Not curses but punishments (Genesis 3) Part 1

There’s been some talking about Genesis 3, so I decided to revisit it. What I found is actually very interesting.

Personally, I’ve always heard of the punishments given to Adam and Eve referred to as curses by pastors and every Christian I’ve encountered. However, this is not the case according to a closer reading of the passages.

Genesis 3:14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall [d]bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.

16 To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain [e]in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”

17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;

Cursed is the ground because of you; In [f]toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. 18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the [g]plants of the field; 19 By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”

The word cursed is used twice. However, what is God cursing? He specifically curses the serpent form and representation (as Satan), and He curses the ground because of Adam. God does not curse Adam or Eve.

Why does this matter? To look at some of the other curses in the Scripture, let’s refer to the law:

Deuteronomy 27:15 ‘Cursed is the man who makes [g]an idol or a molten image, an abomination to the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen.’

16 ‘Cursed is he who dishonors his father or mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
17 ‘Cursed is he who moves his neighbor’s boundary mark.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
18 ‘Cursed is he who misleads a blind person on the road.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
19 ‘Cursed is he who distorts the justice due an alien, [h]orphan, and widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
20 ‘Cursed is he who lies with his father’s wife, because he has uncovered his father’s skirt.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
21 ‘Cursed is he who lies with any animal.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
22 ‘Cursed is he who lies with his sister, the daughter of his father or of his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
23 ‘Cursed is he who lies with his mother-in-law.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
24 ‘Cursed is he who strikes his neighbor in secret.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
25 ‘Cursed is he who accepts a bribe to strike down an innocent person.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
26 ‘Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

In a sense, curses are abominations against the Lord far beyond what we would consider normal sin and punishment. When taken in this context, it is not so much that Adam and Eve were cursed but punished rightly for what they had done.

I’ll explore the specific punishments a bit more in my next post, which should come in a little bit.

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14 Responses to Not curses but punishments (Genesis 3) Part 1

  1. donalgraeme says:

    I look forward to what you have to say about the punishments. I’ve had some thoughts about Eve’s that I’ve been meaning to explore for a while, but haven’t had the time- plus I wanted to sound out the theology some first.

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  4. Artisanal Toad says:

    The word cursed is used twice. However, what is God cursing? He specifically curses the serpent form and representation (as Satan), and He curses the ground because of Adam. God does not curse Adam or Eve.

    Snake = deceived Eve, using her as a weapon to take down Adam, the Federal Head of creation.

    Eve = was deceived by the snake.

    Adam = deliberately chose to die with his wife (instead of trust God) and ate the fruit.

    You are saying the snake was cursed but Adam and Eve were not. Essentially this devolves to a discussion of what the word cursed means and how being “cursed” differs from being “punished.” In addition, I see that both the snake and Eve were cursed/punished at a lower order than Adam because both of them were under his authority. Adam, as the Federal Head of creation was the only one of these who had transgressed the command of the Lord and on his account, as the Head of creation, all of creation was cursed and sin entered the world. But, there is more here than might meet the eye.

    In a sense, curses are abominations against the Lord far beyond what we would consider normal sin and punishment.

    In this I think you’re confusing the cause and effect. In the Deuteronomy they were cursed because of that they’d done, and it was the abomination that drove the curse. The abomination did not make the curse itself an abomination, because in no way can a curse be considered an abomination, it is a response to such. Otherwise you have God committing abominations and that’s impossible. Even for God.

    If you misphrased that and meant that curses are only for abominations, consider that with what happened sin entered the world and Satan became the prince of this world because Adam lost his position. You recognize that the serpent was cursed and we observe serpents still crawl on their bellies to this day. Ye recognize the ground was cursed and to this day and observably the ground still brings forth thorns and thistles and man must earn his bread by the sweat of his brow.

    I’m shooting from the hip because I haven’t studied this in years, but as I recall a curse was something that brought down the wrath of God. The Law was described as a curse in Galatians 3:13, and over half of the points Moses had the people respond to were death-penalty offenses.

    If you look at what God said to Eve, you will notice that all the daughters of Eve bring forth their children in pain. If what God said to Eve was only a punishment and not a generational curse, why were all daughters of Eve afflicted with her punishment? God’s Law says the son shall not suffer for the sins of the father in terms of punishment. This also begs the question of what her crime was and why God said what He said. Interestingly, I just wrote about this.

    If you study carefully, in Genesis 3:16 you’ll discover that the word “desire” is only used two other times in the Bible and once it’s Genesis 4:7 (desire to conquer) and the other time the Song of Songs 7:10 (sexual desire). Eve was commanded by God that she would desire a ruler (your desire shall be for your [ruler]). We see this all around us today. If a woman has some attraction for a man she tests him to see if she can conquer him (shit tests). If he fails the tests all attraction dies. If he blows through her tests and establishes that he’s fit to rule her, then her desire changes from a desire to conquer to sexual desire. That’s Game 101 and Genesis 3:16 explaining the Biblical origin of hypergamy.

