Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"Neither male nor female" (2)

Genesis 3:16
To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."

The Hebrew word for 'desire' teshuqah is used three times in Scripture: here, in Gen 4:7 and Song 7:10. The use of the word in the Song of Songs shows the desire can belong to either sex ("I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me.") The reference in Gen 4:7 uses almost identical wording to 3:16 - "But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." The Hebrew word for "rule" and "master" are the same: mashal. In this passage "sin" desired to have Cain under its control, but he was encouraged to control it. This usage shows the likely meaning in the 3:16 passage, viz., "You shall desire to have your husband (under your control), but he shall rule over you".

Keil-Delitzsch explain that teshuqah means "a desire bordering upon a disease" from a root word meaning "to have a violent craving for a thing". It describes the urge to dominate rather than a desire to submit.

Gen 3:16 is not God's command or ordinance as to how the future must be. It is, however, a Divine prediction of the consequences of Eve's sin: there would be an ensuing struggle for dominance between the sexes, with the man, being physically stronger, having the woman in subjection as a general rule. This situation would be as a result of sin. It was not God^s intention in the beginning, nor is it the way it should be in Christ.

See comments on Ephesians 5:21-33 (to follow).

No comments: