Strange Teachings About the Curse Finally Debunked (Genesis 4:7 and 3:16)

Growing up, I was taught to investigate any “strange” teachings. Lately, I have been confronted with a teaching that I had never heard of before concerning a very familiar passage in the Bible, Genesis 3:16, better known as the curse on Eve. At my church growing up, we primarily used the King James Version of the Bible, so I was not exposed to any of the new translations that presented an alternate meaning of the curse based on similarities found in Genesis 4:7 and its use of the word “desire”. So, it was with the goal of investigation that this journey began. The results surprised even me.

Genesis 4:7

1. The most accurate translations of this particular verse:

  • Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)
    “Is there not, if thou dost well, acceptance? and if thou dost not well, at the opening a sin-offering is crouching, and unto thee its desire, and thou rulest over it.”
  • International Standard Version
    “If you do what is appropriate, you’ll be accepted, won’t you? But if you don’t do what is appropriate, sin is crouching near your doorway, turning toward you. Now as for you, will you take dominion over it?”
  • King James Bible
    “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

2. Common translations of Genesis 4:7:

  • English Standard Version*
    “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”
  • New American Standard Bible
    “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

          *Since the publishing of this blog, the ESV has made significant changes to Genesis 3:16. I will address this issue at the end.

3. The least accurate translations of this verse:

  • NET Bible
    “Is it not true that if you do what is right, you will be fine? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. It desires to dominate** you, but you must subdue it.”
  • New International Version
    “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have** you, but you must rule over it.”
  • New Living Translation
    “You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control ** you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

          **These words are not in the original Hebrew text or in the Septuagint

Why does this verse matter so much? This verse is so important because of its impact on the meaning of Genesis 3:16 which is the curse that was pronounced against Eve in the garden of Eden. It has been common for theologians to suggest that “sin” is personified in this verse as a wild beast waiting to attack.  Let’s look at this verse in context using the English Standard Version:

“3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:3-7)

In this passage, Cain and Abel are brothers and Cain is the older brother. They each bring gifts to God. Abel brings an animal from his flock and Cain brings fruit from his garden. God is pleased with the sacrifice of the animal, but he is not pleased with the gift that Cain brings. This makes Cain angry and later we read that his anger eventually causes him to murder his own brother, Abel.

Verse 7 has caused a lot of trouble for translators because frankly, the original text doesn’t seem to make sense. Let’s take a look at this confusing translation which is most true to the original Hebrew:

“Is there not, if thou dost well, acceptance? and if thou dost not well, at the opening a sin-offering is crouching, and unto thee its desire, and thou rulest over it.” (Young’s Literal Translation)

Notice how the word “sin” is now translated as “sin-offering”, the most common interpretation of this Hebrew word found throughout the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament). There are 33 instances of the Hebrew word Hat-tah (2403) in the Torah. The King James Version of the Bible translates this word as “sin-offering” 28 times out of 33 instances. In Leviticus 6:30 we clearly see that Hat-tah refers to an animal:

“But no sin offering (Hat-tah) shall be eaten from which any blood is brought into the tent of meeting to make atonement in the Holy Place; it shall be burned up with fire.” (Leviticus 6:30, ESV)

For some reason translators have decided, in Genesis 4:7, to translate the word Hat-tah simply as “sin” probably because “sin offering” didn’t seem to make sense. Unfortunately, this makes accurate interpretation extremely difficult for the reader. The proper translation of this Hebrew word should most likely be “sin offering”. Both the Adam Clarke commentary and Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible agree that the word “Hat-tah”, as used in this context, should be translated as “sin offering.”

