Genesis 6:4

There were giants in the earth in those days;

Tina wrote:

I have never heard of whatever this false seed is. They were sinners born and bred. Also, I believe at the great white throne judgment, there will be tares there. That is when all is said and done. Just my thoughts. Maybe I am wrong.
Thanks for listening.


Dear Tina,
God bless you, and thank you for writing. The Bible is the record of God's Purpose of The Ages, a record that reveals a spiritual foe of great power and a conflict that involves two seeds, as indicated in the primeval prophecy of Genesis 3:

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 (Gen. 3:15).

It is evident that a place must be found for this subject of The Seed.

Our first investigation must be into the words employed. We observe that the word seed, as found in the A.V., is a translation of either the Hebrew words zera or perudoth or of the Greek words spermasporosspora, or speiro. The word perudoth, "The seed is rotten under their clods" (Joel 1:17), need not detain us; it is derived from the Hebrew word parad, "to be separated or scattered," and does not occur elsewhere. The word zera is a word that we must consider both in its primitive meaning and usage. This word is derived from zara, "to spread or scatter," as in Zechariah 10:9, "I will sow them among the people." In two passages, zera is translated as "child" (Lev. 22:13; 1 Sam. 1:11), but the most frequent translation of the word is "seed." It enters into the composition of the name Jezreel, "sown of God" (Hos. 1:4).

The word seed is used in the Scriptures of man, of beast, and of plant, and indicates either the germ of life, secreted in animals from the blood, or their progeny, offspring, or fruit. We meet the word seed in the first chapter of Genesis, where the substantive occurs six times, and the participle, translated bearing and yielding in relation to seed, three times. "The herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself" (Gen. 1:11). In the first case, this is a statement of a material fact, but the record of Genesis 1 has more in it than the record of material creation. Paul's use of Genesis 1:2-3 in 2 Corinthians 4:6, "For God, Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts," is an indication that this record sub-serves a spiritual purpose. We are therefore prepared to find that what is said of the seed of herb and fruit tree will also be true of the seed in its highest and spiritual sense. Three items call for notice.

  1. The expression yielding seed, or as it is literally, seeding seed, brings before us the initial fact that a succession, a progeny, is in view.

  2. The statement after its kind assures us that the continuance or succession preserves its relationship and likeness to the parent seed. The intermixture is apparently disallowed.

  3. Whose seed is in itself further impresses us with the bounds that are set and which are not to be transgressed.

These features are true of plants and of animals, but when we learn, as we shall when reading Genesis 3:15, that there is One, "The Seed of the woman," Who is in conflict with another seed, the seed of the serpent, these statements take upon themselves a deeper and fuller significance.

The power and purpose of a seed to continue the line and have successors or progeny and its relation to the creation of man, made for a little lower than the angels, should be noted. So far as we know, angels are separate creations; they neither marry nor are given in marriage and have no seed. Adam, by his creation, was allied to the animal world in that he could be the father of the succeeding race and so was distinguished from the angelic world where progeny is unknown. In this, the Scripture suggests that he was a figure of Him that was to come, the Second Man, and the Last Adam, Who in a higher and spiritual sense was also to "sow His seed." Unlike the angels, all men are derived from a common ancestor, all are made of one blood, and the teaching of Romans 5 shows that Adam and Christ stand as type and anti-type and that as by one man's disobedience, many were constituted sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be constituted "righteous," mankind being organically one as the angels never could be. When Seth was born, his mother "called his name Seth, for God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew" (Gen. 4:25). Here we have the attack upon the true seed, its preservation, and a hint of the doctrine of Substitution.

The Ark was prepared by Noah at the command of God with the express purpose "to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth" (Gen. 7:3), and the destruction of all flesh by the flood is intimately connected with the abnormal alliance of the sons of God, the daughters of men, and their resulting hybrid progeny, the seed of the serpent in fact. With the true seed thus preserved, the covenant of Genesis 9:9 was made. The next reference to a seed is that of Genesis 12:7, where the promise of God to Abraham is expressed in one sentence: "Unto thy seed will I give this land."

The history of the Bible is largely that of the conflict between two seeds and the narrowing line through which the true seed came. In the time of Noah, it was indicated that through the line of Shem, the seed should come, and of the descendants of Shem, the family of Abraham was chosen. Ishmael is passed by, and Isaac is chosen. Esau is set aside, and Jacob is chosen. Of the sons of Jacob, Judah is chosen, and of Judah, came the family of David and so on unto the birth of Christ at Bethlehem. We are, however, conscious that in thus stating the case, we have narrowed our survey down to One, namely Christ, whereas it is perfectly clear from Scripture that the seed of Abraham was to be multiplied as the stars of heaven or as the sand of the seashore. We must return accordingly to Genesis 3, where the great prophecy concerning the Seed of the Woman is recorded and consider it more closely.

It is, however, impossible to hope to arrive at any clear understanding of the import of Genesis 3:15 if we do not see its relation with the surrounding context. We must go back at least to Genesis 2:18-20 where we read that the animal creation was caused to pass before Adam, who named them all, yet adds the passage For Adam there was not found a help meet for him. Common and uncritical usage has introduced into our language the word helpmeet, which, first being improperly hyphened, was then taken to mean help-mate. This, however, does not fully express the truth intended. True, the wife is a help-mate, but the intention of Genesis 2:18 goes deeper. The Hebrew reads ezer "help," ki "as," and neged" the front part, the front of a thing next to the speaker, before, in the presence of, over against." The LXX translates these words, once by kat auton "according to him" (Gen. 2:18), and homoios auto "like to himself" (Gen. 2:20). Here, it is insisted that the principle already enunciated after its kind operates in the matter of man and marriage. The process whereby the woman was brought to man illustrates the principle whose seed is in itself.

Man, by his constitution, is called a being that breathes. God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul" (Gen. 2:7); "all flesh, wherein is the breath of life" (Gen. 7:15). The word translated "rib" is translated as chamber on two occasions, and may mean a cell, and in the LXX is rendered by the word pleura and is associated with the lungs or breathing. The woman was evidently, like the seed in the plant, after its kind. Adam looked upon the woman brought to him as a help meet and said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh." Jacobs, in the Anthologia Palatina, shows that the Greek word pleura was used for a wife. The progeny of such a pair must be unmixed and after its kind.

Another matter of importance is the evident relation of Genesis 2:25 with Gen. 3:1. In both verses, the Hebrew word arom is found. In Genesis 2:25 it is translated as "naked." The spelling of the word can be shown in English as arohm, and in Gen. 3:1, where it is translated as "subtil," the spelling of the word can be shown in English as aroom. In the first occurrence, the primitive meaning of nudity is retained; in the second occurrence, the secondary meaning of being cunning or crafty in a bad sense is intended. The figure of the seed is however not quite out of mind, although to the modern and Western reader, there is nothing to call up the idea of seed. When the word translated "naked" takes the feminine form in the plural aremah, it is then translated as "a heap of corn" (Ruth 3:7), and this was because the corn was naked or stripped of husk and straw, the threshing being done on the spot. To this, the apostle refers to 1 Corinthians 15:37. Speaking of the present mortal body and of the resurrection body, he says, "bare grain." Here, the word translated is gymnos "naked, and is so translated in connection with Resurrection in 2 Corinthians 5:3 "we shall not be found naked." Adam and his wife were bare grain stripped of all that is suggested by chaff or husk. Bare or naked grain was ready for sowing, ready to be fruitful and multiply. We are reminded in 1 Corinthians 15:37-45, moreover, that to every seed, its own body is as true in the spiritual relation of Resurrection as it is in the physical creation. The body of the believer, like the body of Adam, is at first natural, and afterward in Resurrection spiritual, for there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. The natural body is that which we receive from the first man, Adam; the spiritual body we receive from the second Man, the Lord from heaven, the last Adam. This associates the believer with Adam and with Christ, and the two bodies that are in view are embraced in the figure of the image.

