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I am researching prophecies about the virgin birth of Jesus in the Old Testament and am currently trying to find answers on specific issues.

Genesis 16:10; 24:60; 4:25; Leviticus 22:13; 1 Samuel 2:20-21.

The above verses talk about women and their "seed". How do these verses and prophecies agree with the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 if this verse refers to the virgin birth?

And how does the "seed of the woman" in Genesis 3:15 differ from the 'seed of' the women mentioned in all the other Old Testament verses?

Can anyone enlighten me as to how these verses fit together?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Geremia, curiousdannii, guest37, Lee Woofenden, David Stratton Nov 23 '17 at 0:33

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  • it is my understanding that seed of the women or their seed refers to children/posterity. With this understanding, I don't understand how these scriptures conflict. This answer may change depending on bible version and denomination, can you specify what view you are looking for? – depperm Nov 16 '17 at 14:58
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    Why would "the woman's seed" be incompatible with the virgin birth? – Geremia Nov 16 '17 at 15:10
  • I believe the question is: if Gen 3:15 is a prophecy of the virgin birth, and "seed of the woman" implies the virgin birth, how don't other instances of the 'seed' of women elsewhere prove virgin conception or birth in their cases. I don't see a need to narrow the question, as it's more of a linguistic or terminological question than anything else ('this phrase appears elsewhere'). I don't quite have time I'd need right now, but I may have a try at answering your question later, @Artemis. – Sola Gratia Nov 16 '17 at 16:04
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    When Genesis 3:15 is understood christologically, it is a statement that the Redeemer would be the offspring of a woman. It is only in retrospect that that the woman turned out to be a virgin. – Pilgrim Nov 16 '17 at 19:20
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Women and their seed is merely a reference to the women's offspring, children, and/or posterity. 1

Gen 16:10 is in reference to Sarah's descendants being unnumerable

Gen 24:60 Rebekah's descendants will possess the gate of those that hate them

Gen 4:25 talks about Seth being another son since Cain slew Abel

Lev 22:13 mentions a priest's widowed daughter without a child

1 Sam 2:20 Elkanah and his wife will be blessed with children as they have prayed them

Gen 3:15 is about enmity between Eve's descendants and Satan's descendants/followers

None of these prophecies explicitly refer to the virgin birth. If it is your understanding that it does, none of the other references agree or disagree, as they are about different people.

1 http://biblehub.com/hebrew/2233.htm

  • Perhaps this is a matter of denominational viewpoint, but I don't think Eve is generally recognized as the woman described in Gen. 3:15, since Eve was one of those followers of Satan. Rather, the prophecy's fulfillment is found in Revelation 12, where the woman is symbolic of God's Kingdom. – 4castle Nov 20 '17 at 6:46
  • that may be, my perspective is from the LDS viewpoint, but I didn't think that verse had other interpretations – depperm Nov 20 '17 at 13:07
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There are a number of different aspects intertwined in your question and I cannot answer all of those aspects together, but I hope that by making one point clear that it will make others clear also.

Green’s Interlinear Hebrew and Young’s Literal translation agree on the English translation of the Masoretic text of Genesis 3:15 (Young always uses a present tense as a literality) :

And enmity will I set/I set between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed He will/doth bruise you the head. And you shall/dost bruise him the heel.

‘Seed’ here is singular. Paul points out that ‘seed’ can be singular in Galatians 3:16 :

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

So also in Genesis is it said by God to the Serpent of the future seed of the woman :

He (singular) shall bruise thy head. And thou shalt bruise his heel.

Here, a rearrangement is prophesied by God. For mankind had fallen under the Serpent by transgression. The Serpent had gained control by deceiving the woman, who in turn caused the man to transgress and they both had fallen under the power of the Serpent. Cast out of Eden they were to till the cursed ground until they died and were buried in it.

But in the promised rearrangement, the seed (singular) would be above the Serpent. From above, he would bruise the head. Retaliating, the Serpent would only be able to bruise the heel of the one above him.

Then how the rearrangement ?

In subsequent prophecies, more would be revealed. But for the time being that was all that was revealed to Adam and to Eve (and to the Serpent). But it was enough for Adam to name his wife - Eve, in recognition that she would be the mother of all living. That is, all who truly live.

She would also be the mother of all the seed of Adam, but that is a different matter.

From Eve there was promised, by God himself, a seed (singular) through whom would be a rearrangement that would overcome all that had transpired in Eden. That which the Serpent had done, that which the woman had done and that which Adam had done - all would be resolved by the coming seed.

Just how that seed would come - and just how that rearrangement would be accomplished - are made clearer in subsequent revelations from God. It was not yet revealed how a seed would come who would not be subject to the consequences of Eden. How could it be possible ? was a question that could not - then - be answered.

I hope that this clarifies just one aspect of the research in which you are engaged.

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Seed, like at Gen. 3:15 or 16:10, etc in Hebrew is a masculine noun. In our typical human knowledge, the implication is the male has the seed and the woman brings forth children; hence the idea that the seed simply means descendants in a normal way, even though it speaks of her seed.

The uniqueness of the word as given to the woman at Gen. 3:16 is clarified first with Isaiah's 7:14 and amplified at Paul's Gal. 3:15.

Isaiah prophecies of a virgin (or young woman) giving birth. It's no sign for a woman per se to give birth. It was and had to be a virgin to qualify as a sign from God. Yet, we know seed is the masculine noun. Again, the implication of it is from a man, but no, it is a virgin! Huh? How?

Paul explains it that the seed of Gen. 3:15 is singular, referring to one Christ Jesus. It is not her descendants, her seed, but still the masculine noun seed.

So, we have God saying to the woman her seed will bruise the serpent, but there is no masculine participant for the singular seed that Paul details, rather it is the virgin who brought forth, and we know that "overshadowing" of the Holy Spirit seed as Christ Jesus.

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/2233.htm

https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Hebrew/Nouns

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