Genesis 3:17

17 And to the man he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you, "You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;

Genesis 3:17 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 3:17

And unto Adam he said
Last of all, being the last that sinned, but not to be excused:

because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife;
which was not only mean but sinful, since it was opposite to the voice of God, which he ought to have hearkened to God is to be hearkened to and obeyed rather than man, and much rather than a woman; to regard the persuasion of a woman, and neglect the command of God, is a great aggravation of such neglect; see ( Acts 4:19 Acts 4:29 )

and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee; saying,
thou shall not eat of it;
that is, had eat of the fruit of the tree which God had plainly pointed unto him, and concerning which he had given a clear and an express command not to eat of it; and had delivered it to him in the strongest manner, and had most peremptorily and strictly enjoined it, adding the threatening of death unto it; so that he could by no means plead ignorance in himself, or any obscurity in the law, or pretend he did not understand the sense of the legislator. The righteous sentence therefore follows,

cursed is the ground for thy sake;
the whole earth, which was made for man, and all things in it, of which he had the possession and dominion, and might have enjoyed the use of everything in it, with comfort and pleasure; that which was man's greatest earthly blessing is now turned into a curse by sin, which is a proof of the exceeding sinfulness of it, and its just demerit: so in later instances, a "fruitful land" is turned "into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein", ( Psalms 107:34 ) hence, whenever there is sterility in a country, a want of provisions, a famine, it should always be imputed to sin; and this should put us in mind of the sin of the first man, and the consequence of that:

in sorrow shall thou eat of it all the days of thy life,
meaning that with much toil and trouble, in manuring and cultivating the earth, he should get his living out of the produce of it, though with great difficulty; and this would be his case as long as he was in it.

Genesis 3:17 In-Context

15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel."
16 To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."
17 And to the man he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you, "You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

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