As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly (1 Cor. 15:49).

The overreaching subtlety of the serpent, while plunging man into sin and death, opened the door for The Redemptive Purposes of God to operate, and symbolically, man was clothed upon before being expelled from the garden (Gen. 3:21). It is to be noted with worship and wonder that the Hebrew word translated "skin" is Or, and while difficult to show in English letters, differs from the word "naked" in the original only by the omission of the final M. The word "skin" is in the Hebrew a derivative of the word "naked." Before this clothing of the nakedness of the man and his wife took place, the promise of the Coming Seed is given:

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 (Gen. 3:15).

With the light we have received in this preparatory study, let us approach this great central prophecy with chastened hearts, yet with exultant spirits, for here lies enshrined the purpose of the ages, its conflict, and its ultimate triumph.

The Evident Importance of The Seed in the Unfolding Purpose

We have seen by the examination of Genesis 1 to 3 that The Seed, its purity, its preservation, and its enemies therein foreshadowed, justifies the title that has been given to these early chapters of revelation, The Seed Plot of all Scripture. If this be admitted, it will be further acknowledged that lying at the very center of the purpose there foreshadowed is the dual prophecy concerning the Seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent (Gen. 3:15) and that any attempt to understand or explain The Purpose of The Ages that fails to give a prominent place to this prophecy, must necessarily be deficient and possibly misleading.

Before concentrating upon the actual terms of this prophecy in germ, let us take a large view. The last of the prophets is Malachi, and he it is points back to Genesis 2 and 3, and by so doing, brings the whole of the Old Testament revelation concerning The Seed to a completion. When we open the New Testament, we are confronted with a genealogy, The Book of the Generation of Jesus Christ as the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, and in a peculiar sense, the Son of a woman, Who is nevertheless Emmanuel God with us, and on the last page of the New Testament we read of Him Who is both the Root as well as the Offspring of David. We have, therefore Old Testament and New Testament linked together as prophecy and fulfillment by these four passages.

A Genesis 1 to 3. The Seed of the Woman.

B Malachi 2:10-16. The Seed of God.

A Matthew 1. The Son of the Virgin. Emmanuel.

B Revelation 22:16. The Root and Offspring of David.

Let us examine the passage in Malachi. The A.V. reads in Malachi 2:15, "a godly seed," but in the margin informs the reader that the Hebrew reads "a seed of God." When the Old Testament writer wished to speak of the godly, he used the Hebrew chasid, a fitting word, meaning one who has received grace and so should be gracious. Here, in Malachi, something deeper is intended, and Elohim should be translated as God in Mal. 2:15, as it is in the six other passages where it occurs in Malachi. Malachi reproves the priests and the people, and the first two chapters are devoted to this dual theme. It would take us too far afield to exhibit the complete structure of Malachi 1 and 2, but a brief outline of Malachi 2:10-16 will enable the reader to see the unity of the theme, and the essential features will be thrown into prominence.

Malachi 2:10-16

A  Mal. 2:10 One Father. One God.

a  Mal. 2:10. Covenant of fathers.

b  Mal. 2:11. Treacherous dealing.

B  Mal. 2:11 The daughter of a strange god.

A  Mal. 2:15 One made. Wherefore One?

Treacherous dealing.

Covenant of marriage.

Mal. 2:15 A seed of God.

Israel's departure from their God, the dishonoring of the Covenant, the profaning of the holiness of The Lord, is made to impinge upon marriage with the daughter of a strange god, even as the purpose of God both at the creation of Man and afterward in the separating laws of Israel indicates that He sought a seed of God. The law forbidding the sowing of the "mingled seed" (Lev. 19:19) had more in it than good husbandry, and its bearing upon the peculiar character of Israel is seen in Ezra 9:2 and the remainder of the Book, where great grief is manifested at "the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands." Nehemiah also spoke severely concerning this same act, instancing Solomon's sin in these things ... in marrying strange wives (Neh. 13:23-27).

In the prophecy of Daniel, we see very clearly that the strange god will be associated with the blasphemous beast of the time of the end (Dan. 11:39), and in the forecast of Gentile dominion, Daniel reveals that at the time of the end, some "shall mingle themselves with the seed of men" (Dan. 2:43), which suggests that as it was in the days of Noah so shall it be at the time of the end. To make the people of Israel aware of their profanation, the prophet Malachi leads them back to Genesis 2: Did not He make one? Both the record of Genesis 2:18-25 and the comment of The Saviour in Matthew 19:4-6 stress the fact that to Adam, God gave one wife. Yet, continued the prophet, this limitation was not due to any deficiency; He had the residue of the spirit (or breath) and could have provided Adam with a number of wives had He so intended. At marriage, man and wife become one flesh, and God designs this holy unity to further His purpose; He sought thereby a seed of God. This fact will become more evident when we examine the teaching of Scripture concerning the seed of the serpent.

Coming to the genealogy of Matthew 1, we observe that it is the Book of the Generations of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, the Son of Mary, Emmanuel, meaning God with us. In that genealogy, there is a name that strikes us; it is Zorobabel. We have already seen that the Hebrew word for "seed" is zera, and so Zorobabel, or Zerubbabel as it is written in the Old Testament, speaks either of the seed, or the shoot of Babel or Confusion, or of those who were scattered in Babylon. It is arresting, whatever its primary meaning may be, for another reason, and that is its place in the genealogy found in Luke 3. Zerubbabel is called the son of Shealtiel or Salathiel (Ezra 3:2; Ezra 3:8; Hag. 1:1; Matt. 1:12; Luke 3:27), but in 1 Chronicles 3:19, he is called the son of Pedaiah, the brother of Salathiel (1 Chron. 3:17-18).

We may not know exactly what occurred, but something of importance happened, we gather by consulting the genealogy given in Luke 3. There, we read once more of Zorobabel and Salathiel (Luke 3:27). At first, one may see nothing remarkable in this fact. Are not Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David found in both Genealogies? Why should not these two men figure in both? The answer is that David had two sons, Solomon and Nathan. The line that is pursued in Matthew's genealogy is that through Solomon, but the line pursued by Luke is that through Nathan. Now, no man can be the son of his own uncle, and consequently, when we read in Luke that Salathiel was the son of Neri who was in direct descent from Nathan, we must understand the expression to mean son in law and this is substantiated by examination of the passage.

Jesus Himself began to be about thirty years of age, being legally reckoned (nomizo) the son of Joseph, who in his turn was legally reckoned the son of Heli. Heli was the father of Mary (Doctor John Lightfoot quoting Hieros Chagigah), and Joseph, the son of Jacob (Matt. 1:16), became his son by marriage. There is, however, more in this genealogy than meets the eye. To illustrate our point, let us turn back to Genesis 36. It is clear from Gen. 36:24-25 that Anah was a man. He fed his father's asses and was the father of Aholibamah, his daughter. With this knowledge, let us read Genesis 36:2. Aholibamah, the daughter of Anah, the daughter of Zibeon.

This reads, on the surface, as though Anah, a man, is called the daughter of Zibeon. The truth is, of course, that the genealogy should read that Aholibamah was the daughter of her father Anah, and so Aholibamah was also the daughter of Zibeon, not that her father Anah was the daughter of Zibeon. So, when we read in the genealogy of the Saviour, the words "which was the son of" that recur throughout; they refer always to Christ.

Jesus (as was legally reckoned) the son of Joseph, and so the son of Heli, and at length the son of Adam and finally the Son of God.

