In the previous post on not curses but punishments, I discussed how it was solely the serpent and the ground that were cursed. Adam and Eve were not cursed by God but rather punished. Like the previous post, I believe that God will open your eyes on this post to see the Truth of the punishments.
Now, let’s take a look at the specific punishments that God gave for Adam and Eve.
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.”
There are two specific punishments given to Eve:
- 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.
There are two specific punishments given to Adam:
- 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.”
One of the points that Churchians and egalitarians like to tout is that the ‘curses’ — or rather punishments — given to Adam and Eve were broken by Jesus on the cross. Specifically, the ‘desire for the husband and he will rule over you.’ However, we know this is incorrect. Women still have pain in child birthing, men still have to toil, and we still have a physical death. These punishments are only redeemed when a new heaven and new earth is created by God in Revelation 21.
Revelation 21:Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will [a]dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them[b], 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
Going back to the passage:
I will greatly multiply Your pain [e]in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children;
H6093 — ‛itstsâbôn — its-tsaw-bone’ — From H6087; worrisomeness, that is, labor or pain: – sorrow, toil. Total KJV occurrences: 3
In fact, there was pain and labor in child birth before the fall. If you look at the particular wording, it specifically says that pain and labor in child birthing will be greatly multiplied or increased. That doesn’t mean there was no pain or labor before the fall; rather, there was pain and labor but after the fall it was greatly increased. Indeed, as the punishment for sin, we can say that women’s child birthing has been made more difficult.
This is an important point because most people, even Christians, believe that pain is an evil thing. Pain is actually a good thing when viewed through the lens of people born with insensitivity to pain. For example, the fact that fire and boiling water is hot is taken for granted for parents trying to teach young children to stay away from the stove. This is not the case for those without the ability to experience pain which often leads to dangerous situations including physical scarring if not death.
Interestingly, the same thing happened with Adam with work.
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,
Genesis 2:15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not [n]eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
It’s not that Adam did not work before the fall. The Scriptures in the prior chapter, Genesis 2, indicate that it was Adam’s job before the fall to be a steward of the garden. Now, because of his sin the ground was cursed. Thus, men’s work has been made more difficult.
Now, to bring this back somewhat of a full circle to other things I’ve written about. I have already explored the strong case for why there was headship before the fall. Let’s take a look at it from the perspective of punishments.
Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.
Egalitarians believe that prior to the fall Adam and Eve were equal. They also believe that since Eve was ‘cursed’ by God — which we now know to be incorrect — that the coming of Jesus and His redemption that husbands and wives should be equal in marriage. However, we don’t find this in the Scriptures even in the New Testament. There are many passages that affirm the headship-submission model: Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, Titus 2, 1 Corinthians 11, 1 Corinthians 14, Titus 2, 1 Peter 3.
Let’s analyze the format of the punishments. Each of the punishments was not something new. Woman already had pain and labor in child birthing; it was just made more difficult. Man already tended to the garden; it was just made more difficult. Man was already formed from the dust; death reigned through sin, and he returned to the dust.
The logical conclusion is that headship was already present prior to the fall. After the fall, God redirected the desire of the woman to be like God instead toward man giving her a choice to want to be like him (evil, usurpation) or to be submissive to him (good). There is evidence for this.
Genesis 3:2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
We can see that the temptation that Satan used for Eve is stimulating her innate hypergamy. You will be like God. This is why I come to the conclusion that hypergamy is a feature of women, not a bug. It was present before the fall because Eve had the ability to be tempted by it. Like any feature, it can go out of haywire without self control. In this case, instead of eating of the tree of life, she chose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Instead, when God punishes Eve, He redirects her desire — her hypergamy — toward her husband.
Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.
In a Christian understanding of attraction, I explored the uses of the word desire in Hebrew. It’s used two more times. Once Genesis 4 and another time in Song of Songs.
- Gen 3:16c Yet your desire (teshûqâh) will be for your husband, And he will rule (mâshal) over you.”
