According to Gottingen's eclectic edition of the LXX, Genesis 3:15 in the English translation says,

"I will place enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he will watch your head carefully, and you will watch his heel carefully"

The Greek inflection used for "seed" preceding the feminine-form of αὐτός is σπέρματος.

The Hebrew for "seed" according to SE's concordance is זֶרַע which can be defined in the figurative sense.

I was wondering if this is also the case with the Greek

1 Answer 1


First, the Greek word for "seed" is σπέρμα (sperma) which is neuter (neither masculine nor feminine).

The inflection σπέρματος (spermatos) is genitive neuter singular.

BDAG and Thayer give the following meanings for σπέρμα (sperma):

  1. The source from which something is propagated, seed
  • (a) seed of plants, eg, Matt 13:24, 27, 32, Mark 4:31, 1 Cor 15:38, 2 Cor 9:10, etc
  • (b) male seed, semen, eg, Heb 11:11, John 7:42, Rom 1:3, 2 Tim 2:8
  1. the product of insemination, posterity, descendants, posterity, eg, Luke 1:55, Rom 4:13, 11:1, Acts 7:5, 6, 13:23, 2 Cor 11:22, etc
  2. Spiritual descendants - children of faith are Abraham's "seed", eg, Rom 4:16, 18, 9:8, Gal 3:29, etc. Included in this idea are those "born of the God", 1 john 3:9.
  3. a remnant from whom a new generation will arise, eg, Rom 9:29, Acts 3:25 (cf Gen 22:18), Gal 3:16, 19, Rev 12:17.

Therefore, in most cases σπέρμα (sperma) is used literally. However, as listed above, meanings #3 and #4 are clearly spiritual/metaphoric/figurative meanings.

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.