Luke does not teach here that Adam was the son of God; the phrase is a continuous and unbroken succession from Jesus Christ to God His Father, Joseph at one end of the scale and Adam at the other being but human links in the chain. Owing to the failure of Jechoniah, who was written childless, it appears that a marriage took place uniting the line of Zerobabel through Solomon, with the line that descended from Nathan, and so to Mary, the mother of the Christ, the woman's Seed. Both Matthew and Luke speak of the virgin birth of Christ, but this is too solemn a subject to attempt to crowd into a paragraph here.

If we are fully equipped, we must give our attention to the teaching of Scripture regarding the Seed of Abraham, the Seed of David, the bearing of Romans 16:20 upon the prophecy of Genesis 3:15, the purpose of the words relative to the parable of the Sower, "how then will ye know all parables?" (Mark 4:13), and the words of Galatians 3:16 and Gal. 3:29, "Not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ, Then are ye Abraham's seed," but some of these aspects must be omitted in the present survey. 

The Corruption of Man and the Preservation of The Seed

One of the illuminating discoveries that the student of Scripture makes is the fact that at the call of Abraham, we have traversed but eleven chapters of The Book, but in time, have moved halfway from Adam to Christ. There is, at first sight, an element of disproportion in this fact. If we take a chapter as a standard unit, we have the following. There are 939 chapters in the Old Testament, and consequently, eleven chapters form only one-eighty-fifth part of the whole. Yet the time covered by the one-eighty-fifth portion of the Old Testament from the creation of Adam to the birth of Abraham is 2008 years (reckoning Adam as 4004 B.C. and the birth of Abraham to be 1996 B.C., which for the present purpose is near enough to be accepted without dispute). This leaves 1996 years from Abraham to Christ, and as the year 2002 B.C. is exactly halfway between Adam and Christ, it will be seen that it is correct to say that when one reaches the twelfth chapter of Genesis, the record is chronologically halfway through the Old Testament. The apparent disproportion in the record is explained by the purpose that lies behind the historical record.

If it had been the Divine intention to have satisfied the human mind with a scientific explanation of Creation, can we hope that 939 chapters or the whole of the Old Testament would have been sufficient? Had it been the Divine intention to have put on record a history of the world, then inasmuch as there are seventy nations listed in Genesis 10, at least seventy separate Bibles would have been necessary. Nor is this all, even though we have so great a literature of Israel, we are obliged to admit that the half has not been told. In some cases, we have a fairly detailed account of some episode in a family's history; in other cases, the reign of a king is compressed into a few verses. When we become aware that the Bible is concerned with Redemption, and Redemption is concerned with sin and death, then its apparent disproportion suddenly takes new shape, its omissions are readily understood, and the call of Abraham and the history of the chosen people are seen in something of their true light.

Now closely allied with Redemption is The Purpose of God in The Seed, and it is because the channel through which The Seed should come is narrowed down to the line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that the history of Israel becomes the history of the conflict between The Seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. References to The Seed form the link between Adam and Abraham. The attack by Cain upon his brother Abel manifested the enmity that existed between the two seeds, and the birth of Seth was acclaimed with the joyful words, "God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew" (Gen. 4:25). The line of Cain is given in Genesis 4:16-24, a line containing names identical in some cases, and similar in others, to names that are found in the true line through Seth, an indication and a warning, that deception and misdirection are the methods adopted by the Enemy to divert the testimony of the Scriptures away from The True Seed, to the false.

Cain's first child is called Enoch, and so when Jude refers to Enoch, who walked with God, he is careful to speak of him as "the seventh from Adam" (Jude 1:14). The succeeding names in the line of Cain, namely Irad, Methusael, and Lamech who boasted of his prowess and used the phrase sevenfold and seventy and sevenfold, are not unlike the names that occur in Genesis 5, namely Jared, which differs from Irad by one letter, and Methuselah which could easily be confused with Methusael, while Lamech who made no boast like his evil name-sake, nevertheless has this in common, that he lived seven hundred and seventy and seven years. This Lamech had a son, Noah; the other Lamech had two sons, with whom the line of Cain ends.

When the genealogy came to be written as a preface to the Book of the true succession, it reads Adam, Sheth, Enosh (1 Chron. 1:1), and the name of Cain is blotted out of the record, never occurring after Genesis 4, in the remainder of the Old Testament. A son was born to Seth, whom he called Enos, and the Scripture adds as a comment, "Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord" (Gen. 4:26). As the passage stands in the A.V., it would give cause for rejoicing to think that, consequent upon the extinction of the line of Cain and the continuance of the line through Seth, godliness was now established in the earth. It is, however, evident from the early pages of Genesis that men called upon the name of the Lord before the days of Enos and that extreme ungodliness had so developed by the time that Enoch lived as to call for the pronouncement of Judgment by the Lord (Jude 1:15), and the prophecy of the coming Flood, for the name of Enochs son, Methuselah, means "At his death it shall be."

The following notes will make evident that there was something hidden beneath the surface in Genesis 4:26. The LXX inserts the verb elpizo "to hope" and reads as follows: ... "Enos: he hoped to call on the name of the Lord." The translators of the A.V. also were not quite satisfied, for they inserted in the margin the words "Or, to call themselves by the name of the Lord." Now, one may call himself by the name of the Lord for good or for evil reasons, and there is a persistent tradition from early days to show that the Rabbinical interpretation of these words understood them to be evil in intent. The Targum of Onkelos reads: "Then in his days the sons of men desisted from praying in the name of the Lord." The Targum of Jonathan says: "That was the generation in whose days they began to err and to make themselves idols, and surnamed their idols by the name of the Word of the Lord." Rashi reads:

"Then, was there profanation in calling on the name of the Lord," and Maimonides, in a treatise on idolatry, traces its probable origin to the days of Enos.
With this interpretation, The Companion Bible is in entire agreement. To the English reader, there does not appear in the words "began to call" anything that suggests profanity; yet, if masters of the language have consistently represented the passage as so doing, the English reader will naturally desire to become more closely acquainted with the original.

The word translated as "began" is the Hebrew verb chalal, but the idea of beginning is entirely secondary. Chalal primarily means "to perforate or pierce through." Thus, "to wound" Psalm 109:22; Isaiah 53:5. From this primitive meaning comes the derived sense of "laying open, giving access to, and so to profane as one might a sanctuary" (Lev. 19:8), and is used of "profaning seed" (Lev. 21:15). Chalal is translated in the A.V. "be defiled, polluted, profaned, and prostitute," seventy times! The word chalal occurs in Genesis just eight times, and we give the references in order to provide every help possible in arriving at a true understanding of the passage before us:

Gen. 4:26 Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.
Gen. 6:1 When men began to multiply.
Gen. 9:20 Noah began to be an husbandman.
Gen. 10:8 Nimrod ... he began to be a mighty one.
Gen. 11:6 This they begin to do.
Gen. 41:54 The seven years of dearth began to come.
Gen. 44:12 He searched and began at the eldest.
Gen. 49:3-4 Reuben ... then defiledst thou it.
It is not without significance that on the one occasion in Genesis where the verb chalal is translated as "defile," the reference is to Reuben, who committed a defiling sin against his father and lost the excellency of the firstborn's position. Here was a most definite attempt to pollute the seed and is one of many similar attempts recorded in the Book of Genesis. The second reference, Genesis 6:1, is recorded as a preface to the violation of God's will by the sons of God, another attack upon The Seed. Even the innocent record Noah began to be a husbandman is but a preface to his drunkenness and the illegitimate begetting of Canaan (Gen. 9:20-27) (see later in this article), and Nimrod stands as the head of the abomination that is associated with Babylon throughout the entire Word of God.

Genesis 11:6 is also connected with Babylonian rebellion; "this they begin to do" is balanced by what they have imagined to do. The reader will see, therefore, that there is good ground for the suggested translation "began" to profanely call in Genesis 4:26. Eminent and learned men are of the opinion that the word rendered began should be translated began profanely and that the spirit of inspiration has recorded the fact in this place, as being the first public step in that course of audacious impiety which was rapidly manifesting itself, and by which the ambitious and infidel leaders arrogated to themselves the name, prerogatives and attributes of Divinity (Robt. Jamieson D.D.).

