6. What did Jehovah promise, but what did he not reveal?
6 With the very first prophecy, Jehovah promised that a certain “offspring” would crush the serpent. (Read Genesis 3:15.) However, the identities of that offspring and the offspring of the serpent were not revealed at that time. In fact, Jehovah did not shed more light on such details for some 2,000 years.*
7. Why was Abraham chosen, and what key lesson do we learn from this?
7 Eventually, Jehovah chose Abraham as the one through whom the promised offspring would come. Abraham was chosen because he “listened to [Jehovah’s] voice.” (Gen. 22:18) We learn a key lesson from that fact—Jehovah reveals his purpose only to those who have a reverential fear of him.—Read Psalm 25:14.
8, 9. What facts about the promised offspring did Jehovah reveal to Abraham and Jacob?
8 When speaking to his friend Abraham through an angel, Jehovah for the first time revealed this vital fact about the promised offspring: He would be human. (Gen. 22:15-17; Jas. 2:23) But how would this human crush the serpent? Who was the serpent? Later revelations would shed light on those questions.
9 Jehovah determined that the promised offspring would come through Abraham’s grandson Jacob, a man who displayed great faith in God. (Gen. 28:13-22) By means of Jacob, Jehovah disclosed that the Promised One would be a descendant of Jacob’s son Judah. Jacob prophesied that this descendant of Judah would receive a “scepter,” a rod symbolizing royal authority, and that to this one ‘the obedience of the peoples would belong.’ (Gen. 49:1, 10) With that pronouncement, Jehovah indicated that the Promised One would become a ruler, a king.
10, 11. Why did Jehovah reveal his purpose to David and Daniel?
10 Some 650 years after Judah’s day, Jehovah revealed more about his purpose to King David, a descendant of Judah. Jehovah described David as “a man agreeable to his heart.” (1 Sam. 13:14; 17:12; Acts 13:22) Because David had a reverential fear of God, Jehovah chose to make a covenant with him, promising him that one of his descendants would rule forever.—2 Sam. 7:8, 12-16.
11 About 500 years later, Jehovah used the prophet Daniel to disclose the exact year when this Anointed One, or Messiah, would appear on earth. (Dan. 9:25) Jehovah considered Daniel to be “someone very precious.” Why? Because Daniel deeply respected Jehovah and served him continually.—Dan. 6:16; 9:22, 23.
12 Even though Jehovah used such faithful prophets as Daniel to record dozens of details about the promised offspring, the Messiah, it was not yet Jehovah’s time for his servants to understand the full significance of what he inspired them to write. For example, after being given a vision involving the establishment of God’s Kingdom, Daniel was told to seal up the prophecy until the time appointed by Jehovah. At that future time, true knowledge would “become abundant.”—Dan. 12:4.
Jesus Sheds Light on God’s Purpose
13. (a) Who was the promised offspring? (b) How did Jesus shed light on the prophecy recorded at Genesis 3:15?
13 Jehovah clearly identified Jesus as the promised offspring, the descendant of David who would rule as King. (Luke 1:30-33; 3:21, 22) When Jesus began his ministry, it was as if the sun rose on mankind’s knowledge about God’s purpose. (Matt. 4:13-17) For instance, Jesus removed any doubt about the identity of “the serpent” mentioned at Genesis 3:14, 15, calling the Devil “a murderer” and “the father of the lie.” (John 8:44) In the revelation that he gave to John, Jesus identified “the original serpent” as “the one called Devil and Satan.”* (Read Revelation 1:1; 12:9.) In that same revelation, Jesus showed how he—the promised offspring—will finally fulfill the prophecy given in Eden and crush Satan out of existence.—Rev. 20:7-10.
For instance, Jesus removed any doubt about the identity of “the serpent” mentioned at Genesis 3:14, 15, calling the Devil “a murderer” and “the father of the lie.” (John 8:44) In the revelation that he gave to John, Jesus identified “the original serpent” as “the one called Devil and Satan.”* (Read Revelation 1:1; 12:9.) In that same revelation, Jesus showed how he—the promised offspring—will finally fulfill the prophecy given in Eden and crush Satan out of existence.—Rev. 20:7-10.