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Galatians 3:16 – The Seed which is Christ

04-07-2022 - Posted by Hans

Now to Abraham the promises were declared, and to his Seed. He is not saying “And to seeds”, as of many, but as of One: and to “your Seed”, which is Christ.

God has repeated the promise to Abraham several times and perhaps that is why Paul speaks of “the promises” this time (cf. 17:22). Many have stumbled over Paul’s argument in this verse. For is it not linguistically clear that “seed” is a collective concept and, like our word “offspring” (=singular) can have a plural meaning? Of course, Paul was also aware of this phenomenon. For example, in Romans 4:18, he explains that Abraham’s seed includes “many nations.” But where we often only think in straight, solid lines (logical-causal), the Bible also shows cross connections (associative). That “the seed” is singular suggests that it is about one. This illustrates (not: proves!) Paul’s argument.

The seed” in the deepest sense refers to the One who was to come (cf. “the seed of the woman” in Gen.3:15). Abraham’s seed is that one, beloved son who was sacrificed on the mountain of Moriah but on the third day (Gen.22:4) was restored from among the dead (cf. Heb.11:18,19). Indeed, Isaac points forward  to “Jesus Christ… the Son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1).