Teshuqa Turnings – Times Three

The translation of the noun teshuqa in Hebrew from “turning” in the Greek Septuagint (and other early non-Hebrew translations) to “desire” in today’s English translations is a bit of an enigma. (Read the history of this change.) In the Old Testament, teshuqa is rarely used. In fact,  it is used only three times.

Genesis 3:16: [to Eve] … your teshuqa to your man…

Genesis 4:7 [to Cain]…sin’s (or Abel’s) teshuqa toward you…

Song of Songs 7:10 [about lover]…his teshuqa at me…

I list the three occurrences not to show you the similarities or differences, but simply to illustrate how narrow the use of teshuqa is. It is tempting to  start at one verse and argue backward to a definition in another verse, but that is generally considered poor exegesis. Each verse carries its own context, and even though the meaning of the word may be consistent, it’s place within the sentence often lends a nuance leading to differing translation. So, my BIG caution is to be wary of interpretations that rely fundamentally (and that word is key) on how another verse uses the word in question.

But, the fact is, the interpretations of these other two verses HAVE influenced the translation of the word teshuqa in Genesis 3:16. The context of Genesis 4:7 is anger that leads to jealous murder. Naturally, we see overtones of dominance and control. Song of Songs 7:10 is smack in the middle of euphemistic poetry describing intimacy, so of course we feel the undercurrent of sensual desire. But can either of those connotations be accurately overlaid on teshuqa in Genesis 3:16?

Dominance?

In the new ESV-unchangeable-so-shall-it-forever-be-version (I just can’t help myself), we witness the culmination of decades of scholarship interpreting Genesis 3:16 from a starting point in Genesis 4:7. In 4:7, it is sin’s teshuqa to Cain that certain scholars believe parallels the woman’s teshuqa to man in 3:16. The context of 4:7 is set in the midst of conflict as God warns Cain that if he does not follow the right way, sin would be at his door and it’s teshuqa toward him. Cain is instructed to resist sin by controlling or ruling over it. There is an apparent enmity, and rightly so, between sin and Cain.

(It is a newer trend, for the last hundred years or so, to interpret Genesis 4:7 as referring to sin. Older theologians believed it was referencing Abel. If it is Abel’s teshuqa, then the heightened sense of domination disappears.It could also be interpreted as referring to Cain’s sin offering. The Hebrew does not have a clear meaning, which should caution basing a foundation theological point on it.)

As a result, many on the ESV Oversight Committee read enmity between the principle players in the context of 3:16. See what John Piper wrote about Genesis 3:16.

But what is really being said here? …

The key comes from recognizing the connection between the last words of this verse (3:16b) and the last words of Genesis 4:7

…When 4:7 says that sin is crouching at the door of Cain’s heart (like a lion, Genesis 49:9) and that it’s desire is for him, it means that sin wants to overpower him. It wants to defeat him and subdue him and make him the slave of sin…

…Now when we go back to 3:16 we should probably see the same meaning in the sinful desire of woman. When it says, “Your desire shall be for your husband,” it means that when sin has the upper hand in woman she will desire to overpower or subdue or exploit man.

Eve wants to control Adam, but Adam will rule over her. The play for power in Genesis 4:7 is overlaid onto 3:16, and as a result, we begin to hear popular speakers and preachers discussing the “curse” on Eve as wives desiring to manipulate and have dominance over their husbands, just like sin did to Cain. The ESV inserts this desire for dominance into 3:16 with the words, “your teshuqa (desire in ESV) shall be contrary to your husband.” Enmity achieved.

As stated previously, I believe relying solely on a word as it is used in another context is poor exegetical practice. And in this case, it results in a number of problems.

  1. There is a major linguistic complication in 4:7 that is not present in 3:16. The presence of a conditional phrase as introduction. God warns with the word “if,” and introduces two possible outcomes. This conditional element is not found in 3:16 and it complicates a straight parallel comparison with presumptions.
  2. Where do we draw the line at a straight parallel between the two verses? Woman has a teshuqa and sin has a teshuqa. Are they the same thing? Sin and women are both “ruled.” I hope we all get uncomfortable with the direction this could go in likening women to sin…and tragically you and I both know that religious scholars have delved deeply in these comparisons over the years resulting in millennia of subjugation and rotten theology.
  3. The parallel breaks down even further when we proceed to the second phrase found in both 3:16 and 4:7: “he/you will rule over you/it.” Cain did not succeed in ruling sin. Indeed no man anywhere (except Jesus) has subjugated sin. Too bad we couldn’t apply Cain’s same halfhearted effort to man’s rule over women! The contextual parallels of the two phrases just don’t match up without back flips and stretches.
  4. This mismatch of logical fallacies  should warn us against translating teshuqa in 3:16 on the basis of the context in 4:7.

