Satan Vanquished: Romans 16:20

Satan vanquished Trajan

13) Rom 16:20: This verse consists of a promise, rather than a prayer or a benediction.[1]

The name Satan derives from the Hebrew verb which means “to accuse,” “to be an adversary,” and “to slander” (satan) (Ps 38:20; Ps 71:13; Zech 3:1–2).[2]

In keeping with his name, the devil continually accuses us before God (Rev 12:10).[3]

However, we serve “the God of peace.” Ultimately, division within the church comes from the devil (2 Cor 11:3–4; Jude 17–25). To achieve harmony among God’s people, we must partner with the Lord and with each other to deal decisively with Satan (Luke 10:17–20; Eph 6:10–18).[4]

This reference to Gen 3:15 alludes to the final end-time victory when God will throw the devil and his seed into the lake of fire (Rev 20:10, 14–15).[5]

The metaphor of crushing Satan under foot fits well with Roman victory parades. Coins  from shortly after Paul’s era depict the victorious emperor Trajan (98–117 AD) treading upon his vanquished enemies.[6]



D-Day during World War II provides a good illustration of inaugurated eschatology,  the concept that the kingdom of God has come, is here, and has not yet come. We celebrate the anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 1944 as the decisive battle of WWII.

However, not until May 8, 1945 did Germany declare defeat.  In the interim, soldiers engaged in battle—with many losing their lives—despite the certainty of the outcome.

For example, the Nazi regime executed the great German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer on April 9, 1945, one month before the war ended.

“It has been accomplished” (John 19:28–30), yet we still encounter warfare. The kingdom of God in all its fullness shall not arrive until Christ returns (Rev 21:1–7). As members of God’s church, the Lord calls us to continually work toward a restoration of the conditions that existed in Eden prior to the fall (Gen 1:26–28, 31; Gen 2:8–15; 1 Cor 15:54–58).

Image via Wikimedia Commons


Read Rom 16:20.  Why do we still experience great difficulties? When will the curse upon the serpent be completely fulfilled? What does God call you to do until that occurs?




Go to Chapter 8: Pain and Desire (Genesis 3:16, 20)

[Related posts include Made in the Image of God (Gen 1:26 cont.); Stewards of the Earth (Gen 1:26 cont.); Male and Female He Created Them (Gen 1:27); The Blessing of Fruitfulness (Gen 1:28); God Evaluates His Creation (Gen 1:31); A Well-Watered Garden (Gen 2:8–14); The Holy Mountain of God (Rev 21:18–22:3); Serving and Keeping (Gen 2:15); Serpents in the Ancient Near East (Gen 3:1); A World-Altering Conversation (Gen 3:2–5); God Curses the Serpent (Gen 3:14); The First Good News (Gen 3:15); The Death of God (John 19:28–30); God Rends the Barrier (Matt 27:50–51); The Resurrection of the Righteous (Matt 27:51–53); Victory over Death (1 Cor 15:53–55); The Armies in Heaven (Rev 19:14); Striking the Nations (Rev 19:15); and Cast into the Inferno (Rev 19:20–21)]

[Click here to go to Chapter 7: The Seed of the Serpent and the Seed of the Woman (Genesis 3:14–15)]


[1]Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, 2:803.

[2] Victor P. Hamilton, “Satan,” ABD 5:985–9, 985.

[3]James D. G. Dunn, Romans 9–16 (WBC; Dallas: Word, 1998), 905.

[4]Ben Witherington III and Darlene Hyatt, Paul’s Letter to the Romans: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004), 398.

[5]Douglas Moo J., The Epistle to the Romans (NICNT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 932–3.

[6]Wikimedia Commons,