Posts Tagged With: desire


shackles     “No gods, no masters.” ― Margaret Sanger


In my last post, A Parable, we investigated the Hebrew word mashal found in Genesis 3:16 and 4:7 translated as rule and master. We discovered that mashal is also the Hebrew word for a parable or proverb and how maxims actually do have dominion and power for those that have ears to hear. In today’s post, I hope to take us a little deeper into this correlation.

In Chavah’s encounter with the serpent, she found the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil to be three things:

  1. Good for food.
  2. A delight to her eyes.
  3. Desirable to make one wise.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (Gen. 3:6)

Why did Chavah consider something that YHWH said not to eat, “good for food?” Does she believe that YHWH is withholding something from her? Apparently, YHWH isn’t completely trustworthy in the eyes of Eve after her encounter with the serpent.

So, why did Chavah trust a walking[1], talking snake? Isn’t a serpent a created beast? As a beast, the serpent knows only what an animal is created to do. His dialogue with Chavah reveals the spirit of a beast, not a man. Anything an animal desires to do is a God given instinct. By pursuing these urges, the beast is actually being obedient to the Creator.

What are these desires? Beasts are “ruled” by the impulse to eat, sleep, procreate, and expand their territory.[2] These inborn urges drive the soul of an animal. If they see something they “desire,” they are never in disobedience by working to fulfill this want. These appetites ensure that these creatures are fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth. Therefore, an animal’s teshukah[3] (desire) is its master by the design of the Creator.

Humans and animals both have a nephesh, or a soul. Therefore, we also have appetites corresponding to an animal or beast. This part of our human nature is not evil in and of itself. The Creator made mankind this way and called it very good! Without these appetites and passions, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish our primary mandate as humans: to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth.

However, unlike the beasts, we are NOT to allow ourselves to be ruled by these appetites and desires. Instead, with YHWH’s help, we are meant to master them. A human created in the image of Elohim masters his flesh or nephesh. This can only be accomplished by living by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of Elohim (God).[4] Why? Because without the Word, we are ruled by the appetites of our nephesh and are no different than a beast of the field.

If our nephesh controls our actions, are we not our own masters? Isn’t that the real temptation the serpent presents to Chavah (Eve)? By allowing the nephesh to rule, one becomes like Elohim knowing good and evil and doing what is right in their own eyes. This is pure idolatry; with self being the idol.

This is the precise problem with the second and third observations Eve had of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.(Gen. 3:6 KJV)

The Hebrew word for pleasant is ta’avah; it means to long for, desire, lust, or delight. Its root word, avah, is defined as to wish for, desire, and covet. This is the same word used in the second set of the Ten Commandments for “You shall not covet…”[5] This is not surprising; since, it is usually one’s eyes that first longs for (covets) something that isn’t his to have. This is the purpose of YHWH commanding one to wear visual reminders of His commandments.[6] One cannot trust their eyes to remain faithful.

Not by coincidence, the Hebrew word for “desired” above is chamad. While it does mean delight, desirable, and even beloved; it also means to covet. It is the Hebrew word used in the first set of the Ten Commandments where it says, “You shall not covet…”[7] What exactly was it that Chavah coveted?

“For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:5)

Chavah could be her own master. She would decide what was good and evil in her own eyes and, in effect, be a better ezer kenegdo to Adam. Margaret Sanger[8] captured this human dilemma in parabolic form with her infamous words, “No gods, no masters.” She was certain that the only “master” of a woman’s body was the woman herself. In other words, Margaret’s desire was to do what seemed right in her own eyes. She was her own master or god knowing good and evil. Sadly, this is the battle of all men and women. Who shall rule us?

By listening to the walking, talking serpent or nephesh, Chavah began to have more trust not necessarily in the serpent, but in herself. This is the ultimate deception of the serpent. He is a beast perfectly designed to be ruled by instinct or nephesh. Chavah is meant to be ruled by the Word of God. So, what happened with Adam in this story?

