Jewish Translation of Genesis 3:15

I’ve run into two different translations of Gen. 3:15 from the Torah which read, “You shall bruise their heel, and they shall…”. Yes, plural instead of m/s/n singular. The Hebrew is clearly singular, so what gives?

In Bible Study I suggested this was out-and-out anti-Christian translation to eliminate this as a prophesy of the Messiah. But I did some more research, and, while this still may be true, it also is a result of the singular/plural ambiguity of the word translated “seed,” which Christians render as singular, and Jews translate in the plural, referring to Israel.

2 comments on “Jewish Translation of Genesis 3:15

  1. This perhaps highlights the Church’s wisdom in adopting the LXX as its normative version of the OT. The translation choices of the LXX encapsulate how the Jews themselves understood the Scriptures in the time just before the coming of Christ.

    The LXX, of course, translates these verbs in the singular “he shall” and “thou shalt” form. A later Jewish translation using “they” reflects a change in Jewish understanding from the time of the NT and before. It is not too much of a stretch to attribute that change to an antipathy to the Messianic claims of Jesus.

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