The line of Cain might be extinct, but the Enemy of Truth was still active and was preparing the minds of men for the next invasion of humanity and attack upon the purity of The Seed, as revealed in Genesis 6. The next occurrence of the word seed in Genesis is found in chapter 7, where the purpose of the Ark is indicated to "keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth" (Gen. 7:1-3). Something most terrible must have taken place since the days of Enos for so marvelous a provision for the preservation of seed to be called for. That terrible thing was the corruption of man's way upon the earth and the consequent threat of a deluge. Genesis 6 deals with a phenomenon so unnatural that the mind at first turns from it and searches for a more reasonable interpretation than that which lies upon the surface. As this chapter is to the world of Noah and his three sons, what Genesis 3 is to Adam and the entire race, we must spare no pains in our endeavor to understand its teaching. Who and what are the sons of God? In what way could such beings take to themselves wives? and how could such wives bear them children? How are we to understand the word giants? and what is the meaning of the words: And after that in Genesis 6:4? What is the significance of the word perfect when applied to Noah (Gen. 6:9), and what is the intention of the words all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth? (Gen. 6:12). These subjects should be studied by the student of the Bible in the context of the seed of the serpent.

The Preservation of the Seed in Noah

In direct contrast with the prevailing corruption, the patriarch Noah stands out in the record of Genesis 6 as a notable exception.

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Gen. 6:8).

The "wickedness of man was so great in the earth and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart only evil continually" (Gen. 6:5) that we read the extraordinary statement, "And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart" (Gen. 6:6). This word repented challenges us. In what way can God be said to repent? This is not the only occasion when repentance is predicated on The Lord. At the intercession of Moses, "the Lord repented of the evil which He thought to do unto His people" (Exod. 32:14); this repentance is repeated in the days of David (2 Sam. 24:16), and this repentance is commemorated in Psalm 106:45. It was the complaint of Jonah that he knew full well that God being merciful would repent if only Nineveh would turn to Him (Jonah 3:9-10; Jonah 4:2).

We can perhaps understand these gracious repentings, but it is strange to read that the Lord repented that He had made man. In the first place, we may say that repenting and being grieved at the heart are instances of the figure of speech known as anthropopatheia, a figure which ascribes human attributes to God. The Hebrews called this mode of speech Derek Benai Adam "The way of Adam," and without such condescension on the part of God, man could never apprehend His revelation. But conceding all this and admitting that the use of such parts of the body as face, nostril, eyes, ears, and hands with reference to God are accommodations to our limitations, we nevertheless believe that they stand for realities, even though we can affix to such spiritual realities no human name.

In like manner, though we may not take the words grief, anger, jealousy, and other similar affections and feelings at their surface value, we nevertheless know that they stand for something equivalent on the high plane of Divine experience. Consequently, we are to gather from Genesis 6:6 that something of extreme antipathy to the purpose of God and creation had come in and spoiled the work of God's hands, grieved His heart, and made Him repent that He had made man. In the language of the parable, the reason is found in the fact that "an enemy hath done this," and that with reference to two sowings of seed (Matt. 13:28). Throughout the Bible we have the consciousness of a conflict, a conflict between good and evil, darkness and light, God and Satan, and that the battle is intensely real, making demands upon the Wisdom and Power of The Almighty, and culminating in the sparing not of His Beloved Son. If such inroads had been made into the nature of mankind by the evil one, that it could be said "all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth," then God must act and act drastically if the situation were to be saved. The word translated "corrupt" in Genesis 6:11-12, and the word translated "destroy" in Genesis 6:17 is the Hebrew shachath. The only remedy was to destroy it (de facto) as it had become destroyed (de jure) (The Companion Bible). At the time of the sounding of the seventh angel, the wheel has come full circle, "as it was in the days of Noah," and we read that the time had come to "destroy them, which destroy (or corrupt) the earth" (Rev. 11:18). Standing separate and almost alone in the midst of well nigh universal corruption was Noah. It is not without significance that the name Noah is derived from the same Hebrew word translated as "repent." The Hebrew word is nacham and is found for the first time in Scripture in the words of Lamech: "This same shall comfort us" (Gen. 5:29), and refers to the Ark and the Flood. The next occurrence of nacham is in Genesis 6:6, where it is written it "repented the Lord." The reason why the one Hebrew word can have such opposite meanings is that, primarily, nacham means a change of mind or affection, and obviously, the mind may change sometimes in one way, sometimes in another. God changed His mind regarding mankind as a whole and destroyed them; He changed His mind about Noah in particular and saved him. What constituted the essential difference between Noah and the rest of mankind? We shall find upon examining the history of Israel that they are denounced as wicked, corrupt, and evil, yet even though enemies because of The Gospel, they are beloved because of the fathers, "for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance" (Rom. 11:29). Israel, for all their sins were the chosen seed, and so were saved. Even after the Flood, the words are written, "I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake, for (although, Heb. ki) the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth;" (Gen. 8:21). What was it that the Lord saw in the generation before the flood that demanded total destruction? It was the corrupting of the seed, and it is the separation of Noah from this that marks him out in Genesis 6.

These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God (6:9).

Noah, like Enoch, walked with God, but this was not all. Noah found grace, the first to so find in all Scripture, but in addition, Noah was "perfect in his generations." As the word generations occur twice in this passage, let us note that the first word is a translation of toledoth family history, and can read either forward or backward, and can speak of either one's ancestors or of one's descendants, but the second word is a translation of the Hebrew dor which refers to Noah's contemporaries, the men living at the same time as himself. With regard to his contemporaries, Noah was perfect.

This word, which translates to the Hebrew tamim, means without blemish and primarily refers to physical, not moral, perfection. It is in constant use to describe the blemishless character of a sacrificial animal (Exod. 12:5; Lev. 1:3). Job was described as perfect, as well as upright (Job. 1:1; Job. 1:8; Job. 2:3) and Jacob is described as a plain man (Gen. 25:27), using the same word as is employed in Job and translated perfect, while undefiled is the translation of the word in Song of Solomon 5:2 and Song. 6:9. The testimony of Genesis 6:9 is that Noah was uncontaminated so far as his pedigree was concerned, and the channel through which The Seed of the Woman could come, though narrowed down by the well-nigh universal corruption that had set in, was still preserved.

As we proceed with the history of the Seed of the Woman, we shall assemble a series of Divine interpositions, each marked by its own peculiar character, and together build up a system of teaching that points irrevocably to Christ. Let us note the following as the beginning of this special phase of Truth:

  1. The Seed is diverted from Adam in the Fall and is referred to as The Seed of the Woman. This introduces the element of a miracle or dealing by God that is not natural. We must never lose sight of the supernatural associations of The Seed.

  2. The Seed is in second place, bound up with vicarious suffering. His heel shall be wounded in the conflict with the serpent.

  3. Ultimate victory is prophesied for the Seed of the Woman, for although in the conflict He shall be wounded in the heel, the serpent's head is bruised.

  4. The next principle that emerges is the principle of substitution. The appointment of Seth counters the attack upon Abel, or as the Hebrew reads, God hath Sethed me another seed. Seth was appointed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew (Gen. 4:25).

  5. The sending of the Flood and the destruction of every living person except the eight souls preserved in the Ark, or as Peter puts it, God spared not the old world, but saved Noah, reveals the solemn fact that the question of numbers does not enter into the plan. If the seed can be preserved, though it cost the destruction of millions, the Lord will do it. If such a conclusion should appear harsh, let us remember that the selfsame word spare is used of Christ He that spared not His own Son.

