© Jeff Stacey | Last updated: 19 September 2016
1B29. God responded to Eve:
(a) God had questioned Eve
(b) God decreed that Eve would have very severe pains in childbearing
(c) God declared that Eve’s desire for her husband would be frustrated
1B29(title) God responded to Eve
1B29(a) God had questioned Eve
God had approached and initially interrogated Adam [see 1B31(a)] who blamed Eve for his own disobedience! [see 1B30(c)]. God had then questioned Eve and she frankly confessed her disobedience [1B28(c)(iii)]. But the consequences could not be avoided. God responded to her as follows.
1B29(b) God decreed that Eve would have very severe pains in childbearing
God’s judgment was that Eve would suffer very severe pain as she labored in bearing children Gen 3:16a. Later her statement following the birth of Cain indicated that childbirth was indeed very difficult Gen 4:1b. Being the direct result of her marriage to Adam, childbirth and its severe pain would now be connected with him in Eve’s thoughts Gen 4:1a.
1B29(c) God declared that Eve’s desire for her husband would be frustrated
God briefly outlined to Eve the resulting losses in her relationship with Adam Gen 3:16b. The meaning of this statement is open to various interpretations. It seems to be referring to ongoing conflict and alienation between Adam and Eve.
Their intimate relationship had collapsed due to their spiritual death. This adversely affected all their mutual communication and understanding. Eve’s desired interactions with her husband would now be constantly frustrated by Adam’s attitudes [see 1B31(c)]. This involved the whole range of their physical, sexual and psycho-social encounters with each other. That would be for Eve an ongoing emotional experience of unfulfilled desires for connection and intimacy with her husband. So she faced some deep anguish arising from this relational alienation.
The Hebrew word (t’suqah) used here for “desire” Gen 3:16b only occurs two other times in the whole OT. The next occurrence is only 15 verses later Gen 4:7. This referred to the intense and sinister desire of God’s Enemy to gain control over Cain by causing him to disobey God. Was this adjoining usage of t’suqah meant to imply that Eve’s attempts to get some satisfaction for her frustrated longings were also intense and even becoming sinister? Was she trying to manipulate and control Adam? Clearly their marriage was in deep trouble due to their fatal disregard for God.
There is only one other OT occurrence of t’suqah Song of Solomon 7:10 being a wife’s response to her husband’s passionate anticipation of love-making with her Song 7:6-7,8-9a. She welcomes this with delight, being deeply committed to him and also filled with anticipations Song 7:9b-11,12,13. Perhaps this suggests that Eve’s yearning desire also was for the kind of carefree loving oneness with her husband that they had previously enjoyed Gen 2:24-25. On this basis Gen 3:16b could include a reference to Eve’s later anguished dissatisfaction in her sexual relations with Adam.
Arrow 1B28 -> 1B29
This arrow indicates that God’s judgments inevitably followed Eve’s response of disobedience, in accordance with His warning.