Currid On the Woman’s Desire

Concerning Genesis 3:16b

Your desire shall be for[a] your husband,
    and he shall rule over you.”

It is customary to understand the woman’s longing for her husband to be one of sexual desire, or at least, one of great affection. But that is probably incorrect. The proper signification comes from comparing this verse with Genesis 4:7, which uses both verbs, to ‘long’ (desire) and to ‘rule’, from 3:16. Also, the proximity of the two verses is weighty. In 4:7, God tells Cain that ‘Sin is crouching at your door; it longs to have you, but you must rule over it.’ The issue for Cain is what will dominate him and have control and mastery over him. The same applies to 3:16: the woman will have an excessive desire and determination to dominate her husband. The man, however, will dominate her. Thus this verse describes the ongoing condition of marriage relationships which will exist after the Fall.

The nature of the new order is quite appropriate. It was Eve who led the family in the garden episode, who ate the fruit first and led the man to do the same. Adam, for his part, let woman lead, and he refused to take his mandated leadership role. God now proclaims that such struggles and tensions will always appear in the marriage relationships.

From John D. Currid’s An EP Study Commentary:Genesis Vol. 1, p. 133.

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One thought on “Currid On the Woman’s Desire

  1. I came across that position (“Your desire shall be for your husband” is a reference to desiring to rule over, not sexual desire or the sort) several years back and it has made such amazing sense, Clearly this desire of the wife to rule the husband has been at issue ever since. That is, if the Bible didn’t tell me it was true, I’d know it by observing so many wives and husbands.

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