In Coffman’s Commentary on Genesis 4:7 we read:

“Understanding “sin offering” as the thing mentioned here strongly reinforces the necessary conclusion that the institution of sacrifice was already established and that God had laid down certain rules with reference to it, which rules Cain violated. The fact that many “moderns” deny this is no problem at all; the glaring evidence is right here. Adam Clarke wrote, “I have observed more than a hundred places in the O.T. where the word here is used for sin offering”; and there is positively no reason whatever for understanding it differently here. To borrow Clarke’s paraphrase of what God said, “An animal proper to be offered as atonement for sin is now couching at the door of thy fold.”  (Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible)

So, what is a sin offering? According to the Mosaic law, it can either be a bull, a male goat, a female goat, or a female lamb. The bull was offered up as a sin offering for national sins. The male goat was offered by individuals in leadership who had committed unintentional sin, and the female goat and female lamb were offered by all others.  In this account, Abel has offered an appropriate animal from his flock as a sin offering, but Cain has not done so because he does not have a flock. Being that Cain was the elder brother, the most appropriate animal choice, according to Mosaic law, would have been a male goat; Therefore, when we see the word “sin offering” in Genesis 4:7, we can safely assume that there is, quite literally, a male goat present.

Now that we have established the likelihood of a male goat present in this scene, let’s discuss the word “crouching”. This Hebrew word, râbats (7257), does not mean crouching like a lion ready to pounce on something as many have been taught, rather the word simply implies resting or reclining on all four limbs. The male goat is simply resting peacefully at the doorway (or possibly at an entrance or gate). The goat is not aggressive or waiting to attack. Consider the following verses where the same word, râbats, is found in some form:

“As he looked, he saw a well in the field, and behold, three flocks of sheep lying beside it, for out of that well the flocks were watered.” (Genesis 29:2, ESV)

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” (Psalm 23:1, 2, ESV)

“Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?” (Song of Solomon 1:7, KJV)

And furthermore, if râbats actually meant “crouching as if ready to pounce or attack”, this verse would be completely illogical:

“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6, NIV)

There is not a single use of the word “rabats” in the Old Testament that, in context, would lead the reader to think that it means “ready to attack” so it is highly unlikely that it means “ready to attack” in Genesis 4:7.

God then says that this goat is reclining at the “door”. Hebrew forms of this word can be found throughout Scripture and can mean opening, entryway, doorway, or gate. Consider the following passages:

“If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish. He shall bring it to the entrance (6607) of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the LORD.” Leviticus 1:3

“Then you shall kill the bull before the LORD at the entrance of the tent of meeting” (Exodus 29:11)

Then, when we look at the law concerning sin offerings, we see something very interesting. The male goat sin offering was to be sacrificed at the same “entryway”.

22 “When a leader sins, doing unintentionally any one of all the things that by the commandments of the Lord his God ought not to be done, and realizes his guilt, 23 or the sin which he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring as his offering a goat, a male without blemish, 24 and shall lay his hand on the head of the goat and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the Lord; it is a sin offering. (Leviticus 4:23-24)

Based on Leviticus 1:3, we know that the burnt offering was to be brought to the entrance of the tent of meeting. The evidence seems abundantly clear that in Genesis 4:7, God is explaining or re-explaining the sacrificial process to Cain. The sin offering must be sacrificed before Cain can enter to meet with or have fellowship with God.

Even the location of Jesus’ sacrifice is significant:

“The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.” (Hebrews 13:11-12, NIV)

Commentator Matthew Henry also agrees that Genesis 4:7 is referring to a sin offering. He then makes this profound statement concerning the entryway:

“If thou doest not well, sin, that is, the sin-offering, lies at the door, and thou mayest take the benefit of it. The same word signifies sin, and a sacrifice for sin. Though thou hast not done well, yet do not despair; the remedy is at hand. Christ, the great sin-offering, is said to stand at the door, Revelation 3:20. And those well deserve to perish in their sins, that will not go to the door to ask for the benefit of this sin-offering.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

The next word we need to question is the word “its” in Genesis 4:7, the possessive pronoun of the word “desire”. Unfortunately, the Young’s translation fails to properly indicate that there is actually a male possessive pronoun associated with the word desire. It is not clear why many translators ignore the maleness of this pronoun, perhaps because it seems to directly contradict the fact that the Hebrew word for “sin offering” (hat-tah), is female in a grammatical sense. So, if the word “hat-tah” is simply used allegorically to mean “sin”, then the possessive pronoun of the word “desire” should be female. But it’s not. To be truly literal, the verse should read “his desire”.