 Desire?

The most widely used English translation for teshuqa today is “desire.” How did this definition make its way to our English page? Katharine Bushnell initiated the search for the roots of “desire” from teshuqa in the early 1900s, but continued study has not gained much momentum in the last hundred years outside egalitarian circles. Why was the meaning of teshuqa changed to desire? I like Bushnell’s explanation.

It must, then, impress reasoning minds that the interpretation of Genesis 3:16 has had a history something like this: Men of old found a phrase here that seemed to have to do with woman’s relation to her husband, but it was beyond their comprehension. Unconsciously these men of olden time have consulted their own ideas of what a wife should be, in relation to her husband, and inserted those ideas into their interpretation. The interpretation has been accepted by other men, without challenge, because it conformed to their unsanctified wishes, and handed on from generation to generation, until it became weighty through “tradition.” No effort, scarcely has been put forth to reconcile such teaching with the spirit of Jesus Christ. (para. 112)

Bushnell suspects the definition was changed because the of male bias in the translation process. This charge deserves a post of its own along with the origin of lust/desire to Genesis 3:16.

But, what about the influence of Song of Songs (Songs) 7:10 on Genesis 3:16? Interestingly, all early English versions (15th-16th centuries) retain “turning” as the meaning of teshuqa in Songs 7:10, but translate teshuqa as “lust” or “power” or “appetite” in Genesis 3:16. So, the original meaning of teshuqa was not lost on the early English translators. Though, by the end of the 1700s, all three verses were unified in their translation to “desire.” And the turning of teshuqa‘s meaning in English was complete. So historically, the influence of “desire” did not originate in Songs 7:10, but the other way around with “desire” in Genesis 3:16 taking the lead.

Three Turnings

I close with the three uses of teshuqa translated with its original meaning.

Genesis 3:16 You are turning to your husband, and he will rule over you.

Genesis 4:7  But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it is turning to you, but you must rule over it.

Songs 7:10 I belong to my beloved and he is turning to me!

Read more on Teshuqa’s roots:

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10 thoughts on “Teshuqa Turnings – Times Three

  1. Good article, Kay! In all my years, I don’t think I have ever heard someone mention the 3 times teshqua is used; shame on me for not researching that more. I would pair it up against Gen. 4:6 quite often, but I do see the danger in that from your article. Keep sharing what you are finding…good stuff!

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  2. So if we agree that the word was originally ‘turning’ rather than ‘desire’ we would have to evaluate its impact on the entire meaning of the statement in context. Rather than saying ‘your desire shall be for your husband’ it should read “you are turning to your husband and he will rule over thee.” Some of the comments are that the sin of Eve was that she followed Adam. What? Eve was FIRST deceived, not Adam, and THEN she gave to Adam and he ate. How could her sin be that she was following Adam? Adam had not even sinned yet, so how could she ‘follow’ him into sin? The sin was that the man followed the woman, not the other way around.

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    1. Hi Gary, Thanks for your thoughts on this. What you wrote is what I believe turning means. I admit that it is not what is traditionally taught in churches, but it is not without scholarly support. If you are interested here is the progression of Eve’s turning.

      Eve’s turning is to follow Adam away from God. Her pain begins when she leaves the Garden and God’s intimate friendship to follow Adam. Some points to consider:

      Satan tempted Eve because Adam was already on or leaning toward his side. Adam didn’t need to be tempted. (Gen 2:15-18) In her innocence, Eve was completely deceived by the serpent’s guile. Adam was not. (Gen 3:6, 13, 1 Tim 2:14, 2 Cor 11:3, Job 31:33, Hosea 6:7, Romans 5:12-21) Adam continues in his rebellion and joins Satan in blaming God for the evil that was now present inside him. (Gen 3:12) When queried, Eve accuses the true adversary. She tells the truth about her deception and that Satan was to blame. (Gen 3:13) Because she named the enemy, Satan would war with woman. But God prophesied that woman would be victorious. Her heir would defeat him. (Gen 3:15) Adam would toil for the things that God freely provided for him in the loving commune of the Garden. Adam would struggle in his new role of provider because that was not a role he was meant to play. (Gen 3:17-19) Adam would physically die. (Gen 3:19) Life was found in Eve. She is titled “the source of life” in hopeful anguish by her husband who had just received his death sentence. (Gen 3:20) Adam, the man, was banished from the garden so that he would not eat of the Tree of Life and live forever separated from God’s goodness. (Gen 3:22-24)

      Then, Eve turned and followed Adam.
      Further reading: https://kbonikowsky.wordpress.com/2011/06/01/who-is-satans-enemy/

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  3. Hello Kbonikowsky =

    You are adding many things into the text that are not stated. Anyone can speculate on what ‘could have happened,’ yes indeed, God ‘could have’ done things differently, but we are not interested in what God ‘could have done,’ we are interested in what he really did do and say, without adding to it or taking away from it.