    Now, understanding that, is it reasonable to say that when God made men responsible for women, that it was anything less than a curse on Adam and all his descendents? Because men have had to deal with women’s shit tests and hypergamy ever since.

    I guess my biggest problem with the claim that Eve wasn’t cursed is that semantically, a punishment is given for a crime and the individual pays for the crime with the punishment. In this case what we’re seeing is a generational curse rather than a punishment. Similar to the Law saying that no bastard will enter the assembly of the Lord down to the 10th generation. The bastard represented the sin of adultery that didn’t just effect the person, it had a downstream effect. If we look at only one point, the downstream effect of what both Adam and Eve did was sin entered the world and effected all of creation and caused Christ to die on the cross.

    Is that not worthy of a curse?

  5. @ Artisanal Toad

    I already covered much of what you said in the 2nd part here:

    As for the curse part, it’s not semantics.

    As we’ve seen throughout the Scriptures, a loving God punishes those who do wrong out of love. After all, he who spares the rod hates his children. A curse is different:

    H779 — ‘ârar — aw-rar’
    A primitive root; to execrate: – X bitterly curse. Total KJV occurrences: 63

    It’s a bitter curse or a loathing for something much like an abomination. Obviously, God could have cursed Adam and Eve for what they did, but He did not. Rather, He was more merciful with Adam and Eve and placed the status of loathing/abomination upon the serpent and earth because he cared about humanity.

  6. Artisanal Toad says:

    I was sent a link to this, I didn’t see the other when I wrote the original comment.

    You say that God did not curse Adam and Eve, and while he could have (acknowledging what they did *was* abominable), he merely punished them instead. I suspect this is because you see this as three individuals standing before God.

    I see two individuals under Adam’s authority receiving their punishment for what they did, then Adam himself being punished for what he did. Two groups, twice the word “cursed” is used. There is a huge difference in the authority of these two groups and they were punished accordingly.

    Looking at it that way Eve was cursed just as much as the serpent. Because Adam was the head of creation, all of creation was cursed on his account and *part* of that curse specifically applied to him (that which you see as a punishment).

    Notice the effect of happened to all of them was permanent. The pain in childbirth was permanent for Eve, as well as Adam being placed in charge of Eve. I do not agree that Satan appealed to Eve’s hypergamy, he got her to rationalize. God said “your desire shall be for your husband” and in doing so He gave her a desire to be ruled. Women were to be ruled because they’d proven themselves to be incompetent.

    That desire to be ruled is what we call hypergamy and any basic study of game demonstrates that in Genesis 3:16 the word “desire” means both the desire to conquer and sexual desire. She is attracted, she tests (desire to conquer). If he fails, she loses attraction. If he blows through her tests and establishes his fitness to rule, she becomes sexually attracted.

    Essentially, if you’re correct and three individuals were punished, but the curse only applied to the serpent and the ground, which was not party to what happened at all. Why was the ground cursed? That points to the fact that Adam was not in the same class as Eve and the serpent, both in authority and transgression.

    The serpent acted with malice and evil intent.
    Eve was deceived and transgressed but not intentionally.
    Adam knowingly, intentionally transgressed against God’s command.
    The ground was innocent of all wrongdoing.

    The only way this takes the ground being cursed into account is if you look at this as two separate classes, the two under authority and he who was in authority. This explains that all were cursed and the reason the ground was cursed was that Adam was the head of creation on earth and in his transgression the creation was cursed along with him.

  7. Artisanal Toad says:

    As we’ve seen throughout the Scriptures, a loving God punishes those who do wrong out of love.

    Consider this:

    “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; if He did not spare the ancient world when He brought the flood on its ungodly people, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, among the eight; if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction, reducing them to ashes as an example of what is coming on the ungodly; and if He rescued Lot, a righteous man distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— if all this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.” 2nd Peter 2:4-10

    Ask yourself: were Adam and Eve righteous, or transgressors?

    In other words, while God is loving and full of lovingkindness, He is also just. Study the parable of the 10 virgins. When the 5 foolish virgins were got back, they were identical to the ones who were inside. Why were they locked out? Because when they had the chance they did not do all that they could have when they could have. Look at the word “know” that was used in that passage. It’s the same one John the Baptist used when he said of Christ “I didn’t know him.” Of course he objectively knew his cousin Jesus, but there is a subjective knowing as well. God is just, He is not a respecter of persons and He did not spare His own Son, but sent Him to die in our place.

    Just because He loves us doesn’t mean He doesn’t curse us when we deserve it.

