Another Allusion to Gen. 3.15

Gen. 3.15 can be seen as the theme verse for all of redemptive history contained in the bible. The sacred material which precedes God’s judgment upon the “serpent” functions as a prologue while the description of the eternal state (after Rev. 20 where the “old serpent” is dispatched) is an epilogue of the redemptive record.

So when another allusion to Gen. 3.15 is rediscovered, it is hardly surprising. Dr. Ibex shares with us his analysis of Ps. 110.6:

http://dribex.tumblr.com/

“head” or “heads” in psalm 110

Most evangelicals view Psalm 110 as Messianic. This is hard to deny in light of the extensive use of the psalm in the NT (it is the most often cited OT passage). Ps 110:1 (LORD, Lord) is the key to the argument of Jesus in Matthew 22 and Ps 110:4 (Melchizedek) is the lynchpin text in the argument of Hebrews 7.

But how about the rest of Psalm 110? I suggest that Messiah’s role of judgment in 110:5-7 has been blunted by a wrong translation of verse 6. A literal rendering of Psalm 110:6 is: “He shall crush the head (rosh) over the broad earth.” However, most English versions, along with the LXX, translate rosh as plural (“heads” or “chief men”/κεφαλὰς). And yet not all ancients thought it was plural. The Vulgate, for example, translates the verb and complement as percutiet caput (“he shall crush the head”). The Aramaic Targum also translates it as rishi, the singular for “head.” Luther rendered it by the singular Haupt. I have consulted over 30 English versions and the only major English versions that translate it as “head” are the Geneva Bible, the English Revised Version (1881), and the American Standard Version (1901). Minor versions that have the singular are Youngs Literal Translation, Jewish Publication Society (1917), Darby, and Bible in Basic English.

One contextual argument for translating רֹ֜֗אשׁ in v 6 as singular is the rhetorical contrast with the Messiah’s role in v. 7: “He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head.” The last word is the singular רֹ֜֗אשׁ.

Romans 16:20 states that Satan will be crushed under our feet someday. This “corporate solidarity” so that the prophecy of Gen 3:15 is fulfilled both by the singular Messiah and His collective people is consistent with Psalm 2:9 being fulfilled both by Jesus (Rev 19:15) and by His people (2:27).

If Ps 110:6 is to be understood as singular, who is it referencing? I suggest that it is the beast/Antichrist of the Apocalypse (Rev 13, 19) who as the “head” of Satan’s forces will be judged at the Second Coming.

Author: Alex the Less

B.A. (1976), M.Div. (1983), Journeyman Carpenter (1991), B.B.A. (2009)

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