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And I will put hatred between you and the woman,

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and between your offspring and her offspring; he will break your head,

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and you will break

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his heel.

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In addition, I will instill a hatred in you and in the woman that will carry over into all your offspring continually;

One of her offspring will wound you in the head, but you will only be able to wound him in the heel.



The hatred of the woman toward all snakes is obvious, but the hatred of the snake toward the woman is not as obvious. However, I think the emphasis here is upon the serpent’s hatred of one particular offspring of the woman, Jesus. The main point of this sentence is that a climactic confrontation will happen and the serpent will lose.

This is obviously referring specifically to Satan, not to the animal we call a snake. Whereas there has been a lack of clarity in the narrative about the identity of serpent/Satan, the rest of Scripture makes it clear that the climactic confrontation involving the cross and the empty tomb will have nothing to do with the reptile we call a snake and everything to do with the spirit-being who is the self-appointed enemy of God and everything God loves – Satan.

2: “your head”

It is correctly assumed that such a blow would have a high degree of possibility of being fatal. That is the intended meaning.


The word I have rendered as “break” can mean “to bruise, to break or to cover.” It seems to focus not on the action, but on the consequence of the action. The same word is used in both clauses. They are usually translated differently because it is assumed the outcome is different, but I prefer to show that the verb is the same while the difference in outcome is shown by the location of the blow that is delivered.

4: “his heel”

It is correctly assumed that such a blow would not be fatal, rather, at most it would be a nuisance.