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The Seed and the Family

Posted by on Aug 30, 2010 in discipleship | 8 comments

The Seed and the Family

For the last few months, we’ve been studying Genesis together on Sunday mornings. We’ve noticed that the first half of Genesis follows the line of “the seed” – that is, the line of descendants of Adam that led to Jesus Christ.

Yes, others are mentioned, but the focus is on Adam, Seth, Noah, Abraham, and then Isaac and Jacob. The text mentions others who are part of Adam’s, Seth’s, Noah’s, Abraham’s, and Isaac’s family. But, most of the emphasis are placed on descendants that lead to Jesus Christ.

But, it seems that something changes after Jacob. Suddenly, the focus changes to the entire family. The line of “the seed” goes through Judah, and Judah is certainly included in the text. But others are emphasized as well, especially Joseph.

When you continue through the Pentateuch, again the emphasis is on all of Jacob’s (Israel’s) family and not just Judah’s family.

Have you noticed this double emphasis (the line of the seed and the family of Jacob)? Why do think the emphasis shifts from just “the seed” to the entire family of Jacob?


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  1. 8-30-2010

    I never really thought of it that way. I mean, I always thought the lineage was leading toward the establishment of the people of Israel not specifically the lineage of Jesus. Interesting.


  2. 8-30-2010

    I have a hunch, but I can’t write on it right now. I’ll know more by the end of the semester, and hopefully even more by the end of my dissertation.

  3. 8-30-2010

    This is purely a guess, but I would have to think it is because Jacob pronounced a final blessing on all of his sons rather than only the one who was to maintain the seed.

  4. 8-31-2010

    I never thought of it this way before but … The seed points to Jesus and then is displayed to the world through his family: the twelve. This could be a pointing forward to the church as the body of Christ.

  5. 8-31-2010

    @Bobby, you are correct. That makes sense.

  6. 8-31-2010

    Hey everyone,

    Thanks for the comments. My own thoughts are that God was creating a people for himself. The seed was a very important part of that people/family – the most important part. But, the seed was not the only part of the family. It is similar to the focus on Christ and the church.


  7. 8-31-2010

    And … Jacob was the head of the family and came from him. Life is in the blood and Jacobs blood is in them. It points to Jesus and the church in quite a few ways I never saw before. Thanks for asking this question, Alan.

  8. 8-31-2010

    Alan, yes. With each successive covenant God added more people to his family. With Jesus the whole world was able to be grafted into Israel. But you know this. I am just rambling on.