Genesis 3:15 in the New Testament and in the Pentateuchal Targums: Enmity as a Spiritual Conflict
Iosif J. Zhakevich
Iosif J. Zhakevich is Associate Professor of Old Testament
The Master’s Seminary in Los Angeles, CA
Abstract: The present paper conducts a comparative analysis of Gen 3:15 in the Pentateuchal Targums and of allusions to Gen 3:15 at Rev 12:17 (and its broader context) in order to demonstrate that the Targums and the book of Revelation both interpret the enmity announced at Gen 3:15 to be a spiritual battle, not a mere reference to the animus between humans and snakes. This view of enmity is indeed the point of departure for the broader interpretation of Gen 3:15 as a messianic text in Rev 12 and the Targums, as other scholars have shown. Moreover, to explain the congruity between the Targums and Rev 12, this study concludes, in agreement with the general view in comparative targumic and NT studies, that such an interpretation of the enmity at Gen 3:15 existed in the early Jewish community and was incorporated into the NT and into the Targums in accordance with each author’s literary purposes and theological convictions.
Key Words: Targum, New Testament, Messiah, Enmity, Genesis 3:15, Revelation 12:17
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