Grace Theological Journal 7.2 (1986) 203-12

Copyright © 1986 by Grace Theological Seminary; cited with permission.










Lexical and etymological studies of the words of Gen 3:16b yield

little help for interpreting the meaning of the woman's desire for man.

Contextual evidence, however, indicates that the woman's desire for

the man and his rule over her are not the punishment but the

conditions in which the woman will suffer punishment. Although there

are linguistic and thematic parallels between Gen 3:16b and Gen 4:7,

contextual differences and interpretive problems indicate that Gen 4:7

cannot be used to interpret the meaning of “desire" in Gen 3:16. Cant

7:10[11] provides a better context for understanding the word. It may

be concluded that, in spite of the Fall, the woman will have a longing

for intimacy with man involving more than sexual intimacy.


                                                *     *     *



ALTHOUGH in the past few decades there has been a proliferation of

books and articles discussing biblical norms for the role of women

both in society and in the church, a consensus of interpretation has not

emerged. The complexity of the issue, coupled with the exegetical

difficulty of relevant Scripture, has made general agreement elusive.

Part of the discussion has focused upon the last phrase of Gen 3:16:

"yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over


            Various interpretations have been propounded for the meaning of

this phrase, centering primarily around the definition of "desire." One

prominent interpretation suggests that, as a punishment for the Fall, a

woman's desire will be subject to her husband's. "Her desire, whatever

it may be, will not be her own. She cannot do what she wishes, for her

husband rules over her like a despot and whatever she wishes is subject


            1 All biblical quotations from NASB unless otherwise noted.




to his will.”2 Another viewpoint contends that the woman will have an

immense longing, yearning, and psychological dependence.3 More

recently a third view has surfaced. It suggests that, based on the usage

of "desire" in Gen 4:7, the woman will desire to dominate the relation-

ship with her husband. "The woman's desire is to control her husband

(to usurp his divinely appointed headship), and he must master her, if

he can.”4



The Hebrew term rendered "desire" is hqAUwT; and is derived from

qUw. It is given the general lexical meaning of "attract, impel, of desire,

affection”;5 however, due to its infrequent occurrence in the OT (Gen

3:16; 4:7; Cant 7:10[11]),6 the semantic range is unclear. The etymo-

logical data is equally obscure. The word may be related historically to

the Arabic saqa (which is often used in contexts indicating sexual

desire) or saqa (which is used in a more general sense of desire).7

Nevertheless, saqa does not demand sexual connotations and saqa

does not rule them out.8 In light of its usage in Gen 4:7, the term

appears to have a meaning which is broader than sexual desire.

Perhaps the translators of the LXX attempted to clarify their

understanding of the term by translating it with a]postrofh< in Gen

3:16 and 4:7, but with e]pistrofh< in Cant 7:10[11]. The preposition

a]po<, when attached to the verb stre<fw, suggests "to turn away," while

e]pi< suggests "to turn toward." However, it is difficult to understand


2 E. J. Young, Genesis 3 (London: Banner of Truth, 1966) 127; cf. John Calvin,

Genesis (reprint; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979) 172, who contends that 3:16b is an

example of Hebrew poetry in which a thought is restated in a subsequent phrase. As

such, "and he shall rule over you" is a reassertion of "your desire shall be to your


3 Gini Andrews, Your Half of the Apple (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1972) 51; cf.

H. C. Leupold, Genesis (2 vols.; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1977) 1. 172.

4 Susan Foh, "What Is the Woman's Desire?" WTJ 37 (1975) 382; cf. also Foh's

Women and the Word of God (reprint; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980) 69.

5 BDB, 1003. The definition given by Koehler and Baumgartner (KB, 1. 1043) is

similar: "impulse, urge."

6 The significance of the term as used in these three passages is treated below. The

number in brackets refers to the versification of the Hebrew text.

7 Foh (Women, 67) seeks to remove any sexual connotation from "desire" in 3:16b

by contending that "the phonemic equivalent of the Hebrew s [w of qUw] is s in Arabic.

The proper etymology in Arabic for qUw is saqa, to urge or drive on. This meaning need

not have sexual connotations."

8 In either case, etymology is often of little help in ascertaining meaning, which is

determined by context and usage.


