Galatians 3:16
New International Version
The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ.

New Living Translation
God gave the promises to Abraham and his child. And notice that the Scripture doesn't say "to his children," as if it meant many descendants. Rather, it says "to his child"--and that, of course, means Christ.

English Standard Version
Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.

Berean Study Bible
The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say, “and to seeds,” meaning many, but “and to your seed,” meaning One, who is Christ.

Berean Literal Bible
Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. It does not say "and to seeds" as of many but "and to your seed" as of One, who is Christ.

New American Standard Bible
Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ.

King James Bible
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.

Christian Standard Bible
Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say "and to seeds," as though referring to many, but referring to one, and to your seed, who is Christ.

Contemporary English Version
That is how it is with the promises God made to Abraham and his descendant. The promises were not made to many descendants, but only to one, and that one is Christ.

Good News Translation
Now, God made his promises to Abraham and to his descendant. The scripture does not use the plural "descendants," meaning many people, but the singular "descendant," meaning one person only, namely, Christ.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say "and to seeds," as though referring to many, but referring to one, and to your seed, who is Christ.

International Standard Version
Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his descendant. It doesn't say "descendants," referring to many, but "your descendant," referring to one person, who is the Messiah.

NET Bible
Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his descendant. Scripture does not say, "and to the descendants," referring to many, but "and to your descendant," referring to one, who is Christ.

New Heart English Bible
Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his offspring. He does not say, "And to offsprings," as of many, but as of one, "And to your offspring," which is Christ.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But The Promise was promised to Abraham and to his seed, and he did not say to him, “To your seeds”, as to many, but, “To your seed”, as of one, who is The Messiah.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his descendant. Scripture doesn't say, "descendants," referring to many, but "your descendant," referring to one. That descendant is Christ.

New American Standard 1977
Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He did not say, And to seeds, as of many, but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

King James 2000 Bible
Now to Abraham and his descendant were the promises made. He says not, And to descendants, as of many; but as of one, And to your descendant, who is Christ.

American King James Version
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to your seed, which is Christ.

American Standard Version
Now to Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Douay-Rheims Bible
To Abraham were the promises made and to his seed. He saith not, And to his seeds, as of many: but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Darby Bible Translation
But to Abraham were the promises addressed, and to his seed: he does not say, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed; which is Christ.

English Revised Version
Now to Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

Weymouth New Testament
(Now the promises were given to Abraham and to his seed. God did not say 'and to seeds,' as if speaking of many, but 'and to your seed,' since He spoke of only one--and this is Christ.)

World English Bible
Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He doesn't say, "To seeds," as of many, but as of one, "To your seed," which is Christ.

Young's Literal Translation
and to Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed; He doth not say, 'And to seeds,' as of many, but as of one, 'And to thy seed,' which is Christ;
Study Bible
The Purpose of the Law
15Brothers, let me put this in human terms. Even a human covenant, once it is ratified, cannot be canceled or amended. 16The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say, “and to seeds,” meaning many, but “and to your seed,” meaning One, who is Christ. 17What I mean is this: The Law that came 430 years later does not revoke the covenant previously established by God, so as to cancel the promise.…
Cross References
Genesis 12:7
Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "I will give this land to your offspring." So Abram built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

Genesis 17:7
I will establish My covenant as an everlasting covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

Genesis 22:18
And through your offspring all nations of the earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

Matthew 1:1
This is the record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Luke 1:55
as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever."

Acts 3:25
And you are sons of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers, when He said to Abraham, 'Through your offspring all the families of the earth will be blessed.'

Romans 4:13
For it was not through the Law that Abraham and his descendants were promised that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.

Romans 4:16
Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may rest on grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring--not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.

Romans 9:4
the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory and the covenants; theirs the giving of the Law, the temple worship, and the promises.

2 Corinthians 11:22
Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.

Galatians 3:19
Why then was the Law given? It was added because of transgressions, until the arrival of the seed to whom the promise referred. It was administered through angels by a mediator.

Treasury of Scripture

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to your seed, which is Christ.

to.

Galatians 3:8
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

Genesis 12:3,7
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed…

Genesis 13:15,16
For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever…

which.

