Not much is said about Seth in the Scriptures. But we see enough to appreciate his likeness to Him who was to come; that is, Jesus.
Seth was born to Adam and Eve after Cain had killed Abel. Take a moment to think through how awful that murder must have been, and the devastating effect it would have had on Adam, Eve, and God. Of course, any murder is awful. However, this was the first murder – no one had even heard of one before. The family of man was so small at the point that such a loss decimated it. Consider also how the ultimate estrangement of Cain combined with the loss of Abel would have impacted the parents. The emotional devastation brought by this murder must have been beyond anything we can easily imagine.
In the aftermath of this ordeal, Adam and Eve conceived another child. They named him Seth. Eve commented that God had given her this offspring to replace Abel who had been killed by Cain. As a type, Seth represents Jesus who was given as a child to replace fallen humanity. Through Jesus, fallen humanity would be made to stand again – not on earth, but in heaven!
Adam and Eve, and all the patriarchs saw the bearing of children as a more profound phenomenon than people see it today. People today do see childbirth as profound, but the patriarchs more so. The reason? The patriarchs knew that they were going to die and that children offered the only hope of redemption from that destiny – and all the more so since God had told Satan that it was the seed of woman who would triumph over him. The patriarchs, and especially Adam and Eve, knew that they would not be achieving their own salvation from death. Each child therefore not only brought joy into the world, it brought hope for an ultimate victory over death.
In Seth, the replacement child, we can foresee Jesus to come. When Isaiah would many years later say, “For unto us a son is given,” he would be echoing this same hope, only in more specific form.
Seth also foreshadows Jesus in that he was the life given in place of the death of Abel. Even so, Jesus’ resurrected life was given to replace the earthly life that He had lost. The Hebrew name Seth is a play on the word “appointed” that shows up in many English translations of Genesis 4:25. The meaning being that God had “appointed,” or “placed,” or “put” this child as Abel’s replacement. Certainly God appointed, placed, or put the resurrection of Jesus. That is, He replaced the fragile life that Jesus had lost with an indestructible life that could never be taken away.
Seth gives us a picture, in very few words, of the way God would accomplish redemption for the people whom He had created: Out of grief, hope. Out of a child, redemption. Out of death, life.
The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.