In the past, many commentators struggled to understand the meaning of this male pronoun; however, most modern theologians have simply ignored it. But if we are to hold God’s Word with the highest respect, we must not ignore this fact simply because we haven’t fully understood it yet.

All honest translators, theologians, and commentators will make the learner aware of this male pronoun and the difficulties it seems to present. If we accept the verse as it is written in the original Hebrew, then “Hat-tah” cannot be allegorical or symbolic. Some commentators have gone so far as to speculate that the desire is referring to Abel’s desire.

“…The objection to this is: that while sin is feminine, the verb and pronouns are masculine. There are, indeed, numerous instances of a verb masculine with a noun feminine, but the pronouns are fatal, though most Jewish interpreters adopt this feeble explanation. The other interpretation is: “If thou doest not well, sin croucheth at the door, that is, lies dangerously near thee, and puts thee in peril. Beware, therefore, and stand on thy guard; and then his desire shall be unto thee, and thou shalt rule over him. At present thou art vexed and envious because thy younger brother is rich and prosperous, while thy tillage yields thee but scanty returns. Do well, and the Divine blessing will rest on thee, and thou wilt recover thy rights of primogeniture, and thy brother will look up to thee in loving obedience.” (Ellicott’s Commentary for English readers)

The simplest conclusion, however, is that the “sin offering” does indeed possess male gender because it is not symbolic of “sin”, it is quite literally a male goat.

The next, most important word that needs to be discussed is the word “desire”. The Hebrew word for desire is teshuqah (teshuqa). The definition of this Hebrew word is “a stretching out after; a longing; desire” (Brown-Driver-Briggs Old Testament Hebrew-English Lexicon); however, the word is obsolete so the definition remains somewhat unclear. The word teshuqah is used only three times throughout the Old Testament — Genesis 4:7, Genesis 3:16 and Song of Solomon 7:10. But, why did the International Standard Version translate this word as “turning”?

“If you do what is appropriate, you’ll be accepted, won’t you? But if you don’t do what is appropriate, sin is crouching near your doorway, turning toward you. Now as for you, will you take dominion over it?”

Probably the most important version of the Hebrew Old Testament is the Greek Septuagint. It is also the most ancient text we have and has proven to be the version that was used by New Testament writers when they quoted the Old Testament. The Septuagint is highly authoritative. In Genesis 4:7, the Greek Septuagint uses the Greek word combination of ἀποστροφή and προς or “turning away toward”.  The concept of “turning away” in Greek refers to a subject suddenly intent on looking at something outside of his or her immediate surroundings. Or, in other words, the subject turns away from what it was paying attention to, and then looks toward something further away which has fully and overwhelmingly captured the subject’s attention. (

The Septuagint translates the phrase as “turning away towards” in both of the Genesis records and then as “turning to” in the Song of Solomon.

Another highly authoritative version from the first or second century is the Syriac Peshitto. It translates the word teshuqah as “thou shalt turn,” in Genesis 3:16; “will turn” in Genesis 4:7; and “turning” in Song of Solomon 7:10.

In fact, it is true that in all early versions of the Old Testament, the Hebrew word teshuqah is always translated as some form of “turning”.

Hebrew theologian, Skip Moen, makes the following observation about Genesis 3:16:

“But there is another translation stream arising through the LXX, the Syraic Peshitta and Coptic translations.  This stream views the rare Hebrew word teshuqah as “turning,” not “lust.”  If this stream is correct, then the word in Genesis 3:16 is about Havvah’s mistake of “turning” her principle devotion toward Adam rather than God.” (A History of Confustion by Skip Moen)

Evangelical Old Testament scholar, Walter Kaiser, states:

“The Hebrew word teshuqah, now almost universally translated as ‘desire,’ was previously rendered as ‘turning.’ … Of the twelve known ancient versions (the Greek Septuagint, the Syriac Peshitta, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Old Latin, the Sahidic, the Bohairic, the Ethiopic, the Arabic, Aquila’s Greek, Symmachus’s Greek, Theodotion’s Greek and the Latin Vulgate), almost every one (twenty-one out of twenty-eight times) renders these three instances of teshuqah as “turning,” not “desire.” Likewise, the church fathers (Clement of Rome, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, Epiphanius and Jerome, along with Philo, a Jew who died about A.D. 50) seem to be ignorant of any other sense for this word teshuqah than the translation of “turning.” Furthermore, the Latin rendering was conversio and the Greek was apostrophē or epistrophē, words all meaning ‘a turning'” (Hard Sayings of the Bible, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996, p. 67)

It seems safe to assume that the word teshuqah, as used in the Old Testament, most likely means an intense form of “turning” and there is absolutely no textual or historical proof to infer that teshuqah means “a desire to rule over”.

We must also remember that the book of Genesis was written by Moses at God’s direction. The audience was the nation of Israel. The Israelites were, at that time, without a homeland and wandering in the desert. God had just redeemed them from slavery in Egypt where they lived their lives as shepherds. More than likely, every Israelite was very familiar with the behavior of sheep and goats.

Sheep and Goats are herded in two ways:

  1. A dog is used to chase the sheep or goats away from somewhere in order to make them go to the correct place. The sheep and goats feel threatened by the dog, so they turn away and run.
  2. Alternatively, a shepherd herds the sheep and goats by leading them. The sheep and goats trust their shepherd and do not feel threatened by him. So, instead of turning away, they turn towards their shepherd and obey the commands of his voice.

The following video on youtube shows how the sheep respond to a voice that they trust. When they hear the shepherd’s voice, they immediately turn their face towards him and as he calls for them, they obey and run towards him.

Notice in this video how the sheep turn towards the shepherd and not the dogs.

Watch the intense “desire” these sheep have for their shepherd as they come running from far away:

Here is an example of goats following their shepherd:

Notice that in Genesis 4:7, the goat is not running away from Cain’s presence. The goat is turning towards Cain, therefore it is demonstrating trust and submission to Cain. This is a miracle, since Cain was not a shepherd. The only explanation is that God had provided a submissive goat and all Cain had to do was to exercise authority over it by offering it as sacrifice at the entryway to the presence of God.

So, here now we have a new, more accurate translation of Genesis 4:7 —

“Will you not, if you do the right thing, be uplifted? And if you don’t do the right thing, there at the entryway lies (a male goat), a sin offering. His turning of devotion is towards you, so rule over him.”


Genesis 3:16

1. The most accurate translation:

  • International Standard Version
    “He told the woman, ‘I’ll greatly increase the pain of your labor during childbirth. It will be painful for you to bear children, “since your trust is turning toward your husband, and he will dominate you.'”

2. Common translations:

  • New International Version
    “To the woman he said, ‘I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.'”
  • English Standard Version*
    “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.'”
  • New American Standard Bible
    “To the woman He said, ‘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.'”
  • King James Bible
    “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.'”

         *Since the publishing of this blog, the ESV has made significant changes to Genesis 3:16. I will address this issue at the end.

3. The least accurate translations:

  • New Living Translation
    “Then he said to the woman, ‘I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control** your husband, but he will rule over you.'”
  • NET Bible
    To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your labor pains; with pain you will give birth to children. You will want to control** your husband, but he will dominate you.”

           **This word is not in the original Hebrew text or in the Septuagint

Based on Genesis 4:7, we have established that the word teshuqah, which is usually translated as “desire”, most likely meant something more specific to the Israelites of that time. To them, the word would have indicated a complete trust and submission towards someone, like the way sheep respond to their shepherd. It most definitely would not have meant “a desire to control”, but rather the complete opposite.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were both equally responsible to God for following God’s commands. Eve, however, takes an authoritative role and commands Adam to eat the fruit that was forbidden by God.  Adam submits himself and listens to the voice of Eve.