Galatians 3:27-29
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ…

Romans 12:5
So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

1 Corinthians 12:12,27
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ…







Lexicon
The
αἱ (hai)
Article - Nominative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

promises
ἐπαγγελίαι (epangeliai)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 1860: A promise. From epaggello; an announcement.

were spoken
ἐρρέθησαν (errethēsan)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Passive - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 2046: Probably a fuller form of rheo; an alternate for epo in certain tenses; to utter, i.e. Speak or say.

to Abraham
Ἀβραὰμ (Abraam)
Noun - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 11: Abraham, progenitor of the Hebrew race. Of Hebrew origin; Abraham, the Hebrew patriarch.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

to
τῷ (tō)
Article - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

his
αὐτοῦ (autou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

seed.
σπέρματι (spermati)
Noun - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4690: From speiro; something sown, i.e. Seed; by implication, offspring; specially, a remnant.

[The Scripture ] does not say,
λέγει (legei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 3004: (a) I say, speak; I mean, mention, tell, (b) I call, name, especially in the pass., (c) I tell, command.

“and
Καὶ (Kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

to seeds,”
σπέρμασιν (spermasin)
Noun - Dative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 4690: From speiro; something sown, i.e. Seed; by implication, offspring; specially, a remnant.

meaning
ἐπὶ (epi)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1909: On, to, against, on the basis of, at.

many,
πολλῶν (pollōn)
Adjective - Genitive Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 4183: Much, many; often.

but
ἀλλ’ (all’)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 235: But, except, however. Neuter plural of allos; properly, other things, i.e. contrariwise.

“and
Καὶ (Kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

to
τῷ (tō)
Article - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

your
σου (sou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

seed,”
σπέρματί (spermati)
Noun - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4690: From speiro; something sown, i.e. Seed; by implication, offspring; specially, a remnant.

meaning
ἐφ’ (eph’)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1909: On, to, against, on the basis of, at.

One,
ἑνός (henos)
Adjective - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 1520: One. (including the neuter Hen); a primary numeral; one.

who
ὅς (hos)
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3739: Who, which, what, that.

is
ἐστιν (estin)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

Christ.
Χριστός (Christos)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5547: Anointed One; the Messiah, the Christ. From chrio; Anointed One, i.e. The Messiah, an epithet of Jesus.
(16) A parenthetical explanation of the true object of the promise. That promise was shown by its wording to have reference to the Messiah. It did not speak of "seeds," but of "seed"--not of "descendants," but of "descendant." And the Messiah is, par excellence, the "descendant" of Abraham.

The object of this parenthesis is to prove a point which the Judaising opponents of the Apostle would not contest--viz., that the fulfilment of the promise to Abraham was reserved for that Messianic dispensation to which they themselves belonged. The Law therefore intervened, between the promise and its fulfilment, but, inasmuch as it was itself later than the promise, could not alter the terms of its fulfilment. If the promise had been fulfilled before the giving of the Law, and if the Messianic dispensation to which the Apostle and his readers belonged was not a fulfilment of the promise, then the Law might have had something to do with it: the restrictions of the Law might have come in to limit and contract the promise: the Gentiles might have been saddled with the obligations of the Jews. But it was not so.

To Abraham and his seed were the promises made.--It was expressly stated that the promises were given "to Abraham and his seed." The exact terms are worth noting.

The quotation appears to be made from Genesis 13:15, or Genesis 17:8. The word "promise" is put in the plural because the promise to Abraham was several times repeated--to Abraham first, and, after him, to the other patriarchs. The object of the promise, as recorded in the Book of Genesis, was, in the first instance, the possession of the land of Canaan; but St. Paul here, as elsewhere, gives it a spiritual application.

He saith not.--The "he" is not expressed. We must supply either "God" or the promise given by God--"it says," as in quotations from an authoritative document.

And to seeds, as of many; but as of one.--The argument of the Apostle turns upon the use, both in the Hebrew and in the LXX., of a singular instead of a plural noun. Both in the Hebrew and in the LXX., however, the noun, though singular, is collective. It meant, in the first instance at least, not any one individual, but the posterity of Abraham as a whole. The Apostle refers it to Christ and the "spiritual Israel" (i.e., the Church, of which He is the Head), on the same principle on which, throughout the New Testament, the history of the chosen people under the old covenant is taken as a type of the Christian dispensation. We may compare Matthew 2:15, where an allusion to the exodus of Israel from Egypt is treated as a type of the return of the Holy Family from their flight into Egypt. Such passages are not to be regarded as arguments possessing a permanent logical validity (which would be to apply the rigid canons of Western logic to a case for which they are unsuitable), but rather as marked illustrations of the organic unity which the apostolic writers recognised in the pre-Christian and Christian dispensations. Not only had both the same Author, and formed part of the same scheme, but they were actually the counterparts one of the other. The events which characterised the earlier dispensation had their analogies--sometimes spiritual, sometimes literal--in the later.

