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In Phyllis Trible's book, "God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality", she makes a very interesting interpretation of Genesis 3:15:
Enmity I will put between you and the woman,
Between your seed and her seed;
He will strike your head
And you will strike his heel.
The usual Christian interpretation of the last part of this verse is seen as a prophetic reference to the ultimate destruction of Satan, and the crucifixion of Jesus. However, Trible make absolutely no reference to this interpretation. She views it solely as a reference to why humans and non-humans kill one another. She sees the curse as a direct result of the serpent trying to supplant God’s authority. She sees the seed as the carrying forward the persistent consequences of our disobedience to God.
Thus, we can see the hierarchy of humans over the animals in the prevailing of “desire” to kill one another.
The human brings the overpowering death to the animals signified by the blow to the head, and the lesser effect of the animals over humans signified by the blow to the heel.
This is a very interesting interpretation, which answers many of the questions about why we desire to kill and even take pleasure in killing. It’s all part of the curse, and it also would lend further understanding to why God granted the concession to our eating flesh in Genesis 9:1-4, when in the beginning, Genesis 1:29-30, His intent was that both humans and animals would eat only a plant based diet.
Thus, if we follow this interpretation a little further, it tells us something very striking about ourselves. Our desire to kill, and our desire to eat flesh is all part of our will to continue to live in the curse of God rather than in God's heavenly will and in the redemption from death to life through Jesus Christ our Lord. This interpretation might answer the question as to why so many of the early Jewish-Christians were vegetarians.
Go on to comments: By M J Hood - 10 Apr 2004
Return to: Genesis 3:15: A Look at the Effect of this Curse on Humans and Animals
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