God shows great anger towards Eve by giving her a very harsh curse. This is probably because not only did she submit herself to the serpent instead of to God, she also spoke commands to Adam as if she were the voice of God.

God then scolds Adam for listening to the voice of Eve instead of listening to His voice. God never blames Adam for Eve’s actions. Furthermore, if Adam hadn’t listened to Eve, and if Eve had been the only one to eat from the tree, Adam would not have been cursed by God. Adam was not responsible for Eve’s actions, but rather Adam was cursed because he “hearkened” or listened to the voice of Eve instead of the voice of God. The Hebrew word for “listen” is shama` which more accurately means “to obey”.

“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” (Genesis 3:17) (ESV)

In both curses there is an allusion to the relationship between shepherd and sheep. Perhaps it was because God intended to be the only shepherd for Adam and Eve and now their disobedience has destroyed that relationship.

Furthermore, now that we have an understanding of how sheep “turn towards” their shepherd and obey the commands of his voice, the true meaning of the curse on Eve becomes clear:

“To the woman he said, ‘I will greatly increase your pain in pregnancy. In painful toil you will bear children but your turning of devotion will be towards your husband (like a sheep turns towards its shepherd); therefore he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)

The imagery of a shepherd and his flock is found throughout Scripture. It is not surprising that we would find this beautiful picture even as early as the Garden of Eden.


All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
(Isaiah 53:6, ESV)


Recent ESV Changes to Genesis 3:16

Since I wrote this blog about a year ago, the ESV has come out with significant changes to Genesis 3:16. They have even gone so far as to say that they have reached a “permanent translation” that will never be updated (They have since retracted that statement). In the ESV translation, Genesis 3:16 now reads:

16 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to[a] your husband, but he shall rule over you.”

This significant change has been added based on their interpretation of the Hebrew preposition ‘el (413) as meaning “against” rather than “towards”. The idea of this word is that of motion. It signifies that something is moving toward something else. The definition of ‘el according to Brown-Driver-Briggs is as follows: “a preposition denoting motion to or direction towards (whether physical or mental).” In other words, this preposition will ALWAYS indicate moving toward something. It NEVER means the opposite. In certain contexts, it can have a negative connotation, however it still means an act of moving towards. For example, Genesis 4:8 in the ESV reads:

“8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother.[a] And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.”

Here, again, you see that the ESV has chosen to render the word ‘el negatively as “against”. However, this interpretation of the word ‘el is unnecessary because if we translate ‘el strictly as “toward” we would still get the same meaning from the text. Cain is moving toward Abel and because of the context we know that this action is aggressive. It is the context which helps us understand that this is a negative example of ‘el. Look at how when I replace the word “against” with the word “toward”, I still get the same meaning.

“8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother.[a] And when they were in the field, Cain rose up toward his brother Abel and killed him.”

However, when I change the prepositional meaning of ‘el in Genesis 3:16 to “contrary” or “against”, I get a completely different meaning.

Consider the ESV before the change:

“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.”

And after the change:

“To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”

Now, according to the ESV translation, the woman is no longer submitting herself to her husband’s leadership, she is cursed to actively work against it. And the suggestion is, that any time a woman desires something that is contrary to her husband’s will, it is because of the curse. What a terrible teaching! This will damage male and female relationships in more ways than we can imagine if we allow this false translation to take hold. It also leads the husband to be constantly suspicious of his wife anytime she voices her own opinion. The ESV rendering of Genesis 3:16 couldn’t be further from the truth and it could be used as reason to silence the voice of a woman within her marriage even if she is speaking the very truths of God.

Consider all of history and the example of most cultures throughout the world. In general, with few exceptions, women choose male leadership and men choose to be the leaders. You would be hard pressed to find any substantial evidence to the contrary. This is the natural course of life and it corresponds to a correct rendering of Genesis 3:16.

