genesis 1 and 2 revealed how God created and transformed the Earth and also created living creatures and made man from dust and woman from man and humanity was blessed to be fruitful and multiply.
Everything went well and the Lord (Heb. יְהֹוָ֔ה YHVH) God declared the first Sabbath rest (Genesis 2:3).
Does it appear strange we read of this serpent talking to Eve in Genesis 3? Nowhere was it revealed in scripture God created animals with natural ability to communicate with human through audible voices of known human languages but we read of this serpent talking to Eve in a way both could understand each other without any interpreter and translator!
Eve was not dreaming. This conversation between the woman and the serpent was actual occurrence.
There were only two recorded incident in scripture where animal talked to human in audible voice of known human languages. Genesis 3 the serpent talking to Eve and in Numbers 22:28-30 Balaam’s own donkey talking back after being beaten by Balaam!
The conversation between the serpent and Eve in Genesis 3 resulted in the acts of disobedience and transgression against God’s words by both Adam and Eve.
The consequence for sin is that Man was forfeited of the access to the Tree of Life as Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden where the Tree of Life was only located. Death became a certainty for us mankind. And God declared enmity between the serpent and humanity.
This enmity between the serpent and humanity declared by God has been ongoing for thousands of years and will continue through the acharit-hayamim (אַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים) and we need to know, understand, be informed, and be prepared, how this enmity is transpiring among us and how God revealed for us the way to seek redemption and restoration.
Genesis 3:15 – “and I put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He bruises your head, and you bruise His heel.”
Scripture revealed four identified perimeters of conflict
1) “enmity between you and the woman“ – direct reference to the serpent and the woman
2) “between your seed and her Seed” – descendants, offspring, next generations of both the serpent and the woman
3) “He bruises your head” – referring to the Seed of woman bruising the head of the serpent
4) “and you bruise His heel” – how the serpent will attack the Seed of the woman by targeting His heel
1) “enmity (אֵיבָה ebah) between you and the woman”.
After Genesis 3 we don’t read of any further direct confrontation between the serpent and the woman, so what can we know about this “enmity” between the serpent and the woman?
The deeds of the serpent projected deception that caused Man to sin. And God revealed to us in scripture the consequences of sin and disobedience that leads to forfeiture of access to the Tree of Life and that means the irrevocable certainty of death for humanity.
The judgement of God on the serpent marks the beginning of hostility and hatred in how a person relates to other living beings. Before this incident in Genesis 3 there was no cause of offenses that generates hostility and hatred but after which Eve together with Adam and their descendants all of us humans have to live with this sense of mistrust, hostility, and hatred.
Betrayal, anger, resentment, hostility, and hatred are now part of human social crisis that can extend beyond people-to-people relationship to any living beings and even to objects and circumstances. How are we going to deal with it?
The text of Genesis 3:15 revealed it was God who first induced “enmity” (אֵיבָה ebah) between the serpent and the woman. If hostility and hatred can be considered a bad attitude for modern day politicians seeking world peace why would God put it there between the serpent and the woman?
To teach Man to hate deception, to be on the guard against deception, and do not give in to deception that causes Man to disobey God’s words.
From that incident in Genesis 3 human survival have been restricted and limited by time and location. Thus in Leviticus 23 it is revealed to us the proper way to worship God involves God’s appointed time and location for His redeemed people who will trust and obey God’s teachings and instructions.
Deception and inciting rebellion against God’s words was apparently the obvious reason God executed very sever judgment on the serpent. That serpent lost the ability to walk stand and move on its limps and had to crawl on the ground and eat dust. Therefore the purpose of this “enmity” (אֵיבָה ebah) between the serpent and the woman was to teach Man to have this sense of hostility, hatred, and renunciation of deception.
Deception and confusion are two sides of the same coin.
Deception and confusion causes Eve to side-step God’s warning and judgement that was first delivered to Adam and she gave the forbidden fruit to Adam and both fell into sin and transgression against God’s words. There was no option for saying “sorry’ and apologizing for it and God will perhaps response as if nothing happen. This incident of deception from the serpent causes the whole of humanity to fall into judgement of death and destruction and the unwanted path to spiritual darkness (חשֶׁךְ choshek).
God created Man to have access to eternal life, fullness of life, and shalom (שָׁלוֹם). The condition to fullness of life with God is to live in obedience to God’s words.
Sin is in the act of disobedience against God’s words therefore Man will be judged based on what we do against God’s words. So we need to learn our lesson and we need to have that sense of hatred, resentment, hostility, and renunciation towards deception that will cheat and rob us of our full blessing in God.
2) “between your seed and her Seed”
The “woman” and her “Seed” at that time of declaration by God should be well understood by Eve to be referring to her human offspring. What about that talking serpent and his “seed”?
