Clarify translation of Gen 3:15

I was told that Gen 3:15 was always translated as “she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.”(D-R translation) until Luther changed it to “he” and “his”. Is this true? What is the word in the original language, is it gender neutral? Why would Luther change it, didn’t he have a great devotion to Mary?

The Latin phrase in the Vulgate is ipsa conteret caput tuum et tu insidiaberis calcaneo eius

ipsa and eius are feminine pronouns, clearly referring to “the woman”.

Don’t know Hebrew so I can’t help there, but clearly St Jerome was sold on “the woman”

Well, first of all its not true that Luther “changed” it. This has been heavily debated throughout Church history (and probably before), most famously between Sts. Jerome (“he”) and Augustine (“she”). And for good reason, there’s no way to prove which is correct from the original Hebrew - according to God’s plan. :wink: This is a mystery which I believe has been decisively revealed:

“In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” - Our Lady of Fatima

It seems the wise St. Augustine, and others, were correct. And it is true that the Church adopted the “she” version in the Vulgate, against Jerome even though it was his translation! Once again, this demonstrates the Church’s wisdom, and I believe demonstrates the correct theology: It is fitting that God’s most exalted creature, the Blessed Virgin, should have the honor of crushing the head of God’s most wicked creature. And besides, that ancient serpent isn’t worthy of having his head crushed by the Son of God!

Haydock’s commentary on this verse might be worth a read, here.

By the way, the newest version of the Vulgate, the Nova Vulgata on the Vatican website, now reads ipsum, he, in this place:
15 Inimicitias ponam inter te et mulierem
et semen tuum et semen illius;
ipsum conteret caput tuum,
et tu conteres calcaneum eius”.

The LXX dates back to before the time of Jesus. It’s a Greek translation, but the pronouns of whom is striking at who shows masculine.

eg:
αυτος σου τηρη-σ-ει κεφαλ-ην και συ τηρη-σ-εις αυτ-ου πτερ(ν)-αν
he of-you(M) will-strike head(F) and you will-strike of-him heel (F)

So, by the pronouns – it is his heel which is being struck.
Therefore, I really don’t imagine that Luther changed it.

A couple of small points:
The head of the serpent is female – though the YOU of the serpent is male.
The heel of the man is feminine also – though it belongs to him.
Those just happen to be the genders of those words and the same genders show up on men’s heels all over the OT. etc.

It is possible that a female is meant, because mankind includes women – but when describing a single woman, this is the exception and rare.

Biologically Women do not have seed (of their own) for it is referring to that which comes from a man. The seed is analogous to the clay (slip) which Adam (earth/earthy) was formed out of. But, scripture seems to imply that when the two become one flesh, in marriage, the seed becomes the woman’s.

This can be seen in Genes 16:10 where Hagar is told a similar thing to Eve –
eg: that her seed (children) would be greatly multiplied.
Genes 16:10 και ειπεν αυτη ο αγγελος κυριου πληθυνων πληθυνω το σπερμα σου και ουκ αριθμηθησεται απο του πληθους

The Catholic church has the right to interpret the final meaning of scripture – but as an apologetic, I wouldn’t go charging out with accusations on Genesis 3:15 to protestants, nor to Jews with respect to Gender.

I don’t know Hebrew, but comparing Genesis 3:15 and 16:10 using a lexicon:

The Hebrew root word for seed is.

This word is generically singular – I suppose. Because It is used where Eve speaks of Seth.

In Genesis 3:15 the word is third person (her) feminine, eg: her seed.
http://www.messiahtruth.com/gen315_files/image018.jpg, zar’ah***

***and in Genesis 16:10 the word is second person (you) feminine. eg: her seed.
http://www.messiahtruth.com/gen315_files/image016.jpg, zar’ech

The only thing the Greek gives an advantage on, is that it refers to the seed as a male (singular). So, it does support the idea of a messiah being in the Jewish mindset in the years before Jesus came; at least Greek speaking Jews.
(Although I am unsure of how much weight it would carry in an argument.)

A similar problem shows up in Galatians 3:16 which refers to the use of the singular by Abraham in Genesis 22:18 – in Greek it is singular, but it can also be collective – eg: it might refer to all his children as “seed” , and it might also refer to his one son, Isaac, who is multiplied…

Note, that doesn’t make Paul “Wrong” or the church “Wrong” on Genesis 3:16 – it is just that a more immediate explanation also exists.

Pax Christi,
–Andrew.

P.S.
The Hebrew of Gen 22:18 has:
וְהִתְבָּרְכוּ בְזַרְעֲךָ, כֹּל גּוֹיֵי הָאָרֶץ, עֵקֶב, אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְתָּ בְּקֹלִי.

Which looks like “ben-zar” son of seed? perhaps? :shrug: I don’t know, but that might be more explicit than the Greek if it is.

see here for a good, easy to understand explanation.

There are many different Bible manuscripts, and they often disagree on the exact wording of a verse.

In my view as a Bible translator, in some cases both wordings are true and are intended by God. Who strikes at the serpent, a man or a woman? Both. The man is Jesus and the woman is Mary. There is substantial manuscript support for both pronouns, masculine and feminine.

DonNY,
This won’t answer the Luther question but you may find it interesting that G3.15 is referenced at least three times in the OT and this at least sheds some light on how the OT authors understood the verse.

G3.15 is the first forward looking verse in the entire OT. It definitely looks forward to a future ongoing historical situation or event. This verse was clearly understood as prophetic by the writers of subsequent OT books which contain explicit graphic references to G3.15. Episodes containing one individual head-striking another individual at their heel become a ‘type’ for a definitive expression of the victory of the good over the evil. This episodic paper trail leads to a reference to Christ.

In Judges, Sisera, the general of the Canaanite King’s army, is going to be routed by Barak’s Israelite forces. It is told to Barak that the glory of this victory will go to a woman, ‘the Lord will have Sisera fall into the power of a woman.’ The evil Sisera, the stronger force, goes to meet Barak and is routed as the Lord promised, however, Sisera escapes on foot and arrives at the tent of Jael, wife of the Kenite Heber. Jael lulls Sisera into a false sense of safety then while he is asleep, lying on the ground, she drives a tent stake though his head. Notice he would be lying down on his belly putting his head heal-height. She, of course, strikes his head.

Next we have Judith and Holofernes, a more familiar episode. The military forces of evil Holofernes are threatening the Israelites and all looks lost. Judith charms her way into his company gets him drunk and while he is lying on the ground cuts of his head. *“Then with all her might she struck him twice in the neck and cut off his head.” *
Notice he would be lying down on his belly putting his head heal-height. She, of course, strikes his head. Even though she strikes his neck it’s all about the head.

Of course there is David, who for some reason, after he has slain Goliath - by striking him in the head - is compelled, while Goliath is dead lying on the ground, to cut off his head.
Notice Goliath would be lying down on his belly putting his head heal-height. David then cuts off his head.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that these three retellings concerning decisive events in the history of the survival Israel all have as their climax the ‘evil one’ on his belly at heel-height and the ‘victorious one’ striking the head of that evil one in some manner.

It’s hard to image Israelites hearing these episodes and not seeing a connection to G3.15. It’s also not a stretch to see in the continued historical replaying of G3.15 that the idea of an ultimate victory would finally emerge where-in the head of the ‘ultimate evil-one’ would receive its final fatal strike from the ‘ultimate victorious-one’. The ultimate victorious-one would of course be the Messiah.

The G3.15 template was still prevalent in Christ’s time and was used in a malicious way by Herod’s wife when she had John the Baptist beheaded. Few recognize she was mocking the prophetic tradition of the Israelites who followed John the Baptist by killing John in the manner that the evil one is to be killed in G3.15. Doing so in essence publicly declared that she was the one one in the right who was now crushing the head of the evil one - John. This would have been a humiliating and troubling sacrilege to John’s faithful companions.

The NT authors did not miss the significance of the G3.15 prophecy and its connection to the passion of Jesus. It is interesting and no coincidence that we are reminded that the place where Jesus is crucified is called Golgatha and further reminded that this word means ‘the place of the skull’. Why the hyper-detail for a certain place’s name and it’s correct translation? Well, if Jesus is on the cross then Golgatha, or ‘the skull’ is under his feet or heels. Further, regardless of how one believes the real cross was actually constructed, to stand upright the base of the cross would penetrate the surface somehow thus striking and penetrating ‘this skull’ of Golgatha in some manner.

So through this trail of Biblical episodes we can see some prevalent OT understandings regarding G3.15. The pronouns were understood in all of these situations as singular not communal, an evil individual is vanquished by a virtuous individual. The actions of individual don’t just count, they are critical. (What a democratic idea.) The seed of the woman can be female or male. Jael, Judith, David.

