Galatians 3:19 NIV

19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator.

Why is "Seed" capitalized here? Looking at the interlinear, I don't see anything that would indicate this word of the verse as being "special"? https://biblehub.com/interlinear/galatians/3-19.htm

2 Answers 2


The NIV is not alone in this practice of capitalising ‘Seed’.

GAL 3:19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.

The ‘Interlinear’ won’t explain the reason, but context does.

The reason is simple. The ‘Seed’ is a clear unambiguous reference to the Seed - Jesus. This is contextually clear, Paul, both in the preceding, and in the following verses outlines the ‘context’ behind the ‘symbol’ (seed) used in this verse.

The word “mediator” literally means to be in the middle or midst. It is “‘one who mediates’ between two parties with a view to producing peace” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary). Moses was the mediator God used to make the Old Testament covenant of Law between Himself and the Jews. In the New Testament, Jesus is the mediator between God and mankind. So the correlation of ‘Seed’ with ‘Jesus’ is clear even in the verse itself.


The answer to this question is just two verses earlier in Gal 3:16:

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.

Thus, the "Seed" in V19 is Jesus Christ. hence the translators' choice to capitalize the noun.

  • How correct is paul use of seed in the singular to draw the meaning to Christ? Feb 11, 2023 at 16:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.