    ‘Every word of God is pure; he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Prov. 30:5-6

    Anything could be conjectured: People have tried to make the sin of Adam that he didn’t pay his tithes, or that Eve had sex with the serpent, and on and on. But it doesn’t say the sin of Adam was not paying tithes, not does it say Eve had sex with the serpent…these are just examples of adding to God’s words.

    You say Eve left God’s intimate friendship and followed Adam…Where did you get this idea? God specifically told Adam not to eat of every tree before he had even made Eve. There was no sin in the world as of yet…Adam’s sin was that he followed Eve instead of following God. Eve ate and THEN gave it to her husband and then he ate. Do you notice anything missing here? The thing that is missing is what you have inserted into the narrative, namely that Eve sinned by following Adam. Eve did not sin by following Adam…Adam sinned by following Eve.

    When you read Gen. 3:6 it says ‘…she (Eve) took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” No one could ever read that and say ‘Eve sinned by following Adam..’ its just not there.

    You state Satan tempted Eve because Adam was already on or leaning to his side. Adam was ‘already on or leaning to Satan’s side?’ Where did you get this idea? There is no scripture showing Adam was ‘on’ or ‘leaning’ towards Satan’s side before he ate of the fruit. This is just adding to the text again. You say Adam did not need to be tempted because he was already ‘on or leaning towards Satan’s side.’ How did he get to the position of being ‘on or leaning to Satan’s side’ if he had not been tempted to do so? And if this all happened before he ate of the fruit, then where is the scripture stating this?

    You say Adam didn’t need to be tempted and then give Gen. 2:15-18 as somehow supporting this idea. There is nothing that says anything about Adam ‘not needing to be tempted’ in Gen. 2:15-18. God says he took the man and put him in the Garden…he told him what he could eat and what he could not eat…he said it wasn’t good for man to be alone, and that God would make an help meet for him…where is anything at all in these verses about whether he needed or did not need to be tempted?

    I am open to what scripture says, not to what it doesn’t say. Gen. 2:15-18 states nothing about Adam needing or not needing to be tempted…why did you quote this as some sort of supporting text? When you said Eve sinned by following Adam, why is that you did not quote Gen. 3:6 as a supporting text? Is it not because Gen. 3:6 states something completely different than Eve sinning by following Adam?

    There are more errors than the ones I just pointed out, but lets go over each one point by point and come to a scriptural resolution….

    Blessings in Christ- Gary

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    1. Many blessing to you, too! I never know if someone wants a reply or if they just want to share their thoughts, but I’ll take your words ” lets go over each one point by point and come to a scriptural resolution” literally. 🙂 I understand that I am presenting this in a disjointed fashion. I teach a class where we walk step by step through this story and end with Jesus, because that is the good news embedded in Gen 3:15. And the woman is critical. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

      “You are adding many things into the text that are not stated.” I think that my understanding of this text is more conscious of what the text actually says than most interpretations. Let me give you a few examples using your queries.

      • Gen 2:15 – God told the man to “keep” (Hebrew Shamar, means guard, see also Gen 3:24 where this word is translated guard) and work the garden. What was he to guard against? The only enemy we know of is the snake, which was a very real threat and he shows up soon after. C.S. Lewis takes up this theme in Out of the Silent Planet (an outside force of evil being present in a good world before sin). Adam knew there was something he needed to keep the garden safe from? Why didn’t he? And, here I conjecture the reason as he was already leaning toward the snake’s side since the snake went to tempt Eve, not Adam.

      You ask: “You say Adam did not need to be tempted because he was already ‘on or leaning towards Satan’s side.’ How did he get to the position of being ‘on or leaning to Satan’s side’ if he had not been tempted to do so?”

      • Gen 2:18 – two verses later God says the only thing not good, is man being alone. Now there is MUCH conjecture about why it was not good for man to be alone and what he needed help to do, but when we look in context, the previous verses are discussing the “rule” and the man’s responsibilities. My conjecture is that the man needed help to do his responsibility to guard and work the garden, and why do people need help with anything? They are unable to do it alone. There was no sin in the world yet, but there was something already “not good” in the man that the woman was created to remedy.
      • Gen 3:15 – the woman, not Adam, is named as the snake’s enemy, and she is given the promise that her offspring will ultimately destroy the evil that tricked her. This verse was the turning point (pun intended – teshuqa) for me in my understanding. I believe it is critical. It’s the protoevangelium! The first gospel. The promised one is a child of Eve, not Adam.
      • Gen 3:16 – God’s words to the woman are different in two ways from God’s words to the snake and to the man. There is no “Because you have done this…” and there is no “Cursed are you…”

      You ask, “When you said Eve sinned by following Adam, why is that you did not quote Gen. 3:6 as a supporting text?” If I wrote Gen 3:6 , that would be confusing for the point! Here is the verse that teaches me this point.