Unlike Chavah, Adam was NOT deceived.

…and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (Gen. 3:16b)

The Hebrew word for with is eem. It can mean with, by, or beside. The Hebrew allows one interpretation: Adam watched this whole debacle unfold and never protested the obvious (to him) deception of his wife. Why was Adam silent? Did he trust his ezer kenegdo to a fault? Or did he realize, as Dr. Moen suggests,[9] that he had an impossible choice to make:

  1. Eve, the only perfect one; made just for me. Bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh.
  2. Elohim. YHWH. Creator of Heaven and Earth.

Regardless of why Adam remained silent, his sin was exactly the same as Chavah’s. He chose his own desires and passions instead of YHWH. In other words, Adam was mastered by his nephesh just as Eve was. The difference, I believe, is that Chavah didn’t realize (at first) what was happening, but Adam did. He was not deceived. He chose Chavah, the very delight to his eyes.

Essentially, both Chavah and Adam became their own masters. Their sin was idolatry. I don’t think we realize that this is what we are doing when choose to do what we want to do or not do. We usurp the highest authority in the Universe when we decide what is good and evil. Only YHWH has the right and authority to make these distinctions. We don’t have to understand his sovereign commandments. We simply are to obey them.

The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!” (Gen. 3:4)

When we become our own god, we bring curses and death upon ourselves. Sure, the consequence may not be immediate. Adam and Chavah didn’t die… right away. This delay can only be the mercy and grace of YHWH. Sadly, when we are disobedient and nothing “bad” seems to happen, we believe the lie of the serpent and smugly think to ourselves that our DESIRE doesn’t lead to death or destruction either.

Ironically, the very thing a person ruled by their nephesh desires, to be their own master, is the very thing that enslaves them to sin and death. Meditate on that for a while…

So, what’s the parable or moral found in this story? How does this connect the two accounts in Genesis 3:16 and 4:7? What is the Creator teaching with the teshukah and mashal in Chavah and Cain’s predicaments? I hope to answer that in my next post, Slaves.

[1] I’m assuming he could walk since his curse after deceiving Chavah (Eve) would be that he would have to crawl on the ground from that point forward. Naturally, the inference is that before this encounter, he did not crawl on his belly.

[2] Dr. Hollisa Alewine, in her workbook The Scarlet Harlot, speaks to this dichotomy between the nephesh and the man made in the image of Adonai.

[3] Please see a more in-depth treatment of the Hebrew word teshukah in my series on the Biblical Role of Women.

[4] Dt. 8:3

[5] Dt. 5:21

[6] And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. (Num. 15:39-40)

[7] “You shall not covet (chamad) your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Ex. 20:17) 

[8] Margaret Sanger is the “mother” of Planned Parenthood. I believe she is a prime example of a woman ruled by her nephesh rather than by the Spirit of YHWH.

[9] Audio file: The Scriptural Role of the ‘Ezer by Dr. Skip Moen. You can purchase it here:

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A Parable

Proverbs 1:1-7  The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;  (2)  To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;  (3)  To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;  (4)  To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.  (5)  A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:  (6)  To understand a proverb (mashal), and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.  (7)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (NASB)

Back to the Beginning

In The Biblical Role of Women posts, we explored and compared Bereshit (Genesis) 3:16 and 4:7. These two verses are about Chavah’s (Eve’s) curse after the serpent deceived her and YHWH’s remarks to Cain before he killed Abel. If you will recall, YHWH’s statements in these verses contain some striking similarities, especially in Hebrew.

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.” (Gen. 3:16 NASB)

“If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” (Gen. 4:7 NASB)

In this post, instead looking at the word for desire, teshukah, as we did in the Biblical Role of Women, I want to explore the Hebrew word translated as rule and master. In each of the verses above, the same Hebrew word is used: moshal (משׁל). This is the verb form of the word mashal, which means proverb or parable. This Hebrew word is very interesting.

