Seed in Genesis 3-4

Peter_Kirk at Peter_Kirk at
Sat Nov 14 23:16:00 EST 1998

Thank you for your contribution, and especially for pointing out the 
use of ZERA` ("seed") for Eve's child in 4:25 as well as 3:15. A 
reviewer of our draft translation recently complained that we had 
translated ZERA` by "child, offspring" in 3:15. She commented that we 
had lost the miraculous element in the woman producing seed or semen; 
obviously she was thinking of 3:15 as a prophecy of a Virgin Birth. 
But in 4:25 the conception is clearly normal and the ZERA` is not 
semen but the child. So now I know how to answer this lady.

Are there any other cases in which a woman has ZERA`?

Is there any significance that Abel is the only one of Eve's sons 
whose conception was not specifically stated to be natural? I doubt if 
I would be the first to think of Abel as a prototype of Christ, but I 
wonder if anyone has speculated that he had no natural father 
(although his mother was not a virgin, of course). Abel may have been 
struck down from behind (if not on the heel) by the serpent's seed 
Cain, but it was left to Seth's descendants to crush the head of the 
serpent itself.

Peter Kirk

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