  8. @ Artisanal Toad

    Eh, we may have to agree to disagree.

    The ground was innocent of all wrongdoing.
    The only way this takes the ground being cursed into account is if you look at this as two separate classes, the two under authority and he who was in authority. This explains that all were cursed and the reason the ground was cursed was that Adam was the head of creation on earth and in his transgression the creation was cursed along with him.

    There’s multiple classes here not just a few.

    1. The serpent as the tempter (those who tempt are cursed).
    2. Adam as the one in authority (which is why he one punishment for him and got mankind as a whole the punishment of ‘death’)
    3. Eve as under authority (which is why she got 2 punishments directly related to her).
    4. The ground is obviously innocent, but I would take this as the whole of creation as being cursed. (e.g. disorder via Satan having dominion over the earth, lion and the lamb, etc.)

    Two cursings, differing punishment for Adam and Eve.

  9. Artisanal Toad says:

    Fine, we agree to disagree. And while I’m thinking about it, take a look at this, you might find it interesting: png

    (I broke the link so it wouldn’t load a gob-wad thumbnail on your blog)

    I suggest you save it to your computer and use something that lets you zoom in and out to look at it because it’s an 11,000×7500 png file. If it were printed out it would be about 4′ x 5′ and there’s a lot of information on it, but if you can find an error I’d love to hear it.

    As someone else said, there’s something there to outrage everyone, but what is there answers just about every single Christian manosphere issue being discussed today from a Biblical perspective.

  10. @ Artisanal Toad

    I only glanced at some parts of it, but the one thing I disagree with is the divorce interpretations.

    I covered that here in Hebrew and Greek here:

    Not everyone agrees with this interpretation though, but it unifies every passage in Scripture.

    Also, don’t agree that sex (with virgin or otherwise) = marriage. Marriage in Scripture generally has a lot of components, and sex is one of them. Father giving away the bride (e.g. passing authority from himself to husband), witnesses, celebration [with family and community], and consummation are all general parts of it.

    If I have some more time later I may check out some more.

  11. Artisanal Toad says:

    When it comes to marriage you have to go with Scripture’s requirement, which is Genesis 2:24. Witnesses, celebration and involvement of community are all voluntary and fall under Numbers 30:2, if a man makes an agreement he is to keep it. If one voluntarily makes the agreements they become mandatory, but in the absence of agreements, marriage devolves to the basic requirement, which is sex.

    Scripture makes it very clear is that sex alone does make a virgin married and her consent is irrelevant. In Exodus 22:16-17 we see the virgin agree to marry (sex is the act of marriage) and she gave her virginity to the guy, marrying him. If her father chose, he could annul the agreement she made and thus annul the marriage itself after the fact. The fact she wanted to marry, agreed to marry and got married was meaningless- her father didn’t like it and he annulled it. In Deuteronomy 22:28-29, we see a virgin raped into marriage against her will and over her objections. Nobody likes this, but that is what Scripture says.

    Where Deuteronomy 22:29 says “she shall become his wife,” that is the same word used in Gen. 2:24 where it says “they shall become one flesh” It happened with the act of sex and they were married at that time, there is nothing left to do. Sex with an eligible virgin makes one married because that’s what Scripture says.

    As far as the father’s authority, that falls under the Law of Vows (Numbers 30). There is no requirement anywhere in Scripture to get the father’s permission and the authority is automatically passed from father to husband in the act of marriage, although if the bride agreed to marry the guy then the father has the authority to annul the marriage after the fact.

    The reason, if you look at Numbers 30:3-5, the father has the authority to review and either approve or annul any vow or agreement with binding obligations his daughter makes in the day he hears of it (after the fact). In the Exodus passage she made an agreement (she was seduced), got married (had sex) and the father had the option to either approve (v16) or deny (v17) in the day he heard of it. Notice that in verse 16 where the father chose not to annul, she is referred to as his wife and (like Jacob) he has his wife but he has to pay a dowry for her.

    In the Deuteronomy passage if the evidence established she was raped (they were discovered), that proved she made no agreement her father could annul and they were married because the requirements of Genesis 2:24 had been complied with. I assure you that as the father of girls, the father very much wanted to be able to annul that marriage but he had no authority.

    You offer an interesting argument on divorce, I’ll look at that, but if you carefully go over what is on that chart, you’ll find that every argument I’ve ever heard is answered solidly with Scripture.

  12. Pingback: Genesis 3, the sin nature of women, good leadership, and female contentment | Christianity and the manosphere

  13. Pingback: United flesh and knowingly actions – Immanuel Verbondskind – עמנואל קאָווענאַנט קינד

  14. Pingback: The curses/punishments are disruptions to natural order | Christianity and masculinity

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