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An Ancient Prophecy That Affects You

An Ancient Prophecy That Affects You

“I will put enmity between you and the woman.”​—GEN. 3:15.

SONG 15 Praise Jehovah’s Firstborn!


1. What did Jehovah do soon after Adam and Eve sinned? (Genesis 3:15)

 SOON after Adam and Eve sinned, Jehovah gave hope to their descendants by means of a remarkable prophecy. What he said is recorded at Genesis 3:15.​—Read.

2. What is remarkable about this prophecy?

2 The prophecy appears in the first book of the Bible. But in one way or another, all the other books of the Bible relate to it. Just as the spine of a printed book binds all the pages together, the words recorded at Genesis 3:15 bind the content of every book of the Bible into one united message, namely, that a Deliverer would be sent to destroy the Devil and all his wicked followers. * What a blessing that will be for those who love Jehovah!

3. What will we discuss in this article?

3 In this article, we will answer the following questions about the prophecy of Genesis 3:15: Who are the characters mentioned in it? How is the prophecy fulfilled? And how are we benefiting from it?


4. Who is “the serpent,” and how do we know?

4 The characters in the account recorded at Genesis 3:14, 15 include a “serpent,” the “offspring” of the serpent, a “woman,” and the “offspring” of the woman. The Bible helps us to identify each of them. * Let us begin with “the serpent.” A literal snake could not have understood what Jehovah said in the garden of Eden. So the object of Jehovah’s judgment must have been an intelligent creature. Who? Revelation 12:9 leaves no doubt on this matter. There “the original serpent” is clearly identified as Satan the Devil. But who make up the offspring of the serpent?


Satan the Devil, whom Revelation 12:9 identifies as “the original serpent” (See paragraph 4)

5. Who make up the offspring of the serpent?

5 When the Bible speaks of offspring in a figurative sense, it is referring to those who think and act like their symbolic father. So the offspring of the serpent is made up of spirit creatures and humans who, like Satan, resist Jehovah God and oppose His people. That would include the angels who abandoned their assignments in heaven in Noah’s day as well as wicked humans who behave like their father the Devil.​—Gen. 6:1, 2; John 8:44; 1 John 5:19; Jude 6.


Wicked spirit creatures and humans who resist Jehovah God and oppose His people (See paragraph 5)

6. Why could “the woman” not have been Eve?

6 Next, let us identify “the woman.” She could not have been Eve. Why not? Consider just one reason. The prophecy states that the offspring of the woman would “crush” the serpent’s head. As we just discussed, the serpent is the spirit creature Satan, and no imperfect human offspring of Eve’s would have the ability to crush him. Something more was needed.

7. As indicated at Revelation 12:1, 2, 5, 10, who is the woman mentioned at Genesis 3:15?

7 The identity of the woman mentioned at Genesis 3:15 is revealed in the last book of the Bible. (Read Revelation 12:1, 2, 5, 10.) This is no ordinary woman! She has the moon at her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head. She gives birth to a most unusual child​—the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is heavenly, so the woman must also be heavenly. She represents the heavenly part of Jehovah’s organization made up of his faithful spirit creatures.​—Gal. 4:26.


The heavenly part of Jehovah’s organization made up of his faithful spirit creatures (See paragraph 7)

8. Who is the primary offspring of the woman, and when did he become such? (Genesis 22:15-18)

8 God’s Word also helps us to identify the primary offspring of the woman. This offspring was to be a natural descendant of Abraham. (Read Genesis 22:15-18.) True to the prophecy, Jesus was a direct descendant of that faithful patriarch. (Luke 3:23, 34) But the offspring would have to be more than a human because he was to crush Satan the Devil out of existence. Accordingly, when Jesus was about 30 years old, he was anointed as the spirit-begotten Son of God. At his anointing, Jesus became the primary part of the offspring of the woman. (Gal. 3:16) After Jesus’ death and resurrection, God “crowned him with glory and honor” and gave him “all authority . . . in heaven and on the earth,” including the authority “to break up the works of the Devil.”​—Heb. 2:7; Matt. 28:18; 1 John 3:8.


Jesus Christ and his 144,000 anointed corulers (See paragraphs 8-9)

9-10. (a) Who else are part of the offspring of the woman, and when do they become such? (b) What will we review next?

9 But there would be a secondary part of the offspring. The apostle Paul identified this part of the offspring when he told both Jewish and Gentile anointed Christians: “If you belong to Christ, you are really Abraham’s offspring, heirs with reference to a promise.” (Gal. 3:28, 29) When Jehovah anoints a Christian with holy spirit, that person becomes part of the offspring of the woman. So the offspring is made up of Jesus Christ and his 144,000 corulers. (Rev. 14:1) All of these reflect the spirit of their Father, Jehovah God.

10 Now that we have identified the characters mentioned at Genesis 3:15, let us briefly review how Jehovah has progressively been fulfilling this prophecy and how we are benefiting.


