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Author Topic: What is Eve's punishment (Gen.3:16) in Hebrew and/or Greek?  (Read 10693 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 24, 2008, 12:38:50 PM »

Dear folks,

What exact word is used in Gen. 3:16 in Hebrew and/or in the Septuagint Greek to refer to the feeling or relation that Eve would from now on have towards her husband?

The reason I'm asking is that in a modern Ukrainian translation the text goes, "до мужа твого пожадання твоє, а він буде панувати над тобою," which can be translated into English as, "you will sexually lust for your husband and he will rule over you." I heard from some people that that's a clear indication that sexuality is a curse as such, that prelapsarian humans were not feeling anything sexual or erotic.

However, I am now reading St. John Chrysostom's "Sermons on the Book of Genesis," and there, in the sermon XVII, St. John explains this expression as God's decree that the wife must be "turned towards" her husband (like one turns one's head toward the source of some voice - in a Russian translation that I am using, it says, ""к мужу твоeму обращeниe твоe," i.e. literally, "toward your husband your turning of the head will be"). From St. John's exegesis, there is no conclusion or implication that God punished Eve by conferring any specifically sexual, erotic feelings to her.

I'll be most grateful to you Hebraists and Ellinists alike!

--G.
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2008, 02:07:33 PM »

16 και τη γυναικι ειπεν πληθυνων πληθυνω τας λυπας σου και τον στεναγμον σου εν λυπαις τεξη τεκνα και προς τον ανδρα σου η αποστροφη σου και αυτος σου κυριευσει

The passage in Greek contains no reference to sexuality.  The red bolded and underlined word means rules.

Source is: http://septuagint.org/LXX/Genesis/Genesis3.html

Edited for clarity
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2008, 02:40:20 PM »

Thank you so much, SolEX01!

So, may I ask you, do I get this right: "en lipeis teksi tekna" means, "in pain you will bear children"; "pros ton andra su i apostrofi su" means, "toward your husband will be your (...? what exactly?); and "eitos su kirieisei" means, "he will rule you."

What exactly is this "apsotrofi?"

--G.
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2008, 03:21:52 PM »

Thank you so much, SolEX01!

So, may I ask you, do I get this right: "en lipeis teksi tekna" means, "in pain you will bear children"; "pros ton andra su i apostrofi su" means, "toward your husband will be your (...? what exactly?); and "eitos su kirieisei" means, "he will rule you."

What exactly is this "apsotrofi?"

--G.

"toward your husband you will have abhorrence. and under his influence you will be."

This is what I get in Greek.
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2008, 03:27:16 PM »

^Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

I, too, found that αποστροφη means "disgust," "hostility," "aversion." (http://www.answers.com/topic/aversion, and http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CE%B1%CF%80%CE%BF%CF%83%CF%84%CF%81%CE%BF%CF%86%CE%AE).

Very strange then that Chrysostom interprets it as "your turning of the head towards..."

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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2008, 03:33:15 PM »

I think the whole verse needs to be looked at and not just one word.  What I get out of this is that even though Eve (eg all women) will ultimately bear "greatly multiplied" pains during childbirth, and therefore something to sensibly avoid, she will still yearn for children and must thus turn toward her husband, who due to the ensuing pain she will most likely "abhor" (as he will be the first cause of the future pain), because God has placed Adam in rule over her.

It's the pain that is at the center of this text and not Eve's desire or abhorrance.  Even though she will go through pain in bearing children now, she will go through the pain because she will have a desire to have such children, which can only be accomplished through sexual activity with her husband.

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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2008, 03:41:41 PM »

^Thanks, Schultz! That explains it! --G.
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2008, 04:58:09 PM »

Thank you so much, SolEX01!

You're welcome, G.   Smiley

So, may I ask you, do I get this right: "en lipeis teksi tekna" means, "in pain you will bear children"; "pros ton andra su i apostrofi su" means, "toward your husband will be your (...? what exactly?); and "eitos su kirieisei" means, "he will rule you."

What exactly is this "apsotrofi?"

Modern Greek dictionary translates "apostrofi" as aversion, dislike and/or recourse.  The NKJV text in the Orthodox Study Bible has the passage as "To the woman He said, 'I will greatly multiply your pain and your groaning, and in pain you shall bring forth children.  Your recourse will be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.' "  Recourse in this context means a source of help or strength implying that Eve will always rely on Adam as a source of help and strength when bearing and raising children.

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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2008, 05:32:08 PM »

^Thanks again, most helpful!
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2008, 06:34:26 PM »

I think the whole verse needs to be looked at and not just one word.  What I get out of this is that even though Eve (eg all women) will ultimately bear "greatly multiplied" pains during childbirth, and therefore something to sensibly avoid, she will still yearn for children and must thus turn toward her husband, who due to the ensuing pain she will most likely "abhor" (as he will be the first cause of the future pain), because God has placed Adam in rule over her.

One can justify sexism using the above interpretation whereas there was no sexism intended by God when he commanded that Eve would turn to her husband as a source of strength and help.  Eve made the selfish decision to eat the apple and the consequences were for her to lose that selfishness.  The Virgin Mary was very unselfish in giving birth to the Son of God without any pain or suffering.

It's the pain that is at the center of this text and not Eve's desire or abhorrance.  Even though she will go through pain in bearing children now, she will go through the pain because she will have a desire to have such children, which can only be accomplished through sexual activity with her husband.

God blessed the union of Adam and Eve and told them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth before both sinned and were evicted from Paradise.
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2008, 02:32:28 PM »

One can justify sexism using the above interpretation whereas there was no sexism intended by God when he commanded that Eve would turn to her husband as a source of strength and help.  Eve made the selfish decision to eat the apple and the consequences were for her to lose that selfishness.  The Virgin Mary was very unselfish in giving birth to the Son of God without any pain or suffering.

I like this explanation, but it is still somewhat unclear to me, how can "apostrophi" (from a mere semantic point of view) simultaneously mean "resource" (source of strength, something to turn your head to), and "disgust" or "aversion" (something to turn your head FROM)...

God blessed the union of Adam and Eve and told them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth before both sinned and were evicted from Paradise.

Oh, no, don't go there... if you read St. John Chrysostom's "Sermons on Genesis," you will see how stongly, passionately he argues that there wasn't any-any-but ANY sex or eroticism in the garden of Eden. God did not mean for humans to have sex. Sex only appeared after the Fall. Our good old holy Father, who was a monk all his life and certainly did not know any sex, imagined sex as something very bothersome, like a need to urinate or something.Smiley "Multiplication" was meant to be asexual.
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2008, 02:58:29 PM »

Our good old holy Father, who was a monk all his life and certainly did not know any sex, imagined sex as something very bothersome, like a need to urinate or something.Smiley

Not true.  Read SVS's compilation "On Marriage and Family Life."
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2008, 03:02:50 PM »

Not true.  Read SVS's compilation "On Marriage and Family Life."

I will, but I just HAVE read "Sermons on Genesis!"  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2008, 03:13:04 PM »

Not true.  Read SVS's compilation "On Marriage and Family Life."

Here's from one of St. John's Homilies on Genesis, just one example (there are many more):

in order that you may come to realize the precision of his prophecy, and how what he had said has been conspicuous for its brilliance up to the present time and to its fulfillment, listen also to what follows: "She shall be called woman," it says, "because she was taken from her husband. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother, (l23b) and will cling to his wife and the two will come to be one flesh." [ Gen 2:23, Gen 2:24 ] Do you see how he opened everything up to us, clarifying each detail precisely for us through his own prophecy: "She shall be called woman," ' it says, "because she was taken from her husband." Again he hints to us of the removal of his rib; then, to indicate what was about to happen, the text says, "For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother, and will cling to his wife and the two will come to be one flesh." Where, tell me, did these things come from for him to utter? From what source did he gain knowledge of future events and the fact that the race of human beings should grow into a vast number? Whence, after all, did he come to know that there would be intercourse between man and woman? I mean, the consummation of that intercourse occurred after the Fall; up till that time (123c) they were living like angels in paradise and so they were not burning with desire, not assaulted by other passions, not subject to the needs of nature, (like sex or urination --G. Smiley )  but on the contrary were created incorruptible and immortal, and on that account at any rate they had no need to wear clothes. "They were both naked," the text says, remember, "and were not ashamed." [ Gen 2:25 ] You see, while sin and disobedience had not yet come on the scene, they were clad in that glory from above which caused them no shame; but after the breaking of the law, then entered the scene both shame and awareness of their nakedness. So, from what source, tell me, did these things come for him to utter? Surely it's obvious that before his disobedience he had a share in prophetic grace and saw everything through the eyes of the Spirit. " http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/anderson/commentaries/ChrGen.html#glossGen2:23,Gen2:24
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2008, 03:21:31 PM »

I like this explanation, but it is still somewhat unclear to me, how can "apostrophi" (from a mere semantic point of view) simultaneously mean "resource" (source of strength, something to turn your head to), and "disgust" or "aversion" (something to turn your head FROM)...

The Greek Prefix "Apo-" translates into English as From, Since, By, Out of.
The Greek Suffix "Strophi" translates into English as Turn, Revolution.

Combining the semantics provides one literal translation as "Out of Turn."  Recourse implies another option or choice which is not "in turn."
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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2008, 03:33:33 PM »

St. John Chrysostom's comments on Genesis 3:16 - same source as Reply 13, pages 240 and 241:

As if to explain his reasons to the woman, the loving God said this, meaning, In the beginning I created you equal in esteem to your husband, and my intention was that in everything you would share with him as an equal, and as I entrusted control of everything to your husband, so did I to you; but you abused your equality of status. Hence I subject you to your husband:  "Your yearning will be for your husband, and he will be your master." Because you abandoned your equal, who was sharer with you in the same nature (l45a) and for whom you were created, and you chose to enter into conversation with that evil created the serpent, and to take the advice he had to give, accordingly I now subject you to him in future and designate him as your master for you to recognize his lordship, and since you did not know how to rule, learn well how to be ruled. "Your yearning will be for your husband, and he will be your master." It is better that you be subject to him and fall under his lordship than that enjoying freedom and authority, you would be cast into the abyss. It would be more useful also for a horse to carry the bit and travel under direction than without this to fall down a cliff. Accordingly, considering what is advantageous, I want you to have yearning for him and, like a body being directed by its head, to recognize his lordship pleasurably.

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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2008, 03:40:54 PM »

The Greek Prefix "Apo-" translates into English as From, Since, By, Out of.
The Greek Suffix "Strophi" translates into English as Turn, Revolution.

Combining the semantics provides one literal translation as "Out of Turn."  Recourse implies another option or choice which is not "in turn."


I am not sure I understand. Is "apo" in "apostrophi" an indicator that the woman's head is turned TO or FROM her husband?
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« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2008, 03:42:38 PM »

St. John Chrysostom's comments on Genesis 3:16 - same source as Reply 13, pages 240 and 241:

As if to explain his reasons to the woman, the loving God said this, meaning, In the beginning I created you equal in esteem to your husband, and my intention was that in everything you would share with him as an equal, and as I entrusted control of everything to your husband, so did I to you; but you abused your equality of status. Hence I subject you to your husband:  "Your yearning will be for your husband, and he will be your master." Because you abandoned your equal, who was sharer with you in the same nature (l45a) and for whom you were created, and you chose to enter into conversation with that evil created the serpent, and to take the advice he had to give, accordingly I now subject you to him in future and designate him as your master for you to recognize his lordship, and since you did not know how to rule, learn well how to be ruled. "Your yearning will be for your husband, and he will be your master." It is better that you be subject to him and fall under his lordship than that enjoying freedom and authority, you would be cast into the abyss. It would be more useful also for a horse to carry the bit and travel under direction than without this to fall down a cliff. Accordingly, considering what is advantageous, I want you to have yearning for him and, like a body being directed by its head, to recognize his lordship pleasurably.


So, now "apostrophi" is rendered as "yearning." How can a turning of the head "from" mean yearning?
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« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2008, 03:51:40 PM »

So, now "apostrophi" is rendered as "yearning." How can a turning of the head "from" mean yearning?

Instead of yearning God, Eve is told to yearn Adam because Eve turned her head from God and obeyed Satan.
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« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2008, 03:58:08 PM »

I am not sure I understand. Is "apo" in "apostrophi" an indicator that the woman's head is turned TO or FROM her husband?

Remember that Biblical Greek and Modern Greek are two different types of Greek Language.

Etymology of Apostrophe:

French, from Late Latin apostrophus, from Greek apostrophos, from apostrephein, to turn away : apo-, apo- + strephein, to turn; see streb(h)- in Indo-European roots
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« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2008, 04:31:25 PM »

^Thanks, brother! I'll try to sort this out.
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« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2008, 05:09:30 PM »

The difference between the Hebrew Masoretic text and the Septuagint in this instance is just one letter.

The Hebrew says: we'el 'ishekh teshuqatekh wehu' imshal bakh = "and towards your man (shall be) your craving and he shall rule over you".

The Septuagint reads teshuvatekh, with beith in stead of qoph, and renders it apostrophe accordingly. Teshuvah means "return", "repentance", "turning away" (from the verb shuv - "turn"), while teshuqah means "craving, impulse, urge".
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« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2008, 05:50:57 PM »

Remember that Biblical Greek and Modern Greek are two different types of Greek Language.

I disagree. Modern Greek is actually moving towards Proto Greek.
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« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2008, 06:04:57 PM »

The difference between the Hebrew Masoretic text and the Septuagint in this instance is just one letter.

The Hebrew says: we'el 'ishekh teshuqatekh wehu' imshal bakh = "and towards your man (shall be) your craving and he shall rule over you".

The Septuagint reads teshuvatekh, with beith in stead of qoph, and renders it apostrophe accordingly. Teshuvah means "return", "repentance", "turning away" (from the verb shuv - "turn"), while teshuqah means "craving, impulse, urge".

Thank you so much, Romaios, most helpful.
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« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2008, 07:28:40 PM »

Brenton renders it:

and thy submission shall be to thy husband,

Yes, Modern Greek is quite different from Biblical Greek (Kione Greek) and different again from the most dialects of classical Greek.

Modern Greek is a decention from Attic Greek which was the dialect of Alexander the Great.  It was the dialect that became prominent when Alexander went out conquering and was also the dialect of Homer and the great philosophers.  It evolved into the Kione Greek(or common Greek) of the LXX and NT, then to pre or early modern Greek and finally to Modern Greek.
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« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2008, 09:23:53 PM »

I will, but I just HAVE read "Sermons on Genesis!"  Roll Eyes 

My point is that St. John did not treat the subject uniformly in his career - probably because of his changing role (from monk to priest to archbishop); there is definitely a change if one is to compare writings.
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« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2008, 09:44:18 AM »

My point is that St. John did not treat the subject uniformly in his career - probably because of his changing role (from monk to priest to archbishop); there is definitely a change if one is to compare writings.

Oh, sorry, now I get your point... Could you provide a link to these later writings? Are they on the Web? Thanks! --G.
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« Reply #27 on: June 29, 2008, 07:56:13 AM »

Here's from one of St. John's Homilies on Genesis, just one example (there are many more):

in order that you may come to realize the precision of his prophecy, and how what he had said has been conspicuous for its brilliance up to the present time and to its fulfillment, listen also to what follows: "She shall be called woman," it says, "because she was taken from her husband. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother, (l23b) and will cling to his wife and the two will come to be one flesh." [ Gen 2:23, Gen 2:24 ] Do you see how he opened everything up to us, clarifying each detail precisely for us through his own prophecy: "She shall be called woman," ' it says, "because she was taken from her husband." Again he hints to us of the removal of his rib; then, to indicate what was about to happen, the text says, "For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother, and will cling to his wife and the two will come to be one flesh." Where, tell me, did these things come from for him to utter? From what source did he gain knowledge of future events and the fact that the race of human beings should grow into a vast number? Whence, after all, did he come to know that there would be intercourse between man and woman? I mean, the consummation of that intercourse occurred after the Fall; up till that time (123c) they were living like angels in paradise and so they were not burning with desire, not assaulted by other passions, not subject to the needs of nature, (like sex or urination --G. Smiley )  but on the contrary were created incorruptible and immortal, and on that account at any rate they had no need to wear clothes. "They were both naked," the text says, remember, "and were not ashamed." [ Gen 2:25 ] You see, while sin and disobedience had not yet come on the scene, they were clad in that glory from above which caused them no shame; but after the breaking of the law, then entered the scene both shame and awareness of their nakedness. So, from what source, tell me, did these things come for him to utter? Surely it's obvious that before his disobedience he had a share in prophetic grace and saw everything through the eyes of the Spirit. " http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/anderson/commentaries/ChrGen.html#glossGen2:23,Gen2:24

The problem with saying that they were not bound by fleshy needs, like "sex and urination", is that He specifically tells them to eat, and what is there food (I'm assuming defication would be in the same boat in this scenario).  Since "male and female He created them," gender and sex was there from the beginning, and if we are to believe some of the Fathers (St. Isaac the Syrian, for example) the Incarnation was planned even before the Fall, and would have happened if the Fall had never occured.  Since there would have been cleaving and begetting even without the Fall.  Btw, note that although Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed, according to the Bible, we don't go around naked in Heaven, but wear white linen (consult Revelation).  So the Adamists got it wrong.

If you compare the texts in Hebrew, there is a parallelism to the stubbornness of the earth to yield fruit, Adam's mortality, and the topic of the OP.

As to the prior point, while at the moment I don't know the chronology of St. John's writing on Genesis and on Marriage, but keep in mind that early in his career, as a monk he over did it and ruined his health permanently.  I agree it would make sense that St. John wrote later on marriage, when it was his business, i.e. as pastor of a diocese which would include the married.
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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