Genesis 3:15 - "IT shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
In this 7 minute video, Bible corrector John Ankerberg and some “expert” criticize the King James Bible and tell us that the translators of the King James Bible were “being chicken” for not using the third-person singular pronoun "he" instead of "it" in Genesis 3:15.
Are they right? Of course not. They are missing an important truth found in the King James Bible, but they are just too dull to see it.
The great promise of Genesis 3:15 has been altered in many versions. God speaks to the serpent whom He had just cursed and says: "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; IT shall BRUISE thy head, and thou shalt BRUISE his heel."
Here we read of two different seeds. There are the children of the devil and the children of God. See Matthew 13:25, 39. Christ sowed good seed in his field. The good seed are the children of the kingdom, but the enemy who is the devil sowed tares and these are the children of the wicked one.
In the KJB the seed that will bruise the serpent's head is referred to as IT. Why is this? I believe it is because the seed refers not only to Christ but also to His people who will bruise the head of Satan. Christ is the seed, but we are also in Christ and are the promised seed as well.
Compare Galatians 3:16 and 29. "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Abraham's seed is both Christ and His people.
The clincher is Romans 16:20, but it has been messed up in the NKJV, NIV, NASB, Catholic versions and the Jehovah Witness NWT.
In the King James Bible we read: "And the God of peace SHALL BRUISE SATAN UNDER YOUR FEET shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen."
The KJB has "bruise" in both Genesis 3:15 and in Romans 16:20, thus tying the two verses together. But the NKJV, NIV, NASB, Catholic versions and the Jehovah Witness NWT have changed "bruise" to "crush" in Romans 16:20 and thus obscure this connection.
We also read a related promise to the saints of God in Psalm 91:13 "Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet."
We read of the enmity of Satan with the seed of the woman in Revelation 12:17 "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
In Genesis 3:15 the NKJV, NIV, NASB, Holman, ESV, Jehovah Witness NWT, the Catholic St. Joseph NAB 1970 unite in changing the seed being referred to as "IT" to "HE" thus limiting it to only Christ.
The Catholic Douay version 1950 and the Work of God's Children Bible 2011 have "SHE shall bruise your head", probably referring to Mary.
While the New English Bible 1970, the 1917 Jewish Publication Society translation, the Revised English Bible 1989 and The New Jewish Version 1985 have "THEY shall bruise your head", which would also include the saints of God.
The “they” can be seen as to include both the promised Messiah and His seed together who will bruise Satan.
Dan Wallace and company have translated Genesis 3:15 this way: "And I will put hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring; HER OFFSPRING will attack your head, and you will attack HER OFFSPRING'S heel." This translation also allows the inclusion of both the Christ and His people."
The Jubilee Bible 2000-2010 translated it as: "and I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed; THAT SEED shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise HIS heel."
Even those who criticize the King James Bible (none of whom believes that ANY Bible in any language is now or ever was the complete and inerrant words of God) will at least admit that the Hebrew text can be translated as "IT."
Tyndale 1534, Matthew's Bible 1549, God's First Truth 1999, the Jubilee Bible 2010 all say "THAT SEED shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
Coverdale's Bible of 1535 and The Great Bible of 1540 both read: "I will also put enemytie betwene the & the woman, betwene thy sede and hyr sede: THE SAME shall treade downe thy head, and thou shalt treade vpon hys hele."
The words "the same" refers back to the seed. It is not masculine, but the neuter singular, which refers to seed and can include the Christ and His chosen seed.
"IT shall bruise thy head"
Other Bible translations that read IT along with the KJB are the Bishops' Bible 1568, Webster's translation 1833, the Julia Smith Translation 1855, The Wellbeloved Scriptures 1862, The Jewish Family Bible 1864, The Smith Bible 1876, The Sharpe Bible 1883, The Revised Version 1885 - “IT shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907, The Word of Yah 1993, the KJV 21st Century 1994, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, the Bond Slave Version 2012, and The Orthodox Jewish Bible 2011 - “IT shall crush thy rosh, and thou shalt strike his akev (heel).”.