BUSENITZ: WOMAN'S DESIRE FOR MAN                                205


how Gen 4:7 could embody any idea of "turning away.”9 Furthermore,

the terms are virtually synonymous in meaning in noun form,10 so that

the change in prepositional prefix is "unconvincing"11 as an interpreta-

tion and "quite unnecessary."12

The Tg. Onq. translates the term with j`yTib;UxTi, which means "to

desire, long for." While it does not occur in the Aramaic portions of

the OT, its Hebrew equivalent is recorded in Ps 119:20: "My soul is

crushed with longing [hbxt] after Thine ordinances at all times."

The other terms used in Gen 3:16 are even less helpful (when

treated individually) for determining the meaning of the text. The verb

"to rule," from lwamA, is employed both here and in 4:7. The LXX

translates the term in 3:16 with kurieu<w, which means "to lord it

over,"13 but uses a verb form of  a@rxw ("to rule over"14) in 4:7, possibly

to depict a more governmental, autocratic concept. Similarly, little

significance can be attached to the interchange of the prepositions

(3:16; 4:7) and lfa (Cant 7:10[11]). The Hebrew language frequently

employs the two prepositions interchangeably, with apparent indis-


Ultimately, the effort to achieve exegetical clarity cannot be

propelled by lexical or etymological information, for the data revealed


9 The same should be said of Gen 3:16 also, for even understanding  to mean a

desire for domination and control does not essentially incorporate a "turning away"


10 The meaning assigned to both terms in BAGD (100, 301) is "to turn toward."

11 John Skinner, Genesis (ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1969) 83.

12 U. Cassuto, The Book of Genesis (2 vols; Jerusalem: Magnes, 1978) 1.166.

13 Some have contended that kurieu<w connotes the idea of establishing one in an

office over another. If this were true it would suggest that the husband was not installed

in the "office" of leader/headship until after the Fall. Yet 1 Tim 2:12-14 implies that the

role of headship was divinely ordained prior to the fall. Equally untenable is the

following analysis: "This is obviously neither an intensification nor a warping of a

pre-existing hierarchy between the sexes for no such hierarchy is alluded to" (Victor P.

Hamilton, "qUw," in Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, ed. R. Laird Harris,

Bruce K. Waltke, and Gleason L. Archer, Jr. [2 vols; Chicago: Moody, 1980] 20 913).

While Genesis 1-3 does not specifically refer to a preexisting hierarchy, it is alluded to in

a multiplicity of ways in the opening chapters. Examples include the purpose of woman's

creation (2: 18) and the naming of woman (2:23). Furthermore, it is specifically stated

elsewhere in Scripture that a hierarchical structure between man and woman antedated

the Fall (I Tim 2:12-14; I Cor 11:3-12).

14 BAGD, 113.

15 Cf. BDB, 41. Numerous examples of this interchange exist in the OT (e.g., I Sam

1:10, 26; I Sam 25:25). While the "physical motion toward" idea of lx, can also

encompass the concept of "against," as it does in Gen 4:8, it is made evident only by the

context. Since such a thought is not inherent in the context of 3:16, one should not be

too quick to read the idea of "against" back into it.




by such is dim and inconclusive. Lexically and etymologically, the term

qUw is shrouded in obscurity; the verb lwamA and the prepositions lx, and

lfa  are equally impotent to unlock the meaning of Gen 3:16.




While the study of each of the terms does not shed much light on

the meaning of Gen 3:16, the context does. In Gen 3:15 the mention of

woman serves as a point of transition to v 16 where the Lord

pronounces judgment upon the woman. A similar connection is pro-

vided between v 16 and v 17; the mention of the husband in v 16b

allows for a smooth transition to the judgment pronounced upon the

man in vv 17-19.

The first thing to be noted by the context is the fact that each

recipient of God's judgment receives one punishment. In the case of the

serpent (3:14), he would move on his belly: similarly, Satan (3:15)

receives one judgment--a death blow administered by the seed of the

woman.16 In the judgment upon man (3:17-19), the ground will not

readily yield its fruit. In Gen 4:11, Cain too is the recipient of only one

punishment. Consequently, in 3:16 woman is probably the recipient of

only one judgment.

Second, in each of the judgments which God pronounced in Gen

3:14-19 and 4:11-12, the nature of the curse has no essential relation-

ship to the nature of the sin committed. The ground not readily

yielding its fruit has no essential relationship to Adam's eating of the

forbidden fruit; the fact that the serpent would now crawl on the

ground has no integral connection to his enticing conversation with the

woman. Consequently, one should not assume that the woman's

punishment is to be sealed forever under the control of her husband,

because she stepped out of her divinely ordained role of submission

and followed the admonition of the devil.