Translators need to understand that if they translate the word ‘el as “against” or “contrary to” and it significantly changes the meaning of the text, then they probably shouldn’t change it. The meaning of the text should remain the same whether or not “toward” or “against” is used. If it does not, then “toward” or something similar to this word is the best option.

Also, now that we know that the word “desire” is more accurately translated as “an intense form of turning” in the way that a sheep is intensely focused on a Shepherd, we see how the ESV translation does not make logical sense.  Or, as Andrew A. Macintosh concluded in the Journal of Semitic Studies 61, teshuqah (desire) most accurately means: ‘concern, preoccupation, (single-minded) devotion, focus’. When we understand this to be the ultimate meaning of teshuqah, Song of Solomon 7:10 then makes complete sense:

“I am my beloved’s, and his desire (teshuqah) is for me.” (ESV)

According to Macintosh’s very accurate definition of teshuqah, we see that it is impossible for one to be “singularly devoted” to another in a contrary way. This just doesn’t make sense. A woman’s devotion is toward, not against, her husband, like a sheep’s devotion is toward its shepherd. Because of her devotion, the man is obliged to rule over or care for her just like a shepherd rules over and cares for his sheep. Furthermore, there is not one ancient text that translates Genesis 3:16 as “Your desire shall be contrary to” or anything similar, therefore it is imperative that we listen to those texts that are the closest to the original.

I believe that these modern changes are happening to Genesis 3:16 because many Christians are unwilling to accept the truth of the curse and are unintentionally interpreting Scripture through a Western mindset.

Those who have shunned traditional, ancient translations of Genesis 3:16 incorrectly believe that woman’s dependence on and subjection to man is not a negative situation but rather the way God originally designed it to be. I believe that the text and history teach otherwise.  Being made a weaker vessel has truly been a curse for women. Woman became dependent on man after the curse. Because of sin, God made her physically weak compared to man and now she must bear the responsibility of painful child bearing. All throughout the ages women have needed men for provision, strength, and protection and man has been shouldered with that responsibility. This is truly a curse for both man and woman.


Quotes for consideration in light of the truth of the curse (I don’t necessarily agree with the agendas behind these statements):

“The Fall introduced distortions into the relationships between men and women. Redemption in Christ aims at removing the distortions introduced by the curse.” – The Danvers Statement (The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood)

“So where you have Christian people who are controlled by the Spirit, who are worshiping God, as indicated in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs and singing and making melody in their heart to the Lord, who are marked by thanksgiving always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God even the Father, wherever you find somebody who is totally lost in wonder, love and praise, where you find people controlled by the Spirit, where they are filled with worship and filled with gratitude, where they are contemplating the greatness of their salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ and all that He has done for them, and by the will of God even our Father, where you have those kinds of people who submit themselves to one another because they have such a reverence for Christ, you have the possibility of reversing this curse.” – John MacArthur (The Curse on the Woman, Part 2)

“Christian redemption does not redefine creation; it restores creation.” John Piper, Wayne Grudem (Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism)


“And there will no longer be any curse, and the throne of God and the Lamb will be in the city. His servants will worship him” (Revelation 22:3)

7 thoughts on “Strange Teachings About the Curse Finally Debunked (Genesis 4:7 and 3:16)

  1. You have ignored the LXX on Gen 3:16. Included is the Douay-Rheims

    And to the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy pains and thy groanings; in pain thou shalt bring forth children, and thy submission shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee (Brenton)

    And to the woman he said, In multiplying I will multiply your distresses, and your moanings. In distresses you will bear children, and to your husband your submission, and he will dominate you. (Apostolic Bible Polyglot)

    To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband’s power, and he shall have dominion over thee. (Douay-Rheim)

    Btw, many christians ignore the NT and OT writings. A wife is owned/kept by her father and then husband (Jewish courtship is vastly different than western).

    The husband is baal (lord / owner) as noted in Gen 20:3, Ex 21:3, 21:22, Deut 22:22 and 1 Peter 3:6.