      • Gen 3:22-24 – Who does the verse state God wanted to keep from the tree of life and who did he banish from the garden? I have been accused of taking this verse TOO literally before, and I can actually understand that point, but I won’t digress into a Hebrew argument. 🙂
      • Gen 4:1 – Who is now outside the garden with Adam?

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  4. Blessings to you and hope we can continue our discourse until we come to a scriptural consensus.
    There are some things you are saying that are true that I agree with, while there are other things that are not and should be corrected. Here is one of the first things you say that is true: “I teach a class where we walk step by step through this story and end with Jesus, because that is the good news embedded in Gen 3:15. And the woman is critical.”
    Yes…Gen. 3:15 points to Jesus, and the woman is critical.
    Continuing you say the following: ”
    Gen 2:15 – God told the man to “keep” (Hebrew Shamar, means guard, see also Gen 3:24 where this word is translated guard) and work the garden. What was he to guard against? The only enemy we know of is the snake, which was a very real threat and he shows up soon after. C.S. Lewis takes up this theme in Out of the Silent Planet (an outside force of evil being present in a good world before sin). Adam knew there was something he needed to keep the garden safe from? Why didn’t he? And, here I conjecture the reason as he was already leaning toward the snake’s side since the snake went to tempt Eve, not Adam.
    So it states the man was “keep” or ‘to guard’ the garden, and the ‘only’ enemy you know of would have been the serpent. So a couple of things to consider here. If you take Gen. 1:29-30 to mean that all the beasts, creeping things and fowls of the heaven were only given herbs to eat, then Adam would of had to guard the garden from many more ‘enemies’ than just the serpent.
    If you think the animals always killed each other and were in the state they are in now, then the serpent would not have been any threat at all to the garden. Many gardeners today will tell snakes are very beneficial as they eat rodents, slugs and rats and so forth.
    You then say Adam didn’t do his job of tilling and keeping the garden here: “Adam knew there was something he needed to keep the garden safe from? Why didn’t he?”
    There is no scripture stating the serpent had ever said anything to anyone before he spoke to Eve. This is adding to God’s word things that are not stated. There is no scripture stating Adam did not till and keep the garden…it is presented as a fact, then you ask “Why didn’t he?” First tell me where it says he didn’t keep the garden before you ask ‘why he didn’t do it.’
    After you get this far off the path you finally admit that you are ‘conjecturing’ that he ‘was already leaning towards the snake’s side since the snake went to tempt Eve, not Adam.’ There is no record of what the ‘snake’s side’ even was before he spoke to Eve. Unless of course we are free to just ‘conjecture’ something that is nowhere written. What does it mean to not ‘add to his words?’
    I asked this question:
    “You say Adam did not need to be tempted because he was already ‘on or leaning towards Satan’s side.’ How did he get to the position of being ‘on or leaning to Satan’s side’ if he had not been tempted to do so?”
    You gave me Gen. 2:18 that the reason it was not good that Adam would be alone to mean he couldn’t do his job of tilling the soil. This is allegedly buttressed by saying the only reason a person needs help is because they can’t do it alone. There are contexts where the word ‘help’ can mean a person can’t do it alone, but it is not across the board in all cases. Someone can help me do something by just making it easier to do it, not that I couldn’t have done it alone.
    After concluding that ‘help’ in this context means Adam could not till the garden alone, you say this:
    “There was no sin in the world yet, but there was something already “not good” in the man that the woman was created to remedy.”
    If you truly mean there was no sin in the world at this time, then you would have to discard the thought that Adam may have already ‘been on Satan’s side.” If he is on Satan’s side then sin had already entered the world.
    You then reference Gen. 3:15 as to how you define her ‘turning,’ by saying the following:
    “…the woman, not Adam, is named as the snake’s enemy, and she is given the promise that her offspring will ultimately destroy the evil that tricked her. This verse was the turning point (pun intended – teshuqa) for me in my understanding. I believe it is critical. It’s the protoevangelium! The first gospel. The promised one is a child of Eve, not Adam.”
    Yes, I agree Gen. 3:15 is speaking of Jesus who would ultimately destroy the Serpent, how is ‘your turning shall be to your husband’ connect to Gen. 3:15? In your other post you say this ‘turning’ meant the following:
    “Eve’s turning is to follow Adam away from God. Her pain begins when she leaves the Garden and God’s intimate friendship to follow Adam.”
    So I don’t have time to continue with the rest of your post right now, but please answer how Gen. 3:15 connects with ”Eve’s turning is to follow Adam away from God…..” Gen. 3:15 does not talk about Eve turning away from God to follow Adam…it is a totally different narrative…it is how her seed will destroy Satan…not how she sinned to follow Adam…..it does not connect.
    Blessings – Gary

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  5. I just wanted to mention also that I appreciate knowing that the word ‘turning’ was actually in the older texts seemingly from the beginning, and it wasn’t until later that it was translated as ‘desire.’ Even people entrenched in studying the linguistics have stated they do not understand how any translator could have legitimately come up with the word ‘desire’ rather than ‘turning,’ outside of the possibility it could have been mistranslated because the two words are very similar in how they are spelled.

