Her Weakness or Sin?

medium_god-created-man-male-and-female-what-does-it-mean-to-be-complementarianI think I have pretty much written enough about Adam the man. But I need to say some more concerning the woman.

To recap briefly, the Bible, as previously stated, gives us 11 scripture verses revealing Adam’s sin and culpability concerning the ‘fall’ account of Genesis contrasted with the total of 3 scripture verses concerning the woman’s fall into sin, via deception. Though scripture doesn’t explicitly say Adam was a part of the deception in her eating of the fruit (verses clearly identify the serpent as deceiving her) there is room to wonder with his involvement because of:

  1. the text within the Genesis account indicating all was not well with Adam’s heart toward God (Gen 2:18).
  2. her incomplete version of God’s command as given by him.

In previous posts I’ve placed much emphasis on what the bible says about Adam’s culpability concerning the ‘Fall’ and sin’s entry into the world as our traditional teaching of this has been dishonest to say the least. The Church has presented and taught Genesis throughout history and used it as a means of continuing shame on women, casting them as ‘easily deceived’, the cause of Adam’s sinning – even a temptress. Placing this on women who have been redeemed by Yeshua’s blood, being now ‘new creatures in Christ’, essentially gives the message that his death for our sin was insufficient where women are concerned. This is not only utterly tragic but utterly untrue. To continue in this way, is to continue in a lie that undervalues and binds women everywhere but especially so within the body of Messiah. The remedy, I believe for women, is not a case of demanding ones rights but more so walking by faith in the light of what God says and a deep heart repentance for valuing the words of men (and the church) above God’s.

It is on this last note that I want to draw your attention back to Genesis 2, because within verse 25 is an indication of sin’s presence within the woman. We need to understand, that scripture doesn’t leave us guessing as to what her weakness was, it has only been hidden because we have been reading it through an adjusted lens of popular speculation and blame. Just as with Adam, scripture itself within its following verses reveal more fully the sin that took root in her heart.

‘… the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.’ – Gen 2:25

They were both naked. We know they were without physical clothing in the literal reading of the verse (God Himself clothed them later in 3:21). The same word is used in Genesis 3:7,10 and 11 but with shame attached. In verse 7 they both seek to cover themselves by their own effort/work. Even the covering used further confirms hidden sin.* They hide themselves from YeHoWaH (verse 8), Adam explaining in verse 11–because of nakedness.

As found in Biblehub.com: the Hebrew words translated ‘naked’ For Gen 2:25; 3:7,10 and 11 give the meaning of the ‘stem’ and ‘root’ word from which they were derived.

Gen 2:25 ‘ă-rūm-mîm, עֲרוּמִּ֔ים    -stem Heb6174 עָרֹם       –root Heb6191 עָרֹם

Gen 3:7 ‘ê-rum-mim     עֵֽירֻמִּ֖ם     -stem Heb5903 עֵירֹם      -root Heb6191 עָרֹם

Gen 3:10 & 11 ‘ê-rōm        עֵירֹ֖ם      -stem Heb5903 עֵירֹם      -root Heb6191 עָרֹם

All share the primitive root arom עָרֹם –meaning properly to be (or make) bare; but only used in the derivative sense (through the idea of smoothness) to be cunning (usually in a bad sense)… to be shrewd or crafty.

There is one more place this primitive root appears in the Genesis narrative and that is in the description of the serpent as ‘being more crafty than any beast of the field…

Gen 3:1 ‘ā-rūm, עָר֔וּם -stem Heb6175 עָרוּם –root Heb6191 עָרֹם

-This root word connects both man, woman and serpent with a clear indication of sin, and this – all within two adjacent verses as Gen 3:1 immediately follows Gen 2:25. YeHoWaH Elohim is letting us know that just as with us, sin took root in the heart of both the man and woman before their action of sin was evidenced. (There is no obscurity concerning the serpent -his is openly acknowledged within the immediate reading of the text.)

In Genesis 2:25 before the ‘Fall” they are unaware of their ‘nakedness’. Afterwards, in chapter 3:7,10 and 11 both the man and woman’s ‘nakedness’ is fully realised and now a thing of individual shame for them both –but most especially so in the presence of YeHoWaH their creator who sees the condition of their hearts -laid bare.

Genesis 2:25 as far as I am aware is the only place that indicates hidden sin within the woman, pre-fall, and the following chapter I think gives both evidence and confirmation of this.

Just as Adam’s heart is disclosed in Genesis 2:18 so Genesis 2:25 shows something is amiss in the woman’s heart also, that will contribute to her later being deceived.

Lets go first to Genesis 3:16 then backtrack to see the evidence played out.

Genesis 3:16 has been (and still is) traditionally taught as God’s curse on the woman though scripture itself tells otherwise. It follows hot on the heels of Gen 3:15 –YeHoWaH Elohim’s curse on the serpent that includes acknowledgement and commendation of the woman as being in opposition – an enemy of the serpent (as her words of Gen 3:13 clearly identify the serpents involvement) and the first ‘promise of redemption’ for the human race through her ‘seed’ (not the man’s) in the eventual coming of Messiah who Himself would finally deal with this ‘serpent of old.’

