Apologetics: Genesis 3.16

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Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy conception; in pain thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. (Genesis 3:16)


Does this verse indicate God is harder on women than men?


The common interpretation of this verse is that Eve sinned without repenting and thus was justly punished. This is no more harsh than the punishment upon Adam.

Katherine Bushnell, in her book God's Word to Women, comes to a different conclusion. She studies the original Hebrew of this verse and ancient translations (such as the Septuagint) and translates the verse thus: "A snare hath increased thy sorrow and thy sighing. Thou art turning away to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." "Snare" refers to Satan's deception of Eve ("Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning" 2 Corinthians 11:3), thus Satan, not God, is the source of Eve's sadness. She notes that Satan is cursed ("Cursed are you above all the livestock . . ." Genesis 3.14) and Adam is punished ("Cursed is the ground because of you . . ." Genesis 3.17) but Eve is neither cursed nor punished. Bushnell's translation is explained in God's Word to Women Lesson 13.

External Links

Go to the Apologetics: Genesis index

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