    So my question has been how does this actually impact the overall statement itself. Your concept that it somehow means that Eve forsook God to follow Adam does not relate at all to any narrative in scripture, and I fail to see how you are connecting the phrase about Jesus ultimately defeating Satan with the woman turning to follow God, rather than following Adam.

    It seems more likely to me that her ‘turning’ would be that she would ultimately have to come back under Adam’s headship instead of disobeying her husband and listening to Satan instead. In other words, she had originally turned away from what Adam had told her and in order to be restored she would have to come back under who her God given authority was, who was her husband, Adam. The reason I say she she left Adam’s headship was that there is no scripture showing God spoke directly to Eve about the prohibition of what she could not eat, implying that she got that information from Adam.

    Even if the above is just speculation, there is no indication anywhere that her sin was in following Adam rather than God. That is the monkey wrench in the whole equation.

    Blessings to you in Christ Jesus- Gary

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    1. Obviously, I’m not talking about literal snakes, and I don’t think this story is either, by the way. This is a spiritual story, and it is reasonable to conjecture that when God told Adam to guard the garden, he had the snake as personified evil in mind as a present danger.

      The man was not good being alone. He needed an “ezer.” Ezer is a strong word. It connotes protection and rescue. I write a bit more about it here: https://kbonikowsky.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/women-in-the-text-creation-order-1/ .

      You are adding to the text as well. Nowhere in this account is the man in charge or given authority over the woman. The word “headship” is not in this text or anywhere in Scripture. Both man and woman are told to care and rule over the creation. They are both made in the image of God. They are made of the same flesh and blood, they are unified.

      You add that Adam told his wife of God’s rule. The woman never disobeyed the man. The text never says the man communicated to her the rule God gave to him alone before the woman was taken out of him. She was tricked by the Evil One into believing the forbidden fruit was good, pleasing and profitable for wisdom. Adam knew better. He ate anyway. The woman might have known about the rule, but the text is silent. We do know their eyes were opened after the man ate indicating he was held responsible for breaking the rule – it is speculation on both our parts for why that is. I believe it was because he ate because he was rejecting God. She ate because she was deceived.

      It is the motive of the heart, not an imagined hierarchical position of responsibility that caused Adam to be held responsible of that first sin. He rejected God by knowing what he was doing as he took the bite. Scripture clearly says Eve was deceived, Adam was not.

      Gen 3:22-24 – Who does the verse state God wanted to keep from the tree of life and who did he banish from the garden?
      Gen 4:1 – Who is now outside the garden with Adam?

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  6. Sorry for taking so long to get back with you…I had most everything typed up and tried to send it and it didn’t post for some reason and I accidentally lost it, so I had to re-write it.

    To make it easier to understand I thought I would state your individual comments and follow up with mine. So in front of your comments I will put a (K) for your name, and in front of mine I will put a (G) for my name.

    (K ) Obviously, I’m not talking about literal snakes, and I don’t think this story is either, by the way.

    (G) One could read the story in Genesis and think it was talking about a literal snake. But when we go further into Revelation, it plainly states the serpent is the Devil and Satan as stated here:

    Rev. 20:2 “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.”

    Also Rev. 12:9 – And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world…:

    So when we read ‘the serpent said’ such and such, we could use the Biblical definition of who the serpent is and insert the word ‘Satan’ or ‘The Devil.’ So instead of ‘Now the serpent was more subtil…’ we could say, “Now the Devil was more subtil..’ or ‘Now Satan was more subtil…’ There are other appellations as well that could be inserted but in context the reason the word ‘serpent’ was used in Genesis rather than some other title, is because it is emphasizing the cunning and craftiness of how the Devil beguiled Eve.

    So when it says, The serpent said such and such, or the woman said such and such, we don’t know exactly how the conversation took place except that it did. In a similar manner, when Jesus was tempted of the Devil it says things like ‘…and the Devil said unto him, if thou be the Son of God,’ and then Jesus replied ‘…it is written, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’ So you are correct in the sense of you saying it was a ‘spiritual story,’ but of course the conversation literally took place between a real Devil and a real woman.

