What was the curse on the woman? — Genesis 3:16

Genesis 3:16 (NKJV)

16 To the woman He said:

“I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; IN PAIN YOU SHALL BRING FORTH CHILDREN; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

First, note that God is not “cursing” anyone in Genesis 3. He is simply stating the CONSEQUENCES of sinful actions. Having said this, the next question is: what pain is God referring to? Observe that whatever it is is SPECIFIC to Eve ALONE, it is not referring to birth pangs.

In the antecedent text (vs. 15), He had spoken concerning the woman’s Seed (offspring). So Eve’s pain would be in reference to the Seed.

Note the next chapter,

Genesis 4:1 (NKJV)
1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I HAVE ACQUIRED A MAN from the Lord.”

Eve assumed that Cain was the Promised Seed who would reverse the curse of sin. This assumption proved false (Gen. 4:25), then she looked to Abel but he was killed by Cain. In desperation, she yet looked to Seth as the Seed (Gen. 4:25). Then Seth gave birth to Enosh (meaning “frail,” “death-bound”). This child awoke in them the awareness that all men would one day die and subsequently, then began to call on the Lord’s name (Gen. 4:26).

Eve’s pain, therefore, is in continually searching for the Seed who will save but never finding Him. It is not birth pangs, but dashed dreams and expectations.


© Josh Banks Ministries. 2020.


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