  6. The provision of the Ark introduces into the story another aspect of the redemptive side of the story of the seed. It is common knowledge among students that the noun and verb "pitch it within and without with pitch" (Gen. 6:14) translate the words kaphar and kopher, which are used by Moses and the rest of the Old Testament Scriptures for the propitiation made by the sacrificial offerings, indicating in fuller measure the nature of the bruising that should be received in the conflict with the serpent. It pleased the Lord to bruise Him, said Isaiah, showing that even though wicked hands took and crucified the Son of God, that bruising of His heel was at the same time the sacrificial offering made for sin. However, the word bruise in Isaiah is not the word used in Genesis 3.

  7. Finally, or at least so far as we have gone, the preservation of The Seed is associated with the newness of Life, Resurrection ground, the beginning of a new world, and a new day. This is forced upon the attention of the reader throughout the record of the Deluge by the fact that the date upon which the Ark rested on one of the mountains of Ararat, namely the seventeenth day of the seventh month, became after the revision of the calendar at the Passover (Exod. 12:2), the third day after the offering of the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month, and so the very day of the Saviours Resurrection. The emphasis upon the first year, the first month, and the first day in Genesis 8:13 carries the idea forward, while the numerical features associated with Noah (the eighth person) and his family (eight souls), each emphasizing the number eight and the commencing of a new period, round off this testimony to Resurrection and newness.

Although the purpose of God concerning The Seed was so far safeguarded, the words already noted in Genesis 6:4, also after that, prepare us for further conflict. 

Abraham, The Hebrew

When Noah and his family stepped out from the Ark, they stepped out into a world that was empty and devoid of life, and to them, the words uttered at the creation of Adam were repeated:

Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth (Gen. 9:1).

The dominion given to Adam is passed on to Noah in modified terms, and instead of the sun, moon, and stars being indicated as signs (Heb. oth), the rainbow was appointed for a token (Heb. oth). Another feature that we must remember is the changed tokens that accompany the dispensational changes that mark the onward story of The Seed. If The Seed is to continue, it must, of necessity, come through Noah and one of his sons. The blessing pronounced in Genesis 9:26-27 indicates that the choice fell upon Shem:

Blessed be the Lord God of Shem ... he (Japheth) shall dwell in the tents of Shem.

Japheth was the eldest brother (Gen. 10:21; 1 Chron. 1:5), but grace seldom recognizes any precedence in the flesh. Consequently, we find the generations of Shem lead on to Terah and so to Abraham (Gen. 11:10-32).

Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth, the elder, even to him were children born (Gen. 10:21).

The additional note the father of all the children of Eber calls for attention. No such clause follows the reference either to Japheth or to Ham. Moreover, we observe that Eber himself is not mentioned again until Gen. 10:24.

Shem had five sons, and Eber is the descendant of Arphaxad, the third of those that are named in Genesis 10:22. Now Eber had two sons, Peleg so named because in his days the earth was divided, and Joktan. Joktan's descendants are named, but Peleg's descendants are reserved until The generations of Shem are given in Genesis 11:10, where Joktan finds no place. The line of the Seed, therefore, from Noah runs as follows: Noah, Shem, Arphaxad, Eber, Peleg, and so on, to Terah, the father of Abram. Shem is called the father of all the children of Eber for this reason.

The record of Genesis 10 is the record of the nations, and the words "by these were the nations divided in the earth" (Gen. 10:32) show that the settlement of the nations and the lands inhabited by them is the important theme and it is the descendants of Joktan and their lands that are recorded in Genesis 10 whereas, in Genesis 11 Joktan is omitted, but the generations of Peleg are given in detail and this proves to be of the most importance, for this is the line of the True Seed. Our attention, therefore, is called to the fact that the line of Joktan does not exhaust the descendants of Shem. The two names, Eber and Peleg, demand our attention. The Hebrew name Eber means "beyond" and occurs in such phrases as beyond Jordan, on this side Jordan, or on the other side Jordan (Gen. 50:10; Num. 22:1; Josh. 2:10). The verb abar means "to pass or to pass over" and is often used in connection with the passing over of the Israelites into the land of Canaan (Deut. 12:10; Josh. 3:16). In Genesis 14:13 Abraham is called "The Hebrew." This is partly explained in Joshua 24:2-3.

Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood... I took your father, Abraham, from the other side of the flood.

This flood is the River Euphrates, the word translated "flood" being the same as that which is rendered "river," meaning the river Euphrates (Josh. 1:4). The LXX translates Abraham the Hebrew, by the words ho perates "the one who crossed over," the word peran being employed in Genesis 50:10, and Joshua 2:10 cited above. While, therefore, Eber had many descendants, Abraham stands out pre-eminently not only as one descendant out of many but as the one who fulfilled the meaning of the name. Peleg, too, is associated with "rivers" and is so translated nine times, and once "stream" in the Old Testament (Psa. 1:3). Job uses the word palag when he speaks of God "Who hath divided (palag) a watercourse" (Job 38:25). The same form of the word, pelaggah is twice translated divisions (Jud. 5:15-16) and once rivers (Job 20:17).

Rivers formed natural boundaries in ancient days, so much so that in English, the word rival comes from the idea that men living on opposite banks of a river would be divided in their loyalties.

It is not true to say that the words of Genesis 10:25, "was the earth divided," cannot refer to the division of the earth as an inheritance, but only by some geological division as that which has formed the continents, for the feminine form of both the Hebrew and the Chaldee words is employed to speak of the division of both families and of the priests (2 Chron. 35:5; Ezra 6:18). In Pelegs day the earth was divided among the nations, according to the number of the children of Israel (Deut. 32:8). The reader will discover that there are seventy nations mentioned by name in Genesis 10:1-32, and the words "When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel" (Deut. 32:8) have regard to that number seventy.

Seventy souls went down with Jacob into Egypt that they might restore the seventy families by the confusion of tongues. For these seventy souls were equal to all the families of the whole world (Zohar).

How good is thy love towards Me, O thou congregation of Israel? It is more than that of the seventy nations (Targum on the Song Solomon).

So conscious was Israel of this high place, and so equally conscious that the Gentile nations would be provoked should they realize it, that we find the LXX reads according to the number of the angels of God, for the Gentile world would not know that to each nation had been appointed an angel, as is indicated in Daniel 10 The prince of Grecia, the prince of the kingdom of Persia and Michael, your prince. So precious in the sight of God is The Seed, that He counts the seventy souls that went down into Egypt, who formed the nucleus of the nation of Israel, of more importance than the whole seventy nations that inhabited the rest of the world, and in order to appreciate this concentration of the Lords care, we must continue the story of the generations until we arrive at Abraham, the father of the great nation, whose seed is prominent in Genesis 12:7. While both Joktan and Peleg are mentioned in Genesis 10:25, Peleg only appears in the genealogy of Genesis 11:10-26, for The Seed only is there in view. The line is preserved from Eber through Peleg to Terah, the father of Abram. Men's attempt to "make us a name" (Ge. 11:4)  and their consequent scattering (Gen. 11:1-9) was but another attempt to frustrate The Purpose of God. The word "name" is actually Shem.

The chapter begins with man's attempt to unify mankind and ends with God's new provision to unify all in blessing with Abraham's seed (The Companion Bible).

When we reach the generations of Terah, we are at the central generation of the eleven, which are found in the Book of Genesis. In both the conclusion of Shem's genealogy (Gen. 11:26) and the opening of Terah's, Abram's name stands first. although, as the subsequent study will reveal, Abram was not the eldest of Terah's sons. Like Shem, Abram is put first because he is the chosen channel of The Seed. For the first time in Scripture, the statement that any woman was barren appears, and this is said of Sarai, Abram's wife.

