Seed of Promise
©December 20, 2009 Asher Intrater
When Adam and Eve sinned and fell under the dominion of Satan, God promised to redeem the earth through one He called "the seed of the woman" (Genesis 3:15). Eve had two sons. Satan obviously thought that the promised seed was Abel. Thus he influenced Cain to kill him (Genesis 4). As long as Satan could seduce sinners and kill the righteous, he could maintain control over the earth.
Then God gave to Eve another son/seed to replace Abel. His name was Seth (Genesis 4:25). The battle to get the promised seed into the world had begun.
From among Seth's children came Abraham. God made a covenant with him that the promised seed would come through his descendants. This seed of Abraham would be given ownership over planet earth (Genesis 12:7, 13:15, 15:18, 17:8); and through him all the nations would be blessed (Genesis 12:3; 22:18).
This seed promise was passed on to Isaac and then Jacob - both for possessing the earth (Genesis 24:7; 26:3; 28:4; 28:14; 35:12) and for blessing the nations (Genesis 26:4; 28:14).
The redemption of the earth and of the human race were passed on to this seed by covenant. Thus Abraham and his descendants had to protect both the seed and the covenant. If not, planet earth and the human race would perish.
Abraham had to separate Ishmael from Isaac; not because Isaac was better than Ishmael, but because of the marriage covenant between Abraham and Sarah. God could bless Ishmael, but the covenant had to be maintained through Isaac.
Abraham and Isaac both made tragic mistakes in giving their wives to other men, which endangered both the seed and the covenant. God had to intervene miraculously to rescue the seed, even at the risk of killing an innocent tribe (Genesis 12:10-20; 20:1-9; 26:7-11).
Esau made the mistake of selling his birthright – including the right to bear the seed of promise (Genesis 25). From that moment on, God had to respect the covenant right of Jacob, even though Esau was the older brother.
When Jacob married Leah, the covenant passed to her sons, even though Jacob loved Rachel more, and even though Jacob was married to Leah through deceit. Leah's first son, Reuben, lost his right because of sexual immorality. Shimon and Levy, the second and third sons, lost their right because of violence. Thus the covenant passed to Judah, the fourth son, who confirmed it the moment he offered his life to save Benjamin (Genesis 44:33).
The covenant seed was threatened by Dinah's involvement with Hamor. This resulted in the tragic murder of the Shechem tribe, which was a great sin on the one hand, yet preserved the seed lineage on the other hand (Genesis 34).
Judah almost ruined the covenant seed by his marriage to Bat Shuah, the Canaanite. The plan of redemption was rescued by Tamar, even though she had to "play the harlot" to do so (Genesis 38:26). The seed then passed to Peretz, who broke through (paratz) over his twin brother Zerah to gain the position of first born.
By the time of Moses, the descendants of Abraham had become so large in number that Satan couldn't figure out whom to try to kill. So he came up with the strategy to throw all the Hebrew male children into the river (Exodus 1).
The same satanic tactic to murder the Jewish people can be seen in Haman's attempt to kill the Jews in the book of Esther, in the murder of the innocents by Herod (Matthew 2:16-17), in Hitler's genocide by the Nazis, and in the modern efforts of Islamic Jihad. There is a spiritual connection between Haman and Ahmadinejad, who both served as head of government in Iran (Persia).
The laws of marital purity in the book of Leviticus served to protect the seed of the coming Messiah. Circumcision was a sign of the covenant destiny to preserve the seed of promise.
The seed was almost destroyed by the adultery of the Moabite women through the instruction of Balaam (Numbers 25:1), yet was later saved by Ruth, a righteous Moabite woman. Ruth became the bearer of the seed through Boaz. From Boaz came Obed, Jesse, and David (Ruth 4:21-22).
David received the seed promise from God through covenant (II Samuel 7:14), yet almost ruined the promise by his adultery with Bat Sheva. The son of that adultery died (II Samuel 12). Yet David's repentance restored the covenant. Solomon, David's next son through Bat Sheva, became the heir of the seed promise.
The evil Athaliah killed almost all of the royal seed, but the godly Yehosheva managed to rescue the last remaining son, Joash, from her hands (II Kings 11:1-2).
Ezra fought to preserve the promised seed from immorality and intermarriage (Ezra 9:2; 9:8; Nehemiah 9:2).
Throughout biblical history, there were attacks of murder on one side and sexual immorality on the other. If the seed had been destroyed, then God's plan of redemption would have been foiled. At the heart of the new covenant is found the promise that the Jewish people must be preserved, lest the creation itself be destroyed (Jeremiah 31:31-36; 33:20-22).
The first chapter of the New Testament traces the preservation of the seed of promise from Abraham through David unto Yeshua (Jesus). Orthodox Jewish women today, still waiting for the coming of Messiah, desire to have as many male children as possible, in the hopes that one of them might be the Messiah.
In many ways, the hopes of all Jewish women were fulfilled two thousand years ago, when Miriam (Mary), a young virgin of the house of David, gave birth in a manger outside Bethlehem. While we don't know the exact date, and while the commercialization of Christmas has become an anathema, the birth of the Messiah should be one of the greatest of all Jewish holidays. On that day our people fulfilled our covenant destiny to preserve the seed of redemption on behalf of the human race.