Strong’s defines the verb moshal as to rule: (have, make to have) dominion, governor, and reign. And defines the noun mashal as a sense of superiority in mental action; properly a pithy maxim, usually of a metaphorical nature; hence a simile (as an adage, poem, discourse): – byword, like, parable, proverb.

The Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible defines both words together since they are cognates. Rule, dominion: The dominion one rules over. Also the comparison of things as a rule of measurement. Compare: To compare one thing to another in the sense of a rule of measurement, often a proverb or parable.

Thus, the Hebrew word for rule and dominion is also the word for a proverb or parable. Think about that for moment. How are these words related in the Hebraic mindset? Rabbi David Fohrman, in his book The Beast that Crouches at the Door,[1] suggests that the reason people tell parables is to interpret reality. In our day-to-day experiences of life, things can happen that are hard to make sense of or understand. We need something to “compare it to.” This is how a story, parable, or proverb “rules” over our experience. They point out what is important in our circumstance so that we can understand and grow. Is this not what a (good) ruler does for us? He sorts out our circumstances and directs our paths.

Proverbs 1:1-7 is quoted at the beginning of this post. Look at the words that Solomon used to describe the function of a proverb or parable (mashal) in these verses: to know, to understand, to perceive, to receive, to attain, and to increase in knowledge, wisdom, understanding, judgment, and equity. A parable opens the door for us to perceive or understand something that to us, is hidden. By relating a message in story form, the moral or lesson is left up to the hearer to discern or interpret. Is this not why Yeshua concludes many parables[2] with: “He that has ears to hear, let him hear?

Whether a particular connection or comparison is understood also depends on what or who controls the heart of a person. At least, this is the conclusion of King Solomon in verse 7. What Solomon points out is that a person that fears YHWH can “hear” what the proverb or parable is teaching. Conversely, those without YHWH as their Master and Elohim (God), have no real wisdom or knowledge. A life devoid of the governing Word of the Creator is nothing more than the unbridled desire, passion, and appetites of a fool. In other words, what rules or controls the person is their own nephesh or soul. Are you starting to see the pattern of mashal’s integrated uses of to rule and a parable?

Solomon wants to teach his children with the authority of a proverb. This is the purpose of a parable. They contain the power (rule; dominion) to change a person’s perception of life, circumstances, and even their worldview. That’s pretty powerful! They are the lighthouses that reveal the shoreline on a dark and foggy night. Do you ever find that your “vision” is blurred by your situation? Have you ever felt that you are at a crossroads? I know I have on numerous occasions. We all need a mashal that will shift our lenses so that YHWH’s purpose and will comes into our focus.

If we listen (shema) carefully, YHWH gives these mashalim (proverbs/parables) to us all the time. They definitely are found in Scripture, but they also occur in our day-to-day lives. For example, the other day I was correcting my son for the umpteenth time for something we’ve covered again and again. I was frustrated by his lack of compliance and apathetic attitude. I vocalized my disappointment by saying that all he had to do was simply obey what I said. “Why can’t you do that?” I asked.

Immediately, I felt YHWH say to me, “That’s how I feel. You do the same thing to me all the time. Why can’t you also simply obey me?” Wow, talk about feeling like a hypocrite! My loving Father used my son as a living parable to teach or direct my focus to a problem I couldn’t “hear” without this powerful comparison. If I change my actions because of this mashal, then I have increased or attained wisdom as the verses quoted above in Proverbs attest.

In the account with Eve and Cain, is there more to the proverbial story than we’ve previously conceived? Isn’t there always? We find the exact same Hebrew structure in Genesis 3:16 and 4:7. Teshukah and Mashal. Passion, desire, and appetites compared with dominion, rule, and mastering. Is YHWH highlighting something for us here in the beginning? Is there a parable that will direct us further? I hope to explore this in my next post called Masters.

[1] I have a digital version, so page numbers do not correlate properly. You can find his musings of moshal/mashal in chapter 12. The hard copy can be purchased at

[2] Mt. 11:15, 13:9, 13:43; Mk. 4:9; Lk. 8:8; 14:35, and other places phrased slightly different.