"But Sarai was barren: she had no child" (Gen. 11:30). So into the story of the Coming Seed is now interposed human inability in order that it may be demonstrated that The True Seed is indeed of God. This Hebrew word, translated as barren aqar, signifies a mere stock or stem without branches, a dry tree. Bateman says of Ecclesiastes 3:2, where the A.V. reads a time to pluck up, to lop as trees, cut them close to the stock or stem. This supernatural element is emphasized later in the story of Ishmael and Isaac, and a definite reference is made to it in Romans 9, where we read, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called, 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" (Rom. 9:7-8).

Immediately following the statement concerning Sarai's barrenness comes the record of Terah's trek towards Canaan and his tarrying and death at Haran. We learn from Stephen in Acts 7:2 that "The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia before he dwelt in Charran." Terah, it would appear, was moved by the revelation given to his son and took Abram, Lot, and Sarai, but by so doing, contravened the distinct commandment "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred" (Acts 7:3) moreover, although they went forth from Ur of the Chaldees to go into the land of Canaan they did not accomplish this purpose for we read they came unto Haran and dwelt there. This partial obedience to the separating command of God will be met again. For example, in Exodus 8:25, where Pharaoh substitutes for the three-day journey, "Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land" or "sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness: only ye shall not go very far away" (Exod. 8:28).

According to Hebrews 11, Abraham, when he obeyed God, did not know the land that God had promised him, and so the language of Genesis 11:31, written after the event, must be considered supplemental. Terah, whose name, among other meanings, seems to be wanderer, was evidently moved by the call that had come to his son, but the thing to be noticed is that although he made that trek from Ur of the Chaldees, as far North as Haran, he never passed over the Euphrates. After 600 miles of separation from Ur, he still dwelt in the same country and had, in reality, made no essential change. Terah's movement was like many religious movements, and they failed in essentials.

Abraham was called "The Hebrew," for he passed over the dividing river. Terah was never a Hebrew. He came out of Ur but died in Haran, a city of the same country. He had but changed one denomination for another. Terah died in Haran, and until he died, he was a hindrance to faithful obedience. Terah represented the old man, who can be religious and do almost everything except pass over. Only when the old man (Rom. 6:6) dies can the believer rise and walk in the newness of life. We are, however, tracing the history of The Seed and must not allow ourselves too many doctrinal excursions, but the reader will doubtless perceive that the spiritual history of the individual believer finds an echo many times in the record of The Seed and its conflict.

Cain and Canaan were Both of that Wicked One

As the enemy makes different attacks upon the life or purity of The True Seed, certain terms are introduced, which mark the spiritual side of the conflict and reveal the character of the provision and protection afforded by The Lord. These we shall have to consider together as a whole when we have pursued this theme further, but an anticipation of this particular study may help the reader. Certain words or phrases emerge as the story of the seed progresses, and the following will indicate the nature of this particular aspect of truth.

(1) The first prophecy of the Seed, Genesis 3:15
      The bruising of the head and heel.

(2)  The second reference, Seth, Gen. 4:25
       Instead -- the principle of substitution.

(3)  The third reference, Noah, Gen. 5:29
      Comfort because of the curse.

(4)  The fourth reference, The Ark, Gen. 6:14
      Propitiation (pitch).

(5)  The fifth reference, Barrenness, Gen. 11:30
      The flesh is set aside.

These items will give the reader some idea of what we intend, but the above list is temporary and will be revised when the subject is considered as a whole.

At the moment, we are concerned with the onward progress of The True Seed and have reached the time when, at the death of Terah, Abraham was free to pass over and become Abraham the Hebrew. In Genesis 12, the nations of the earth go into the background and only come into the record as they touch the land and people of Israel. The channel through which The Seed should come is now narrowed down to one man, a descendant of Shem, and to that man, a promise was given of a land and of a Seed.

Unto thy seed will I give this land (Gen. 12:7).

The delay occasioned by the action of Terah was seized upon by the enemy, as will be made clear if we put two passages together:

And Terah took Abram ... to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there (Gen. 11:31).

And Abram ... went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan, they came... and the Canaanite was then in the land (Gen. 12:5-6).

Before we can rightly proceed, some understanding of the Scriptural meaning and intention of the Canaanite is called for, as it is evident that these people were Satan's countercheck to The Divine Plan. Canaan was one of the sons of Ham, his brothers being Cush, Mizraim, and Phut (Gen. 10:6). From Cush came Nimrod, the beginning of whose kingdom was Babel, and from Canaan sprang Sidon, Heth, Amorite, and the Jebusite, and others, who became known as Canaanites. The circumstances of the birth of Canaan are unrevealed, but the record of Genesis 9:20-29 is highly significant and calls for examination.

And Noah began to be a husbandman, and he planted a vineyard (Gen 9:20).

Why does the Scripture use this form of speech? Why say he "began to be"? The reader will remember that we found it necessary to retranslate Genesis 4:26: "Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord," becomes, "Then men profanely called upon the name of the Lord." We find this word began in the opening of that ominous passage Genesis 6: "When the sons of God saw the daughters of men, and when there were giants in the earth." We observe that this same word began is used of, Nimrod, the rebel. "He began to be a mighty one" (Gen. 10:8). At the building of the tower of Babel, the Lord said "this they begin to do" (Gen. 11:6), so we find that in the space of Genesis 1 to 11, which covers the history of the ancient world from Creation to Abraham, chalal occurs five times, each occurrence being associated with an attack upon The Purpose of God, either the profaning of the Name of The Lord, the irruption of the sons of God, the founding of Babel, and this reference to Noah. There is evidence that at the Flood, such disturbance took place to alter materially the meteorological conditions, and now, fermented wine caused Noah to be drunk (Gen. 9:21), and not only so, was uncovered. Noah, in many things, takes the place of Adam in the earth.

A comparison of Genesis 9 with what had previously been said of Adam will reveal several similarities. Among them, let us notice Adam and Noah are both associated with a garden planted. Indeed, the Hebrew word nata "to plant," occurs in Genesis 1 to 11 but twice, namely in Genesis 2:8: The Lord God planted a garden, and here in Genesis 9:20, Noah's downfall is connected with an act he drank of the wine, even as the fall of Adam is connected with eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. In both cases, there is a strange sequel. Adam and Noah are found naked, the only references to nakedness in this early section of Genesis. Adam covered his nakedness with fig leaves, and Shem and Japheth covered their father's nakedness with a garment. God subsequently clothed Adam with a coat of skin. The enmity between the two seeds is revealed to Adam, and the earth is cursed for his sake. When Noah awoke, he strangely cursed not Ham but the son of Ham, Canaan, who was doomed to be a servant of servants.

At the door of the garden of Eden, the Lord caused to tabernacle ("placed" Gen. 3:24) the Cherubim, and Noah, continuing his prophecy, said "He (the Lord) shall dwell ("tabernacle") in the tents of Shem" (Gen. 9:27). These again being the only occurrence of shakan "to dwell or tabernacle" in Genesis 1 to 11.

These parallels are on the surface, but there is more, not so plainly stated but nevertheless implied. Is it not illuminating that immediately consequent upon the fall of man, the Lord should speak of childbirth (Gen. 3:16)? and is it not equally illuminating that Noah should speak of Canaan, the unborn child of Ham, and not of Ham himself? In the case of Adam and Eve, there is the positive statement that "Cain was of that wicked one" (1 John 3:12), but nothing positive is said of Canaan, yet by the time one has read all that is written of the Canaanites, there is no room left for doubting that of Canaan it could have been written Canaan was of that wicked one also. In the record of Genesis 3, Adam is accompanied by his wife, who is named and addressed. In Genesis 9, the wife of Noah is not specifically mentioned, but when we remember that the expression "thy fathers nakedness" (Lev. 18:8) is definitely said to indicate thy fathers wife, and when we further know that the words spoken of Noah to be "uncovered" (Gen. 9:21) are the same as those used in Leviticus 18, the sin of Ham begins to assume a more serious aspect, a sin that brought with it a curse as we can see by reading Deuteronomy 27:20.