Verse 16. - Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made (τῷ δὲ Ἀβραὰμ ἐῥῤήθησαν [or, ἐῥῤέθησαν] αἱ ἐπαγγελίαι καὶ τῷ σπέρματι αὐτοῦ); now to Abraham were the promises made (Greek, spoken) and to his seed. The question now to be determined is, who the parties were that were concerned in the covenant made with Abraham, and with respect to whom the principle just stated must be taken to apply. Of course, God is himself one of the two parties. This the apostle assumes without specific mention in this verse, though he refers to it in the next. On the other side, he discerns "Abraham and his seed;" for the form of the sentence, we feel, lays emphatic stress upon the latter copartner. He has in view, apparently, in part, the promise recorded in Genesis 13:15, "All the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever;" perhaps in part the vision related in Genesis 15, wherein (ver. 18) "the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land," etc.; but most particularly, since on this occasion circumcision was appointed as the "sign of the covenant," the words in Genesis 17:7, 8, "I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee: and I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." In the present connection the reference is not so obvious to the important promise in Genesis 22:17, 18, on which such stress is laid in Hebrews 6:13-18. These passages, in their primary and plain obvious sense, point to a covenant established by the Lord between himself on the one hand, and Abraham and Abraham's natural seed on the other; ratified on the persons of Abraham and his offspring by the seal of circumcision, and collating to them the gift of the laud of Canaan. But the apostle teaches us to read these passages mystically: in place of Abraham's natural seed substituting "Christ," a spiritual seed; and in place of the land of Canaan substituting a spiritual inheritance. For "covenant," to which term the apostle reverts in the next verse, we have here "promises;" thus also in Hebrews 7:6, Abraham is described as "he that had the promises." He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed (οὐ λέγει Καὶ τοῖς σπέρμασιν ὡς ἐπὶ πολλῶν ἀλλ ὡς ἐφ ἑνός Καὶ τῷ σπέρματί σου). The use of the preposition ἐπὶ with λέγει, as meaning "of," not found elsewhere in the New Testament, occurs repeatedly in Plato (see Ellicott and Alford, and Winer's 'Gram.,' 47, g). With "many" and "one," we are, of course, to supply "seeds" and "seed." It has been questioned whether such a form of expression as "to thy seeds" would have been possible in the Hebrew. Certainly we do not in the Hebrew Bible find a plural of the noun zera when used for "offspring," but only when used for a grain of seed. But still, such a plural may not have been unknown to St. Paul in the Hebrew spoken in his time; for it occurs, De Wette tells us, in the Chaldee Paraphrast for "races" in Joshua 7:14; Jeremiah 33:24; Genesis 10:18. Such a grammatical cavil to his observation, however, the apostle might well have brushed aside by giving his objector to understand that it was not upon a nicety of lingual criticism that he was taking his stand, but upon a fact which was not to be called in question; namely, that of the many branches of descendants owning Abraham as their progenitor, there was only one contemplated by the Almighty as destined to inherit the promise. This principle of discrimination among several lines of descendants he has himself drawn marked attention to in Romans 9:7, 8, by quoting the words, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called," and adding the gloss, "That is, it is not the children of the flesh that are children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for a seed." And so here. Among Abraham's descendants one particular head of a race was beforehand selected in the counsels of God, whose issue alone should inherit. As the principle of discriminative predestination was applied with respect to the inheriting of the promises viewed in their secular meaning, so also was it applied with respect to the inheriting of them spiritually: to only one branch of Abraham's descendants did the Divine Disposer guarantee the promised grant; that which should originate from Abraham's great Descendant, Christ, and which was to be in him and by his name to be called. Which is Christ (ὅς ἐστι Ξριστός); that is, which seed is Christ; the gender of the relative pronoun, which logically, as reciting a neuter noun, σπέρμα, should be neuter, being according to a very common usage of the language made masculine by the attraction of the predicate Ξριστός. The word "seed" still retains its signification of a collective noun, and does not even here denote a single descendant - a sense which usage would not justify us in assigning to it; for even in Genesis 4:25 zera acher means "other offspring," and not "another offspring." The word "Christ" is itself employed by the apostle as a collective, as in 1 Corinthians 1:13, "Christ is divided!" or, "Is Christ divided?" 