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The Biblical Role of Women Part II

Role of Women Main Page

Adam, Chavah, and the Serpent

We have already established the pre-sin creation roles of man and woman in Part I. Here is a quick summary:

  • Man (Adam) as a male (zakar) is specifically designed to remember who YHWH is, what He requires, and then act upon that knowledge. These traits enable him to guard, protect, and work the earth.
  • Woman as a female (neqevah) is designed to be a protector/guardian of boundaries. God calls her an ezer kenegdo, a helper that opposes Adam. She is a natural intercessor for Adam and supports him when he embraces God’s direction and opposes him when he does not. God Himself says it is not good for Adam to be without an ezer kenegdo.

When YHWH formed Adam, He used the dust of the ground (adamah). Do you see Adam in adamah? Adam is not only the proper name of the first man, but is also a generic term for man and mankind. Man comes from the adamah. All the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky also are formed from the ground or adamah. (Gen. 2:19) Interestingly, Adam’s responsibility is to take care of the very substance from which he, the beasts, and the birds were formed. Adam is created from the ground to take care of the ground and all that it produces (plant and animal).

What about Chavah (Eve)? Adam was composed of both male and female before Adonai removed Chavah from his side. Together as one, they are Adam, mankind. Thus, Chavah has duties related to the adamah, just as Adam does, but she has a uniqueness too. She is built (banah) from the side of Adam. If her role follows the pattern of Adam, then her responsibility will be to guard, protect, and serve the thing from which she is fashioned.

As we discovered in Part I, that is exactly her God ordained role. She is built from Adam, and one of her duties is to guard him. Can you see the vast similarities and the subtle differences in their roles? They are co-rulers in the creation. Each is an image bearer of the Creator, expressing a unique aspect of the Holy One.

In the Hebrew text, Adam is formed (yatzar); that is, he was molded or shaped from the dust or clay of adamah (ground). But, Chavah was built (banah) from the side of Adam. The difference implies that Chavah wasn’t a “new” creation; rather she was a “modified” adam. She is still the exact substance. This is why Adam exclaimed, “this is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” What we tend to forget is why Adam needed Chavah, his ezer kenegdo:

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. (Gen 2:24)

The clause “for this reason” refers back to verse twenty-three. BECAUSE woman was taken FROM man,[1] it is necessary that he one day leave his father and mother and be joined with his wife or ezer kenegdo. Think about this for a moment. In our culture and most of the world, men have historically held a hierarchical position over women. So the obvious question is: Why then, does the man leave his father and mother to be joined to his wife? Would it not make more sense for the woman to leave the “covering” of her father and mother and then be joined to her husband?

In actuality, both the man and the woman leave the covering of their parents to join together to create a new “house” or creation. The man covers the woman in one way and she covers him in another. We will build on this concept throughout the series.

It is at this point that the serpent approaches Chavah (Eve). But WHY does he approach Chavah and not Adam? If Adam is Chavah’s protector, wouldn’t the serpent first approach Adam? That is if Adam was indeed functioning in the role of “gatekeeper” in their relationship. Most commentators throughout the centuries assume that the serpent’s choice in approaching Chavah was due to her propensity toward deception. She was weak. But nowhere does the Genesis text imply such notions. We must adjust our preconceived ideas about Chavah and the garden. Remember Chavah was specifically designed by the Creator of the Universe to guard and protect Adam. She is his helper opposite him. Is it possible that the reason the serpent approached Chavah is precisely because she IS the “gatekeeper” and protector of the relationship? Adam was allowing Chavah to function in her God given role and the serpent knew if he could beguile Chavah (the guard), he also had Adam.

I realize this rubs against the grain of many theological boxes and makes some people very uncomfortable. Therefore, before I continue, I must state right here that what I’m submitting is NOT a feminine hierarchy. Chavah’s role was not a higher status than Adam’s, it was simply different. As a matter of fact, none of my articles support hierarchy roles for either gender. Instead, they bring balance and equality back into relationships and fellowships, if the parties involved seek out Biblical restoration. Restoration doesn’t mean going back to Genesis three and the fall; it means going back to Genesis one and two to the Garden.

