Bruise His Heel

20 Dec

I have been thinking a great deal on the many prophecies that have been given and recorded in the scriptures; particularly those that deal with the last days. So I have decided to write some short posts addressing a few of these prophecies. Some have been fulfilled, some are in the process of being fulfilled, and some we are still waiting to see. I will draw from all the standard works, and in each post I will address only one prophesy.

Genesis 3: 15

It has been a while since I have put up any posts and I have been feeling the need to say something. I am continuing with the prophesies, and since I have little time I have chosen to do a short one. This is the first prophecy recorded in scriptures. Fittingly it deals with Christ (fitting because Christ is the central figure of all the scriptures, and because of the season). This prophecy is recorded in Genesis, and is very famous. After the Fall God cursed the serpent and then declared

“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.”

This prophecy is very well known, and many know the basic meaning of its, and it is very basic in its meaning. Before we get into that, first note that the word ‘it’ in this verse should be translated as ‘He.’ In fact, the book of Moses renders this verse almost the same, with this one change.

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed; and he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

This is important for the meaning to be understood. As we will see the prophecy has two parts. One has already been fulfilled, and the other is yet to be fulfilled.

First to set this up, let us understand that the serpent represent Satan. I am not going to argue whether the snake was actually involved or not, because that has little bearing on the meaning of this passage. We understand this to represent Satan, and thus the seed of Satan is the wicked; both the one third that was cast from heaven as spirits, as well as all those who choose evil in this life. This is the seed of Satan, or the children of the devil. The seed of the Woman is all the faithful, but most especially Christ.

So, let us now look at the prophecy, starting with the second part. “Thou shalt bruise his heel.” Note here that the heel is not a vital part of the body, and most injuries that are caused to it heal fairly quickly. Satan will bruise Christ’s heel, meaning that he will cause Christ pain and suffering, but it will be momentary and not lasting. We see this fulfilled in the mortal ministry of Christ. The persecutions He faced, the temptations He endured, and the final suffering of the atonement where he suffered for sins. In all this Christ experience pain and suffering which was caused by Satan and his seed. But it was only momentary, as Christ rose from the dead and Satan had no more power to temp or torment him.

The first part of the prophecy has not yet been fulfilled. “He shall bruise thy head.” Just as we noted that the heel is not a vital part, we should note that the head is the most vital part of the body. It heels the slowest and is the easiest to do permanent damage to. So, just as Satan would cause only temporary suffering to Christ, Christ will completely destroy the power of Satan, permanently. Christ said that He has retained “all power, even to the destroying of Satan and his works at the end of the world, and the last great day of judgment” (D&C 19: 3) This is the last adversary that Christ will subdue and destroy, when Satan is cast out forever.

I find it very fitting that the first prophecy not only speaks of Christ, but speaks directly to the last event event in God’s great plan. From the beginning the faithful have known the end.

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