Project Genesis

The Land of Israel

Land of Our Heritage

Men Ruling over Women

Does Gen. 3:16 mean that men are entitled to rule over women?

A possible basis for understanding Gen.3:16 is suggested by the very parallel wording addressed to Cain in Gen.4:7: "Sin crouches at the door; his desire is for you, but you will rule over him". Eve had just caused Adam to sin by eating the fruit of the tree; thus the verse may be suggesting that if she again attempts to tempt Adam, he will overcome the temptation. Other interpretations are suggested by the commentators—for example, that even though bearing children will be painful, you will still desire your husband, and in any case he will take the initiative in wanting to have relations with you.

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