There is ongoing debate and discussion about who is this talking serpent in Genesis 3 which should provide some answers but there remains much darkness and mysteries about this serpent.
Genesis 3:1 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any wild animal which the Lord ( יְהֹוָ֔ה YHVH) God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You are not to eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Bible believers who are quick to assume this talking serpent in Genesis 3 is Satan need to reconsider the legitimate demand for credible direct scripture references because scripture have very limited revealed information about both this talking serpent and Satan.
For those who still insist that serpent must be Satan need to consider scripture do not indicate the existence of only one evil spiritual entity causing damages to human relationship with God.
Scripture revealed Satan has his cohorts and to be well-informed Satan (שָׂטָן) is a title in Hebrew writing meaning adversary. Looking back in human history and knowing how far Man have fallen away from God and how deep we have gone into corruption we need to bear in mind the existence of vast numbers of adversaries acting against God and Man in enslaving humanity in the path of darkness.
Satan is not alone and we have no idea the magnitude of his network. The “seed” of that talking serpent can refer any form of spiritual entity and influence that incite rebellion and disobedience against the words of God through deception. And such spiritual entities and influences can manifest themselves through people who follow the path of disobedient against God’s words and be translated through man-made ideologies, obscure religious practices, objects and persons of idolatry.
The mention of “seed” forewarn of long continuous conflicts and warfare that will go on for generations and the indication Adam and Eve will survive their immediate judgement of death because God provided atonement for them which is the first step to redemption and restoration. Remember God’s warning to Adam before Adam and Eve sinned against God –
15 Now the Lord (יְהֹוָ֔ה YHVH) God took the man, and He placed him in the Garden of Eden to work it and to guard it. 16 And the Lord (יְהֹוָ֔ה YHVH) God commanded man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat. 17 But of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat of it, for on the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die.”
God spoke directly to Adam and warned him “for on the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die” but in Genesis 3 after Adam and Eve transgressed against God’s warning they did not die the same day but were sent out of the Garden of Eden and following the records of Genesis 4 and 5 Adam lived for nine hundred and thirty years!
God’s warning and judgement are irrevocable as His blessings are also irrevocable. God did not change His mind about judgement and death declared to Adam but the reason Adam and Eve did not suffer the immediate judgement of death that same day was because God provided atonement for them and as consequences of their transgression they were sent out of the Garden of Eden forfeited of their access to the Tress of Life which could have provided them eternal life –
The Lord ( יְהֹוָ֔ה YHVH) God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
22 The Lord ( יְהֹוָ֔ה YHVH) God said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, to prevent his putting out his hand and taking also from the tree of life, eating, and living forever —” 23 therefore the Lord ( יְהֹוָ֔ה YHVH) God, sent him out of the garden of ‘Eden to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24 So he drove the man out, and he placed at the east of the garden of ‘Eden the k’ruvim and a flaming sword which turned in every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.
God did not create Man with natural ability to live forever. It was God’s decision to bring Man into the Garden of Eden where the Tree of Life was that Man had the access to eternal life. So because of sin Man was sent out of the Garden of Eden and forfeited of his access to eternal life.
It is from the records of Leviticus we learn this “garments of skin” God provided for Adam and Eve was part of a specific atonement sacrifice God did for Man. It is also from the records of Leviticus we learn about God’s law of prohibition which Adam and Eve transgressed against God. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil represented God’s law of prohibition therefore God said to Adam –
16 And the Lord (יְהֹוָ֔ה YHVH) God commanded man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat. 17 But of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat of it, for on the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die.”
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, these five documents are actually part of one complete Torah which was credited to Moses and Moses wrote them under direct divine communication with God. Therefore we need to understand what is happening in the first few chapters of Genesis through a complete study and understanding of the Torah.
The sacrificial laws presented in Leviticus as instructed by God to Moses after the Exodus of Israel from Egypt is for God’s redeemed and chosen people to prepare for the coming Mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ) who will be revealed and enthroned in Zion in the acharit-hayamim (אַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים).
The woman’s seed is written as “Seed” singular and that is with prophetic reference to the Mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ) who will bring about the eventual complete eradication of deception from Earth and humanity but when will that happen will be according to God’s appointed time (מוֹעֵד moed) in the acharit-hayamim (אַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים). So while Man continue to live with limited life span due to God’s provision of atonement the antagonism between deception and truth, between disobedience and obedience, is set to go on for generations till the Mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ) put a complete end to it in the acharit-hayamim (אַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים).
Remember it was God who put enmity between the serpent and the woman and that to teach us to hate deception, to be on the guard against deception, and do not give in to deception that causes us to disobey God’s words. We are still in the midst of this God-ordained enmity.
Genesis 3:15 – “and I put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He bruises your head, and you bruise His heel.”
