Genesis 3:16–19 — The Curse of Sin

In this episode the panel discusses the effects of the fall on men and women in their distinctive roles and vocations and on the whole of humanity.

Genesis 3:16–19—To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” 17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (English Standard Version)

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Proclaiming Christ is an audio program focused upon biblical preaching. In each episode we will discuss the process, method, and goals of preaching biblical texts from a uniquely Reformed perspective. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.

David R.

6 years ago

I enjoyed the discussion. While listening, a thought occurred to me (which you may have touched on indirectly). What do you think of the idea that the curse on men and women outlined in Genesis 3:16-19 finds its ultimate fulfillment not in the post-fall modification of the creation mandate (and the futility of life under the sun), but in the labor and sufferings of Christ for the accomplishment of redemption? Jesus spoke of himself as a farm laborer sowing seed on rocky and thorny soil. Prior to his passion he “sweat great drops of blood.” After His sufferings, His body returned (briefly) to the dust of the earth. Even before his birth, his mother had been told that “a sword will pierce your own soul too” (hearkening back to the curse on the woman?). Seen in this light, these verses in Genesis 3 are not just the bad news that is offset by the good news of Genesis 3:15, but they are the good news itself, in that they form an epitome of the life, ministry and sufferings of Christ. What do you think? (I’m pretty sure I’ve read commentaries that touch on this but I will need to refresh my memory….)

Keith Graham

6 years ago

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.”) — Galatians 3:13

Although the curse in view in this text is that of the Mosaic Law, we must always view the Mosaic Law in the greater context of the full counsel of God. I find your comments insightful and helpful, thanks!


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