And this Interlinear Hebrew Old Testament - "IT shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." - http://studybible.info/IHOT/Genesis%203:15
The word "it" referring to the seed plural is also found in Genesis 16:10. "And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that IT shall not be numbered for multitude."
Foreign language Bibles
There are also some foreign language Bibles that translate the passage in a similar way. The Spanish Cipriano de Valera of 1602, the Valera of 1865 and the Reina Valera of 1909 and 1995 all read: - "Y enemistad pondré entre ti y la mujer, y entre tu simiente y la simiente suya; ésta te herirá en la cabeza, y tú le herirás en el calcañar."
Here the word "ésta" is a feminine singular that can only refer back to "the seed" (which is feminine in Spanish), just as in the KJB the word "it" refers back to the seed, which includes the Messiah and His people. It is not the masculine "he".
So too the Portuguese Almeida Corrigida E Fiel Bible of 1681 which reads: "E porei inimizade entre ti e a mulher, e entre a tua semente e a sua semente; esta te ferirá a cabeça, e tu lhe ferirás o calcanhar. "
Once again, the word "ESTA" is feminine singular referring to "the seed", just as "it" does in the English Bible.
The French Martin Bible of 1744 reads: "Et je mettrai inimitié entre toi et la femme, et entre ta semence et la semence de la femme; cette [semence] te brisera la tête, et tu lui briseras le talon." = "THAT seed will bruise your head".
Likewise the Italian Diodati of 1649 and the Riveduta Bible of 2006 both say: "Ed io metterò inimicizia fra te e la donna, e fra la tua progenie e la progenie di essa; questa progenie ti triterà il capo e tu le ferirai il calcagno." = "THAT SEED (or, offspring) will crush your head".
Once again it is a singular feminine which can only refer to the seed, and can include the Messiah and His people.
Luther's German Bible of 1545 reads: "Und ich will Feindschaft setzen zwischen dir und dem Weibe und zwischen deinem Samen und ihrem Samen. Der selbe soll dir den Kopf zertreten, und du wirst ihn in die Ferse stechen." = "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. THE SAME shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
And finally the Modern Greek Bible is very interesting because it agrees with the King James Bible translation, even in the word "IT". It reads: "και εχθραν θελω στησει αναμεσον σου και της γυναικος, και αναμεσον του σπερματος σου και του σπερματος αυτης· αυτο θελει σου συντριψει την κεφαλην, και συ θελεις κεντησει την πτερναν αυτου." = "IT will bruise your head".
The Greek word "auto" is a NEUTER and not a masculine or feminine. It would be translated exactly as it stands in the King James Bible and others that say "IT shall bruise thy head". The Greek masculine word for "he" is "autos". This is clearly the Greek neuter nominative case, meaning "IT".
Isn't is wonderful to know that we are in Christ and are His seed, members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones; and that His victory is also ours because we are in Him and that shortly God will bruise Satan under our feet?
John Calvin also understood the passage in this way. He comments:
John Calvin - “It shall bruise . This passage affords too clear a proof of the great ignorance, dullness, and carelessness, which have prevailed among all the learned men of the Papacy. The feminine gender has crept in instead of the masculine or neuter. There has been none among them who would consult the Hebrew or Greek codices, or who would even compare the Latin copies with each other. Therefore, by a common error, this most corrupt reading has been received. Then, a profane exposition of it has been invented, by applying to the mother of Christ what is said concerning her seed.
There is, indeed no ambiguity in the words here used by Moses; but I do not agree with others respecting their meaning; for other interpreters take the seed for Christ, without controversy; as if it were said, that some one would arise from the seed of the woman who should wound the serpent's head. Gladly would I give my suffrage in support of their opinion, but that I regard the word seed as too violently distorted by them; for who will concede that a collective noun is to be understood of one man only? Further, as the perpetuity of the contest is noted, so victory is promised to the human race through a continual succession of ages. I explain, therefore, the seed to mean the posterity of the woman generally. But since experience teaches that not all the sons of Adam by far, arise as conquerors of the devil, we must necessarily come to one head, that we may find to whom the victory belongs. So Paul, from the seed of Abraham, leads us to Christ; because many were degenerate sons, and a considerable part adulterous, through infidelity; whence it follows that the unity of the body flows from the head. Wherefore, the sense will be (in my judgment) that the human race, which Satan was endeavoring to oppress, would at length be victorious....But because one stronger than he has descended from heaven, who will subdue him, hence it comes to pass that, in the same manner, the whole Church of God, under its Head, will gloriously exult over him. To this the declaration of Paul refers, "The Lord shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly," (Romans 16:20.) By which words he signifies that the power of bruising Satan is imparted to faithful men, and thus the blessing is the common property of the whole Church.”
