EXEGESIS - GENESIS.
"He did not dare to approach the man because of his strength, but addressed himself to the woman as the weaker, whilst she was still a virgin ... By the virgin Eve death ensued. By the Virgin, or rather from the Virgin, must come forth life: that as the serpent deceived the one, so Gabriel might bear the good tidings to the other."*
"And the Lord God said to the serpent... I will put enmities between thee and the woman and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel." -- iii. 14, 15.
The following observations are borrowed in brief from Fr. Harper: --
"Three Hebrew codices have certainly the feminine here (as ipsa in the Vulgate); five others are dubious. Also one Chaldaean Codex -- and it is quoted in the same form by Maiemonides.
S. Ambrose has the received reading of the Vulgate:--"+
"...et semen mulieris: Ipsa tibi observabit caput, et tu illius calcaneum."
Prudentius from Spain, writes: --
"Auctor et ipse coluber
And Claudius Marius Victor, a native of Marseilles, who wrote, about A.D. 426, a curious sort of commentary on the book of Genesis, in verse: --
"...Pedibus repes et pectore prono,
S. Augustine uniformly quotes in the same way, without any hint as to the reading being new or doubtful.|| He had a great predilection for the works of S. Cyprian, who adopts the masculine reading: yet, notwithstanding this, he never makes any explanation or apology, nor suggests any doubt, but uses what is now the received text as a matter of course.