Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Religion, Old Testament Studies PhD

First Advisor

Richard M. Davidson

Second Advisor

Roy E. Gane

Third Advisor

Jiří Moskala


The Topic

This dissertation seeks to ascertain the meaning and referent of the “seed” and its related pronouns in Gen 3:15.

The Purpose

The meaning and referent of “seed” and its related pronouns in Gen 3:15 have been discussed throughout the history of Jewish and Christian interpretation. This dissertation analyzes Gen 3:15 exegetically, intratextually, and intertextually, tracing the meaning of this “seed” in Genesis, the rest of the Old Testament, and the New Testament. The Introduction briefly surveys the centuries of the Jewish and Christian interpretations of Gen 3:15 classifying them into related categories such as literal, naturalistic, historical, political, allegorical, figurative, eschatological and Christo logical interpretations. Chapter 1 surveys Gen 3:15 and its context. The textual analysis shows that the ancient texts significantly follow a Hebrew text similar to the MT. The literary, structural, thematic, terminological, syntactical, morphological, and semantic analyses of the context of Gen 3:15 demonstrate that this verse is the center of the message of Gen 3. The nanowing movement in the Hebrew text of Gen 3:15 reveals the Messianic import of this watershed verse. The clash between the serpent and the woman becomes the long-lasting enmity between their respective plural collective seed comprising all human beings. This narrows down into a fatal clash between Satan, the singular serpent, and the Messiah, the singular, individual representative Seed of the woman. Chapter 2 examines the intratextual use of the seed and its related pronouns of Gen 3:15 within the rest of the book of Genesis beginning from Gen 1:28. The narrowing from the plural collective seed to the singular, individual, representative Seed establishes a pattern for signifying Messianic intention in some of these seed passages, especially Gen 22:17-19 and Gen 24:60. The special Seed is already described as Messianic, royal, and priestly in Genesis. Chapter 3 shows that the Pentateuch is consistent in its understanding and portrayal of the seed of Gen 3:15. The intertextual study of the seed shows that subsequent authors of the OT and NT recognized and followed the same understanding of the seed. Chapter 4 examines the similarities and differences between Gen 3:15 and the


This dissertation concludes that there is a Messianic intention in Gen 3:15 based on the narrowing phenomenon of the seed in the Hebrew text of this verse. The Seed and the serpent have a fatal and deadly clash in which the Messiah is eternally victorious on behalf of all the righteous seed.

Subject Area

Bible, Genesis 3:15--Criticism, interpretation, etc, Bible, Genesis 3:15--Symbolism, Salvation, Andrews University--Dissertations--Bible. O.T. Genesis 3:15--Criticism, interpretation, etc.


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