Jamieson, Faussett and Brown - 15. thy seed--not only evil spirits, but wicked men. seed of the woman--the Messiah, or His Church it shall bruise thy head--The serpent's poison is lodged in its head; and a bruise on that part is fatal. Thus, fatal shall be the stroke which Satan shall receive from Christ, though it is probable he did not at first understand the nature and extent of his doom.”
Matthew Poole’s English Annotations on the Holy Bible also saw the same truth, saying: “and by way of participation, all the members of Christ, all believers and holy men, who are called the children of Christ, Hebrews 2:13, and of the heavenly Jerusalem, Galatians 4:26. All the members whereof are the seed of this woman; and all these are the implacable enemies of the devil, whom also by Christ’s merit and strength they do overcome.”
Whedon’s Commentary shares the same view as well. He comments - “It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. But this prophecy, given in Paradise before the expulsion of the transgressors, should not be explained exclusively of the personal Messiah. That promised seed comprehends also the redeemed humanity of which he is Head — that great company who both suffer with him and with him shall also be glorified. Romans 8:17…So only those who belong to Christ as their great head and leader, are the seed of promise; all others, though born of woman, by espousing the serpent’s cause and doing the lusts of the devil (John 8:44) are of the seed of the serpent, a “generation of vipers,” (Matthew 23:33) whose end is perdition.”
The Seed, the "IT" in Genesis 3:15, that shall ultimately bruise the head of Satan is Both the Lord Jesus Christ and all the redeemed who are His Seed together. The victory is ours as well because we are in Him and Scripture clearly promises to every saint of God - "And the God of peace SHALL BRUISE SATAN UNDER YOUR FEET shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen." Romans 16:20
This truth is lost in these modern versions.
The King James Bible is right, as always, and none of those who criticize and "correct" it will ever show you a copy of any Bible in any language that they honestly believe is now the complete and inerrant words of God.
They are all version rummagers and their own authority as they piece together their individual "bible" versions which differ from every body else's. "In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Judges 21:25
The King James Bible is God’s true “Book of the LORD” - Isaiah 34:16 - “Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail...”
All of grace, believing the Book,
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Notes from the Internet -
One Bible agnostic who is too dishonest to admit that he does NOT believe that any Bible in any language is now or ever was the inerrant words of God raised this silly objection to my article on Genesis 3:15 -
He says: “Why does the neuter pronoun "it" in Genesis 3.15 of the King James Bible become a masculine pronoun "his" instead of the neuter possessive pronoun "its"? f the KJB is inerrant, not even a spot of a blemish in grammar is to be found, isn't it?”
First of all, if this Bible critic would simply look at any of his English bible translations, he would see that the word “it” is used many times over to refer to something that can be either masculine or feminine in the Hebrew, and masculine, feminine or neuter in Greek. ALL Bible versions do this, and frequently. English has no masculine or feminine nouns. And even the feminine Hebrew “seed” becomes the neuter word “seed” when translated into Greek, and then becomes “it” in English.
The word “seed” itself is referred to as “it” and “he” and “they” or “that” in the English translations.
GENESIS 16:10 - “And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy SEED exceedingly, that IT shall not be numbered for multitude.”
Genesis 22:17 - “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy SEED as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy SEED shall possess the gate of HIS enemies”
Genesis 24:60 - “And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy SEED possess the gate of those which hate THEM.”
Genesis 38:9 - “And Onan knew that the SEED should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled IT on the ground, lest that he should give SEED to his brother.”
Leviticus 27:30 - “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the SEED of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: IT is holy unto the Lord.”
PSALM 22:30 - “A SEED shall serve him; IT shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.”
ROMANS 4:16 - “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the SEED not to THAT only which is of the law, but to THAT also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all”