    In 2 Cor. 11:3, Paul spoke in broad terms saying he feared, “lest by any means”, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtility, that their minds would not be corrupted from the simplicity that was in Christ. So we know there are various ways the Devil can beguile people…sometimes through their own imaginations, sometimes through other people, sometimes he appears as an angel of light and so forth.

    (K) “…and it is reasonable to conjecture that when God told Adam to guard the garden, he had the snake as personified evil in mind as a present danger.”

    (G) After Adam had sinned, God spoke to him but he never said ‘Why did you not guard the garden from Satan like I told you? He said ‘Have you eaten of the tree whereof I commanded you that thou shouldest not eat?”

    For that matter, it never says Adam ever tilled the ground, so can we just assume God cast him out because it never said anything like ‘And Adam went to work immediately tilling the ground as God had said…?” Obviously not, it is an argument from silence with no reference that he did or didn’t till the ground. In the same way, it never says he ‘guarded the garden’ or that he ‘didn’t guard the garden,’ it was just said that was the reason God put him there.

    Along the same lines, how could Adam have ‘guarded’ the garden from Satan to start with? Was he supposed to stop Satan from ever tempting Eve? God says he knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation, but it never says if we follow God, we will never be tempted, or that one person could somehow have power to stop Satan from tempting someone else.

    So, if Adam really had of ‘guarded’ the garden, how would he have done it? If we are claiming God really told Adam to guard ‘The Garden,’ then what is a garden? It is herbs and trees and rivers and so forth. What would Satan want with these things? Is that Satan’s work to take people’s gardens? No, of course not, he is a tempter and he wants to steal, and to kill and to destroy people’s souls, not their gardens.

    Here is your quote as regards to someones reason as to how the male came to be the authority of the woman: The order of creation, the significance that Adam was formed before Eve, is an age-old argument for male authority.

    You seem to think this is just a reason people came up to justify male authority. The scripture itself says:

    “For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man..”
    “Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man…”
    “For I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence…”

    If there was no authority given to the man, Paul’s statement would be meaningless. And when does it say that the woman was for the man? It says this took place when they were created. This brings us right back to the Garden of Eden…not to some man made dogma that later came about.

    You then refer to the word ‘help’ in Genesis and say it is usually used in the context of divine help as from battles and God working salvation for men and you are correct, but the word is not always used to denote divine help so it is not a concrete example that the help a woman provides must always mean the man would be lost without her. If this was true, Paul would not have said, If a man can contain himself it would be better not to marry.

    Genesis is giving a broad outline of the function of a husband and wife, but the New Testament is giving us additional detail, similar to how Google maps work. In other words, you find America on the globe, then zoom in to California, then zoom in to San Fransisco, then zoom in to Market Street. Paul said if you are loosed from a wife to not seek a wife. Why would he say that if it the man would be automatically lost without a wife? So what I am saying is that Paul says in order to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, but then he also says ‘but every man hath his PROPER gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. If he could only have salvation (divine help) by having a wife, then he would not have said each condition could be PROPER.

    (K) Nowhere in this account is the man in charge or given authority over the woman. The word “headship” is not in this text or anywhere in Scripture.

    (G) Genesis does say ‘and thy ‘turning’ shall be unto thy husband, and he shall rule over thee, however, these functions of a husband and wife are stated in broad terms and are not clarified until later in the New Testament. And yes, the word ‘headship’ is not the exact word used in scripture, but it would be incorrect to say the meaning of headship is not in this text or anywhere in scripture.

    If you look up the word ‘headship’ and ‘head’ the meanings as far as what we are talking about are identical, and it is easy to see the word ‘head’ is used as the function identified for the husband to fulfill, as it says ‘the head of the woman is the man.”

    (K) Both man and woman are told to care and rule over the creation. They are both made in the image of God. They are made of the same flesh and blood, they are unified.

    (G) Yes, they were to be fruitful, to multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it and have dominion over everything…yes, they were both made in the image of God, and yes they are bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh…However, like I said, the New Testament clarifies some more details. In Genesis it says they are both in the image of God, yet in the New Testament it adds that the woman is the glory of the man…Even saying all these things does not mean that somehow the man is not the head of the woman as it plainly states, and that she is to submit to him in all things as unto the Lord. (1 Peter 3:1, Col. 3:18, Eph. 5:24)

    (K) You add that Adam told his wife of God’s rule. The woman never disobeyed the man. The text never says the man communicated to her the rule God gave to him alone before the woman was taken out of him. She was tricked by the Evil One into believing the forbidden fruit was good, pleasing and profitable for wisdom. Adam knew better. He ate anyway. The woman might have known about the rule, but the text is silent.

    (G) The text is not silent as to whether she knew the rule or not. She plainly tells the serpent what God had said to them, and the consequences if they ate of the tree. Gen. 3:2-3 “And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it lest ye die.”