3) “He bruises (שׁוּף shuph) your head (רֹאשׁ rosh)”
The “head” of that talking serpent in Genesis 3 can be referring to the source and instigator of deception that incites rebellion and disobedience against the words of God. The “Seed” of woman with reference to the Mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ) will execute the ultimate and final end to the source and instigator of deception together with those who follow the path of deception.
After Genesis 3 we don’t read about the same serpent being identified elsewhere but deception and rebellion against God’s teachings continues to damage human relationship with God. We are living in a world saturated with deception and very often we cannot even trace where is it coming from and we should not naively just point the finger at Satan or the Devil but be on the guard against people who willfully encourages and motivate disobedience against God’s teachings.
This enmity which started in Genesis 3 is still ongoing and the judgement God pronounced upon the serpent and the woman is both literal and prophetic. Scripture revealed the way to defeat deception is in our readiness and preparation to receive the Mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ) for the final ultimate redemption of Man and the establishment of the Messianic Era. And with reference to Psalm 2 which is prophetic of the Mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ) and the establishment of the Messianic Era it is obvious that such enmity will involves kings and national leaders of this world.
Why are the nations in an uproar, the peoples grumbling in vain?
2 The earth’s kings are taking positions, leaders conspiring together, against the Lord (Heb. יְהֹוָ֔ה YHVH) and his anointed (מְשִׁיחֽוֹ׃ Mashiach) 3 They cry, “Let’s break their fetters! Let’s throw off their chains!”
4 He who sits in heaven laughs; the Lord (יְהֹוָ֔ה YHVH) looks at them in derision.
5 Then in his anger he rebukes them, terrifies them in his fury. 6 “I myself have installed my king on Tziyon, my holy mountain.”
7 “I will proclaim the decree: the Lord (יְהֹוָ֔ה YHVH) said to me, ‘You are my son; today I became your father. 8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance; the whole wide world will be your possession. 9 You will break them with an iron rod, shatter them like a clay pot.’”
10 Therefore, kings, be wise; be warned, you judges of the earth. 11 Serve the Lord (יְהֹוָ֔ה YHVH) with fear; rejoice, but with trembling. 12 Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and you perish along the way, when suddenly his anger blazes. How blessed are all who take refuge in him.
God’s decree is God’s teachings making distinction between those who obey God’s words as truth and against those who follow the path of deception in acts of disobedience.
Our quest for God’s truth and our ultimate redemption should be based on what is already revealed in scripture and that referring to the Torah as oppose to man-made ideologies and religions and any human governmental organization that seek to destroy the Torah.
4) “and you bruise His heel (עָקֵב aqeb)”
The “heel” can refer to our walk with God which is about our acts of obedience to God’s words and the measure of our loyalty to God.
Deception and spiritual darkness are tools and methods of the serpent and his seeds to destroy our walk with God.
When God separated Abraham to establish His covenant with him there is the emphasis on how Abraham should walk with God –
And Avram was ninety-nine years old the Lord (Heb. יְהֹוָ֔ה YHVH) God appeared to Abram, and He said to him, “I am the Almighty God; walk before Me and be perfect. And I will place My covenant between Me and between you, and I will multiply you very greatly.”
This has been the same expectation and obligation the Lord (Heb. יְהֹוָ֔ה YHVH) God demanded for all who pledge allegiance to Him and our walk with God is exactly where the enemy will target to attack and cause damages.
Since Genesis 3 we have been put on the front line of confrontation with deception and the enmity between the serpent and the woman follow the God established pattern of separation and division between those who serve God through obedience and those who refuse to walk with God based on disobedience.
So what shall we do to ensure we stay on the path of obedience to God’s words?
Psalm 1 and 2 is to be one complete document and while Psalm 2 is prophetic of the Mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ) and the establishment of the Messianic Era Psalm 1 is how we are to be prepared for our ultimate redemption through obedience to God’s words –
1 Blessed is the man did not follow the counsel of the wicked neither did he stand in the way of sinners nor sit in the company of scorners.
2 But his desire is in the law of the Lord (Heb. יְהֹוָ֔ה YHVH), and in His law (תּוֹרָה torah) he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be as a tree planted beside rivers (פֶלֶג peleg) of water, which brings forth its fruit in its season, and its leaves do not wilt; and whatever he does prospers.
4 Not so the wicked (רָשְׁע rasha), who like chaff driven by the wind.
5 For this reason the wicked shall not stand in the judgment (מִשְׁפָט mishpat) nor shall sinners in the congregation of the righteous (צַדִיק tsaddiq).
6 For the Lord (יְהֹוָ֔ה YHVH) knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked shall perish.
What God revealed in scripture is to prepare us for the acharit-hayamim (אַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים) when the Mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ) will be enthroned in Zion and the start of the Messianic Era as according to God’s appointed time (מוֹעֵד moed).