|Question / Comment - Did God curse Adam and Eve? Was there a curse on all creation?|
Greetings from Tauranga!
There are obviously a few mysteries in this passage. Some things we can say and some that are difficult to get to the bottom of. And I should say that I'm no expert on these matters. But for what it is worth, here are a few thoughts:
It is clear that God did pronounce a curse. He cursed the serpent (vs 14) and the ground (vs 17). But the Bible never says that he cursed Adam or Eve. Some do say that they were cursed but to do so you are reading something into the text that it does not specifically say. Certainly there was a punishment or consequence for their sin which would totally affect all areas of their lives.
The Bible dictionary says of a curse:
"When God pronounces a curse, it is, a., a denunciation of sin (Nu. 5:21, 23; Dt. 29:19-20), b. his judgment on sin (Nu. 5:22, 24, 27; Is. 24:6), and c., the person who is suffering the consequences of sin by the judgment of God is called a curse (Nu. 5:21, 27; Je. 29:18). However, for the Hebrew, just as a word was not a mere sound on the lips but an agent sent forth, so the spoken curse was an active agent for hurt. Behind the word stands the soul that created it. Thus, a word which is backed by no spiritual capacity of accomplishment is a mere ‘word of the lip’ (2 Ki. 18:20 rvmg.), but when the soul is powerful the word is clothed in that power (Ec. 8:4; 1 Ch. 21:4)."
So while a curse and the consequences of sin are similar, you could say that a curse is more of a direct desire to cause hurt or misfortune where as what God said to Adam and Eve was the natural consequences of reaping what they had sown.
In terms of the pain in childbirth, it is interesting that the same word is used of childbirth and God's pronouncement to man that he would have to toil in the ground in the following verse - 'Itstsabown' is the word which literally means toil, suffering, labour. I only bring this up cause it can read a little different between versions:
NIV: "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children."
KJV: "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children."
I actually read one book that doesn't think the original statement was to do with childbearing at all. It said that "the word used in it's original vowel-less state fails by two letters to spell conception. Without these two letters the word means sighing or groaning and is used this way in the Septuagint" (the Greek translation of the Hebrew text done by 70 Rabbis). I'm not sure if this is correct or not.
There is also some disagreement over the word 'teshuqa' that is translated 'desire' in 'Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."
According to Dr John MacArthur, the word comes from an Arabic root meaning 'to compel, to urge, to seek control'. It is also used in Gen 4:7. After comparing it with this verse he said that 3:16 would rightly read 'your desire will be to control your husband, but he will rule over you."
So, I guess the moral of the story is that God was saying that the effects of the fall would be felt everywhere. In creation itself (which still groans longing to be free - Rom 8:22), in the toil and suffering that life would now present to both man and woman, in personal relationships between one another where control and desire would replace harmony and self sacrifice. Everything is messed up.
But... and it is a good but... before announcing all this, the promise of a savior is given that would defeat the serpent:
"and I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed: he shall bruise your head, and you shalt bruise his heel."
And it will certainly be a great day when
"The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name... and there shall be no more curse." (Zech 14:9-11)
While it may not answer all your questions, for what it's worth I hope it helps.
Greetings from Asheville!
Also could you please clarify for me the Scripture from Romans where
"creation is subjected 'to vanity--frustration'" Again commentators
claim that creation was cursed. Is there somewhere in Scripture that
states that creation is cursed? I just don't understand.
Also could you please clarify for me the Scripture from Romans where "creation is subjected 'to vanity--frustration'" Again commentators claim that creation was cursed. Is there somewhere in Scripture that states that creation is cursed? I just don't understand.
Depravity--I believe in the depravity of man. Where in Genesis 3 is
man's depravity exposed? Is it in the fact that after the fall he
gained the knowledge of good and evil? Or in the fact that they
experienced guilt, shame and fear?
Depravity--I believe in the depravity of man. Where in Genesis 3 is man's depravity exposed? Is it in the fact that after the fall he gained the knowledge of good and evil? Or in the fact that they experienced guilt, shame and fear?
Having read 20 books on the subject then you are probably in a better place than I to answer this question! I would say that some Bible commentators say that Adam and Eve were cursed because there was a judgement pronounced because of their actions at the fall in Genesis 3 so they take this as a 'curse'. I think some talk in general terms about the 'curse of the fall' or 'the curse of sin' to govern all that came about because of Adam and Eve's disobedience. For me, I agree that there was a judgement and that there were VERY serious consequences for their sin. But, as I said in the initial answer, if you are looking specifically at the passage to see what was and was not 'cursed' (by using that word) you only find that Satan/serpent and the ground were cursed. Maybe it is 'splitting hairs'. Some would say that Adam was cursed indirectly through the curse being placed on the ground as scripture specifically states that this curse upon the ground was 'because of you'.
It is also useful to remember that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil also resulted not just in evil - but in some trying to be good. It pushes man in both directions. Yet the key is that it is all done with a self focus independent of God. A self focused, proud heart that tries to do what it thinks best, making it's own decisions. Yet with the inward guilt of its obvious failings it still tries to sew little pitiful fig leaves to cover its shame. Mankind has done this with 'religion' and 'good works' all its life.
It is also good to remember that 'depravity' doesn't mean 'continually as wicked as they can be'. I heard Stuart Briscoe speak a couple of months back and he said about total depravity:
Hope this helps.