- Gen 4:7 If you do well, [e]will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire (teshûqâh) is for you, but you must master (mâshal) it.
- Song of Solomon 7:10 — The Union of Love — “I am my beloved’s, And his desire (teshûqâh) is for me. 11 “Come, my beloved, let us go out into the [l]country, Let us spend the night in the villages. 12 “Let us rise early and go to the vineyards; Let us see whether the vine has budded And its blossoms have opened, And whether the pomegranates have bloomed. There I will give you my love. 13 “The mandrakes have given forth fragrance; And over our doors are all choice fruits, Both new and old, Which I have saved up for you, my beloved.
What is the choice? The fruit of the tree tells the tale. It is the knowledge between good and evil. What is good and what is evil? Good is the choice to submit to her husband. Evil is the choice to rebel against and usurp her husband.
The usage in Genesis 4 describes the sin desire that wants to rule over Cain. Likewise, the sinful desire of women in the punishment is to not just usurp headship but also the desire to be like man. However, appropriately subjugated desire mastered through submission to headship results in sexual desire in marriage both for her and her husband toward her as seen in Song of Songs.
We understand that feminism and egalitarianism does not push women toward independence from man or even equality with man. Rather, feminism pushes women to be like man, and for men to take the subordinate role in a relationship to be like women. This has been crassly termed by feminists and anti-feminists alike as penis envy.
Now, let’s put all of the parts together.
Prior to the fall, Adam and Eve lived in perfect headship-submission in harmony. However, after the fall, Eve gets her just desserts punishment from eating of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil — the choice to choose between good (submission) or evil (usurpation, rebellion, desire to be like man) in her relationship with her husband. Prior to the fall, her submission was present and easy; after the fall, her choice is more difficult, much like the other punishments.
Additionally, there is some interesting information in regard to the punishments.
1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
1 Timothy 2:9 Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, [g]modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, 10 but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. 11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first [h]created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, [i]fell into transgression. 15 But women will be [j]preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with [k]self-restraint.
There is a reason why work for men and child birthing and submission for women were responsibilities before the fall and emphasized in punishment. It is also reflected in the nature of responsibilities of each sex post-salvation. Paul’s inspiration from God was extremely profound.
Let’s pull back all of the blinders and gaze upon the Truth.
- The serpent and the ground were cursed, not Adam and Eve.
- Adam and Eve were not cursed but punished.
- The punishments were not original. They had roots in the nature of man and woman and their responsibilities before the fall. These are:
- Death — man started from dust and returned to dust. God told Adam about this punishment prior to eating the fruit in Genesis 2.
- Toil and work — man stewarded the garden before the fall and had to work harder after the fall. In Genesis 2, God tells man to be a steward of the garden. His job is made more difficult by sin.
- Labor and pain — women had pain and labor in child birthing before the fall but it was multiplied more after the fall. Her job is made more difficult by sin.
- Submission — women desired to be like God, but God redirected the desire toward the husband thus giving woman a choice between good and evil. A woman can give into sin desire if she wants to usurp the husband’s position to be like man, or she can choose righteousness by submitting to her husband to be like woman. Her responsibility is made more difficult by sin.
- In context: Prior to the fall, Adam and Eve lived in perfect headship-submission in harmony. However, after the fall, Eve gets her just desserts punishment from eating of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil — the choice to choose between good (submission) or evil (usurpation, rebellion, desire to be like man) in her relationship toward her husband. Prior to the fall, her submission was present and easy; after the fall, her choice is more difficult, much like the other punishments.
There is beauty in each of these punishments to man and woman.
As I wrote in God is good, hard toil and hard child birthing lead to immense satisfaction and joy afterward. There is almost nothing more beautiful than a mother holding her new born baby after a hard labor. For men, a hard days work and relaxation afterward is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world. Likewise, there is beauty in the the choice of a wife to submit to her husband in the oneness that it creates.
Finally, God was gracious in not letting man be immortalized in sin if he had partaken of the tree of life after partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.