The Gospel in Genesis (Part 2)

Genesis 3:15

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

Luther’s Commentary
“As if God had said, Thou, Satan, by means of the woman didst attack and seduce the man that thou mightest by means of sin be the head and lord over them. I therefore in like manner will execute my secret purposes against thee by means of the very same instrument. I will take hold of the woman, and by her I will produce a Seed; and that Seed shall bruise thy head. Thou by means of sin didst corrupt and make subject to death the flesh of the human nature. I will produce from that same flesh such a man, who shall crush and utterly defeat both thee and all thy powers.”
“By these divine words therefore both the promise and the threat were expressed with the most perfect plainness. And yet they were most obscure. For they left the devil in such a state of doubt and suspense that he held under suspicion all the women which brought forth from that time, fearing lest they should give birth to this Seed; though one woman only was designed to be the mother of this blessed offspring. Therefore as the divine threatening was expressed in a general term, ‘her Seed,’ Satan was so mocked thereby that he feared this Seed from every woman who brought forth. In the same proportion, on the other hand, the faith of all mankind was confirmed. For, from the hour in which the divine promise was made, all men expected that promised Seed, and comforted themselves against Satan.” 
“This hatred and this fury of Satan are the effects produced on him, which the Lord here predicts, when he warns the serpent of the enmity which he had put between his seed and the Seed of the woman. For Satan primarily sought this Seed of the woman with hostile hatred, through all the peoples, families and lines throughout the whole world. When the promise was transferred to Abraham and restricted to his posterity, we see from history by what various means Satan attempted to hinder its fulfilment. And when this glorious promise was further transferred to the line of Judah and restricted to that tribe, we behold with what horrible calamities it was oppressed and agitated, until at length it seemed to be wholly subverted and eradicated.”
“Satan did not cease from his cruelty, hatred and enmity against the Seed of the woman. While the Son lay in the cradle Satan sought him out by the instrumentality of Herod. So that the new-born Christ was compelled to live among the Gentiles in Egypt. After this also, Satan adopted and tried all possible means to destroy him, until finding him and seizing him, he threw him into the hands of the Jews and nailed him to the cross. No! nor could his inexhaustible hatred be satisfied even then. He feared him even as he lay in the tomb, so desperate was the enmity which was ‘put’ between him and the Son of God!”
“This text therefore contains that glorious promise which revived Adam and Eve and raised them again from death unto that life, which they had lost by their sin; though the life to which they were thus raised again was rather a life hoped for than a life possessed; as Paul also frequently speaks when he uses the language, ‘we die daily.’ For although we do not wish to call the life which we live here death, yet it is in truth nothing more or less than a continual living on to death.” 
“Under the divine mind and promise, declared in this text therefore, is included redemption from the law, from sin and from death. And by the same text is set forth the plain and certain hope of resurrection from the dead, and of being called into another life after the present. For if the ‘head’ of the serpent is to be destroyed, most certainly death is to be destroyed also; and if death is to be destroyed, with equal certainty that which deserveth death, namely, sin, is also to be abolished. And if sin is to be abolished, so also is the law; and not only so, but that obedience which was lost is to be restored. And as all these things are promised through this Seed of the woman, it is perfectly manifest, as a natural consequence, that human nature since the fall can neither take away sin by any powers of its own nor escape death, the just punishment of sin, nor regain the obedience to God, which it has lost by the sin of the fall. For all these things require a greater power, a mightier strength than is possessed by man.”
“Hence it was absolutely necessary that the Son of God should become a victim or sacrifice for us, that by the offering of himself he might accomplish all these things for us; that he might take away sin, swallow up death and restore unto us the obedience which we had lost. All these treasures therefore we do possess in Christ, but in hope. Thus Adam, and thus Eve, lived and conquered by this hope. And in the same manner all believers live and conquer, by the same hope, and will so live and conquer until the last day. Death is indeed a horrible and invincible tyrant; but the divine power thus makes that, which is in all things horrible, nothing; just as the same power of God made out of that which was nothing all things.”
Martin Luther. Luther on the Creation: A Critical and Devotional Commentary on Genesis [1-3] (Kindle Locations 5524-5630).
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