THE SEED OF THE WOMAN
Genesis tells us that man did not take the tree of life. Instead, he took in death and became fallen. Hence, God came in to judge the serpent. I believe that Adam and Eve regretted that they took the fruit of the tree of death. When they looked at themselves and realized that they were naked and sinful, they were afraid and covered themselves (3:7-8, 10). At that juncture God called to Adam saying, Adam, “Where art thou?” (v. 9).
God came in to preach the gospel, the good news, telling Adam and Eve that the seed of the woman would come to bruise the head of the serpent that damaged them (3:15). Although Satan came in through the woman, the seed of promise would also come through a woman. This seed of the woman is Christ. The New Testament speaks of a virgin named Mary who conceived a child, a seed, of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18). Joseph, the one to whom she was engaged, wanted to put her away secretly, but an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying that that which had been begotten in his wife, Mary, was of the Holy Spirit (vv. 19-20). Thus, the fulfillment of the promise concerning the seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15 is recorded in Matthew 1 with the birth of Jesus.
THE SEED OF ABRAHAM
The time from Adam and Eve’s partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to the time of the Christ’s conception was about four thousand years. For this period of time, God’s plan with Christ as the center was hidden and concealed within Himself as a mystery (Col. 1:26). About two thousand years after Adam, God told Abraham that in his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed (Gen. 22:17-18). First, this seed was designated as the seed of the woman. Second, He was designated as the seed of Abraham. God’s promise to Abraham was a promise of grace, and this promise became the covenant between God and Abraham to have Christ as the seed for the blessing of the whole earth. In Galatians 3 Paul said that this was the preaching of the gospel by God directly to Abraham. Verses 8 and 9 say, “The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles out of faith, announced the gospel beforehand to Abraham: ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed.’ So then they who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.” Thus, the gospel was preached to Abraham by God Himself about two thousand years before Christ was born.
Nevertheless, no one fully knew about this mystery of Christ as the seed before the New Testament age. Moses, Enoch, Noah, and David did not know. Although Isaiah prophesied concerning the incarnation of Christ (Isa. 7:14), it is doubtful that he knew that his prophecy referred to Christ as the seed of the woman and the seed of Abraham. In the Old Testament age, Christ as the seed was a mystery.
God sovereignly prepared the environment for the birth of Christ as the seed of the woman and of Abraham. In the history of Israel, the holy people chosen by God became captives of the Babylonian Empire. Then they became captives of the Medo-Persian Empire and eventually of the Grecian and Roman Empires. Their captivity under the Romans was under the reign of Augustus, the first formal Caesar of the Roman Empire. A decree was issued by him that brought about the proper circumstance for the birth of Christ (Luke 2:1-2 and note 21—Recovery Version). Christ was born to be the seed of the woman and the seed of Abraham for the blessing of the entire earth.
(Five Emphases in the Lord's Recovery, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)