    1. I was just re-reading your comment today and I have recently been studying Hosea 2:16. It reads:
      “In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband (Ishi)’; you will no longer call me ‘my master’ (Baal)”

      Why does God prefer the word Husband (or Ishi) over the word Baal (or master)? Perhaps there’s a better type of marriage relationship? One that’s based on self-sacrificial love instead of servant obligation?


  2. Oy gevalt. I’m sorry you have to put up with the new and often-errant ESV. I got your blog from a Twitter guy/gal called @BadChristianity (I’m @brainouty), and I verified the original Hebrew and Greek meaning you argue, in Bibleworks 5 (9 would be the same), a tool pastors use.

    If you want me to make a video demonstrating it live, I can. I’m known as Brain Outy on Youtube, brainout in vimeo, specializing in Bible meter and proving mistranslations directly from Scripture.


    1. Oh wow! Thank you. That would be very helpful. Sometimes I feel as though I’m talking to the wind. I look forward to seeing your work–I always appreciate those whose aim is to preserve the integrity of our Lord’s precious Words 🙂 May He fill you with wisdom and may truth be spoken through you 🙂


  3. Paul

    “Those who have shunned traditional, ancient translations of Genesis 3:16 incorrectly believe that woman’s dependence on and subjection to man is not a negative situation but rather the way God originally designed it to be. ”

    This is incorrect; the believe that women’s dependence and subjection to man is not a negative situation does NOT rest on this verse. On the contrary; it mainly rests on pre-fall Genesis 2 text (woman a helper to man), and New Testament teachings (God head of Christ, Christ head of man, man head of wife; submission of wife to husband as church to Christ; example of Sara calling her husband ‘lord’; etc.).

    This is what Denny Burke (CBMW) says about it:
    “neither complementarianism nor egalitarianism stands or falls on the interpretation of this single verse.”


    1. Hi Paul! Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my work. I am humbled and honored! I should clarify, the point of that statement that you quoted is not to argue about whether or not the woman’s subjection is negative, but rather to point out that those who believe that a woman’s subjection is a positive situation are the same ones who have been changing the meaning of Genesis 3:16. This is a wrong approach to translating Scripture. I believe in letting the Word of God stand for itself instead of twisting it to fit some mold of theology. When we allow our theology to inform our translation, we become biased and unable to objectively do the work of translating. I make a solid, strong case for why Genesis 3:16 should be translated in the way that I have prescribed. If you have any specific disagreements with the proof that I have presented, please clarify those points. I would love to discuss them with you!

      Maybe I’m wrong, but I believe Denny Burke made that statement as a way to avoid the issue of his camp’s mis-handling of God’s Word in Genesis 3:16.

      As far as your other points, which are beyond the scope of my writing, here are a few interesting things you might want to consider:

      The word “Helper” that you reference, in the Hebrew, is Ezer Kenegdo. Ezer or “help/helper” is used 21 times in the Old Testament. 16 of those times the word describes God and His power to save us from danger. Of course this does not mean God is subject to us because he is our helper. Therefore, we cannot make that conclusion concerning Eve. The word Kenegdo, when used, every other time in the Old Testament, it means “in the presence of” or “in front of” or “set before someone or something” or “face to face”. This clearly gives the idea that Eve is given as a strength to be depended on in a way that is present and face to face with Adam. Eve was not created weak, but rather strong. So strong that she was capable of helping Adam just like God is capable of being our helper. I am confident that the phrase “Ezer Kenegdo” in no way indicates any type of servitude or subjection. It is unfortunate that the English definition of “help” makes us think servants and slaves (i.e. the “help”)

      Concerning the word “head”, which in the Greek literally means “source” (like the head of a river), there so much to learn! We are just scratching the surface of the depth of meaning that Paul is describing.

      I am so thrilled that you have taken the time to listen to what others have to say about this topic, but more importantly, may we all continue to listen to what God has to say as we faithfully, and accurately translate His Word. If you are interested in helping your church center back on Scripture, here is a website that I have developed that is all about that:


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