The Boundary Setter

The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'” (Gen. 3:2-3 NASB)

Chavah seems to be the first person to initiate a “fence-law” around God’s Word. Some would say that she added to the Word of God. Others would suggest that Adam was the one that added to the Word, since he would have taught her the commandment in the first place.

The Hebrew text implies that the male and female were one and together as Adam on the the day THEY were created:

Gen. 5:2 (LITV) He created them male and female, and blessed them, and called their name Adam in the day when they were created.

Both the man and the woman, the Adam, heard the commandment of God to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. If this was the only thing the Creator of the Universe asked you to do, would you take any precautions to help yourself and other loved ones be obedient? If you did, would this be “adding to the law or Word?”

In (Gentile) Torah communities, fence laws are almost a curse word. It’s as if the function of a fence has been lost altogether. What do fences do? They protect what’s on the inside from harm or theft. On the other hand, a fence can wrongly imprison. Whether the fence serves a good, holy purpose or the lusts of a demented soul, depends on how it is used.

For example, parents use “fence” methods to train up their children. They initiate boundaries and rules for children to follow so that they are safe and protected. As they mature, the fences might change or expand, but the principle still remains. A literal fence around one’s backyard protects children from wandering off and keeps predators out. A “spiritual” fence does the same thing.

Chavah, acting as a guardian and protector of Adam’s obedience to God, likely used this precautionary measure to protect her and Adam’s obedience. Sometimes a fence protects, but sometimes it becomes a cage that prevents growth. We must use discernment to discover which case applies in our particular situation and with this example in Genesis with Chavah (Eve).

The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (Gen. 3:4-6)

Understanding the Biblical role of the woman, why do you suppose that Chavah was tempted by the idea of knowing good and evil and gaining wisdom? Is it possible that these things were desirable because she felt they would enable her to better fulfill her role in serving and protecting Adam? Maybe.

Regardless of Chavah’s motivation, she stepped outside of the will of God and disobeyed the Commandment, fence and all. Adam listened to his ezer kenegdo even though he was not deceived. The Hebrew preposition in verse six, eem (H5973), translated as “with,” implies that Adam was right there accompanying Eve. He was present and beside his wife as the serpent brought temptation. Is it possible that the reason he didn’t prevent or correct Eve’s mistake is because he was allowing her to function as the ezer kenegdo? Again, maybe. But, I believe there is more to the story.

Chavah was deceived by the serpent. He played to her desires and she took the bait, but Adam was not deceived. So, why did he eat the fruit? Adam made the tragic mistake of placing someone else before YHWH. Instead of choosing to do what he knew was right, he willingly chose to follow his wife. Maybe he thought he couldn’t live without her, his ezer kenegdo. In other words, Adam was ALSO tempted by his desire… the desire for his wife. Chavah acted in ignorance and Adam acted in rebellion. Neither action is profitable.

I wonder how different this story would have unfolded if they had stepped back from the situation and came together as ONE to prayerfully seek Adonai on how to move forward?

The Curses

And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” (Gen. 3:11-12)

Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Gen. 3:13)

After Adam and Eve sinned, YHWH asks Adam a rhetorical question. Adam responds by placing all the blame on the woman. His tone is actually accusatory toward YHWH! Notice he says, “the woman you gave to be with me.” Adam is angry; not only with Chavah, but with YHWH. Chavah blames the serpent and admits to her deception. But, the serpent is not even questioned. YHWH begins the judgments with the deceiver.

adam eve serpent

Adam, Eve, and the serpent, Notre Dame (Paris)

Serpent: The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of . field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” (Gen. 3:14-15)

Chavah: To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth (conception), In pain you will bring forth children; and your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” (Gen. 3:16)

Adam: Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice 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. “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.” (Gen. 3:17-19)

Notice that Adam and Chavah are not cursed. Instead, what is cursed, as a consequence of their sin, is their “roles” or “purpose.” Adam comes from the adamah (the ground) and it is the adamah that is cursed. What would normally be almost effortless will now come about through great toil and sweat for Adam. Therefore, we would expect similar consequences in Chavah’s account.

