The LORD God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
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.”
To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
but he shall rule over you.”
Comment: Not having been there I don’t know how snakes got around before this episode but basically now they slither along. We know some can swim; they can climb by slithering but we understand that what God said applies snake-wise. The next bit spoken to the snake has a bit of hidden depth to it. Superficially we know that people and snakes don’t get on very comfortably together – there are of course exceptions. But how are the snake’s head and the human heel connected. I guess that if a person is game and strong enough he can stamp on a snake’s head and kill it. But many Bible scholars see this as a referral to Satan (the snake) and Jesus the descendant of Eve and the battle between them at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, when Jesus was temporarily injured (in fact died but then rose again) but on the Cross He has overcome the devil for ever. Note that the completeness of Jesus’ victory will not be fully seen until He returns.
As far as the woman is concerned there is a statement about the difficulty of childbirth and a statement that everything is not going to be easy in the husband/wife relationship. Society is committed to relieving the pain of delivery and to negating the concept of submission of the female to the male.
Prayer: Help me and all of us to understand how You wish us to treat one another.