Incredibly however in Gen 3:16 we are taught a curse was slapped by YeHoWaH Elohim on the woman (and consequently all women after her) involving increased pain in childbirth, and because of her ‘desiring’ her husband – the man would now rule over her…   because…

she was tricked into breaking God’s command?…

Adam who scripture clearly identifies as disobeying God’s command is now and forever after allowed to rule her?

Wow…what a turn around and unexpected outcome. How could this be a righteous ruling from the One in whom there is no ‘‘inconsistency or shifting shadow’ and condemns partiality as He Himself shows no partiality?

Please read Gen 3:16 carefully for any mention of the word ‘curse’ concerning the woman – on herself or anything else because of her.

Take your time and read it again if need be.

In clear contrast to Gen 3:15 in which the serpent itself is cursed and Gen 3:17 where we read of the earth having been cursed because of the man, we find no such curse attributed to the woman. Interesting to say the least, right?

But this is how it is. We read how we’ve been taught to read Genesis 3:16, with circular reasoning that defies the rest of scripture. Aiding us in our understanding of this particular text, our English translations have added to the original text and favoured disputable meanings that support unbiblical but traditionally taught ‘Genesis scenarios’ in order to keep the status quo. Our English translation of Genesis 3:16 has been butchered to put it mildly. It is a mess and its misogynistic fruit continues to stain human history. Jewish sages also added in their own version on the events of the fall and so flavoured and libelled the woman as having the greater blame -the Babylonian Talmud declaring no less than 10 curses being actually uttered against Eve in Genesis 3:16:

  1. ‘Greatly multiply’
  2. ‘thy sorrow’ in rearing children;
  3. ‘thy conception’;
  4. ‘in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children’;
  5. ‘thy desire shall be unto thy husband’;
  6. ‘He shall rule over thee’;
  7. she is wrapped up like a mourner;
  8. dares not appear in public with her head uncovered;
  9. is restricted to one husband, while he may have many wives;
  10. and is confined to the house as a prison.
 (A minor difference in another talmud’s version of the 10, is that of a woman’s testimony not being reliable or legally acceptable.)

Another example of Judaic tradition is the 3 mitzvot for the Jewish woman – that of lighting the Shabbat and festive candles, taking challah (+ kosher laws) and the laws of family life. These all have a negative connotation in that Eve brought death into the world, thereby extinguishing the light (candle) of Adam, who was the dough (challah) of the world, and by spilling his blood the obligation of keeping family life holy was given to her. Her head is covered as witness to her shame. -Whoah!

The women’s contribution to Shabbat is fully accepted and practiced by many Christians, Messianic Jews as well as those in religious Judaism.

Hmmm… incredible really… and we swallow it even though it is a lie.

Lets have a look at the verse – please keep in mind it immediately follows 3:15 where the woman is acknowledged as being in opposition to the serpent, and from whose seed Messiah will come –this is to her praise –not her shame.

NASB says it like this:

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.”

Young’s Literal Bible is fractionally better:

Unto the woman He said,

‘Multiplying I multiply thy sorrow and thy conception,

in sorrow dost thou bear children,

and toward thy husband is thy desire,

and he doth rule over thee.’

After reading many commentaries on this portion of scripture that gave little explanation for what seemed so harsh a judgment without any reason given to justify it, (in contrast, to the serpent and the man, where He says “Because you have done this/listened to… cursed are you/is the ground…”) I was finally directed to the work of Katherine C Bushnell who brought to my attention some alarming inconsistencies within the text for which I have been mostly able to verify myself through biblehub.com and online searches of the Septuagint and some of the other translations she has sited.

This essentially is her translation of Gen 3:16

Unto the woman He said, “A snare (lit: a lying-in-wait/ambush) hath increased thy

sorrow and thy sighing, (-by the serpent who is at enmity with her)

[in sorrow bearing children/sons. -Biblehub]

Thou art turning away to your husband and he shall rule over thee.

 

Thou art turning away from…

YeHoWaH Elohim

… to your husband. This is not speaking of them becoming one as in Gen 2:24 this is preferring the man’s counsel as mediator between her and God -his leading and supply before YeHoWaH’s. She is choosing to follow her husband in his independent walk away from God. The authority that God gave to her (for his sake) will for the most part be silenced in submission to his strength/supply – and he shall rule over her. This is not a picture of ‘God ordained’ order of authority between men and women but our sin nature on display.

YeHoWaH did not curse her but instead was warning the woman of what would be her reality if instead of looking to God she looked first to her husband in a world where sin would now increase. This understanding is consistent with the previous verses concerning the serpent and woman’s relationship and the wider scripture that places the sin of disobedience on Adam who would continue and strengthen his primary sin of pride and self-elevation in lordship over her.