    (K) We do know their eyes were opened after the man ate indicating he was held responsible for breaking the rule – it is speculation on both our parts for why that is. I believe it was because he ate because he was rejecting God. She ate because she was deceived.

    (G) They were both held responsible for their own actions. God specifically addressed Adam and he specifically addressed Eve. Both of their eyes were opened, which was the result of both of them disobeying what God had said. They both rejected and disobeyed the commandment of God. You say she ate because she was deceived, which is true, but Paul still says ‘she was in the transgression,’ which makes it just as much of a sin as what Adam did. 1 Tim. 2:14 “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the TRANSGRESSION.” 1 John 3:3 “Whosever commits sin transgresses also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.”

    (K) It is the motive of the heart, not an imagined hierarchical position of responsibility that caused Adam to be held responsible of that first sin. He rejected God by knowing what he was doing as he took the bite. Scripture clearly says Eve was deceived, Adam was not.

    (G) You are building on the illusion that Adam was held responsible for the sin of Eve. Eve disobeyed God, and Adam disobeyed God. It is not an imagined hierarchical position…the head of the woman is the man, as God revealed to Paul in the New Testament. You are trying to make it appear that Eve did nothing worthy of being cast out of the Garden, however scripture plainly says she was in the transgression which means she sinned against God’s word. She herself openly stated if she was to eat of this fruit she would die, i.e. the same penalty that was given to Adam if he disobeyed.

    (K) Gen 3:22-24 – Who does the verse state God wanted to keep from the tree of life and who did he banish from the garden?
    Gen 4:1 – Who is now outside the garden with Adam?

    One thing to clarify is the word ‘man’ is not always used to denote a male person. As you have already quoted it states that he called their name ‘Adam’ which means ‘man.’

    A few scriptural examples shows that the word ‘men’ is used of both men and women or mankind. Even Strongs Concordance shows this to be the case:

    #120 – 1) Man, human being
    2) Mankind
    3) Adam, first man

    So how do we know Strongs knows anything about what a word means? By looking in the very inspired text, we can see this is used extensively in scripture.

    When God sent the flood he said he was going to destroy ‘man…’ did he only destroy the males and no females? Of course not.
    When he said ‘Let us make ‘man’ in our own image…is man the only thing made in the image of God…no of course not for it specifically states ‘male and female created he them.’

    But to your point in Gen. 3:22- 24 it specifically says ‘the man’ not ‘man’ in a generic sense.

    Gen. 3:22 – “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good and evil…”

    There are a number of other translations that this word ‘the man’ is exchanged for ‘human beings’ or ‘man’ and here are a few of them:

    CEV -“The Lord said, “These people now know the difference between right and wrong, just as we do. But they must not be allowed to eat fruit from the tree that lets them live forever.”

    DARBY- “And Jehovah Elohim said, Behold, Man is become as one of us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever …!”

    DRA- “And he said: Behold Adam is become as one of us, knowing good and evil: now, therefore, lest perhaps he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.”

    EXB- “Then the Lord God said, “Humans have become like one of us; they know good and evil. We must keep them from eating some of the fruit from the tree of life, or they will live forever.”

    GNT- “Then the Lord God said, “Now these human beings have become like one of us and have knowledge of what is good and what is bad. They must not be allowed to take fruit from the tree that gives life, eat it, and live forever.”

    HCSB- “The Lord God said, “Since man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil, he must not reach out, take from the tree of life, eat, and live forever.”

    NCV- “Then the Lord God said, “Humans have become like one of us; they know good and evil. We must keep them from eating some of the fruit from the tree of life, or they will live forever.”

    NLT- “Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!”

    OJB- “And Hashem Elohim said, See, HaAdam is become like one of Us, knowing tov v’rah; and now, lest he put forth his yad, and take also of HaEtz HaChayyim, and eat, and chai l’olam (live forever);

    WYC- “and said, Lo! Adam is made as one of us, and knoweth good and evil; now therefore see ye, lest peradventure he put [out] his hand, and take [also] of the tree of life, and eat, and live without end”

    As you can see, not all translations are unanimous that it was just Adam who was cast out of the garden. It uses ‘Adam’ or ‘man’ in its universal sense which would include both Adam and Eve. So if one translation says one thing, and another translation says another thing, how are we to know for sure? We know BY CONTEXT. What is the context?

    The scripture premise is that ‘man’ or ‘the man’ had become as one of us, to know good and evil. Well, who can we find out in scripture that knew good and evil? Was it just the man or was it both the man and woman? Of course it was both of them.

    It plainly states the ‘eyes of them BOTH were opened and THEY knew that THEY were naked.’ What did God say to Adam when he hid himself among the trees? He said ‘I was afraid because I was naked.’ Then God said ‘Who told thee thou wast naked…Have you eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee thou shouldest not eat?’