Third, the judgments given to the woman and the man (3:16-19)

revolve around propagation and seed.17 "Both sentences involve


16 This argument follows the view that Satan is being addressed in v 15. It is doubtful

that the term "enmity" (hbAyxe) can be limited merely to a hostility between man and beast,

for elsewhere the term is employed only of enmity between morally responsible agents

(cf. Num 35:21, 22; Ezek 25:15; 35:5). Furthermore, if the v 15 judgment refers to the

serpent, then it is essentially no judgment at all, for animals in general exist under a

similar relationship with man.

17 The opening statement of 3:16: "I will greatly multiply your pain and your

conception" is probably a hendiadys--an idiomatic phrase referring to pain which

results from pregnancy. In addition to the fact that it is doubtful if an increased fertility

cycle would constitute a punishment, the next phrase combines the two thoughts: "in

pain you shall bring forth children." Cf. Cassuto's suggestion (Genesis, I. 165) that "a

better interpretation is: your suffering in general, and more particularly that of your

child bearing. "

BUSENITZ: WOMAN'S DESIRE FOR MAN                    207

pain/toil, and both affect the bringing forth of life, human and

otherwise."18 The context speaks not of the desire of woman to rule the

man but of the continuation of life in the face of death. Such is the

central element of 3:16a. Such is the focal point of 3:17-19. Thus, there

is good cause to believe that the same idea is present in 3:16b.

Fourth, in the contextual development of Genesis 3 the woman is

specifically addressed in 3:16, while the man is the object of God's

pronouncement of judgment in 3:17-19. If the "desire" of 3:16b is the

desire of the woman to control and dominate her husband, then the

sentence is no longer a judgment upon the woman; rather, it is the man

who bears its brunt. Yet man's judgment is not mentioned until 3:17.

"Since the punishment was specifically intended for the woman and her

female descendants, and was not a penalty shared with the men, it had

inevitably to be of a nature restricted to the female sex."19

Fifth, in each of the punishments the pronouncement is given first,

then an explanatory statement follows. In the case of the serpent (3:14)

the explanatory phrase is "And dust you shall eat all the days of your

life." Serpents are not dust-eaters per se; rather, the phrase is an

explanatory elaboration of the fact that they would crawl around on

their bellies. In 3:15 the punishment is essentially enunciated in the

phrase "And I will put enmity between your seed and her seed," with

the subsequent phrase denoting the extent of that enmity, namely,

death. In 3:17-19 the punishment directed toward Adam is the cursing

of the ground (3:17a); 3:17b-19 is explanatory, describing how this

punishment would affect Adam and his descendants.20 The same is true

in 3:16; the last phrase must be closely related contextually to the

punishment recorded in 3:16a. Since each of the explanatory state-

ments in 3:14, 3:15, and 3:17-19 is inseparably linked to the judgment

statement, it would be exegetically inadvisable to divide 3:16 into two

separate, unrelated punishments. Rather, 3:16b is elaborating on 3:16a.

The "desire factor" is not a part of the judgment but an explanation of

conditions and relationships as they will exist after the Fall. Even

though the intimacy between the first man and his wife was abrogated,21


18 Foh, Women, 67. The judgment of both the woman and the man affects their

physical being. For the woman, pregnancy and childbirth will be accompanied by great

hardship and toil. The judgment on man will also involve hard labor (note the same

word [bc,f, = pain] used in both 3:16 and 3:17).

19 Cassuto, Genesis, 1. 164.

20 Cf. Gen 4: 11-12 where the punishment of Cain is a further cursing of the ground

(4:11), while the statement that he would be a vagrant and wanderer on the earth (4:12) is

an explanation of the judgment, describing the extent and impact of it.

21 God's words in Gen 3:16b do not "destroy the harmony of marriage" (Foh,

"Woman's Desire," 383), for such harmony was broken earlier (cf. "his wife" of 2:24, 25;

3:8 with "the woman" and the phrase, "which You gave to me, she gave. . ." in 3:12).

Though Eve is later called "his wife," the initial intimacy appears to be gone.




even though the unity with man would bring woman to the threshold

of death itself in the process of childbirth" yet woman would still

possess a strong desire to be with man. The broken intimacy and the

pain in childbearing would not be allowed to nullify the yearning of

woman for man and the fulfillment of God's command to populate the

earth22 or to alter the divine order of the headship of man.

