Seed of the Woman

1st study in the series on the ‘Names of Christ’ 
adapted from PCC Prayer Meeting Exhortation on 20 July 2007

Genesis 3:15—And 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.

These words were spoken by the LORD to Satan, who was represented by the Serpent—after Adam and Eve fell into sin by eating the forbidden fruit.

If you think about it carefully, you will realise that this is actually a very complicated statement. Who is the ‘thee’? Is it Satan or the Serpent? Who is or are the seed of the serpent? Who is or are the seed of the woman?

Well, without going into technical details, let me put to you that the seed of the Serpent, refers to Satan and all who are united to him.

You see, the word ‘seed’ is a very special theological word in the Bible. It can usually be translated as descendants. But it is really not so straightforward.

It is a word that carries a singular and a plural meaning—like the word ‘sheep’ is both plural and singular.

But it is more than that, for it is a word that carries the two meanings at the same time. To illustrate, think of teams of children participating in a relay race. The children are all lined up with the captain of each team at the front. For the lack of a better name, each team is called by the name of the captain. So when the umpire asks the teams if they are ready, he yells: “Andrew, are you ready?” The answer that comes back comes from all the members of Andrew’s team. He goes on to the next team: “Benji, are you ready?” And again the answer comes back from all the team members. So you see how the name of the captain of the team both refers to the captain himself and to the whole team behind him.

Likewise, the word ‘seed’ could refer to a particular descendant or it could refer to all the descendants of a person. In fact, it could be used to refer to a particular person and all who are identified with him.

So if you look at one angle at the word ‘seed’ you see a single person. But if you see it from another angle, you see a whole body of people who are joined unto the one person.

The apostle Paul notes the singular / collective characteristic of the word ‘seed’ in Galatians 3:16, where he says:

“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” (Gal 3:16).

In the Abrahamic covenant, the ‘seed’ (Gen 17:7) on surface reading refers to the descendants of Abraham. But here in Galatians 3:16, Paul is telling us that the word ‘seed’ has primary reference to Christ, and then collectively to all who are united to Christ.

So comparing Scripture with Scripture, we find that the seed of the serpent must refer to Satan and all unbelievers united to him. Thus the Lord Himself said that the unbelieving Jews were of their father the devil (Jn 8:44) and the apostle John refers to unbelievers as “children of the devil” (1 Jn 3:10; see also v. 12).

What about the woman’s seed? Well, comparing Scripture with Scripture, we must conclude that it cannot be referring to all the children of Eve!

We see, rather, that it refers to Christ in the first place, and all Christians united to Him in the second place.

In this study, we are considering Christ as the seed of the woman.

We want to ask 2 questions. First of all, we want to ask, “Why is Christ called ‘seed of the woman’?” Secondly, we want to ask, “What is that to us?”

1. Why is Christ Called the 
Seed of the Woman?

I believe Christ is called the ‘seed of the woman’ because He would be born of a virgin! The prophet Isaiah would in the course of time prophesy:

“Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isa 7:14).

What is the significance of Christ being born of a virgin? The significance lies in the fact that it is only in being born of a virgin that Christ could represent His church.

You see, Christ must be fully man if He were to represent man. Angels cannot represent man because they do not share the nature of man.

God is a just and righteous God. As such, He must punish sin. He cannot ignore sin. God would not be perfect if He is loving, but does not punish sin. In order that fallen man may have fellowship with God, God must deal with his sin.

But the wages of sin is death, which is everlasting separation from the favourable presence of God. If God were to punish us for our sins, we will never see His loving face forever.

And God could not punish an angel for us. In the first place, an angel does not share our nature. In the second place, an angel is finite. In the third place it would not be fair to the angel!

God must punish one who shares our nature, and is also infinite.

Christ must be born for this purpose. He must be born into this world in order to share our nature—for it is appointed of God that the human nature is to be passed down from generation to generation. Christ could not simply be given a human body so that He can represent us. That would violate God’s design of human nature.

But why must He be born of a woman? Or more precisely, why must Christ be born of a virgin so that He is spoken of as the seed of the woman and not the seed of man?

The reason is a theological one. You see, it is God’s design that the sin of Adam is to be imputed to his descendants from generation to generation down the line of the man. For the man is appointed the representative of the covenant rather than the woman. This is why the man is the head of the household rather than the woman.

So if Christ were born of ordinary generation, He would be, according to divine law, a sinner represented by Adam as we all are. And so unless Christ is born of a virgin, He could not represent us, since He himself would be a sinner.