    So who connected the dots as to HOW both the man and woman became aware they were naked? It was God himself. They both ate of the same tree of knowledge of good and evil, which resulted in both of them knowing the same thing…i.e. that they were naked. They both had become as gods, knowing good and evil, not just Adam.

    So the whole premise that Eve was not cast out is incorrect. She did not sin by voluntarily leaving the garden to follow Adam as you are saying. She had not choice as to whether or not she could leave, and her sin was not that she left the garden to follow Adam, but rather that she ate of the forbidden fruit, just as it openly states.

    Blessings to you- Gary

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  7. My understanding on the gradual fall of Adam: We will have to agree to disagree. I believe the words that say there was something “not good” in the garden before Adam’s BIG SIN, and this is evidence that man was leaning away from God prior to his outright rebellion. It is conjecture on everyone’s part what was “not good” about man being alone.

    A note on what was to be guarded – the verse immediately after the command to keep and work (2:15) is the command about the two trees (2:16-17). From this, we get the context that (at least) these two trees are supernatural, not trees and plants like we experience today. They might be literal or figurative, and that puts the context of guarding into the same realm.

    I won’t go into male authority from the order of creation here. If you want to go around about that, I welcome you take the discussion to a post where I discuss that. Genesis 1-2 does not say that males have authority over females. God gave co-rule over creation, not one over the other, to both sexes.

    You say that help in a divine sense must “always mean the man would be lost without her. If this was true, Paul would not have said, If a man can contain himself it would be better not to marry.” It was certainly true in Adam’s case – it was better for him to marry or the “not good” to be alone is meaningless. Ezer is modified with kenegdo, which was translated in the Septuagint as “like.” It modifies the superior sense of ezer to something compatible and equal with the man, which is where we get “helper suitable.”

    Nowhere in this account is the man in charge or given authority over the woman. The word “headship,” nor the idea of “headship,” is not in this text. The result of woman’s turning (the imminent danger of leaving the garden for her husband) is husband rule over her, instead of God rule over her. But this is a result of her choices, not the created “good” state of male and female. Paul definitely interpreted something from this passage (and so did many crazy rabbis through the years – not calling Paul crazy.), but Paul’s understanding is not what I cover here. This passage says nothing about authority until God’s words to the woman after the Big Sin. And, this is not the place to go into what that means, except that it came AFTER sin, not before.

    It is apparent Eve knew a rule, yes… but where did she get the rule from? The text is silent. Since she told the serpent something different than the actual words of God, we either deduce 1) God altered the rule when He told it to her or 2) Adam told her wrong or 3) she exaggerated it on her own. We don’t know why she said it differently than God told it to Adam the first time.

    Fact: Her eyes were not opened until Adam ate. Fact: God addressed Eve, but not with the words “Because you…” or “Cursed…” His words to Eve are noticeably different than his formulaic words to the serpent and to Adam.

    I don’t believe Adam was responsible for the sin of Eve, nor do I believe Eve was held responsible until she could make a knowing choice about leaving God’s good garden without being beguiled.

    “You are trying to make it appear that Eve did nothing worthy of being cast out of the Garden” Yes, you understood that correctly! 🙂 She transgressed the law, but I believe that her transgression was not like Adam’s. Adam’s transgression could not be without dire consequence… I think the end of the passage makes that clear. Eve was not included in the consequence until she “turned” and followed Adam away from God’s presence and the tree of life.

    Meaning of “Man”: lol. I didn’t want to turn this in to a Hebrew argument. Everyone (hyperbole) wants man to mean “man only” until this verse! hahaha. You have to see the humor in that, right?

    In translation, it is best to use immediate (if available) context to determine the meaning of a word. “Adam” is used for man and for humans prior to the elaboration of the woman, then we see the Hebrew clarify with the words “and his woman/wife” when referring to both of them. All of chapter 3 makes this distinction. When “adam” is used it is referring to the singular man or husband. The reason “adam” is translated as a singular man in Genesis 3:22-24, that good translations pick up on, is found in the pronomial suffixes, which is the way Hebrew adds pronouns to a noun or verb.

    Genesis 3:23 says, “So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.” God banished “him.” This is a masculine SINGULAR, which then fills in the context of “adam” as man in these verses, not the man and his wife found in verse 21. In that verse we see the designation of the man “and his wife” and the pronomial suffix on “clothed them” is masculine PLURAL. This is why good translations keep the pronouns and the noun “man” as singular in Genesis 3:22-24.

    So all of your arguments about “they” and man meaning mankind are valid, but the “him” in verses 23-24 are not “they.” It is “him.”

    Eve was not cast out. She turned to Adam and followed him, thereby incurring the prophecy that her husband would rule over her.

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