If Chavah comes from Adam, what was once natural will now prove to be difficult and painful. And, that is exactly what we see. Chavah will conceive and bear children in pain, the Hebrew term also implies “great worry.” What mother doesn’t have deep concern and worry over her children not only during pregnancy and birth, but throughout their child’s life?

It is the second statement to Chavah that has caused much controversy throughout history. Chavah’s desire will be for Adam. Many misogynistic commentators have suggested this is an unquenchable sexual desire. Any honest man can tell you this is certainly NOT the case, lol. (And if they’re super honest, they wish it were!) The Hebrew term is teshukah. This unique Hebrew word is only used in three passages in the entire Bible: Genesis 3:16; 4:7, and Song of Solomon 7:10. Let’s look at the other Genesis text first.

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” (Gen. 4:6-7)

Unlike English, Hebrew indefinite pronouns must always refer to a correctly gendered noun. The pronouns “its and it” of verse seven read as if they are replacing the noun “sin.” But, sin is feminine and “its and it” refer to a masculine noun. To find the masculine noun these pronouns are replacing, one must look back to verse 6. The phrase “your countenance fallen” is literally “your face has fallen.” Face is a masculine noun. This is an idiom for intense anger.

It wasn’t “sin” that had teshukah or desire for Cain, but something that was within him: his anger! Emotions are part of the lower, beast nature of man. God told Cain to master or rule over this powerful force. If not, the emotion of anger would master him. It was close at hand, at the door, ready to take the reins. Cain did not heed the warning of the LORD.

The Hebrew structure of the phrase “its desire is for you, but you must master it” is nearly identical to the judgment placed on Chavah after she sinned. Chavah had teshukah for Adam just as Cain’s anger had teshukah for him. It is voracious and powerful. So, what does this phrase imply in reference to Chavah: “and your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you”?

Is YHWH telling Adam that he must rule or master Chavah’s desire for him, like Cain is to master his emotions? After all, this is the way this verse has been traditionally interpreted. Men control your women. But YHWH wasn’t talking to Adam. He was speaking to Chavah. Read that last statement again. God wasn’t giving Adam a directive, commandment, or a precedent. He clearly was speaking to Chavah alone.

This is the result of her SIN, not God’s original design. The consequence for Chavah’s sin is on her function, her God ordained role. She was designed to be Adam’s ezer kenegdo, remember? Her desire is to fulfill that role, just as Adam’s desire is to guard, protect, and tend to the ground (earth) and all its creatures. There is no sin or punishment in her teshukah. Just as the ground will fail to willingly release its abundance to Adam without much toil, so Adam will not easily relent to Chavah’s design to be his ezer.

Chavah failed Adam in her role as ezer kenegdo. He no longer trusted her to be his guard, protector, and help. In the fallen nature, Adam decides that he must take the reins and rule or master Chavah. This is not YHWH’s design. This is the result or consequence of sin! Where the two once ruled together (each with their perfectly designed roles), there is now a hierarchy, and Adam sits in the seat of power.

This revelation has many implications and consequences that can be traced throughout the Biblical text and recorded history. But, we still serve the God of Restoration. As redeemed followers of the God of Israel, we want to return to the Garden. And that, I believe, is what the third verse in scripture with the word teshukah is all about. Read about it in Part III.

[1] We see this idea repeated in 1 Cor. 11:19 . Woman was created FOR man, not the other way around. A man apparently needs a woman. It truly is not good for a man to be alone. I find this strikingly similar to the edict that man was not made for Shabbat (Mark 2:27), but Shabbat was made for man. Mankind (men and women) NEED a Shabbat rest according to the Creator.

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