It appears from the combined testimony of the several passages that Ham was guilty of the same sin as that of Reuben (Gen. 49:3-4), where the word defiled translates the Hebrew chalal already examined. If Ham, like Reuben, taking advantage of his father's drunkenness, was guilty of incest, the door was flung open once more for the Evil One to sow his seed, and the Canaanite was the dreadful result. The Canaanite would, therefore, take the place occupied by the giants before the Flood, and because The Seed was now known to be destined to come through Abraham, the Canaanite was concentrated in advance in the land of promise. The meaning of the word Canaan is "something low and, in a secondary sense, a merchant, trafficker, or trader." The name Canaan carries with it the debasement pronounced by Noah as the following passages which use the verb kana will show, "to bring low" (Job 40:12), "to subdue" (1 Chron. 17:10), "to bring into subjection" (Psa. 106:42). Their name reveals their end, the Canaanites whether physical or spiritual, must one day be subjected beneath the feet of the victorious Seed of the woman. When the time came for Isaac, The True Seed to be provided with a wife, Abraham made his eldest servant "sware by the God of heaven and by the God of the earth that he would not take a wife for Isaac of the daughters of the Canaanites" (Gen. 24:3). The Canaanites were to be driven out of the land of promise by Israel (Exod. 23:28), and by the Lord (Deut. 7:1); and were to be utterly destroyed (Deut. 20:17). Something of the horror with which this evil seed was held can be gathered by reading the whole of Ezra 9 and 10.

The people ... have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites ... the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands (Ezra 9:1,2).

The land is said to have spued out the nations that inhabited Canaan; that the very land was defiled by their abominable customs (Lev. 18:24-30). Such are the Canaanites, and one can feel the relief in the prophet's mind when he said,

In that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of Hosts (Zech. 14:21).

An illuminating chapter in reference to the Canaanites and the possession of the land is Deuteronomy 2. There, not only Israel but the Moabites, the children of Esau and the Ammonites, all blood relations of Israel, find their possessions already occupied by Emim and Anakim, a people great, and many and tall giants dwelt therein in old-time. These the Lord destroyed before them, and they succeeded them, and this is put forward as being parallel with the case of Israel:

As Israel did unto the land of his possession, which the Lord gave unto them (Deut. 2:12).

Later, in the experience of Abraham, he was to learn that there must be a waiting period, during which his seed should suffer affliction in a strange land, and this is because "the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full" (Gen. 15:16). If we admit the sovereign right of the Lord to destroy the corrupted people of the earth by a flood, and if we admit His justice in destroying the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah; if we admit His patience and long-suffering while He waited for the Amorite to fill up the measure of his iniquity, we can accept the revealed fact that Israel was chosen as the destroying agent of this foul progeny of wickedness, who in their turn typify the spiritual wickednesses that confront those whose blessings are to be enjoyed, not in the land of Canaan, but in Heavenly Places.

In Isaac shall Thy Seed be Called

The history of The True Seed has now been before us from Adam to Abraham. We have seen the line descending from Adam through Seth to Noah, and through Noah to Shem, and from Shem through Eber, Peleg, Terah, to Abraham. Of Abraham's sons, Ishmael is repudiated, and Isaac, the child of promise, the child of Resurrection Power, carries forward the Great Purpose. This process of selection and repudiation still goes on. Isaac has two sons, Esau and Jacob, but Esau is set aside. Jacob has twelve sons, but Judah, the son of Leah, the first wife of Jacob, is chosen as the channel through whom The Seed should come. Judah is the ancestor of David the King, and it is sufficient for Matthew's purpose that he shows that Jesus was the Son of David and the Son of Abraham to prove that the promise concerning The True Seed had at length been fulfilled.

With the opening of the New Testament, we leave Promise and begin Fulfillment, and as our Salvation and Hope are bound up with the realization of the Promise of God concerning The Seed, we must still give our attention to the unfolding of this great theme.

We observe that throughout The Gospels, Christ is referred to as the Son of David, but when we consider the testimony of Paul, he avoids the title Son of David and uses the deeper and more significant title, The Seed of David. At first sight, this distinction may savor of hair-splitting, for He Who is the Seed of David must also be his Son. Yet, on the other hand, it is also true that He Who is the Son of David may not necessarily be his Seed in the full significance of that term. We all know that Solomon was a son of David, and most of us will remember two other sons, Nathan and Absalom, but how many of us know that in the genealogy given in 1 Chronicles 3:1-9, there are nineteen sons named? Six were born in Hebron, four were born in Jerusalem, and nine were listed without specifying either the name of their mother or the place of their birth. Even this list of nineteen sons is not complete, for the Chronicler adds besides the sons of the concubines (1 Chron. 3:9). In the course of time, David's strength began to fail, and claimant voices began to be heard regarding succession to the throne:

Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king (1 Kings 1:5).

Nathan the prophet visited Bathsheba and warned her of the danger, and advised her to go to the king and say:

Didst, not thou, my lord, O King, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon, thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign? (1 Kings 1:13).

The result was that Solomon was proclaimed king, and the rest of David's sons were set aside so far as succession to the throne was concerned. Throughout The Gospel of The Kingdom, Matthew, the title The Son of David is reiterated, for Christ as the Son of David was born to sit upon the throne of David (Luke 1:32). When we turn from The Gospel of The Kingdom to The Epistles of The Church, we do not find Paul speaking of Christ as the Son of David, as we have said, he goes deeper, he calls him the Seed of David. As the Son, Christ was the rightful king of Israel, but this title and rule did not comprehend all that God conceived at the beginning.

Paul does not obtrude into the Epistles to The Church a title that would confuse these two departments of their redemptive purpose; he omits the kingdom title and uses the deeper and more significant title, the Seed of David. Not only so, he uses this title when writing The Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 1:3), and he uses it again after The Dispensation of The Mystery had come in (2 Tim. 2:8), and Timothy is called upon to remember this relationship, and that it formed an integral part of that which Paul called especially My Gospel. In both passages, The Resurrection is prominent. Therefore, David's son Solomon and his successors are the heirs to the throne, Christ alone, as David's Seed carries the Great Primeval Promise of God to its Glorious Consummation.

The Syrophoenician woman was made to realize that in Christ as the Son of David, she had no place (Matt. 15:22), but The Seed of David was declared to be the Son of God with power by The Resurrection (Rom. 1:4), and the good news associated with Him in that capacity was addressed to both Jew and Gentile. While the succession to the throne came through Solomon, Mary's line descends through Nathan, Solomon's brother, and so in Matthew, we have The Son of David with special reference to the king and kingdom, whereas in Luke 3, we have The Seed of the Woman descending from David, through Nathan and Mary. Luke was the evangelist who labored so faithfully with the apostle Paul, and it is Luke's account, rather than Matthew's, that stresses The Seed. In like manner, Christ is called The Son of Abraham (Matt. 1:1) but is never so called by Paul, for just as we found that Paul speaks of Christ as The Seed of David, so also does he speak of Christ as The Seed of Abraham.

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 (Gal. 3:16).

Many of the reference books that have been consulted make Paul quote from different passages in Genesis here. The Companion Bible refers the reader to Genesis 21:12: "In Isaac shall thy seed be called." This passage is most certainly quoted in Romans 9:7, and it has one item that attracts it to Galatians 3:16, and that is that the word Seed here must be understood as being singular because the singular verb follows it.