Oh the marvel of the mind of God; and the marvel of the Gospel from the first book of the Bible!

2. What Does it Matter to Us?

Theology is not unimportant. Theology, I believe, must shape our thinking and our lives. This is why the apostle Paul instructs us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

How should the doctrine surrounding the name of Christ as the seed of the woman transform our lives? Let me suggest 3 ways.

a. First of all, it should strengthen our faith. As we think about the name, ‘Seed of the Woman,’ we are brought to a stark reminder that Christianity is not just a haphazard collection of religious sayings that have been organised by men. Such is the case with most of the major religions in the world. Neither is Christianity a religious system invented by man; for if it is the invention of man, do you see how it would be written with so much more clarity?

But it serves God’s purpose to reveal Himself and His redemptive plan in ancient days with the shadowy terms of the Old Testament. Now, someone may argue—it is shadowy and generic so that it can be interpreted according to the fancies of man. But when we have considered the Old Testament, we find that this is not the case. Quite unlike the confused prophecies of the likes of the French prophet Nostradamus, the Bible reveals a system of theology right from the beginning. It is a system that is centred on Christ and His redemptive work.

So for me, meditating on the simple term, ‘the Seed of the woman,’ can have the effects of strengthening my faith in a way that not even answers to prayer can.

b. Secondly, the name of Christ, ‘Seed of the Woman,’ should fill our hearts with gratitude and make us live lives of thanksgiving.

This should be the case because the name ‘seed of the woman’ speaks of Christ as our Redeemer who shares our nature, experiences our sorrows, and understands our infirmities.

The writer of Hebrews highlights that one of the reasons Christ did not take the nature of an angel is so that He might be a compassionate high priest who was tempted at all points like as we are and yet without sin.

Christ, who is the Son of God and very God Himself, forsook heaven’s glory and comfort, made Himself of no reputation, took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of man that He might live, suffer and die for me.

Shall I not live for Him and serve Him cheerfully and gratefully in return? It was at a great price that Christ the eternal Son of God became Christ the seed of the woman. What is too costly for me to return to Him? What can I repay Him for His love for me?
c. But thirdly, the fact that Christ is the seed of the woman ought to fill our hearts with courage to live for Him in a hostile world.

Why do I say that? I say that because the name ‘Seed of the woman’ is a name that identifies us with Christ.

This is why in Romans 16, the apostle Paul tells the church: “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Rom 16:20).

In Genesis 3:15, the seed of the woman shall crush the head of Satan. This seed of the woman as we saw is Christ. Christ crushed the head of the ancient serpent, Satan at the Cross of Calvary.

But Paul says the prophecy will be fulfilled in the church. How is this so? This is so because the war of ages has not reached its final day.

The enemy has been defeated. He was defeated at the cross by the seed of the woman. But the enemy is still thrashing about in his death woes as a snake whose head is crushed might do. He is trying to inflict as much harm as possible before he breathes his last in this world.

This is why there is still so much sorrow and pain in this present world. And it looks like it may even get worse for a season.

But the day is coming when the church which is the seed of the woman shall enjoy the perfect rest that Christ, the Seed of the Woman is enjoying.

This is certain. It is as certain as the Cross. As Christ crushed the head of the ancient serpent, so we shall put our foot down upon the same head.

The day is coming when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. The day is coming when all sorrows and tears shall cease, all depressive spirits lifted, all quarrels turned into laughter, all losses turned into gains. The day is coming when love, joy, and peace will be the only things that will fill our hearts.

Yes, today we shall labour and fight. But we do not fight alone, for we are of the seed of the woman. We are one with Him. He is the head; we are the body. When the world persecutes us, it persecutes Him. “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?” the Lord asked Saul when he was hauling Christians into prison.

So when Satan and his minions would bring sorrow to believers, he is touching the apple of God’s eye. He is not only affecting us. He is fighting against Christ. He will lose. He has already lost.

Christ is fighting for us. And victory is certain for we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.

These are the thoughts that the name of Christ, ‘Seed of the Woman’ brings to mind. This hope and assurance gives me strength and courage to fight on for Him.


Christ is the seed of the woman. All believers are the seed of the woman in Him. Thank God for this union. And for the demonstration of His love.

May the Lord strengthen our faith, deepen our gratitude and lift up our flagging spirits as we are reminded of His great name, the Seed of the woman. Amen.

—JJ Lim