11. In what sense was the offspring of the woman bruised “in the heel”?

11 According to the prophecy of Genesis 3:15, the serpent would strike the woman’s offspring “in the heel.” That was fulfilled when Satan incited the Jews and the Romans to put the Son of God to death. (Luke 23:13, 20-24) Just as a literal heel wound can temporarily cripple someone, Jesus’ death temporarily put him out of action and he lay lifeless in the grave for parts of three days.​—Matt. 16:21.

12. How and when will the serpent’s head be crushed?

12 If the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 was to be fulfilled, Jesus could not remain in the grave. Why not? Because according to the prophecy, the offspring would crush the serpent’s head. This meant that Jesus would need to recover from his heel wound. And indeed he did! On the third day after his death, Jesus was resurrected as an immortal spirit creature. In God’s due time, Jesus will crush Satan out of existence. (Heb. 2:14) Those who will rule with Christ will share in ridding the earth of all of God’s enemies​—the offspring of the serpent.​—Rev. 17:14; 20:4, 10. *


13. How are we benefiting from the fulfillment of this prophecy?

13 If you are a dedicated servant of God, you are benefiting from the fulfillment of this prophecy. Jesus came to earth as a man. He has perfectly reflected his Father’s personality. (John 14:9) So through him we have come to know and love Jehovah God. We have also benefited from Jesus’ teachings and his guidance as he directs the Christian congregation today. He has taught us how to live in a way that will help us to gain Jehovah’s approval. And we all can benefit from Jesus’ death​—the bruising of his heel. How? When Jesus was resurrected, he offered the value of his blood as a perfect sacrifice that “cleanses us from all sin.”​—1 John 1:7.

14. Should mankind have expected an immediate fulfillment of the prophecy in Eden? Explain.

14 The words that Jehovah pronounced in Eden implied that some time would pass before the complete fulfillment of the prophecy. It would take time for the woman to produce the promised offspring, for the Devil to gather his followers, and for enmity (or, hatred) to develop between the two groups. We benefit from knowing about the prophecy because it warns us that the world controlled by Satan will hate worshippers of Jehovah. Jesus later gave his disciples a similar warning. (Mark 13:13; John 17:14) We have certainly seen the fulfillment of that part of the prophecy, especially during the last 100 years. How so?

15. Why has the world’s hatred intensified, but why do we have no reason to fear Satan?

15 Shortly after Jesus was installed as Messianic King in 1914, Satan was cast out of heaven. He is now confined to the vicinity of the earth, awaiting his destruction. (Rev. 12:9, 12) But he is not waiting passively. Satan is desperate and furious, venting his anger on God’s people. (Rev. 12:13, 17) For that reason, the world’s hatred of God’s people has intensified. We have no reason, though, to fear Satan and his followers. Instead, we can have the same conviction as did the apostle Paul, who wrote: “If God is for us, who will be against us?” (Rom. 8:31) We can have complete confidence in Jehovah because, as we have seen, much of the prophecy recorded at Genesis 3:15 has already been fulfilled.

16-18. How have Curtis, Ursula, and Jessica benefited from their understanding of Genesis 3:15?

16 Jehovah’s promise found at Genesis 3:15 can help us to cope with whatever trials come our way. Curtis, who serves as a missionary in Guam, says: “At times, I have dealt with trials and disappointments that tested my devotion to Jehovah. But meditating on the prophecy at Genesis 3:15 has helped me to maintain my trust in my heavenly Father.” Curtis looks forward to the day when Jehovah will bring an end to all our trials.

17 A sister in Bavaria named Ursula says that understanding Genesis 3:15 helped to convince her that the Bible is inspired of God. She saw how all the other prophecies are connected to this prophecy, and that deeply impressed her. She also says: “I was touched when I learned that Jehovah took action immediately so that mankind would not be left without hope.”

18 Jessica, from Micronesia, says: “I can still remember how I felt when I first realized that I had found the truth! The prophecy recorded at Genesis 3:15 was being fulfilled. It has helped me to remember that what we are experiencing today is not the real life. This prophecy has also strengthened my belief that serving Jehovah results in the best possible life I can have now and an even better life in the future.”

19. What confidence can we have that the final part of the prophecy will be fulfilled?

19 As we have seen, Genesis 3:15 is now undergoing fulfillment. The offspring of the woman and the offspring of the serpent have been clearly identified. Jesus, the primary part of the offspring of the woman, recovered from his heel wound and is now a glorious, immortal King. The selection of those making up the secondary part of the offspring is nearing completion. Because the first part of the prophecy has been fulfilled, we have every reason to be confident that the final part, the crushing of the serpent’s head, will also come true. What a relief it will be for faithful mankind when Satan comes to his end! Until then, do not give up. Our God is trustworthy. Through the offspring of the woman, he will bring countless blessings to “all nations of the earth.”​—Gen. 22:18.

SONG 23 Jehovah Begins His Rule

^ We cannot fully appreciate the Bible’s message unless we understand the prophecy recorded at Genesis 3:15. Studying this prophecy can build our faith in Jehovah and strengthen our conviction that he will fulfill all his promises.

^ See Appendix B1, “The Message of the Bible,” in the New World Translation.

^ See the box “The Characters of Genesis 3:14, 15.”