Turpie's book on quotations refers to Galatians 3:16 and to Genesis 22:18. We feel, however, that Paul would remind us that he was meticulous in his quotation, even to the word and, and to thy seed, and consequently, we must refer to Galatians 3:16 to such texts as Genesis 17:7-8 or to Genesis 24:7, which in the LXX agrees with the words quoted in Galatians. To these passages can be added Genesis 13:15. It must be remembered that the Hebrew word zeraim "seeds," in the plural, means "various kinds of grain, even as the plural spermata does" in 1 Corinthians 15:38, and Ellicott says on this passage, We hold, therefore, that there is certainly a mystical meaning in the use of zera in Genesis 13:15 (and in Gen. 17:8): though the writer was not necessarily aware of it. If we read the context of Genesis 13:15, we are met with the stated fact that the word seed is used in the plural, for Gen. 3:16 goes on: "And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth ... so ... shall thy seed also be numbered." The same is true of the context of Genesis 17:8, for the words "in their generations," which come in Gen. 17:7, and "in their generations," which is repeated in Gen. 17:9, show that the word seed is used in the plural. If we continue in our reading of Galatians 3 until we get to verse 29, we shall read:

And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise (Gal. 3:29).

So therefore, all the seed are in Christ, even as in Isaac, the seed were called. In Romans 9, the apostle has more to say about this seed. The high privileges that belong to Israel, set in contrast with their rejection, which was imminent in the day when Paul wrote The Epistle to the Romans, drew from the apostle the argument of Rom. 9:6-13.

The End ... That God May Be All in All (1 Cor. 15:24-28)

The conflict between the two seeds arose out of the disobedience of man in relation to the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:9-15). Our first parents were deceived. When writing to the believers at Rome (Rom. 16:18), the apostle said concerning some that by good words (christologia) and fair speeches (eulogia) deceive the hearts of the simple (akakos). He then went on to speak of their obedience, saying that he would have them wise unto that which is good (agathos) and simple (akeraios) concerning evil. Now, this word, simple akeraios, occurs in the proverb: "wise as serpents, and harmless (akeraios) as doves" (Matt. 10:16), where it is evident that the simplicity inculcated by The Lord is in marked contrast to the subtlety of the serpent. These words of the apostle, akakos, and akeraios, occur in Romans 16:18-19, just before he writes the concluding section, which deals with The Revelation of The Mystery which had been kept in silence (Rom. 16:25-27). This mystery refers to the relationship that exists between Adam, his fall, and his seed. It is, therefore, no surprise to us to find in Romans 16:20 a most definite reference to Genesis 3:

And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.

Strictly speaking, these are the last words of positive doctrine in Romans. All leads up to this. In Romans 1, Christ is seen as coming of the Seed of David according to the flesh, and at the last, is seen, together with His redeemed, fulfilling The Primeval Promise that The Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. This climax is comparable with the end which shall be attained in 1 Corinthians 15:24-28, the last enemy there being not Satan, but that power which Satan wields through sin, namely death. The passage has in common with Romans 16:20 the words under... feet. These words quoted in 1 Corinthians 15, in Ephesians 1, and in Hebrews 2 in the phrase "Thou hast put all things under His feet" are cited from the eighth Psalm, which has as its subscription the words Upon Muth-labben. The limitations of space forbid any attempt to enlarge on the subject here.

Psalm 8 looks in two directions, back to Adam and the limited dominion given to him, and forward to Christ, and the Universal Dominion given to Him. In Hebrews 2, the reference to the eighth Psalm is associated with His suffering and death and to the world to come oikoumene. In 1 Corinthians 15, the reference to the eighth Psalm looks beyond the limitations of the habitable world to the goal when God shall be All in all; while Ephesians 1 alludes to Psalm 8 when speaking of the principalities and powers that are subjected beneath the feet of Christ, in His capacity as Head over all things to The Church. The bruising of the serpent's head was not accomplished, however, without extreme suffering on the part of The Great Deliverer -- He shall bruise His heel. It is not surprising that this primeval prophecy should have been known to the ancient world. The ancients confounded the name zeroashta, The Seed of the woman, interpreting the word ashta to mean fire, and so gave the name Zoroaster. Throughout the mythology of the ancient world, the struggle between the serpent and a Deliverer is well known.

And while sublime his awful hands are spread,
Beneath him rolls the dragon's horrid head,
And his right foot, unmoved, appears to rest,
Fixed on the writhing monsters furnished crest

In Greek mythology, the constellation that sets forth the crushing of the serpent's head is called engonasis, "the Kneeler," but this is owing to the confusion of tongues. In Chaldee, "the," nko, "to crush," nahash, "a serpent," give us enkonahash, which became in Greek engonasis. The story of Achilles, vulnerable only in his heel, is also a most evident echo of Genesis 3:15. The word "bruise" used in Genesis 3:15 is the translation of the Hebrew shuph, which is by no means so simple a word. Authorities differ as to the primary meaning of the word. Gesenius derives the word from a root that meant, first, to "gape upon," then "lie in wait," "to fall upon." Davidson gives the second meaning to "cover with darkness," which is very similar to Parkhurst's "to cover," "overwhelm as with a tempest." This word is found in Job 9:17, "He breaketh me with a tempest," and again in Psalm 139:11, "Surely the darkness shall cover me." Some of the ancients understood this to be the meaning of the word shuph is clear; Symmachus uses episkepasei, "will hide," and a Hexaplar version, kalupsei, "cover or veil." Shuph in a reduplicated form is used of a species of serpent so called from its concealing itself in the sand and in holes, and occurs in Genesis 49:17, "Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder ... that biteth the horse heels."

Here, it will be observed two words occur that are also found in Genesis 3:15: "bruise" shuph (shephiphon "adder"), and aqeb "heel," and this fact must be kept in mind when translating Genesis 3:15. The apostle, in Romans 16:20 employs the word suntribo to translate shuph "bruise." In Romans 3:16, the apostle uses the word in a slightly different form: suntrimma, "Destruction and misery are in their ways." Suntribo is translated elsewhere in the New Testament "bruise" (Matt. 12:20), "break, or break in pieces" (Mark 5:4; Mark 14:3; Luke 4:18 (in the Received Text); John 19:36 and Rev. 2:27). The English word triturate, to reduce to fine powder by rubbing, trite, worn out by constant use or repetition, tribulation, from the wearing down effect of a threshing instrument, and diatribe, a discourse which wears away time, will no doubt occur to the reader. Taking all things into consideration, the bruising of Genesis 3:15 and Romans 16:20 indicate an agonizing and protracted process, wearing in its effect and associated with concealment, darkness, and attack. To the fact that it is a protracted struggle, the record of the ages bears witness. That it was agonizing, the cry both of Gethsemane and of Calvary reveal:

All Thy waves and Thy billows are gone over Me (Psa. 42:7).
My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? (Psa. 22:1).
This is your hour and the power of darkness (Luke 22:53).
From the sixth hour, there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour (Matt. 27:45).

The glorious outcome of this dreadful conflict is given in Isaiah 53:

He shall see His seed ... He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied (Isa. 53:10-11).

Into the redemptive work of Christ, none can enter. He alone could be the sin-bearer. He alone could be the ransom. Yet, the primeval prophecy of Genesis 3:15 speaks not only of enmity between Satan and Christ but also between the woman's seed and the seed of the serpent. Inasmuch as all the seed are found in Christ (Gal. 3:16; Gal. 3:29), they, like the apostle himself, "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ" (Col. 1:24). Like the seed of Abraham, they suffer affliction, and are kept waiting for their inheritance, while the iniquity of the Amorite reaches its fullness (Gen. 15:13-16). All the seed shall at length come out with great substance, they shall enter into their possessions, and when that day comes, "there shall be no more the Canaanite" (Zech. 14:21), even as there shall be no more death, curse, sorrow, and sin. Satan and his angels shall no more corrupt the true seed nor hinder and frustrate the purposes of God.

He shall see His seed;
He shall see of the travail of His soul;
He shall be satisfied. (Isa. 53:10-11).

Come quickly, Christ Jesus our Lord.

All God's Blessings,
The Believers

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