GOD’S WARNING TO EVE
124. God spoke warningly to Eve at this time, telling her that she was inclining to turn away from Himself to her husband, and telling her that if she did so her husband would rule over her. The correct rendering of the next phrase of Genesis 3:16 is this: “Thou art turning away to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee,”—not as it has been rendered, “Thy desire shall be to thy husband.” This assertion, as to the correct meaning of the phrase we shall now prove. As we have said before, a misinterpretation of a passage of Scripture can be proved by the misfit. The usual construction put upon the language of this verse fits accurately nowhere; the correct interpretation fits all around.
125. The original word used here is teshuqa, and as it only occurs three times in the Hebrew language, its sense must be fixed (1) by studying its relation to other words in the sentences where it occurs: (2) by studying its derivation and structure: (3) and by studying the way it is rendered in the ancient versions of Scripture.
126. To study its relations to other words, we will leave it untranslated, but, write it in its proper sentences, inserting the noun equivalents for the pronouns used.
Genesis 3:16, “-and-to-Adam, Eve’s teshuqa.”
Genesis 4:7,11 “-and-to-Cain, Abel’s teshuqa”
(or perhaps sin’s teshuqa,)
Sol. Song 7:10, “-and-to-the-Church Christ’s teshuqa”
(as usually interpreted).
Now compare. No verbs are expressed. The conjunction is one for all and also the preposition. This is true of the Hebrew original also. In fact there is no variety in the three sentences, excepting in the proper nouns implied in the pronouns used. The sense of the three passages must be similar.
127. All the stress of teaching woman’s supposed obligations to man is in the “shall be,” which is supplied by the translators. The force of the mandatory teaching, then, rests upon a hiatus in the sentence. If it be contended that the context proves that this is an imperative, then the previous sentences must be imperative, or the following. Must woman bear children in sorrow, whether she wishes to rejoice or no? Must the serpent bruise the heel of the woman’s seed, whether he will or no? As to the following clause: Must man rule woman, whether he will or no? We think women have more liberty in Christian countries than heathen because man loses the disposition to rule his wife when a Christian.
If this be a commandment of God, and man must rule woman, the more carnally-minded a man is the better he keeps that sort of “law!” But the Apostle Paul says: “The carnal mind . . . is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). Thus we see that the context does not prove that this “shall be” of the sentence translated, “thy desire shall be to thy husband” is imperative. We can assert positively that this sentence is a simple future or present, warning woman of the consequences of her action. So it is rendered in all the ancient versions; never as an imperative. As a prophecy it has been abundantly fulfilled in the manner in which man rules over woman, especially in heathen lands. But Jesus Christ said, as much of women as of men: “NO ONE can serve two masters.”
(Additional Lessons on”teshuqa”)