It is equally tenuous to maintain that the phrase "and he shall rule

over you" was given because Eve had usurped the authority and

leadership role of Adam when she took and ate from the tree of the

knowledge of good and evil. The sin of the first woman was not that

she took the lead without seeking the prior counsel of Adam. No such

prior consultation was needed, for she herself knew God's command-

ment prohibiting them from eating the fruit of the tree of the knowl-

edge of good and evil (2:17). The woman's sin was that she exalted

herself above her Creator. She took it upon herself to determine,

together with the counsel of the serpent, if God's law was good or bad,

if it was right or wrong. Her sin had nothing to do with denying Adam

his rightful role of leadership in their marriage or with grasping a role

that belonged to her husband. The only role that Eve usurped was

that of God's, a usurpation that is characteristic of all acts of sin of

all people living in all times of the history of mankind.

Woman may desire to dominate or rule over man, but it is not a

part of the punishment pronounced upon woman; it is just the essence,

character, and result of all sin against God. Self-exaltation and pride

always result in the desire to dominate and rule. Every person to some

extent desires to dominate and rule over others--not just woman over




One of the two passages most directly related to this discussion is

Gen 4:7. While there are linguistic and thematic parallels between this

verse and Gen 3:16, there are also differences. Furthermore, the


22 This element should not be dismissed too readily, for there is every reason to

believe that the broken intimacy, together with the deadly pain of childbirth, would be

sufficient to place the command to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth (1:28) in

jeopardy (cf. also Gen 11:4, 9).

23 The NT commands to submit to the husband's authority (Eph 5:22; Col 3:18; I Pet

3:1) do not suggest that woman's desire to rule over man is a part of the Genesis 3

judgment. These passages incorporate admonitions directing slaves to submit to their

masters, children to obey their parents, and younger men to submit to their elders,

indicating that nonsubmissive attitudes and actions are the result of sin. To be certain,

women may seek to usurp authority not rightfully theirs. But it is an action which is the

consequence of sin and not a result of the judgment of Gen 3:16.


BUSENITZ:  WOMAN’S DESIRE FOR MAN                   209


interpretation of Gen 4:7 faces unique difficulties all its own.24 Gener-

ally speaking, there have been two interpretations. The less common

interpretation posits Abel as the antecedent of  OtqAy.wT; ("his desire"),

suggesting that if Cain does what is right, then he will be lifted up and

restored to his position of preeminence which formed a part of his

birthright as the older brother.25 "From the latter clause of the verse it

is evident that God alludes to the prerogatives of the birthright which

Cain would be in no danger of losing if his conduct were such as it

ought to be.”26 This interpretation embodies at least two favorable

aspects. The first is contextual, for it readily accounts for the actions of

Cain toward Abel in the following verse.27 The second is grammatical,

for in OtqAy.wT; ("his desire") the pronominal suffix is masculine. If the

antecedent were "sin [txF.AHa] crouching at the door," one would expect

a feminine pronominal suffix, since txF.AHa is feminine.

A more common understanding of Gen 4:7 is that sin, pictured as

a wild beast, is waiting to pounce upon and control its victim. "The

fem. txF.AHa is construed as a masculine, because sin is personified as a

wild beast, lurking at the door of the human heart, and eagerly desiring

to devour his soul (1 Pet. v. 8).”28 This view benefits from the closeness

of the pronominal suffix ("his desire") to the antecedent ("sin crouching

at the door"); yet, despite the personification of sin as a wild beast, it

suffers from the discord of gender.

Regardless of which view one espouses, neither is sufficiently

certain to allow it to become the basis for establishing the meaning of

qUw in Gen 3:16. It is readily admitted that there are some noteworthy

similarities between Gen 4:7 and Gen 3:16. Both are given in a context

of divine judgment. Both come from the hand of the same writer. Both

employ similar terminology.29 It is true that "the proximity of Genesis

4:7 to Genesis 3:16 suggests that a similar grammatical construction


24 Many commentators readily admit that the verse is one of the most difficult in all

of the OT to explicate. Skinner (Genesis, 107) has observed: "Every attempt to extract a

meaning from the verse is more or less of a tour de force, and it is nearly certain that the

obscurity is due to deep-seated textual corruptions." Suggested textual emendations are

feeble at best and have generated little light.

