The Hebrew word zera, which means “seed”, both vegetal and animal, was translated into Greek as sperma, meaning “that which has been sown”.
And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. (Gn. 1:11)
The Hebrew word zera, which means “seed”, both vegetal and animal, was translated into Greek as sperma, meaning “that which has been sown”, and into Latin as semen.
In the Bible the term occurs more than thirty times, including both Old and New Testament references. The Hebrews were extremely careful with their seeds, as they are the transmitters of life. If any part of a dead body ever happened to make contact with a seed intended for planting this seed should only be refused if it had also been in contact with water; otherwise, it was still considered clean (Lev. 11:37-38). It was humidity that initiated the process of germination.
Israelites were also forbidden to sow seeds of different plant species together, to yoke together animals of different species or to use clothing containing a mixture of different fibres (Lev. 19:19; Deut. 22:9). In the same way, the Jewish people could not breed hybrids of different animal or plant species, nor to intermarry with idolatrous people groups (Deut. 7:3).
This principle would later be echoed by the apostle Paul in the New Testament in relation to the unequal yoke with unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14-18). During the sowing season, Israelite farmers sowed their seeds in front of the oxen that pulled the plough, which, as it passed over the top of them caused them to be buried. They endeavoured to ensure that the different species of seed were planted in different furrows. (Isaiah 28:25)
Apart from the meaning of the term “seed” in the vegetable sense, the Bible also uses it in a number of other senses. For example, it is applied to the descendants, or “the seed” of a person (Gn. 3:15; 22:18; Jer. 31:27; Acts. 3:25; etc.); and it is even likened to the Good News or the Word of God, as in the parable of the sower (Luke 8:5; 1 Peter 1:23); or with the physical body of the believer awaiting resurrection (1Cor. 15:35-49); or with the Lord Jesus himself in his death and subsequent resurrection (John 12:24), and when Christ himself is referred to as the seed of the woman, who will destroy the malignant power of the serpent (Gen. 3:15).
The 17th century English cleric, John Hume, in his commentary on the term “precious seed” which occurs in the last verse of psalm 126, penned the following reflection:
Faith is called "precious seed": quod tatum est charurn est. Seed was accounted precious when all countries came unto Egypt to buy corn of Joseph, and truly faith must needs be precious, seeing that when Christ comes he shall hardly "find faith upon the earth": Luke 18:8. The necessity of faith is such, that therefore it must need be precious; for as the material seed is the only instrumental means to preserve the life of man; for all the spices, honey, myrrh, nuts, and almonds, gold and silver, that were in Canaan, were not sufficient for Jacob and his children's sustenance; but they were forced to repair unto Egypt for corn, that they might live and not die; even so, without faith the soul is starved; it is the food of it; for, "the just man liveth by his faith" .
 Spurgeon, C. H. 2015, El Tesoro de David, CLIE, Viladecavalls, Barcelona, p. 1929.
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