Sample Essay on The Desire of Woman (Genesis 3:16)

The Desire of Woman

There are several interpretations that have been given with respect to the meaning of the phrase “desire of a woman”. Centering mainly on the meaning of “desire”, one important explanation upholds that, as a punishment for her sin, the desire of a woman will be subject to what her husband requires. This implies that her desire regardless of what it might be will not be based on her own will.  Therefore, she cannot do whatsoever she wishes because the rules of her husband are to rule over her like a dictator and regardless of what she needs, she is subject to his will. Another perspective of the meaning of this phrase is that the woman shall have a vast yearning, longing as well as psychological reliance and she will thus wish to control the relationship with her husband.

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On the other hand, the meaning of the phrase can be obtained from the context of the bible whereby the woman is mentioned and the verse in Genesis 3:15 acts as a point of translation to verse 16 where God pronounces His judgment upon the woman. Likewise, there is a connection provided between verse 16 and 17 whereby the husband is mentioned in verse 16b which gives a good translation to the ruling pronounced by God upon the man in verse 17 to 19. From this context, each recipient of the Lord’s judgment gets punished individually. The serpent is cursed to forever move on its belly, Satan receives a death blow governed by the woman’s seed while man is cursed to tilling the ground which will never yield its fruit. As a result, in verse 3:16 the woman is most likely the recipient of the only single judgment that focuses on procreation and continuation of life, as opposed to the desire to dominate.

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DavisJohn. Paradise to Prison: Studies in Genesis. United Kingdom: Sheffield Publishing Company.1998.

Foh Susan, “What is the woman’s desire”,The Westminster theological journal 37 (1975): 376-83.