25 The term txeW; ("lifted up") is used in Gen 49:3 in the sense of "preeminence." In

this view "desire" would mean "to be subservient to" as to the firstborn of the family (cf.

Gen 27:29).

26 George Bush, Notes on Genesis (2 vols; reprinted, Minneapolis: James and Klock,

1976) 1.99.

27 The disaffectionate relationship which developed between Esau and Jacob over

the matter of birthright (Genesis 27) is significantly analogous.

28 C. F. Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Genesis (reprint, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975)


29 Gen 3: 16: j`BA-lwAm;yi       xUhv;        j`teqAUwT;      j`weyxi-lc,v;

        Gen 4:7.    OB-lwAm;Ti            hTAxav;        OtwAUwT;         j~yl,xev;



would have similar meaning.“30 But since Gen 4:7 is besieged with

interpretive uncertainties, it ought not to be applied unreservedly to

interpret Gen 3:16.

Furthermore, Gen 4:7 is not as parallel to Gen 3:16 as it may

appear. First of all, Gen 4:7 is figurative while Gen 3:16 is literal.

Hermeneutically, one should proceed from the literal usage to the

figurative usage if one's exegesis is to have validity.31 Second, while the

grammatical construction is similar, the two phrases are actually

inverted in sense. In 4:7 the object of the desire (Cain) is also the

recipient of the curse. However, in 3:16 the object of the desire (the

man) is not the recipient of the curse. For 3:16 to be truly parallel with

4:7, the desire of woman would have to be part of the judgment against

the man. Third, similarity in grammar need not demand similarity of

meaning. Verbal parallelism may be only coincidental. As shown

above, the context of Gen 3:16 does not indicate that the woman

desires to dominate her husband. If it is to be found in Gen 3:16, it

must be imported from Gen 4:7. However, the context of Genesis 3

must be given the primary role in determining the meaning of "desire"

in 3:16 rather than the linguistic resemblance between 3:16 and 4:7.

The thematic links between Genesis 2-3 and Genesis 432 neither

suggest nor imply that, as a part of the judgment of Gen 3:16, woman

will desire to dominate man. For example, in Genesis 2-3 there is

intimacy between God and man; then sin turns that intimacy to

alienation. There is intimacy between man and woman; then sin causes

intimacy to become alienation. In Genesis 4, intimacy between God

and Cain turns to alienation, and intimacy between Cain and Abel

turns to alienation. But in each case the broken intimacy, alienation,

and punishment are not allowed to go beyond God's intended extent.33

In the example of Cain, his death would be strongly avenged (Gen

4:15). The thematic relationship suggests that such is the case in Gen

3:16b. The alienation between man and woman and the pain of

childbirth resulting from intimacy, would not be allowed to interrupt

woman's desire for man, man's rulership over woman, or the carrying

out of the command to populate the earth (Gen 1:28).


CANTICLES 7:10[11]

Cant 7:10[11] contains the third Occurrence of the word qUw: "I am

my beloved's, and his desire is for me." While the meaning of qUw  may


30 Foh, Women, 69.

31 It is difficult to perceive how one could determine how sin desires Cain and then

utilize that as the basis for determining how woman desires man.

32 Cf. Alan J. Hauser, "Linguistic and Thematic Links Between Genesis 4:1-6 and

Genesis 2-3," JETS 23 (1980) 297-305.

33 Scripture is replete with instances of divinely established parameters in the

punishment of mankind (cf., e.g., Exod 20:25; 21:23-25).

BUSENITZ: WOMAN'S DESIRE FOR MAN                                211


be difficult to determine precisely in its two previous occurrences, there

is little doubt here. It speaks clearly of the natural power and compul-

sion of the love of an individual for another. The slightest hint of one

desiring to dominate the other is totally absent. Says Zockler: “hqAUwT;

as in Gen. iii.16, the passage which lies at the basis of this, [speaks] of

the longing desire of the man for the society of his wife, not of gross

sensual desires for sexual intercourse. The whole is a triumphant

exclamation in which Shulamith joyfully affirms that her lover cannot

exist without her.”34

It appears that the usage of qUw in Canticles is closer to that of

Gen 3:16 than is Gen 4:7, notwithstanding the latter's grammatical

similarities and textual proximity. First of all, the plain must be

employed to interpret the obscure and difficult if there are contextual

reasons to believe that both usages are similar. Such is the case

between Gen 3:16 and Cant 7:10[11]. The abundantly clear meaning of

"desire" in Cant 7:10 [11] should be given priority in the determination

of the meaning of "desire" in Gen 3:16. Second, "desire" is used

literally in Cant 7:10[11], just as it is in Gen 3:16; in Gen 4:7 the usage is

figurative.35 Third, in distinction from Gen 4:7, both Cant 7:10[11] and

Gen 3:16 address relationships between the opposite sexes. As such Cant

7:10[11] and Gen 3:16 share a contextual relationship which is foreign

to Gen 4:7.

