Sunday, March 19, 2017
Genesis 3:16: God Never said to the Woman I WILL increase your Sorrow
16: to 'ishshah he said your sorrow is much increased
 Words matter.
In this verse, 'Ishshah is simply being informed that she has brought a world of sorrow upon herself, but It must be noted that the language is maliciously loaded against her (the English—not the Hebrew).
Virtually every English translation adds the emphatic words “I WILL” to the tragic observation (given by God to the woman) that the actions of the woman had just brought the wrath of hell down upon her head.
The woman herself created and caused the awful consequence--through her actions.
The false image conjured by adding the non-existent emphatic words, "I Will", to the English text is that the woman earned the abhorrence of the Almighty, who is portrayed as standing over her with a vindictive determination to overthrow her at every turn.
Simply adding the two words, "I Will," changes the meaning and perspective of the prophecy from consequential on the woman's part to spitefully causal on God's part.
But there is a problem with this picture. The words “I WILL” are not found in the Hebrew text—they are translator supplements.
Note that such emphatic language is not used in the next verse, regarding the man. The image conveyed in vs 17, as compared with the one in vs 16, presents entirely different attitudes from God towards his female and male creations.
In vs 17, it is the ground that is correctly portrayed as being opposed to the man. While in vs 16, an entirely false scenario is generated wherein it is God who will oppose the woman, in raining sorrow upon sorrow upon her contemptible head.
This example of gender-biased-English-translation-theology, is misogynistic in the extreme, and not only wrongs woman but God himself, in portraying him as angry and vengeful towards the woman—which he was not. It is also a glaring example of outright lies against women perpetrated by Bible translators. And who was going to argue with them? Bible translation and word definition was strictly controlled, entirely by men, throughout history, until relatively recent times.
Had God not just told the woman that one of her male offspring was going to overthrow the serpent who helped orchestrate her downfall? That statement portrayed nothing but comfort and good-will toward her. It was designed to give her hope in a hopeless situation--which it did (her excited utterances about getting a male from the Lord at the births of Cain and Seth prove she was hanging on to that promise for dear life. She longed for that blessed offspring—the Messiah—to appear).
As for the prophesied sorrow, YHWH ELOHIYM was not declaring his hatred for the woman, but simply informing her of the consequences of her sin—just as he informed the man of consequences of his.
And his good-will towards both the woman and man continued. Just a short time later, we read that God himself, in his infinite mercy, performed the first animal sacrifice (which was type of Messiah—the Lamb of God—who would take away the sins of the world). We do not believe it was incidental on the part of Jesus, that he chose a woman to be the first preacher of the gospel, which is simple the good new of Christs resurrection from the dead.
The malevolent impression manufactured in Genesis 3:16, guaranteed perpetual prejudice and persecution against the hapless woman, and by extension—against all women. History has proven this to be a strategic move on the parts of male Bible translators in all ages.
But it is a fact, that God never said to the woman, "I WILL greatly increase your sorrow."
This is an excerpt from the Hungry Hearts Bible Commentary (HHBC)
Posted by Jocelyn Andersen
Labels: Gender-Biased-English-Translation-Theology, Genesis 3, Loading the Language, Misogyny in Bible Translation, Outright Lies in Bible Translation, Words Matter
Jocelyn Andersen is a domestic violence survivor, a Bible teacher and ordained minister. She is outspoken for functional equality of the sexes, and a publisher of Christian books.