The Protevangelium

I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.

Genesis 3:15

In the third chapter of Genesis, upon the fall of man, the Lord our God gives hope. It is called the protevangelium, or the first gospel. God tells Satan that he will put enmity between Satan and the woman and the woman’s male offspring shall crush Satan. Whether “offspring” is singular or plural has been debated, but the Septuagint and the common understanding is the “her offspring” refers to a single male offspring.

You can see then why this is the first gospel. It is a hint of what is to come. All of history turns toward the return of Christ with his birth as the midpoint. Our very calendar advances and recedes from his birth. The recession through time begins at this point as God tells Satan, Eve, and Adam that Eve’s offspring shall crush Satan.

Adam and Eve are then exiled from the garden and eternity ends for them and time begins. They age. Sin spreads in the world. But as they depart into the world, there is hope. There is a promise of restoration. There is a promise that God will keep his relationship with us and restore us to the relationship we formerly had.

Christ is coming. The announcement he would come started time and age. His birth, divides history between B.C. and A.D. His second coming will stop time and restore our eternity and relationship with God.

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Erick Erickson

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