Genesis 3:19

19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Genesis 3:19 in Other Translations

KJV
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
ESV
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."
NLT
19 By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.”
MSG
19 sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk, Until you return to that ground yourself, dead and buried; you started out as dirt, you'll end up dirt."
CSB
19 You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it. For you are dust, and you will return to dust."

Genesis 3:19 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 3:19

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread
Or "of thy nose" F6, sweat appearing first and chiefly on the forehead, from whence it trickles down by the nose in persons employed in hard labour; and here it takes in all the labour used in cultivating the earth for the production of herbs, and particularly of corn, of which bread is made; with respect to which there are various operations in which men sweat, such as ploughing, sowing, reaping, threshing, winnowing, grinding, sifting, kneading, and baking; and it may have regard to all methods and means by which men get their bread, and not without sweat; and even such exercises as depend upon the brain are not excused from such an expense: so that every man, let him be in what station of life he will, is not exempt, more or less, from this sentence, and so continues till he dies, as is next expressed:

till thou return unto the ground,
his original, out of which he was made; that is, until he dies, and is interred in the earth, from whence he sprung; signifying that the life of man would be a life of toil and labour to the very end of it: and nothing else can man expect in it:

for dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou return;
his body was composed of the dust, was of the earth, earthly, and should be reduced to that again by death, which is not an annihilation of man, but a bringing him back to his original; which shows what a frail creature man is, what little reason he has to be proud of himself, when he reflects from whence he came and whither he must go; see ( Ecclesiastes 12:7 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F6 (Kypa) "nasi tui", Picherellus.

Genesis 3:19 In-Context

17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

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Cross References 3

  • 1. Psalms 104:23
  • 2. Genesis 14:18; Deuteronomy 8:3,9; Deuteronomy 23:4; Ruth 1:6; Ruth 2:14; 2 Thessalonians 3:10
  • 3. S Genesis 2:7; S Job 7:21; S Psalms 146:4; Psalms 90:3; Psalms 104:29; Ecclesiastes 12:7; 1 Corinthians 15:47; Hebrews 9:27
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