Genesis 3:15, "bruise" = CRUSH


#1

Genesis 3:
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Ever wonder why it reads “bruise thy head” instead of “crush thy head”?
Recognize the Hebraism. When there is no word strong enough to convey the meaning, you go the opposite direction. For example, the idea of the sun being hot. There is no adjective strong enough, so you go the opposite direction and say, “The sun is warm.” That equals “the sun is really-really-really hot.”

So, “it shall bruise thy head” is God’s poetic way of saying “it shall totally, totally, totally CRUSH thy head,” or “it shall CRUSH-the-expletive-out-of thy head.”

And the poetry doesn’t stop there!
“and thou shalt bruise his heel”… ha! ha! ha!
it shall totally-totally-totally CRUSH thy head, with its foot, by stamping on you!

“it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” is God’s eloquent way of conveying the picture of the woman’s seed stamping the devil’s head into oblivion.


#2

Why would stamping on someone’s head crush your heel though?


#3

I do not follow your reasoning here. Why do you believe a less intensive verb signifies a stronger intensive action?

In the Hebrew language, there are different verbal stems that express different types of action. For example, the Qal stem expresses simple actions (he broke) while the Piel stem expresses intense actions (He broke it to pieces).


#4

What aspect is it there? (I do not read Hebrew.)

Indeed, what is that verb שׁוּף? The LXX has τηρεω, ‘observe/guard’, which is a curious choice for how my concordance describes that Hebrew verb.


#5

Have you never stubbed your big toe?


#6

Toes are different to the bottom of your foot.


#7

This intensification is only true of a few verbs; you can’t apply it as a general rule.


#8

It’s a fairly rare verb; I don’t think “observe/guard” is a possible correct option.


#9

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