The Messianic Expectation of Genesis 4:1 (Part 1)

“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.”

Genesis 3:15; 4:1

INTRODUCTION

The divinity of Jesus Christ, the one who fulfills the messianic role prophesied in the OT, is an area of continuous contemplation in biblical academia. One route to a consensus is found in examining the OT’s intention in messianic description. Does the OT intend to personify the Messiah as one who is divine, subsisting in the Godhead? Beginning this journey of analysis, one must first examine that which has claimed the designation of the first messianic prophecy, Gen. 3:15. The true area of analysis will be Gen. 4:1, marking Eve’s immediate interpretation of Gen. 3:15. Before endeavoring to understand whether the Messiah was thought to be divine, the preliminary examination must determine whether Eve interprets Gen. 3:15 as messianic. Thenceforth, the underlying question is: does Eve’s declaration found in Gen. 4:1 impute a divine attribution to the expected Messiah?

THE PROTOEVANGELIUM (GEN. 3:15)   

Gen 3:15 is claimed to be the first of the six direct messianic prophecies of the Pentateuch. In this light, it is considered to be the protoevangelium, the foundational prophecy, and thus takes precedence as the “mother prophecy” of messianic promise.[1] Being that the protoevangelium is highly important to the progression of messianism in the Bible, it is only logical that scholars claim that it contains subtle allusions to the divinity of the messiah. Further, if there are indeed divine implications to the depicted messianic role found in Gen. 3:15, it provides grounded reason to pursue the theme of the messiah’s divinity throughout the rest of the OT.


[1] James E. Smith, What the Bible Teaches About the Promised Messiah (Nashville, TN: Nelson, 1993), 38.

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