1 Corinthians 12:12, "As the body is one, and hath many members... . so also is Christ." It is usual in the Hebrew idiom to apply to a people the very name, unmodified, of the head from which they derive; as "Israel," "Jacob," "Ephraim," "Judah," and a large multitude of instances. It is certain from vers. 27-29 that St. Paul has in view those who are "in Christ" as being in and with him the "seed" to whom the "inheritance" was by that covenant given. Jesus, viewed in his own solitary personality, has no place in the apostle's present argument: he it was not that was to inherit the blessing, save only with, or rather in, that multitude of human beings for whose sake he is there at all. Perhaps it is on that account that his official title "Christ" is alone named, in preference to "Jesus" his appellation as an individual man. Having thus ascertained as definitely as we may what it is that the apostle here states, we are naturally led to consider on what grounds he is justified in affixing to the passage or passages of the Old Testament which he refers to, the sense that he does; both as to the import of the gift which the covenant guaranteed to Abraham's seed and as to the specific seed itself as being" Christ." The answer to such questioning is, for us, at once in a great measure determined by our belief in the claims which St. Paul makes to be regarded as an inspired teacher. With this belief, we do not wait first to ascertain that his exposition is warranted by linguistic or historical reasoning before we will give it our assent. We accept his exposition as one imparted to himself by heavenly teaching, and as the result of inspired spiritual insight gazing into the oracles of God. We refuse to regard it, as some would fain persuade us to do, as mere midrash of unscientific rabbinism. Perhaps, indeed, rabbinism itself in its better schools - and in such St. Paul had himself in his earlier years been trained - was often far more profound and scientific in its scriptural exegesis than many who have not been conversant with Jewish commentators are disposed to imagine. His exposition is, therefore, not at once and of course condemned, because, if indeed it be the fact, its method seems to bear upon it the brand of being rabbinical. Thus much is clear - its substance was beyond all question not drawn from rabbinism, but learnt from higher teaching. If at first it arouses in our minds a feeling of surprise, and even a degree of hesitation in accepting it as it lies there before us, we may have good grounds for suspecting that this is owing, not to our superior wisdom, but to the superficiality of the views which we are in the habit of taking of the histories and utterances found in the Old Testament. Fuller and clearer insight into the depths of inspired teaching will perhaps enable us by-and-by to grasp with a firmer hold than now the veritable reasonableness and certainty of this apostolic word, and to discern its coherency with other portions of revealed truth. Meanwhile it may conciliate our judgment to a more unfaltering acceptance at once of what we here read, if we will consider how transcendently great is the glory of the personage whose Name is here attached to Abraham's spiritual seed, and how transcendent too is the corresponding glory of that economy of benediction which that august Being has brought in. The infinite grandeur of "God manifest in the flesh" imparts its magnificence both to the community which he graciously takes into union with him, and to the "kingdom of God" which through him they inherit. The glory of Christ fills the whole Church, which, resplendent therewith, eclipses into utter obscurity all other communities heretofore promised to be recipient of Divine blessing: those, feeble types of her, fade away at her coming, their glory and very being absorbed in hers. We need, then, not hesitate to believe that she with her Lord was from the beginning contemplated by the Almighty in the revelations of future benediction which he accorded to men, certainly with a view ultimately to this crowning dispensation; and that anterior dispensations of benediction were symbolically predictive of this. 3:15-18 The covenant God made with Abraham, was not done away by the giving the law to Moses. The covenant was made with Abraham and his Seed. It is still in force; Christ abideth for ever in his person, and his spiritual seed, who are his by faith. By this we learn the difference between the promises of the law and those of the gospel. The promises of the law are made to the person of every man; the promises of the gospel are first made to Christ, then by him to those who are by faith ingrafted into Christ. Rightly to divide the word of truth, a great difference must be put between the promise and the law, as to the inward affections, and the whole practice of life. When the promise is mingled with the law, it is made nothing but the law. Let Christ be always before our eyes, as a sure argument for the defence of faith, against dependence on human righteousness.
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Alphabetical: Abraham and as but butand Christ does He his is many meaning not Now one people person promises rather referring say Scripture seed seeds spoken that The to were who your

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