The NT writers see Christ’s crucifixion as the ultimate fulfillment of G3.15.

Hope this helped,

Peter

Hi,
That was interesting. I am bothered, though, that the author invokes the Septuagint w/ St. Jerome, and then overlooks the masculine pronoun at the start of the sentence.

I made a mistake in my post; eg: the serpent never is given a gender in the part I quoted. I was a bit tired when I typed that – everything else is correct.

Seed as a word does not disclose number or gender in the Septuagint, but the subject of the sentence (first Greek word in the quote) is a singular male.
αυτ-ος. If the translators had wanted to make it female, they could have said αυτ-η (Which would still be ambiguous in the number).
They could have also made it generic with και αυτ-ον, but didn’t do so.

So, I would have to disagree with “he” being a Forced translation of the Septuagint (in the Hebrew I can’t tell). What is clear is that the translators of the Septuagint did not think of the one crushing as exclusively female. (eg: She, herself,) They assumed a singular male, and although in rare instances that can include female – that would be a less likely reading.

But, again, since the Greek authors did not make the pronoun generic – the text does lend support to the idea of a singular (not collective) seed.

To: PeterK – I haven’t seen you in a while!
I enjoyed your perspective.
Male and females decapitating the enemy ! Far more women in the list, and yes – they all strike the head; I wonder, if I did a scriptural search – how many women kill by any other method? That would lend support to the idea that Genesis 3:15 was speaking of a female – eg: the tendency to kill in a particular way – if it bears out that it is the typical mode of a female. Males in their strength kill by thrusting through with swords and arrows; in each of the passages you cite, including David, suggests that the one doing the killing was not strong enough to do it another way.

Do you know of any counter-examples off the top of your head? :wink:

Huiou Theou,
I’ve been on sabbatical. :smiley:
Good to read you again.
Looks like you’re picking up some Hebrew?
I fantasize about diving into the Greek NT, but haven’t taken the plunge.
Really its just busy thats all, hard to keep up with the threads.

Yeah, that is a neat little thread that runs through the Bible. The neat thing about it for me is it’s the OT authors reinterpreting OT narrative, and this gives us insight into how they understood the verse outside of the Christian understanding - which can be hard to arrive at.

As to David not being strong enough, he did kill Goliath first with his sling. It is still not hand-to-hand combat. I haven’t found any full grown adult Israelite men who decapitate there enemies.

**If **one does not take exception to David being a lad and not a man when he killed Goliath, and if one accepts that these decapitation episodes do indeed ‘look back’ to G3.15, then one can argue that some of the OT authors understood the women’s seed to refer to a woman and/or a man and not exclusively a women. But those are the ‘ifs’ that have to be accepted to reach this conclusion.

From this contextual approach to determine exact textual meaning I would have to say the OT authors, while favoring women, did not understand the verse as being incapable of referring to a man. So, given the David and Goliath example, ‘he will strike…’ is not out of bounds.

I must say though that I am really puzzled why it has to be interpreted only one way or the other, even from the Christian perspective. The reference to Golgatha seems to me to indicate the NT authors wanted to emphasize the crucified Jesus is indeed crushing a head. The cross does penetrate and bear down on ‘the skull’. And the ‘place of the skull’ is clearly under Jesus’ heels. Again, if we accept that the NT author here is ‘looking back’ to G3.15, then this is a check mark in the ‘he will strike…’ column.

The problem with trying to ‘lock down’ this verse to the one possible interpretation that it ultimately and only refers to Mary, “she will strike…” overlooks two credible OT and NT references to G3.15 - the David and Jesus examples cited earlier.

I am not saying it cannot or does not refer to Mary, not at all. I am saying there is credible contextual OT and NT support to show it can be " ‘he’ or ‘she’ will strike …".

Another consideration, that won’t be popular, is that in referring to a women crushing the serpent, the emphasis maybe is not really on gender but on weakness or meekness. In ancient times women were seen as the weaker gender, I don’t think we need to belabor this idea. Anyway, if weakness is really the emphasis of G3.15 then some other possibilities open up. David then is seen as fulfilling this prophecy because he is a weak lad and not a man. The crucified Jesus fits this because as a crucified criminal he is seen - in the world’s POV - as totally powerless and an abysmal failure. We’re reminded of *‘the meek shall inherit the earth’ *and other references to God protecting and providing for a ‘remnant’, God looking upon the ‘lowly’ etc.

