God made promises to Abraham (Gen.12:1-3, 17:7) & his’ Descendant/The Seed‘ (Christ, the Messiah was coming from Abraham’s lineage), but the Jews stumbled on this (Isaiah 28:16, Rom. 9:33), they misinterpreted it & took it the blessings were just for all Abraham’s descendants in the flesh, Israelites. Sadly many Jews still believe that today!
In the Old Testament the Hebrew word H2233 Zera, = “seed” is a singular noun that can also mean offspring. Many modern bibles translate or change the Hebrew word “seed” as “descendants,” “children,” (plural only). This makes it even more difficult to understand, altering the scriptures & the doctrine. To know if ‘seed’ has singular or plural meaning we need to read in context. In Greek there are distinct words for seed (spermati) & seeds (spermasin).
In Gen.3:15 & 4:25 said “and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” & 4: “25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.” These passages are using the word seed as singular, for one person alone.
Same in 2 Samuel 7:12 God’s word to King David “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.”
The apostle Paul, was a Jew & also a pharisee who knew well the Law Phil.3:5-8 (who from early age studied the Old Testament under the great Pharisaic teacher, Gamaliel), & who persecuted the church but later had an encounter with Jesus (Acts 9:4). He explains about the ‘Seed’ of Abraham (Gal.3:16) & also does the apostle Peter, another Jew Acts 3:24-26.
The SEED of Abraham can have 3 meanings, but most importantly, according with the Scriptures only 2 of these have to do with the ‘Promise‘ made to Abraham:
1/ Jesus Christ is the Promised ‘Seed of Abraham‘ who gives eternal life, the blessings & the promise of the Holy Spirit! to those who believe in Him! “. . that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith“. Gal 6: 14. – All the nations would be blessed in Him.
“And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 and IN thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. Gen.22:15-18
16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and his Seed. He does not say, “and to seeds,” meaning many, but “and to your Seed,” meaning one, who is Christ.. . . 18 For if the inheritance comes from the law, it no longer comes from the promise. But God gave it to Abraham through a promise.
19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made. . .. Galatians 3:16-19
The seed of Abraham means also the believers justified by FAITH in the promised Seed, Jesus the Messiah. From that promise made to Abraham, hundreds of years later came about 2 covenants, the old one (provisional) & the new one. But the promise & initial plan never changed:
a/ Believers in Messiah/The Seed, since the beginning, Jews & gentiles (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth were gentiles), & through out the Old Covenant (“The Lord made NOT this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day” Deut.5:1-3). All the believers in the Old Covenant that were justified by faith before Messiah’s coming Hebrew 11.
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” vs.13. “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise” vs. 39. And they had remission of their sins by the blood of innocent animals (Hebrew 9). But this was a provisional, imperfect covenant, until Jesus the perfect sacrifice (the Seed) should come.
b/ Believers (Jews & gentiles) in the New Covenant, the ones born again of the Spirit of God by faith in Jesus Christ, that through Jesus inherit the promises & blessings, because we all are one in Him. Once believers are united to Christ by faith they form one body with Him & He is the head of that body. We are not Jew not gentiles anymore, but a new creature. The body of Christ, the Church.
The Old Testament faith looked forward to a future event, (the Seed, the Messiah) the Lamb of God, which God progressively revealed more and more, until Jesus finally came. Our faith today looks back on a past event from 2,000 years ago. – God’s provision on our behalf, which the world now knows to be the same Messiah, Jesus’ death on the cross. Old Testament believers were not permanently indwelled by the Holy Spirit as believers today, this began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2 ). God instituted the church on that day, & those who believed in Jesus became spiritually born again. Salvation has always been a matter of receiving God’s provision in belief (by faith).
6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse:. . .12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. . . .
Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Gal. 3:6-29
3/ And Abraham’s descendants in the flesh, which means the physical seed :
‘They answered Him “We are Abraham’s seed and have never been in bondage to anyone. Why do You say, ‘You shall be set free’? . . . 37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. . . 39 They answered Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works (G2041= Deeds, doing, occupation, business) of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me,. . 41 You are doing the works of your father. Then they said to Him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father: God.. . Jesus said to them. .You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.“ John 8:33-47.
Jesus recognized these Jews were the physical seed of Abraham, but spiritually they were children of the devil because they didn’t received Him & wanted to kill Him.
All of Abraham’s descendants are not necessarily the children of God which receive the promises made to Abraham, because God’s children are not of the flesh. It is a spiritual family. Abraham believed God, that’s the reason he is called the father of Faith. Those Jews that didn’t believe Christ were not children of faith, nor children of God.
9.Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. . . For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgressionor the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Romans 4:9-16
6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. Roman 9:6-8
“30 What shall we say then? The Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith, 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, did not attain the law of righteousness. 32 Why not? Because they did not seek it by faith, but by the works of the law. For they stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:
People who don’t accept that Jesus Christ is ‘the Seed’ according to the Scriptures, or don’t want to accept that a seed can also be spiritual & not only physical, then they will use extra biblical doctrines to explain it. A small doctrinal error can have a big effect on other doctrines, like a domino effect.
Same as with Adam & Eve we all choose whom to believe, or God or the serpent. “. . then choose today whom you will serve, . . . Yet as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Jos.24:15
One teaching that is becoming popular among some religious groups today (with some variations) is the heresy of the ‘Serpent Seed‘ doctrine. This teaching twists Gen.3:15 to contradict the Word of God, e.g. Gen.4:1 “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said. .” And it teaches that Eve mated with the serpent (Satan), to produce Cain. This teachings appeared in early Gnostic writings such as the Gospel of Philip (c. 350); & it is important to note this doctrine was explicitly rejected as heresy by Irenaeus (c. 180) and later by mainstream Christian theologians.
Rabbi of Reform Judaism, David Max Eichorn in one of his book traces the origin of this teaching back to early Jewish Midrashic texts and identifies many rabbis who taught that Cain was the son of the union between the serpent and Eve. This doctrine is also found in the Talmud (circa 400-500 AD Talmud Bavli aka Babylonian Talmud: Yebamoth 103a, Abodah Zarah 22b, etc) as well as in Kabbalah (Rabbinic Jewish mysticism’s text Zohar).
So please, be aware of any so called ‘Christian’ teachers propagating this doctrine, and for your sake, the sake of your family & those who listen to you, avoid them Romans 16:17, avoid Jewish fables Titus 1:14 , ‘avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law‘ Titus 3:9-11, & have not fellowship with evil works or that are contrary to the teachings of Christ 2 John 1:9-11.
You can see more about the Serpent Seed :
Short Video – Serpent Seed Examined