The true difficulty, then, is not understanding the meaning of

"desire" as used in Cant 7:10[11] and Gen 3:16, but as it is used in Gen

4:7. This is noted indirectly by Skinner in his comment on Gen 4:7:

"The word hqaUwT; is unsuitable, whether it be understood of the wild

beast's eagerness for its prey or the deference due from a younger

brother to an older.”36 The reason qUw is so unsuitable is because the

other two usages speak of the power of attraction between the sexes.

To grant Gen 4:7 in its obscurity a determinative role in the interpreta-

tion of Gen 3:16 without permitting the clarity of Cant 7:10[11] to

permeate the exegetical process is to abandon hermeneutical discern-

ment and propriety.



The central consideration in the interpretation of Gen 3:16b is

context; the meaning of "desire" is best determined in the light of its


34 Otto Zockler, The Song of Solomon in Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, by

J. P. Lange (tr. & ed. by Philip Schaff; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, n.d.) 119. The rendering

"I am my beloved's, and it is an obligation upon me to desire him" is grammatically

permissible, especially in light of a similar poetical use of  ylafA in Prov 7: 14. However, it is

doubtful on contextual grounds, for elsewhere the phrase "I am my beloved's" (6:3; cf.

2: 16) connotes reciprocity.

35 Cf. BDB, 1003.

36 Skinner, Genesis, 107.



immediate contextual setting. The context bespeaks procreation and

the continuation of life, not the desire to dominate. Furthermore, to

appeal to Gen 4:7 with its manifold obscurities to unlock the interpre-

tive door of Gen 3:16 is to throw exegetical caution to the wind. It is

much safer to apply the meaning of hqAUwT; in Cant 7:10[11] to Gen

3:16, for while it does not enjoy the near proximity of Gen 4:7, its

meaning is plain and its interpretation is virtually unquestioned.

Consequently, it should be granted preeminence over Gen 4:7 and

become the primary cross-reference in ascertaining the meaning of

"desire. "

The text does not sustain the interpretation that one aspect of the

woman's judgment is that she will desire to dominate and control the

man. The last phrase of Gen 3:16 is not a part of the judgment; it is an

explanation and description of conditions which will exist after the

fall. Thus, the last phrase could be translated: "yet you will still desire

[as you did before the Fall, though now tainted by sin] your husband,

and he will still rule [as he did before the Fall, though now tainted by

sin] over you." The alienation, broken intimacy, and pain in childbirth

resulting from the Fall will not be allowed to annul that desire nor

abrogate the command to be fruitful.

In spite of the fact that man will rule over woman, and in spite of

the fact that intimacy may result in the pain (and possible death) due to

childbirth, yet woman will desire and yearn for man. The issue is

broader than purely sexual but does not exclude the sexual element.

This interpretation does not imply that woman's sexual drives are

stronger than the man's. While it is generally concluded that the man

has the stronger sexual desire, such is to be expected, for there was

nothing in the judgment upon man to temper it. On the other hand, the

woman must deal with the pain of childbirth; thus it is to be expected

that the woman's sexual desires would be somewhat moderated.

Nevertheless, woman's desire for man is an attraction which cannot be

uprooted from her nature. The contention that "sin has corrupted both

the willing submission of the wife and the loving headship of the

husband”37 is unquestionably true. But it is a natural consequence of

sin, not a result of God's judgment on the woman in Gen 3:16! Just as

the sin-corrupted headship of the husband is not a part of the divine

judgment upon the man but a consequence of sin, so the sin-corrupted

submission of the wife is not a part of the judgment; it is the result of



37 Foh, Women, 69.

38 While some may contend that the women's liberation movement of recent years

does not corroborate this interpretation (Foh, Women, 67), the opposite may actually be

the case. Many of the women who speak out strongly against the headship of man

nevertheless do get married and do bear their husband's children. Certainly it cannot be

maintained that this interpretation is contrary to the broader historical perspective.

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