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by Dr. John Thomas
The literal is the exact construction of the sentence as it reads, and is found in strict accordance with their natural habit, and mutual antipathy between serpents and mankind.
They go upon the belly, and lick the dust; and by the deadly quality of their venom, or "sting," they are esteemed more hateful than any other creatures.
In walking with a naked foot one would be bitten in the heel, whose retaliation would be instinctively to bruise the reptile's head.
This is all perfectly natural; but what does it suggest?
Much that might be said upon the allegorical meaning of this passage is already before the reader.
I shall add, therefore, by way of summary, the following particulars: -- The Serpent as the author of sin is allegorical of "sin in the flesh"; which is therefore called oJ ponhrov" "the Wicked One"; and symbolized in its personal and political agency by "the Serpent".
The putting of "enmity" between the Serpent and the woman is allegorical of the establishment of enmity between sin, incorporate in the institutions of the world, or the serpent: and the obedience of faith, embodied in the congregation of the Lord, which is the woman.
The "seed of the Serpent" is allegorical of those over whom sin reigns, as evinced in their obeying it in the lusts thereof.
They are styled "the servants of sin"; or, "the tares".
The "seed of the woman" is allegorical of "the children of the kingdom, " or "the servants of righteousness".
They are also termed "the good seed," who hear and understand the word of the kingdom, sown in their hearts as "incorruptible seed".
The seed of the Serpent, and the seed of the woman, are phrases to be taken in the singular and plural numbers.
Plurally, in the sense of the fourth particular.
and singularly, of two separate hostile personages.
The serpent-bruiser of the heel is the sixth, or Imperial, head of the Dragon, to be crushed at the period of its binding, in the person of the last of the Autocrats.
The head-bruiser of the dragon, the old serpent, surnamed the Devil and Satan, is emphatically the Seed of the woman, but not of the man.
The allegorical reading of the text founded upon these particulars is as follows: "I will put the enmity of that mode of thinking thou hast elicited in Eve and her husband against My law, between the powers that shall be hereafter, in consequence of what thou hast done, and the faithful and unblemished corporation I shall constitute: and I will put this enmity of the spirit against the flesh, and of the flesh against the spirit, between all who obey the lusts of the flesh which thou hast excited, and those of My institution who shall serve me: their Chief shall bear away the world's sin which thou hast originated, and shall destroy all the works that have grown out of it: and the sin-power shall wound him to death; but he shall recover it, and accomplish the work I now pre-ordain him to do".
THE PEACE AND SAFETY CRY.
"There is no peace to the wicked, saith God".
The allegorical signification of the sentence became the plan of "the foundation of the world," under the altered circumstances which sin had introduced.
It constitutes the earth the arena of a terrible strife between two hostile powers, which was not to terminate until His law gained the ascendancy over the sin of the world, and but one sovereign will be obeyed by the sons of men.
The enmity He put between these parties was not a mere unfriendly verbal disputation, but one which reeked of blood.
It began with the dispute which caused Abel to lose his life, and has continued unto this day.