And weakness or meekness are indicative of humility.

So maybe what the verse is really getting at is ‘the humble will strike your head’.

Then our best offense against the devil and his seed is humility.

In this the prophecy may be referring to us!

Hope this helped,
Peter

Hi Peter,

Yes I am picking up a little Hebrew, but it is still far too difficult for me to answer most questions – I don’t have access to very good resources, lexicons, etc.
Some year…

On Golgatha, I haven’t read all the mystics, etc. to know if any of them have similar insights to what you mention – but I do know that, traditionally, the site is identified with the place where Adam died and death had its’ first victory. I have no idea historically how the tradition came to be; but I think the notion that Adam repented of his sin and is a saint now – would tend to distract Christians from alternate symbolism.

Good to read you again as well.
Pax Christi; – Andrew.

I wanted to correct the record on this point. I had thought that Jerome originally translated the word as “he”, but I guess I was conflating this with his other dispute with Augustine, since I see no evidence that Jerome ever had anything but “she”. So sorry about that, and sorry St. Jerome!

Hi Peter, you and Andrew made a lot of good points here (are you brothers? :D). And of course, we all agree that everything points to Christ. Whoever conquers evil does so by the power of Christ’s grace. But that doesn’t mean that Mary won’t have the honor of being the key figure in the Church’s triumph, and it looks to me like this is what God has ordained. And a good analogy is here:

“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

But “breath” is clearly metaphorical, meaning the Holy Spirit, who in turn represents the power of God. But there’s a strong tradition that it will be St. Michael the Archangel who will personally strike down Antichrist. This is based in Scripture (Daniel 12:1), and many of our Saints have prophesied this too.

So then, it would mean that God’s most exalted angel, will have the honor of destroying God’s most wicked human being; and God’s most exalted human, Mary, will have the honor of destroying God’s most wicked angel, Lucifer. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m sold! :slight_smile:

[quote=Peter K]The problem with trying to ‘lock down’ this verse to the one possible interpretation that it ultimately and only refers to Mary, “she will strike…” overlooks two credible OT and NT references to G3.15 - the David and Jesus examples cited earlier.

I am not saying it cannot or does not refer to Mary, not at all. I am saying there is credible contextual OT and NT support to show it can be " ‘he’ or ‘she’ will strike …".
[/quote]

I’m with you Peter K! :thumbsup: I would just add that the original Douay translation of 1609, gives both readings as acceptable in the notes, although it retains ‘she.’ However because of the ancient Church tradition, the ‘she’ reading seems preferable to me. On the other hand it would be just as wrong for the other reading ‘he’ to be forced upon the Catholic faithful. There are countless Marian statues around the world, with Mary stepping on the serpent’s head. To now say, that was all a big mistake, would be both wrong and counterproductive.

Luke,
Thanks for the kind remarks.
No we are not brothers, but I enjoy reading his posts.

Regarding…
So then, it would mean that God’s most exalted angel, will have the honor of destroying God’s most wicked human being; and God’s most exalted human, Mary, will have the honor of destroying God’s most wicked angel, Lucifer.

While not rejecting that Mary* may *be the one to deliver the final death blow to Satan, there is a problem with the above parallel.

The exalted angel will destroy the most wicked human being. I assume this is to be a real historical event involving a real historical wicked flesh and blood person here on earth. If so, then the Mary-versus-Lucifer proposal does not fit because there is no real historical person on earth on this side of the parallel - unless Mary is going to come back to earth as a person to accomplish this.
Do you see why it is not a true parallel for me?
In the first half of the above parallel we have *spiritual *Michael overthrowing a *real flesh and blood historical *person here on earth. And this is fine. I’m not saying this will not be the case. I’m only saying the second half of the paired scenarios lacks a real flesh and blood historical person here on earth to parallel the one in the first half of the scenario.
The second half has a heavenly entity, Mary, battling a spiritual entity, Lucifer. Neither of which is on earth. Even though Mary’s body is assumed, she is not a real flesh and blood person inhabiting the earth, and it’s unlikely that she will be.
Do you see what I’m getting at? I’m not saying none of this is going to happen. I’m just saying the two scenarios paired above is not a convincing argument - in itself. The two scenarios do not *perfectly *mirror each other, they are different. I am under the impression that you see these two scenarios as truly mirroring each other. And that this mirroring effect is some sort of proof of truth. So I have just tried to show the two scenarios don’t perfectly mirror one another. That’s it. Nothing more.

