Parsha Lech Lecha

B”H

“SEED” as of One or “SEED” as of a Multitude?

B’rashith 15.13 “And He said to Abram, “You shall surely know that your seed will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will enslave them and oppress them, for four hundred years.”

In Galatians 3.16 we read, “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.”

“And the L-RD appeared unto Abram, and said: ‘Unto thy seed will I give this land’; and he builded there an altar unto the L-RD, who appeared unto him.” 12.7

“for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth; so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.” 13.15, 16

B’rashith 15.13 emphatically speaks of the plural (strangers, not theirs, them,) for the singular “seed” zar’acha זַרְעֲךָ֗ so Paul is CLEARLY wrong when he states that “seed” (12.7, 13.15, 16, 15.13, 22.17, 18, 24.7 is not in the plural.

In determining the Peshat (plain, simple meaning) of the passuk “And to thy seed, 13.15 we rely upon Rabbi Yishmael’s rules of interpretation (umigzerah shavah): ‘Through tradition that similar words in different contexts are meant to clarify one another.’ (mibinyan av): ‘through a general principle derived from one verse, and a general principle derived from two verses.’

Both 15.5, 13 and 22.17, 18 (not to mention 13.16) come to clarify seed (13.15 singular) as if it were written in the plural “seeds;” HOWEVER, it is written in the singular, first, to forestall the idea that in Yishmael seed would be called (21.13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.’); and, second, to propose the idea that “all Israel are accountable to one another” for their behavior!

I might add Rabbi Yishmael’s rules – 4) through a general statement limited by a specification; 5) through a specification broadened by a general statement.
Any one of his rules (2-5) as I have listed clarify B’rashith 13.15 that it is k’tuv (written) in the singular [Avraham’s Offspring] to specify the plural [tribes] singularity (Kol Yisrael, as in “David ruled over all Israel,” 1 Kings 2.11, 2 Samuel 8.15) of Am Yisrael (The People of Israel)….

As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be the father of a multitude of nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for the father of a multitude of nations have I made thee. B’rashith 17.4, 5.

And He brought him forth abroad, and said: ‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars, if thou be able to count them’; and He said unto him: ‘So shall thy seed be’ [as innumerable as the stars of heaven.] B’rashith 15.5 Also it is written, “And in Yitzchaq shall thy seed be called.” 21.12, and as innumerable as “the sand which is upon the sea shore” –

22.17, 18 “that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast hearkened to My voice.’ ”

CLEARLY, Parsha Lech Lecha speaks in the plural for the unity or singularity of the People of Yisrael….

3 thoughts on “Parsha Lech Lecha

  1. Howbeit the L-RD, the G-D of Israel, chose me out of all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever; for He hath chosen Judah to be prince, and in the house of Judah, the house of my father, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel;

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  2. B’rashith (Genesis) 17.8 is pretty clear – “to them” is in the plural: “And I will give you and your seed after you the land of your sojournings, the entire land of Canaan for an everlasting possession, and I will be to them for a G-D.” (This passuk [verse] teaches the resurrection of the dead ….)

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