Jacob the Serpent, Israel the Seed of the Woman

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The Bible is a Book of Tales (Narrative Theology)


Jacob is portrayed in the narrative position of Satan – the ultimate Usurper.

Remember that Satan grabs at the heel in Gen 3.15, and that Jacob is a heel grabber too.

Listen first to the narrative similarities here:

Jacob is a grabber at his brother’s heel, a usurper, one who cheats to take the place of the “right” man.  Jacob hides his identity and steals a blessing.

Jacob has a tricky wrestling match with God.  God cheats to beat Jacob.  God grabs at Jacob’s hip.  God hides his identity from Jacob, revealing it in Jacob’s fearful realization later.  God blesses Jacob with a blessing that he demanded.

And God changes Jacob’s name.  Jacob leaves the place of being the grabber at his brother’s heel, and becomes the one whose hip was grabbed by God.  Jacob sinned in taking his brother’s place.  Jacob is atoned for when God takes his place.

Jacob is cast in the story as Satan, and becomes in the story the Seed of the Woman.


This started when I noticed that the Serpent/Heel Connection is made both in Genesis 3, and in Genesis 49:

“The LORD God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.
”  (Gen 3.14-15)


16 “Dan shall judge his people

as one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan shall be a serpent in the way,
a viper by the path,
that bites the horse’s heels

so that his rider falls backward.
18I wait for your salvation, O LORD.

19 “Raiders shall raid Gad,
but he shall raid at their heels.” (Gen 49.16-19)

In looking at these, I remembered that Jacob’s name means something like”he grabs at the heel.”

In saying this, he is cast as the serpent, the heel bruiser.

But the serpent is crushed by the “Seed of the Woman” in Gen 3.15.

  • Jacob uses food to tempt, and to bring about the usurpation (25.31)

It is this same Jacob who becomes a new man, becomes that very “Seed of the Woman”

  • To Rebekah: “Blessed be your offspring” 24.60
  • “Rebekah loved Jacob” 25.28

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