Only One Type of Seed

“Having thus made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth – in Him (Ephesians 1:9-10).”

Continuing in our examination of types and antitypes in the Bible, we pick up where sin severed man’s access to the tree of life and fellowship with God. This separation could not be repaired until this fatal sin problem could be remedied. The rest of the Bible, from Genesis 3 until Revelation chapter 22, details God’s plan to resolve this separation and permit men access once again to the tree of life (Acts 3:19-21). The divine plan of pardon was in place before the existence of the world but God chose to reveal this mystery bit by bit over many millennia.

The seed plan was first hinted at in the garden after the deadly intruder (Genesis 3:1, John 8:44, Revelation 12:9) hatched his own plan to destroy God’s order. Having cursed mankind, the earth, and the serpent, God provides the first glimpse of the two paths to eternity with the introduction of two seeds. Rebuking that old serpent God said, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel (Genesis 3:15).”  The Hebrew word, translated as “seed,” is zera and can refer to an immediate descendant, a distant offspring, or a large group of descendants (1). One seed, those who would follow the serpent in rebellion, and another Seed, that would descend from the woman and would decisively defeat the serpent at some future time.

In God’s promises to Abram the Seed typology begins to sharpen focus – promises of rich blessings upon Abraham’s zera, are made (Genesis 13:16, Genesis 15:5). The number of his seed would be innumerable (Genesis 13:16). God confirmed the Seed promise to Abraham though speaking of his seed in the singular sense; “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 22:18).” (2) Paul makes much of the singular use of zera in this Seed promise to Abraham, explaining – “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your Seed,’ who is Christ (Galatians 3:16).”

In fulfilling these great promises that He worked through Abraham God did His mighty work giving to Abraham and Sarah a direct descendent of whom God had said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called (Genesis 21:12, Hebrews 11:18). Abraham and Sarah were well past the years to have naturally brought a child into this world but God worked through them to produce that the child of promise. God would also appear twice to Isaac to repeat the promise of blessing to his descendants (Genesis 26:2-5, 24).

Many see Isaac himself as a type of the THE SEED, Christ, who was to come and fulfill those promises to all the families of the earth. God commanded Abraham to, “Take now your son, YOUR ONLY SON, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering (Genesis 22:2).”  The Hebrew writer tells us that Abraham obeyed and offered up his only begotten son (Hebrews 11:17). Now Isaac was not Abraham’s only son, but the word used for “only begotten” is monogenes, that is unique and one of a kind. The same word is used in John 3:16 which God Himself offered up His only begotten, monogenes, Son so that all the families of the earth might be blessed with everlasting life and that He might crush the serpent’s head decisively.

Christians, you are the recipients of this wonderful Seed promise whose antitype, the real figure, is Christ Himself.

Since you have been baptized into Christ you are Abraham’s seed and heirs of the promises (Galatians 3:27-29). Isaac served as a type of the child of promise, not only to the nation of Israel but to even Gentiles. You, the church, are children of promise as well (Galatians 4:28), the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16).

“That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed (Romans 9:8).”

  1. Bruce K. Waltke, Genesis, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2001, p.93
  2. James Burton Coffman Commentaries: Genesis 22:18; Bible study Library CD-ROM, ACU Press

Billy Alexander is a member of the church of Christ in Jersey Village in Houston, TX. He and his wife Gwen both work at Hewlett-Packard where they met and have worked more than 25 years each. Billy enjoys teaching Bible several times each week at Jersey Village and Memorial church of Christ. Since 2008, his weekly article "Equipping the Saints" as run in the Jersey Village bulletin.

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