The genealogies of women in the Hebrew text show the matriarchal bloodlines. The promise of Israel’s Messiah was given to Eve, the first woman. The biological seed was already in Eve’s womb when she was given directly the promise of the eternal life-giving “seed of the woman”. This was the first divine prophetic word with promise. That divine prophecy was then passed on through speech as the woman’s biological seed was carried forward through the woman’s menstrual flow from one generation to another.
Therefore, the biological seed is traced through the divine seed of God’s Word. The matriarchal mitochondrial bloodlines of chosen Jew and Gentile women who, like Mary, the mother of Jesus, were in the same divine covenant given to Eve: “The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head.” Just as a woman’s biological seed is fertilised by the semen of men so the divine seed the Word of God is fertilised by faith to bring it into existence. Hence, the sons of Sarah, sons of Abraham, were men in covenant with Sarah and Abraham’s God.
This bloodline of the woman’s menstrual flow starts with Eve and ends with Mary, though not women descendants of the matriarch, Leah, and the tribe of Judah, son of Leah, sired by Jacob, whose name was changed to ‘PrInce’ / Israel – in keeping with his grandmother’s name change, Sarai/ Sarah , ‘Prince’. Jacob’s mother was Rachel, sired by Isaac, the son of Sarah and Abraham. These all sprang from Sarah’s seed. Sarah, who is likened to the mother of us all and the Freewoman: the City of God. Sarah, the daughter of Terah and the half sister of Abraham and his brothers Haran and and Nahor; aunt of Lot, Milcah, Iscah, and Bethuel, by blood and marriage: This would make Sarah the daughter of Terah and the half-sister of not only Abraham but Haran and Nahor. She would also have been the aunt of Lot, Milcah, Iscah, and Bethuel, by both blood and marriage. By her union with Abraham, she had one child, IsaacThis would make Sarah the daughter of Terah and the half-sister of not only Abraham but Haran and Nahor. She would also have been the aunt of Lot, Milcah, Iscah, and Bethuel, by both blood and marriage.
Jewish and Christian interpretations of Genesis chapters one to three vary. My proposition above arises from a literal interpretation of the scriptures; that the biblical characters are actual persons belonging to Israel’s history. Others believe that the early chapters of Genesis are allegorical; a myth telling a powerful story. In some instances, I also show that they can be interpreted allegorically, acting as symbols of spiritual concepts to inform and develop our understanding.
Interestingly, a literal interpretation of creation among classic rabbinic commentators is as uncommon as it is common among Christian believers. Either way, the way this text is interpreted is especially significant for women. Then there is the translation from the original languages. Finally, the patriarchal translation and interpretation imposed on the Hebrew scriptures by both Jewish and Christian translators and commentators have marred the image of Christ and his relationship with his bride (the Church.
The promise regarding the ‘seed’ of the woman was spoken to the serpent in the garden.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring (seed) and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3. 14-15
This continuity of the woman’s seed through the women’s line springing from Sarai, whose name was changed to Sarah, supports and is evidence of the practice of endogamous marriage. That is the practice of marrying within a specific social group, caste, or ethnic group, rejecting those from others as unsuitable for marriage or other close personal relationships. Endogamy is common in many cultures and ethnic groups. Endogamy is the social norm prescribed in Genesis 2: 24: ‘For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh’.
Such marriage ties rely on female kinship and the women’s knowledge of their children. Those faithful women knew of the prophecy, passed on by oral tradition to each generation. Each woman’s menstruation was a continual reminder both physically and spiritually that the promised Messiah would come. through one of them.
The faith of these women is shown by their actions, and their determination to take hold of the hope given to humankind in the garden following Adam’s disobedience. Their faith in the promise kept them and through them, Israel, on its divinely intended, ordained and prescribed course.
In the fullness of time, Miriam (Mary) whose matriarchal lineage was Leah, from whose tribe, Judah, the Messiah was to come, was that chosen one. No doubt Mary was surprised by a stranger at her doorway but not surprised by the messenger’s announcement. It is plain she understood that a child is conceived through sexual intercourse, but shows no surprise that she is the chosen one and, in her case, it will be a different conception. Like other women of Israel, Mary readily agreed.
Finally, in the fullness of time, the Messiah was born into this world, born of Mary’s seed, born under the law of sin and death, and miraculously, and mysteriously, born without man’s intervention. Mary of the tribe of Leah’s son, Judah, sired by Israel, son of Rebekah, Sarah’s granddaughter, gave birth to Israel’s Messiah: and they called him Jesus. His mission was to reverse what the first Adam brought upon all humankind through his disobedience.
To fulfil the Creator’s word in Genesis regarding the seed of the woman, the first hint of the gospel, God came in the form of a human being; as a man, Jesus laid aside his glory and humbled himself. God in the form of Jesus, lived on this earth as a human. Jesus was tempted on all points of the law as we are and learned obedience through the things that he suffered. Jesus the man who though tempted, never sinned. He was put to death, nailed on a common cross. Jesus died and was resurrected by the power of God.
He returned from whence he came but before He left He promised to return again. He sent to us the Holy Spirit, another Comforter, the spirit of Jesus present with us, the church, for all time, until Jesus returns as the ‘bridegroom for his bride – the church. The apostle Paul describes the man of dust, as the first Adam and Jesus as the last Adam.
The above outlines my teaching. It is my hope that by putting aside constricting, inaccurate, and stale patriarchal interpretations of this ancient text we can rediscover the bloodline of faithful women together with faithful men, who by God’s grace have been instruments in his purpose to bring redemption in which we stand.
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