The next verse of YeHoWaH in addressing the man, seems to point the finger again at the woman especially so concerning her voice that has been used to authenticate the practice of silencing women, confirming her testimony as unreliable. However… the same Hebrew word translated as ‘voice’ is translated elsewhere in Exodus 4:8 as ‘witness’ –

“If they will not believe you or heed the witness of the first sign, they may believe the witness of the last sign. But if they will not believe even these two signs or heed what you say, then…” Exodus 4:8,9a.

So listening to her ‘voice’ may not necessarily be her words (as the only words scripture recorded of hers before Adam ate the fruit, were the words of the command presumably given her by Adam himself – was he swayed into disobedience by listening to his own words?) Her presence itself may have been the loud voice of witness – in that of living and not ‘dying you shall die’ after her eating of the fruit. Is this what he ‘listened’ to (in the sense of heeding/obeying)? …It may well be both.

Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice (witness) of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. -Gen 3:17

Because you did not listen to Me and ate from the tree I commanded you not to – saying (to you) – “you shall not eat from it”; cursed is the ground because of you

YeHoWaH never said this to the woman, and never condemned her for eating the fruit. Her eyes were ‘opened’ when Adam ate of the fruit, and only then became aware of her ‘nakedness.’

Where the word ‘naked’ hinted at something amiss in her heart in Gen 2:25, YeHoWaH Elohim plainly stated in Gen 3:16 as ‘turning away’ to her husband. She listened to Adam’s version of God’s command and in so doing was compromised in her reasoning. If she had sought God as to what He had actually said the serpent would not have deceived her.

She covered for Adam by placing blame fully on the serpent though Adam helped set her up for a fall. She was already turning to the man in her heart with her actions following.

 

Is it sin, or a weakness that becomes sin?

 

Scripture says:

…Love YeHoWaH with all your heart and all your soul and all your might   -Deuteronomy 6:5

 

We know her turning away to her husband resulted in her leaving the garden. YeHoWaH Elohim did not banish her as He did Adam in Gen 3:32,24 however in Gen 4:1 we find her in intimate relationship with Adam.

Where does this leave us today ?

The same story has been replayed over and over throughout human history.

As women we have been ‘content’ to believe and submit to the words of men and the church concerning ourselves. We have been ‘content’ to have our husbands, fathers and pastors be mediators between us and God. Our confused loyalty has even enabled the men we love to walk in their own strength and goals rather than in YeHoWaH’s supply and way. Because we have believed a subtle lie of manipulation supposedly sanctioned by God Himself we continue to enable our men to walk in the way of pride and entitlement and like Eve, continue to cover for him, lest he be shamed. Women are seen as the guardians of honour for their families in Muslim and Hindu society and are the family’s ‘fall guy’ in order to ‘save face’. Millions of women today have and are enduring ‘Female Genital Mutilation’ for the sake of family and male honour, many killed by their close relatives or selectively removed before birth (estimated at more than 100 million girls are missing from the world population due to selective abortion, infanticide and neglect).

In Genesis, Adam blames the woman for his sin and yet she does not reveal his part in her demise, instead identifying only the serpent. In so doing, she effectively covered his sin concerning her.

‘Love that covers a multitude of sins’ comes with a price – as it did for her, so it does for women today.

‘Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.’ – Psalm 146:3

Turning from YeHoWaH to men’s strength, supply and leading, is forsaking the One from whom all our needs are supplied –

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me’ –Psalm 54:4

  

Sadly the sins first seeded in Eden continue to bloom today.

Heavenly Father, YeHoWaH Elohim, thank You for the freedom that Yeshua secured for us all. Forgive us as women – for placing the words of men above Yours concerning us, and continue to open our brothers eyes also. Our strength and supply is in You. Amen.

 -Christine

* Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. -Gen 3:7
The covering used has both feminine and masculine words in the Hebrew. The Hebrew word for ‘fig’ (teenah) –is feminine and ‘leaves’ (aleh) is masculine. The word translated ‘leaves’ however has a root word (alah) undergirding it – meaning: to ascend, lift (self) up, exalt, excel, raise, recover, restore… interestingly a picture of pride and self-work to ‘restore’ or make right. It is interesting that it is identified with the masculine and not the feminine – confirming, I think once again, Adam’s heart of pride and self-determination. The fig supports the growth of the leaves and they are obviously considered the same tree. This is perhaps the very first instance that fits the idiom- “Behind every great man is a great woman”…and so mankind has (for the most part) continued.
picture source …God created man male and female…
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2 thoughts on “Her Weakness or Sin?

  1. Excellent work, Christine!! Well-written and logical. It’s never occurred to me that the ‘naked and not ashamed’ reference alluded to something hidden in their hearts that they themselves were unaware of, and therefore had to reason (yet) to be ashamed of. It seems obvious to me now; hence the cry of Psalm 19:12: Cleanse me of my hidden faults, O Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Erica!
      How you doing? – Ps 19:12 is a good verse to remind us to walk humbly and extend much grace to others as Yeshua covers and cleanses us from hidden sin as yet unaware of. We see the outside but He sees the heart where sin can hide and take root.
      …if like Adam I have covered my transgressions, by hiding my iniquity in my heart, … Job 31:33
      tiz v interesting!
      Looking forward to catching up with you😊

      Like

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