This is no new insight. It is a short announcement to any reader of this blog who may have missed it. It is prompted by a million statements like these:
…A husband has a Biblical God-given RIGHT to RULE OVER his wife (Gen. 3:16)… – David J. Stewart, accusing disobedient wives of being the reason for more divorces than spousal abuse
Read Genesis 3:16 and the passage around it again. The words are:
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers, hers; it will crush your head, and you will strike at his heel.
To the woman he said: I will greatly increase your pain in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be toward your husband, and he will rule over you.
To Adam he said: Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you ‘You must not eat of it.’
Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow will you eat, until you return to the ground.
The text say “he will rule.” It predicts he is going to do it, now that sin came into the world. It is not:
Satan, I give you the RIGHT to have enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers, hers; it will crush your head, and you have the RIGHT to strike at humanity’s heel.
Eve, I will greatly increase your pain in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your husband has a RIGHT – given by me – to be desired by you, and I gave him the RIGHT to rule over you.
Adam, I give your employers the RIGHT to make your toil painful, so that in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. People have the RIGHT to sow thorns and thistles on your fields, so it will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. You have no RIGHT to eat a meal that was not by the sweat of your brow.
Nor is it:
Satan OUGHT TO strike at humanity’s heel.
Woman OUGHT TO have pain in childbearing and easy births OUGHT TO be made more painful, a woman OUGHT TO desire her husband(1) and he OUGHT TO rule over her. This ruling OUGHT TO be one-sided and she should not rule him.
Adam OUGHT TO live on cursed ground and not a piece of fruitful farmland, he OUGHT TO eat through painful toil and therefore choose a hard job that involves physical labor, the field OUGHT TO produce thistles and thorns and it OUGHT TO be sown when it does not come up naturally. This working OUGHT TO be one-sided and women should never do any tiring work.
It is: These things will happen in a fallen world.
(1) For centuries, all Bible translations said things like “Your turning will be to your husband” – implying away from God – and not “Your desire will be for your husband.” The turning was pictured as negative – away from God and towards another.