If they truly mirrored each other the second scenario would have a real flesh and blood person here on earth to oppose the figure in the spiritual realm. As it stands, the second scenario has two figures that are both in the spiritual realm.

This may sound knit-picky and probably is, but we’re told to ‘test every spirit’.

Hope this helped,
Peter

As I recall, the Hebrew word for “seed” (zerah) is a masculine noun. Typically, “seed” would be applied to a familial heir, which most often was applied to males. However, it is significant that “seed” in this part of Genesis refers to “her seed,” rather than “his,” which would have been the norm. Bear in mind that the word “seed” in Latin is sperma–a feminine term, ironically, as it so clearly applies to the male gamete. What woman has sperma? Indeed, this is a most unusual sentence construction, even in the Hebrew. This should tell us that something very special is meant here.

Notably, the genealogy of Jesus is largely dependent upon the women in his family line, not just the men. Why do I say this? Take a look at the story of Abraham and Sarah. Sarah couldn’t conceive, so she gave her handmaid Hagar to Abraham, who bore Ishmael. But God did not use Ishmael as the chosen son, although he was the firstborn son of the man with whom God had made His covenant. The promise was specific to the son of Sarah. The same thing occurs again with Judah, whose “legitimate” son was not the child of the promise, but Perez–whom Judah had conceived illegitimately with Tamar, his son’s widow. Ruth, a Moabite and an outcast among Jews, became the wife of Boaz, and through this Gentile woman, Obed, the father of Jesse, was born. This was at a time when Gentiles were considered to be a taint among the Jews, and yet her role was necessary in order to bring Jesus into the world as planned.

Over and over again, it is the woman who makes the difference in the family line leading up to Christ. For this reason, I think that the word “seed” in Genesis applies jointly to both Jesus and Mary. Jesus is the obvious masculine “zerah” through whom the serpent is crushed. However, the woman’s (Mary’s) role is also crucial in bringing this victory to fruition. In this sense, Mary truly is the co-redemptrix. Christ’s victory is Mary’s victory. It is this fact that I believe St. Jerome meant to highlight. To understand the seed as Christ is certainly correct, but it fails to note the significance of the woman’s role, which I feel the Hebrew hints at.

anmparod,

You may be interested in this thread within another Catholic forum which deals extensively with G3.15. Take me there! Now!

Regarding What woman has sperma?

I think the formation of Latin, Greek and Hebrew predates the modern biological knowledge of human reproduction. I don’t believe it was known until quite a bit later that women actually produced eggs that are then fertilized during intercourse. So the reference to a women’s ‘sperma’ has to be to her progeny or potential offspring and not to an actual ova.

It would be interesting for someone to provide a link to a historical timeline detailing the advancing medical understanding of human reproduction.

It’s difficult to strip our modern understandings away from the scripture and read them within the knowledge base that they were composed.

Hope this helps,
Peter

That would be the seed of Tamar, by name?
As, zarah, in the lexicon I have is feminine – but Zerah is a male.

Typically, “seed” would be applied to a familial heir, which most often was applied to males. However, it is significant that “seed” in this part of Genesis refers to “her seed,” rather than “his,” which would have been the norm.

OK;

Bear in mind that the word “seed” in Latin is sperma–a feminine term, ironically, as it so clearly applies to the male gamete. What woman has sperma? Indeed, this is a most unusual sentence construction, even in the Hebrew. This should tell us that something very special is meant here.

Hmm…
Latin is the language of plant biology as a scientific discipline; seed is something which forms in the ovum of a flower – so that it isn’t totally out of line to think of it as female. The unusual issue, with humans, is that the “slime of the earth” which God formed Adam from – and the seminal fluid correspond. Scripture calls this stuff “sperma” (Greek neuter/ masc/ or fem – its an τδθ exceptional word…) which is identified with the stuff a man produces (sperm) – whereas seed, in the scientific sense, is formed in the female upon pollenization by sperm. So, there has been a change of thinking over the centuries…and Latin is at the root of it.

But God did not use Ishmael as the chosen son, although he was the firstborn son of the man with whom God had made His covenant. The promise was specific to the son of Sarah.

Yes, the promise was made to Sarah long before – it was not Just Abraham who was told it would be child of his flesh. Notably; as Sarai had mated with him earlier – they are One flesh – and so, in addition to the explicit promise, is the marital meaning of Abraham’s flesh; which only belongs between two persons. The two became one flesh.

The same thing occurs again with Judah, whose “legitimate” son was not the child of the promise, but Perez–whom Judah had conceived illegitimately with Tamar, his son’s widow.

Yes/no – illegitimate is a view which shows up in the biblical texts after Moses, but though the common law of the time (not uet of Moses) speaks of the demand to raise up a child in the name of the Dead brother Er, and then Onan;
When Tamar gives the pledge to Judah – presuming on the legality of having her burned – he says, for she is more just than I. The reason is not disclosed as to why she is more just, or why he thought he had the right to burn her.
It may be that she was under obligation to bring forth a son in honor of the deceased Er – and therefore by marrying another, or whoring, she became liable. Again, the two are one flesh may be seen as terminated upon sexual intercourse with another after death. Judah, on the other hand may not have considered it at all sinful that he had fornicated – but the cloak and staff – the items of a shepherd – recall that Judah is the one who was responsible for throwing Joseph in the pit, planning to kill him, and tricking his father by the blood of a kid with Joesph’s cloak. He also is the one who refused to fulfill the promise of raising up a child to his firstborn – Er – by denying her the third son in marriage by a lie.
It is not clear, then, that the act is totally illegitimate at that time – and since Er is the source of promise as the firstborn; his flesh (his wife) is the source of the next heir. Burning Tamar may well have burnt the promise.

Ruth, … to be a taint among the Jews, and yet her role was necessary

How was it necessary? Eg; the promise of the seed to the woman is being handed down from Gen 3:15 – I see that – and Isaac had stated his displeasure about marrying anyone not from the immediate family line – so, that Ruth was a violation of that command from the grand-father. But, it seems that Ruth’s husband violated the command and if he had not done so, Ruth was not necessary. Are you seeing a conditional necessity of some kind? eg: Her husband had become one flesh with her?

It is true that the prophecy was made to a woman; Eve; Which highlights the feminine role in bearing children; but do you see more than that or just a correlation?

The Hebrew word in question, hu, is literally translated into English as “he”.

Lastly, our Jewish friends would dispute Paul’s translation of zera’, since everywhere else in the Torah the word, zera’, is translated as plural when referring to biological descendants.

Sorry, almost forget, but the Greek translation of the Hebrew, hu, would be autos. The Septuagint uses autos for hu at Genesis 3:15. But with such translation there is the problem of the matchup with the antecedent, i.e., the Septuagint uses the neuter, sperma, and so if we maintain harmony with the antecedent, then we don’t use “he” for hu but instead “it” [in Greek, *auto]. And so the text would read, And I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed, it will strike your head and you will strike its heel. The likely correct translation, going back to zera being used as the collective plural: And I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and her offspring, they will strike your head and you will strike their heel.

].

They did not use auto – they could have. The word sperma is not gender specified; it is a word ending in tau, and I have noted examples of τδθ words exhibiting all genders. It takes on the gender of the definite article which preceeds it. That gender can, in fact, be masculine or neuter for they are the same spelling. what it can’t be is feminine.
It is common practice in greek to use the female genitive of a male in order to denote relationship between people of opposite sexes – in Genesis 3:15 that exists where God speaks of the offspring of Eve (neuter or masculine τ-ου σπερμα-τ-ος αυτ-ης).

The antecedant does not guarantee neuter in this case. It could be male; and the subject is explicitly male. So, one would be constrained to assume that gender agreement would favor male where του is written.

The likely correct translation, going back to zera being used as the collective plural: And I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and her offspring, they will strike your head and you will strike their heel.

I don’t have this word zera in my lexicon; I have zarah – do you have a link to something which explains it and shows these gender issues, as my research is different, but I am not an expert at Hebrew — or perhaps you have a Hebrew font?
When I see zerah – it says Sunrise. :shrug:

Thanks.

One remarkable aspect of these two incidents is that I believe in Scripture they are also the only two women other than Mary (Luke 1:42 ) to whom the words “Blessed are you among women” are spoken–Jael in Judges 5:24 and Judith in Judith 13:18.

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