. .

. Make a Donation

Index Page
About The Author
Bible Quiz
Holy Day Calendar
Free Online Bibles
Bible Reading Plan

Quick Search the thousands of Bible studies on this website.
Just type in topic word(s) or a question.
Get Daily Bible Study on Facebook
Get Daily Bible Study on Twitter
Sunday, February 11 2018

Why Did Adam and Eve Get Different Sentences For Their Sin?

"When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat"

When "Adam" and "Eve" (see the Fact Finder question below) chose to become sinners with their rebellions, the LORD (see A Biography Of Jesus Christ: The LORD God Of Creation) declared unto them a personal judgment which was based upon what each of them had done.

When Adam turned the forbidden tree into a "weed" of sin (see also Seed-Bearing Plants: For Food Or For Folly?), the LORD sentenced him to a lifetime of weeding.

"3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Genesis 3:17-19 KJV)


So too, Eve was given a specific sentence based on what she had done.

The traditional interpretation of the sentence to Eve is usually regarded as two separate statements ("I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children" and "thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee") - with the second part seemingly contradicting itself.

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

But what do the actual Hebrew Scriptures say? Is there a seeming contradiction in them? Answer, no.

Egyptian Woman Most translations have the first part correct i.e. "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children" (KJV).


"I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children." (New International Version)

"I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy conception; in pain thou shalt bring forth children" (American Standard Version)

"I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth." (New Living Translation)

"I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children." (English Standard Version)

But the second part seems like a contradiction: "Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."

If it means that her desire would thereafter to be willingly subject to her husband's "leadership," why would he have to "rule" (i.e. the word suggests force) over her?

But once again, the actual Hebrew makes it much more plain.

First, as Adam's curse was directly related to turning a righteous tree into a "weed" of sin, so he was therefore declared to forever be forced to hack weeds to make his food grow, so too the Woman was given a punishment that directly responded to what she had done - doing contrary to what Adam had told her about not taking from the tree.

The man was created first. He was all alone when the LORD commanded him to not take from the forbidden tree. After she was created, Adam would then have had the responsibility of telling the Woman not to take from it either. But she did contrary to what she was made aware of, so her curse would be a perpetuation of the now-familiar "You aren't going to tell me what to do" attitude. While the King James and many other translations leave that point vague, other translations do translate what was actually written. From the English Standard Version:

"Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you." (English Standard Version)

Others also render it literally, with the alternate, and what actually happened, terms:

"And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you." (New Living Translation)

Keeping in mind that the first declaration was before the Woman experienced childbirth, it also provided an application for "Eve" (as she was later named; see the Fact Finder question below) - which is seemingly the reason that most translations miss the first statement i.e. they focus merely on how the terminology was used to say "Even though pregnancy and giving birth will be painful for you, you will still desire to sleep with your husband and he will be over you."

The NASB and the GNT do however state that application of the dual declaration more clearly (in effect, the verse "should" have been stated twice - which in fact it was, if you take the time and effort to understand the full scope of the literal meanings of the words used).

"I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you." (New American Standard Bible)

"I will increase your trouble in pregnancy and your pain in giving birth. In spite of this, you will still have desire for your husband, yet you will be subject to him." (Good News Translation)

Two key factors for understanding what was written in the Holy Bible are the context (i.e. in this example, "curses" that were mirror images of the sin committed by each person) and the literal meanings of the actual Hebrew words that were written.

Fact Finder: How did "Adam," "Woman," and "Eve" originate?
See Adam's First Names

Bible Quiz Daily Bible Study Library
Thousands of Studies!

Jesus Christ
Bible History
Christian Living
Eternal Life
By The Book
Bible Places
The Spirit World

This Day In History, February 11

660 BC: The traditional date for the founding of Japan by Emperor Jimmu Tenno.


55: Britannicus, a son of Roman emperor Claudius, was poisoned. It paved the way for Nero to become emperor (see also Nero's Torches).

1531: King Henry VIII appointed himself supreme head of his new Church of England after the Church of Rome refused to permit the king's adulterous re-marriages.

Catherine and Anne

1554: Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for 9 days, was beheaded for treason along with her husband Lord Dudley.

1573: English explorer and naval hero (i.e. in the battles against the Spanish Armada) Francis Drake sighted the Pacific Ocean.

Francis Drake

1703: Godard van Reede-Ginkel, 1st earl of Athlone, died at age 59. The Dutch soldier, while in English service, completed the conquest of Ireland for Prince William of Orange (King William III of England) against the forces of the deposed King James II after the Revolution of 1688.

1790: The Religious Society of Friends, known as the Quakers, petitioned the new U.S. Congress for abolition of slavery in "the land of the free." The request was denied (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence remained slave holders for their entire lives).

1812: Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry signed a law changing the state's electoral boundaries to ensure a Republican victory. The manipulation gave rise to the term "gerrymandering."

1858: Bernadette Soubirous, 14, began 5 months during which she claimed to have 18 visions of Mary at Lourdes (if the girl saw anything at all, it wasn't Mary - Mary is dead, awaiting her resurrection like everyone else; see What Does The Bible Really Say About Mary? and The Sleep Of Death).

1873: King Amadeo of Spain abdicated. It led to the proclamation of the first Spanish republic.

1919: Friedrich Ebert was elected the first President of the German republic. He helped to bring about the Weimar constitution that tried to unite Germany after the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1922: The discovery of insulin by Frederick Banting and Charles Best was announced in Toronto.

1929: In the Lateran Palace in Rome, Benito Mussolini (representing the Italian king) and Cardinal Gasparri (representing Pope Pius) signed 3 historic documents (1) The Lateran Treaty gave the pope full sovereignty and temporal power over the 110-acre Vatican City. (2) a financial agreement compensated the Vatican for its surrender of claims to the old Papal States. (3) a concordat established Roman Catholicism as the official religion of Italy.

1945: The Yalta Conference of Winston Churchill of Britain, Franklin Roosevelt of the U.S. and Joseph Stalin of Russia ended.

1953: U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower refused a clemency appeal for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. The couple were later executed by electric chair at New York's Sing Sing prison. Eyewitnesses recorded the Rosenbergs' death, noting that Julius Rosenberg died after the first electric shock, while his wife did not. After three electric shocks, guards removed her strapping and hood only to find that Mrs. Rosenberg was not dead. Two more electric shocks were then applied, from which smoke and the odor of burning flesh rose from her body in the chamber.

1970: Japan became the 4th country to put a satellite into orbit.

1975: Margaret Thatcher became the first woman leader of a British political party when she was elected leader of the Conservatives.

1990: Nelson Mandela released from a South Africa prison after 27 years on charges of treason.


Copyright © Wayne Blank