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The Fall

In Great Pain

 Then the LORD God said to Eve: “I will multiply your sorrow inchildbearing. In great pain shall you give birth. Your desire shall be for yourhusband, and he shall rule over you.”
 iBIBLE Chapter 2


Scripture reference: Genesis 3:16

During the creation account, God instructs His creation, the animals that crawl, the fish in the sea, and the birds of the air to “be fruitful and multiply”(Genesis 1:28). This is no different for Adam and Eve. They are to fill the earth according to their kind.

As God stood before Eve to issue His punishment, He says, “I will multiply your sorrow in childbearing.” Without sin in the world, bringing forth new life to fill it would have been an easy endeavor. If Adam and Eve had not eaten the forbidden fruit, having children would have been painless and simple for Eve.

Now, every piece of the process to create life is wrought with trouble and pain. The word “sorrow” here (Hebrew: itstsabon), is not limited to mental anguish. Both "sorrow" and "pain" (Hebrew: etseb) are derived from the root word "atsab," and may include physical pain or hurt, toil, and emotional pain such as grieving. Eruvin from the Babylonian Talmud, part of the Hebrew tradition, identifies this "pain" and "sorrow" that will affect Eve in the following ways: difficulty in raising children, pain in conception and pregnancy, and labor pains. Childbearing would now be an inescapable reminder that sin affects humans beginning in the womb.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. —Psalm 51:5 [ESV]


Although this punishment will be difficult for Eve to bear in her body, it isthrough childbirth—this very painful thing—that Eve, and all humankind,would receive their Savior. God had just given the promise that her seedwould crush the serpent’s head. Her offspring would defeat the evil one.

Even though she is punished related to childbearing, she will still have the joy of being a mother. And even though her body will endure physical and emotional pain, she will be able to experience the blessing of raising children. Furthermore, she is not without hope of eternal life that would come through her offspring, Jesus Christ the Redeemer, whom God promised to them.

Our Response


Eve’s punishment for sin reminds us that the physical suffering that we endure in this life is temporary. As the anguish of childbirth increases, and labor pains grow closer and closer together, they soon end. And when they end, there is a new child, a new life, a beautiful gift from the Lord. So too will our sorrows end. Likewise, all our bodily pain and suffering will meet its end when Jesus returns.

The hope of salvation in Jesus Christ, Eve’s seed, points to a spiritual reality that is so much greater than Eve’s physical punishment connected with childbirth. Scripture reminds us that,

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. —2Corinthians 4:17–18

Our God has given us His own Son to be our Savior. He endured the sorrow of the crucifixion and His death on the cross in order to bring all who believe into an eternal relationship with Him. Our momentary afflictions will pass, but eternal life is forever.

Although this punishment will be difficult for Eve to bear inher body, it is through childbirth—this very painful thing—that Eve, and all humankind, would receive their Savior.

A Prayer for This Week

Loving Father, You have graciously given us Your Son Jesus, that we can place our hope and trust in Him. Thank You for the promise of eternal life, and an everlasting relationship with You. As we suffer this side of Heaven,we ask that You would grant us endurance and a peace which passes all understanding. Help us to remember Your own bodily suffering for us as we experience pain in our bodies. You are not a God who does not associateHimself with weakness. Help us, Lord, to trust You in all things, even our suffering. In Jesus’s name, we pray, Amen.

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