Daily Word

Sin consequences – mankind | Genesis 3:16-19

16 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”

17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain 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, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Genesis 3:16-19 (ESV)

Consequences… with hope

Yesterday, as we saw the consequences of sin meted out on the serpent, we were given the first hope of salvation…the seed of Eve would crush the head of the devil thereby conquering sin and death. Today, the consequences of sin continue with mankind as we’ll see through the end of the chapter.

Consequences for women

Eve, representing all women, receives the consequence of her sin. Firstly, she will have serious pain in labor delivering children, her seed. Adam and Eve were commanded to be fruitful and multiply. Originally, it would all be a blessing with little pain. Now, the delivery portion would be filled with excruciating pain. Is there a connection to Christ’s excruciating pain at His death when He removed the curse of sin?

Secondly, Eve would be ruled by her husband. Before the fall, there is already an order in place as Adam came first, Adam was given the prohibition, Eve was taken from Adam, and God first held Adam accountable for sin.

There is some debate about v16. It seems most scholars understand the meaning is mostly as the NLT translates it, “you will desire to control your husband”. This understanding is based on the same use of the word, desire, from Genesis 4:7 which speaks of the desire sin has to be master over Cain. “Sin had corrupted both the willing submission of the wife and the loving headship of the husband.” (planobiblechapel.org quoting Foh) Check the link for 3 other viable interpretations.

Consequences for men

There are two consequences for Adam (mankind).

  1. Ground is cursed so work is hard. For some amount of time, Adam had experienced the blessing of work in the garden. Now it would become a curse, yet it still had some blessing in that it provided his sustenance. 
  2. Death and a return to dust. All will die (Rom. 5:12-14) due to Adam’s sin. This curse is passed from generation to generation. Outside of a way outside us, we have no hope. But as we stated above, thank the Lord we do have hope…in Jesus Christ and in Him alone (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).

Final thought

A nice summary quote on the consequences listed here: “These punishments represent retaliatory justice. Adam and Eve sinned by eating; they would suffer in order to eat. She manipulated her husband; she would be mastered by her husband. The serpent destroyed the human race; he will be destroyed.” (planobiblechapel.org quoting Ross)


  • No matter what, other than the OT saint Enoch and prophet Elijah, the physical bodies of all return to dust. But our spirits continue for eternity – with God or away from Him. Which do you live according to?
Mother in pain giving birth. Image from cafemom.com *

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