There are several instances in Genesis that refer to the thigh in making promises (24:2, 24:9, 32:25, 47:25). What is the significance of the thigh in these passages?
Also Genesis 3:15 (and Moses 4:21) is the scripture about the serpent bruising his heel and he bruising the serpents head. I heard that this is a type of the Saviour… what is the connection and how is it to be interpreted that way?
Bruce, from West Jordan, Utah
In the customs of ancient Israel, putting the right hand under the thigh in swearing an oath had the same significance as in modern judicial swearings where one is required to put one’s right hand on a bible while taking an oath.
The scripture you refer to in Genesis and Moses is—
14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
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 (Gen 3:14-15).
It is obvious from verse 14 that the LORD is speaking to Satan, typified by the serpent, and cursing him for tempting Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit. The Lord specifies Satan’s (the serpent’s) punishment in verses 14 and 15, and the punishments for Eve and Adam are listed in verses 16 and 17. In verse 15 the Hebrew word for bruise is shuwph, which can be translated into English as either bruise or crush. The enmity that the Lord specifies is the enmity between Satan and Eve, and between the seed of Satan and the seed of Eve. We may take the “seed of Satan” to be the followers of Satan, as being only a spirit, he has no literal seed. But the “seed of the woman” refers specifically to the Lord, Jesus Christ. And the enmity spoken of could never result in a tit for tat encounter, as bruise against bruise, but in the dominance of the Savior over the adversary. Therefore, the phrase directed at Satan that the seed of the woman should bruise his head should be rendered as it shall crush they head. Thus the greatest effort of Satan will only be able to bruise the heal of Savior, whereas the Savior shall crush the head of the evil one.